This is probably where I part company with Scott Lynch. After the Lies of Locke Lamora, and Red Seas Under Red Skies, I was really looking forward to the third in the fantasy Gentleman Bastards series. Unfortunately, the book was a huge disappointment.
There are two story lines. One is “current” with heroes Locke and Jean on the run, and forced into a job as political fixers. The other is “history” filling in some of the background to the characters. It’s about their mission to go and join a dysfunctional group of actors, putting on a play.
The political fixing job part is OK. But the theatrical story line is boring. What’s more, it’s boring. Did I say it was boring?
The characters seem to have lost something. The dialogue is self absorbed and lacks an edge. There are insults and fiery exchanges, but they don’t work at drawing the reader in to the tale. It’s almost as if the author has lost touch with his characters, and they are left to fend for themselves. They are not up to the job at hand.
For example, there’s a love story in here. But it’s unconvincing. As another example, we are given a new peek at Locke ‘s past. But that doesn’t do much, either, except perhaps extend the life of the series. Finally, there are way too many awful pseudo Shakespearean episodes as the author describes bits of the play. Why? I have no idea. It seemed like one big waste of time.
Despite the length, because of past experience, I kept reading. I optimistically hoped for a change for the better. But it never came.
In summary, this is an over long and tedious drudge of a read. Avoid.