Red Seas Under Red Skies is the sequel to Lynch’s The Lies of Locke Lamora. We rejoin Locke Lamora and Jean Tannen, the surviving members of the Gentlemen Bastards, licking their wounds from the previous book and having fled Camorr. They’ve removed to Tal Verrar, where we join them two years into a long con involving the cities preeminent gambling establishment. Things begin to go very, very wrong very, very quickly.
Red Seas picked up where Lies left off, straddling Epic Fantasy and Sword and Sorcery. The action continues to be in the swashbuckling mold. The intrigue is improved over that of Lies, much more in the much-touted “Ocean’s Eleven” mold. As the title and cover suggest, our anti-heroes spend time on the high seas, enough of a non-sequitur that they themselves remark on it. The buccaneering, unfortunately as much as I like that stuff, feels shoehorned in. It shows up surprisingly late in the story and requiring entirely too much otherwise irrelevant introduction. It’s not enough to hobble the story: Locke and Jean are great rogues, the two main pirate characters strong minor characters, and the two villains drip with menace and ill-intent.