Ha, 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: