If you haven't read the book, or the whole series, why not join in and read along with the rest of us? This week the links to the other posts can be found at the Little Red Reviewer.
This week we read through to the end of Chapter 10.
1. We finally know why Sabetha dies her hair, and that's so disturbing even the Thiefmaker under Shade's Hill was disgusted by it. Too dark for this world? Or just right?
Unfortunately, it was pretty much what I expected. I say this because there is a similar tradition in Africa where sex with a virgin is supposed to cure all manner of sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS. I thought the mutilation beforehand added a certain extra layer of cruelty that I had not expected though. As you say, it has to be really bad if even the Thiefmaker is appalled by it.
One thing did surprise me about this though: it is very misogynistic, which seems a little at odds with the world in general. So far I have been rather impressed by the sexual equality that we have seen, although Moncraine’s comment later in the section did hint at a background of sexism.
2. The "Asino" brothers are drunken idiots, but they're not blind. What did you think of the little rendezvous they helped arrange for Sabetha and Locke?
I thought it was rather sweet of them and surprisingly considerate. It also showed that they are much less self-obsessed than you would think, and have genuine compassion for others. This showed up again in their happiness that Jean had got himself a girlfriend. Of course, the venue that they chose was not exactly romantic, but it seemed more than adequate and was probably more spacious than the backseat of a car! :D
3. Locke managed to get everyone out of the Boulidazi mess we discussed last week . . . what do you think of this latest Boulidazi complication?
As it turned out, the cliffhanger last week was pretty tame compared to this one. While I will not shed a single tear for Boulidazi, I am much more concerned about how they will wriggle out of this latest disaster. Travelling in his head was a singularly unpleasant experience, so the outcome was a lot less bloody than I had expected: I assumed that the Sisters would come into play and leave a bit of a mess.
I enjoyed seeing the whole gang acting together, just like Chains wanted them to, although I suspect that he would be a little disappointed in what brought them together. Just as I was beginning to feel all smug that they had everything worked out we get the final spanner in the works and now they look totally stuffed. However, I have faith that they will escape relatively unscathed and not just because we know that they survive this little hiccup in their plans.
4.Time is flying, and the election is getting closer. Desperation calls for cheap tricks. I think my favorite so far is Sabetha's special roof guards. What's your favorite election dirty trick so far?
I have to agree that the geriatric roof guards were a masterly stroke, but I think the snakes in Locke’s carriage are my favorite. I appreciated the way that Sabetha could get the carriage adjusted so quickly, although I did feel a little sorry for the poor reptiles . . .
I am afraid that the one that made me laugh the most was Locke’s rather personal way of manipulating Sabetha’s major domo. When it got to the bit about them going upstairs, I’m afraid I was in great danger of soiling myself at the mental image it conjured for me! :D
5.There's a mole in the Deep Roots. Was that person's identity a surprise to you? And how did you like Locke's method of identifying the person?
I thought it was pretty obvious that the raging drug addict was going to be exploited as a mole. In fact, I was surprised that it took so long for Sabetha’s bought policeman to corner the sweaty little weasel. I was rather disappointed that Locke and Jean did not keep a close enough eye on him when he was obviously suffering from withdrawal symptoms: it seemed rather sloppy to me.
Locke used the same method that I would have to uncover their little leak, although the increased sweating and nervousness would have been a bit of a clue as well. Again, I was genuinely surprised that they had not guessed before having it confirmed. However, it is possible that they were being sarcastic and that their insistence on his going cold turkey was a plan to make him an obvious target for blackmail. Or perhaps I am overthinking things . . .
6.What's so important about this Lovaris fellow? The election is right around the corner, so why introduce someone new so late in the game?
I am not sure if this is a double cross, triple cross or quadruple cross. I realized a long time ago that trying to guess where we would go next is a fruitless task with Mr Lynch, so I will simply sit back and enjoy the ride.
7. It's so nice that Locke and Sabetha can finally have some nice, normal dinner dates. He even cooks her dinner! But that sneaky Patience, always interrupting everything! Finally, she promises some answers. that's nice. what, Locke is WHO? Locke is a WHAT? How much of it do you believe?
I loved their romantic dates and a man who can cook is always a prize catch in my opinion. I was disappointed that Patience turned up when she did and I do worry that this is a misdirection to put a wedge between Locke and Sabetha . . . However, I find it hard to believe that Patience would go to all the trouble that she has in getting Locke to Karthain unless she had a really, really good reason.
Well played, Mr Lynch, well played: you have left me totally amazed and confused with my mouth hanging open . . .