Here’s my post for week two of the Republic of Thieves readalong, hosted by Andrea at Little Red Reviewer. This week’s questions were written by Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow. I love the way that there’s a question for every chapter, as so much happened in this section. My answers won’t necessarily stick to just the chapter in question, but it’s a neat structure to try out.
As you may have noticed, I’m a week behind on the reading. Last weekend a friend from out of town came up for a surprise visit, and so I spent the weekend socializing. Hopefully I should be fully caught up later today or tomorrow.
Blood And Breath And Water: Patience tells Locke that the ritual to save him is serious business. She wasn’t kidding… What did you make of this scene, and do you think any of it might (perhaps literally) come back to haunt Locke?
I was actually surprised that it wasn’t worse. I expected Locke to vaguely resemble Darth Vader by the time it was over (he’s more machine than man now). Instead, he’s as good as new, but has a severe case of the munchies.
Now, the part about Bug… just wow. This is gonna bother Locke for a long time, especially as he feels a sense of responsibility for them as the group’s leader. I foresee an extreme crisis in faith, but not until he’s gotten through the Bondsmagi election. Locke doesn’t tend to get emo unless he’s in between schemes, and Sabetha’s presence is distracting enough.
Orphan’s Moon: Back to the childhood of the Gentlemen Bastards, and here we get another ritual, this one in service to the Nameless Thirteenth. It looks as though it might be Locke vs. Sabetha, round two – but this time Locke seems to be a little slow on that uptake… Who do you think deserves to be given the final oath? Locke or Sabetha?
Either one is deserving of the final oath, but I wish that Locke had been more vocal about it when Sabetha asked him if he was interested. From Sabetha’s perspective, Locke didn’t really want the priesthood, and just stepped forward on a whim. We do know that Locke has daydreamed and thought about it, but the way he kind of fumbled his way into it is going to make Sabetha a lot more resentful, especially as it’s clear that she views him as a threat to her power and her place within the group.
Across The Amathel: This chapter takes a breather for quite a bit of Eldren history, while Locke starts recovering. What do you think of the history lesson, and Patience’s ominous speculation regarding the Eldren? Is this something you’d like to know more about?
This chapter leaves me with more questions than answers. I’ve been dying to learn more about the Eldren ever since the first book. I want to know what made the Eldren leave, and if maybe whatever it is will come back later in the series. I like the fact that the Eldren’s disappearance places the Bondsmagi’s power in check; their fear of whatever drove the Eldren away is probably the only thing keeping them from taking over the world and making a royal mess of the world.
Striking Sparks: The gang’s off to Espara, after a bad summer and a pretty thorough dressing-down from Chains, and we finally get to the source of the book’s title – they’re bound for the stage! What are your thoughts on this latest ‘challenge’ and the reasons for it?
Chains’ reasoning makes perfect sense. The group needs to be challenged to make them work as a team and quit squabbling. Chains also needs a break. He loves the whole group, but they’re giving him a headache.
I’m curious to see how the theater thing’s gonna work out. We already saw that all hell has broken loose among the actors that are already there. I’m curious to see Locke and/or Sabetha arrange a jailbreak. I wonder if he’ll end up letting her lead more, or whether necessity will compel him to do what he’s best at.
The Five-Year Game: Starting Position: The election gets underway with a party (as you do) and before it’s even over, the Deep Roots party has problems – and not just thanks to Sabetha. What do you make of Nikoros and his unfortunate habit?
Having an ally with an addiction is as bad as having a Bondsmage know your true name. Basically, they’re fucked.
Bastards Abroad: The gang arrives in Espara, and already they’ve got problems (nicely mirroring the Five Year Game!)… This aside, we’ve also seen some more of what seems to be eating at Sabetha. Do you sympathise with her, or is Locke right to be frustrated with her?
The qualities that make a man look charismatic can unfortunately make a woman look like a total bitch. Sabetha isn’t really that different from Locke, and I’m sure he’d feel the same as she did if he was in her position. She’s acting like such a teenager about it, and I don’t like the way that she’s deliberately playing with his emotions. At some point, both she and Locke are going to have to learn to work together. Seeing as she and Locke parted ways, I’m wondering if that’s a lesson that they still have to learn.
Extras! Let’s be having any random bits that amuse you, confuse you, or just plain interest you…
The scene from Patience’s memories must have been incredibly difficult for Locke and Jean to see, but the dynamic between Patience and the Falconer was fascinating. I know that Patience expected him to fail, but I suspect that that expectation of failure was because she set him up.