Red Seas Under Red Skies is the second book in the Gentlemen Bastards sequence by Scott Lynch. Continuing from The Lies of Locke Lamora, we follow master conmen Locke Lamora and Jean Tannen as they attempt to steal from a deadly and decadent Casino, set in a fantasy world similar to Renaissance Italy.
The Lies of Locke Lamora was a breath of fresh air on the fantasy scene. It was dark, edgy, and imaginative with a unique hero. In the sea of high fantasy based on Middle Earth or Westeros, it was a magical Renaissance Italy with a con man and master thief hero. The story was an epic tragedy with unexpected deaths, twists, and turns. Scott Lynch had a big job ahead of him, living up to the standard set by the first book. So does he? Eh, mostly. Red Seas under Red Skies is a fun novel with a great story but it doesn't have the level of drama the original does. The first book had Locke Lamora personally invested in the destruction of the Gray King. This book, by contrast, has Locke and his partner, Jean, under pressure from far less interesting opponents.