Red Seas Under Red Skies Part II

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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!

Q1 And if some small part of him felt sour at twisting her emotions (gods damn it, that part of him had rarely spoken up before!) – well, he reminded himself that he could do as he pleased and feel as he pleased while he was Leocanto Kosta. Leocanto Kosta wasn’t real.

Between flirting with Selendri, confronting the horrors of Salon Corbeau and handling a certain cliff-top encounter, Locke’s conscience gets a solid work-out this week. What do you make of our little thief’s elastic ethics? Is he a good man, a good thief, or both?

Locke is a complicated man. He has certain limits that apply in most cases with most people. But as the stakes rise and he has less control, his morals get more flexible. For instance, with the thief while they are rock climbing – when they had little control, Locke and Jean don’t mind tossing knives at the guy or tangling him in the belay lines, both of which could have resulted in the guy’s death. But once they have full control over him, Locke shows mercy on him and he gets to walk with soiled britches and a small bag of coins.

Now, to be clear, I don’t think badly of Jean and Locke for trying to kill this man who was intent on killing and robbing them. I do sometimes think that Jean and Locke are rather self-centered in that their thieving games are designed to entertain themselves. If they happen to do some good along the way, it’s bonus points for them.

Q2 “I think Selendri can be sweet-talked, at least a little bit.”

…what do you think? What do you make of Selendri so far?

I think Selendri gets her rocks off by tossing thieves out the window. Or tearing their organs out with her mechanical hand. Or burning an eye out with some interesting concoction. I think she makes Requin look like a caring and gentle soul in comparison.

Q3 “You are thieves. I am offering you a chance to help steal history itself.”

Now that Stragos’s plan is laid bare before us, what do you make of his purported ambitions – and of his strategy for achieving them?

Boy, did he pick the wrong guys for this job! Jean and Locke aren’t sea-faring men. They don’t hang out with pirates even when the pirates are docked. I’m not even sure they know what to feed a cat. Stragos may have some good intentions wrapped up in his ego-agrandizing plan, but he’s working with the wrong resources. Plus, Jean and Locke don’t like being pushed into a corner (as we saw in Book 1 and in the rock climbing scene). There will be pay back.

Q4 “Then I may report to my masters that the plan is underway?”

How many different factions do you think are in play at this stage? Any ideas who Merrain might be working for?

Locke and Jean are at the center of a mess of plots and intrigue, that’s for sure! We have Stragos, and then Requin (by their own choice, admittedly), and I doubt the Bondsmagi have left off completely. Merrain appears to take orders from the Archon, but the ‘beggar’ with the crossbow scene makes me question loyalties and such.

Optional extra: Now let’s be frivolous. How cool are Verrari job titles? Eye of the Archon. Consulting Poisoner. Second Mistress of the Great Guild of Artificers. What would you like your Verrari job title be?

Haha! What a fun question! Perhaps I can be a Knife’s Edge – which would be a fancy way of saying I sharpen knives for a living.

Other Tidbits:

When Locke and Jean chat about Sabetha and climbing lessons, I can just feel Locke blushing.

The sailing teacher is hilarious! Though I do feel for him being pulled out of a well-earned retirement via coercion. Stragos is an ass to everyone in equal measures.

Stragos’s Tunnel of Showing Off reminded me of a Disney ride I went on as a kid, though less creepy because there weren’t any singing mechanized puppets.

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.

4 thoughts on “Red Seas Under Red Skies Part II”

  1. I hadn’t really thought about the flexibility of Locke’s ethics being inversely related to his control of a situation. Gosh, that REALLY doesn’t bode well for Stragos, does it? 🙂

    I suspect Selendri is in constant pain, which may explain her short shrift for anyone who annoys her. But you might be on the money for suspecting she’s even more callous than Requin (I might be too in her shoes).

    I love your job title! It’s wonderfully ambiguous – you know it makes you a knife sharpener, but anyone who didn’t might step very carefully around you…

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