My rating: 4.5 out of 5
When you can’t cheat the game, you’d best find a means to cheat the players.
This has been a fun continuation of style set in the original Gentlemen Bastards (The Lies of Locke Lamora). It repeats much the same recipe - glorious (mis)adventures, schemes that are several layers deep and mixture of luck and misfortune in equal measure.
There has been a little less back-and-forth through the timelines compared with the first book since the characters were all set, however there was still some of that to set up “the game”. The sailing parts are actually pretty fun, even for a landlubber like me. Maybe I won’t even confuse lardboard and starboard from now on.
One thing I missed was a really good antagonist. Archon somehow didn’t cut it as a proper villain/anti-hero for me. Just a general aiming to keep and expand his power. The mages are still pulling the strings to some degree so hopefully we can still see them suffer in some later book.