The Shadow of the Sun Read Along – Part 4

The Shadow of the SunIt’s week four of The Shadow of the Sun read along. This week, we’re covering Chapters 22 – 28. Once again, thanks to nrlymrtl of Dab of Darkness for putting together the questions. I will be around to discuss with everyone this week.

1) Ellion and Letitia finally have not 1, not 2, not 3, but four trysts in this section of the book. What insights into the characters did you gain from these assignations?

Umm, that they need to learn to keep their pants on. OK. That’s obvious.

Actually, it occurred to me that these are two very hurt people looking to assuage guilt and be assured by someone, or something, even if that something is sex, that what they’re feeling is normal, and that it’s OK to feel they way they do. Letitia has no idea what she’s up against and has no faith in her abilities. Ellion is running so fast he’s bumping into every wall, real and imagined, that he can find as if he’s doing it out of some need to punish himself. Ignore this. I seriously have no idea what I’m talking about. I’m not going any further with my analysis than that.

2) Letitia’s retinue has diminished even further. How did this affect you as the reader and how do you think it will affect the dynamics of the remaining Tanaan?

It’s making me nervous! Barbara, please stop the killing! 🙂

Are they going to make it is the question that keeps rattling around in my head. Also, I’m beginning to think Amien is slightly useless on the wizard front. I want him to do more than throw green bolts. For god sakes, he a wizard! Also, I want him to get off Ellion’s case. Ellion needs some tough love but there’s too much guilt being passed between them to help matters.

I do think it’s starting to stress the Tanaan though. They’ve watching so many of their friends die that it has to be hard to them.

3) We’ve learned a bit more about the missing Carina in this section. What do you think is in her grimoire that has Letitia so secretive?

I think Letitia’s embarrassed because she doesn’t understand what she’s reading. She’s obviously had no training, believes that she’s supposed to know and understand everything on her own, and doesn’t want to admit this to anyone. I think she’s also terrified of what she has to face.

Letitia said she was willing to die if needed, so she seems to understand on some level what she’s up against, but I think she’s truly misread everything and it’s not her fault at all. It’s almost as though everyone expects her to know. How can she understand, be capable, if no one can or will help her? I’m feeling bad for her but also — keep ya pants on!

4) We’ve heard plenty about how much Ellion’s vow not to draw power means to him. But then we also see him finding several ways to feel, touch, smell, and use someone else’s power. What do you make of this and where do you think it will take Ellion?

Oh, all the wrong places. Totally off topic, is that a lyric to a country music song because it feels like it? Also, it fits with Ellion right now. This boy. I like him, I want him to finally come around and be what he’s supposed to be but, can he do more to make me question his judgement? Can he make a good decision here? He’s such an addict when it comes to power and I give him some credit for holding himself back but he’s cheating. He knows it too but doesn’t seem inclined to stop at all.

5) Nechton also played a larger role in this section. Which aspect has caught your attentions so far?

That he’s pretty much a badass. Although, Ellion’s description of Nechton when he sees a vision of him while touching the Spear is kinda eye opening. It’s a rather sexual description too which for Ellion is all normal. I mean, really. Pants. On. Ya just had sex too…it’s impressive but…not a race boy.

6) The mummers were in and out of this section, turning up in city and on the river. What did you make of their antics?

I found them disconcerting. They know entirely too much. Each time they showed up I was waiting for trouble. Although, they have been amusing and let’s face it, the death toll is a bit high not to laugh at something.

7) So far throughout the book we have gotten maps as we read. How is this working for you as the reader?
I like it. It helps me visualize the setting, where they’re going, and how they’re getting there. While I’m awful at directions, and honestly can’t read a map to save my life, (While in California last year, my husband asked where we were and I told him somewhere in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. That was all I could come up with.) I appreciate seeing the terrain. Although, if it’s possible to drop a temple on a corner where they need to turn, that would help me so much.

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.