Republic of Thieves Read-Along Week Four

Republic of Thieves Book CoverHello 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!”

2. The “Asino” brothers are drunken idiots, but they’re not blind. What did you think of the little rendezvous they helped arrange for Sabetha and Locke?

Finally. Get Sabetha and Locke together so they can blow off steam and mellow out!

The Sanzas’ risked looking like huge louts in this book – drinking, whoring, fighting and acting like thick-headed young men –  and I was wondering when they might show signs of maturity. Then they started acting in the theatre and seemed to grow a little. The rendezvous is further proof that they have matured – they notice other people’s emotions and feelings and their method was hilarious play on their usual behaviour – throw Locke and Sabetha in a room together… On top of each other if they can – and let nature take its course! Everyone looks down at them but through their methods – bash heads together – they seem to have solved what looked like an intractable problem.

3. Locke managed to get everyone out of the Boulidazi mess we discussed last week . . . what do you think of this latest Boulidazi complication?

I don’t know… At first I was not totally surprised because it was building to something like that – Boulidazi was acting like the evil lord cliché in relation to the way he treats people/women of lower status – but I expected Jean to be the person who drew the steel. It was a great twist but it was resolved to quickly and people fell into line too easily. The mess is created and everyone is in MAJOR trouble. I can understand the GB’s being able to rely on their training to keep them cool but Jenora should have been more traumatised… she shook herself back into action quick sharp and Boulidazi’s henchman was quick too toddle off without providing too much of a hindrance.

The reason I mention this is because this is a moment when Locke and Sabetha take charge so the two are firing on all cylinders together and it’s great to see. This is the moment for them to make their mark and it just seemed too easy, too convenient. There’s no tension.

And back to Karthain (I’m jumping around in time here, leaving the most important bits for last)

4.Time is flying, and the election is getting closer. Desperation calls for cheap tricks. I think my favorite so far is Sabetha’s special roof guards. What’s your favorite election dirty trick so far?

The special roof guards could be dealt with by using alchemical dust to make them go to sleep, surely. Look, call me callous but old people are fair game. They are old so they should know better. If they want to step into the arena then they best be prepared to get rolled over! RAWR! I mean would you be nice to a pervy old man? You’d kick him in the nuts!

My favourite dirty trick was Sabetha trapping Locke in the carriage full of snakes. That was genius. I didn’t see it coming and it was very funny!

5.There’s a mole in the Deep Roots. Was that person’s identity a surprise to you? And how did you like Locke’s method of identifying the person?

No. I figured that Nikoros and his dust addiction would crop up at some point and as soon as it looked like there was a mole the only person it could be was him since he’s at the nexus point for all decisions made and he was threatened with jail. It’s just like Sabetha to strike at something as open and vital as that. It just proves how ruthless she is. Go Sabetha!

6.What’s so important about this Lovaris fellow? The election is right around the corner, so why introduce someone new so late in the game? 

The book is running out of pages and Locke and Jean have yet to deal out body-blows to Sabetha and the Black Iris party. I can only assume that this Lovaris fellow is going to be their one last trick up their sleeve… The guy who will tip the election in their favour when all seems lost. Go Locke!

7. It’s so nice that Locke and Sabetha can finally have some nice, normal dinner dates. He even cooks her dinner! But that sneaky Patience, always interrupting everything! Finally, she promises some answers. that’s nice. what, Locke is WHO? Locke is a WHAT? How much of it do you believe?

Talk about stunned. I thought he was an excellent thief because of fate/some greater plot and Patience had knowledge of this. It wasn’t fate but Bondsmagi and I think I prefer this to the Gods deciding how things pan out for him. I believed everything or want to believe everything because this mysterious past is hugely interesting. It places him in the middle of Bondsmagi’s concerns and suggests that he might have some hidden skills that can be developed. I also choose to believe this because I get the sense that Patience has been forced to reveal the truth to keep Locke from doing anything naughty.

I felt sorry for Locke because he was finally going to get laid after all these years and by the only woman who matters and Patience chooses then to spoil everything (maybe Sabetha’s his spiritual sister… eeww). And then he decides to lash out at Sabetha… Locke really needs a handler when he opens his mouth in front of Sabetha. Every time he talks I have a reaction similar to Malcolm Tucker…

Enough from me, here are the opinions of the rest of the Lynch Mob!

The Little Red Reviewer

Over the Effing Rainbow

Violin in a Void

Lynn’s Book Blog

Theft and Sorcery

Dab of Darkness

All I Am – a redhead

Many a True Nerd

Tethyan Books

Joma’s Fantasy Books

25 thoughts on “Republic of Thieves Read-Along Week Four

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

  2. “The special roof guards could be dealt with by using alchemical dust to make them go to sleep, surely.” – True, but they warned Jean that they’d just crawl right back up there again. =)

    “Locke really needs a handler when he opens his mouth in front of Sabetha.” – Yes, quite. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen someone quite this bumbling. But then every now and then he still comes out with his usual sarcasm. (‘Is this the chair with the trapdoor underneath?’) He’s such a contradiction sometimes…

    1. Perhaps they can lock the old ladies up in a well-furnished basement somewhere and give them tea and cake all day. I mean, surely Sabetha’s stunt should have given Locke and Jean some ideas!

      His inept conversation skills are something to marvel at but I guess we need at least one person who is never completely charmed by his silver tongue… although that ineptness is part of his charm for Sabetha… So maybe nobody’s immune…? Wait, what?

  3. Yeah, I never saw that whole red-headed thing at all! Complete shocker and like you say, maybe, Lynch wanted us to feel like Locke.
    I liked the way the twins interfered with Sabetha and Locke – it could have taken two more books without their interference!
    Yes, yes, I also thought it would be Jean who put Bouldazi out of our misery! That was an eye opener.
    The snakes were great and Locke sort of asked for it didn’t he. You’re so mean to the little old ladies getting them addicted to alchemical dust! You’re rude dear!!
    I don’t really want to believe Patience – I can’t help thinking she’s just messing with Locke, but, like you said it’s definitely interesting. What I don’t understand though is why Patience had to tell them at that particular point?? It just seemed more like, well, cock blocking!
    Lynn 😀

    1. Everybody could see how much the two desire each other and it took the twins to bring it about. Three cheers for the Sanza’s! Now we’ll get less arguments scenes and more sex… Uh, I mean, relationship building… Yeah 😉

      Hey, alchemical dust is better than being heaved off a roof! I’d just Locke them up in a basement with a warm fire and lots of tea and biscuits until the election was over. The city would notice a shortage of old women then…

      I want to believe Patience because it’s so interesting and earth shattering! She’s not the type to make things up. She’ll use the truth where it most hurts and that means cock-blocking. So I guess there will be more arguments scenes and less sex… Uh, I mean more relationship building… wait, that isn’t quite right 😛

      1. at least we’re coming up with kind things to do to the grannies – put them on a luxury cruise, lock them in a basement full of tea and biscuits and a warm fire. I just find it really funny, that we all want Jean to get rid of them, but in the nicest, kindest way possible!

  4. Pingback: The Republic of Thieves: Read Along Part IV | Joma's Fantasy Books

  5. tethyanbooks

    With the roof guards, maybe that’s part of the “weakness” Chains trained into them– they respect elderly people :). I’m waiting to see what happens with the Boulidazi situation. I kind of figured most of the people are probably still in shock (which is why they were so compliant), so things might get more interesting as that wears off, in the last section.

    1. What can I say? Horror films have trained me to be suspicious of older people…

      If I was in as deep trouble as the gang were – Espara has been built up as having a harsh justice system – then I would expect there to be a lot of dissent as to how to handle the situation. I see great drama ahead! And not just the play! 😀

  6. Pingback: The Republic of Thieves read-along part 4 | Violin in a Void

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

  8. He, he, I choose not to believe Locke is a Bondsmagi. If he were, wouldn’t they already have found him when he was a child?
    I do think there is a lot of truth in Patience’s story but I think some of it is her guesswork so might not be exactly true.

    1. I thin there’s some truth… 80 per cent perhaps? The Bondsmagi are not infallible and it’s possible that she is using the truth, however patchy, as a weapon to keep Locke unbalanced and hurt him.

  9. I have to agree a little bit about old people. If we are hanging kids and lopping hands off other folks because they aren’t rich, then, yeah, old ladies aren’t that special. While I can’t see Jean pitching them off the roof, I was a little surprised that Locke hesitated to drug them.

    While Locke said some stupid and hurtful things to Sabetha after that little blow of infodump by Patience, I still really wanted Sabetha to show some solidarity and stand by Locke instead of treating him some diseased communal personal equipment to the Bondsmagi.

    1. There could have been some way of dealing with the watch-grannys without violence but I guess Locke and Jean are just really nice guys.

      I was thinking about Sabetha’s reaction after I read it. My first response was that you stand by the person you love and help them come to terms with whatever… maybe she has something going on with her past.

  10. 1. You make a good point about this highlighting the inherent sexism at large in this world – up until now I think it has seemed fairly egalitarian, but this week we have a couple of glimpses of the ugly face of sexism. I wonder if you are right about this thing about red-heads being from one particular locality – if you are I hope the Wicked Sisters get a good work out in that area . . .

    3. I agree – it was obvious that he was going to get a good kicking, but I also expected Jean to be the person using his boots. I think this actually worked far better because it showed that a woman can defend herself with any object to hand and be effective.

    4. I liked Locke’s hint that he would have simply punched them in the mouth . . . but Jean is a big softy, isn’t he?

    6. I suspect that you are correct – this move will be the winner somehow.

    7. Although I find it very hard to trust Patience, I do know what you mean about this making Locke a much more interesting character (if that is possible) and placing him in a unique position.

    And more Malcolm Tucker: fucking brilliant!!! 😀

    1. 1. If Locke and Jean can destroy that evil kingdom with the chess game then they should bring the pain to those b*stards who do horrible things to red-heads. It made me sick thinking about it.

      4. All the ladies love Jean. I’m so jealous 😉

      7. I can see Patience using the truth to taunt and hurt Locke. I mean, she does it just as he’s about to get his first piece of action in years! As soon as I saw that Malcolm Tucker clip I knew I had to use it! 😉

      1. ” I mean, she does it just as he’s about to get his first piece of action in years! ”

        I’m happy I could entertain you with my term for action interruptus. 😉 I don’t trust Patience. I think she only ever tells us half the truth, maybe even not that much. She’s hasn’t got Locke’s best interests at heart, she’s got *her* best interests at heart. She’ll tell him anything to get what she wants.

        I’m all for Jean not doing violence against the grannies on the roof, but Patience needs to be punched in the face.

  11. kaitharshayr

    3. I think if Jean had been about when Boulidazi tried something like that he would have done something in the heat of the moment. But the cold bloodyness to finish him off, Jean just isn’t that cold blooded particularly at this age.

    4. My take is that while those lady’s are hassle, it seems like it could be more effort than it’s worth, and Sabetha can just get more old ladies. Sabetha seems to have a lot more people on her side helping out than Locke and Jean. But then that could simply be because Lynch is keeping their plans under wraps to surprise us later.

  12. I just don’t understand what Locke’s being a reincarnated Bondsmage has to do with his dick. Patience wanted to interrupt and unnerve Locke and Sabetha, and her timing was incredibly rude.

    1. LOL!!! well, when you put it that way! beyond the blueballs, Patience wanted Sabetha to hear this from her, not an edited version from Locke (or not hear about it at all). Damn Patience really got him where it hurts this time. . . Locke seriously needs to punch her.

      1. Would Locke be able to hide the truth from Sabetha? Now that you mention it he did lie about his origins to her so he probably could. The revelation is an act designed to be cruel to Locke. I want to buy most of it because it makes for great drama but when you look at what Patience says objectively there’s little real evidence.

      2. Despite her whole high and mighty act, Patience was a real bitch. I think she saw Locke and Sabetha’s relationship as a form of rebellion against the constraints of the game.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.