I recently took part in a readalong for Scott Lynch’s The Lies of Locke Lamora and enjoyed it so much I wanted to read the sequel Red Seas Under Red Skies which has a great title and pirates. To get more info on the readalong, head on over to Little Red Reviewer’s blog – she’s the lynchmob leader! This week’s questions come from My Awful Reviews and here they are.
(For an added sense of piratical action listen to this music whilst reading!)
1. The Sinspire. It looks like our heroes (can they really be called that?) find themselves in search of a way into an unbeatable vault. Do you think they have what it takes to make it happen?
Of course. The thing that drives these guys is big heists. It’s like an addiction, their religion, so they’ll be dedicated to carrying out this audacious robbery. As we’ve seen in The Lies of Locke Lamora, even when the odds start to count against them they are confident and skilful enough to up their game. From what I’ve read so far it looks like the criminal underworld of Tal Varrar isn’t as organised or competitive as Camorr so Locke and Jean have a bit more freedom. Until some outside forces intervene.
2. Anyone want to guess how they’re going to make it happen?
They are great at planning their jobs so they’ll have nearly all of the angles worked out and a detailed knowledge of the major players. If they don’t have the lock-picking skills then they’ll charm a solution out of someone – maybe even Requin himself. Locke is a master conman and it wouldn’t be impossible for him to do that. They are running a long con similar to the one in the first book so it will be interesting to see the variations.
The final week of the awesome Lies of Locke Lamora Readalong sees the group answering Lynn’s questions. I don’t really do book clubs or anything similar so this has been a really new experience. The book has been great and so have the discussions. I’ve come across a lot of good bloggers and enjoyed reading their answers which you can check out at Little Red Reviewers blog. Here are my answers.
1.The Thorn of Camorr is renowned – he can beat anyone in a fight and he steals from the rich to give to the poor. Except of course that clearly most of the myths surrounding him are based on fantasy and not fact. Now that the book is finished how do you feel the man himself compares to his legend. Did you feel that he changed as the story progressed and, if so, how did this make you feel about him by the time the conclusion was reached?
Locke is nothing like the myth of The Thorn of Camorr. He does not have many of the skills associated with the myth, doesn’t know what to do with the stuff he steals and is complacent when we first meet him. He is then pushed to his limits by the Grey King and is reduced to nothing so he has to dig deep to get past his complacency and find a new level of strength and direction. He knows his weaknesses and plays to his strengths which are deception and thinking on the fly which he uses brilliantly in the final battle. He also acquires a new level of bravery and ruthlessness considering the final series of confrontations and fights could have gone disastrously wrong. Interestingly the Grey King is what Locke might have become if he alone had survived and lost everything he loved.
2.Scott Lynch certainly likes to give his leading ladies some entertaining and strong roles to play. We have the Berangia sisters – and I definitely wouldn’t like to get on the wrong side of them or their blades plus Dona Vorchenza who is the Spider and played a very cool character – even play acting to catch the Thorn. How did you feel about the treatment the sisters and Dona received at the hands of Jean and Locke – were you surprised, did it seem out of character at all or justified?
The women in this world do not take a back seat to men and are believably strong. They have established themselves in their professions through hard work and natural skills and by playing on the weaknesses of others.
The Dona has used intelligence and deception to maintain her position. Like Locke she has a degree of complacency and underestimates how desperate or devious her foe might be so when she is overcome by brute force it was absurd but believable and I must admit to finding it amusing (すみません!). I was expecting a conversation so the right hook caught me off-guard but then how else was Locke going to escape Dona Vorchenza since she had outwitted him?
As for Berangia sisters they were the natural equals of Jean and they went out fighting which is how they lived. I had little sympathy for them since they knew exactly what they were getting into and were confident that they could take him. I kind of liked them and so I felt that their fight was a bit of a let down since I wanted something more spectacular than a dust up in a warehouse.
Well things are certainly picking up in the Lies of Locke Lamora especially with the author Scott Lynch taking part by offering his notes from the creation of the book. Little Red Reviewer is herding an epic number of us so visit her blog for more opinions!
1) Do you think Locke can pull off his scheme of playing a Midnighter who is working with Don Salvara to capture the Thorn of Camorr? I mean, he is now playing two roles in this game – and thank goodness for that costume room the Gentlemen Bastards have!
Locke and his cohorts should have no problem pulling off his scheme since they seem to have trained extensively for this whole deception and disguises sort of thing and their smart control of the sitatuion – appearance at the dead of night – and method-acting is both bewildering and convincing. Anyway by adding layers of intrigue to the whole Lukas con he can confuse Don Salvara all the more. Unless somebody tells the Don about the deception. I liked the extensive wardrobe and make-up materials!
2) Are you digging the detail the author has put into the alcoholic drinks in this story?
A lot of effort has gone into the drinks and it adds to the world building but overall I’m not too interested in it. That said I do like the way that the properties of drinks can be manipulated by alchemy and I expect it to play a greater role in the plot.
3) Who is this mysterious lady Gentlemen Bastard Sabetha and what does she mean to Locke?
I have no idea who Sabetha is but she and Locke are in love with each other and it is one of those relationships where they will spend more time tearing bits out of each other rather than being honest. She’ll probably turn out to be a tsundere. I wonder what her part is in making the Secret Peace go up in flames. Chains has primed her for a crucial role.
4) Are you as creeped out over the use of Wraithstone to create Gentled animals as I am?
I thought it was a really nice detail and a substance that can present a great threat to anybody and everybody by robbing them of their will and personalities. And yes, I do find the stuff creepy but I can see its uses in a place as chaotic as Camorr. Just imagine the chaos an untamed animal might cause.
5) I got a kick out of child Locke’s first meeting with Capa Barsavi and his daughter Nazca, which was shortly followed up in the story by Barsavi granting adult Locke permission to court his daughter! Where do you think that will lead? Can you see these two together?
I would like to see them get married just to see how it complicates things. Although I didn’t detect any feelings beyond friendship I’m not sure how resistant Nazca is to the idea. Nor can I see how they can get out of the whole courtship/marriage thing as long as Capa Barsavi is alive. The two getting married would add a new layer of complication to things.
6) Capa Barsavi is freaked out over rumors of The Gray King and, in fact, us readers are privy to a gruesome torture scene. The Gray King is knocking garristas off left and right. What do you think that means?
This scene had blood. The situation gets “real” whenever blood appears.
7) In the Interlude: The Boy Who Cried for a Corpse, we learn that Father Chains owes an alchemist a favor, and that favor is a fresh corpse. He sets the boys to figuring out how to provide one, and they can’t ‘create’ the corpse themselves. How did you like Locke’s solution to this conundrum?
Very funny and inventive. A prelude to the sort of chap he’ll be. I’d add more but I’ve got to dash to another post.
Usually I review Asian films but this is the first weekend discussion of The Lies of Locke Lamora read along which was organise by Little Red Reviewer amongst others and I’ve always wanted to read the book so now is the perfect time to do it.
1. If this is your first time reading The Lies of Locke Lamora, what do you think of it so far? If this is a re-read for you, how does the book stand up to rereading?
This is the first time that I have read it and so far I am enjoying it. At first there was a lot of back story and world building but when I got through that and into the meat of the long-con events started to pick up.
2. At last count, I found three time lines: Locke as as a 20-something adult, Locke meeting Father Chains for the first time, and Locke as a younger child in Shades Hill. How are you doing with the Flashback within a flashback style of introducing characters and the world?
No problem on this front. Years of watching films has armed me well for zombie invasions, dramatic court room speeches and flashbacks within flashbacks with a flash-forward to add some spice. At no point was I confused which is a sign of the brilliant crafting that has taken place. I’m also very curious about some of the characters that have been set up who have yet to make an appearance.
3. Speaking of the world, what do you think of Camorr and Lynch’s world building?
From what I’ve read of the book I am enjoying the world that has been created – specifically the way alchemy is used in nature and architecture and the way that the populace of Camorr are inhabiting these intriguing buildings made from “Elder glass”. The word “elder” immediately makes me think Lovecraft and Cthuhu mythos so I’m hooked.
4. Father Chains and the death offering. . . quite the code of honor for thieves, isn’t it? What kind of person do you think Chains is going to mold Locke into?
I suspect that Father Chains is trying to craft Locke into something more than a gentleman thief. Perhaps a super gentleman thief. That poor answer reflects the fact that I have little idea of the direction that his character is heading. 5. It’s been a while since I read this, and I’d forgotten how much of the beginning of the book is pure set up, for the characters, the plot, and the world. Generally speaking, do you prefer set up and world building done this way, or do you prefer to be thrown into the deep end with what’s happening?
I’m not too picky but I like getting thrown into events and discovering the world as the action rolls along. It allows me to work things out on the run.
6. If you’ve already started attempting to pick the pockets of your family members (or even thought about it!) raise your hand.
I would try pickpocketing but I’m too busy watching films. Anyway if watching unhealthy amounts of films and anime has taught me anything it’s that pickpockets are dealt with harshly in Japan.
For me what little fantasy I read evokes feelings akin to a pleasant fuzziness. Neither good nor bad but not much of an experience. I have been reading them more recently but I haven’t read one as exciting as Best Served Cold.