Red Seas Under Red Skies Read Along Part 5

It is the final part of the Red Seas Under Red Skies Read Along and as we prepare to bid farewell to Locke and Jean I think I know what lures sailors to their doom in the Parlour Passage – not rebel bondsmagi but sexy mermaids.

Anyway I have had another great time conversing with book bloggers and I would like to thank the #lynchmob leader Little Red Reviewer for organising the whole thing. This week’s questions come from Lynn who told me that mermaids are dangerous last week which saved my life on a recent coastal walk. Anyway these readalong have been a lot of fun thanks to the exciting books and the book bloggers who offer up a variety of weird and wonderful opinions.

1.       Oh my god, such a lot going on I thought the showdown between the Poison Orchid and the Sovereign was brilliantly written and they were holding their own until Utgar and his nasty device turned up.  Well a lot of you had kind of predicted it, and I suppose we’d been let off too easy so far in terms of deaths of well-liked characters  – but come on,  did you expect something like that?  And how on earth will Jean ever recover?

Talk about nerve wracking battle – kids in danger, ship could sink while there is a sea-monster swimming around, half the crew dead, and evil birds flapping about pecking eyes out. I did not see the situation with Utgar coming up – his alchemical  device was really evil and ingenious. I honestly thought that the situation might have evolved differently. I thought Jean might save the kids and the whole crew would surrender to Rodanov and get sent to prison. When Ezri sacrificed herself it was horrific. Like others I felt that Ezri and Drakasha were marked for death because they occupied a similar position to Nazca – strong characters who have a major influence on the GB’s. Will Jean recover? Not entirely. It will haunt him. Perhaps make him more reckless and nihilistic.

2.       The deceit, the betrayal, first Rodanov and then Colvard.  Even now I’m not entirely sure I understand Colvard – Rodanov was never keen on the oath but Colvard seemed okay with it all and yet in this final deceit she was more devious than Rodanov – what do you think was her motive?

Colvard’s motive is the same as Rodanov – she doesn’t want Tel Varrar to launch another fleet action that will wipe out piracy as they know it. I also think that she saw a way of removing two strong rivals from the board and dominating the region. Colvard, Drakasha, and Rodanov seem to be the strongest pirates on the high seas and whoever won that fight between Drakasha and Rodanov would be short of crew/supplies/morale so Colvard can just move in and remove the winner.

3.       Merrain – such a puzzle, no real answer, the mysterious tattoo, the determination to kill everyone to keep her identity and that of her master a secret.  Does anybody have any ideas where she’s from and what she’s Anne Hathaway Catwoman Posterup to exactly and who the hell is she working for??

If she isn’t working for the Bondsmagi then she might be working for a rival organisation to the Bondsmagi. Maybe a splinter Bondsmagi faction. Who knows? All I know is that I whenever I think of her I imagine her looking like Anne Hathaway  as Cat Woman in The Dark Knight Rises. FOXY. But murderous. Also, Merrain doesn’t have a cool motorbike.

4.       Finally we get to the point of the GB’s latest scheme, all that elaborate planning for two years, fancy chairs, gambling, dust covered cards, abseiling lessons – all for one gigantic bluff. I loved the diversionary tactic here but having finally reached the end of the story and, more to the point, the end result – do you think the GB’s are as clever as they think they are?

There’s a trend developing here – Locke will leave novels broke and looking for another mark. I think the GB’s are very smart and concoct elaborate and intelligent schemes – the whole set up, the chairs etc. It came together nicely. Perhaps they are too smart and have too much fun outwitting people because they have thought so much about the tricks and deceptions and gave no thought to loot they were after.

5.       I must admit that I liked Requin and Selendri – particularly at the end – I don’t think Requin will go after Locke and Jean, he was even sort of cool and composed about it all, in fact he came across as a bit pleased with himself because he had the last laugh.  Plenty of good characters this time which did you enjoy reading most about this time?

There’s another trend developing here. Whenever Locke runs a scam he changes a city’s power-structure: happy couples replace egotistical individuals as spy-masters/military overseers. The Salvara and Requin and Selendri. It’s nice to see harmonious marriages. Anyway I enjoyed  Requin and Selendri – tragic history, twisted love. The Priori felt underwhelming.

6.       Finally, a triple barrel question, I know I shouldn’t ask this BUT, on reflection do you have a favourite between LoLL or RSURS??  And why?  Are you going to pick up Republic of Thieves?  And, where do you think Lynch will take us to next??

I enjoyed both LoLL and RSURS equally because the writing is gripping and amusing and you never know what is going to happen next. I will definitey pick up Repoublic of Thieves because I want to see more of Locke’s world. I want more Eldren and I want more exploration of spooky and weird places. For now it’s back to Japanese novels and films.

One Last video from One Piece featuring the gorgeous girls.

I’ll miss you Straw Hat girls!

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18 thoughts on “Red Seas Under Red Skies Read Along Part 5

  1. Ha, so my mermaid warning paid off!! Lucky for you.
    I like your thinking about Colvard – very sneaky of her but like you say she would have been in a really good position after the outcome of that fight.
    Merrain – no real idea, i think she was working for someone who wanted to keep Locke and Jean alive – but i don’t think she personally wanted them to live! So, we’ll see.
    There’s definitely a couple of trends developing – really, when you consider all their careful plotting, the money or rewards seem almost not to be a consideration – like you say, they enjoy all the scheming. I hope they achieve something by the end of book No.7!
    Lynn:D

    1. Colvard is definitely a smart (and saucy) woman who seems like a schemer. I think we’ll return to Drakasha, perhaps she’ll be chafing under the power of Colvard and Locke and Jean will help Drakasha out in removing Colvard from the picture. I really want to see the Ghostwind islands again. Perhaps a journey into a jungle full of Eldren ruins.

      As far as Locke and Jean’s plans – smart as they are they become so focussed on their plots and tricking people they miss some really obvious things – although I totally respect them anyway.

      1. Actually, yes, I would love to see what actually happens when Drakasha finds out about Colvard – oh, bring it on!
        I love Locke and Jean – i will be very sad if Lynch ever decides to bump one of them off! Surely he can’t go down to one GB? Hope not anyway.
        Lynn 😀

  2. You’re mermaid clip was funny. And most likely, merpeople have cloacas, like fish, amphibians, and birds.
    I had not thought about the similarity of the Salvaras and Requin & Selendri. It is very interesting how Locke and Jean come into the picture and leave it with happy couples in a new position of power. I think the Salvaras are doing some good and learning the spy master trade. I don’t think Requin and Selendri will be so generous with their new power.

    1. Can’t beat the Straw Hats for comedy.

      Requin and Selendri will be better guardians of the state than the Archon and Priori ever were. Criminal underworld and officialdom in lock-step with no internicine conflicts between departments. Cloacas… Hmm, interesting. Now, whenever a conversation about mermaids pops up I can just mention that and sound intelligent. Or demented.

  3. Pingback: Red Seas Under Red Skies Read Along Finale « Darkcargo

  4. Good thinking about Colvard. I didn’t think of it but it makes perfect sense.

    And yes, the Priori after all this strong, smart characters seemed really rather pathetic.

    1. The Priori were really a let down. Why the Archon didn’t use his elite Eye troops and just roll over them and declare martial law is a bit of a mystery. It would have saved him a lot of trouble with Locke.

  5. Love the Catwoman comparison…and not just because I am a fan of Ms. Hathaway.

    I will admit that I should have seen Ezri’s death coming but I hoped those two crazy kids could have a little more happiness than they got here.

    1. Happiness for Locke and Jean this early in the series? Not with Mr. Lynch writing. Every book is going to be an emotional rollercoaster! For the next book we better take bets from the outset as to which character will buy the farm.

  6. About the trend you mentioned in #5, it reminds me a little of Cowboy Bebop, though they have a different career. I thought the Priori was pretty underwhelming, too. Tal Verrar might be in trouble if they do end up in another war in the near future.

    1. A Bebop fan? Awesome! Always great to meet a fan of Spike, Faye et al.

      I think Tal Verrar is in safe hands now that Requin and Selendri are running things. They seem to want to unify the military, militia, and crime world. Removing both the Archon and Prior has made Tal Verrar much more functional.

  7. I saw Ezri’s death coming, but at the same time I’m glad it was heroic. I didn’t want to see her in a barrel of piss like Nazca.

    I like the way you tied together this book and LoLL with the various trends, and I hope those trends continue through the series. I don’t know which book I liked better because I’m rather partial to the pirates.

    1. You’re right about the contrast in deaths… The horse piss X barrel fate for Nazca was truly horrible while Ezri got to dictate the way she went out – truly heroic.

      If Locke and Jean ever need a stable source of income then they should consider marriage counselling.

  8. Pingback: Final Red Seas Under Red Skies read along discussion « the Little Red Reviewer

  9. You’re right about the patterns but somehow I like this dynamic of leaving a place broke but looking for new adventures while having seriously shaken things up behind them. Ok, this time there’s also poison on the table… but maybe it’s just bullshit from Stragos.
    And Merrain doesn’t have a cool motorbike… yet! 😀

    1. The whole poison thing being a bluff on Stragos’s part seems most likely – how on earth are the guys going to get out of a tailor made poison when the alchemist who cooked it up is dead?

      If Merrain did get a clock-work bike that would be awesome.

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