Saturday, 7 April 2012

The Lies of Locke Lamora read along
[last part]

Dear fellow readers! This week is the last week (bouhouhou) 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've read around 120-140 pages of the book and every Saturday, each participant replied 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!

Gosh, it's over already! I can't believe I've been so wrapped up in this, you should have seen me this morning, disheveled and still in my pajamas, not wanting to put the book down for one second. I could almost say the book was too short if it wasn't that huge already. Boy, am I glad there's going to be (many) more of these!! Last chance for checking up last week's post (aka The Big Drama), and let's move on to the last and best part of the adventure!

Hey remember the crack up around "Nice bird, arsehole"?
'I cut off his fingers to get him to talk, and when he'd confessed everything I wanted to hear, I had his fucking tongue cut out, and the stump cauterised.'
Everyone in the room stared at him.
'I called him an arsehole, too,' said Locke. 'He didn't like that.'
I'm still laughing over that one!!

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 still have trouble to think of Locke as the Thorn of Camorr, it's hard to say why but I think it's linked to the fact that Locke himself is so real and so human that it's harder to care about the symbol. If you take Batman for example, Bruce Wayne is a boring dude but Batman is a hero. Here, Locke is already a hero, so the Thorn of Camorr can hardly beat that. That answers the "how does the man compares to his legend" > he's obviously much better.
Since we haven't seen much of the initial Thorn of Camorr, the one who had fun getting forty thousand crowns in his vault, but we spent so much time with the one getting in a hell lot of trouble, I don't know how to compare them. The Thorn got a good lesson, at least... but he still enjoyed his "power" until the very end ("They're full of shit." "I'm afraid so." :D ).

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?
I'm always a bit annoyed at the tendency to use the old "I don't hit girl", as if being a girl always implied something weak. I am very glad that the female characters of the book are strong (they were and they still will be), and not cliché at all, having a real temper and strength an all that. And I'm glad Jean violently kicked the Berangias' asses, because they deserved it, and I wouldn't have expected anything else from dear Jean.
The punch in the face of Doña Vorchenza make me crack up, it was such an obvious and not conventional option... Locke is always full of resources, and that's good. But I am glad they both behaved smartly in the end, the charming old lady didn't deserve anything worse.

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'm quite bad with theories, I never really try to guess and when I do, I'm usually wrong and it disappoints me. However, I'm very curious about the Elderglass and sincerely hope we'll know more about it in future books - I think there was a very old and powerful civilization that was destroyed by something (civil war? sickness? overuse of magic?) and they left behind some traces, like the powers the Bondsmagi have. Nasty stuff, those, it totally reminds me of Voodoo too. I wish we could seal all Karthain in Elderglass and be done with it!

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?
Ah, I cannot say, I was so wrapped up in the story, literally devouring pages, that I didn't notice anything really boring. There was no serious interruption of action like before, nor useless anecdotes about god knows what, so I guess it was good. I think it's very important to be careful with the last ~150 pages of a book, it doesn't matter if the beginning was too slow or some characters too shallow - if the end rocks, the last impression is awesome, and that's what matters. And if that end didn't rock, well, I don't know what's good enough for you!
Plus, I love the last interlude - here's a lovely quote while we're here:
'some day, you're going to fuck up so magnificently, so ambitiously, so overwhelmingly that the sky will light up and the moons will spin and the gods themselves will shit comets with glee.'
If that's not poetry, what is?

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 first revelation - that the Grey King was the Berangias' brother seeking revenge - was quite disappointing, but now with all the details around it it's a bit better. He lost his family and he wanted revenge, just like Locke did, so it's hard to blame him for that. His only problem was his lack of morals, and his total absolute craziness. The guy is a nut case! I wasn't expecting anything better or worse, he wasn't right in the head, and Locke fixed him (oh yeah), so all is (not so) well. If he had been someone else, it wouldn't have changed things much in my opinion.

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?
Absolutely not surprised. Locke is a good guy and he couldn't choose revenge on one man over saving hundreds of people. The only thing that annoyed me slightly was that the only way he managed to save them was to beg, and it doesn't really suit him. I am glad he resorted to it though, because he did managed to save everyone, but what I'm most proud of is that he still managed to sneak up some lies, and to convince them to plow into shit (ha!) and to sink the death-offering for his brothers. That was GRAND.
I didn't pee in my pants during the sculpture removal, thanks for asking. I was pretty stressed out and nothing could have made me drop the book, but I knew they would succeed.
And that's beside the point but I loved that scene where Locke sobbed and pleaded for Jean to leave him after defeating the Grey King, and how Jean got mad and carried him (and rolled him like a sausage in oil cloth later on on the boat). Locke was just so sweet and desperate and my little heart was beating wildly for him.
Gosh, I really am a fangirl now...

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 fucking love the profanity! Those bloody prudes can go to hell and leave us all the fun and the swearing!!

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?
I already did! *giggles* I will read it again with you I think, it was so lovely. Plus, there are kittens. Who can say no to Locke AND kittens?!

Check out other discussions on the Little Red Reviewer blog (link coming soon), and let's have a break next week to let all those emotions calm down before starting the next awesome adventure of the Gentlemen Bastards!

6 commentaires:

those bitches the Berangias (or whatever the hell their last name is) completely got what they deserved.

With so many books that i read i'm always trying to guess the ending, always trying to guess the twist, but never with this one, or with Red Seas. I have no idea where the Elders came from or what happened to them, or if there is any connection between the Bondsmagi and the Elderglass. I do, desperately, want to learn more about the Bondsmagi tho!

and yes, that last interlude with Chains, with the gods that shit comets, that is just perfectly brilliant! Wow would I love a prequel, to learn more about Chains, and Vorchenza, and the original secret peace. . .

"Locke was just so sweet and desperate and my little heart was beating wildly for him.
Gosh, I really am a fangirl now..."

welcome to the club! *hugs* We've been having weekly meetings lately, and they will start up again in a few weeks. ;)

There's kittens? I can never say no to kittens!
I loved the silence that followed when Locke told then all what he did to The Falconer. I think they took him a little more serious at that point, because previously he was just a conman. Now he was a conman with some sharp points and a vengeance.

Ha ha, those bloody prudes can go to hell! LOL
Brilliant comments. I must admit I'm not very good at speculating about things or second guessing the outcome but that being said it's been really interesting reading everyone else's guesses - ranging from the Elders being the original magicians to aliens! I certainly didn't see the Grey King being out for revenge, I think in my mind it was all going to be gang related and trying to gain control of territories.
Lynn :D

I really hope we get some answers about the Elderglass and Eldren in the next book. That missing info is killing me!
And I keep wondering how it ties in with magic...

@Redhead: A prequel would be pretty sweet, but with all that we learned already about Locke's childhood in this book (and the third one seems to be a bit like that too) I am not sure there would be enough to put in it. Or maybe there is. More books is always good, no matter what's in them!

Ha ha, remember to sign me up for the next meetings... I'm going wild this time!

@nrlymrtl: I know, kittens! I have to re-read it now, no way around it.

@Lynn: Thanks for your questions! I'm really not sure about aliens, but well, the Elder guys must have gone somewhere... either dead or in space, I suppose :D

@Ines: Yup, me too! Well, not the next book (Red Seas) but maybe the next one, or maybe the one after that... as long as they're somewhere, it's good enough for me.

#4 - ah yes, such beautiful poetry ;) I loved that their most poetic moments were always moments of extreme anger or some reproof from Chains

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