Welcome everyone to the first week of The Republic of Thieves read along. First let me thank Little Red Reviewer for being the main enthusiasm and master mind behind all this. In fact, she sweet talked me into my first read along ever with The Lies of Locke Lamora followed right after with Red Seas Under Red Skies not quite 2 years ago. My life has not been the same since – as I apparently had a hidden addiction to read alongs. Scott Lynch has also become one of my favorite authors of all time – for his masterful plots, his quaint turns of phrase when it comes to swearing, and those savory meals and drinks he comes up with through out his books.
While I have reread The Lies of Locke Lamora and am working my way through Red Seas Under Red Skies again, I have kept myself pure concerning The Republic of Thieves. Yep, I have only read this week’s section, haven’t skipped merrily ahead and finished the book. I want to savor this read. Also, I am doing the audiobook, which is incredible. The swearing is so much better in Chains’ voice, Jean’s quiet, hard voice is the best, and Locke! So personable in the audio version.
We have a lot of great people joining us on this group read. Make sure to leave the link to your post in the comments so we can all visit one another. We’ll also be on twitter under #LynchMob for those twitterites out there. Next week, Over the Effing Rainbow will be our lovely hostess.You can catch also check out the schedule.
This week, we covered the Prologue through Intersect I (Chapter 3 starts next week’s reading section). If you haven’t read the first two books or this section of Book 3, then beware the spoilers below!
1) We get to reminisce with several old friends in this section – Carlo, Galdo, Chains. How did you like this? Bitter sweet or happy dance?
I kept going back and forth. These three, and Bug, are all dead, and have been since Book 1, so part of me wanted to focus on this story. Yet, each of them had such a strong influence on Jean & Locke that they simply wouldn’t be who they are without them in their lives. I did like the additional stories of Chains quite a bit. He really gave all those kids a stable place to grow up, even if it was unconventional. He cared about them, nurtured them, and protected them. That really hit home for me when he physically assaulted the man whose boat they hijacked. Yeah, every kid needs a Chains in their life.
2) Finally, the infamous Sabetha makes a physical appearance, albeit in Locke’s reminisces. What are your impressions? How do you think the romance, if there is to be one, will play out?
No one can get Locke to do what they want, even when they want something for the good of all, like Chains trying to keep Locke from bringing the Watch down on them, or some such practical thing. No one, except Sabetha. Locke desperately wants to please her, earn her praise. It is so heartbreakingly (potentially?) sweet. Sabetha is street hard, but once under Chains’ wing, she also seems to adopt the boys as family and watches out for them too. I like that she never takes advantage of Locke’s ‘crush’, even though I am sure she is aware of it.
I am not sure a two-way romance will ever play out. Obviously, Locke has strong feelings for her still as an adult, even without having seen her for years. Perhaps she eventually had a fling with him hoping he would tire of her once the initial lust worked out of his system. Perhaps she never entered into a relationship with him, and Locke has simply been carrying a heart-eating torch for her all this time.
However it falls out, I am sure Scott Lynch will make it interesting.
3) After trying absolutely everything to save Locke, Jean still won’t give up. What did you think of that little pep talk he gave Locke concerning Patience’s offer of healing?
Wow! Jean, if I ever need my ass kicked, I want you to do it. He cut to the heart of the matter in an instant, while also letting Locke know that he cares. That scene showed me once again what an awesome friend Jean is. I think each of us can think of people who helped get us where we are today, have sacrificed or held us up. Jena is right that Locke owes all of them – he shouldn’t give up. The flip side of that is I can think of a few people who others & myself helped carry at one time or another…..and some of them did give up. Yet another great reason for Locke not to Jean down.
Half & half. Of course Locke can’t simply acquiesce. He needs to feel like he has some tiny bit of control, that he is making a considered and measured choice to accept medical assistance from the Bondsmage. Clearly stating the job, ending & beginning, is probably just good business sense. But I really liked his second caveat – freedom to ask Patience anything and get an answer on the spot. Of course, she has her own little caveat concerning her personal life – and I bet Locke presses her on that sooner or later. How could he not with her son being the Falconer from Book 1?
If I had such an agreement with Patience, I would be the most annoying 3-year-old asking a question every 5 minutes. Pretty soon she would magic my lips stitched together just to have a moment’s peace. I would want to know more about animal charming – like what the falconer did with his pet bird. I would want to know how the Bondsmagi briefly took over the marketers in Book 2 – speaking through their voices, issuing threats, all creepy like. How do they appear suddenly or turn a blade aside? Lastly, I would ask about the personality test to join their little fucked up club of sadistic magic users – how high does one have to score on the homicidal inclination scale to be admitted to training?
5) At the end of this section, we see that all is not as Patience laid it out. How much do you think Patience knows of the plot to off Locke and Jean? Do you see it interfering in the rigged election?
From listening to the two plotters, it did not sound as if Patience knew of their plans. However, Patience may very well know and be keeping it to herself while she figures out how to keep Locke & Jean alive without directly confronting the conspirators. Of course, this makes me wonder if Patience is acting as an independent entity and not with the full backing of the Bondsmagi.
I fully expect this murder plot to interfere in Jean’s & Locke’s efforts to rig the election. I also expect it to be thoroughly entertaining.
This is the second book that starts with Locke injured/sick and wallowing in self-pity. I think Lynch captures this feeling really well, while still making it somewhat humorous or poignant by turns. It also shows that Locke’s inner inclination to this behavior hasn’t been conquered yet and that he must continue to battle it.
I loved that chase across the bridge! Brass buttons versus silk rolls – great game. And Locke fell back on a simple and crude trick to get himself out of Sabetha’s trap – pretending to puke. I have to wonder if this foreshadows Locke having to do something similar later in the book to get away from the Bondmagi or whoever else he pisses off.
Patience showed some bravery by literally putting herself in Jean’s hands, to the point where he could have broken bones. Her very human, if tiny, flinch may have been the turning point for that conversation.
What Others Think: