Red Seas Under Red Skies Part I

LynchRedSeasUnderRedSkiesWelcome everyone to the read along of Scott Lynch’s Gentlemen Bastard series. Anyone is welcome to join us over at our GoodReads Group! Check out the info at the end of the post.

This week’s hosted by X+1. We’re covering the first section noted below, so beware of spoilers if you have not read that far. I’m doing the audiobook version (which is awesome) but I apologize now for any misspellings of names and such. This is actually my second read along of the book. Yep, I like it that much! I also apologize for posting late – medical issues have me busy, tired,  and not as organized.


1) “Jean, I would describe this turn of events as less than helpful.” We get off to an unexpected start, jumping straight into the middle of – well, what? We’re in Tal Verrar and the wheels appear to have come off. In the subsequent chapters, there’s a lot of focus on Locke and Jean’s friendship and devotion to one another. Do you think Jean has really turned against Locke?

When I first read this, I didn’t know what was going on. But I was convinced that it was either a ruse so that Jean and Locke could take out their opponents or that Jean was being mind controlled by the Bondsmagi again. Either way, things seem to be teetering on a knife’s edge for our Bastards, aren’t they?

2) “I am an honest working thief and I’ll do what I have to to keep a table set and a roof over our heads!” This time, the interludes are flashbacks to what the Bastards have been up to for the past two years. How did you feel about Locke’s depression – and Jean’s responses?

On one hand, Locke’s depression is understandable. He lost a lot and has significant injuries to recover from. But on the other hand, that’s not an excuse for abusing the one friend he has left. I think Jean had a lot of patience and I’m glad that it had a limit. Locke needed to be snapped out of his depression.

3) “It is possible,” said Locke with a sheepish grin, “that I have been slightly too bold.” The Requin game is worth more than the Bastards entire lost fortune in Camorr (and Locke gives us a little insight into what it means in real terms). His reputation is ominous. Given everything we learn about Requin, is Locke over-reaching himself?

That’s what Locke does. He even says so – that he wants to feel alive and have it be him and Jean versus the whole world. So, of course Locke sets his sites on a nearly unattainable object. Imagine if he did so with women!

4) “It’ll be good to be the predators again.” And is it just me, or does Tal Verrar feel even more intense than Camorr? Even if the average bod on the street seems less knife-happy, a lot of the buildings seem to be designed to intimidate and/or murder you. How are you liking the new setting?

It seems a bit wilder and with larger predators. Things were a bit civilized in Camorr. There was a hierarchy that everyone bent the knee to. Here, Jean and Locke are running this scam for nearly 2 years without having to bend the knee to anyone. And yet they learn in this section that there are people with the power and coin to swallow them up if they aren’t polite. I like all the clockwork contraptions and the Elderglass everywhere. The gambling houses seem interesting, tho they hold less interest for me (I’m not a gambler and have never really been attracted to it).

Other Tidbits:


Lynch is still giving us great descriptions of food, whether it be bad or good.

The applesauce trick to get out of town was pretty amusing. If we ever have an apocalypse and I need to skip town, I will keep that in mind.

These books are a How-To in avoiding poisons… or in poisoning someone.

Was anyone else a little sad that Jean had to give up his little club of delinquents?

Info on the Read Along

Here’s the schedule:

5th May Chapters 1-3 hosted at x+1
12th May Chapters 4-6 hosted at x+1
19th May Chapters 7-10 hosted at The Illustrated Page
26th May Chapters 11-13 hosted at x+1
2nd Jun Book 3 & Epilogue hosted at x+1

You can catch the weekly questions and links to folks’ weekly posts over at our GoodReads group SF/F Read Alongs. Have a look  around and you’ll see we have other upcoming SFF read alongs planned. As always, you’re welcome to be lurker, a commenter, or do your post.

3 thoughts on “Red Seas Under Red Skies Part I”

  1. ‘Imagine if he [set his sights so high] with women!’

    …I just snorted my coffee. That’s not the best way to caffeinated, as it turns out O.o

    I find myself wondering (and I can’t recall) if we’ll hear from the Brass Coves again in the future. I loved Jean’s flip from shameless manipulation and intimidation to father figure. He was even going to teach them to cook!

Comments are always appreciated, so don't be shy!