The world isn't just the way it is. It is how we understand it, no?
And in understanding something, we bring something to it, no?
Doesn't that make life a story?
- Yann Martel, Life of Pi
Mr. Lynch, you have me thoroughly captured by your humour, your writing, your characters and your awe-inspiring imagination regarding the complex cultures in the world of the Gentlemen Bastards.
The Lies of Locke Lamora introduced me to this merry band of thieves, both making me crack up and breaking my heart in turn, Red Seas Over Red Skies solidified the true bromance that is Locke Lamora and Jean Tannen, and The Republic of Thieves now introduced the long-awaited character of Sabetha, the Rose of Camorr to Locke's Thorn.
And what to say about her? She intrigued me, caused me deep loathing, forced me to admit admiration, and finally brought me to be slightly sympathetic to her point of view. It would, after all, be difficult being the only female of the Gentlemen Bastards, as it would be difficult in any male-dominated group. I get where she's coming from, I really do. She wants to be strong, she wants to pave her own way, and she wants to achieve greatness. Young Sabetha reminds me of Frankie in The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks in that she is so aware of being "the girl" that it taints her competitiveness. She always has to win, and screw anything like feelings that could get in her way. Present Sabetha has become secure in her capabilities but is jaded in the idea of romantic success. And she still likes to win. So I haven't grown to love her... yet. She's proven to be strong, no doubt about that, but she hasn't yet shown a true vulnerable side, or demonstrated points of self-sacrifice that would endear her to me as much as my beloved Locke and Jean.
And what to say about the plot? Well, the heist isn't as elaborate as previously, and Lynch's "politics" are more like college prank wars with a couple more complex schemes, and are more for entertainment value then to demonstrate realistic (hopefully!) election wranglings. BUT the interludes to Locke's past I loved! I really missed young Locke in the previous book, but here we get awkward teenage Locke! And Calo and Galdo! Ahhhhh..
Overall, this latest installment didn't have as many of the OH SHIT or just plain brain confuddlements of the last two books, but really, I still devoured this book. It still has the hilariously crude and witty dialogue, awesome characters and yes, that introduction of Sabetha! Who am I kidding? I have become a true fan of this series and will be eagerly anticipating The Thorn of Emberlain.