The penultimate week of the read along :( and things are really heating up!
This weeks section covers Chapter 11 thru end of Chapter 13 and questions were provided by nrlymrtl at Dark Cargo.
1) I was much relieved when Jean and Locke made up, which started with Locke’s gesture of a cup full of honesty with Cpt. Drakasha. Do you think that was hard for Locke? Or was he using this bit of honesty like any other weapon in his arsenal to get what he wants in the end?
To the first question, yes I think it was hard, being honest (or at least telling most of the truth) is not something he does often. I’m not even sure how honest he is with himself at times. As to the second question, yes and no. He was probably hoping that it would work, trusting to Jeans instincts for a change and not his own but he wasn’t ruthless about it. Not in the same way he was with the poor guy whose life he screwed over in the first book. He gave Zamira a choice, and it all struck me more as a reasonable conversation about a strategy that could help everyone and not just Locke.
2) The Parlor Passage: We still don’t know Locke’s true name, but whatever was in that mist does. What do you think it is?
I got a Cthulhu vibe from this section of the book, it was suddenly less fantasy and very much a horror. Initially when they mentioned the precautions it made me think of the sirens in the Odyssey, and clearly whatever it is does have a very similar effect. I’ve no idea really what it is, but what with all these elderglass ruins and these strange things. Was there some kind of apocalypse in the past? Something that ripped the fabric of the world in some places and allowed things to come through. Or is whatever it is something that was created in the world.
3) There was an interesting section of the book that started about where Locke assisted Drakasha in selling the Red Messenger; he put on the persona of Leocanto Kosta and used the alias Tavras Callas and then Drakasha was still thinking of him as Ravelle….. Did using all those various aliases in such a short amount of time have your mind spinning a little? Do you think Lynch did this on purpose to give the reader a sense of Locke’s mind?
I’ve had enough time with all those names to know that it is Locke but yes at the same time, how does the man keep it straight, especially when they vary the roles the names cover slightly. I mean how many times have they pulled out Tavaras Callas. (who was one of Jean’s originally?) Will someone at some point hear that name and go ‘but I thought this was your job not whatever you’re currently claiming to be.’ Although even Locke did admit at one point that he had quite a lot of lies running on everything.
4) That was a sweet little kiss between Cpt. Zamira and Cpt. Jaffrim at the end of the Captains’ Council. Do you think they have some history, or is it just innocent flirting that’s been going on for some time?
Is he the father? But then I think he would have asked about the kids if he had been, so I reckon it is just flirting.
Also I have to say I loved the argument between Jean and Jaffrim about the playwright.
5) Jean and Ezri. Cue dove-cooing and little winged hearts with sparkles. Do you think Jean will stay with the Poison Orchid or that Ezri will leave her ship to pal around with Jean and Locke?
Really hard to say. As much Locke is enjoying the ‘easy’ life of a sailor, I can’t see him being happy without trying to run a grand scheme or 2 or 3. And Jean, well, hes always gone where Locke goes… so as to Ezri. Well we all know Lynch is mean to his characters and there are still a 100 or so pages to go. What does strike me is that Port Prodigal would possibly be a good safe harbour for those two. Somewhere they could go to between jobs to get away from whoever they pissed off.
6) What is Utgar up to? What are his motivations?
Hmmmmm. Yeah I don’t know. Maybe Jaffrim is the father and this is his way of keeping an eye on the kids and Zamira? The conversation didn’t seem too sinister, as in its more spying rather than trying to mutiny and take over. Except… what did he give him to put in his locker? :S
7) So last week we hashed over that Merrain killed some of Stragos’s guards on Windward Rock. But when Jean and Locke visit him, he doesn’t mention it. What is up with that?
I know! I was seriously expecting Locke & Jean to be screwed over in some way because of that. But maybe the Stragos is just REALLY patient… The grand scheme is more important to him than personal revenge, he’ll get back at them (probably intends to throw the full weight of the law at them?) but only once he’s got what he wanted from them first.
8) This week’s section left us where the book began – Jean pointing a crossbow at Locke’s throat. Do you think Jean knows who sent these crossbowers? Is he on their side? Is it a clever ploy to get him and Locke out of this predicament? Did you find it excruciatingly hard to stop here?
The section ends HERE?! Ahhhh! Yes it was hard.
Ok so Lynch could be doing a big twist and maybe Jean is actually betraying Locke (wouldn’t that be a kicker) but I have faith. Those two have been together since the beginning I do not believe that Jean would betray Locke not after all they’ve been through. I think Jean is playing for time, is using this as a way to gain an advantage, and Jean is smart enough to realise that perhaps giving a signal could be dangerous. They don’t know who is after them so they don’t know whether these people also know the signals they use.
What I’m really trying to work out though is how everything is going to get resolved in the last section. There aren’t that many pages left and there is a lot going on. The Sinspire, Stragos’ grand plan, this unknown party, Merrian framing them and a whole heap of other things. This last section is going to be a real roller coaster isn’t it?