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.
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.