Monday, April 30, 2012

Read-Along: Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch

This is the first post for my participation in a read-along of Scott Lynch's Red Seas Under Red Skieshosted by Dark Cargo, @ohthatashley at SF Signal, My Awful ReviewsLynn’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.


  1. Good answers - and, seriously, where is Sabetha! Understand she'll be in No.3 so we'll find out then if she lives up to our expectations. I'm sure Lynch will manage to deliver something spectacular.

    Lynn :D

  2. Yeah, she had better be. For some reason I expect she is going to be an arrogant, condescending smart ass to Locke, which feels very unearned since she isn't established enough. I'm probably just projecting, but you kind of have to since Lynch gives you nothing there. I wonder if he even knows what to do with her. It's ridiculous just how hard he has worked to keep her OUT of flashbacks and direct conversation. Hers is a a conspicuous absence. It feels very, very artificial and drew me out of the story so that I felt it would have been better just to not mention her at all, but it seems Lynch didn't want to just pull her out of a hat all of the sudden, soap opera style, in book 3 so he had to introduce her somehow. I'm wondering why an editor didn't put the kibosh on this and make him get into some specific detail about Sabetha. Sigh...I miss the twins and Bug.

  3. Lynn - Thanks! I sure hope so :).

    Matthew - Yeah, I kind of get that feeling, too (That she will be a condescending smart ass to Locke). Considering how much flashback was in "The Lies of Locke Lamora", it seems like it would have been easy to introduce us to her. If she's so important to Locke, I feel like she should have showed up in his reminiscences somewhere. At this point, I'm wondering if Lynch is just uncomfortable writing romance, so he's dancing around actually showing their relationship. Maybe we'll get a lot of flashbacks of their early time together in the third book.

  4. no worries about posting late, here I am, commenting late!

    Red Seas gets started very quickly, and there is a ton of stuff going on. What I love is the misdirection. Sure, Locke and Jean are manipulating Requin and the visitors of the Sinspire in certain directions, but the two Gentlemen Bastards have a few conversations that the reader isn't privy to. what were they planning???

    ahh, Sabetha. I can't wait to meet her! I kind of don't mind that Locke has been pining over her all this time, in so many books like these, there is cheesy romance, or one night stands or whatever, and the fact that his heart belongs to someone else means i don't have to read any awkward flirting scenes between him and random women.

    I'm so very curious to see what happens next, with Requin and The Archon, that collection of islands is a powderkeg!!

    1. Thanks for commenting! I still completely believe they're after the money in Requin's vault, so if that's a misdirection it has completely tricked me. I am curious as to what their actual plan involves, though. Or involved, before the Archon screwed it up? :)

      I'm kind of wondering if the purpose of Sabetha's existence was to actually remove any romance from these first two books. Since we all know Locke's hung up on Sabetha, it makes more sense that he hasn't flirted with or had any attraction towards anyone. Then again, Jean's not hung up on anyone (that I know of), and he hasn't been interested in anyone romantically either. It will be interesting to see how this dynamic will change in book 3!