Book three of the Gentleman Bastards (following The Lies of Locke Lamora and Red Seas Under Red Skies). This is where an author really needs to avoid the trap of books seeming repetative, especially in a series like this where the central characters have already reached adulthood and are following their natural place in the world.
Unlike the second book, this The Republic of Thieves returns to linking back and forth to the Bastards’ past, drawing out parallels and links between a child-like dilemma where they were fumbling and finding themselves, and the current life-and-death set-up. Of course the children of Shades Hill have never known safety, and the Gentleman Bastards are trained to cope with anything, so the contrast may not be as great as would be expected.
We see the return of the Bondsmagi, politics and trickery as would be expected. But life is trickier than before, and the stakes are moved ever upwards.
And there is Sabetha. Otherwise known as “Her”, because Locke has spent a lifetime unable to comprehend of being in love with anyone else. Being thrown in with your first love again is just another layer of trickery in life.
“Stand down Jean, it’s the same hard sell we use… Astonishing promises first, important disclaimers second. Just get on with it Patience.”