This is the second book in the Gentlemen Bastards series by Scott Lynch. Overall this was a great book. The pacing was a bit slow in the middle, but the story telling is intricate and clever. You wouldn’t have to read the first book to enjoy this book, but knowing the background of the first book would enable you to get more out of this story.
Locke and Jean are nearing the end of a two year scheme to rob the Sinspire. Unfortunately the Archon of the region learns their true identities and wants to use their skills for his own purposes. They are forced to temporarily abandon their Sinspire scheme and are sent on a mission for the Archon. They are supposed to pose as pirates which ends up dragging them into a whole new set of problems.
This book is just as clever as the first book. The plot is complicated and deftly weaves between a number of confidence schemes. True to the Gentleman Bastards of the last book, Jean and Locke take on a number of different guises throughout the book. While Locke remains somewhat ambivalent toward the opposite sex because of his loss in the first book, Jean finds romance on the high seas in the form of feisty pirate named Ezra.
Overall this was a great read. Locke and Jean are great characters; the villains are pretty good villains. This book still deals a lot of witty banter between the characters; although I thought the humor was a bit lighter than in the first book. The pace of the plot is good in the beginning and the end. Unfortunately, in the middle Lynch suddenly spends a ton of time going into the basics of sailing. It was kind of interesting but I don’t think it was necessary to the story, and it made the middle of the book stall.
This was a good read though. The end leaves us with a cliffhanger that will have everyone wonder what happens next. And since the next book isn’t coming out until sometime in 2010; that’s quite the wait for those who want to know what happens. Fans of the series should be happy with this book, as long as they know they need to push through the middle.