Red Seas Under Red Skies Read Along Part 4

Week 4 of our Red Seas Under Red Skies read along saw the guys finally reach the Ghost Wind islands and encounter some strange – dare I say WEIRD? – things! I get the feeling that this will be the last tie that the Jean and Locke will play at being pirates so I had better start packing in One Piece images in.

One Piece Crew
Move Over Poison Orchids! The Straw Hat Pirates Rock!

This week’s questions come from nrlymrtl who writes at Dark Cargo. Check in with our #lynchmob leader, The Little Red Reviewer, for more blogs that are participating.

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?

Locke has grown as a character. The heat of battle made him react badly to the fact that Jean might love someone more than him but when he cooled off he saw that Jean really loves Ezri, they’re made for each other, pirates are thieves too, (yadda yadda) but, most importantly, he saw the usefulness of having the Orchids on his side and the best way to do that is to play the empathy/trust/honesty card with Zamira. It was a bit of a con that was inspired by Jean and his suggestion that they work with the pirates. Out of all the choices available it was the easiest choice for him to make that would drag him from his awful position into one that gives him a range of better choices.

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 think that there’s a mage in that mist! We got a hint that there was a “Figure” in the Parlour Passage.

“Something was there, for the briefest instant – a dark shape visible through the curtains of mist. Man-sized. Tall, thin and motionless. Waiting there atop the reef.”

There is a mage that has some insanely powerful magic at his fingertips and is able to pry into the minds of those who sail past. We know that the Bondsmagi tried to ensure they have a monopoly on magic by forcing people to join them or die but what if one or more got away? If I were a mage then I would flee to the farthest reaches of civilisation’s influence (Ghostwind Islands) and set up shop in a place the Bondsmagi would deign to unimportant or too risky to search. Locke and Jean will probably recruit this guy who will be out of shape, old, grouchy and probably swears a lot. If Locke wanted to recruit a powerful old man then he should recruit the truly epic pirate Whitebeard.


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 managed to follow the action rather easily. I think that Lynch did do it deliberately and I think the intended purpose was to confuse the reader in the same way those around him might be confused so – Zamira admits that she found it confusing – so we see how devious and intelligent Locke and his false-facing schemes are. Maybe the reason I had little trouble with it was because I read it quickly.

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?

The two probably flirt for fun. They are equals in terms of power but probably have little real love for each other since they are in quite a treacherous business and if it came down to their ship or each other the two would would choose their ships… or is that boats.

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?

It. Will. All. Go. Wrong. So far there have been few notable deaths and Ezri is prime candidate. I cannot see Ezri joining the guys on their journeys but equally I don’t want to see her die and turn Jean into a twisted monster so hopefully she survives and sails off into the distance only to return and save Jean and Locke when they need her help.

6) What is Utgar up to? What are his motivations?

Utgar is working for Jaffri, he’s the inside agent. I anybody could feed information from the Orchid and smuggle stuff onto it then Utgar is the one.

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 think that Stragos chose to ignore it for now. It’s placed in his ledger named, “The ways these two bastards have offended me,” and when his plot winds down/goes wrong it will be brought up.

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?

Jean is running a con. I think I said that in an earlier post in the readalong but this is what these guys are good at. They are in a difficult situation and Jean is acting fast to keep them from getting a bolt in between the eyes.

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19 thoughts on “Red Seas Under Red Skies Read Along Part 4”

  1. I really like your idea of a mage hiding in the Parlor Passage. That could be really useful in the future, when Locke finally decides to take the Bondsmagi down.

    I think I saw He-Man make a guest appearance in your little video.

    1. The Falconer had similar haze/vision blurring magic so it’s not impossible. The Ghost Winds are a really great setting with its ancient jungles and eldren things so hoepfully we see more. And on the subject of Whitebeard… he would smite the Bondsmagi with ease.

  2. I hope it’s a con Jean is running, although betraying Locke after all he put him through, well, I’m not sure I would blame him.

  3. Aw, come on peeps lets not beat up on Locke – he’s a good guy really. Just look at him acting all tough with that little kitten – you just know he’s as soft as a wet biscuit. And he would do anything for Jean really – even tell the truth as it happens. Yeah, he’s bound to hit him a bit hard Jean making out with Ezri – they’ve been best friends forever and they’ve only got each other now but in spite of that I do think he wants Jean to be happy! I think Jean is definitely just working another con but I love the way Lynch has made us sweat over it by pointing out that there were no secret signals going on – even Locke was sweating badly!
    Lynn :D
    Good thoughts about the Bondsmagi – I like the idea that another blogger mentioned that whatever it is – its trapped there on that island – lets hope it stays trapped.

    1. I agree that Locke wants Jean to be happy. One of the nice things about their relationship is the fact that Locke was able to swallow his pride and let his friend be in love. Now all Jean and Ezri have to survive is Scott Lynch.

      1. I think Lynch is going to have to change tactics – we’re all onto him now and just anticipating him killing somebody off – it kind of makes you want to stay detached from the characters in a way because you don’t know if he’s going to make them croak!
        Lynn :D

  4. regarding Ezri and what Lynch loves doing to his characters, I just came up with the BEST image for next weekend. . . I just need to a) remember it, and b) create it.

    a mage in the Parlor Passage? I figured there was something there, but i didn’t think it was a person, and yeah, Locke does see something there.

    I loved all those funny little things he said to that kitten! one day he’s going to realize that Regal totally pwns him.

    1. As a cat person I totally love Regal and Locke will too. Parlour Passage was awesome, wasn’t it! Every time anything Eldren comes up I’m always dying to read more. I hope Lynch takes us back.

  5. Oh a mage in the parlour passage? Neat idea, and even if it isn’t then still it would make sense for there to be some mages that got away and are hiding out somewhere :) (Simply because I can’t get my head around an organisation where everyone is on board with how they operate, though I suppose they do try and get rid of anyone that might disagree.)

    1. Rebel mages. That’s one of the ways that Locke could strike back at the Bondsmagi. Like you I have a hard time seeing an organisation like that being able to keep everyone on message so all Locke has to do is find a weak link or a rebel and kick things off from there.

  6. I never thought it could be a really powerful magi in that mist as we all learned in the previous book that Bondsmagi cannot get to your name unless someone says it, and this one seemed to know Locke’s name even though he never heard it. That would have to be some serious magic unavailable to the rest of the Bondsmagi.
    Oh, I sincerely hope we get an answer to that but somehow I don’t belive we might. :)

    P.S. I hope my problems with blogger/wordpress accounts don’t make my comment appear several times, but if they do, please delete them. :)

    1. If I were a mage on the run from a psychotic, arrogant, evil union of mages I would hide somewhere far away with a scary reputation. Possibly with scary stuff in the area. Obviously if a mage is in such an area, he or she will have to be very powerful (powerful enough to get a person’s name and read minds) and they would be a very good friend to have. I want the answer to the Parlour Passage, too!

  7. I like your mage idea for the Parlor Passage! It seems more powerful than a Bondsmage, though. Maybe it’s an Eldren mage, one of the last of its kind? And I agree with you about Ezri, I really hope Lynch doesn’t kill her!

    1. Eldren mage? Humanity is in trouble. Maybe it’s a Bondsmagi hiding out next to a powerful Cthulhu-like thing and maybe the mage can control it. The possibilities are exciting when it comes to the Parlour Passage.

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