The Lies of Locke Lamora Read Along Part 4 and Part 5

I had to work last weekend and got to spend the entire day in a hotel meeting room so I didn’t get to play in the read along. I planned to post Part 4 earlier in the week and then, well, I didn’t. So, this week is a twofer. You get week 4 and week 5, which is also sadly the end of the read along. But don’t despair; Red Seas under Red Skies is up next.

If you want to see what others are saying stop by the Little Red Reviewer.

Part 4 Questions

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?

I like the idea of a night tea. On off nights when I end up awake at random hours, (thank you neighbor for vacuuming in the middle of the night!) I usually watch TV. A night tea seems much more productive, and civil, to me.

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. They are perfectly suited for each other. I can’t picture Jean with any other weapon. There’s something I don’t often say.

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?

I like the description and wouldn’t want any less. It helps me see the action better, if that makes any sense. This scene creeped me out but I really don’t like things like the salt devils. In fact, they are somewhat a worst nightmare scenario for me. So while I can’t say that I liked or enjoyed the scene, it was effective! Description and all — bring it one.
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?

No, I didn’t see it coming and I should have. Something was going to have to give but I just didn’t want it to be characters I liked! At least I was able to feel completely justified in wanting Jean and Locke to avenge their deaths.

OK, I know I’m giving away a bit here but really, I have no idea how to answer this without giving something away! And, by this point, you’ve already read it since this is part of last week’s questions, so my guilt isn’t very heavy.

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?


Ya know, I’m beginning to think Chains started to picture a much bigger and grander plan after he met Locke. I’m not sure if he knew exactly what he was doing but he seemed to toss everything at the wall hoping some of it would stick. Seems some of that sticky stuff is coming back. I like it!

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?

I — this is going to sound bad — don’t want him to remain greedy (which I don’t think is the case with Locke anyway) but I want him to go all badass and avenge his friends. Locke has it in him. I know he does.
7.      Does Locke Lamora or the Thorn of Camorr enter Meraggio’s
Countinghouse that day? Is there a difference?

Locke enter, the Thorn of Camorr emerges. He schemed and lied to get what he needed and even though he didn’t know how he was going to get what he needed, he figured it out and walked out with a plan that wasn’t even a thought when he walked through the door.

Part 5 Questions

1.       The Thorn of Camorr is renowned – he can beat anyone in a fight and he steals from the rich to give to the poor.  Except of course that clearly most of the myths surrounding him are based on fantasy and not fact.  Now that the book is finished how do you feel the man himself compares to his legend.  Did you feel that he changed as the story progressed and, if so, how did this make you feel about him by the time the conclusion was reached?

I do feel he changed because of what happened to him. The deception with the Grey King and then his friends murders, how could he not change. While I wanted him to go all badass on the people who hurt him, I hope he doesn’t turn into a mean bastard. It was warranted, but I still like the old Locke with the bit of a swagger and attitude.

2.       Scott Lynch certainly likes to give his leading ladies some entertaining and strong roles to play.  We have the Berangia sisters – and I definitely wouldn’t like to get on the wrong side of them or their blades plus Dona Vorchenza who is the Spider and played a very cool character – even play acting to catch the Thorn.  How did you feel about the treatment the sisters and Dona received at the hands of Jean and Locke – were you surprised, did it seem out of character at all or justified?

The Berangia sisters were scary but I loved the shark killing entertainment quality of them. But just to state here, I don’t condone shark killing in general but this was fiction so I’m good with that. It’s early for me so I need qualify for some reason. Moving on.

I don’t think any of the actions were out of character for people who just witnessed the murder of family members. I thought the reactions were justified, and really Locke and Jean didn’t come out of it unscathed either. And being honest, this is dark fantasy, I wasn’t expecting a happy ending or any of the characters to be nice and sweet.

3.       Towards the end we saw a little more of the magic and the history of the Bondsmagi.  The magic, particularly with the use of true names, reminds me a little of old fashioned witchcraft or even voodoo.  But, more than that I was fascinated after reading the interlude headed ‘The Throne in Ashes’ about the Elderglass and the Elders and why their structures were able to survive even against the full might of the Bondsmagi – do you have any theories about this do you think it’s based on one of our ancient civilisations or maybe similar to a myth??

I think witchcraft and voodoo are good bases for the magic. It gave the magic a more personal feeling, if that makes any sense, with the use of real names. It’s a reminder that a single person could be the target and how easy it is to get at that person with a simple word.

4.       We have previously discussed Scott Lynch’s use of description and whether it’s too much or just spot on.  Having got into the last quarter of the book where the level of tension was seriously cranked up – did you still find, the breaks for interludes and the descriptions useful or, under the circumstances did it feel more like a distraction?

The interludes were useful but I will admit to finding them a bit of a distraction toward the end when I wanted to know what was going on with the main action. After finishing, I did appreciate the interludes more because they did add back story that I might have questioned at the end if I hadn’t read it.

5.       Now that the book has finished how did you feel about the conclusion and the eventual reveal about the Grey King and more to the point the motivations he declared for such revenge – does it seem credible, were you expecting much worse or something completely different altogether?

The Grey King, where to start? He needed to be revealed but I almost wish he would have remained unknown. I know, I hate when that happens in books but now that I know who he is, I want him to be someone else. Maybe I’m on the side of wanting him to be completely different, I don’t know. This was the only part of the book where my reaction was significantly different. Normally, I would be like, “Yeah!” and here I was like, “Oh.” Looking back on it, it had to work out that way but I guess this is the let down you get when someone is revealed for who they really are.

6.       Were you surprised that Locke, being given two possible choices (one of which could possibly mean he would miss his chance for revenge on the Grey King) chose to go back to the Tower  – especially given that (1) he would have difficulty in getting into the building (2) he would have difficulty in convincing them about the situation and (3) he would have difficulty in remaining free afterwards? Did anyone else nearly pee their pants when Locke and the rest were carrying the sculptures up to the roof garden?

Yes, surprised by all. The part when they are carrying the sculptures I read really fast because I wanted it to be over and Locke to be safe!

7.       Finally, the other question I would chuck in here is that, following the end of the book I was intrigued to check out some of the reviews of LOLL and noticed that the negative reviews mentioned the use of profanity.  How did you feel about this – was it excessive? Just enough? Not enough?

I loved it! It made me laugh but I’m a tough person to be insult with profanity. I find it way too amusing and I’m not sure what that says about me.

8.       Okay one further, and probably most important but very quick question – having finished, will you pick up the sequel, Red Seas Under Red Skies?

Yep, already have my copy.

The Lies of Locke Lamora Read Along – Part 3

Week three of the read along and I feel I should confess something. *she whispers* I finished the book. Tell no one.

Yea, I couldn’t help myself. I’m bad with read alongs especially ones where the book is so good and each section ends on a cliffhanger and I just need to know so I keep on reading telling  myself that I’ll stop at the end of the section or maybe just finish off the chapter and put it down and then I don’t. Yea, that.

Thanks to the Little Read Reviewer for organizing and My Awful Reviews for putting together this week’s batch of questions.

Warning: my answers will be short. I’m not going to be the one to put a spoiler out there. As much as I want to I won’t.

1. This section is where we finally get to sneak a peek at the magic in The Gentleman Bastards books. From what we read, what are your initial impressions of the magic Lynch is using? Is there any way that Locke and Company would be able to get around the Bondsmage’s powers?

Initial impression is that the magic is very dark and never used for good. Then again there aren’t many (any?) characters in this book looking to help alleviate any social problems for their fellow brethren so it does fit with the story. I can appreciate that.

I’m confident Locke will come up with a plan to get himself out whatever trouble he’s stepped in but that bondsmage is badass.

2. Not a question, but an area for rampant speculation: If you want to take a stab at who you think the Grey King might be, feel free to do it here.

I have no idea. That’s the best I can do. That is such a crap answer but I won’t say more.

2.5 (since 2 wasn’t really a question) Anyone see the Nazca thing coming? Anyone? Do you think there are more crazy turns like this in store for the book? Would you like to speculate about them here? (yes, yes you would)

NO, not Nazca! Ugh, I was annoyed to see her go. I was looking forward to the supposed dating/marriage thing with Locke. I really wanted to see what they would come up with to get out of it and maybe a date scene thrown in there with the two of them at dinner or something. I think it could have been entertainment to the hilt. But no, he killed her off.

Do I think there are more crazy turns? If he’s willing to axe a character like Nazca, then yep, he’s gonna take a few more crazy turns.

3. When Locke says “Nice bird, arsehole,” I lose it. EVERY TIME. And not just because I have the UK version of the book and the word arsehole is funnier than asshole. Have there been any other places in the books so far where you found yourself laughing out loud, or giggling like a crazy person on the subway?

That one got me too! My husband looked over at me (I said it out load and laughed) and just shook his head. It was awesome. And arsehole is so much funnier.

The corpse stealing scene also had me giggling.

4. By the end of this reading section, have your opinions changed about how clever the Bastards are? Do you still feel like they’re “cleverer than all the rest?” Or have they been decidedly outplayed by the Grey King and his Bondsmage?

I still have faith in the Bastards but I think they’re getting challenged in a whole new way. I’m don’t think they thought of their schemes as life and death —  they are supposed to be petty thieves for all anyone knows — even though they could have been killed by Barsavi if he found out what they were hiding. Now it’s more than just a gig to keep up till they can back away. I think Locke still thinks he’s clever enough to get out of it though, or at least rock headed enough to try.

5. I imagine that you’ve probably read ahead, since this was a huge cliffhanger of an ending for the “present” storyline, but I’ll ask this anyway: Where do you see the story going from here, now that the Grey King is thought to be dead?

Yes, I read ahead. No, I will not answer this question because I know the answer.

6. What do you think of the characters Scott Lynch has given us so far? Are they believable? Real? Fleshed out? If not, what are they lacking?

Jean is a favorite of mine. I loved his introduction into the Bastards and of course his beating the crap out of Locke who roundly deserved it. He’s kind with a mean streak and that seems like a perfect combination for a Gentleman Bastard.

7. Now that you’ve seen how clever Chains is about his “apprenticeships,” why do you think he’s doing all of this? Does he have an endgame in sight? Is there a goal he wants them to achieve, or is it something more emotional like revenge?

I think the endgame is a well-rounded thief who can blend in no matter what, hide when necessary, and be capable of pulling on an accent, a cloak, or mannerism that will let him take over a situation when possible and necessary. And I feel I thought that one out too far. Really, Father Chains is a con man and he’s now got his own little roving gang of bandits and he’s training them to be the best possible players they can be.

And, that’s my two cents.

The Lies of Locke Lamora Read Along – Part 2

We’re in the second week of The Lies of Locke Lamora Read Along. I’m loving the book so far so if things feel a little gushy today, it’s because they are. Since there are no spoilers in this read along, this will be short and to the point. By the way, I love spoilers so you have no idea how hard this is for me. J

More info at the Little Red Reviewer and questions this week were supplied by Dark Cargo.

1 – Do you think Locke can pull off his scheme of playing a Midnighter who is working with Don Salvara to capture the Thorn of Camorr? I mean, he is now playing two roles in this game – and thank goodness for that costume room the Gentleman Bastards have!

First, the costume room is awesome. I so need a closet like that. Okay, maybe not exactly like that, but you get the point.

I have started to wonder how long he plans to keep this one going, but from what I’ve read, Locke has convinced me he can pull it off. And the badge is so cool that if that doesn’t convince anybody what will! I don’t think Locke will do anything to jeopardize the scheme but I think something else might. This is the time when I want to read ahead but I’m not. It’s just a suspicion and as soon as I’m done writing this, I’m back to reading to find out.

2 – Are you digging the detail the author put into the alcoholic drinks in this story?

YES! Does that answer the questions sufficiently? :) No really, the detail is wonderful. As I said last week, and read on blogs of others participating in the read along, the details make you see Camorr — all its scars and bright spots. It’s just enough for you to picture it clearly but not enough to overwhelm the story. It’s such a fine line and Lynch is amazing me with how he’s walking it.

3 – Who is this mysterious lady Gentleman Bastard Sabetha and what does she mean to Locke?

I wish I knew because the suspense is killing me. From what I can tell though, she’s taken Locke’s heart, ripped it from his chest, stomped on it, ground it to powder under heel of her shoe, and kicked the rest in the water. I could be very wrong about this though.

4 – Are you creeped out over the use of Wraithstone to create Gentled animals as I am?

Yes, although I find the idea of Wraithstone fascinating. It’s back to details though. Camorr is a rough place and would the animals get freaked out and be unusable there is they weren’t gentled? I don’t really want this to sound like an endorsement of this particular use of Wraithstone because I don’t like it at all. Let’s just say I saw the point and appreciated the use of the Wraithstone but I didn’t like it.

5 – I got a kick out of child Locke’s first meeting with Capa Barsavi and his daughter Nazca, which was shortly followed up by the story of Barsavi granting adult Locke permission to court his daughter! Where do you think that will lead? Can you see these two together?

Nazca with her steel heeled boots and drunk — two things you have to love about a child. She’s an amusing character but I particularly liked the description of her as a child. You can picture her running her father’s enterprise too. Let’s face it, she already feels comfortable telling the guards what to do.

I can’t picture Locke and Nazca as a couple. Would they work well together though? Probably, umm, maybe. Locke’s hiding too much from Capa and I’m not so sure he could keep up the game if he really did fall for Nazca. I don’t know how he plans to get out of it though. That will be an interesting scene.

6 – Capa Barsavi is freaked out over rumors of The Grey King and, in fact, us readers are privy to a gruesome torture scene. The Grey King is knocking garristas off left and right. What do you think this means?

I didn’t need to be privy to the torture scene, mostly because I was eating lunch at the time. Uck.

Moving on. I’m looking forward to The Grey King’s appearance. Another dark character with designs on being in charge, bring it on.

7 – In the Interlude: The Boy Who Cried for a Corpse, we learn that Father Chains owes an alchemist a favor, and that favor is a fresh corpse. He sets the boys to figuring out how to provide one, and they can’t ‘create’ the corpse themselves. How did you like Locke’s solution to this conundrum?

This shouldn’t have made me giggle but it did. Locke is really too smart for his own good. In the end, it was a brilliant decision to the problem of obtaining a fresh corpse with minimal damage. However, what about buying one? Too obvious I guess. The extra little scheme was so Locke too. His mind was way too active for a boy that age and way too morbid as well. Then, that’s why I’m enjoying this book so much.

The Lies of Locke Lamora Read Along – Part 1 Discussion

Section 1 question time! Want more info, want to know what this is about, then go visit The Little Red Reviewer.

1. If this is your first time reading The Lies of Locke Lamora, what do you think of it so far?  If this is a re-read for you, how does the book stand up to rereading?

I’m a first timer. I had a hard time putting it down at the stopping point and I’m not so confident I will adhere to the schedule. Please don’t hate me! Sometimes I’m bad at controlling myself when I get into a book I’m really enjoying. And what I really like is the setting. Love the Venice-like setting! And the cursing! Oh, the cursing is divine. Yep, I laugh at curse words in print. Obviously, I have no self-control whatsoever.

2. At last count, I found three time lines:  Locke as a 20-something adult, Locke meeting Father Chains for the first time, and Locke as a younger child in Shades Hill. How are you doing with the Flashback within a flashback style of introducing characters and the world?

I had a, “Huh?” moment and I started to wonder if I skipped pages when the time shift happened. I’m okay with it now that I know what’s going on though. In fact, I’m kinda liking it because I get to see what Locke is like at three different stages all at the same time, well, pretty much the same time anyway. I like the interspersed stories that go with each time frame too.

3. Speaking of the world, what do you think of Camorr and Lynch’s world building?

Ooo, so loving it! Yes, I already said that. You don’t see many fantasy books set in a medieval Venice like world and I’m so loving it. There’s something so intriguing about it.

4. Father Chains and the death offering. . .  quite the code of honor for thieves, isn’t it? What kind of person do you think Chains is going to mold Locke into? 

After reading three different versions of Locke so far, I honestly can’t say. Normally, I would read ahead and find out but I’m reading this on my Nook and I find it a real pain to skip ahead so I don’t which is keeping me really annoying because I want to know who Locke turns out to be. I like the code of honor Father Chains follows (thief that he is as well) but I don’t see Locke taking it to heart. He might follow it out of gratitude or honor to Father Chains but I don’t see him being a big believer in it all his life.

5. It’s been a while since I read this, and I’d forgotten how much of the beginning of the book is pure set up, for the characters, the plot, and the world. Generally speaking, do you prefer  set up and world building done this way, or do you prefer to be thrown into the deep end with what’s happening?

I enjoy both and for me it really depends on the author’s ability as to whether or not I enjoy it. With this book, I’m liking all the setup up front. It’s helping me see the world if that makes any sense at all.

6. If you’ve already started attempting to pick the pockets of your family members (or even thought about it!) raise your hand.

Hmm, this hadn’t occurred to me yet. Wonder what’s in my husband’s wallet… :)