After making themselves targets for the deadly Bondsmagi and escaping their home city of Camorr, Locke Lamora and Jean Tannen find themselves in the kingdom of Tal Verrar. Locke is in depression after losing his friends and livelihood, and Jean tries to pull him out with the temptation of a new con. Together, they start gaming the Sinspire, Tal Verrar's premiere casino. Before they can pull off the heist, the Bondsmagi catch up and deliver them into the hands of Maxilan Stragos, the military leader of the country.
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Stragos hires them for a con on the high seas, with the other option being death by poison. Locke and Jean must learn how to sell themselves as sailors and infiltrate the infamous pirate crew of Zamira Drakasha. In for a serious culture clash on board her ship, Jean grows close to a member of her crew as Locke tries to figure out how they can get out of their contract with Stragos, complete their heist on the Sinspire, and get the Bondsmagi off their backs.
Best part of story, including ending:
It continues the great character work and world building of the first novel in the series, but seems to get lost in too many plots and is an unsatisfying followup.
Best scene in story:
The introduction to the horrifying circumstances of Salon Corbeau - a brutal, human chess game - creates amazing tension.
Opinion about the main character:
In this book, his refusal to let go of his grief gets incredibly frustrating and seems to strand the plot along with himself.