Republic of Thieves Read-Along Week Two Answers

Republic of Thieves Book CoverHa, the second week of the Republic of Thieves Read-Along and the questions come from Over the Effing Rainbow! Week one got off to a great start with lots of interesting responses and the book is still exciting to read in week two so there will be more interesting responses, I’m sure. Check them all out at Little Red Reviewer’s blog.

Blood And Breath And Water: Patience tells Locke that the ritual to save him is serious business. She wasn’t kidding… What did you make of this scene, and do you think any of it might (perhaps literally) come back to haunt Locke?

That scene was <Epic Voice>EPIC</Epic voice>. It was physically and spiritually soul-destroying for all involved from the Bondsmagi conducting the spell to Jean observing and Locke getting the poison sucked out of him. That and there’s the possibility of an afterlife and the Gods being real. That’s scary. Kudos goes to Lynch for choreographing the whole thing.

Orphan’s Moon: Back to the childhood of the Gentlemen Bastards, and here we get another ritual, this one in service to the Nameless Thirteenth. It looks as though it might be Locke vs. Sabetha, round two – but this time Locke seems to be a little slow on that uptake… Who do you think deserves to be given the final oath? Locke or Sabetha?

Locke seems to be a natural-born thief and judging from his mysterious path, moments in the last two books and certain comments made by Bondsmagi, he’s probably got divine backing from the Nameless Thirteenth and the other Gods. It would explain why he’s so skilled and he’s able to get out of any situation. Sabetha might not make as many mistakes, heck, she might even be a better person on paper, but when fate has your back you’re unbeatable and Locke is just that, no matter how many times he messes up.

Across The Amathel: This chapter takes a breather for quite a bit of Eldren history, while Locke starts recovering. What do you think of the history lesson, and Patience’s ominous speculation regarding the Eldren? Is this something you’d like to know more about?

YES, YES, BLOODY, BLOODY YES. Every read-along post in every read-along has a comment from me about how I want to see the Eldren, know more about them, how I think their relics have affected the world and how I think the Bondsmagi got their powers from them. Put it down to reading too much H.P. Lovecraft by the Eldren are definitely reminding me of the The Great Old Ones, Shoggoths and whatnot.

The history lesson was good, the ominous warning about them being chased off by something nasty was oh so tantalising and I. Want. More.

Striking Sparks: The gang’s off to Espara, after a bad summer and a pretty thorough dressing-down from Chains, and we finally get to the source of the book’s title – they’re bound for the stage! What are your thoughts on this latest ‘challenge’ and the reasons for it?

Those difficult teenage years. The hormones are running wild and the opposite (or same) sex hold new terrors and possibilities. Lots of teenagers also become rude, lazy, self-centred bastards who think they are right, the world is wrong and everybody sucks and should die and it’s amusing to see that the Gentlemen Bastards are no different.

It was amusing to see the Sanza twins became sex mad, Jean and Locke became tight and swagger about as teenage boys are wont to do. The big change is that Sabetha’s horizons have opened up much more than the boys because she’s a girl and, well, girls have to fight a lot harder to be considered equals. She has taken her studies seriously and while all of the boys are slacking off. Actually, the whole group has become very complacent, the skills taught by Chains have made them and they are squandering those skills. Left alone, the Gentlemen Bastards will become lazy and fail in the mission that Chains has set them: to be the ultimate thieves.

The challenge is a great way to test the GB’s. It’s way outside of their comfort zone – outside of Camorr, a regular job… compared to thievery at least, and all the while it is a form of training because they use acting for their cons. Chains is a genius.

In real life teenagers have to go to school and that’s weird enough:

The Five-Year Game: Starting Position: The election gets underway with a party (as you do) and before it’s even over, the Deep Roots party has problems – and not just thanks to Sabetha. What do you make of Nikoros and his unfortunate habit?

As much as all that flashback stuff was good, this is entertaining and what I want to see more of. Sabetha and Locke matching wits in a foreign city where they have unlimited resources. Nikoros being a dust-head was very funny. I’m not sure how much of a role it will play in the future but Sabetha will probably exploit t. I honestly want the guy to turn into Tony Montana. That would be too funny.

Bastards Abroad: The gang arrives in Espara, and already they’ve got problems (nicely mirroring the Five Year Game!)… This aside, we’ve also seen some more of what seems to be eating at Sabetha. Do you sympathise with her, or is Locke right to be frustrated with her?

This was a great passage because it built up Sabetha’s character. I sympathise with her to a certain extent. She is the lone female in a gang of boys and, as mentioned above, she has to fight extra hard to be taken seriously. She does fight hard and yet the leadership and loyalty all seems to be gifted to Locke who must seem pretty witless to her. So yeah, I sympathise. It’s not easy being an outsider or looked down upon because you were made a certain way…

That written, you can over-think your position in a group, your identity and that’s what she’s doing and the result is that she has become paranoid and defensive and she cannot see how deeply Locke feels about her. No wonder Locke is frustrated. It’s all part and parcel of the teen years.

Sabetha does make a good point about Locke being in love with an idea and not a real person, a mistake we all make. Sabetha will have to feel her own way to some sort of personality and Locke will just have to wait and adjust to it, understand that Sabetha has her own personality and is an individual.

Hopefully whenever Locke meets Sabetha he stops acting inept like this guy:


I doubt it.

Here are the others:

Over the Effing Rainbow

The Little Red Reviewer

Dab of Darkness

Lynn’s Book Blog

Tethyan Books

Violin in a Void

Just Book Reading

Joma’s Fantasy Books

Theft and Sorcery

29 thoughts on “Republic of Thieves Read-Along Week Two Answers

  1. Pingback: The Republic of Thieves read along, part TWO. | the Little Red Reviewer

  2. Yeah, it does already seem like Locke has divine backing from the Nameless Thirteenth, doesn’t it? And wouldn’t that God want someone who is entertaining and just a little nuts over someone else who gets the job done in a quiet way? That scene with Bug’s ghost? omg, so insanely creepy! Poor, poor Bug. you hit it right on the head, he completely idolized Locke, and what did it get him? An early grave.

    You’re better than me, I totally forgot to answer the Dusthead question. I was more obsessed with the whole Sabetha thing. Us girls go crazy for that kind of thing. Locke and Sabetha are just going to have to figure this crap out, one way or another.

    1. To be honest, Locke just isn’t living up to the legend so far but it seems like Sabetha is also fallible since her schemes aren’t all perfect. I bet the Nameless Thirteenth requires someone with the imagination and flare of Locke. The thievery trade does require theatrics as has been seen in the last two books.

      I didn’t mention Bug so I’m glad you brought that up. The implications of Bug’s ghost are menacing – either the Bondsmagi are really powerful or there is an afterlife and Locke has been involved in sending a lot of decent people to a scary limbo type place. Even scarier… the Gods are real and not just words uttered by the superstitious.

      Men and women are mostly unaware of what each sex goes through. Imagine Locke trying to understand how Sabetha must feel in a society where men are dominant. It’ll be interesting to see where this relationship heads and what my fellow read-along members make of it.

      1. sorry about that, I have like three blogs up at once and am reading them all at the same time! Locke is completely clueless. and i LIKE that Lynch is bringing up that Camorr at least, is a male dominated society, and that the guys have no clue how the other half lives.

  3. Don’t hate me, but I have a bit of a bone to pick with you 🙂

    Orphan’s Moon: I don’t agree with the idea that Locke has fate or the Thirteenth at his back. I think he has Chains at his back. Also, while the books have plenty of magic, it hasn’t toyed with the concept of fate or destiny. Regardless of the characters’ beliefs, they have no proof for the desires, powers or even existence of their gods. It’s all about the people (even if some of those people are exceptionally powerful) rather than the gods they worship.

    Striking Sparks: “girls have to fight a lot harder to be considered equals”
    This is typically true in our world, but is it the same in Lynch’s? In general, it’s very egalitarian – you see women in all the same roles as men – as business people, soldiers, leaders, gangsters, thieves, pirate captains etc. So I don’t think Sabetha has to try harder per se. I think the boys see her as their equal. Rather, it’s the terrible gender imbalance within the Gentle*man* Bastards that’s a problem, especially when it comes to Chains’ favouritism, and the Bastards’ growing pains. Also it’s not that Sabetha was deposed because she’s a girl; that would not have happened if Locke wasn’t such an awesome thief. I think the Bastards would all still agree that Sabetha is more skilled at thievery than Calo, Galdo or Jean.

    Bastards Abroad: Shame, Sabetha doesn’t think Locke is witless! Except of course when it comes to understanding her. I think, in part she’s so troubled because Locke is a great thief, because they are well-matched rivals and because she can beat him but she doesn’t. And sometimes she loses for the wrong reasons, like trying to help Locke because she thought the Yellowjacket had him, or (possibly) because Chains favours him.

    1. Don’t hate me, but… 😉

      I think we’ve got different readings here although I agree Sabetha is isolated in the gang because of gender imbalance.

      Orphan’s Moon: I don’t agree with the idea that Locke has fate or the Thirteenth at his back. I think he has Chains at his back.

      I don’t think it’s merely a case of Chains favouring any one person. He has praised Sabetha more than Locke and he’s raising a team but he senses something great in Locke. I think there have been plenty of hints that the characters are part of some wider plot that could include destiny. That would be validated by Bug showing up from the after-life and all the talk from the Bondsmagi of Locke being meant for greater things (or maybe I’m misremembering this) and his mysterious past. I also think Sabetha’s pride refuses to admit that Locke is as good as she is.

      FURTHERMORE: I also don’t think Camorr is as egalitarian as we think it is. Just because there are one or two women in positions of power doesn’t necessarily mean everything is equal. There are instances when men have been quite quick to lord it over female characters.

      1. LOL 🙂

        Hmm, you’ve got a point about the Bondsmagi talking of Locke being meant for greater things. I don’t recall the specifics, but there was something to that effect. Damn, I hope it isn’t a ‘chosen one’ sort of thing.
        I’ve been wondering about a connection between Locke and Patience. He says something about how all he remembers about his mother is sewing needles, and Patience used to call herself “Seamstress”. When she connects with Jean during their first meeting, he also sees sewing images. The idea that Patience might be his mother seems a bit over the top, but maybe there’s something else?

        True, Camorr is not as egalitarian as, say Tel Verrar or the pirate society. It’s not too bad, but I recall, for example, that Capa Barsavi would not allow Nazca to be the next Capa because she had two brothers. And Sabetha might not be so critical of the gender imbalance among the Bastards if there wasn’t a similar problem in society. Still, I think she tries hard because she’s extremely ambitious, not because she has to work harder to be considered an equal. She’s not considered the leader, but neither are Caldo, Galdo or Jean.

      2. Patience is Locke’s mother???

        Falls over from the implications

        No wonder she isn’t hopping mad over Falconer. It was a brotherly spat and the unfavoured son shut down his own mind 😀

        What if Chains was his father? Eeww…

  4. Yes, that scene with the poison extraction certainly was epic! I loved that Lynch did that properly and not just a quick one liner where Patience flicks her wrist and Locke is magically better. The Bug visitation was really creepy and I can’t help feeling that it could be a sign of things to come. Spooky!
    Mmm, backing from the Thirteen – hadn’t considered that but I think it’s a good point. He certainly seems to have incredible luck when it comes to things falling into his lap (apart from Sabetha of course – which is why I think she holds him off btw!)
    I can’t wait to find out more about the Eldren – I haven’t got a bloody clue what’s really going on with all that but I assume Lynch has a big plan. Do you remember IT – with the clown, I watched that and just thought it was a regular horror story about a serial killer with a clown fetish – the actual storyline however was far from that and one I never imagined. Ditto here. Colour me clueless.
    Teenagers and their raging hormones – not to mention they’re never wrong. I thought it was great when Chains spat his dummy out and I can’t blame him. I think living with the twins would be enough but now he has five – plus, I do wonder about whether he had second thoughts about bringing in a female – it stirred things up quite a bit after all.
    This thing with Sabetha and `Locke – I suppose they’re both a bit clueless with a distinct lack of role models in terms of romantic endeavours. I can’t say I would enjoy being up on a pedestal and in that respect Locke is damned infuriating, but, that said, Sabetha doesn’t understand how tongue tied he becomes whenever she’s around.
    Lynn 😀

    1. That Bug sequence suggests that there is an after-life so all those religious details are brought into a new light. Perhaps the Eldren are tied up in this somehow.

      I thought the way Chains dealt with them was priceless. Loved the pin dropping sequence.

      Even I’m frustrated with Locke’s blind love of Sabetha. It’s like his brain takes a vacation. I do think Sabtha knows a little about how much she unsettles and it makes her umcomfortable but she’s also willing to use it. Anyway, here’s a nicer romance:

  5. Your Idea about Patience being Locke’s Mother is genius! But if she was his mother she would know his real name and be able to control him. Even if she did give him up for adoption at an early age. We has no clue about Lockes Father.


    1. Patience wouldn’t know his real name if someone else named him! That’s why Falconer hates his mother, because she gave him his name. Everything is speculation at this point, including the existence of Gods etc. It will be interesting to see where this goes.

      1. kaitharshayr

        Mind is blown, that’s a crazy theory and yet it could work although I’m not sure if I want that to be true. Hmm will be reading the scenes with Patience with a new eye now 🙂

  6. Pingback: The Republic of Thieves- Read Along Part II | Joma's Fantasy Books

  7. Pingback: The Republic of Thieves read-along part 2 | Violin in a Void

  8. Pingback: Scott Lynch: The Republic of Thieves read along (part 2) | All I am - a redhead

  9. Loved the inept gif. 😀 I hope he stops being like that as well, it hurts just reading about it.

    I agree about the teenage years, I think this will prove as a good experience to get them to themselves in line.
    I want to know more about the Eldren as well!!!

  10. Why can’t I reply to Lauren’s comment?

    Now that she mentioned Patience as Locke’s mother, I’m also stunned. But there is a worm now in my mind thinking, why not? Although, I think not, it would certainly make for an interesting twist. And make Falconer his half-brother…

  11. kaitharshayr

    I do love the idea that the Gods could be very much like the Old Ones, I do love a bit of Lovecraftien horror. Of course that won’t be pleasant for the characters if that is the case, and if that is the case then things could get pretty horrific. And I believe that Bug hinted that the 13 every one believes in aren’t real? That there is something else? Scary.

    Also love your last gif 😀 so true, I mean Locke is sort of talking to her (he at least got out that he has feeling for her), but he isn’t TALKING to her. He’s gone all fan girly (or in this case fan boy) over her.

    1. The Bug sequence was really good. Probably the most troubling, scary thing in the books so far because it blows open away all of the certainties humanity hold onto.

      I bet the books avoid Lovecaftian horror now 😉

      Mwaahahahah! Yeah, come on Old Ones! Come slithering out out of your sunken cities that light up the oceans Locke and Jean sail upon and destroy Camorr! I’ya Cthulhu

  12. Considering the Bug vision and the idea you suggested that Locke might be backed by the Thirteenth, that raises a lot of new questions. If the Bug vision was real, what does that mean about the Thirteenth? Is he just really flaky, and forgets about his worshippers sometimes after they die? Is he only interested in their amusing antics while alive, and abandons them after they die? Or could it be something like, the Crooked Warden sets the bar really high, and only accepts a few people in the afterlife. Then, maybe Bug wasn’t alive long enough to really get a chance to impress him :(.

    1. That’s a thought… was Bug initiated into following the Nameless Thirteenth or was he too young?

      I have tried commenting on your site but some reason Blogspot doesn’t like my browser. I’ll try with Firefox.

  13. Still making the rounds at the party, so many to say hi to.

    I definitely want more info on the Eldren. I absolutely love it when authors build in one or more ancient lost civilizations that modern folks have to ponder, or have folklore about, or even, have to worry about. And the Bondsmagi are definitely worried.

    Even at this point in the story, I can see Sabetha making it on her own. She is use to running cons solo, taking care of herself, etc. Whereas the Sanzas are a pair (of nitwits) and Jean and Locke are a pair and, at this point in the tale, I am not sure one can act efficiently without the other.

    1. I think we’re of the same mind when it comes to ancient civilisations. That’s why I love reading Lovecraft’s work!

      Good point about the boys needing each other. Sabetha could probably go it alone but she has made comments that she has conned many a chap and some of her cons have been disastrous so perhaps being alone isn’t all that great. I think she’s another case of legend better than reality much like Locke. Only she’s more capable than he is… Yeah.

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