Red Seas Under Red Skies Readalong Week 3

Week three of the Red Seas Under Red Skies Readalong hosted by the Little Red Reviewer is upon us and the readers have seen Locke and Jean finally take to the water with their pirate ship. This week’s questions come from Ashley of SF Signal who is available on twitter at @ohthatashley.

Was anyone else tired after reading this section?

No! I’m a veteran of the Monkey Island campaigns! I made the mistake of watching one of those awful Pirates of the Caribbean films which never seem to have a beginning or end. Or good story. Or acting.

1. Locke and Jean’s ability to find themselves at the center of a serious mess seems unparalleled. At this point, do you think that Stragos will get the return he expects on his investment in them?

Locke and Jean’s abilities to get stuck in a huge mess is where the entertainment comes in. The fact that the people involved in these schemes have audacious plans make the adventures so exciting. I’m beginning to wonder whether Stragos wants them to be successful pirates or if there’s something else afoot. Is there something up with the ship that Drakasha now owns? A concealed bomb?


2. Merrain’s activities after our boys leave Windward Rock are interesting. What do you think her plans are?

Didn’t I say there was something suspicious about her last week? My opinion is split as to whether she’s an agent of the Bondsmagi or she’s loyal to Selendri (sisters in arms as members of the Archon’s eyes) which would make Requin and Selendri much more devious and better connected than Locke and the Archon have given them credit for and much more formidable.

3. Does anyone know why having cats aboard the ship is so important?
As Allie and I both discovered last week, cats on ships was quite common in the past since they were used to kill vermin.

4. The word “mutiny” creates a lot of mental pictures. Were you surprised? Why or why not?

I was not surprised at all. Locke is no ship’s captain. Lord knows why the Archon thought this plan might work. Like I said last week Locke is not a seadog, he has no experience as a captain and when he was put to the test he was almost sunk. The crew had every right to mutiny because he almost got them killed.

5. Ah, the Poison Orchid. So many surprises there, not the least of which were the captain’s children. Did you find the young children a natural part of the story?

This world is different to our own but having your own kids on a pirate ship? Really? Either there’s a lack of good babysitters in the Ghostwind islands or these pirates are very worried about assassination/kidnap attempts. I think the kids face more danger on the pirate ship. Their presence compromises the crew – what if an enemy boarded and snatched them? I guess this is how children are raised in Drakasha’s culture, spending so long at sea makes them experts…

6. Jean is developing more and more as a character as we get further in to the book. Ezri makes the comment to him that “Out here, the past is a currency, Jerome. Sometimes it’s the only one we have.” I think several interesting possibilities are coming into play regarding Jean and Ezri. What about you?

Aawww. Jean’s fallen for Ezri. Seriously, this book is expanding his character a lot which is good. So far Jean has had to subsume his needs and personality into Locke’s schemes and watch out for Locke but now Ezri has caught Jean’s eye he finds he’s having to divide his attention. I don’t think the boys will let a girl come between them but there will be a lot of fireworks. Judging by the description of Ezri, she’s built like a little tea pot – short and stout – and she’s also capable of knocking men’s teeth out so I’ll leave her be. Personally I prefer tall and slender pirate girls. My favourite female pirate has to be Nami with her wonderful orange hair and lust for gold and lucre.


7. As we close down this week’s reading, the Thorn of Camorr is back! I love it, even with all the conflict.  Several things from their Camorri background have come back up. Do you think we will see more Camorri characters?

After suffering a series of disasters at sea it seems like Locke’s getting into his stride by talking his way into the good graces of the crew. While I cannot see his Camorri background getting much of a play here I bet he’s getting his confidence back.

25 thoughts on “Red Seas Under Red Skies Readalong Week 3

  1. Aw, Ezri is a little teapot – how cute for Jean. She’s no sucker though – managing to topple Jean over is no small accomplishment.
    How on earth, every week, do you manage to come up with all these conspiracy type theories – I must admit I’m rather complacent in that department. i’m just along for the ride without too much of a clue where the journey is taking us but soaking up the scenery along the way. I like your thoughts about Merrain – very interesting *wiggles fingers*.
    I too have mixed feelings about the children on board. Although I can see they’re a close knit little unit and of course they have the benefit of an extended family in the shape of the crew it still makes me nervous – then again I guess they’s never see each other otherwise! Argh – I’m just going to sit on the fence with that I think.
    MMM, the monkey island campaigns! LOL
    Lynn 😀

    1. Conspiracy theories are easy to cook up when you’re as deranged intelligent as I. The whole children at sea thing will probably be explained away but it feels… uncomfortable… since they are so young.

      As far as Monkey Island goes… Truly awesome. You’e never visited Scabb, Blood, or Melee Island? Truly delightful places filled with grisly pirates.

  2. Pingback: Red Seas Under Red Skies Read Along Part III « Darkcargo

  3. Pingback: Red Seas Under Red Skies read along, part 3 « the Little Red Reviewer

  4. What is that weird bear thing with reindeer horns?

    Perhaps Drakasha worries about her kids being kidnapped if left on land? How does she command loyalty of babysitters if she is at sea, let a lone protect them? I wonder if that is why she chooses to have them with her.

  5. I think also that with babysitters you’d have to guarantee being in the same place to pay them. Having them on the ship lets you see them, and you won’t take major unnecessary risks with them on board. That’s why you’ve got the Scrub Watch to send out onto ships first; they put a lot of armed pirates between the kids and whomever’s ship is being stolen.

    Merrain and Selendri, eh? They’d make an interesting pair.

    1. I just feel like if I were a ship’s captain I’d keep the kids on land with my clockwork automaton maid/butler. The sea of brass is a very dangerous place. Well, Drakasha knows what she’s doing so she’s probably right. Where the heck is the father of these children, anyway?

      1. Whoever this guy is, he must be REALLY impressive to get a girl like Drakasha. He’s probably going to be a semi-major character. And then Lynch will kill him off.

  6. Oh yes, I believe we’re in for some interesting scenes when it comes to Jean and Locke and Jean’s love life. 🙂
    I just hope their friendship doesn’t suffer too much…

    1. Jean’s really in love with Ezri. It’s kind of cute but as a reader I’m not getting too attached to her and their relationship. Nobody is safe when Scott Lynch is writing. Anyway Locke and Jean will patch things up.

  7. I’ll lay my bets that Merrain is with the Bondsmagi, but I’m probably wrong!

    I love how Jean is growing out of Locke’s shadow, too, and I really hope they don’t let Ezri get between them. I think that’ll depend on whether or not Locke can get over the fact that he’s not the only important person in Jean’s life :). Considering Lynch’s track record with killing characters off, though, I’m afraid for Ezri.

      1. Merrain is cutting off Lock and Jean’s options so whoever she truly works for is going to be an enemy of Stragos or someone more powerful than him. I want to know more about Merrain!

      2. Maybe Merrain’s working for the Bondsmagi but is also friends with Selendri. Helping Selendri out would be killing two birds with one stone…

      3. That’s true. It would also explain why Selendri doesn’t fully trust Locke and how Requin knew that Locke and Jean had been pulled from the streets by the Eyes.

  8. Whoever this guy is, he must be REALLY impressive to get a girl like Drakasha. He’s probably going to be a semi-major character. And then Lynch will kill him off.
    Lol!! I don’t remember who the kid’s father is, but i’ll bet the discussion went something like this:
    Drakasha: you, there! off with the pants! now!
    random handsome pirate: yes captain!

    I understand how you feel about her having her kids with her. . but I completely disagree. If she left them home with mechanical butler / granny / babysitter, she’d be effectively abandoning them, which in my opinion is way worse than raising them on a pirate ship. it’s sort of a damned if you do, damned if you don’t scenario (which i think a lot of working mothers can sympathize with). I like that the kids are with her. I like the kind of character she is.

    in a really disturbing way, the kids are some added insurance on that pirate ship. the pirates have even more of an incentive to never, ever, let that ship be boarded by enemies, like, ever.

    1. I guess you’re right. On ship she can keep an eye on her kids and raise them. Out of her presence they would be just as vulnerable but to land-based monsters. The father is very recent in Drakasha’s life… maybe he’s a stay at home husband. Maybe he’s a squeamish intellectual.

  9. kaitharshayr

    Its hard to guess with Lynch but if Merrian was working for the Bondsmagi it’s a very elaborate scheme which involves allowing the Archon to build up his forces before the Bondsmagi tear them down? The idea that she could be working with Selendri though? Locke and Jean’s lives are going to get very messy when they get back! (more so than now!) 🙂

  10. It’s true that the children’s presence compromises the crew, but I think that having your Captain wondering all the time if her children are ok, if no one kinapped them or if they got lost probably makes the journey way more dangerous than making sure they are locked in her cabin whenever a ship approaches. And I’m sure they’re going to become excellent pirates!

    1. Drakasha has to make a tough decision and we don’t know her full circumstances so bringing them along might be her only option. Knowing who their mother is the kids will probably become excellent pirates although Paolo seems a little on the quiet side.

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