Saturday, March 24, 2012

Lies of Locke Lamora Group Read: Week Three

I was a bit too swamped to put up a post last weekend, but that didn't stop me from pressing on.  Here's the third week's questions of this most fascinating book, hosted this week by Bryce of My Awful Reviews.  You can follow other's responses there.

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?
From how Lynch describes the powers of the Bondsmagi, they're a tough group of folks.  I expect that their power is somehow linked to the Eldren and the ancient stuff, just like I think alchemy is, but I have no idea of its mechanics or limitations.  Can the Bastards get around the Flaconer's powers?  I want to say yes, but I really have no clue.
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.
I had no guesses as to who the Grey King would be.
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)
No, that was a definite shock.  I thought that maybe she had somehow staged this so as to get off the hook and maybe pull a fast one over on her family, but I quickly realized that this was wrong.  Any more surprises ahead?  Yes, I do believe there are, and considering that I'm up to Chapter 12 now, I think I was correct.  Definitely unexpected.
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?
There's been some humor and some funny lines, but none where I've laughed aloud for very long.  I do have a soft spot for sarcasm, though, and that dark humor is rich.
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 wow.  And here I was thinking Locke was incredibly smarter than the rest.  I suppose his inability to see the full picture has always been his problem, as the Interludes paint, and it looks like this scenario has not been accounted for.  But how in the world would he have been able to account for it?  So I do think they have been outplayed, at least for the time being, but I see Locke & Co. pulling out ahead.
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?
How could I not read ahead.  Lynch certainly knows how to string the Reader along, and I am loving it.  I have no idea where the story is ultimately going, and I can't help but feel like everything in this book is only a set up for the subsequent novels that follow.
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 think they're mostly believable, especially the Bastards.  They're written in a way that I have feelings for them and their well-being, and logical enough that their decisions are Realistic.  The dialogue is especially strong, giving a conversational tone between speakers.  The different priesthoods are also very well fleshed out, where we're given bits and pieces at a time, building credibility and history.
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?
Indeed, what is Chains endgame?  I do not think it's to bring down the nobility and break the Peace as has been described earlier.  It seems too simple, too less a plan than Chains calculating mind would create.  No, I think Chains had something deeper to instill in the Bastards and unleash on Camorr.  Does it have something to do with the Thirteenth?  Maybe.  I honestly have no idea.  I don't think it's a simple revenge game, but it could very well be, bearing in mind the Interlude "Tale of the Old Handball Players."  (I know, I read ahead, but this isn't a spoiler...)
So overall the book has been highly enjoyable, and I can easily see why Lynch has such a following.  Make sure you go and check out the other blogs on the Group Read.


Lynn said...

Yes, the GB's have definitely been outsmarted for the moment! I think there downfall in terms of the Grey King is that they've never had to look over their shoulders before. Nobody knew about them and they've been able to enjoy a charmed existence. And, yes, this has made them cocky to a certain extent. Then, bam, along comes the Grey King with his Bondsmage! I have to say I REALLY don't like this Falconer! Muchly so!! But, on that note, I do like to have a good 'baddie'.
Lynn :D

Ines said...

I must say I admire anyone who stopped reading at where we were supposed to stop for this week's read-along because I certainly couldn't. :)
Which just brought more shocks on.

nrlymrtl said...

I was wondering if there was link to the modified beasties (scorpion hawk) and the old Eldren magic; ex. the Tower of Glass Roses that seem to be thirsty. A little creepy, very beautiful.

redhead said...

A few bloggers now have wondered if the Bondsmagi's powers originated with the Eldren. . . now why didn't I think of that? that's bloody brilliant, and totally creeptastic!

my first readthrough I also though Nazca's death was some kind of prank, that maybe she had run away or gotten kidnapped or something. Nope, not a prank. Grey King certainly knows exactly where to stab people to get their attention.

I have always loved the dialog in these books. between the dialog that has me laughing my ass off, and the darkness of everything else, it's quite the emotional rollercoaster.

Rose said...

I read ahead as well, but I hadn't connected the Tale of the Handball Players to Chains... Interesting!

Loving this readalong and blog-hopping, there are so many angles I'd never have considered myself.

Jeremy F said...

Just got to the handball interlude tonight and that reinforced my belief that Chains' plan might have something to do with the Grey King. In my post, I speculated chains will turn out to be the GK, but we'll see.