Hello once again dear audience and welcome to the penultimate Republic of Thieves read-along where revelations are revealed, Sabetha and Locke get closer to doing the horizontal tango and there were major twists and turns. The revelations are so major we have been requested to hide spoilers so when you get to question 7 just highlight the text. Anyway, this week’s questions come from Andrea from The Little Red Reviewer who has split them into different timelines – Espara and Karthain – and she used the term cockblocking – it’s so cute when a woman uses it… unless it applies to me. Fortunately it applies to Locke and Sabetha who were still orbiting each other when we last saw them! Week one was all about getting to know the characters again while week two was all about revealing Sabetha, week three was all about Espara and now we get to the real meat of the story where the Sabetha and Locke match wits in the election and the theatre production is about to go on the road. Here are the questions:
Let’s start with the Espara timeline.
1. We finally know why Sabetha dies her hair, and that’s so disturbing even the Thiefmaker under Shade’s Hill was disgusted by it. Too dark for this world? Or just right?
When I began reading the passage I was irritated by Sabetha’s overreaction – you just want to sleep with me because I have red hair! Boo men!
Boo Sabetha, more like! Yes red heads are sexy and demanding¹ but Locke isn’t as base as that!!! As she explained her feelings more it sort of made sense why she may react like that and I was chilled to the bone when she gave her reasons. It came out of the blue and I would have appreciated more foreshadowing but then maybe my reaction was meant to be similar to Locke’s?
Anyway, I think it fits in with the world at large. This is a hard land full of superstitions, horrible traditions and brutality. Hands get cut off, people get executed in the street… Children get the noose! It fits. Furthermore it solidifies my impressions of gender inequality. Women may hold positions of power in the world Locke and Sabetha inhabit, they are captains, spy masters etc. but I still get the impression of inequality between the sexes. They still have to fight harder and they still get looked at like dolls. So yeah, it fits, it made me sympathise with Sabetha and it unnerved me. I hope Locke and Jean bring down the country where this tradition that Sabetha fears persists. Better yet I hope Sabetha does it.
¹ My favourite red-head is a fictional one called Sawa Nakamura, the most demanding red head in existence! And her hair colour isn’t even natural.
“Get changed and do some False Facing, Locke!”