Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Locke Lamora Read-along: Week Three

This week's discussion covers Chapter Five through the Interlude called "The Half Crown War" and is hosted my My Awful Reviews. Also, My Awful Reviews has a cool series going called "Thoughts on Scott," where other authors chime in on Lies, such as Elizabeth Bear and Sam Sykes. Once again I am afraid to read other posts because I don't want any spoilers! I'm thinking I definitely need to read ahead when we get to the Red Seas discussion. Which better still be happening, by the way, because this read-along is awesome. Maybe I'll be smart and takes notes as I go, then again I may forget to eat and shower until I'm finished. After this, I have one more post and then I'm all caught up for the final discussion!

1. This section is where we finally get to sneak a peek at the magic in The Gentleman Bastard sequence. 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?
I don't want to sound like a snot here, but the magic was typical of other fantasy novels. The torture reminded me of the Cruciatus curse in Harry Potter, using the hawk as a familiar reminded me of Denser's demon in Dawnthief by James Barclay, and the threat of the Falconer finding them wherever they went reminded me of The Name of the Wind. This definitely isn't a bad thing, though! I loved all those books! And it doesn't really matter in the long run, because I am reading this book for the characters, and not the setting (as interesting as it may be).

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.
Last week I thought it could be Nazca or Don Salvara. Well, Nazca's dead, which only leaves the don. I guess it's still possible the Falconer could create a fake Nazca corpse, but I'm not holding my breath. I know it's going to be someone we know!

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)
Um... NO. And it was really sad! She was awesome! And probably the only friend Locke had outside his gang. And let's see, one of the Gentleman Bastards (at least) is going to die. Not Jean, because he's in the synopsis of the next book. (See! Something that was given away!) Bug would be too easy, both of the twins would be sad, but one of the twins would be even worse, I think.

3. When Locke says "Nice bird, asshole," 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?
     Bug stepped forward and cleared his throat.
     "I'm only doing this," he said, "because I really love hiding in haunted Eldren buildings on dark and creepy nights."
     "You're a liar," said Jean, slowly. "I'm only doing this because I've always wanted to see Bug get eaten by an Eldren ghost."
     "Liar," said Calo. "I'm only doing this because I fucking love hauling half a ton of bloody coins up out of a vault and packing them away on a cart."
     "Liar!" Galdo chuckled. "I'm only doing this becuae while you're all busy elsewhere, I'm going to go pawn all the furniture in the burrow at No-Hope Harza's."
     "You're all liars," said Locke as their eyes turned expectantly to him. "We're only doing this because nobody else in Camorr is good enough to pull this off, and nobody else is dumb enough to get stuck doing it in the first place."
     "Bastard!" They shouted in unison, forgetting their surrounding for a bare moment.
     I can hear you shouting, came the ghostly voice of the Falconer. Have you all gone completely mad?
From pages 398-399 of the US mass market. This passage really shows how they are a tight-knit group of friends, even before they are Gentleman Bastards. I love the ritual, and I love how they all look to Locke at the end.

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 still think they are cleverer than all the rest. How many times have they fooled Capa Barsavi at this point? I think they were outplayed by the Grey King. They expected to be used as an ally, and not tricked as an enemy. Sure, if they were the cleverest this wouldn't have happened, but I don't hold it against them.

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 haven't read ahead yet! I stopped myself to answer the questions! I'm guessing Jean and Bug find a way to pull Locke out of the water, where maybe they have to do a bit of resuscitation but no permanent damage. And lots of vomiting, because ugh, horse piss.

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 wish the other members of the Gentleman Bastards were fleshed out more. We know nothing about Calo and Galdo and Bug, and only a little bit about Jean. I love it when we see Jean reading and wearing his glasses when he is the brute of the group. Even Locke could stand to be a bit more dimensional, but every time he pines for Sabetha or gets whalloped in the balls he gets better. He needs to be taken down a few notches to be realistic.

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?
Hmm... I have no idea. It would be awesome if he had a specific endgame other than "Be fucktastic and badass." It would be great to get more background about Chains! If Capa Barsavi killed his wife or family... wow that would be so sad.

You can tell I started to get tired towards the end... Next batch of reading is Chapter Nine through the Interlude called “Orchids and Assassins”.

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