Red Sea’s Under Red Skies (RSURS) by Scott Lynch, the second book in the Gentleman Bastards Sequence.
Spoiler warning for Lies of Locke Lamora
The story of Locke Lamora and Jean Tannen continues in the city of Tal Verrar, a city as dark and fantastical as Camorr, with even more atmosphere poured into the mix. The city feels alive and lived in by its inhabitants.
Unlike Lies, Locke and Jean are very much on their own. No Gentleman Bastards to back them up or to play roles in their pantomimes. As is evident in the initial few chapters where they must play out their audacious schemes alone, relying on their skills and friendship to get them through it. Unfortunately for them they’re very quickly thrown out of their depth by the appearance of the Bondsmagi of Karthain.
The writing and conversational text in this novel like the one before are extremely well done and almost life like. The jokes and jibes between the two thieves play out naturally, as if the two of them are simply transcribing their conversations into text as they go.
It’s another one of those novels that has an extremely important place in my heart. The nearly steampunk world with its alchemy and complex mechanics fits snugly into my heart where all things steam and grim live.