This is the second 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.
This week’s questions include through Chapter 6 of Red Seas Under Red Skies. Things are definitely getting more complicated, and I can’t help wondering how Locke and Jean are going to make it out alive! I am impressed thus far with how they’ve managed to keep their original scheme alive while they run off to become pirates, of all things.
Now that we know a little more about Selendri and Requin, what do you think of them? I worry Locke is suddenly realizing this con might be a bit tougher than he expected.
I’m getting the impression that the Sinspire was once a much less violent place. I would really like to get a more solid history for Selendri. Thus far we mostly know only rumors and hints. I think Locke is right to attempt to win her over, but I think he’s going to have a very hard time of it.
Isn’t the Artificers’ Crescent just amazing? If you could purchase anything there, what would it be?
Yeah, it’s amazing. I can’t really think of anything I would buy, though. I am quite happy with my gadgets.
What did you think of Salon Corbeau and the goings on that occur there? A bit crueler than a Camorri crime boss, no?
Well, I wouldn't say it’s crueler. Capa Barsavi ordered so many people tortured to death just out of his own paranoia. Remember that guy who had glass shards kneaded into his face until he died? At least the ‘aspirants’ are not deliberately killed. I think the difference is in intention. When Capa Barsavi tortured men to death, it was generally because he wanted something. I’m not saying that excuses anything, but it was a means to an end. In Salon Corbeau, the Amusement War was the means and the end.
I think the main thing that made the Amusement War disturbing to me was the dehumanization aspect. The nobles who attended the War had absolutely no regard for the ‘aspirants’ as human beings. They were toys to be played with and eventually broken. Some of their justifications (“We’re giving them charity—they may as well earn it!” or “They’re only here for quick cash, if they weren’t so lazy they’d have a job!”) sounded disturbingly like things one might hear people say about the homeless in our world. There are many varieties of cruelty in the world, but I think some of the most brutal arise when one group chooses to strip another of their personhood.
The Archon might be a megalomaniacal military dictator, but he thinks he’s doing right by Tal Verrar: his ultimate goal seems to be to protect them. What do you think he’s so afraid of?
It seems like there’s a lot of bad blood between the Priori and the military in Val Terrar, a lot of which stems from the Thousand Day War. I think the Archon just genuinely believes that, as a ruler, he would do better by Val Terrar than the Priori. What is he afraid of? In general, I guess I would say the decline of his country and/or his own personal power.
And who the heck is trying to kill Locke and Jean every few days? they just almost got poisoned (again!)!
I am really not sure. They’ve brought up the possibility of one of the Priori. With what information we have available, that seems the most likely situation. Maybe the Bondmagi have let others in on Locke’s doings, and some of the Priori are very unhappy about Locke’s employment by the Archon.
Do you really think it’s possibly for a city rat like Locke to fake his way onto a Pirate ship?
Locke is one hell of a liar and a fraud. I think he has a shot. However, his habits of refusing to study and drinking himself silly will certainly not help. On the pirate topic, I thought it was really funny that they insist on having at least one woman and one cat on board a ship, for luck. I’m pretty sure our world’s superstition runs the other way!