The Republic of Thieves Read Along Part I

LynchRepublicOfThievesWelcome 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.

LynchRepublicOfThievesAudio4) Locke has a few caveats to working for the Bondsmage. Wise or just Locke grasping for some control over his life? What would you ask Patience?

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.

Other Tidbits:

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:

Little Red Reviewer

Over the Effing Rainbow

Just Book Reading

All I Am – A Redhead

Book Den

Many A True Nerd

Lynn’s Book Blog

Theft and Sorcery

Joma’s Fantasy Books

Coffee, Cookies, & Chili Peppers

Tethyan Books


Genkinahito’s Blog

Books Without Any Pictures

Violin in a Void

48 thoughts on “The Republic of Thieves Read Along Part I”

    1. I see what you mean by differences of opinion on Sabetha. That’s cool. Tis early yet in the story (at least for me). We have 2 books’ worth of build up to finally meeting her, so there were all these nebulous expectations in my head before I cracked the cover of this book.

    1. Chains is awesome in the audiobooks. Love his voice.

      Very insightful – that Locke will finally allow himself to see how much Jean cares. Locke can really turn self-defeatist and he is very lucky to have Jean to kick his ass out of that pity party when he needs it.

  1. I have only read this week’s section as well. I was wondering if you guys would all be ahead by now. 🙂

    I enjoy getting to see the nurturing side of Chains, too. I feel like Sabetha is curious about Locke’s crush and is possibly considering it as a reason to put her trust in him.

    “Wow” was my reaction to Jean’s pep talk, too.

    Great thoughts, I’m excited to see what’s next.

    1. I am so glad I am not the only ‘virgin’ reader for this read along. It was really hard to not read it right away when I got my hands on it, but I am glad I did. It makes the read along so much more fun.

      Sabetha can’t be totally blind to Locke’s stalking. And how could you not trust little boy Locke if he had that kind of fixation on you?

  2. I have to agree with you about Jean, he is so very good at these pep talks, and while Locke my not always listen to him its always at these points the most important conversations that he does, Locke really needs Jean. 🙂

    I’m not quite convinced on Sabetha not using Locke’s crush against him, she hasn’t yet there hasn’t been a need to but I kind of wouldn’t be surprised if she does later. She, as is pointed out, isn’t quite as integrated into the pack.

    my post is here 🙂

    1. It would be so harsh on Locke if Sabetha turned out to not be as good a person as all the other Gentlemen Bastards are/were. Still, your comment about her not being as integrated as the rest is a really good point.

      As the only female Lady Bastard, she probably had some different skills and paths open to her that the boys didn’t. Perhaps some of these jaded her view towards men?

  3. Even though it’s kind of sad it’s great at the same time to spend some more time in Locke’s childhood and watch them all getting along. Plus seeing the young Sabetha. The scene where Locke realises she isn’t dead – she really barely knows who he is (unless she was play acting). I can’t make my mind up whether she knows how he feels and doesn’t care or knows how he feels and is starting to feel an attraction. I think the latter at this point – although I wish Locke would exercise a little more self control – he’s a total Sabetha worshipping maniac isn’t he!
    Speaking of worshipping maniacs – how bloody brilliant is Jean. That whole scene with the hijacking the apothecary was so funny – of course it was a bit ill advised but like I said, caveman – a book reading caveman ‘le sigh’.
    I love all your questions for Patience – hopefully she lives up to her name hey? It made me think of the Simpsons ‘are we nearly there yet?’, and repeat, etc.
    I’m not going to give away spoilers other than to say the whole election contest is ‘really good fun!’
    My link:
    Lynn 😀

    1. yeah, I’m starting to think that Sabetha simply doesn’t think of Locke really, at all, when they are kids. She sees him as weird little person who lives in the same house, not even someone worthy of her attention. How odd it must be for her, to realize this weird little boy is in love with her.

    2. Jean was great with snatching that apothecary/healer. Too bad the prick had to be a prick in the first place (constantly ignoring Jean) and then tattling on him after seeing how desperate Locke’s situation is. Jerk!

      Yes, Locke does have a ‘put Sabetha on a pedestal to worship’ syndrome. Can’t be good for him. It was cute when he was like 6, but not now, not for several years.

      1. Yes, that bloody healer – what a prick, tattling on Jean! Wimp! He only kidnapped him for a little bit, and he didn’t really hurt him, plus he let him go – FTW! He was practically a pussy cat.
        Lynn 😀

  4. I don’t think Patience is privy to this plot against Locke either but other comments on other blogs seem to hint that she is… The fact that Bondsmagi are scheming is nothing new and should make things interesting. I’m waiting for Locke and Jean to be fully healed and ready to run a game on these characters!

    We have yet to meet Sabetha as an adult and all of the build-up could be let down if she fails to live up to expectations. Even so, Lynch’s ability to spin a great story from plot alone would ensure that whatever happens between her and Locke should be full of twists and turns.

    1. this is Locke Lamora we’re talking about. Of course he’s going to run a game under the noses of the Bondsmagi! umm, he is going to in grand con artist fashion. .. right??

    2. I am also looking forward to seeing what Locke can get up to once healed. I expect he will need some time to build up his blood again and regain strength. But once that happens, he is going to put his piss & vinegar to good use. Should be very entertaining for us readers :).

  5. I’m not sure that the Locke/Sabetha thing will be one-sided. She did drop the contest when she thought he was in danger– she might be starting to like him a bit, in the flashbacks! I’m not sure if Patience was really brave, or if she’d just observed them long enough that she knew what she needed to do to win them over. Maybe I’m crediting her with too much deviousness!

    My answers are here:

    1. Let’s see – bondsmagi job application….hmm… yes, it specifically requires extreme deviousness. If applicant is lacking in this skill, rigorous training will be applied.

      So, yeah, you’re right. Patience could be all deviousness to win Jean over just a smidge so that she could give her spiel.

  6. there were plenty of times that Patience annoyed me, but i do desperately want to learn more about her. And her relationship to The Falconer? how the hell did that work??

    1. Definitely have a list of questions for Patience, and some of them are definitely personal. With the Falconer being her son and her OK with what Jean & Locke did to him (so she says), then the two of them must have a pretty messed up relationship. Now, could that interfere in Locke & Jean’s job to rig the election? Possibly. I kind of hope so because it will make interesting reading. hehe!

  7. The question for Patience about homicidal tendencies is a really good one! 🙂
    I can’t wait to read how all the plots come together and unravel – I just know that whatever I come up with won’t be even close to what actually happens.
    I love that!

  8. Loved the homicidal tendencies question! 🙂

    As for Chains, I really enjoyed seeing him in a fatherly, teaching role. I missed their little family of miscreants without being aware of it until this book.

  9. Wow. The level of complexity and participation in this readalong is humbling. Thank you so much, everyone. Can’t promise I’ll have time to keep close tabs on everything. Or even loose tabs on everything. But I do appreciate it!


  10. First I have to totally agree with your first paragraph about Redhead being the ultimate pusher in Read Along addiction. I agree with so much you say there that I worry that we are twins separated at birth! 😀

    1. Yeah, the difference between Chains and the Thiefmaker was rather stark and showed how love can be a much greater motivator than cruelty.

    3. I often feel that Book 1 does Jean a little of a disservice because he and Locke are such a team that they cannot function separately anymore.

    4. Good point – surly Locke must have a high enough sneakiness quota!

    1. Hooray for Blogger Twins!

      Yes, Lynch does a great job of showing the different motivational powers of cruelty and love. This is one good example of why I feel I learn a bit about human nature reading his books.

      Yes, Jean & Locke became a team early in their relationship and it will be interesting to see how that progresses in Book 3. While Locke was having his pity party, he said often that Jean would do better without him. But can Locke manage with out Jean?

  11. I’m also glad that Sabetha doesn’t use Locke’s crush against him, or rather, that she doesn’t play the cliche and make him bow to her will. However, I get the sense that she sometimes makes him suffer, or just sits back and lets him suffer when she could make things easier for him. It’s not malicious and she doesn’t hate him, but there are tensions here that cannot grasp yet.

    I also don’t see Locke as doing what she wants. He doesn’t really know what she wants; he just keeps trying to impress her, waiting to hit the right button, so to speak.

    “This is the second book that starts with Locke injured/sick and wallowing in self-pity.”
    I enjoyed this as well, although Locke better be strong and healthy at the start of book 4! Or else Jean might finally heave him over a cliff, and I’ll applaud.

    1. Agree on Sabetha. She’s not actively making Locke suffer, but she’s also not making it easy on him. On the other hand, if she doesn’t have romantic feelings for him, then it would be wrong to encourage those feelings in Locke.

      Yep, if Locke keeps wallowing in self-pity I wouldn’t blame Jean at all for strapping a climbing harness on him with a length of rope and tossing him off the highest structure he can find and leaving him hanging for a few days until all the self-pity has dripped out of him.

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