Lynn is our awesomesauce host this week. You can catch her over at Lynn’s Book Blog. Lots of really cool things happened this week….and some not so cool things happened to your heroes, Jean and Locke. We covered Chapter 6 through ‘Aurin & Amadine’. Next week’s reading starts with Chapter 8.
Spoilers lurk below willing to garrote, cudgel, stab, inebriate, and chew the unwary. You have been warned!
1) The election competition. Sabetha isn’t wasting any time throwing pranks at Locke and Jean. Mostly it seemed fairly harmless, or at least not overly serious, until they were kidnapped and put onto a ship and taken out to sea. What did you make of Sabetha’s latest plan? And what did you think about the way she executed it?
Sabetha said to Locke more than once that she had to win for both their sakes. I have to wonder if Sabetha was coerced into taking this job, and it wasn’t merely in exchange for getting her away from some angry folks whose acquaintance she knew from one of her latest cons. I am guessing that she traded her skills to keep Locke alive, on the condition that her side win the election.
Also, when she was dressed as the little old lady pickpocket, the last thing she said to Locke and Jean as they walked away was that they didn’t have time. Which would be an odd thing to say to goad someone on. And Lynch doesn’t just throw random crap in. So, I have to wonder if that was Sabetha trying to warn the dense boys about something, probably to do with the Bondsmagi.
As to how Sabetha took Locke out….Well, I hope he will be a little more cautious about where he sticks his tongue from now on. On one had, I think it was a bit cruel of Sabetha to lead him on, a bit stupid of Locke to accept so eagerly, and pretty darn practical of Sabetha. Locke avoided any further bruising this way. Jean didn’t fair so well.
2) During the escape overboard and Jean’s rather subtle nose dive into the water – I was curious about the lights Locke saw deep in the water when he was performing his rescue – Locke thought they looked different once he was under the waves which I suppose they would but he also had the feeling that he was being watched? Do you think this relates back to the Eldren or some other presence?
Well Locke was cursing those lights as Eldren mischief. So, yes, I am going with the Eldren. I wonder if the being watched feeling was at all familiar, like similar to the feeling of being watched in Book 2 when Drakasha took her ship through the spooky pass where sailors are tempted to step off into the mist and water and whatever is watching knows Locke’s real name. That would explain Locke’s creative cursing.
3) Given that Locke hadn’t seen Sabetha for five years how did you think their first meeting together went (well, it wasn’t strictly speaking their first meeting of course – were you surprised that Jean and Locke hadn’t figured out that the woman pickpocket was Sabetha?) and also what did you make of Jean and Sabetha’s reaction to each other?
On one hand, they didn’t end up in an argument, with words or steel. On the other hand, she had them both chained to a nice comfy, very long, voyage. But as you read above, I think Sabetha has a multitude of reasons for getting Locke safely out of the way.
Jean and Locke aren’t at the top of their game and that showed in the pickpocket scene. Locke has been devilishly ill for many weeks if not months, so that is understandable. And they both took a beating, to ego and minds, in Book 2. Then Jean has spent a lot of time just keeping Locke alive, so he’s not on the top of his game. All understandable, but it also has me worried. In Books 1 and 2, they guys went into the game fresh, with knowledge, and a plan. Right now they aren’t flying with all propellers going, and by the seat of their unwaxed, hairy arses too.
As to how Jean and Sabetha greeted each other, totally understandable. Jean is one of those guys who wouldn’t presume and so Sabetha had to do the hug first. She may also have been checking for the Wicked Sisters so she could relay that info to her waiting men in some way.
4) So, the gang have arrived in Espara and already the plans have gone wrong through no fault of their own! Jail for a year plus lose a hand for slapping a noble?? What do you think of the justice system in Espara and how does this bode for the gang?
Moncraine isn’t one for thinking of the long term, or even the next day. He is very much ruled by his (drunken) emotions. Hence, he’s in jail for slapping a noble. I loved how the Camorri crew gathered info and went to the Weeping Tower for a chat with Moncraine. And Sabetha was awesome! The way she laid it out for Moncraine was genius coated in brutal truth. Moncraine obviously knows something of Camorri and he doesn’t want several angry one waiting for him a year later to collect their due.
As for the Esparan justice system, it seems about average. The privileged have more privileges than the rest of society. I was a little surprised they make you wait a year to have your hand cut off. I mean, why would the government want to shell out the money to house and feed the sordid wretches anyway? Perhaps they are into psychological torture? Perhaps the 1 year is designed to ensure that whatever thriving business the idiot slapper had before he went in will not be waiting around for him when he gets out?
I want the Camorris to keep Moncraine on a tight leash when he goes out in public for any reason. He doesn’t need to slap another moneyed man or pinch the bottom of a duchess or scoff, sneeze, fart, guffaw at anyone of note.
5) The acting company are finally coming together and we’re watching the gang as they try to read, act and grab the best parts – are you all ‘happy face’ with the whole theatre scenes or, sad face! Also, I can’t help feeling like this whole storyline is a step out of character for the gang. Any ideas of how it will play out??
I actually found this part either a bit dull or far too dramatic….which actually might be a true reflection of the training and preparing of a play. I am even listening to the audio, which has been quite awesome, but this bit was a little slow for me. Feel free to leave a dull or dramatic (but not mediocre!) hate comment for me if you feel differently.
Jean seems to be putting the most effort, but alas, he is the least suited. So, he gets to be bouncer and seamstress and accountant. All really boring tasks. I hope everyone else buys him drinks for taking on such menial work.
6) We are also being introduced to a number of new characters, particularly Moncraine and Boulidazi. What are your first impressions of these two and the other new characters in the Company and any particular likes or dislikes so far?
I did like how Sabetha tells off what’s her name… nuts…. hmmm… Damn, I can’t remember. That ever so nice lady who demanded to have the part of Amadine and started that whole tussle between Jean and Bertrand. That was fun! And then they shared a cigar and Jean got asked out to a game. How sweet!
At first, Boulidazi comes off as a decent sort. He does a little double checking on the IDs Locke and Sabetha are using for this scam, but then doesn’t press beyond that. I thought his tasteful inquiry as to whether or not Sabetha was free to be wooed was polite (even if it drove Locke crazy!). He seems to have a genuine interest in the theater and in Moncraine’s company in particular.
Moncraine may know theater, but he doesn’t appear to know anything beyond that – like people, politics, good manners, why it’s impolite to fart upwind of people, etc.
7) The rooftop scene and the apology. How did it all go so wrong? And how will Locke get out of this latest fix with Boulidazi?
At first it was awkward, but that was expected. Then the apology seemed to truly bring down Sabetha’s walls and she seemed on the brink of saying her true, deepest feelings, when Locke had to keep talking. Sigh….
From what Sabetha said, it appears that people with red hair are prized in certain circles and that Sabetha was trusted with a poisoned knife at a very young age in order to dissuade such people who might wish to profit from kidnapping her and selling her into said circles. With that in mind, Sabetha has been dyeing her hair brown for 10 years. I think she might be a little fixated on her hair, which is understandable. So when Locke comments on the true red of it, she loses it a bit because she has actively chosen brown for herself all these years. As she says, that’s the real her.
Still, she was really harsh on Locke, even at the beginning when she went on about him offering her wine in the hopes of loosening her morals. Then after about her hair and that he was simply fixated on bedding a redhead. Sabetha is human too and it’s apparent she has some hangups.
As to Boulidazi, Locke may not be able to talk his way out of that one depending on how much he heard. If it was just a little, perhaps he can get away with saying they were rehearsing a particular scene. But if he heard the bulk, I fear he may turn out to be scum and demand certain favors from Sabetha in exchange for his silence and continued patronage to the acting troupe. Locke may have to put a stiletto in him if Sabetha doesn’t bury a fencing blade in him first.
That escape almost didn’t happen. And I think they were being helped by a Bondsmage who can push wind around too, keeping that boat near the shore instead of 10 miles out. I wonder if Patience has a trained bird or some other animal that she uses to keep tabs on the boys?
Sabetha tells Jean and Locke she can still read most of their handsigns. I know they haven’t had a lot of time to work, but once they learned that Sabetha was the opposition, you’d think they would consider the handsigns.
When Locke mentions the death of Calo and Galdo, Sabetha seemed reserved in her answer. But if she suspected for several years, they were dead, she may have already done much of her mourning. Then Locke mentions Bug, and Sabetha makes a comment about how they took on a male apprentice instead of a female one. Very interesting.
Jean is going to have to visit Sabetha again to get his Wicked Sisters back, isn’t he? That might not be such a cheery meeting.
I loved how Sabetha and Locke both told Moncraine that his verbal abuse would not be tolerated. Sabetha only had to look at his all squinty eyed for him to get the idea of what dire consequences would come knocking on his door if he kept it up.
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