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DMS

Saturdays in Books

Reviews of speculative fiction, YA, middle grade, and graphic novels, along with stray thoughts, links, and pictures.

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The SFWA European Hall of Fame: Sixteen Contemporary Masterpieces of Science Fiction from the Continent
Kathryn Morrow, James K. Morrow

Review: Republic of Thieves

The Republic of Thieves - Scott Lynch

The short version: Not enough Jean.

 

Also, spoilers.

 

This is really well put together, with some lovely scenes, and some outright beautiful writing at moments. There are laughed out loud moments masterfully blended into bleak scenes. And yet.

 

I find myself easily giving 4 stars to this book while doubting I’ll pick up the next one.

 

 

This book sets up a future conflict between a character I dislike and a character I’m not even a little interested in. A character who may as well be named Darkly McEvil, Lord Emperor of Crazypants. Pardon me whilst I stifle this yawn.

 

No promises, of course. If someone tells me that The Thorn of Emberlain should have been subtitled Jean Tannen and His Wicked Sisters Meet a New Ladyfriend and Murder Everyone Else, I’ll likely still pick it up. And a bottle of brandy. Obviously.

 

Three books in and I’ve moved from not really digging Locke to outright hating him. I find constant, lifelong obsession over a woman to be creepy. Starting young doesn’t help.  There’s a particular plot twist that makes sense of his fixation on the redheaded rogue everyone aside from me has been chomping at the bit to meet. But in another way, that doesn’t help at all. He does on occasion save Jean’s life, so I guess he has that going for him.

 

She is, by the way, stunningly awesome and amazing. Until we take a ride in her head. Which I might have enjoyed if we were there to see something besides Locke. This whole actively disliking the protagonist thing has become a bit of a problem for me, it seems.

 

Trivially, I was disappointed to hear about the ongoing chaos in Camorr’s underworld. I’d really hoped the brothels would step into the power vacuum since they were still stable. Not really a criticism, just the whim of one reader. But, come on. How cool would that have been after the epic swordfighting complete with refrigeratored daughter mess the menfolk had made of the place?

 

I also had a really hard time with the epilogue because it required me to think that a group of powerful, intelligent people with a serious interest in research have for some reason never thought to try something I wondered about the first time a particular one of them stepped on screen. I mean, prosthetics technology was introduced in RSURS, and a one armed mage is introduced right after we’ve seen dream steel in action in a biological application? This has never been tried? Really?! I can see how novel the extension in this particular case is, but it should be an extension of a widely (if not used) known application. I mean, they leave this stuff everywhere and use it for everything, as an extension of themselves, and THERE’S A ONE ARMED MAGE WALKING AROUND?! It boggles the mind.

(show spoiler)

 

 

Whatevs.

 

I had two more complaints when I sat down, but I’ve forgotten them.

Anyway, this was well written and all, just not about a journey I’m excited to continue.