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!”
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!