Saturday, April 28, 2012

Read Along of Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch Part 1

You can see Redhead’s Part 1 post, and the links to the other blogs taking part, here.

If you haven't read the book, or even if you have, why not join in and read along with the rest of us?

This week we have read up to the end of Chapter 3.

1. The Sinspire. It looks like our heroes (can they really be called that?) find themselves in search of a way into an unbeatable vault. Do you think they have what it takes to make it happen?

Of course they are our heroes! I want to be just like Locke when I grow up! :D

If there is anyone who can think up a way into an unbeatable vault it is Locke Lamora. However, I am fairly certain that it will not be easy and there will be plenty of blood, sweat and tears along the way. I am not certain that they have everything in place just yet, but I am sure they will find it without much of a problem.

2.  Anyone want to guess how they're going to make it happen?

If I can waste a little time making a prediction (that we can all laugh at later), I imagine that getting into the vault is less about the design of its security system and more about Requin's psychology. Of course I am probably wrong: in fact, it is almost certain that any prediction I make about a Scott Lynch novel will be completely wrong. I believe I predicted that the Grey King was Locke's Daddy, so we all know how good I am at this guessing game! :D

Perhaps they will simply cut out the vault and use a tame dragon to carry it away to their island paradise. Why are you looking at me like that? It is a possible solution to the problem: they might have a pet dragon . . . and a way to cut emberglass . . . and some really strong rope . . . and NOBODY would expect that!

3. It's a little different this time around, with us just being focused on Locke and Jean. Is anyone else missing the rest of the Bastards as much as I am?

I feel bad for saying this, but not really. It would be nice for them to gather some replacement Bastards, but I don't think that they are ready to trust people that much just yet, especially Locke. I was wondering what had happened to Ibelius, the dog-leech, then we learnt that he had given up on Locke out of frustrated disgust. It seems like Locke came very close to losing Jean as well, but that the experience brought the two even closer together. The sequence of the 'intervention' was very funny, but moving as well because Jean was making one last desperate attempt to save his friend from himself. I love these guys!

4. I love the section where Jean starts to build a new guild of thieves. It really shows just how well trained and tough he is. Do you think the Bastards will end up training others along the way again like Bug?

I enjoyed that section as well: Jean as the new Chains. 
"Who's the biggest, meanest motherfucker here? Who's the best bruiser in the Brass Coves?"

Although I think that they might train others to play a role in their scheme, I doubt that will see more Gentleman Bastards as such. As I said above, I am really not sure if they can trust anyone that much yet. This distrust will be much worse now that they have been threatened by the Bondsmagi and have the Archon on their case: anyone showing any interest in them will be suspected of being a spy.

5. For those of you looking for Sabetha, we still haven't spotted her yet. Anyone else chomping at the bit to see the love of Locke's life?

'Spotted her'? That makes it sound like we have encountered her, but that she was in disguise or hidden. I can only imagine how extraordinary this woman must be to have captured Locke's heart so thoroughly, so I am looking forward to meeting her. Of course, knowing Mr Lynch, she will probably turn out to be a forty-five year old, cross-eyed, bald, hunch-backed mother to twenty-seven children who has no teeth and farts constantly while Locke gazes at her with adoration.

6. It's early on, but the Bastards are already caught up in plots that they didn't expect. How do you think their new "employer" is going to make use of them (The Archon, that is)?

He is going to try to use them to further his own plans, but will be royally shafted, I suspect. Whatever he has in mind will be very dangerous for our boys as he seems rather cunning and ruthless. I did think that the whole 'Oopsie, sorry about my guards, they are all idiots: bad guards!' was very unsubtle and that it was perfectly obvious that he would drug or poison them. He does seem a little over confident, which usually comes before a disaster if you are an enemy of Locke Lamora.  

Other thoughts:

The Prologue: what??!???!??! Jean selling Locke out?!???!??!? 

I really thought that there would be a question about 'The Revenge of the Bondsmagi'. We all predicted that they would be a little upset about The Falconer, but I didn't expect them to show up so soon in this book. That was a really spooky scene, especially with the little girl as their mouthpiece: it was nice knowing you, Locke and Jean . . . 

Am I the only one who was slightly disgusted by the thought of Izmila Corvaleur eating those chocolate-dust covered cherries, sucking her fingers and then handling the cards? They would have been all sticky and disgusting: ewww!

How cool were the Archon's mechanical insect collection and the sculptures made of coins in the Sinspire and the way into the Archon's keep, through the water fall? Not as cool as a sport involving jumping sharks, but still pretty cool. :) 


  1. I agree with what you said about beating the vault. When you can't cheat the system, you have to cheat the player. I can't wait to see what Locke and Jean will do to trick Requin.

    The threat from the Bondsmagi really is something right? I would go mad if I had that kind of pressure hanging over my head 24x7. I just hope Locke and Jean can beat the Bondsmagi at their own game soon.

  2. Yeah, those probably both should have been questions for this week. If I could go back in time I would definitely add them. Thanks for the awesome answers. I can tell you that you'll definitely love the ending of the sinspire con if you enjoy the kind that NOBODY expects. I certainly didn't see it coming the first time around.

  3. - The prologue: I hope Jean is under the influence of the alchemists :S

    - Izmila's cherries were wonderfully creepy, you could almost hear the sound she made.

    - Lynch will be hard-pressed to make a Sabitha that lives up to our expectations (no pressure Mr. Lynch!)

    - Now I want a dragon too!

  4. Why do I get the feeling that Selendri will lose her hand at some point . . . ?

    I always see the bondsmagi as a group of Bond villains now: the fact that they haven't simply nuked Locke and Jean into a nasty greasy spot suggests that it isn't quite that simple. 

  5. Sorry, I wasn't being critical about your questions: I was simply so shocked that the bondsmagi turned up so soon into the book. 

  6. Dragons for everyone! :D

  7. carried away by a tame dragon?  shit, you guessed the ending!   not really, but that is an awesome guess, you get 8 trillion points for humor and originality! :D

    I loved the waterfall entryway into the Archon's tower.  now *that* is an unbeatable vault.  no way anyone is going to just randomly sneak under that waterfall.  Requin's sculptures were just so over the top, they were wonderful! but is there anything about the Sinspire that isn't over the top? Lynch must have had a ball writing in all those details!

    the marketplace scene with all the puppet'ed people? totally f'ing creepy. it made my skin crawl. fucking bondsmagi. they all srsly need to just die.

  8. "Of
    course, knowing Mr Lynch, she will probably turn out to be a forty-five
    year old, cross-eyed, bald, hunch-backed mother to twenty-seven
    children who has no teeth and farts constantly while Locke gazes at her
    with adoration."

    ^^I am now expecting this to happen in the next book.  Sabetha's probably nothing like we expect.

    I love that you pointed out the coin waterfalls.  They were such a neat touch!

  9. Yep: death to all bondsmagi! Bastards!

  10. I went over the top a bit there, but I do think that there is a good chance that she won't be anything unusual, just a nice, normal lady thief.

  11. I would like a tame dragon and an island paradise. Just saying.....

    Yeah - I was looking at those cards handled by the finger sucker too and going - YUCK! I don't mind sharing cooties with someone I know (mostly because I can pay them back if they pass on something questionable) but sharing cookies with a near-stranger? Hmm.... wait a minute.. didn't I have some fast food earlier this month? Nuts.....

    But Locke and Jean were lucky that Izmila had such an annoying habit. What a touch drinking game!

  12. I just kept imaging the cards sticking together after she'd handled them: barf! :D

  13. Oh, yes, the prologues was scary but as the Bondsmagi appeared so soon in the book, I'm thinking the prologue might have something to do with them controlling Jean. But as you said, guessing what Mr. Lynch will do with the story - I just never can guess correctly.
    I agree with now new Bastards, I really don't think Jean and Locke would be able to trust anyone so completely.

    And I did think about those sticky fingers! :)

  14. I was thinking that the bit in the prologue was a complex set up with Jean just pretending to switch to help with some elaborate plan. But the suggestion that he's under control of the Bondsmagi there? *shudders* :( 

  15. They might be like a Cat with a Mouse, they like to play and torment (and probably want to destroy Locke utterly) before they do the killing blow. It will make a nice tale to tell other people as to why you don't mess with them. (Lets hope that Locke and Jean will find a way to rub that overconfidence in their faces!)

    I was surprised that it took them two years to do this but I suppose they wanted to wait until Locke and Jean wouldn't expect anything. But its interesting that they 'show' up at the same time the Archon grabs them, they really do like to make an impression. 

    and yes I agree the stuff with Izmila licking the cards was gross, I feel sorry for the attendants who have to handle the cards - or maybe they get to wear gloves? Think of all those germs.. eww. :/

  16. That whole chocolate covered cherry finger licking thing was a bit yuk!  Those cards would need some serious cleaning.  I don't think those two ladies would be best pleased if Locke was picking his nose or his ears (or another part of his body that I won't elaborate on) and then passing the cards around!  I thought the marketplace scene was brilliant.  A bit hair raising and put me in mind of a zombie movie - particularly the way the Bondsmagi were talking through the little girl.  Not to mention it was a real conundrum because if the Bondsmagi had made those people attack would Jean and Locke really want to kill innocent people who were just being used as puppets.  It's weird the way the Bondsmagi didn't just kill them - they're obviously just going to enjoy keeping them both living in fear for a while!
    Lynn :D

  17. Oh no: I hadn't thought about Jean being controlled in the Prologue! That could very well be right: making them kill each other :(

    I hate the bondsmagi! Bastards!

  18. I guess the bondsmagi (Bastards!) wanted to get everything set up before showing themselves. I really hope that Ines isn't right abut the Prologue being Jean under their control. :(

  19. I'm trying to forget the prologue because I refuse to believe Jean would see Locke out. I keep thinking it's a game, all a game, and Locke's in on it. Has to be. I can't go down that way. Just can't.

    This --- a
    forty-five year old, cross-eyed, bald, hunch-backed mother to
    twenty-seven children who has no teeth and farts constantly while Locke
    gazes at her with adoration. --- made me snort out loud. :) Ha!

  20. Ewww! Locke, picking his 'bits'? Ewww! 

    Why is it that little girls are so much more creepy than any other evil person? It made me think of The Shining . . .

  21. Sorry: I seem to have developed bondsmagi Tourette's. Bastards!

  22. I hope you didn't snort anything on to your computer! :D

  23. OMG - the creepy twins!  Made extra creepy by the fact that they were twins therefore twice the amount of creepiness.  Actually I'm going to chuck clowns into the loop - I find them VERY creepy - I think more creepy than little girls talking in a funny bondsmagi voice - although now I've put it like that.....

  24. That makes me think of Pennywise (I think that's the name) from Stephen King's "IT" . . . aaaarrrrrggggghhhhhh!!!!!!!!

  25. Precisely what I was thinking of!!!  Very scary clown!
    Lynn :D

  26.  a forty-five year old, cross-eyed, bald, hunch-backed mother to twenty-seven children who has no teeth and farts constantly  No, I'm pretty sure I'm not in this series of books... ;)

  27. That only crossed my mind after the scene at the market. It's probably something else I cannot even begin to guess at (knowing Mr. Lynch's devious story-telling). ;)

  28. Your comment about Sabetha was hilarious! Now I am scared :P

    I loved the entrance into the Archon's HQ as well. Impressive and defensive waterfall at the same time. Me likey! 

  29. I know: talk about making a statement of your power and influence. I still Locke will do him over though! :D


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