Saturday, May 19, 2012

Read Along of Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch: Part 4

You can see Redhead’s Part 4 post, and the links to the other blogs taking part, here.

The questions were supplied by nrlymrtl at Dark Cargo

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 13.

1) I was much relieved when Jean and Locke made up, which started with Locke's gesture of a cup full of honesty with Cpt. Drakasha. Do you think that was hard for Locke? Or was he using this bit of honesty like any other weapon in his arsenal to get what he wants in the end?

After all the discussion we had about this last week it was almost an anticlimax, but in a good way! It was such a normal, natural way for them to make up after their fight: they are like brothers, and Mr Lynch caught that feeling very well.

I am not sure if Locke has an innate problem with being honest, although I can imagine that it is not usual for him. However, I think he held enough back that he could say that he was lying to her in some ways. It seemed like he decided that there was no point in being totally dishonest, and it certainly makes it easier to remember who knows what in this very complicated set of plots within plots.

2) The Parlor Passage: We still don't know Locke's true name, but whatever was in that mist does. What do you think it is?

When they mentioned not going into the water, and that nothing would actually come on board, I immediately thought of the Sirens of ancient Greece who would lure sailors to their death by singing. This seemed very similar, although the mythological Sirens just sounded alluring and bewitching whereas here they obviously have some sort of telepathic talent and so each person hears a voice exploiting their own personal weakness or fear. Very scary and potentially lethal as I assume the source of the voices is hungry and waiting in the water . . .

3) There was an interesting section of the book that started about where Locke assisted Drakasha in selling the Red Messenger; he put on the persona of Leocanto Kosta and used the alias Tavras Callas and then Drakasha was still thinking of him as Ravelle..... Did using all those various aliases in such a short amount of time have your mind spinning a little? Do you think Lynch did this on purpose to give the reader a sense of Locke's mind?

I was fine keeping up with the multiple personas, although I think that this was easier because we had already met Kosta and Callas: if we had more new names to remember it might have been more difficult. I think it showed how easily Locke slips into his personas, and how professional they are at pulling a con. It made the pirates look positively honest and straightforward in comparison.

4) That was a sweet little kiss between Cpt. Zamira and Cpt. Jaffrim at the end of the Captains' Council. Do you think they have some history, or is it just innocent flirting that's been going on for some time?

Judging by their ages, I would not be surprised to learn that she had served with him at some point earlier in her career so that they have a father-daughter relationship. Of course he could be her babies daddy, which would put a very different spin on things.

5) Jean and Ezri. Cue dove-cooing and little winged hearts with sparkles. Do you think Jean will stay with the Poison Orchid or that Ezri will leave her ship to pal around with Jean and Locke?

Although I would love to see either possibility, I have a horrible suspicion that Ezri will not survive long enough to cause him to decide. I hope that I am wrong, I really do, because they are so cute together, but I have a bad feeling about them. It is a bit like old war films when they show the guys before they are deployed and one shows the others a picture of his fiancé / wife / child. My husband and I always turn to each other and say “Dead!” :(

6) What is Utgar up to? What are his motivations?

It seems like his motivations are money and a birth on Jaffrim’s ship, but who knows. If Jaffrim is the children’s father, perhaps he is trying to get sole custody?

Edit: Oopsie! I just realized that it is Captain Rodanov, not Jaffrim! Doh! :D

7) So last week we hashed over that Merrain killed some of Stragos's guards on Windward Rock. But when Jean and Locke visit him, he doesn't mention it. What is up with that?

Yeah: why was that not mentioned at all? That was really strange, unless she was cleaning up for Stragos and he wanted no witnesses to the prison break? I am confused!

8) This week's section left us where the book began - Jean pointing a crossbow at Locke's throat. Do you think Jean knows who sent these crossbowers? Is he on their side? Is it a clever ploy to get him and Locke out of this predicament? Did you find it excruciatingly hard to stop here?

It does not seem like Jean’s usual method of operation, but I cannot see how he has been away from Locke long enough to conspire with anyone else. Of course, she might have been making all that noise in her cabin by herself . . . I think I will be finishing the book early next week! :D


  1. I like your analogy to Greek Sirens.

    And now you have made me think that perhaps Merrain was working on Stragos's orders so that he can force Locke and Jean to other tasks and/or pull out justification for their execution later on. Interesting....

  2. I considered the fact that Jaffrim might be the father of Paolo and Cossetta but the relationship between the two lacked enough intimacy. It seemed like they are affectionate rivals who respect each other. We have yet to have any major characters die so Ezri is prime candidate for death. I agree about Jean not having enough time to set anything up. I bet if he did then the Archon or Requin would have heard about it. The two guys are thieves and con-artists and conning these assassins is how they are going to get out of their tight situation.

  3. Ha ha, making all that noise in her cabin by herself - LOL!  Yeah, I don't think Jean would betray Locke - I think he wants Locke to be baffled and that if he was giving out hand signals Locke's demeanour would be different.  This way he's sweating himself and his own disbelief if not an act.  I have to applaud Jean for taking the initiative here!
    I thought the same thing in relation to No.2 - I was put in mind of the Sirens and I also thought that whatever it is in the mist is exploiting everyone's own personal fears and demons.  Waiting in the water, all hungry, what a horrible thought!  Bring back the sharks.
    Lynn :D

  4. It just doesn't make any sense does it, unless it was a test to see how ruthless they were. I give up trying to keep up with Mr Lynch! :D

  5. Someone else suggested that the Bonsmagi might be behind Jean's betrayal: I do hope not because I want the guys to kick their mangy magical butts!

    The sharks are really looking like a nice alternative aren't they? :D

  6. The Jaffrim-Zamira relationship does seem to be more father-daughter, doesn't it? Maybe I am just too intrigued by who the father is? :D

  7. I'm confused too about Merrain. This is one part of the story where I'm really looking forward to the revealing of her motives.

  8. The problem is that there are so many lies and plots going on that it is difficult to work out who is doing what and why! My head hurts! :D

  9. I'm starting with the last part as soon as I read everyone's posts. :) I believe I showed serious character strength when I stopped this week (couldn't do it with Lies).
    The mist did start out sounding like the mermaid thing but it ended up feeling much more sinister. Whoever is doing it seems to have some serious magic...

  10. Oh man the Babby Daddy!  I didn't even think of that but it makes a lot of sense.

  11. I find the whole idea of her having the kids on board ship with her intriguing: it makes we want to know more abut her earlier life, like so many of the characters who could do with a prequel of their own! :D

  12. If I didn't have other things to read I would be reading them too!

    I'm guessing that we won't learn what is in the Parlor: it will just be one of those colorful bits of set dressing that we never have explained. Grrrr!!

  13.  It would put the whole kidnapping thing in perspective if he was the father.  Then again, I would think that if he were the father they might spend more time together.  So much to think about... :P

  14. Maybe he was more of a sperm donor initially, but now he has changed his mind? :D

  15. yeah, the creepy stuff in the Parlor Passage was very siren-y, they call to you, and you can't help but go to them. totally creepy!!!

    I think Locke is able to tell the truth. . . sometimes. I think he can tell the truth to people he trusts, and he has major, major trust problems. Jean is pretty must the only person he (sort of) trusts. How are you supposed to have any kind of healthy relationship if you are incapable of trusting them?

  16. I think that in this case Locke only told the truth because it was as good as lying to get him what he wanted, which is just as cynical as lying, isn't it? :(


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