Saturday, 24 March 2012

The Lies of Locke Lamora read along
[part three]

Dear fellow readers! This week is the third week of the Lies of Locke Lamora read along hosted by the Little Red Reviewer and her comrades, and it's the first time I am joining one! Every week we'll read around 120-140 pages of the book and every Saturday, each participant will reply to a bunch of secret questions and discuss around it.
Like the book? Good!
Want to have fun? Same here!
Groupie of Scott Lynch but afraid to tell? It's ok, we won't say anything...
Join the read along or come check the discussion every week!

Darn, this week's questions are so precise! I usually cheat a bit and just re-read bits and pieces, but this time I had to re-read the whole part to remember it properly! Ok, maybe I enjoyed it too much and couldn't put the book down... it was totally worth it. Time to check out last week's answers, and now let's move on to this week's discussion!

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?
I very much like how the magic is subtle in the story—I think it was Brandon Sanderson who wrote about the different kinds of magic, the showy kind and the subtle one, and how authors should use them the right way. Well, here it's subtle (because we don't know how it works and it's only for few selected people) but very well incorporated to the book's atmosphere and all, and I find it really great.
Locke is awesome, but we all know this Bondmage can kick his ass anytime, and I think he's up for a very serious ass kicking if he retaliate after what happens at the end of this part (and he has to retaliate, we're only halfway through the book!).

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.
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)

I suck at guessing, sorry, I'm totally clueless. Not even trying.
I couldn't believe the Nazca thing. I was just sooo sure it was fake, like Barsavi made it up, or the Grey King used a disguised corpse or whatever. And I held on to it for so long... I think I finally admitted she was really dead around the beginning of the next part, but I was really distressed. It shows that Lynch has the guts to do this, and that we must fear for whatever else he has in store for the rest of the good guys...

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?
I'm always laughing, geez, I'm so easy... thankfully I don't read on the subway, that would be a disaster. No, instead, I laugh like mad on the couch/bed, and my other half looks at me like I'm crazy, and I'm always trying to explain ("Ah, the guy just flipped him! You know he's this really buffy kid and Locke pisses him off and he does this wrestling thing and it's hilarious!" "...whatever.") but ah, well, I guess you need to read it to understand.
I also lost it at the "nice bird, arsehole", especially after Chains tells him to be polite with them.
Is it just me or are you also unable to stop at the end of the "chapters"? I always know the very beginning of the next one will be awesome, I can't get myself to stop before reading a few extra lines.

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?
They are very clever but they are still kids, they have never left their city, never fought serious hardship in their games, never been outmatched by an opponent. Now there is this guy who has a lot less morals than they have coming on their turf, and it makes him much more dangerous than they are—clever too, maybe, but for me it's the craziness that differentiate them. The Bastards are good but reasonable; the Grey King? He has no limit.

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?
Nooo, I stopped at the end of the part, I swear. And not only because I already finished the book once!
Locke is obviously in deep shit, but he's not dead, and he's not alone, so he'll probably make it somehow. The Grey King will obviously use this opportunity to fuck something up, and I wish I could shake the Bastards and tell them "no, don't do this, be careful!". My poor little heart...

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?
They are amazing. Do I need to say more than this? I think I can enumerate all their qualities, and all their flaws that become qualities because they make them who they are, so real. Even the bad guys are pretty awesome.
Sorry, I mean... AWESOME.

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 don't think Chains has ulterior motives, especially since in the present times he's dead and the Bastards are well, so if there was something we would have known about it... I just think he's a good master who wants his pupils to be the best, to be able to react to any situation and get out from any trouble. Has he done enough? Who knows...

Check out other discussions on the Little Red Reviewer blog, and let's meet again next week—if I haven't ripped the book in half with fury for being so powerless...

9 commentaires:

I think your comment about how the GBs are reasonable and the Grey King has no limits is really important. He's playing hardball with a spiked mace.

Nice bird, Asshole might go down as one of the best quotes from this entire book. Right after learning about how dangerous Bondsmagi are, of course Locke is gonna go and piss off the first one he sees. Let's face it, however mismatched Locke and the Bondsmage may or may not be, Locke is still pretty much a bad ass.

I agree, I think it's really gutsy of Lynch to knock off one of his stronger characters. Let's face it he'd done a really good job with Nazca and built her up, give her history, made you like her, she was the voice of reason when her father was, frankly, getting a bit hysterical and then bam. At first I read it and just carried on reading it - as though I hadn't soaked it in! And this is a reread for me also - but I'd totally forgotten that she died! It certainly opens up the stakes!
Lynn :D

My other half no longer asks what was so funny that had me laughing out loud after a few failed attempts, on my side, of explaining. :)

@nrlymrtl: and he's aiming straight for the head...

@Jeremy: Locke loves to be a bad ass, even if he doesn't manage it so well most of the time - he's still the one who gets beat up in the end, smartmouth or not!

@Lynn: it's so devastating to know that Lynch can just get rid of someone so easily, it really adds even more tension to the story because you know that anything crazy could happen. I think I also have forgotten some bits along the way but I did remember this tragic event...

@Ines: so I'm not the only one, he ^^"

I liked your comment about the fact that the GB's are still kids. When Locke first talks to the Grey King he notices his accent is Camorri mixed with something else whih shows that the Grey King has spent more time outside of Camorr and has probably collected all sorts of experience and allies. Truly a formidable foe!

I like that we don't know much about the magic, for me, it makes the bondsmagi all that much more scarier, because we have no idea what exactly they are capable of.

The Bastards having limits and a code of honor of sorts, and the Grey King having none of those things? Best. Observation. Ever.

the dialog always cracks me, and my other half, he thinks I'm such a nut!

@genkinahito: there is always a time where you realize that there are people older and more experienced out there, and that even though you're good, you cannot be better than everyone... I just wish they wouldn't learn it the hard way!

@redhead: yes, mystery is good for the tension, I like the dark aura surrounding the bondsmagi too. And welcome to the nuts band!

I've seen a lot of comments about the magic and how people don't like it. I think it has to do with folks falling into two different camps: those who need all the rules and those who don't. I'm one of those who don't, but I can understand how someone that needed the rules could get upset at the way Lynch handled things. At the same time, from everything I've read in interviews and podcasts, I'll think we'll get more specifics as the series goes. We've got 5 books after Red Seas to get all the answers.

- My Awful Reviews

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