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All art is unstable. It's meaning is not necessarily that implied by the author, There is no authorative active voice. There are only multiple readings. David Bowie, 1995

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

'I have...we have a history with this woman'

The Republic of Thieves (The Gentleman Bastard Sequence #3) by Scott Lynch

Entering into Locke Lomora's past world is to enter Shades Hill, an underground Fagin like hell in Camorr where an army of thieves, children without hope, are trained by the Thiefmaker through the realization that they have nowhere else to go coupled with coercion and bullying. 
The narrative flows from past to present as seamless interludes. Even when we finally meet Locke in the now, this past keeps intruding. Mysteries of the Crooked Warden are revisited, as are his companions Chain, Jean, Sabetha and the twins Calo and Galdo.
Locke is with his companion Jean in Lashain, now older more experienced. He has been brought to a standstill. Locke has been poisoned by black magic. There is no cure despite Jean's increasingly desperate efforts to seek out alchemists and physikers for help, to the point of kidnapping someone with powerful connections. Near death, blood oozing even from his fingernails, with Jean beaten, and both of them robbed of all but their weapons, Locke and Jean are confronted by the Bondsmagi, Patience. There's history between them. Patience is here to trade. She wants a Karthani election 'adjusted.'
Jean looks into Patience's eyes, 'eyes like that had killers behind them, and Patience for...sure had a pair.'
Against Locke's volatile wishes they trade. Patience is their new 'employer.' With employers like this who needs enemies?
Simple! Right!? Oh Yeah!
Talk about characters and their history and of course Sabetha is a core part, and now that core opens up into a whole new dimension.
I love Lynch's vibrant use of language, his metaphors such as when Locke is being lectured by Chain he accepts 'something behind personal verification, like the number of angels that could play handball on the edge of a rose petal.' Lynch's dialogue  keeps you reading, along with one's sheer enjoyment of his characters of course. Locke with his self deprecating humour and shrewd intelligence is just plain great. Jean with his steadfast loyalty and inner sadness, what can I say. And Sabetha or rather Verena Gallante! Really it's often the little things that made me smile! An excellent read!

A NetGalley ARC

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