69. Red Seas Under Red Skies - Scott Lynch - 640 pages (8.5/10)
This is the second installment of the Gentleman Bastard series. I absolutely adored the first installment and followed suit with the second one as soon as I could. This one is still enjoyable, but not as amazing as the first.
Locke and Jean have left their home country of Camorr and traveled to Tal Verrar and the Sinspire, which is basically the swanky parts of Las Vegas in a tower. It's an amazing initial setting, and I wish more of the novel had taken place in it, to be honest. For two years, they have been slowly cheating and amassing wealth. But, of course, as usual, something has to go wrong and they are caught up in a larger game and forced to be pawns . However, Locke and Jean don't make very good pawns.
Under the threat of a latent poison, they are forced to go on the high seas and pretend to be pirates to upset the stability of Tal Verrar. But this does not go entirely according to plan, either. It is this part of the book I didn't find as exciting. I liked the characters on the boat, but seas and ships and run-of-the-mill port towns are just the same as in so many other fantasy books. Lynch has the talent to make such amazing settings, that it seemed a bit of a cop-out to stick them on the high seas.
That's not to say this is a disappointing book. Overall, I still enjoyed it and I will read the next installment. The dialogue and humour is witty and sharp, the characters strong, and the plotting intricate. I'm still gutted that the next installment won't be out until sometime next year. Lynch is worth reading; just don't expect Red Seas Under Red Skies to be quite as incredible at The Lies of Locke Lamora.