Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch, final week of readalong

I’ve had such a lot of fun doing this readalong!  The thing I love about it is it makes you see things in a different way, opens your eyes a bit more and take a proper look around from another perspective or just plain picks up on little nuances that you’ve missed.  The discussion has been awesome and I’m sort of sad it’s over.  But, moving on.  The questions this week are provided by the lovely Allie at Tethyan books and need I point out that plenty of spoilers will be contained below so if you’ve not yet read this book and are planning to do so then please stop reading now! Go on, scoot!

In Espara…

1. The Republic of Thieves:  It’s the first and final performance!  What did you think of the play?  Were you entertained, or eager to get on with the rest of the story?  Also, how do you feel about how the play fits in the novel, in terms of the story and the characters who play the parts?  Well, on the whole I’ve really enjoyed the whole theatre side of the story but by the time it came time for the first performance I was totally wound up about the whole Bouldazi affair!  So, probably didn’t enjoy the show as much as I should have as I was too busy racing ahead to see how they were going to pull it all off.  I think it’s great that Lynch put this story within the story though – just more of what we’ve come to expect about his attention to detail.

2. The Other Performance:  Of course, the GB and company had another important performance to get through—the one that ensures none of them end up hanged!  What was your favorite part of this scheme?  Do you agree with their plan for dealing with Moncraine’s treachery?  I thought it was inspired that they framed Moncraine for the murder – and totally justified.  He left them hanging after all (or he thought he did)!!  Not sure which part was my favourite – it was all a bit fly by the seat of your pants dangerous, I guess I liked having somebody else dress up as Bouldazi and appear on the stage in his clothes and a mask.  When you’re in on the con and know what’s happening you can’t help thinking it just won’t work but if you were watching all this as an innocent bystander you’d have no reason to doubt.  It was also interesting to see that yet again Sabetha played a pivotal role.  You can’t help thinking that’s why Chains admitted a female to the gang (not for this particular scheme of course) but because they needed to be more all rounded – how very articulately phrased! NOT.  I always sort of wondered if Chains meant to take on a female or not.  He didn’t seem equipped to a certain degree and Sabetha was brought up in this all male environment – which was good for her in terms of competition of course – but led to all sorts of complications when it comes to ramant hormones.  If you look at the schemes in Espara though, without Sabetha, everyone would have been in the dirty creek without a paddle!

In Karthain…

3. The Election:  It seems Lovaris was indeed the final trick, and the election is over.  Are you satisfied with how things turned out? Do you wish that the election had focused more on the political problems of Karthain, or are you satisfied with the mudslinging and pranks that went on between Locke and Sabetha? To be honest I’m not really terribly interested in all the politics – I like that it’s included because I think it makes the whole world building more realistic but if it had been any more in depth I probably would have got a bit ‘meh’ about it.  I thought the pranks and mudslinging were the best parts of the whole competition – it’s what I really get out of these books.  All the different ways that Lynch comes up with new ideas for his cons.  I mean, yeah, some of these were greatly simplified compared to previous books but I still loved them and there was this added feeling of camaraderie because it was between Locke and Jean and Sabetha – it just felt more playful somehow, or perhaps just less tense, especially compared with what was taking place in Espara.  I thought it was great that Locke had a scheme that would make the two sides equal.  Of course it would only work if Sabetha topped the poll with one extra vote but it still made me laugh that he came up with that idea – and I thought Sabetha took it really well.  She felt like she’d won – even if only for a few brief moments.

4. The War: Do you have any speculation on what specific issues might have escalated the two Bondsmagi factions rivalry into this kind of violence?  What do you think the surviving Bondsmagi will do next, with all their gathered money and knowledge?  I don’t mind telling you that this part of the story blew me away!  I was like ‘no way’.  What was the competition about then – I suppose it was all just misdirection really.  I think that the more conservative Bondsmagi feel really threatened by this idea that any great show of magic will bring reprisals and they clearly think the Falconer and his following would draw more attention.  It’s going to be so interesting to see what happens next with this.  Plus there was this whole other reference to the lights in the water again – I think when we were looking back at the Falconer as a younger boy and he was looking into the water at one point?  Anyway, totally intriguing and mysterious.

5. Patience: Given the final revelation that Patience does hate Locke for what he did to the Falconer, what do you make of her behavior towards Locke throughout the book?  Do you think her plan of vengeance is well suited to Locke?  What do you make of the Black Amaranth story now, as well as the prophecy she threw on top? She’s basically a bloody raging hypocrite.  Or at least that’s what I thought at first – I figured she was simply mad at him for butchering her son.  There’s no love lost between her and the Falconer though and she wanted him to die –  so I then figured that she was more pissed off at Locke for NOT killing him but simply rendering him powerless.  She even had her little trapdoor to trap the Falconer when he tried to null the pain – so he would be unable to resist?  You have to hand it to her really.  She salved her conscience by telling the Falconer about her little prediction, which she knew he would scorn.  Then she fixed it so that he’d be incapacitated.  Like I say, I think she was simply massively disappointed that he wasn’t dead and was still her problem.  I think she also sees the fact that Locke and Jean didn’t finish off the Falconer as a weakness and one more reason to despise them both.  I just don’t know what to make of the whole prophecy thing.  Part of me thinks she’s just playing with Locke but then part of me thinks she’s just arrogant enough to give him this prediction thinking that he’ll probably decide to ignore it.  Unwittingly of course she could have given him a really invaluable piece of information that could just end up saving him – she’ll be a bit gutted if that turns out to be the case!  And you know that saying about ‘he who laughs last’…

6. The Epilogue: Speaking of vengeance, do you think the Falconer’s vengeance against his mother was merited or excessively cruel, given the circumstances?  On that note, how do you feel about the Falconer’s transformation and possible status as a continuing villain?  I like that Lynch has resurrected the Falconer as the villain again.  He’s a pretty impressive villain.  I absolutely hate the guy – which is what you want from your villains isn’t it.  No sympathy.  The only thing I don’t understand about the scene with the birds at the end is that it made Patience seem weaker than she had done throughout the novel.  Like, when the attack started why didn’t she do one of her mysterious conjuring tricks and simply disappear.  Or, couldn’t she have used the Falconer’s name to stop him – or is it that she really didn’t know it was him behind the attack.  I think that’s probably the only real scene that I had my doubts about.  I wasn’t surprised that the Falconer took the action he did, I was just surprised that Patience didn’t come back with anything – she had five rings after all plus his secret name.

7. Wrapping up:  Thus ends the third book in the Gentleman Bastard sequence.  How do you think it compares with the first two?  In the end, do you prefer the Espara storyline or the Karthain storyline, or did you like them both equally? I don’t know if I could come up with a favourite out of all the books – they all feel so different to each other.  The first was obviously the introduction to them all and it’s just so clever that it’s brilliant.  The second I loved all the pirates and high jinx out at sea.  And now this with two fairly strong stories running parallel.  So insightful into the background of the gang, plus getting to revisit the twins.  I just can’t decide.  Out of the two storylines from RoT I think I probably liked Espara marginally more – I think simply because it had more tension, we got to spend time with the gang again and it was insightful into the Locke/Sabetha situation.

I have to mention the picture at the end – so Sabetha and the woman with the red hair *wiggles eyebrows suspiciously*

And, I loved that little part in the book where the results of the election come in and Losari pulls his rabbit out of the hat and Sabetha and Locke are debating the merits of the situation – I think it’s Locke who says ‘one for the drunkards and philosophers’ (meaning to mull it over!) – it made me laugh because I was thinking obviously we’ll be chewing the fat over this one.  So which are you – the drunkard or the philosopher (or a bit of both, perhaps you only philosophise when you’re in your cups? Or maybe you only drink when you start philosophising??)

So now we have the wait to find out what happens next.  Not that I’m complaining, my mind can come up with all sorts in the meantime and when the books are this good then it’s worth it – all good things to those who wait.  But, if Mr Lynch needs somebody to read over a thing or two in the meantime – well, I’m just saying.  Whatever I’m doing I’ll drop it in a nanosecond.  Yessiree, I’m your woman.

Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch, part IV

Well folks, we’re nearly at the end.  What a fantastic read so far!!  So, for all the serpents in dresses and the drowning puppy eyed looking blokes out there, lets move swiftly on.  Our lovely host, and provided of the questions for the week is Andrea over at Little Red Reviewer.  Stop on over to join the debate!  And, beware of spoilers.  I’m not going to repeat it – if you haven’t read this or the prior two books then stop reading NOW.   Turn back!  (Okay, I repeated it a little bit.)

1. We finally know why Sabetha dies her hair, and that’s so disturbing even the Thiefmaker under Shade’s Hill was disgusted by it. Too dark for this world? Or just right?  Well, it’s absolutely disgusting, but that never stopped vile things in their tracks did it.  I’d say this fits into the world we’re reading about.  After all, they hang children for pickpocketing and chop off a person’s hand for slapping the nobility and that’s the law abiding types.

2. The “Asino” brothers are drunken idiots, but they’re not blind. What did you think of the little rendezvous they helped arrange for Sabetha and Locke?  I say thank goodness for a glimmer of sense (from the Asinos!)  I mean Locke and Sabetha certainly weren’t going to take that sort of initiative were they – we could have gone back and forward for months yet.  In fact, it just wouldn’t have occurred to them.  I loved that the twins stepped in and organised it all.  Okay, a little cubby hole with a couple of blankets might not seem like the most romantic way of getting together but I think scented candles and throw cushions were the least of their concerns at that point.  Didn’t you feel a bit sorry for Locke afterwards!  Seeing the look on Sabetha’s face and thinking ‘is that what all the fuss is about’!

3. Locke managed to get everyone out of the Boulidazi mess we discussed last week . . . what do you think of this latest  Boulidazi complication?  I love that you called this a complication – I don’t think Boulidazi would agree LOL – creative use of a pair of scissors.  Well, I never liked the guy to be honest which doesn’t mean he got exactly what he deserves (although he is a total arse wipe and a raping bastard), but, Christ on his throne, has this just got major league complicated.  Talk about tension and grey hair.  Sabetha seems to be coming up with the goods though not to mention fairly coolly dispatching Boulidazi!  *shivers*.  Wouldn’t have liked to have been in her shoes at that particular moment – mmm, she can definitely be quite ruthless when needed though.

And back to Karthain (I’m jumping around in time here, leaving the most important bits for last)

4.Time is flying, and the election is getting closer. Desperation calls for cheap tricks. I think my favorite so far is Sabetha’s special roof guards. What’s your favorite election dirty trick so far?  I think the old woman trick was pretty good to be honest – but, then, I was reading about a scene with Jean in it so….  Yeah, anyway, he’s a big gentle giant isn’t he – he could have picked those old dears up, carried them off that roof and put them on a luxurious ship bound to travel aimlessly around for the duration of the election couldn’t he?  Although I’m sure Sabetha would have them replaced pdq but come on, how many sweet old ladies can she find willing to sit on the rooftops.  I quite liked the snakes – I mean, I wouldn’t have personally liked to make their acquaintance but it was pretty inventive the way Sabetha got Locke to share a coach ride with them!

5.There’s a mole in the Deep Roots. Was that person’s identity a surprise to you? And how did you like Locke’s method of identifying the person?  This wasn’t really a surprise to be honest – you sort of knew that Lynch had a reason for giving Nikoros his little addiction and the method of detection was clever and appropriate I thought.

6.What’s so important about this Lovaris fellow? The election is right around the corner, so why introduce someone new so late in the game?  I detect a twist in the tale.  But, I’m rubbish at guessing and also I’ve read to the end!!  So, I can’t say, lips are sealed, zipped, locked and thrown away the key.

7. It’s so nice that Locke and Sabetha can finally have some nice, normal dinner dates. He even cooks her dinner! But that sneaky Patience, always interrupting everything! Finally, she promises some answers. that’s nice. what, Locke is WHO? Locke is a WHAT? How much of it do you believe?  Massive spoiler alert!!!!  I’m just not sure what to think of this new theory.  I’ve decided not to believe it.  I think Patience is just throwing in one last epically bitchy story to con the conners.  Oh, I dunno.  *stamps feet, chucks toys out of pram and takes bat and ball home*  I suppose the good thing is, if this story is true then Locke (or whoever he is), doesn’t remember who he was so he is really who he thinks he is?  Right??  Patience – you bitch.  And interrupting everything as well!  Total tart face.

And, what about all these eating places that Lynch has come up with – bloody hell, who needs a regular restaurant – eating in a cage – not sure I’d fancy Sabetha’s way of exiting, not after I’d just eaten some huge ass meal!  Up chuck at all.

Anyway, let me get back to talking about Jean – and Jenora??  Okay, I wont’ be a stuck record on that subject but phwoar.  That. Is. All.

And, what was all this about from Sabetha ‘Nothing before the Hill matters’ she said quietly.  ‘I was protected.  Then I was an orphan.  Leave it at that.’  What does all that mean.  That’s a definite lure and I’ve been hooked!

 

 

Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch, readalong week 3

Welcome everyone to the third week of the Republic of Thieves readalong (weeks 1 and 2 here and here!).  I hope you all had an excellent weekend filled with fun and Gentlemen Bastards.

This week we read Chapter 6 thru Interlude “Aurin and Amadine”.  We finally get an introduction to the theatre troupe that the gang will be working with and in the election competition we see the boys unexpectedly wind up back out at sea!  For those not reading along please beware of spoilers below.

  1. The election competition.  Sabetha isn’t wasting any time throwing pranks at Locke and Jean.  Mostly it seemed fairly harmless, or at least not overly serious, until they were kidnapped and put onto a ship and taken out to sea.  What did you make of Sabetha’s latest plan? And what did you think about the way she executed it?  I never saw that coming at all!  In fact I was quite staggered. I really hadn’t realised just how seriously this whole election campaign was going to be taken.  We started off with a few pranks, spider infestations, minor insults, bit of pick pocketing and it was plain to see that Locke and Jean were playing catch up with Sabetha who seemed to be constantly one step ahead.  At first I was really shocked that she’d put them out to sea – and I do mean really shocked!  It just never occurred to me that either side would take such measures.  I guess all’s fair in love and war after all.  And, as to the way she executed her plan – well, at the end of the day we all know that Locke is besotted with Sabetha and we’ve had lots of discussion about whether she manipulates his obsession or not – well this put us all straight.  Yes, she’s aware of how much he idolises her and no she’s not afraid to use it!  She crooked her finger and he came running and fell hook, line and sinker into her little plan.
  2. During the escape overboard and Jean’s rather subtle nose dive into the water – I was curious about the lights Locke saw deep in the water when he was performing his rescue – Locke thought they looked different once he was under the waves which I suppose they would but he also had the feeling that he was being watched?  Do you think this relates back to the Eldren or some other presence? Firstly, I thought it was great that Locke actually got to do some rescuing as it feels that Jean is usually the one getting Locke out of trouble.  I really don’t know what the lights under water signify – that’s why I asked this because I’m hoping that one of you has a theory!  Maybe mermaids exist in this world – it does seem as though the lights were at first an attraction but once Locke was in the water he felt like he was being watched by something more sinister.  A bit as though the lights are some kind of lure or trap?
  3. Given that Locke hadn’t seen Sabetha for five years how did you think their first meeting together went (well, it wasn’t strictly speaking their first meeting of course – were you surprised that Jean and Locke hadn’t figured out that the woman pickpocket was Sabetha?) and also what did you make of Jean and Sabetha’s reaction to each other? I think the first meeting they had with Sabetha, even though she was in disguise, showed again how she was ahead of them, it never even occurred to them that it was her!  Even with the initialled handkerchief.  I thought for the second meeting there was a really big build up, Locke getting ready hours in advance (so he’d have enough time for pacing nervously) and so the initial meet felt a little bit flat almost.  I guess I was hoping for more emotion in some way, even if they were both annoyed and shouting at each other.  It felt like they were both treading on eggshells a bit although I liked that it gave us a little bit more insight into why Sabetha left.  I thought Jean and Sabetha’s reaction was very interesting and even a bit strange.  Jean seemed very cool and suspicious of Sabetha and it was Sabetha who instigated the hug.  I suppose Jean isn’t the one enamoured with Sabetha after all and maybe he doesn’t like watching Locke constantly suffering over her?
  4. So, the gang have arrived in Espara and already the plans have gone wrong through no fault of their own!  Jail for a year plus lose a hand for slapping a noble?? What do you think of the justice system in Espara and how does this bode for the gang?  Losing a hand for hitting someone – bloody hell!  I don’t suppose it should come as a surprise that the justice system is biased – it’s probably put in place by the nobility after all! The way the GBs carry on you can’t help thinking they could all end up missing a few body parts!  They’re not shy about insulting people after all and we all know they have light fingers – what do you suppose is the penalty for pick pocketing!  Lose both hands and have your ears cut off if not worse.  It makes you think that they’re going to need to be very careful whilst in Espara not to upset any of the nobility.
  5. The acting company are finally coming together and we’re watching the gang as they try to read, act and grab the best parts – are you all ‘happy face’ with the whole theatre scenes or, sad face!  Also, I can’t help feeling like this whole storyline is a step out of character for the gang.  Any ideas of how it will play out??  I love the theatre story.  I think it’s genius.  It shows us the gang finally getting to put a lot of their training into use.  They need to be able to act after all when they start pulling cons.  Plus I think the play itself is great.  This part of the story is unusual because Chains has sent them to help somebody and until they get a feel for the place they won’t really know how to do that.  Of course it all goes wrong from square one with Moncraine being in prison!  I liked that they didn’t use this as an opportunity to pack up and go back home but saw it as a challenge and we finally got to see Locke and Sabetha in action together pretending to be nobles in disguise (I love that they’re thieves, pretending to be nobles who are pretending to be actors).  I guess this storyline is also going to give us some more of Sabetha and Locke’s background and add to the ‘will they won’t they’ debate.
  6. We are also being introduced to a number of new characters, particularly Moncraine and Boulidazi.  What are your first impressions of these two and the other new characters in the Company and any particular likes or dislikes so far?  I can’t say that I like either of the two new characters so far.  Although I probably dislike Boulidazi marginally more than Moncraine.  I mean Moncraine is obviously a bit of a maniac isn’t he?  Why would you punch a noble in the first place (if you know the punishment) but why when he’s offering to help you out.  Why wouldn’t a simple ‘no’ suffice?  Considering his position he’s not short of arrogance and pig headedness.  He’s also not particularly concerned about anyone else but himself.  His whole ‘being in prison for a year is the best place to be’ – for him – what about all the other troupe members and the mess it leaves them in.  Then Boulidazi – he’s a slippery sort, or so he seems to me.  I didn’t like, for example, that he immediately saw himself as a likely suitor for Sabetha and also that he took Locke to one side to ask about her – like she doesn’t have a say in the matter at all!
  7. The rooftop scene and the apology.  How did it all go so wrong?  And how will Locke get out of this latest fix with Boulidazi?   OMG, how could it go so wrong so quickly!  Locke was doing so well, he was finally making a good impression with Sabetha and they were talking at last!  I did want to say to him though to ‘shut up’ – he was just so determined to say as much as possible as quickly as possible.  It went from punching the air to slumped shoulders in one easy step! To be honest I don’t quite get the whole obsession with the ‘hair’ colour thing.  I mean, why is he fixated on Sabetha’s hair colour.  Obviously he loves her and so he loves everything about her but I suppose from her point of view you wouldn’t want somebody to be just fixated on something like that would you?  Okay, he has this memory of the first time he saw her hair and he romantically seems to link this with his Sabetha ‘lightbulb’ moment, but he still seems to know so little about her or how she feels.  I mean, she dyes her hair and never lets her true colour show – has he never thought about that?? Or that maybe there’s a reason behind it so going down the whole ‘the first time I saw your beautiful red hair’ route seemed highly likely to cause problems!  You just can’t help feeling sorry for him though.  He tries so hard to please her and he’s just so desperate for any scrap she throws his way!  As to how he will get out of his latest trouble with Boulidazi, I think that Sabetha will come to his rescue – just like she did when she thought he was being arrested by the yellow jacket!

Quotes this week:

‘Yeah, but if I don’t start my nervous pacing now, I’ll never have it all done in time.’

‘Remember how she joked about twenty armed men in the next room?’  said Jean with a resigned sign.  He set down the book he’d been reading.  ‘There were twenty armed men in the next room.’  How cute is Jean – sat on his bed reading!  *sigh*

‘Do you want to do as you’re told, or do you want to kiss that pavement?’  It turned out he wanted to do as he was told!  (Well you would wouldn’t you – kissing pavements – not recommended!)

Check out everyone’s answers here:

Many a true nerd

Genkinahito’s Blog

Over the Effing Rainbow

Just Book Reading

Violin in a Void

Little Red Reviewer

All I am a Redhead

Dab of Darkness

Joma Fantasy

Theft and Sorcery

Coffee, Cookies and Chilli Peppers

Booky Pony

Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch, readalong week II

And so part II commences with Lisa from Overtheefftingrainbow.  As per the first instalment I managed to find loads of quotes that I just loved.  I thought it was very clever the way Lynch managed to get Locke out of a very tricky situation and we managed to travel back into time to check out some more of the Bastards’ experiences.  So, to the Q&A and for those of you not participating (at the moment anyway – because I know you all want to join in really but feel too shy – or maybe you don’t have the schedule – which is here) the rest of the post will undoubtedly contain spoilers.  You’ve been warned.

Blood And Breath And Water: Patience tells Locke that the ritual to save him is serious business. She wasn’t kidding… What did you make of this scene, and do you think any of it might (perhaps literally) come back to haunt Locke?

This was interesting and I confess that I was super intrigued to find out how Lynch would get Locke out of this mess (by the way it only just occurred to me that Lynch and Locke both start with the ‘Ls’ – okay I’m a bit slow on the uptake but he mentions that about Locke always choosing names that start with an ‘L’  in this section so I just thought…. ) Anyway, the whole poison removal reminded me of some type of black magic ritual with the effigy, etc, except it was kind of in reverse so instead of the effigy causing problems it was actually drawing the problem to itself.  About things coming back to haunt him – well, he experienced a haunting from Bug of all people (which was a bit creepy, out of character and also totally Marley like) – perhaps he’s going to have a visitation from three ghosts at Christmas – the Ghost of Chains, Calo and Galdo.  I haven’t made my mind up whether this was just purely hallucination on the part of Locke due to his suffering or whether he really did experience a haunting, and, if so, can we expect more from this quarter?

Orphan’s Moon: Back to the childhood of the Gentlemen Bastards, and here we get another ritual, this one in service to the Nameless Thirteenth. It looks as though it might be Locke vs. Sabetha, round two – but this time Locke seems to be a little slow on that uptake… Who do you think deserves to be given the final oath? Locke or Sabetha?

Well, this is one of those loaded questions.  I mean, on the one hand Locke didn’t seem to have given much thought to being chosen so when he ended up standing up with Sabetha it was almost WTF you doing dude – sit down already!  But, two things, if he’d stepped down and Sabetha hadn’t been chosen, and it’s not certain that she would be chosen just by dint of being the only one volunteering –  how bad would that have felt (at least this way she lost out to another candidate, right?), but, on the other hand she’s just lost out to Locke – who didn’t even want to be chosen.  It just seems to be one of many things where Locke seems to have an easier ride and doesn’t even realise what the hell is going on.

Across The Amathel: This chapter takes a breather for quite a bit of Eldren history, while Locke starts recovering. What do you think of the history lesson, and Patience’s ominous speculation regarding the Eldren? Is this something you’d like to know more about?

I wanted to find out more about the Eldrens and their history so I was probably a bit untroubled by the way Lynch of giving us this information.  Yes, it did feel a little bit obvious, Locke can ask Patience anything so now she gets to tell us everything, but, I didn’t really mind too much.  In fact I wouldn’t have minded finding having a bit more info dump if I’d got to find out a little bit more.  All we seem to have so far is a highly civilised and accomplished race of people who disappeared – hey, maybe they learnt how to time travel.  Or, they’ve been abducted by aliens who want a glass city of their own but can’t figure out how to do it as it’s too simplistic for their massively intelligent brains.  Patience seems to have a theory that drawing too much attention is not good but I’m not quite sure about that at the moment.

Striking Sparks: The gang’s off to Espara, after a bad summer and a pretty thorough dressing-down from Chains, and we finally get to the source of the book’s title – they’re bound for the stage! What are your thoughts on this latest ‘challenge’ and the reasons for it? I think this is brilliant.  It’s like showing us the experience that the gang have to go through in order to make them pull together, and, on top of this it sort of adds a little bit more weight to their overall conman abilities.  They’re going on the stage, they’re going to act!  They’re going to wear costumes and pretend to be other characters.  Awesomeness!  Plus, it feels a little bit like Chains is pushing them out of their comfort zone in order to make them grow up a little bit.  At the moment he’s always there to mediate and set them tasks.  They need to fall out of the nest and find their wings – or come crashing to earth.  Harsh but there it is.  It certainly shut them all up for a few seconds.

The Five-Year Game: Starting Position: The election gets underway with a party (as you do) and before it’s even over, the Deep Roots party has problems – and not just thanks to Sabetha. What do you make of Nikoros and his unfortunate habit?

Nikoros is a bit of a misguided maniac – although clearly he doesn’t know who he’s dealing with yet.  Nothing misses Locke and Jean’s attention and obviously the gig is up and they’re on to him but they need to deal with it!

Bastards Abroad: The gang arrives in Espara, and already they’ve got problems (nicely mirroring the Five Year Game!)… This aside, we’ve also seen some more of what seems to be eating at Sabetha. Do you sympathise with her, or is Locke right to be frustrated with her?

Oysters and Snails – what?  Fucking slimy … oh!!! Well, ew!  Anyway, I sort of see things a little bit from both sides and that is usually my problem to be honest.  Yes, I can see that Sabetha’s nose was put out of joint a little when on returning home a new leader had assumed her former role.  However, it’s not really Locke’s fault – especially as he wasn’t even aware of her existence at that point (or more to the point thought she was dead!).  She comes across a tiny bit jealous but I don’t think it’s that.  I think it’s like I already said that she finds it more difficult to fit in with them all.  I don’t think the rest of the gang really understand this and naturally see her as part of their little group but she doesn’t see it in the same way.  I think really it’s something that Sabetha has to come to terms with herself to be honest.  What I did pick up from all of this is that Sabetha clearly has certain desires for Locke.  She hasn’t outright spurned his advances but she is falling into that age old trap of expecting him to read her mind.  Then, on the back of that he sort of scrabbles around trying to do or say the right thing and usually failing.  I prefer a bit of straight talking personally plus I can’t stand somebody just agreeing with me for the sake of it – they both need a good shaking to wake them up – but maybe trained monkeys will climb out of my ass before that happens (ouch).

 

‘Time is precious and my knife is sharp…’

That’s right, Jean Tannen is back *faints*.  Okay enough of that!

This week we join in the read along for Republic of Thieves being hosted by the lovely Dab of Darkness.  Schedule for rest of read along here (it’s never too late to join in!  ‘Mmm, do, or do not, there is no try’.

I loved getting back into this world.  In fact I read this with a stupid grin on my face for the majority of the time – not a pretty look for me!!  Plus snorting and laughing. (Ladylike at all!)  Lynch has come up with a whole new world of insults that are so funny that I actually think I hurt myself while reading!  So to the Q&A.  Also, people reading this who haven’t read the first two in the Gentlemen Bastard series, really?  Why??  Come on folks get on it – it’s simply too good to miss.  There, that’s my gentle encouragement, plus, we may not be able to be friends if you don’t share my ridiculously out of control and a little over the top love of Lynch – well we probably can but I would so like to talk to you all about these books.  And, there will be spoilers to follow so close your eyes now:

1) We get to reminisce with several old friends in this section – Carlo, Galdo, Chains. How did you like this? Bitter sweet or happy dance? Aww, this was like happy dance followed by sad face, because it is bitter sweet.  I’d get all drawn in and be reading about something and then be brought up sharp by the remembrance that they’re not with us any more.  It really is a guilt trip.  Happy one moment and then feeling almost guilty because you realise it’s only a temporary, short sugar hit of happiness.

2) Finally, the infamous Sabetha makes a physical appearance, albeit in Locke’s reminisces. What are your impressions? How do you think the romance, if there is to be one, will play out?  I think it will play out all on Sabetha’s terms.  Right from square one you can see Locke is in awe and from there onwards they’re never really on a level playing field.  You can also see how competitive and ambitious Sabetha is.  Her and Locke are in a battle of the wills except Locke doesn’t seem to realise it.  It feels like even at this early stage Sabetha is trying to best Locke and yet he so casually seems to achieve things – it must be damned infuriating I suppose and yet she surely knows she has the upper hand in terms of pulling Locke’s strings?

3) After trying absolutely everything to save Locke, Jean still won’t give up. What did you think of that little pep talk he gave Locke concerning Patience’s offer of healing?  It made me well up!  Really it did.  I mean I know I have a soft spot for Jean (okay a bit girly crush) but it was a bit of an eye opener – especially the bit about he’s going to be the last one left.  I had shivers.

4) Locke has a few caveats to working for the Bondsmage. Wise or just Locke grasping for some control over his life? What would you ask Patience? It felt a little bit like grasping at straws really.  As though he knows he doesn’t have any real sway but he’s trying to impose some sort of semblance of having authority.  Mmmm, what would I ask Patience.  That’s very tricksy of you and my mind has gone blank (let’s face it it wasn’t a big step out of character – I just know that everyone is going to come up with all sorts of awesome answers to this and my mind is refusing to comply.  Empty.  Zip!)

5) At the end of this section, we see that all is not as Patience laid it out. How much do you think Patience knows of the plot to off Locke and Jean? Do you see it interfering in the rigged election? Well, I found that exchange totally perplexing – but, as I’ve already read this once I’m not going to comment too much.  What I do remember quite clearly though is being totally clueless by this brief conversation, I mean, it seems that Patience wasn’t involved in whatever the discussion was so it was clear to me then that she wasn’t involved but I genuinely didn’t know and so just raced on to try and find out.

On a separate note – we got to go back to the tunnels and is anybody else finding themselves picturing Fagin from Oliver when they read the

Ron Moody's Fagin or the Thiefmaker??

Ron Moody’s Fagin or the Thiefmaker??

Thiefmaker.  I just can’t help it and more to the point I’m seeing and hearing the actor Ron Moody – which is no bad thing because he owned that role. (I have a strange sense of deja vu from prior readalong with this).

“Sad day, my loves, a proper tragedy but when the milk’s gone bad you might as well look forward to cheese, hmmm?’

Also, I couldn’t help myself from highlighting a few things here and there:

‘A real smirking rat fucker’ – had me in stitches

‘sweet dancing donkey shit’; and

‘slower than an underwater fart’! – Yes, I will use this.

Also, I can confirm that Jean is still my book crush.  I hope you realise how loyal I am to stay so dedicated for this length of time – let’s face it though he’s just a hunk!  And he get’s some of the best lines which means he’s pretty funny as well! (Hah, caveman, wise-cracking bad ass! – what more could you possibly want?)

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