Ahoy there me mateys! So a while back, the winds shifted regarding me original take on the first book in this series. After finally understanding the hype about Locke Lamora and crew, I knew I had to read the second book in the series. If ye haven’t read the first book then ye might want to skip this post and do that. Worth the read. If ye keep reading this log then ye have been forewarned and continue at yer own peril . . .
Arrr! There be pirates in this book. Female pirates. Of course, much like in the first book, the plot took a while to really get going. This time I was better prepared for the rather long set-up section about the planned heists, the new city, the political maneuvering, and what the gang had been up to since the last book. The main plot didn’t really pick up until about half-way mark. But book one paid out in spectacular fashion so I went with it. Reading in short spurts also helped with this one.
Of course, I be biased towards the sea so this book made me happy that ships and sailing were integral to the plot. The “whys” of Locke Lamora ending up shipboard were, frankly, ridiculous. That con was never gonna succeed. But much of the joy in this installment had to due with watching Locke and Jean be in way over their heads and scramblin’ to stay afloat. I adore watchin’ them work together.
I absolutely loved that Locke and Jean had to process the events of book one and what that entailed. And of course the pirate crew of the Black Orchid was awesome. They were the best part of the book. I adore that cats and female sailors are a necessity to sail on the Sea of Brass. I did think the ending was fun and unexpected. I did want a little more time in the Sinspire and was slightly miffed when that plot line veered away. But all in all I thought this was a fantastic book. I just still like book one better. But I will certainly be reading book three. Luckily it is already out. Arrr!
Side note: Sadly, I did not listen to book two on audiobook with the brilliant Michael Page. He was missed!
If ye be one of the two crew members who haven’t read these books for somesuch boneheaded reason then pick this one up. Because as me matey, Millie @ milliebotreads says:
Scott had me constantly wondering what the hell was going to happen – I love how layered his plots are. It’s always a challenge to figure out who is conning who and how far Locke and Jean will go to keep their complex schemes going. As I mentioned in a previous update on this book, I also love the way Lynch portrays women in this universe. I’ll say it again (albeit briefly) – women are portrayed in the same way men are. They can be guards, pirates, theives, rich or poor and they’re not made out to be special. Locke and Jean don’t around marveling when they run into a female guard, nor are they amazed by a female ship’s captain. The women aren’t around just to be lusted after either. Great job!
Goodreads has this to say about the novel:
After a brutal battle with the underworld that nearly destroyed him, Locke and his trusted sidekick, Jean, ﬂed the island city of their birth and landed on the exotic shores of Tal Verrar to nurse their wounds. But even at this westernmost edge of civilization, they can’t rest for long — and are soon back to what they do best: stealing from the undeserving rich and pocketing the proceeds for themselves.
This time, however, they have targeted the grandest prize of all: the Sinspire, the most exclusive and heavily guarded gambling house in the world. Its nine ﬂoors attract the wealthiest clientele — and to rise to the top, one must impress with good credit, amusing behavior… and excruciatingly impeccable play. For there is one cardinal rule, enforced by Requin, the house’s cold-blooded master: it is death to cheat at any game at the Sinspire.
Brazenly undeterred, Locke and Jean have orchestrated an elaborate plan to lie, trick, and swindle their way up the nine ﬂoors… straight to Requin’s teeming vault. Under the cloak of false identities, they meticulously make their climb — until they are closer to the spoils than ever.
But someone in Tal Verrar has uncovered the duo’s secret. Someone from their past who has every intention of making the impudent criminals pay for their sins. Now it will take every ounce of cunning to save their mercenary souls. And even that may not be enough…
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