Tag Archives: The Lies of Locke Lamora

The last week of The Lies of Locke Lamora read-along

Well, the book has been behind me for some time now but it’s still fresh in my mind. It’s not one you would forget soon. 🙂

This week’s questions were provided by Lynn from Lynn’s Book Blog and here they are with my answers:

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 don’t think the legend is far from the truth. I mean, Thorn’s/Locke’s intellect moves in different planes than my own and I know I’d never be able to come up with the solutions he comes up with. And that thinking at the spur of the moment? Incredible.
I don’t think he changed through the story, I just think life forced him to become all that he can be.

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?

Nothing concerning any of the women seemed out of character. I’m guessing you’re thinking about the violence?
The society of Comarr strikes me as very much balanced and democratic when it comes to sexes and no sex is allowed the upper hand. Fair dealings or if it’s not, you better watch your back, whoever you are.

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??

Good question. I have no idea why Elderglass survived but I’m guessing the Bondsmagi power somehow comes from the Elders. I sincerely hope we’ll learn more about it in the next book.
As to true names, I came across that type of magic in some other books, and I find it both intruguing and terribly frightening from the perspective where everyone knows my name. 🙂

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?

I think the interludes work great for two reasons. One is, you learn important stuff in order to build a good background, and secondly, it works wonders for the intensity of the story, making you read faster and faster to get to the part where it continues after the interlude.

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?

I didn’t know what to expect honestly. It was clear to me quite soon I had no idea who Grey King was and couldn’t even hazard a guess (which makes Mr. Lynch a really good writer for me). It seems credible as some people really get hung up on revenge and that is the only purpose of their lives. Whether it’s a justified revenge or not, doesn’t matter, because for them it’s more than justified.

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?

Not really. 🙂 Like I said, revenge is not a rational emotion. Plus, by that time, I didn’t doubt Locke could do pretty much anything he set his mind to.
Carrying the sculptures was for me like watching a movie where they still have second to defuse a bomb before it goes off. Scary.

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 believe I mentioned this in my first post, I live in a country where profanity is so much a part of language I no longer notice it most of the time (unless someone is being imaginative).
I don’t think the use of profanity deserves a bad review.  I mean there are many different cultures in our world and some of them use profaity as everyday speech, does that mean those are bad cultures and peoples?
I think it should be put in proper context, because societies whre profanity is used never truly mean those words, they are more a part of the colorful background and that is how I interpreted it here.

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?

Of course!! 😀
Although I believe I’ll wait for the next read-along, it’s way more fun like that.

The read-along is hosted by these blogs:

The Little Red Reviewer

Dark Cargo

SF SIgnal

My Awful Reviews

The Lies of Locke Lamore, read-along, week 4

So, we’re into week 4 and there is only one week left and I admit, I read the book last weekend. 🙂 I just couldn’t stop.

This week’s questions are provided by Ashley of SF Signal and here they are with my answers:

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 found it intriguing as it made me realize the women are very important to the smooth running of Camorr. Hm! That does make it realistic quite a lot. 🙂

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?

True work? True love? It does seem like he’s found himself. I am enjoying his character immensely, especially since he’s the one you are most likely to overlook (along with the rather small and thin Locke), and of the most deadly opponents to face.

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?

Oh, yes, it certainly helps with visualization. And keeping one at the edge of the seat (or wherever you’re reading).
And I did wish there were some less descriptive parts as I really felt awful seeing them in my head. Which brings me to the obvious conclusion they were extremely well done.

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?

Oh no, I did not! As a matter of fact, the end of the previous section had me read further to see what happens and I read to just somewhere about here. Which is why I was so UPSET last week with Mr. Lynch.
I learned to live with it, as someone last week mentioned Jean makes it into book 2, so that made me feel a bit better.

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?

Good question. I wish I knew more about Chains to answer it. 🙂 I think we are going to learn more about Chains and his motives (I sincerely hope so) as that seems to be the way the books are written – you learn everything at the right moment.
I see this more as good thinking on Mr. Lynch’s part. 😉
And it obviously fits Jean.

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 do believe Dona Vorchenza was correct and when I read that, I instantly had a high opionion of her. But honestly, after someone murders what is obviously your family even if you’re not blood related, I would never expect Locke to remain non-violent. I’m sure in any other scenario, he would be because his intelligence is best displayed in complicated schemes.

7.      Does Locke Lamora or the Thorn of Camorr enter Meraggio’s Countinghouse that day? Is there a difference?

I’d say Locke Lamora tries to enter twice but then it’s the Thorn who actually manages to make things possible. Or, more precisely, at the point when Locke has the plan in his head, the one that sounds more like a true Thorn plan, that is when it works.

And our hosts for the read-along are:

The Little Red Reviewer

My Awful Reviews

Dark Cargo

SF Signal

The Lies of Locke Lamora read-along, week 3

It’s time for the third part of the read-along and this time the questions were provided by Bryce of My Awful Reviews.
So, without further ado, my answers and some venting of frustration regarding Mr. Lynch and his treatment of characters.

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 sincerely hope so (about Locke and company getting around it). I hate it when people are full of themselves in real life so that one particularly got on my nerves (the Falconer). Although it doesn’t hurt Locke to understand sometimes he might not be the top intelligence in something.

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.

Can’t answer this one as I got a bit further so I know, but any guess of mine wouldn’t have come close. Although, I’m still wondering what’s the reason behind it all?

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)
Ok, first off, it wasn’t fair in the week 2 to point us in the wrong direction speculating about possible Nazca/Locke future. 🙂 And no, I didn’t see that coming. Especially after that question in week 2.

I wasn’t really contemplating possible future shocks but in retrospect I should have. I am SERIOUSLY UPSET with Mr. Lynch for what comes up in the read-along in the week 4. I sincerely hope he makes it up to both characters and readers in some way (and if you know, feel free to ease my mind with hinting at that).

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?

Oh yes, chuckling for me is part of the book, as well as the shocks. At the moment, I can’t come up with the chuckles part (as I’m still upset with Mr. Lynch). 🙂

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?
Oh, they’ve been outplayed. But, as they are all still young, I’m hoping it’s Mr. Lynch’s way of making them learn they are never the smartest thing around and should stop thinking of themselves in such a manner.
Unfortunately, I cannot answer the questions as I would have if I had stopped reading where the read-along stopped for this week.
I mean honestly, did anyone stop who’s first reading this is?

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?

I now see my point from question 4 is addressed. 🙂 (I didn’t read all the questions ahead before starting to answer them)
Point for Locke for guessing it correctly. I was a bit shocked about the whole drowning thing to be able to coherently think ahead.

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?

I find the characters believable enough. What I still struggle with is understanding Locke.

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?

Hmm, I have no guesses to offer why Chains might be doing this, and I wouldn’t say revenge is the deal, unless the revenge is againt the state of affairs (ruling families).
This book just opens more and more questions without giving us answers.

The read-along is hosted by these blogs so hop on over and check them out:
The Little Red Reviewer
My Awful Reviews

Dark Cargo

P.S. I’m still upset with Mr. Lynch.

Locke Lamora read-along, part 2.

This weeks read-along questions were posed by Susan from the Dark Cargo and here are my answers:

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 Gentlemen Bastards have!

Ok, for me the answer to this question is something that solely is author’s choice. I’d say Locke can pull it off by taking into account his previous (and further) accomplishments but you never know what obstacles might be put in his way by the author.

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

I’m always digging any alcohol details. 😀

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

I’m wondering the same thing, and this being my first reading, I’m wondering if she will even appear in the book – although I’m guessing at some point the childhood parts will catch up with the beginning of Locke’s adult life, so I hope Sabetha will appear at some point.

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

Oh yes I am. What I’m left wondering if that is really so easy to accomplish, how come nobody uses it as punishment? Or just for showing their evilness?

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

Nope, I have a hard time seeing them together – but then again, it’s too early to say so in the story.

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

I must say I have no idea what will be the Gray King’s part of the story (which makes it a good story for me, I hate it when I already think I know what will happen and it proves correct). Although, as soon as I saw the mention of the Gray King, I knew it was him following Locke’s troop in their shenanigans.

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?

Ingenious! Especially the part where they earn back the money they needed to pay for the corpse. 🙂

The read along is hosted by these great blogs:

Little Red Reviewer

Dark Cargo

Ashley at SF Signal

My Awful Reviews

The Lies of Locke Lamora read-along

This is my first ever read-along and as I wanted to read The Lies of Locke Lamora for some time now, this read-along seemed like a great idea.
Plus, I never really think much about the books I read and now that the book is split into several parts after each there will be a discussion, I feel I will get to know the book in a much better way than I do the books I regularly read.

So, each Saturday for the next 5 weeks, I will be posting my answers to the discussion questions, posted by one of our hosts, The Little Red Reviewer, Dark Cargo, SF Signal and My Awful Reviews.

And here are the answers to this week’s questions:

1. If this is your first time reading The Lies of Locke Lamora, what do you think of it so far? 

Well, I could tell from the reviews I read of this book that I would like it. I was wondering a bit about all the warnings I read regarding cursing but since I live in Croatia, where curses are such a standard part of language I no longer register them as such, I find the book fits right in among the type of discourse I am used to on a daily basis. Although, I do admit, it doesn’t sound so invisible in English.
Besides that, I am enjoying the pace and the changes in the story – which aren’t difficult to follow at all.
And I absolutely love the banter. 🙂

2. At last count, I found three time lines:  Locke as 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?

Honestly, the flashback is working fine for me. In my opinion the story would be much worse if the time lines didn’t switch. This way, the information comes at the right time and all is revealed accordingly.

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

There is only one thing I can say to that. I sincerely hope an explanation will come regarding the alchemy used by the peopleof Camorr and the race that built all the incredible glowing structures. And how it relates to the story.

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? 

Honour among thieves? That is what Father Chains and even Master Thief seem to adhere to. As with every other society today (or in the past) there doesn’t seem to be a fair leadership in power, so people are left to field for themselves the best they can.
As far as I can tell, Father Chains is teaching Locke to steel from the rich and powerful and not those who don’t have much. And not to take himself too seriously but be aware of his intelligence at the same time (and aware of other people’s intelligence as well).

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?

Oh no. I’m quite fine with the set up. Actually, I could even do with more of it as I keep having unanswered questions about many things.

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

Can’t raise my hand on this one, I’m afraid. 🙂 I’m such a lousy liar and not so very capable with my hands, I just know I wouldn’t be able to do anything.

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