Saturday, March 31, 2012

Read Along of The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch Part 4

I saw the details for this Read Along on the Little Red Reviewers blog, here, though I know that several other blogs are involved as well. I thought it looked like fun and signed up to make posts on my blog every week.

You can see Redhead’s Part 4 post 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 the Interlude: Orchids and Assassins, which ends on p. 402 of my kindle edition.

1. In the chapter “A Curious Tale for Countess Amberglass” we learn of the tradition of the night tea in Camorr. I found that not so much fantastical as realistic – how about you?

We have already spent quite some time reading about the Gentleman Bastards’ eating and drinking habits, showing how food and drink play an important role in Camorr’s life. These aspects of everyday life add to the realism of the world and demonstrate Mr Lynch’s eye for detail. Here, the night tea is part of the Countess’ disguise as a gossipy old lady and it gives people a very good excuse for wanting to call upon her. I am intrigued by the tower shape cake, but I agree with the Countess: I would love to spit the little glow beads down onto the sleeping city! :D

2. When Jean meets with what will become the Wicked Sisters for the first time, the meeting is described very much like how people feel when they find their true work or home. Agree? Disagree? Some of both?

Agree. He seems to have an instinctive connection with them and they fit well with his fighting style. This is not an experience I have had myself, because I’m not a trained fighter, but it makes sense that different people fight in different ways.

3. Salt devils. Bug. Jean. The description is intense. Do you find that description a help in visualizing the scene? Do you find yourself wishing the description was occasionally – well – a little less descriptive?

Yikes: it is a good thing that I am not afraid of spiders! They certainly added to the desperation of the scene, but allowed Jean and Bug to shine in their determination to save Locke. It was good to see them working in an unknown situation, with no planning at all, and still working as a team. It also showed us that they are not just puppets in Locke’s plans: they are dangerous individuals in their own rights. This, and their obvious love of Locke, show how powerful and talented the Bastards are as a unit.

4. This section has so much action in it, it’s hard to find a place to pause. But…but.. oh, Locke. Oh, Jean. On their return to the House of Perelandro, their world is turned upside down. Did you see it coming?

Nope: Mr Lynch is very good at keeping us in the dark. I was so sure that the Bastard’s hideout was hidden, even from the Gray King, that I didn’t expect the carnage that occurred. Trying to kill Locke is one thing, but totally destroying the whole gang is quite another. It suggests that they were all seen as a grave threat to the rule of the new Capa. Of course, we are now left to wonder how their secret was uncovered . . .

5. Tavrin Callas’s service to the House of Aza Guilla is recalled at an opportune moment, and may have something to do with saving a life or three. Do you believe Chains knew what he set in motion? Why or why not?

I think Chains saw the potential for killing in Jean, and knew something of the training of the initiates of Aza Guilla, so it made sense that he should be the one sent to infiltrate the House. We have already seen that Chain was a master of psychology and assessing the characters of his apprentices: his foresight in sending Jean only emphasizes this.

6. As Locke and Jean prepare for Capa Raza, Dona Vorchenza’s remark that the Thorn of Camorr has never been violent – only greedy and resorting to trickery – comes to mind again. Will this pattern continue?

Locke is a master at bloodless thefts, and it is very likely that he will continue to use these skills with most people. However, I think Capa Raza and The Falconer will find that his methods can be altered: he has sworn vengeance and will do anything required to fulfill his oath.

7. Does Locke Lamora or the Thorn of Camorr enter Meraggio’s Countinghouse that day? Is there a difference?

If we assume that the Thorn is the aspect of Locke that avoids violent solutions to his problems, then I would say that the Thorn was in action in Meraggio’s. I think that before the Bastards’ destruction Locke and the Thorn were one and the same, but now Locke is willing to go beyond the Thorne’s bloodless mode of operation.


  1. Do you think the little glowing balls would pick up speed and weight on the way down and give somebody a headache!
    I loved the scene with Jean and the Salt Devils - that man is awesome!
    No.7 has got us all twisting and turning - so many diferent answers its great reading all the different opinions.
    Lynn :D

  2.  Haha, that was my thought when they talked about spitting the little balls.  Yes, it would be great fun, but it might accidentally hurt someone.

  3. I really like Dona Vorchenza and how she is not a stuffy little old lady - she has her wits and a sense of humor and practicality. 

  4. I imagined that they would shatter quite easily and not kill anyone, but it would be such fun watching them on the way down :D

  5. She is the kind of old lady I want to become: a bit arthritic, but in full control of her mental faculties. I like the fact that she can ignore convention because she is so old and well-respected . . . and she still has that childish desire to spit things off a tower! :D

  6. Your answer to Q#4 intrigues me - just how DID their secret hideout become uncovered? Was it the Gray King, or one of his minions, just staking out the GBs? Or is it something else, something more complicated, that we have yet to learn?

  7. My first thoughts were that the beads would pick up speed and put a nice bullet-sized hole in someone's head! But for the sake of those terra firma heads I'm going to pretend that they break apart in mid-air due to the velocity. Might not make sense but I don't want to imagine anyone actually injured by those hurtling beads!

  8. I'm going to guess that it will be something complicated: nothing has been simple so far! :D

  9. stealing and tricking the nobles has always been fun and games for the Bastards, until now.  Chains taught them well, not to resort to violence. . . until now.  I'm waiting for Locke to just go completely postal, I'm shocked he was able to stay so calm at Meraggio's!

    the salt devils are totally creeptastic.

    and that final scene with Bug, I cry every damn time.

  10. I'm not sure if Locke will go all psycho or stay icy cold until he has the Gray King in his grip and then unleash Jean on him. As for the Falconer: I hope they can set some salt devils on him!

  11. Actually, I don't think they would, because of air resistance.  I imagine the terminal velocity of a glow bead is quite low.

  12. Good point in #4, about the Bastards hideout.  Could it be from the Bondsmage?  He was stalking them for a while before the Grey King made his move, wasn't he?  But then again, I wonder what tipped him off that Locke was the Thorn in the first place.

    In #7, that was actually kind of my reasoning for saying the opposite!  I saw what he did to the wait staff guy as pure Locke.  He never necessarily intended to hurt him, but he ended up framing him for attempted murder and completely destroying his life.  At least he did give him a little money and warn him to flee.  This question in particular is really fun to read everyone's answers to, because everyone's saying something different :)!

  13. # 4 You are right: he had that horrible bird following them. How could I have forgotten that? Doh!

    # 7 This has produced some heated debate, hasn't it? :D

  14.  I agree.  It makes it more interesting too because she's such an amazing character, but at the same time she's setting a trap for Locke Lamora.  It makes me unsure of who I want to root for when the two confront each other.


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