Locke is slowly succumbing to a deadly poison that no alchemist or physiker can cure. Yet just as the end is near, a mysterious Bondsmage offers Locke an opportunity that will either save him or finish him off once and for all.
Magi political elections are imminent, and the factions are in need of a pawn. If Locke agrees to play the role, sorcery will be used to purge the venom from his body – though the process will be so excruciating he may well wish for death. Locke is opposed, but two factors cause his will to crumble: Jean’s imploring – and the Bondsmage’s mention of a woman from Locke’s past: Sabetha. She is the love of his life, his equal in skill and wit, and now, his greatest rival (goodreads.com).
By far, this is my least favorite of the Gentlemen Bastard series because the plot of the book wasn’t very interesting to me. At first I was really excited because we finally get to meet Sabetha, but I also realized this was a politically based novel (I don’t like politics). The Bondsmagi need Locke and Jean to act as pawns in their upcoming election. The entire book focuses on this. Wasn’t that interesting. I guess the shenanigans of both Locke and Jean against Sabetha were entertaining, but I did not like the other big focus being Locke and Sabetha’s relationship both past and present. It eventually got rather annoying. It seems that Locke isn’t in love with her but completely obsessed.
Toward the end of the book, Locke’s conversation with a Bondsmagi helped to bump up the rating I gave the book. We finally get to know who Locke really is and where he comes from. OMG! The other thing was finding out the fate of the Falconer, especially what happens in the epilogue.
Just like the other novels, this one jumps back into the past and I thought this part was fairly interesting. I loved learning more about all the characters, but spending the entire time away from Chains (still don’t know how died) in order to put on a play called The Republic of Thieves wasn’t that engaging. Events that happen during the rehearsal for the play were interesting, especially trying to cover up a murder, but that was the only thing that kept me going. Having to read many many paragraphs of the actual play was, in my opinion, completely unnecessary and boring. What little time they did spend with Chains was one of my favorite parts of this book. It was really enlightening. Learning more about the characters’ past is always interesting like how Sabetha was involved in the Gentlemen Bastards.
Yay! We finally meet Sabetha! I was so excited, that is until I actually met her. I really dislike her character mainly because she really isn’t one. She has no personality really. Yes she is supposed to be able to match wits with Locke; may even be better, and she is a red-head who may be a bit older than Locke, but that’s all we really know. I found her to be annoying, selfish, and rather self-centered and she always seems to be angry at something! Worst character ever. I don’t think there was anything I liked about her and I don’t know why Locke likes her so much. It was so infuriating. (We find out why Locke has an attraction to red-heads, but he needs to pick a different one). After wanting to read about her for two books I was utterly disappointed.
Locke has to be my favorite character and we get to learn a lot more about him in this novel! We finally know his true name, where he comes from and who he really is. It is awesome and completely unexpected. While reading about his relationship with Sabetha we also see a new side of Locke. He isn’t always perfect; things did go wrong for him several times in the book. He also has fears like everyone else and is also a bit insecure. I really liked how his character is progressing and finding out that he isn’t perfect just makes him that much better of a character.
I love Jean and his relationship with Locke. He is still upset about a death from the previous novel and it comes up quite a few times. He isn’t really in this book as much as the other characters; he becomes more of a side character. Though he is still around for Locke when he needs him. After finishing the book you end up realizing that Locke needs Jean a lot more than Jean needs Locke. Jean is always there to put Locke in his place and he really cares for him. I just love him as a character and I think that he is the friend that everyone needs.
There are several new characters introduced in this book, but I don’t think any of them will be returning. Just other people to help Locke and Jean with their play and the election.
Lynch is a very good writer. Everything he wrote flowed smoothly and the dialog seemed real and casual. I also enjoyed reading about the past and the present and love that they are separated by chapters. Makes it much easier to understand. The one thing that I didn’t enjoy was having to read some of the lines of the play. It wasn’t interesting at all and I think it could have been left out.
This was a decent and necessary addition to the series. The plot of the book wasn’t interesting, but the information/history contained within was important to the series. If you love this series that I highly suggest reading it because there is information that you are going to want to know. For those of you who enjoy politics you may like the plot a lot more than I did. I just love reading about their heists and find that to be more interesting. Don’t let my negativity deter you from reading! It is still a must read part of the series! I can’t wait for the next book to be released!
My rating: 3/5 stars!
My other reviews in this series:
A review by The Streetlight Reader
A review by Books, Brains, and Beer
A review by Good Books & Good Wine
A review by Nashville Book Worm
*photo provided by wikipedia.org