Republic of Thieves Read-Along Week Three Answers

Republic of Thieves Book CoverIt’s the third week of the Republic of Thieves Read-Along and we’re over half way through the book. Week one was all about getting to know the characters again while week two was all about revealing Sabetha. As the story unfolds we find out more about Locke and Sabetha’s shared history and I can only hold my head in my hands as I read Locke’s romantic endeavours… Clockwork maids sound better and better 😛

Locke and Jean also find out that Sabetha might just outwit them in the election. Again clockwork maids would be easier to deal with. This week’s questions come from the fabulous Lynn over at Lynn’s Book Blog.

The election competition.  Sabetha isn’t wasting any time throwing pranks at Locke and Jean.  Mostly it seemed fairly harmless, or at least not overly serious, until they were kidnapped and put onto a ship and taken out to sea.  What did you make of Sabetha’s latest plan? And what did you think about the way she executed it?

Sabetha’s plan was pretty much in line from what I expected from her – mindbogglingly thorough and ruthlessly executed. At first I had to laugh because it was ingenious and over the top and unexpected and then I admired it. As soon as she separated Locke from Jean, alarm bells were ringing. She suckered him in with his desires and put him out to sea… I was staggered at that turn of events.

Overall it was well-thought out and executed with every detail thought of… apart from Locke’s ability to improvise his way out of things although she placed spies on the city wall so I guess she anticipated it might happen. So it was mostly air-tight. Her reasoning for the plan was to both win the election and keep Locke from hurting himself and while the first point is fine the second one makes her seem like an abusive wife!!!

During the escape overboard and Jean’s rather subtle nose dive into the water – I was curious about the lights Locke saw deep in the water when he was performing his rescue – Locke thought they looked different once he was under the waves which I suppose they would but he also had the feeling that he was being watched?  Do you think this relates back to the Eldren or some other presence?

This is the weekly Eldren question and whenever that crops up in every read-along I start babbling on about Lovecraftian things like shoggoths, fishmen and elder gods.

I hope the lights relate to the Eldren. Do you know what the lights were? Probably creatures. Evil sea creatures. But I secretly hope that they are the bright lights of the sunken city of R’lyeh or the dread creatures that lurk in it.

Oh R’lyeh? Yes.

Check the city out! We should all head there once it rises out of the sea. Just be careful when traversing odd angles.

Given that Locke hadn’t seen Sabetha for five years how did you think their first meeting together went (well, it wasn’t strictly speaking their first meeting of course – were you surprised that Jean and Locke hadn’t figured out that the woman pickpocket was Sabetha?) and also what did you make of Jean and Sabetha’s reaction to each other?

The three have been apart for so long and through so much that I bet if Locke and Jean had been false-facing Sabetha might not have known it was them. I thought the meeting went as well as it could. Again, they have spent a lot of time apart and a lot of stuff has happened, they have lost a lot of people, and now they are together again so of course there is going to be distance between them. Jean’s reaction, when seen in the context of the fact that they have been pitched against each other as rivals by the Bondsmagi, is perfectly reasonable because he knows how dangerous she can be and Locke won’t be cool. If Locke had adopted his caution then they wouldn’t have had a boat trip!

So, the gang have arrived in Espara and already the plans have gone wrong through no fault of their own!  Jail for a year plus lose a hand for slapping a noble?? What do you think of the justice system in Espara and how does this bode for the gang?

The justice system seems to be in line with the brutality of the world the gang inhabit. Because Espara is a dirt town (in comparison to Camorr) where rich and poor are more likely to rub shoulders, justice must be draconian to keep people in their places. Filthy commoners 😛

The gang just have to be that little bit more careful with the way they interact with the locals because they are far from home and foreigners.

The acting company are finally coming together and we’re watching the gang as they try to read, act and grab the best parts – are you all ‘happy face’ with the whole theatre scenes or, sad face!  Also, I can’t help feeling like this whole storyline is a step out of character for the gang.  Any ideas of how it will play out??

I actually like these scenes a lot. I think the storyline is perfect for the characters. They all have to act out roles when False Facing and it is fun to see the gang actually have to play identities not created by them and get to grips with a text – motivation, performance etc. The interludes will probably culminate in a performance.

We are also being introduced to a number of new characters, particularly Moncraine and Boulidazi.  What are your first impressions of these two and the other new characters in the Company and any particular likes or dislikes so far?

Moncraine is an arrogant ass. Sorry, I know he’s meant to be a melodramatic genius thespian but he is way too arrogant – what type of person would sacrifice their hand for their pride?!?!? That written, you’ve got to have an ego to get ahead in acting but it’s going to cause trouble if it isn’t kept under control. More drama for the GBs!

Boulidazi is danger writ large. He comes across as a brute and despite pretensions, he’s a fighter. Our dynamic duo Sabetha and Locke are running a dangerous con here and he will have to be treated carefully because if he finds out that a con is on and he’s the mark he can bring pain both judicially and personally to the dynami… I mean, dysfunctional duo. MORE drama for the GBs!

None of the other characters have really grabbed me. Chantal and her husband, maybe. I just imagine them to be a cool couple.

The rooftop scene and the apology.  How did it all go so wrong?  And how will Locke get out of this latest fix with Boulidazi?

Gods, emotions are messy. The rooftop apology was pretty much the continuation of the omnishambles that is Locke’s attempt to get closer to Sabetha. Here’s some prime British comedy to explain what I think of Locke’s chat-up techniques:

This is a continuation of the idea that the two are really blind to each other and others, only interested in their own interpretations of the world, painfully self-conscious and quite self-absorbed. So Locke has this image of Sabetha as a Goddess and doesn’t realise she’s a girl with thoughts and feelings and he runs into a major hang-up Sabetha has – one based on a horrific fact – that has defined her life. I don’t think he could have avoided it unless he was really aware of what happened to girls like Sabetha and it’s never established if he is or not.

Sabetha is like some impossible video game where the levels keep getting harder with some beast of a boss at the end. Seriously Locke, play something else! If she is still a tsundere, she ain’t as cute as this one!

Enough from me, here are the answers from the rest!

Lynn’s Book Blog

Jomafantasy

The Little Red Reviewer

Dab of Darkness

All I Am – a redhead

Violin in a Void

Many a True Nerd

19 thoughts on “Republic of Thieves Read-Along Week Three Answers

  1. Pingback: Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch, readalong week 3 | Lynn's Book Blog

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  3. Yes, I was also staggered! I literally never saw that coming. I kind of expected that they’d keep going backwards and forwards with ever more elaborate plots. At first, I must confess I was a bit naffed off with Sabetha, it almost feels like cheating doesn’t it – winning the game because there’s nobody there to compete – then I got over myself and realised it’s actually pretty brilliant. Not to mention Locke – how humiliating to just fall for it so easily and not to be even a tiny bit suspicious when she got Jean out of the room. That man!
    ‘the bright lights of the sunken city of R’lyeh or the dread creatures that lurk in it’ excellent idea and clip – he eats his followers – their souls make his tummy happy!! Nice 😀
    You do have to come up with some way of keeping those filthy commoners in their place! Moncraine is a bit of a nutter though – like you said, who would sacrifice their hand for a bit of pride!
    I’m also loving the whole theatre scene – I like, as you said, that they now have to play roles that are chosen for them instead of things that they’ve come up with themselves and are comfortable with. Plus, in spite of not really loving Moncraine, I think if anyone can help them with their acting abilities he’s the one.
    Boulidazi is definitely a strange one. It looked as though he’d been manipulated really easily there but he was thinking he was manipulating Locke and Sabetha – trying to find a way into one of the five Camorr families!
    Locke couldn’t have put his foot in it any more spectacularly if he’s planned that little speech months in advance. Talk about finding the worst possible thing to say! Obviously he doesn’t realise how Sabetha feels although the fact that she’s always covered her hair up should give him some hint.
    Lynn 😀

    1. I really admired Sabetha’s audacity and skill with that one. She has confirmed she’s the better of the two!

      If Moncraine can actually help them learn to become better actors then he would have redeemed himself from his introduction. That chap is very much a nutter.

      Boulidazi doesn’t come across as the usual easily confused fop that Locke and Sabetha might have run a game on before. Lynch has gone into detail about his swords and physical appearance so I bet that chap is trouble.

      The red hair thing caught me out. If I ever confess my feelings to a girl I’ll keep it clear and concise – I love you 😀

      Thank you Lynn, because I went searching for videos I found this one which was used in Aku no Hana!!!

  4. Pingback: Scott Lynch: The Republic of Thieves read-along #3 | All I am - a redhead

  5. Espara’s justice system didn’t surprise me either. There are such gross disparities between rich and poor that I didn’t even bat an eyelid at Moncraine’s sentence.

    I’m also loving the theatre scenes. The Bastards are picking up the kinds of skills we saw them flexing in the Austershalin Brandy scheme from book one, and the added drama from the fights that break out is entertaining too.

    I didn’t see Boulidazi as a brute. He seemed very calm and reasonable to me at first, and he has a right to be angry when he finds out that he’s been scammed. Someone did mention that Locke thinks he has a violent streak though….

    1. Camorr hangs children so losing a limb is a bit light in terms of justice.

      Boulidazi… He’s going to be the really interesting character in the flashbacks. Behind the veneer of respectability there is a brutish element. He looks like he knows his way around a sword and he has his eyes set on Sabetha so I expect the brutish side of him will emerge at some point.

  6. Thanks for pointing out the cuddlier side to Cthulu. Maybe my sister is right to have all those plushy toys of him after all.

    Too bad Jean can only be the thinker for the pair of them (Locke & Jean) for so many hours of the day. I agree with you – if Locke had Jean’s caution, especially concerning Sabetha, then they wouldn’t have ended up on a boat trip… well, at least not so easily.

    I’m so glad I am not the only one who thinks Moncraine is an ass – willing to sacrifice his hand, his business, and his troupe for the sake of a hands-on insult to an uppity young rich.

    That last video really does sum up Locke & Sabetha.

    1. Hopefully Locke gets his brain into gear and we see why he is considered a master thief otherwise I’m going to leave this book thinking Sabetha should have got the priesthood…

      That written, it does fit in with the idea that behind the myth is a fallible man which was a theme in the first book.

  7. Pingback: The Republic of Thieves read-along part 3 | Violin in a Void

  8. 1. If this is her opening gambit I can’t imagine what else she has planned for them. They seem likely to spend the rest of the race a very distant second.

    2. It reminded me a little of that weird siren-infested fog near the secret pirate cove in RSURS, so perhaps it isn’t Eldren at all . . . boo!

    4. I agree – losing a hand seemed suitable in a world where shark jumping is a reputable sport.

    6. Moncraine seems like a pretty normal actor to me (I have met quite a few) – megalomania is part of the package.

    7. Ah, yes, Malcolm Tucker – he’s my hero! 😀

    1. 2. I think most of us agreed that the fog was the work of Bondsmagi or monster so chances are that it probably isn’t Eldren… boo! indeed.

      7. Malcolm Tucker is a legend. I still can’t believe the British government was run by a guy like him/Alastair Campbell. I think I’ll stop with the Nichijou videos and just use Malcolm Tucker because the man is so awesome. I so want the next series of Doctor Who to be Malcolm Tucker verbally abusing every monster in the galaxy!

  9. “omnishambles”, great word!! you’re right, had Locke and Jean done good enough disguises, more than just a wig, she wouldn’t have recognized them either. Locke is behind from square one, and it’s going to take more than some dirty tricks to catch up with her.

    yeah, Moncraine is a pompous arrogant ass, but he knows how to act, and he get some great lines!

    LOL, Love the Cthulhu video!

  10. The omnishambles seems pretty well descriptive for Locke :). I got the impression that he really didn’t realize he was stepping into such sensitive territory with the hair comment. I imagine he’ll get a chance to explain himself, and Sabetha will eventually explain her side a little more calmly. That, or they’ll keep up with the not-really-communicating, and just pretend that outburst didn’t happen.

    On Moncraine, I’m not sure how much sacrifice comes into it. He doesn’t really seem to be in the habit of considering the consequences of his actions, even when he was in the prison already! I get the feeling he probably just lashed out at Boulidazi, not even really thinking about the punishment at all. It’s a good thing those adolescents have come to take over his life and affairs.

    1. I agree about Locke not knowing about the whole hair thing. Hopefully Sabetha cools down and they talk some more.

      Moncraine just seems to be an egomaniac. I’ve reached the end of the next part now and he hasn’t impressed me yet.

  11. Sabetha is ruthless and a down right excellent planner to the last tiny detail. That sounded like an excellent cruise! But, it felt too easy. Maybe it’s her way of admitting she needs them out of the way. Or, she was just throwing them a curve. Either way, they managed, in a spectacularly ungraceful way, to get back on land though, so let the games start! I’m sure she’ got more in store.

    None of play scenes are that interesting to me but I’m starting to see some value to it. I’m sure there’s a twist in there somewhere!

    1. Good point about the cruise signalling she wants them out of the way. She probably does see them as a major threat which is why she went to the lengths she did and sent them on a cruise and still went to the trouble of placing spotters on the city walls.

      I’ve finished the current bit and nothing about the play or Moncraine has really impressed me so far. Hopefully the final act will justify all this training!

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