This is the first post for my participation in a read-along of Scott Lynch's Red Seas Under Red Skies, hosted by Dark Cargo, @ohthatashley at SF Signal, My Awful Reviews, Lynn’s Book Blog and the Little Red Reviewer. What this means is...
Read-Along posts discuss a specific portion of Red Seas Under Red Skies and are therefore full of spoilers! This is also a sequel of The Lies of Locke Lamora, and will be filled with spoilers from that book as well! I will do a usual review post once the book is complete.
Right from the beginning, I'm already loving Red Seas Under Red Skies! I admit, though, that I’m completely late for this post. I forgot to buy the book until Wednesday, and then wasn’t able to finish section one until Sunday, due to various other demands on my time. I’ll try to be on time from here on out, but here are this week’s belated answers, at least!
1-2. The Sinspire. It looks like our heroes (can they really be called that?) find themselves in search of a way into an unbeatable vault. Do you think they have what it takes to make it happen? Anyone want to guess how they're going to make it happen?
I think that Locke and Jean are on the right track. It seems like they have always been better at manipulating people than they are at more traditional cheating and theft. You can see that in their behavior in the Sinspire—they couldn’t cheat the games, but they could most certainly cheat the players. I think their scheme this time will have less to do with cracking the vault and more with manipulating Requin into letting them in. I think they have what it takes!
3. It's a little different this time around, with us just being focused on Locke and Jean. Is anyone else missing the rest of the Bastards as much as I am?
I am missing the rest of the Bastards, but at least Locke and Jean are the two I always felt like I knew the best. I appreciated that Locke did not bounce back right away. Even if he technically won at the end of Lies of Locke Lamora, I think that it was the first time he’s ever had to deal with such grief and guilt. To some extent, I think that Jean was more prepared for a situation like this. He’s already had to deal with violently and unexpectedly losing people he loves (his parents) and having to build a new life. Locke lost his parents, but it seemed to have happened when he was very young—it’s unclear whether or not he even remembers them clearly. I think its very likely Locke would have died if Jean had not been there to drag him along.
4. I love the section where Jean starts to build a new guild of thieves. It really shows just how well trained and tough he is. Do you think the Bastards will end up training others along the way again like Bug?
I think so, but maybe not in this book. I think it may be a while before Locke will agree to build another gang. He’s still grieving, and I think he feels guilty for not being able to keep his fellow Bastards alive. I don’t believe he could cope with the idea of ‘replacing’ them yet.
5. For those of you looking for Sabetha, we still haven't spotted her yet. Anyone else chomping at the bit to see the love of Locke's life?
Seriously, where is she? She’d better be fantastic!
6. It's early on, but the Bastards are already caught up in plots that they didn't expect. How do you think their new "employer" is going to make use of them (The Archon, that is)?
I’m guessing it has something to do with the balance of power in Val Terrar. The Archon seems unhappy with the power wielded by the Priori and Requin. I’m guessing he wants to use Locke to destroy Requin’s power base in some way. I further assume that he hopes for this not to be traced back to him, and that he fully intends to kill both Locke and Jean when the deal is concluded.