Again a bit disappointed. Republic's pace and plot is similar to Red Seas. Insert Locke and Sabetha courtship instead of Jean and Ezri's. The story needs to move on by now.
Republic starts with Locke dying/convalescing and Jean desperately keeping him from playing the martyr (once again). This scene is reminiscent of the beginning of Red Seas where Jean had to help Locke to come back to his senses or he would have drown in his self-pity.
It doesn't take long before Sabetha makes her first appearance. Republic had to deal with major pressure. The book had to meet high expectations mainly because of Sabetha. That mysterious woman who just by mentioning her name could put Locke back in his place. Sabetha the Lady Bastard, queen of conniving and thievery didn't quite live up to the built up expectation and shaped image of her out the previous books. She's okay but after approximately 600 pages still remains a shallow character who hopefully will be fleshed out a bit more in the following books. In my opinion Nazca would have been a more convincing and certainly more entertaining 'Sabetha'.
Sabetha and Locke's love story is complicated. Maybe a bit too complicated and unnatural. After 20 years or so they still don't know where they are in their relationship. Locke is right by saying that he's obsessed with Sabetha. He's dumbstruck whenever in the presence of Sabetha. Meanwhile Sabetha is tossing him around because she's still overanalyzing Locke and their relationship and remains indecisive. They both are fixated on each other to the point it swallows up their whole lives.
There are two plotlines (past: past of the G.B. and present: political election) that are inextricably woven together and deal with the same topic: Locke & Sabetha. Admittedly the storyline that happened in the past was more interesting to read about than their scheming in the political election. It was pleasant to be back in Camorr, on the streets and to find the familiar group banter again. And of course to see the GB work as a team. About half of the book are flashbacks where the Gentlemen Bastards are reunited this time with Sabetha. In the present they oppose each other in a political election in which they have to gather the most votes. Sabetha systematically outsmarted Locke and Jean and that was sometimes difficult to digest considering the previously highly praised talent and cunning of Locke (certainly in Lies). Especially since they have been outwitted multiple times before. It's time that the duo show us some convincing proof of that cunning.
Halfway through I had an overdose of Sabetha and her relationship with Locke because it got repetitive. It was obvious that the election and the theatre play were detail, beside the bigger scheme introduced at the end. That ending is the single incentive to read the fourth book.
We learn about Locke's real name and origin which turns out to have a magical dimension. If that's really the case it would definitely take the strongest aspect of the Gentlemen Bastards series away, which is the 'reasonable' way magic is used and not to conveniently use it to cover plot holes. I wasn't a fan of that particular turn of event.
This book is an average three stars. If Republic was the first in the GB series I wouldn't have been so generous.