Tag Archives: Scott Lynch

Red Seas Under Red Skies – Read Along Final Week

The very last section of Red Seas Under Red Skies! ūüė¶ ¬†(How long am I going to have to wait till Republic of Thieves?? A year for the paperback? Ack!!!) The questions this week are¬†from Lynn at¬†Lynn’s Book blog. ¬†It’s been a lot of fun and while I know I haven’t posted as much on others blogs as I should have I have enjoyed reading everyone’s answers. ūüôā ¬†And I look forward to being able to do another read along again sometime. Thanks to everyone who organised¬†this! Little Red¬†Reviewer,¬†Dark Cargo,¬†My Awful Reviews, and¬†@ohthatashley¬†from¬†SF Signal.

To anyone who hasn’t read the book then beware of major spoilers below!

1.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Oh my god, such a lot going on I thought the showdown between the Poison Orchid and the Sovereign was brilliantly written and they were holding their own until Utgar and his nasty device turned up.¬† Well a lot of you had kind of predicted it, and I suppose we‚Äôd been let off too easy so far in terms of deaths of well-liked characters ¬†‚Äď but come on,¬† did you expect something like that?¬† And how on earth will Jean ever recover?

I have to say well done to Lynch for this bit. I never expected Ezri to survive I was prepared for her to die, and yet when it happened I had tears in my eyes. I thought it would just happen in the fight. But that? What a horrible way to die too. I think Jean will eventually recover, and I know that Ezri would want him to get on with his life. She’d give him a stern talking to if he just wallowed.

2.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†The deceit, the betrayal, first Rodanov and then Colvard.¬† Even now I‚Äôm not entirely sure I understand Colvard ‚Äď Rodanov was never keen on the oath but Colvard seemed okay with it all and yet in this final deceit she was more devious than Rodanov ‚Äď what do you think was her motive?

Survival. She’s cautious, she’s not gotten to her age as a pirate without thinking things through. With the way she’s played things, well she has the potential to win either way. If Rodanov won then she knows they should be safe from The Archon, and would know that she potentially wouldn’t have any further reprisals from Rodanov in mopping up any further trouble. On the other hand, he’s taking all the risks and she doesn’t have to, so if, by what must have seemed small odds, Rodanov didn’t survive then who else would know that she had sided with him?¬†I mean someone might suspect but there’s no proof. p

3.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Merrain ‚Äď such a puzzle, no real answer, the mysterious tattoo, the determination to kill everyone to keep her identity and that of her master a secret.¬† Does anybody have any ideas where she‚Äôs from and what she‚Äôs up to exactly and who the hell is she working for??

The tattoo is clearly a big clue, but I don’t think it’s been described in the books previously? So I suspect we aren’t meant to know yet. Locke didn’t seem to¬†recognise¬†it either. Things might become more apparent in the next book? Maybe she really is working for Bondsmagi.

4.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†Finally we get to the point of the GB‚Äôs latest scheme, all that elaborate planning for two years, fancy chairs, gambling, dust covered cards, abseiling lessons ‚Äď all for one gigantic bluff. I loved the diversionary tactic here but having finally reached the end of the story and, more to the point, the end result ‚Äď do you think the GB‚Äôs are as clever as they think they are?

I laughed when Requin mentioned getting the real paintings out! Genius.

No, I don’t think Locke is as clever as he thinks he is, but he is pretty clever. I mean the whole setting everything up to make it look like they were hitting the vault and that being one giant misdirection. That was clever and it is what you need to as a con artist. It’s all about misdirection. (Again I mention Hustle the BBC TV show its a great example of this.) But… he did just assume that Requin would have the real thing on display.

Yes on the one had its a fairly good assumption, its hard to get to that office in the first place, why wouldn’t he show the real ones. On the other hand he didn’t check the pictures and yes he never really had a chance to but it never came up as a ‘What if they are fake?’.

He has this really really bad habit of underestimating people or maybe he’s just too optimistic?

Also 2 years? I mean given he was still recovering at the beginning, but 2 years? That’s a loooong time.

5.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†I must admit that I liked Requin and Selendri ‚Äď particularly at the end ‚Äď I don‚Äôt think Requin will go after Locke and Jean, he was even sort of cool and composed about it all, in fact he came across as a bit pleased with himself because he had the last laugh.¬† Plenty of good characters this time which did you enjoy reading most about this time?

I have to say I did like the bit at the end with Selendri, on the one hand I do wonder what the place is going to be like with secret police and things like that. But on the other hand I reckon that The Archon will get his wish in a sense, Tal Verarr becoming stronger, just not in the way he’d intended. ūüôā

I liked Zamira’s bits too, its very nice to see inside the world of a strong female character who can rule over a bunch of pirates but is also soft hearted enough to be gentle with her kids, to give them the love and attention they need. Ah 3 dimensional characters. ūüėÄ

6.       Finally, a triple barrel question, I know I shouldn’t ask this BUT, on reflection do you have a favourite between LoLL or RSURS??  And why?  Are you going to pick up Republic of Thieves?  And, where do you think Lynch will take us to next??

Toughest question yet! Yes of course I will be picking up Republic of Thieves! ūüôā But as to which I prefer between LoLL and RSURS? I think LoLL was grittier in some ways, The Grey King was nasty with how he carried everything out. And while Locke & Jean were poisoned in this one. Locke was shoved and nearly died in a urine filled coffin. But then I quite liked a lot of the arguments that L&J had in this book, showing character development and such. As well as meeting people who could potentially be allies in¬†future¬†books. I think when it comes down to it I can’t decide.

Other things:

Locke! Trust Jean! How many times has the man saved your life? Trust him! Even if you missed the hand signal. Also I had a feeling Locke would have done something with the cure before they sat down, I wasn’t quite sure whether he’d have just tossed it because how could they decide?

I know I actually had a few other comments on some things but I honestly can’t remember what they were. I will end with saying that I do wish I could give both the boys a hug, they’ve had so much crap thrown at them and well its not over yet considering Locke’s condition. Still hopefully Regal will give them some tlc, in the way that only a cat can.

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Red Seas Under Red Skies – Read Along Wk 4

The penultimate week of the read along ūüė¶ 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.

Other Thoughts

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?

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Red Seas Under Red Skies – Read Along Wk3

This week’s questions are from¬†¬†Ashley who posts at SF Signal as is on twitter at @ohthatashley and they cover Chapter 7 to the end of Chapter 10. ¬†And what an action packed set of chapters they are! Some serious twists and turns.

1. Locke and Jean’s ability to find themselves at the center of a serious mess seems unparalleled. At this point, do you think that Stragos will get the return he expects on his investment in them?

I’m not so sure, IF and I say IF Locke listen’s to Jean then possibly not? It’s possible they might think of a way to do what the Archon wants but also screws him over in some way or do it but not screw the pirates over? (Honestly don’t know how.)¬† Of course that leads on to the answers to question two, considering what Merrain did, the Stragos is already finding his plan messier than he anticipated.

2. Merrain’s activities after our boys leave Windward Rock are interesting. What do you think her plans are?

Assassin! I don’t know whether its specifically her plans but clearly she is worried that what? If there is nothing for Locke & Jean to do they’ll have time and interfere with the plans of whoever it is she works for? She has well and truly screwed them over. If the Stragos wasn’t going to kill them before he’s going to want to now. And even with all his fast talking I don’t know whether Locke could talk him out of it – even if he had the chance.

3. Does anyone know why having cats aboard the ship is so important?

I suspect it was originally because they got rid of the rats? (Although what would they eat once all the rats were dead? I suppose you’d just have to hope the ship wasn’t becalmed or anything and that you’d get to another port. ) Possibly it also helps with crew moral. I mean they just have to look at you with those big eyes and mew in that pathetic way they have…. we know who the true captains of the ship are! ūüėČ

(Lets hope none of the crew have allergies!)

4. The word “mutiny” creates a lot of mental pictures. Were you surprised? Why or why not?

Once we knew he’d forgotten the cats (tut tut Locke) then no I wasn’t surprised. I mean they *might* have been able to hide/pull something off if Caldris hadn’t died. Poor guy, when he turned up in pain I was half afraid that maybe the poison had hit him earlier but I think it could be that he was just having a heart attack from all the stress? ¬†I was a bit worried about their fates but Jabril is a nice guy and he knows his stuff. Locke though has to be one of the luckiest people alive! To be put out to see in a rowing boat and to then get picked up by a pirate crew not a few hours later?

5. Ah, the Poison Orchid. So many surprises there, not the least of which were the captain’s children. Did you find the young children a natural part of the story?

I think I might be in the same position Jean was in. I mean I know its important to keep a ship ‘ship shape’ but at the same time they seem quite ‘nice’? Strict with the rules, but at least if you know what the rules are you know where you stand. I was a little surprised about the children but at the same time, I can’t see Drakasha (where does Lynch get these names from? Their great) trusting anyone with them, especially not when she could spend weeks at sea. Also its clear that she loves them a lot.

What I do find odd is that its an equal shares ship – that’s nice, but they’re about to take on some more crew won’t that piss the rest of the crew off? That means whatever they get is going to go down. I guess they could lose quite a few crew to boarding actions and perhaps some will decide to leave the ship once they get off. But then perhaps its enough that they serve under a good captain and work on what is clearly a good ship. They might grumble a bit but they’ll be ok with it in the end.

6. Jean is developing more and more as a character as we get further in to the book. Ezri makes the comment to him that “Out here, the past is a currency, Jerome. Sometimes it’s the only one we have.” I think several interesting possibilities are coming into play regarding Jean and Ezri. What about you?

I love it! The flirting, the way she held up her hands like a picture frame and said ¬†“You’re not even real yet, your just a hazy¬†something on the¬†horizon.” because he’s not yet officially on the crew yet. I was kind of worried about her deciding to take part in the boarding action. Lynch does like to kill people off, and to be honest I’m still worried about her injuries. I think her and Jean would be good together but at the same time I can’t see how it would work. Jean might be happy joining a pirate ship but I can’t see Locke settling like that. (Particularly as there are more books to come in the series.)

7. As we close down this week’s reading, the Thorn of Camorr is back! I love it, even with all the conflict. ¬†Several things from their Camorri background have come back up. Do you think we will see more Camorri characters?

Ohhh I don’t know… I mean they’re in a¬†completely¬†different city, it would be really weird if The Spider turned up or… hmm well who else is there that was important in the other books.

Other Thoughts:

Locke Locke Locke.. he is smart and clever but sometimes he is such a moron, he doesn’t always actually listen to what people say. (Lacking some common sense at times). We all know sailors are a bloody¬†superstitious¬†lot, and yet he forgot those cats. >_< He didn’t appriciate what he was being told. Also at the end of Chapter 10? After that conversation with Jean. I worry about him. The Archon, while I do like his ideas, only cares about his people and is willing to kill off a whole lot of others to get what he wants. Pirates, while this lot they’ve fallen in with are ‘nice’ and seem fairly honourable aren’t that often nice people. Stealing from people, and sometimes worse. But Locke? He’s allowing his need for revenge to consume him, and isn’t that what happened with The Grey King? I wonder if this is why Jean was turning traitor in the prologue… ¬†Locke can’t let go of anything and if he isn’t careful he’s going to turn into a monster. He doesn’t have to get back at the Archon for what he did, he could be a bigger man and move on with his life – on to a new escaped (not sure I can see Locke doing that either, he always has to have the last word).

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Red Seas Under Red Skies – Wk2 Read Along

I’m a little late this week I didn’t quite realise how long this section was (12 sections in Chapter 6!) and so by Saturday morning I still had over 80 pages left.. whoops! Add social life and Skyrim to that.. ūüôā

Anyway this section covers: ¬†‚ÄúThe Lady of the Glass Pylon‚ÄĚ through to the end of Chapter 6 and the questions are from Andrea @ The Little Red Reviwer.

1. Now that we know a little more about Selendri and Requin, what do you think of them? I worry Locke is suddenly realizing this con might be a bit tougher than he expected.

Requin is awful! ¬†Cutting out some ones knee caps and…? I shudder just thinking about it. I mean is that really necessary? When Lynch makes nasty characters he really likes to go all out doesn’t he? Locke is really going to have to step very carefully I think Selendri is pretty damn sharp and well Requin is likely to do a horrfic punishment at the slightest¬†provocation.

2. Isn’t the Artificers’ Crescent just amazing?  If you could purchase anything there, what would it be?

I can imagine those places looking pretty steampunky ūüôā ¬†and suggest that they are quite far advance technology wise, but just not that wide spread yet. ¬†I’m not sure what I’d want to purchase but I’d love to walk around there, I imagine the sights, sounds and smells would be amazing!

3. What did you think of  Salon Corbeau and the goings on that occur there? A bit crueler than a Camorri crime boss, no? 
!!!!

Just… wow. Thats beyond cruel its sadistic. I’m kind of hoping there will be another flash back where L&J go back and do something to tear that place apart. Although seeing as they were in the middle of a big con I’m not sure they’d have had the time? But who knows. And while the Baumondain family seem nice at the same time they just close their eyes to the problem – they could leave and set up their business elsewhere, it might not be as lucrative but ¬†if they’re that good it would come. The same could be said of a lot of the businesses there.

I really hope those nobles get what’s coming to them. The problem is I can’t see how dealing with that relates to the two other major plots of the book, it might be a bit much?

4. The Archon might be a megalomaniacal military dictator, but he thinks he’s doing right by Tal Verrar: his ultimate goal seems to be to protect them.  What do you think he’s so afraid of? 

I’ll admit I kind of like the Archon, assuming he is telling the truth about what his aims are then it’s great. Its nice seeing a military dictator who is trying to improve the people, as opposed to one who is oppressing everyone and would probably be stifling creativity in that respect. I’m not sure what he’s afraid of though, and I’m curious as to who Merrain is referring to when they’re talking at the end of Chapter 5. I’m hoping this isn’t some¬†elaborate¬†Bondsmagi plan, if it isn’t then there’s some other power at play here (perhaps multiple places hoping to gang up against the Bondsmagi?)

However just because I like the Archon doesn’t mean he is a nice person all the time (although he doesn’t strike me as anywhere near as awful as Requin is!)., I was surprised that he poisoned one of his own men as well! (And still we can’t be sure he isn’t lying about that? Its such a¬†conveniently¬†good thing to lie about, as you can’t easily prove it.) When Locke signalled he was lying then I think that’s specifically to do with the Archon saying he’ll pay them whatever they want at the end of this whole escapade. But I suspect he doesn’t much care about L&J’s fates just as long as they do what is needed. Hell I’m also wondering whether the original pirate uprising might not have been caused due to him telling a captain of his to go do just this same job… and look where that got her? But who knows…

4. And who the heck is trying to kill Locke and Jean every few days?  they just almost got poisoned (again!)!

I was thinking if they had done something to¬†Salon Corbeau then maybe its her? Otherwise I’m not sure, its possible we haven’t even had the hint as to who it is yet?

5. Do you really think it’s possibly for a city rat like Locke to fake his way onto a Pirate ship?

I think so, he’s pretty good at winging it. He knows some stuff and as the Archon pointed out he knows how to show off fake confidence and that sort of bluster can go a long way – as we’ve¬†repeatedly¬†seen.

Other Thoughts:

Also that whole section of them trying to do the rope climbing and almost falling to their doom? Was quite funny, and also highlights that they really need someone to watch out for them! (Like Bug)

Also I love that in order to sail safely on the seas the ships have to have at least one cat and a female officer on board ūüôā

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Red Seas Under Red Skies: Read Along Wk1

Yay! We have now moved on to the second Gentlemen Bastards book RSURS by Scott Lynch as part of our read along. ¬†ūüôā

The questions, supplied by  Bryce over at My Awful Reviews,  cover the start of the book all the way up to Chapter 3.

I’d like to start of first by saying: ¬† Goddamn Mages!!!!!

1. The Sinspire. It looks like our heroes (can they really be called that?) find themselves in search of a way into an unbeatable vault. Do you think they have what it takes to make it happen?

I think you can call them heroes, certainly after the events of the last book, even if their ‘day jobs’ ¬†aren’t so heroic… Do they have what it takes? Hmmmm… ¬†Its a bit hard to say when I’m not 100% sure what the plan is, I worry that they don’t really have enough back up, there’s only two of them. If something goes wrong (what would Locke have done if he hadn’t¬†persuaded¬†Requin?) they don’t have much room to¬†manoeuvres.

2.¬† Anyone want to guess how they’re going to make it happen?

Looks like Locke’s hoping that by getting on to Requin’s security that should give them further access to everything? Perhaps keys? Knowing just what the routine is etc etc? A complete confidence trick, but surely Requin is going to be suspicious that someone might try this?

3. It’s a little different this time around, with us just being focused on Locke and Jean. Is anyone else missing the rest of the Bastards as much as I am?

Yes, well Bug at least I don’t think we got to know the twins as well, but as the youngest and newest member of the group Bug added that little extra something to the dynamic. (I’m not quite sure what though, perhaps something that make Locke feel like he should perhaps be a little more careful…. or maybe not.)

4. I love the section where Jean starts to build a new guild of thieves. It really shows just how well trained and tough he is. Do you think the Bastards will end up training others along the way again like Bug?

It makes sense that they should at some point, they need a bit more support. But I guess the problem is that while it has been 2 years since the events of book one so the wounds won’t be as raw, they’re a) right in the middle of a major scam (2 years?! Thats dedication!) and b) the Bondsmage’s have turned up. (Did they Locke & Jean really believe the matter was settled?) ¬†I really wonder if there is perhaps some way that they can protect Jean from being controlled by them.

I have to say I also loved the argument between Jean and Locke at the end of this section. I was laughing out loud and getting funny looks from the hubby as Jean¬†barricaded¬†Locke in. ūüėÄ

5. For those of you looking for Sabetha, we still haven’t spotted her yet. Anyone else chomping at the bit to see the love of Locke’s life?

I am curious, but currently I’m more curious about just how Locke thinks he’s going to steal from the Sinspire. And just what was that going on in the prologue? (A cunning plan of double dealings I assume – potentially part of the whole Sinspire¬†shenanigans?¬†with Jean pretending to double cross Locke?)

6. It’s early on, but the Bastards are already caught up in plots that they didn’t expect. How do you think their new “employer” is going to make use of them (The Archon, that is)?

Edited: So somehow I missed that I was also supposed to read Chapter 3 for this first week. I have now read it and here’s my answer. ūüôā

I’m going to guess it’s something political, he’s worried that perhaps someone is doing something/going to make a move that will knock him off the top spot? But who knows with Lynch that could be¬†completely¬†wrong! ūüôā ¬†Poor Locke having someone poison him again in order to get something out of him (I do wonder whether that is just a lie from the Archon though). Its understandable why L&J are pissed (I was highly¬†suspicious¬†when the Archon was going on about how it was all a mistake..) but I worry that Locke is going to go in over his head. (Like he hasn’t already with the Bondsmagi)

What if what the Archon wants is something ‘nice’ something beneficial that could help lots of people (he probably doesn’t but playing devils¬†advocate¬†here..), we know Locke won’t work for money.. well he might say he would but he would totally get bored. But if someone presented that case to L & J.. might they have helped¬†without¬†the need for added persuasion? They are nice people we know this from the first book. Would they help?

Also the entrance to the Archon’s palace? That sounds amazing! I have to wonder how many poor souls have fallen over at the entrance though.

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Red Seas Under Red Skies Read Along

As some of you may have noticed in the last few weeks I took part in a read along for The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch, we are now going to be moving on Red Seas Under Red Skies. (or RSURS – I may have to switch to this abbreviation as I keep wanting to call it Red Skies Under Red Seas which is a) wrong and b) thats quite a long title!). Anyway further details can be found at¬†The Little Red Reviewer¬†and if you let her know you want to take part you’ll get the discussion emails that come out on Thursdays. We’re starting later this week so ¬†if you haven’t read the first one you’d better get that done quickly!! (It’s really good! Full of twists and turns and a lot of unexpected things!)
Here’s the schedule:

Start reading on or around April 21st. . .
Week 1 Рbeginning thru End of Chapter 3, discussion questions go out Thurs April 26, posts go up Sat April 28
Week¬†¬†2¬†– Reminiscence “The Lady of the Glass Pylon” through end of Chapter 6, discussion questions go out thurs May 3, posts go up Sat May 5
Week  3 РChapter 7 thru end of Chapter 10, discussion questions go out May 10, posts go up May 12
Week  4 РChapter 11 thru end of chapter 13, discussion questions go out May 17, posts go up May 19
Week  5 РChapter 14 to the end, discussion question go out May 24, posts go up May 26

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The Lies of Locke Lamora – Read along wk5

Its the last set of questions this week for The Lies of Locke Lamora (boo!) but after this we will now be moving on to the second book in the series Red Seas Under Red Skies (yay!). ¬†The questions this week were provided by¬†Lynn, from¬†Lynn’s Book Blog

Before I start the questions I’m going to talk about my one real criticism I have from the books (its not really a big one either), as I want to finish my post with the ‘I really do love this book’ comments. ūüôā

(also going to cut this because its a long post with major spoilers)

Continue reading

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The Lies of Locke Lamora – Read along Wk4

On to week 4 of the read along and things are really picking up in the book! ūüôā This post coveres ¬†Chapter Nine through to Chapter thirteen ‚ÄúOrchids and Assassins‚ÄĚ , questions from¬†Ashley, who posts on Monday at SF Signal.

There are even more spoilers in THIS post than in the last one so really do not read it if you¬†haven’t¬†read the books and are planning to.

¬† 1. In the chapter ‚ÄúA Curious Tale for Countess Amberglass‚ÄĚ we
learn of the tradition of the night tea in Camorr. I found that not so
much fantastical as realistic ‚Äď how about you?

I really liked this bit, it shows just how ‘normal’ the world can be. ¬†Its not afternoon tea like we used to have in England but it made me think of that. As the ladies would often have tea around 4-5ish because they were hungry and the men were still at work. It all makes the world that bit more alive. ūüôā

2.      When Jean meets with what will become the Wicked Sisters for
the first time, the meeting is described very much like how people
feel when they find their true work or home. Agree? Disagree? Some of
both?

I guess so, its something I’ve seen used in other books as well. About how some¬†temperament¬†are better suited to different weapons. ¬†I’ve never really thought about things in terms of true work/home. There are things I like and have taken to well, which I guess follows along the same lines, this is just something that Jean is naturally better at, then dual wielding swords.

3.      Salt devils. Bug. Jean. The description is intense. Do you
find that description a help in visualizing the scene? Do you find
yourself wishing the description was occasionally ‚Äď well ‚Äď a little
less descriptive?

No. Yes. Maybe. It was about the right level of detail for me, as I’ve mentioned before I have a bad habit of skim reading descriptions. So I don’t always take everything in. (I just had to re-read the scene to really get the visual image.) But on the other hand if that had been a fight between humans it might have gotten to me. I think my tolerance for gore is getting much lower as I get older. And its not that I think “oh the author¬†shouldn’t’ have written that” it’s more that I physically can’t handle it. ¬†I have had 2 episodes this year where I have nearly fainted on the tube due to ‘gory’ bits in books. :/ ¬†In this case its more the visual that the Salt Devils look like spiders that bothers me! ūüôā But its in my imagination I don’t¬†have¬†to see them fully if I don’t want, unlike in a computer game (Dragon Age 2 I’m looking at you!) Its nice to see what weird and sometimes not so wonderful creatures inhabit that inhabit the world. ūüôā

4.      This section has so much action in it, it’s hard to find a
place to pause. But…but.. oh, Locke. Oh, Jean. On their return to the
House of Perelandro, their world is turned upside down. Did you see it
coming?

No. I thought what had happened in the previous section with Locke almost being killed in a coffin of piss was pretty big but then…. I mean I figured Jean would save him, and then I thought with what the Grey King or Capa Raza has then even with all of them it could be a challenge to get take him down.. but this? Wow. Oh Bug, what did you think you were doing? ūüė¶

It makes me wonder how things are going to go from here, I don’t know what could top what just happened!

5.      Tavrin Callas’s service to the House of Aza Guilla is recalled
at an opportune moment, and may have something to do with saving a
life or three. Do you believe Chains knew what he set in motion? Why
or why not?

No I don’t think he did, but I’m pretty sure they are going to have to pull on every scrap of training that Chains gave them, and wish they had more in order to survive this and to get the revenge they want.

6.      As Locke and Jean prepare for Capa Raza, Dona Vorchenza’s
remark that the Thorn of Camorr has never been violent ‚Äď only greedy
and resorting to trickery ‚Äď comes to mind again. Will this pattern
continue?

Hmmmm. (I’m answering this question after I answered the one below..) I think the Thorn will become more ruthless, not out right violence that draws way to much attention. But its no longer about greed, they’ll need to get money to be able to do their plans but… well the situation is personal now. Its no longer about simply having fun.

7.      Does Locke Lamora or the Thorn of Camorr enter Meraggio’s
Countinghouse that day? Is there a difference?

It never¬†occurred¬†to me to think about it like that but, I think at the moment it might be a little bit of both. ¬†And actually I wonder if Locke might need to channel the Thorn of Camorr more, become that bit more ruthless. Build up a facade around himself (like the Grey King did) that will allow him to outsmart the Grey King or I suppose I should call him Capa Raza now. I think it was Locke who pointed out the man is not subtle, he’s been clever and had the advantage of surprise over everyone, but I think Locke can be much¬†sneakier. And considering how¬†elaborate¬†his schemes are (all that hassle to get a set of clothes) then… it’ll be tough, and its not¬†going to¬†all go his way but I think they might have a chance. I think it might be hard to read though, just in terms of innocent bystanders getting caught up, like poor Benjavier having his whole life¬†completely¬†destroyed. Keeps things nice and gritty and it has to be done but it does make me wince, you can’t hate Locke for it but at the same time you wish it wasn’t so.

I have a couple more comments/speculations to make, I really like to¬†witter¬†on don’t I? ūüôā ¬†(Its kind of also fun to see how wrong/right I am.)¬†¬†I’m really interested to see how things are going to go with the dinner and the trap the Spyder has laid… I thought what the Grey King did would have shot that all to hell. But at this rate Locke’s going to walk right into it… I do wonder if those two are going to work together, Locke does need resources to deal with Capa Raza.

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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 ‚ÄúThe 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. ūüôā

this weeks questions provided by¬†Bryce, of My Awful Reviews ūüôā

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 Рdid 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. ūüė¶ ¬†(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! ūüôā

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. ūüôā ¬†Especially as now it just doesn’t seem to fit seeing as the Grey King is not a nice person.

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The Lies of Locke Lamora – Read Along: Wk2

Considering in last weeks post I said I couldn’t put the book down I suddenly realised on Wed night that I hadn’t started any of the next section of the read along. I blame the fact that Mass Effect 3 came out, I was kind of busy playing it. Good thing I have a commute to work gave me a chance to read the section, especially as I want to read the section before I read through the questions.

Although I think perhaps this may not be the best book to commute with. I’m not particularly good with blood and gore and so I tend to skim over these sections carefully. I very nearly fainted (vision faded, dizzy, shortness of breath, cold sweat) on the tube a few months ago from reading a book where a character broke a leg. I had a massive freak out and the sensation is not pleasant! I may have been ok with this section but I really don’t want to risk that any more on the tube. Think it might be safer to read this book at home? ūüôā

Edited to add:¬†This section covers Chapter three through to the end of Interlude called ‚ÄúThe Boy who Cried for a Corpse‚ÄĚ

1) Do you think Locke can pull off his scheme of playing a Midnighter who is working with Don Salvara to capture the Thorn of Camorr? I mean, he is now playing two roles in this game – and thank goodness for that costume room the Gentlemen Bastards have!

I thought that was a very interesting development, and the way it was introduced was cleverly done, messing with the time line slightly to get you the reader guessing. When the Midnighter turned up I was like ‘uh-oh – very¬†convenient¬†how much this person knows!’ and I did wonder if maybe it was Locke but I couldn’t see initially how that might help them in anyway at all, not until they finished the conversation. Its a clever if dangerous rouse, shows how very good they are at their costumes that the Don can’t recognise him! I guess the hope is that he’d be too intimidated by a Midnighter to look too closely. I do wonder what’s it was that was following Locke and Calo. That’s the second time so far (I think unless I missed one) that something has leaped about on buildings nearby them.

2) Are you digging the detail the author has put into the alcoholic drinks in this story?

I must confess that I do and do not take these things in as I read stuff. I notice it when I read it but then kind of don’t think about it after until someone asks questions like this! ūüôā But now its been pointed out and I think about it, yes, it gives more vibrancy to the world. Poor Locke and his first ever hangover.
3) Who is this mysterious lady Gentlemen Bastard Sabetha and what does she mean to Locke?

Hmm I believe he might be in love with her? ūüôā Question is does she return those feelings? Have they had a falling out is that why he doesn’t want to talk about her? Is she ignoring feelings she has for him to get something else done? Questions questions questions!

4) Are you as creeped out over the use of Wraithstone to create Gentled animals as I am?

Not really. Yes I probably should be, it is a creepy thing, making ‘zombiefied’ animals that have no personality. But I read a lot of gritty/dark fantasy, play computer games like Dragon Age/Mass Effect/Fallout and roleplay in games like Dark Heresy (Warhammer 40k Universe). In all of these things there a lots of things that are just as creepy if not more so. ¬†I mean Dragon Age as the Tranquil these are mages that have been cut off from the Fade, so they can’t dream and therefore don’t have emotions. They have to do this to mages who don’t have enough willpower to resist the¬†persuasive¬†power of the Demons who live in the Fade. Otherwise they could become a demonic monster or simply summon demons and they become¬†incredibly¬†dangerous and a threat to everyone. So I am somewhat inured to it all. Although saying that, in Dragon Age they do it to keep dangerous threats at bay to them its necessary they don’t have any other solutions other than say killing the individual, in this its there to what? simply stop animals from spooking? They’re too lazy to train animals properly? So actually maybe it’s worse here as its simply used as a matter of¬†convenience.

5) I got a kick out of child Locke’s first meeting with Capa Barsavi and his daughter Nazca, which was shortly followed up in the story by Barsavi granting adult Locke permission to court his daughter! Where do you think that will lead? Can you see these two together?

I was a little worried when we first met her as a child she might grow up to be very spoiled, as I could see Capa Barsavi indulging her all the time. But after the first conversation as adults she strikes me as quite an intelligent and confident young woman. Based on what I’ve seen so far I can see these two being good friends or if not quite that far then good allies. Don’t expect, not sure I want a romance between them. It would be nice to see a woman in a position of power, who is of a similar age to main character and not have a romantic¬†attachment.

I do love that she is taller than Locke! Is he short? Or is she just tall? ūüėÄ

I found  the fact that Nazca and her two brothers wear glasses a nice touch. Often in fantasy novels they never seem quite advanced enough to have glasses, let alone having the children (who I imagine are quite scary in their own right) of one of the most powerful men in the city wearing them.

6) Capa Barsavi is freaked out over rumors of The Gray King and, in fact, us readers are privy to a gruesome torture scene. The Gray King is knocking garristas off left and right. What do you think that means?

Capa Barsavi is really freaking out isn’t he? Torturing what should be trusted me is a sign of a man losing control and being very paranoid. He could have used the fact that they “don’t remember” as a potential clue. Why don’t they remember? What things could make them forget? Drugs? Magic? (I don’t really know enough yet about what if any kind of magic there is that could do this?) Then questions like how could someone have got in and done that to all of Tesso’s men before killing Tesso. ¬†A wasted opportunity. Nazca seems to be the only one thinking straight in the family (although I don’t know her brothers well enough yet.)

I’m sort of wondering if The Grey King¬†¬†might¬†be Locke… But that could be pushing it a bit. I’m basing this on Chains saying he want’s to destroy the Secret Peace – this seems possibly more violent though then he had in mind. Then again he’s teaching them all how to pretend to be other people so who knows. Or if its not Locke its simply someone else wanting to break down the current structure, or get revenge for something.

7) In the Interlude: The Boy Who Cried for a Corpse, we learn that Father Chains owes an alchemist a favor, and that favor is a fresh corpse. He sets the boys to figuring out how to provide one, and they can’t ‘create’ the corpse themselves. How did you like Locke’s solution to this conundrum?

It was the most sensible one, I was thinking the same thing just before Locke carried out his plan. It’s the kind of thing you might have to do in a roleplaying game and that’s probably one solution we’d do IF we had a quest to do that. ¬†Although once they had the corpse I did wonder what was happening with the candle maker! That was very sneaky! Clever way to make back what they’d spent. Didn’t see that additional part of the plan coming. So I was¬†pleasantly¬†surprised. ūüôā It does make me worry at some point though that Locke might do something too clever for his own good.. again. (Which I suspect he will?)

Last weekend a friend asked me about my first post and when I explained to him what the read along was and how it worked, ¬†he said it seemed like homework. Like the sort we used to get in English when we were studying a¬†Shakespeare¬†play or something. Perhaps in a way it is, but I’m really enjoying this so far, it’s making me think about things and notice things which I might not have given as much thought to before.

Edited to add: I am amused by how much wealth they seem to be amassing! I was wondering what the hell they were going to do with all of it and then its pointed out that even they don’t know what to do with it all!

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