This section of The Lies of Locke Lamora was intense. I read most of it in two sittings and was totally floored by what took place. In other Locke Lamora news I got my hands on a copy of Red Seas Under Red Skies. Check out the other conversations taking place.
1. In the chapter “A Curious Tale for Countess Amberglass” we
learn of the tradition of the night tea in Camorr. I found that not so
much fantastical as realistic – how about you?
It was interesting to read about the whole tradition of night tea and it seemed believable. Real life aristocracy have indulged in all sorts of crazy fashions so the effort made to bring together a night tea complete with overly stylised cakes is not so far fetched. The difference between reality and this book is the fact that this particular tea party takes place at the top of a high tower. The length of the journey up the tower just reinforces the power of the person you are going to meet.
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
I agree about the scene feeling like when somebody discovers themselves. I loved the whole scene from the description of the weather to dialogue. When I first encountered Jean I took a dislike to him but over the course of the novel I have come to like him a lot. In this scene he has made the transition from somebody from a tragic background and unsure of himself to a confident and lethal person and a loyal friend.
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 – well – a little
This sequence was brilliant. Part arachnid, part fish and all nasty, the Salt Devils made my skin crawl. I was expecting creepy creatures in Echo Hole but these bugs really made my skin crawl – although I’m not scared of spiders I sure as hell don’t want to get too close to them. I liked the descriptions about how they could be found on the coast and how sailors could deal with them. During this section you realise that the Falconer and Bondsmagi in general really are masters over nature.
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
When Nazca died it seemed that nobody was safe because she had been established and was given an origin story that tied in to Locke’s. After she turned up in the barrel of horse urine all bets were off and you realised that the Grey King was playing for keeps. The situation that transpires in the House of Perelandro and the grisly discoveries… Wow… This whole section has been insane in terms of the developments but it all seems like the natural result. I did not see it coming and it was tough but this will be the turning point and Locke will up his game.
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?
With every section I read my opinions change on everything. With this question in particular I’m not going to go too far away from previous comments. I think Chains knew how the world operates and had been crafting the ultimate gang of thieves who can survive any sort of situation and overcome any odds and will be his legacy. I now no longer believe that he wants to see Camorr in chaos but he wants to give his gang the best chance of surviving the increasingly competitive, chaotic, and dangerous criminal underworld. His lessons have all had the aim of teaching useful skills but the Gentlemen Bastards have never been pushed to use them outside of mere games. This is no longer a game. Blood has been spilled. The situation is real. The GB’s need to dust off their skills and actually fight to survive.
6. As Locke and Jean prepare for Capa Raza, Dona Vorchenza’s
remark that the Thorn of Camorr has never been violent – only greedy
and resorting to trickery – comes to mind again. Will this pattern
I think that Locke’s childhood experiences and the lessons that Chain’s gave him have forged somebody who does not resort to violence unless he is pushed to extremes. I think Locke will avoid killing in the main but the Grey King has pushed him and so he’s going to get the chop. When, where, and how are the questions.
7. Does Locke Lamora or the Thorn of Camorr enter Meraggio’s
Countinghouse that day? Is there a difference?
He enters Meraggio’s as Locke Lamora and leaves as the Thorn of Camorr. He’s been beaten by a foe greater than him and he is so used to running cons on marks who he can outwit when he has everything in his favour, so when he first enters Meraggio’s he’s at his lowest ebb and it all goes wrong. It is amusing to read his frustration when his petty deceptions fail but these roadblocks force him to up his game. We know that he’s good at thinking on the fly and this whole section is like witnessing his true capacity for deception come alive. Locke is growing and I’m sure Chains would be pleased with his progress.
That said, he has nothing on King of Thieves Jing!
18 thoughts on “The Lies of Locke Lamora Readalong Part 4”
Top answers! The Salt devils are really creepy – blue ick! Yak! My opinions are in a constant flux. I put my answers, then I read people’s posts – and I think ‘why the hell didn’t I think of that’! I answered the last questions and thought we were just seeing ‘pure Locke’ but now I’ve read your answer I think I was wrong – I think you can’t separate Locke and the Thorn – they’re integral.
I wish I could make intelligent and insightful comments all of the time. Unfortunately I tend to think of witty comebacks after a conversation has ended. I loved the whole Merragio section. Locke was thrown back onto his own resources and he won through. It made me respect him more. His capacity for spinning a tale is amusing to watch.
I think it’s funny that it took him three tries to pull off his con and still nobody caught on.
Don’t you just hat it when your pithy comeback is two days late!
When I was reading the scene with Salt Devils, I was imagining bigger, uglier and deadlier versions of sea cockroach. I hate to be swamped by those buggers.
Fallout 3 with Salt Devils…. Oh man, that would be the scariest game monster EVER!
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I have a nice little halter and leash all picked out for my future salt devil pet.
Better you than me. Maybe it’s seeing films like Alien and Starship Troopers but I find insects and arachnids creepy. Genetically altered insect/fish? That’d leave me in fulltime panic mode.
I agree with you in #6. I don’t really see Locke turning into a mass murderer. I think he’ll turn to violence when he’s pushed to it, like now, but I don’t think murder will become normal for him.
If Locke turned into a murderer it would go against everything he has learned and I think it would lose the audience. We like him because compared to some of the other criminals in Camorr we have witnessed he has limits.
I agree, I don’t see Locke as a murderer – Chains also knew his limitations. I think if he turned into some sort of killing machine now it would be a bitter pill to swallow – although, obviously I would like a little retribution for Bug and the Twins. It seems so unfair on them – especially when you consider that none of the Bastards has ever been violent.
I like your point about the time taken to travel to the top of the tower. I’m sure it is a subtle way of shaking up visitors so that when they are led out onto a see-through balcony they will lose their inhibitions and speak much more freely than they had intended to.
When I was reading the descriptions about the trip up I wondered why anybody would put themselves through it and then I wondered about the type of person who would make people endure the ride up. It’s either arrogance or a way of ensuring a complete mind-messing and as we see the person who owns that tower is devious.
Love your answer to Q#7. I thought the Thorn entered Meraggio’s but now I clearly see that was not the case. Excellent answer!
Thanks! I wish I had excellent answers all of the time. It reflects the fact that the book has me gripped.
I love how everyone is coming up with completely different answers to all these questions! and not just this section, but all of them.
Chains always taught the boys not to kill. injure when necessary, but they are Gentlemen, and gentlemen don’t murder. Chains never taught them what to do when some psycho started to pick them off one by one, and now Locke is fighting like a cornered animal.
I loved the scene in Meraggios. At first, he couldn’t get anything to work in his favor! Locke sure has patience, even while he seethes with rage. and then when he makes everything work with The Meraggio himself? Ha! Pure Thorn of Camorr!