The Lies of Locke Lamora – Read along Wk3

Right on with the third section of The Lies of Locke Lamora this goes from Chapter five through to the end of Interlude “The Half Crown War”.  There’s some quite big things that happen in this section so if you haven’t read the book and don’t want spoilers I’d really advise not reading further.

Think my answers are a bit all over the place with this set of questions as some of my thoughts overlap a little. 🙂

this weeks questions provided by Bryce, of My Awful Reviews 🙂

1. This section is where we finally get to sneak a peek at the magic in The Gentleman Bastards books. From what we read, what are your initial impressions of the magic Lynch is using? Is there any way that Locke and Company would be able to get around the Bondsmage’s powers?

Interesting that Bondsmage’s seem to be incredibly powerful (or at least thats the perception people have).  At the moment it strikes me that its a bit like Genie magic – very word specific.  Very clever with the whole he can’t be cut or pierced but can be bruised.  (And I suspect given what happens at the end of the section that might have been deliberate on the Grey Kings part.) I’m curious to see how magic develops further.

I think they probably can IF they think about the wording – did I miss how magic is cast? is it recited by a spell?

As an addition: All this talk about how much Bondsmage’s cost to hire. I very much wonder whether The Falconer and The Grey King might already have none each other in the past, perhaps owed each other favours etc which is why he’s working for him.

2. Not a question, but an area for rampant speculation: If you want to take a stab at who you think the Grey King might be, feel free to do it here.

Well when Locke first saw him and said he seemed familiar I wondered if it might be Chains. That he may have some how faked his death as an elaborate set up and has now become the Grey King. However The Grey King is quite a slight skinny man and I don’t think Chains is..? (Correct me if I’m wrong) Although granted if he is so dedicated to his cause he may have purposfuly changed his build to fit the role he has to play. If its not him then.. possibly someone that Locke knows but we haven’t yet met in the book?

And then given what happened in relation to the question below I can’t with what I know of Chains so far imagine him to be that nasty? :S

2.5 (since 2 wasn’t really a question) Anyone see the Nazca thing coming? Anyone? Do you think there are more crazy turns like this in store for the book? Would you like to speculate about them here? (yes, yes you would)

No. I read that, re-read it and went WTF? Someone who seemed like they could be a great character suddenly killed off so early? Very interesting turn of events.

I’ve gotten to the point of many fantasy books where if I don’t see a body I don’t believe they are dead (I blame George RR Martin) . But we did have a corpse and I was questioning for ages whether she was really dead, maybe she was faking it like Juliet in Romeo and Juliet. (Until I read about the barrel and horse piss – really???) Then I wondered if there might be magic that could bring her back, but doesn’t look like it (or if there is would it just raise her as a zombie?).

Its going to be weird, as I assume she will be present in the flashback stuff, to read about her and  know that she is dead. 😦  (In an odd way at the moment I’m disappointed, would have liked some more important female characters to interact with, especially as Sabetha isn’t turning up for a while. (Did I spell her name right?) It makes for good story telling though!)

Not sure I can speculate! I suspect it’s going to be an interesting ride though! 🙂

3. When Locke says “Nice bird, arsehole,” I lose it. EVERY TIME. And not just because I have the UK version of the book and the word arsehole is funnier than asshole. Have there been any other places in the books so far where you found yourself laughing out loud, or giggling like a crazy person on the subway?

Climbing down the trellis. Hehehe.  I even read some of those lines out to my husband. Locke’s whole resigned attitude to what is about to happen. “Ah, that figures. Thanks ever so much, Ferenz.” I’m still giggling at that.

4. By the end of this reading section, have your opinions changed about how clever the Bastards are? Do you still feel like they’re “cleverer than all the rest?” Or have they been decidedly outplayed by the Grey King and his Bondsmage?

I’m really beginning to suspect that Locke thinks he’s clever than he actually is, maybe. Every time he talked to the Bondsmage I was never sure whether he was just goading him unwisely or whether he wants them to underestimate him.

From watching BBC’s Hustle I know the team would often appear to be in the shit but were actually always in control of the situation, which would get revealed towards the end of the episode.  I can’t work out if that IS what Locke is doing now (and it probably went further than he thought it would at the very end….)  Or are they currently ‘stumbling’ along because they aren’t quite sure what the rules of the ‘game’ are. They don’t know who the Grey King is or what he wants specifically. (Or hell what he’s trying to accomplished by faking his death?)

It also makes me question IF it is Chains who is The Grey King – would he do that to Locke? Or have the GB’s always been just pawns to him in a very very elaborate scheme?

5. I imagine that you’ve probably read ahead, since this was a huge cliffhanger of an ending for the “present” storyline, but I’ll ask this anyway: Where do you see the story going from here, now that the Grey King is thought to be dead?

I’m guessing that Jean is going to save Locke, seeing as that was strongly implied by Locke’s fight with Tesso. (Poor Locke, he is overconfident but he does get the shit kicked out of him and a coffin full of horse piss… nasty!).  I’m not sure I want to guess a lot of twists and turns already!

6. What do you think of the characters Scott Lynch has given us so far? Are they believable? Real? Fleshed out? If not, what are they lacking?

I’m finding them believable so far but I don’t know them very well I really like the scenes were they’re chatting with each other, see how they relate. And how they chat when their setting up/on their way to a job (e.g. the Trellis) really helps flesh out the characters. Would like more conversations and actually would like to see how the others react under stress.  I kind of thought they might mourn Nasca more – although I’m not sure in what way.

7. Now that you’ve seen how clever Chains is about his “apprenticeships,” why do you think he’s doing all of this? Does he have an endgame in sight? Is there a goal he wants them to achieve, or is it something more emotional like revenge?

I’m not sure to be honest. Some of my answers are sort of caught up in the previous questions. IF my theory is correct and he is The Grey King then its a very elaborate scheme and its some really hefty revenge he’s after. Whoever the Grey King is – has he set Locke up to die because he hates him that much and also means that the Capa won’t be cautious anymore so he can strike him when he least expects it. Or possibly whoever he is maybe he knows how smart Locke is and knows that his team will rescue him? If it’s Chains maybe that’s what he’s trusting – the teams skills and know how  – hence all that training.

Edited to add: Reading some of the other blogs I’m thinking I might be reading way to much into Chains’ plans for upsetting the Capa. Oh well. 🙂  Especially as now it just doesn’t seem to fit seeing as the Grey King is not a nice person.



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9 responses to “The Lies of Locke Lamora – Read along Wk3

  1. nrlymrtl

    If I had one little bit of criticism at this point in the story is that we have very few female characters, and Lynch just killed off the one that is the most fleshed out and a strong, interesting one at that. But, there is still like 200 pages, so let’s see what turns up.

  2. Pingback: The Lies of Locke Lamora read-along, week three! « the Little Red Reviewer

  3. It’s true that Chains would be too big to fit in the Grey King clothes, no? I already finished the book but I totally forgot who he was… but I don’t think Chains would do that to Locke, no way.
    I also thought Nazca was totally faking it, but it seems she isn’t 😦

    • Me too: I thought Nazca’s death was yet another con, but I doubt that even she could outwit a barrel full of urine. 😦

    • kaitharshayr

      I thought it might be Chains when we first met the grey king, but yeah…. Is this special vengeance against Locke for something he did in the past… Or just a nasty way to get rid of them 😦

  4. hmmm, now that I remember something from a previous reread, there is something special about specific words the Bondsmage uses in the magic. very specific words!

    I did always hope that Chains faked his own death, just so I could meet him in the now timeline instead of only in flashbacks. I am LOVING all the different possibilities people are coming up with for the identity of the Grey King!!

    I think Locke is more cautious than he is clever. He’s used to robbing people that he’s had ample opportunity to spy on and learn about. He know less than zero about The Grey King, so he’s got nothing he can work with, no advantage.

    You’d think the Gents would have enough money in the vault by now that they could hire a bondsmage of their own for a few days!

    • I’m wondering if two Bondsmages would every work against one another. I’m guessing they wouldn’t However, it would certainly be interesting to see them take that route.

      @Kaitharshayr – Great answers. I’ll definitely be checking in here earlier on the next week of the Read-Along

      • kaitharshayr

        I wouldn’t be surprised if they did work at cross purposes. But subtly as they want to show a solid front, inside though a lot of political maneuvering and such within the organization.

        And thanks 🙂

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