The Shadow of the Sun Read Along – Part 5

The Shadow of the SunIt’s week five of The Shadow of the Sun read along. Also, the end of the read along so I’m writing this post with a glass of wine to celebrate the conclusion of a good book. This week, we’re covering chapters 29 – end. Once again, thanks to nrlymrtl of Dab of Darkness for putting together the questions.

As a side note, this has been a fun read along and I’m looking forward to book two more than ever. I’ll be doing a review soon and tying together a few of the posts because if you haven’t heard of this one, I’m going to try and make sure you do.

1) These final chapters show us much more of Iminor’s character and his growing Talent. What stuck out the most for you about how he handled the various exploding aspects of his life?

It’s hard to say. On one hand, he’s calm about all that’s happening to him and seems to be taking it in stride, as if he knew something like this might happen along the way. The seething hatred he’s nurturing toward Ellion may be a side effect of the stress he’s feeling (and Ellion’s night activities with Letitia which he has to know about) and I think he’s channeling that stress into not dealing with the problems with his growing Talent. As with the other Tan, he’s pretty good at hiding some, not all, of his feelings and I think he’d doing that and putting up a front so no one really knows what’s going on with him. I don’t see good things for him though in the future though.

2) While Rohini is a late addition to the party, she is an interesting one. What aspect of her character or objectives would you like to see more of in forthcoming book(s)?

I want her to kick more ass. That is all. Thank you. 🙂

3) Amien has been managing and maneuvering Ellion quite a bit in this last section. What do you think his motivations are?

Amien. I don’t know what to think of him. I want to like him, and in some respects, I can and do appreciate his skills, but I don’t trust him. He’s incredibly manipulative and that shows in the way he’s been treating Ellion. I don’t know what he’s up to and maybe he doesn’t know either which is why he’s pushing Ellion so hard. Or maybe he knows something that no one else does and that’s his motivation. Secrets, secrets…

4) Letitia continued to learn more about her abilities, but everyone agrees she still lacks the ability to go toe to toe with Nechton. What more would you empower her with?

Confidence. Loads and loads of it. I think she’s got some skill but having been groomed for something all her life, she’s not confident in the end goal. While she certainly has her convictions and very distinct lines of right and wrong, as well as a healthy respect for duty and responsibility, she’s not mentally equipped to deal with what she has to face. Does it sound like I’m worried about her? A bit. Not sure she has what it takes, although I’m hoping she pulls out all the stops in the end.

Also, another thing that sort of worries me, she makes bad choices. I won’t name him, oh why not, Ellion! How many times can she keep showing up naked with this boy.

As a note to clarify, I complain because I like it. 🙂 I’m totally enjoying all the bad choices they’re gettin’ on here.

5) Throughout this entire book, the deities have played an important, if a backseat driver, role. As a reader, how has this worked for you in the world-building/plot department?

I’ve enjoyed the way the gods have been interacting with the characters. On a larger scale, it’s set a tone for the book and shows just how important the gods are in the characters’ lives and the driving force, even on the sidelines, they can be.

Ellion’s making choices based on what he thinks the gods want but he doesn’t really know what they want, and no matter, he’s still guessing. In many ways, for as prominent as the gods are, they’re still not telling anyone what to do and that I do like.

As for the world-building, it’s an inventive way to show this world. I read in pictures and this book has been a great stream of images for me.

6) We had yet one more assassination attempt in the hot water baths of Sucello. Now that we are at the end of the book, what are your insights into who is behind these attempts?

I still have no idea. I want to say it’s Nechton but I’m not sure about that theory any more. Maybe it’s Carina back from the not-so-dead out to stop everyone after having gone crazy from the battle with Nechton.

7) Bealtan reveals much about our narrative hero, Ellion. From his reuniting with Conar, to the revelation of Amien’s intentions, to his argument with Letitia, and his own internal recriminations about himself. Here at the end, what are your lasting impressions of Ellion?

He’s still not sure of who he is or what he wants to be. I’m good with that actually. I’m enjoying his folly and I don’t think badly about him because I like him. Yes, I’m willing to gloss over some major flaws in his character because I think he’s a good guy at heart even if he isn’t so sure.

Some of you might disagree with me about this but sometimes a character like Ellion is what makes a story. Stories don’t move along when everyone gets along and everything happens according to plan. Bad choices make the story go round.

How long until book two? 🙂
Question for Barbara this week: Have you ever thought of a graphic novel adaptation of The Shadow of the Sun? Maybe Ellion’s early life or a spin-off dealing with the gods, or the Deluge, the battle between Nechton and Carina? nrlymrtl’s question about illustrations got me thinking about this one. There are so many great scenes that I think it could easily work in that form.

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.