The Republic of Thieves Read Along Part II

LynchRepublicOfThievesWelcome back everyone! Lisa from Over the Effing Rainbow is our host this week, so make sure to swing by her place to see what everyone is up to.

This week we covered Chapter 3 through Interlude ‘Bastards Abroad’. Here is the SCHEDULE if you want to see what’s coming up.

Spoilers lurk below!

1) Blood And Breath And Water: Patience tells Locke that the ritual to save him is serious business. She wasn’t kidding… What did you make of this scene, and do you think any of it might (perhaps literally) come back to haunt Locke?

I know this ‘healing’ was rough for Locke, but it must have been awful for Jean as well. Even the healers were dropping from their efforts! The poison had weeks if not months to work on Locke, driving him weaker and weaker, and becoming more strongly embedded. So of course it is going to take quite a bit to neutralize it. Being familiar with Lynch’s writing, I didn’t expect him to skimp on this scene, and he didn’t.

Bug showing up in this way was a bit unexpected for me. Up to this point, we had not seen him in any of the flashbacks, but he was the last to join the merry group. But then he shows up in this messed up hallucinogenic dream sequence where he is the walking ghostly lost, in pain, in fear, perhaps even looking for some payback. Right now, I am inclined to say that this is either Locke’s overwrought sense of guilt messing with him, or one of the Bondsmagi involved in the healing.

2) Orphan’s Moon: Back to the childhood of the Gentlemen Bastards, and here we get another ritual, this one in service to the Nameless Thirteenth. It looks as though it might be Locke vs. Sabetha, round two – but this time Locke seems to be a little slow on that uptake… Who do you think deserves to be given the final oath? Locke or Sabetha?

I thought Sabetha’s stealing of the Watch’s bully clubs took both bravery and smarts. She came back in one piece, without two swollen eyes, so she had to be clever and sneaky about it. It’s obvious that Sabetha wants it, has put thought into it.

Locke’s little cake trick was cute, but I think it was old hat for him and Jean. There was nothing really new in the trick. And it is obvious that Locke hasn’t put any thought into joining the inner mysteries of the Crooked Warden.

So, who deserves it? Well, Sabetha. But deities and their priests don’t always pick new acolytes based on merit, but by who is best suited to it, or who may need that added protection in life more. So, Locke is the winner. I don’t think he will be all that happy about it once he sees Sabetha’s face and witnesses her reaction. After all, he put his hat int he ring on this to impress her, not because he wants it.

Based on things said in Books 1 and 2, and things said even in this section of the reading, I am fairly certain that Locke got the spot. I then have to wonder if that didn’t feed into the falling out later on between Sabetha and Locke. Shall be interesting to see.

3) Across The Amathel: This chapter takes a breather for quite a bit of Eldren history, while Locke starts recovering. What do you think of the history lesson, and Patience’s ominous speculation regarding the Eldren? Is this something you’d like to know more about?

Damn straight I want to know more! If the disappearance of the Eldren has the Bondsmagi scared pee-less, it being the one thing that holds them in check, then yes, I do want to know more.

I really liked this part because there has been even greater mystery (sorry Sabetha, but you do take second seat to some mysteries) over Books 1 & 2 about the Eldren and what they left behind. So it was great to have the mystery, that world-building, added to, and in such a creeptastic way!

LynchRepublicOfThievesGerman4) Striking Sparks: The gang’s off to Espara, after a bad summer and a pretty thorough dressing-down from Chains, and we finally get to the source of the book’s title – they’re bound for the stage! What are your thoughts on this latest ‘challenge’ and the reasons for it?

It’s a coming of age trial for the lot of them and I love the idea of it. Chains, being the practical man he is, knows he won’t be around forever. So, he needs 2 things – peace & quiet and to know with certainty that these prodigies of his can function as a team out in the world without him. He is wise to achieve both by sending them on this mission to entertain the masses via the stage.

I do have to say that Locke is going to have to get a bit more circumspect about his wet dreams while sharing close quarters with Sabetha….or start snuggling with Jean so Jean can slap him awake before he embarrasses himself greatly.

5) The Five-Year Game: Starting Position: The election gets underway with a party (as you do) and before it’s even over, the Deep Roots party has problems – and not just thanks to Sabetha. What do you make of Nikoros and his unfortunate habit?

Nikoros is a weak point. Anyone working for the opposite team can either offer him a little too much of this favorite powder and hope that he drops critical information while enjoying it or tweak his special powder to make him sick, unconscious, or dead. Locke and Jean are going to have to neutralize this weak point quickly.

I loved that such a simple thing as the liquor permit paperwork being out of date (obviously messed with) can screw up the opening salvo of the Deep Roots campaign. If that is all it takes to shake up their efforts, then Locke and Jean have a lot of work on their hands.

6) Bastards Abroad: The gang arrives in Espara, and already they’ve got problems (nicely mirroring the Five Year Game!)… This aside, we’ve also seen some more of what seems to be eating at Sabetha. Do you sympathize with her, or is Locke right to be frustrated with her?

So far, Locke has spent a lot of time thinking about himself in this relationship. Yes, it is all about how he can catch her eye, how he can earn her praise, how he can engage her in conversation. I totally sympathize with Sabetha in that Locke is treating her like an object or minor goddess instead of contemplating what could be going on in Sabetha’s head. I loved it when she pointed out this simple fact by asking Locke if he had even considered if she liked men instead women. Ha!

If these two are to have a real relationship, they need to talk about this stuff. It was very gracious of Sabetha to explain, in part, the awkwardness on her side – she use to be in charge of the little gang, then went away for training, and came home to some new snot-nosed twerp of a kid calling the shots and all the boys are OK with this. She wasn’t the brains of the group any more. She wasn’t the boss of the little group anymore. And instead of being a jerk about it, she simply coolly kept to the sidelines.

Other Tidbits:

Dreamsteel seems to have a lot of uses! It can be wicked cool stuff – healing, sharing memories in full living color. I have to wonder what devilishly bad things it can be used in too. Hmm…..

Hey! There’s a cat! But not any cat, it’s their cat from Book 2! Hooray! The only wayward child that Locke and Jean ever raised as a couple has returned to them!

I think I must have been channeling Locke this week because I want to eat everything! Simply be glad that you can’t possibly be on the menu because you are merely a name on screen and I am not hungry enough to try to track you down….yet. Jealous of the tasty food Locke can get his hands on once he touches land? Hell, yes!

My Fellow Bastards:

Over the Effing Rainbow

31 thoughts on “The Republic of Thieves Read Along Part II”

  1. 1. I hadn’t thought of the possibility that the Bondsmagi might have had something to do with Bug’s appearance to Locke. Hmm….

    2. “I do have to say that Locke is going to have to get a bit more circumspect about his wet dreams while sharing close quarters with Sabetha”
    LOL! Oh god, now I’m hoping there’s a wet dream scene coming up. Mind you, the first one was pretty hot until I realised it wasn’t real.

    6. *nods* Yep, Sabetha has been the *object* of Locke’s affection and I love how she undermines him by pointing it out. Not quite as romantic as you thought you were Locke? This part of the book fascinated me and I went into quite a lot of detail about it in my post.

    Dreamsteel! So cool. Lynch writes so many things I’d like to see on film and this is one of them. Although it sort of reminds me of that metallic grey stuff in Man of Steel.

    1. Yeah, I enjoyed Locke’s wet dream before and after I realized it was a wet dream. lol I snorted some random beverage through my nose when Locke fell out of bed onto his personal equipment.

      Yes, I too would like to see Dreamsteel in a movie. With the special effects we have today, it is totally doable and with coolness.

      1. That scene was so funny! I really like the way the use Dreamsteel as part of their magic very unique
        -MAh Answers!

      1. I can see that you guys have been! I definitely have my reading material for the evening :).

        I didn’t consider that it might be the Bondsmagi messing with him, concerning the vision of Bug. Maybe it was one of the people who were having the conversation last section.

        Locke had referred to himself as a priest of the Thirteenth before– I thought it was a Gentleman Bastard thing in the past two books, didn’t realize it was something extra special.

        I agree that Sabetha and Locke need to have some serious discussions about all that, if they want to have a real relationship. Then again… considering what we know of how things turned out, maybe they didn’t spend much time communicating :).

        1. Yeah – I recently re-read, or rather listened to the audio, of the first 2 books. In Book 2 it is apparent on reflection that Locke has more training in the 13th than Jean.

  2. My answers:

    …And boy, we’re going to have some very different views on Sabetha. I knew it. 😀 I might’ve been a bit hard on her… but I have my thoughts!

    I also loved the dreamsteel imagery. Added much to the creepiness in Locke’s “healing” as well! Nicely done.

    And CAT! I never fail to be charmed by the inclusion of cats in stories. 😀

    1. Different views on characters is always engaging :).

      Yes, I too love having animal characters in books. In this case, Locke was first freaked out and then comforted. Aren’t there legit studies that show small furry pets reduce stress and blood pressure in sick humans? Perhaps Locke & Jean should have taken the cat with them….

  3. It was great to see the cat back! We’re getting a lot of reappearances in this book and I’m liking it! Although, poor Bug.

    The dreamsteel is so creepy and cool. I’m sure we’ll get to see it used for ill-purposes soon enough. I’m going to give myself permission to not think about it ahead of time!

    OK, the wet dreams, seriously Locke, get this under control. Oh wait, never mind, that was damn funny. 🙂

    1. Yeah, I shudder to think what ill purposes dreamsteel can and will be put to use on.

      And yeah, young Locke can have more wet dreams that end with me snort laughing :).

  4. And it is obvious that Locke hasn’t put any thought into joining the inner mysteries of the Crooked Warden.

    I disagree with this. I think Locke wants to be a priest, is interested in it, but the moment Sabetha showed interest his brain goes offline and he become indecisive.

    So, who deserves it? Well, Sabetha. But deities and their priests don’t always pick new acolytes based on merit, but by who is best suited to it….

    Pretty much this. I think Locke is meant for it. He’s useless as a thief compared to Sabetha but there are all sorts of hints dropped that he’s meant for the role.

    She wasn’t the boss of the little group anymore. And instead of being a jerk about it, she simply coolly kept to the sidelines.

    I think Sabetha is very much aware of Locke’s infatuation and her keeping silent is just as much an act of provocation as saying anything. She has an ego just like everybody else and while I sympathise with Sabetha being left out I do detect more than a hint of arrogance in her behaviour and treatment of Locke.

    or start snuggling with Jean

    Can someone please explain women’s fascination with BL. Seriously! 😉

    1. I hadn’t really thought of Sabetha’s silence as a form of provocation until you said it. That does make sense and I can see that she has an ego like everyone else. Even arrogance.

      I am assuming BL means ‘boy love’? Well, while I won’t say that I am fascinated by it, I do see it as practical in this case. I am sure they could both use the practice and perhaps there would be less bickering among them all if some of their pent up sexual energy was released. And since Locke won’t go to the Guilded Lilies that limits choices……So, yeah, totally practical thinking :).

          1. I think with the whole Sabetha/Locke priesthood/chosen thing it’s clear that the people doing the choosing see something in Locke – and given that Sabetha does in fact leave the gang perhaps they were right to question whether she was right for the role after all?
            Loved the return of the cat!
            And, the whole wet dream sequence – my eyes were watering (and coincidentally so were Locke’s – brings a new meaning to ‘falling on your sword’!)
            Yeah, I never really thought about it but it must be a bit hard being up on a pedestal, after all Sabetha’s just a normal regular girl and perhaps she wants him to like her in a less infatuated fashion.
            Lynn 😀

  5. “After all, he put his hat int he ring on this to impress her, not because he wants it.” – You really think so? I think he does sort of want it, but is also a little scared of it. Who wouldn’t be, with gods? I think he just hasn’t put as much thought in it as Sabetha obviously has. A few others have said it, but ultimately I believe it’s the difference between ambition and suitability.

    With regards to Locke’s wet dream and the aftermath – So funny! I can definitely see that having been the last straw for Chains. “Hey everybody, LOCKE WANTS US ALL TO BE AWAKE!” If my kid did that he’d be sleeping in the shed for the next week. It’s probably just as well I don’t have any…

    My post is here:

    1. Haha! Yeah, if I had kids and they were that loud that early in the morning for no good reason – making fun of a fellow’s wet dream’s outcome is NOT important – they would be sleeping with the goats.

  6. I prefer the mysteries to teenage love problems as well. Or generally Locke’s love problems because he mostly comes across as a lost puppy when it comes to Sabetha.
    I sincerely hope more of the Eldren mysteries get uncovered by the end of this book.

  7. I am finally getting around to reading everyone’s answers. finally.

    regarding the Bug dream, it didn’t help his guilt that only a few days after having that dream, he had to tell Sabetha that the Sanzas were dead. How has Locke’s guilt not killed him yet? srsly!

    I am liking all this Sabetha talk. She’s got to be aware of what’s going on, so is she trying to lead Locke on? is she being quiet, to be quiet, or to be provocative? Anyone who vexes Locke is someone i want to talk more about!

    1. This section didn’t get to Sabetha & Locke having a chitchat, but yeah, I figured when they did meet they would have to talk about the Sanzas. Though I wasn’t certain if Sabetha would have heard from someone else or had enough clues through gossip to piece together at least part of the outcome of Book 1.

  8. 1. i hope it is just Locke’s guilt because I am not sure if I can cope with zombie Bug.

    2. I am fairly sure that it took a lot of tiny slights to force the separation between Locke and Sabetha, but this might have been one of the first, when she finally had to admit that he was always going to be first no matter how hard she tried to beat him.

    4. Somehow I can’t see Jean being too happy about the snuggling idea! 😀

    5. That trick with the liquor license made me think of the FBI getting Al Capone on Tax Evasion . . .

    I love you equating the cat to a lost child!

    1. I am sure that if Jean doesn’t want to snuggle, he’ll same something….and easily enforce it. 🙂

      Nice comparison between the liquor license and the Al Capone. It’s the simply things that can piss on your parade.

      Hooray for Regal!

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