Red Seas Under Red Skies, Paperback

Red Seas Under Red Skies Paperback

Part of the Gentleman Bastard Sequence series

4.5 out of 5 (6 ratings)


Escaping from the attentions of the Bondsmagi Locke Lamora, the estwhile Thorn of Camorr and Jean Tannen have fled their home city.

Taking ship they arrive in the city state of Tal Varrar where they are soon planning their most spectacular heist yet; they will take the luxurious gaming house, The Sinspire, for all of its countless riches. No-one has ever taken even a single coin from the Sinspire that wasn't won on the tables or in the other games of chance on offer there. But, as ever, the path of true crime rarely runs smooth and Locke and Jean soon find themselves co-opted into an attempt to bring the pirate fleet of the notorious Zamira Drakasha to justice.

Fine work for thieves who don't know one end of galley from another. And all the while the Bondsmagi are plotting their very necessary revenge against the one man who believes e has humiliated them and lived; Locke Lamora.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Fantasy
  • ISBN: 9780575079670



Free Home Delivery

on all orders

Pick up orders

from local bookshops


Showing 1 - 5 of 6 reviews.

  Previous  |  Next

Review by

Plot: The plot is split into three separate sections chronologically, and those sections are then told all at the same time. It makes for a rather confusing overall storyline, and worked a lot better in the first book. The pacing is off, with the center section of the story blowing up to epic proportions with little overall plot progress, while the ending is dealt with far too quickly. Overall it's a fast-paced story with plenty of twists and turns. Characters: Characterization is well done, with plenty of attention to the little details. The new characters come in two sections - the interesting ones, and the not-quite-realistic ones. The latter are something of a distraction at times. The bad guys are nicely done, with motives working well and with their plans well plotted.Style: It's nice and fluent to read, with good humor and just the right dose of foreshadowing at times. Descriptions are sufficient, and dialogue feels convincing. It's not a book I'd read for the style, but it's not something that distracts from anything else.Plus: It's an entertaining read, and it never turns boring.Minus: The structure makes it too confusing to really appreciate it on the first round. This is a book that takes two reads, minimum, to get it.Summary: Good, but not quite as good as the predecessor.

Review by

I was so impressed with Lynch's first volume that I pulled out a handful of copper pennies and eagerly purchased the next book in the series, Red Seas under Red Skies. It certainly lived up to my high expectations. About half of this book is set on the high seas and one reviewer has likened it to a cross between Ocean's Eleven and Pirates of the Caribbean. Locke and Jean are set to pull off the perfect crime when their carefully laid plans are thrown off course by a dastardly plot to exploit their talents and they end up among pirates on the Sea of Brass. Where LLL was primarily about creating a colourful and viable world-setting, this is more character-driven with the relationship between the two anti-heroes pushed to the limits and a lashing of love interest to boot, but not in a soppy way. Another excellent book, and highly recommended.Will Lynch be able to maintain this high level of freshness and interest over the remaining five volumes? Well, crime series fiction seems to work e.g. Peter Robinson’s Inspector Banks, Ian Rankin’s Rebus, Colin Dexter’s Morse. But, it doesn’t happen very often in the fantasy genre. Time will tell, and in the meantime I’ve got five books for my ‘wanted’ list. The next books in the sequence are entitled: The Republic of Thieves, The Thorn of Emberlain, The Ministry of Necessity, The Mage and the Master Spy, and Inherit the Night

Review by

Unlike most people, I found this superior to the first novel. TLoLL was a very fun, enjoyable read, but it was filled with a lot of cliche. Okay, we're dealing with pirates this time and an attempt to rob a casino, yet somehow it felt a little more convincing and original. Some people say they found elements of the story predictable - and yes, the end result of the story's opening pages was easy to guess - but after the surprisingly high body count in the first novel I wasn't too sure what Lynch might be willing to go through with.This is basically more of the same from Lynch. If you liked his first novel you're certain to enjoy this one too. He's not trying to write "A Song of Ice and Fire", just a very entertaining fantasy series, and I think he's doing quite well.

Review by

This is the second in Lynch's Gentlemen Bastards series, a set of fantasy/adventure stories following the exploits of two able, but not always lucky, thieves. Where the first, <i>The Lies of Locke Lamora</i>, had the feel of a Renaissance tale of intrigue, this is an out-and-out pirate adventure.I didn't warm to this one quite as much as I did the first book. The plot line was a little too disjointed, twisting together two main adventures plus several small side stories. Both of the main plots would have made for a great story line in their own right but, forced together, they didn't quite gel into a unified whole. This is in direct contrast to <i>Lies</i>, which was quite seamless.Having said that, we still get the vivid characters and colorful dialog. That alone is worth the price of admission if you like adventure fantasy. The ending, though slightly hurried, had an adequate amount of fireworks.My understanding is that there are seven books planned in the series. Normally, I avoid starting multi-thousand page series until the author has them finished (I want to know the ending will actually materialize). However, other than the obligatory "something went wrong in this book that will have to be fixed in the next" continuity devices, Lynch has done a good job of making each book feel like a self-contained story. You should read them in order, however, as there is a fair amount of backstory from the first that isn't explained in the second.

Review by

Locke Lamora and Jean Tannen have arrived in the city state of Tal Verrar for one of their audacious schemes, new identities included. Just before their plans move into their final phase, an unexpected obstacle appears: someone very powerful has found a (rather persuasive) way to make Locke and Jean cooperate with his plans, having them turn to piracy in the process.This second volume in the Gentlemen Bastards sequence takes place nearly two years after the events described in The Lies of Locke Lamora, and it is taken for granted that the reader is familiar with the events that forced Locke and Jean to flee Camorr. As with the first volume, I can only marvel at Scott Lynch's ability to conjure a different world on paper, with all its weird and wonderful (not to mention mysterious and dangerous) inhabitants and sights. The 600+ pages are filled with fast-paced action, twists, turns and surprises nearly from cover to cover, with the usual good-humoured banter between the two friends to lighten the sense of very real danger they routinely put themselves into; combined with the human relationships, between Locke and Jean, as well as with new friends and enemies, Red Seas Under Red Skies makes for an intelligent and scintillating read, if also occasionally painful one. The next volume in the sequence, The Republic of Thieves, is already lined up. Can't wait.

  Previous  |  Next

Also by Scott Lynch   |  View all

Also in the Gentleman Bastard Sequence series   |  View all