Red Seas Under Red Skies Readalong, Part I

Welcome to the first week of the Red Seas Under Red Skies readalong hosted by The Little Red Reviewer.  “Red Seas Under Red Skies” is the second book in Scott Lynch’s Gentleman Bastards series (which began with The Lies of Locke Lamora).  We read the first book as a group read last month and I loved it so much that I had to join in for this one!

Discussion questions for this week were provided by Bryce from My Awful Reviews.

Ahoy, mateys!  Here thar’ be spoilers!  Yarr!  Don’t say I didn’t warn ye!

“I suspect that drink has made you impulsive.”
“Drink makes me see funny; the gods made me impulsive.”

1. 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?

Of course!  Unless, of course, the Bondsmagi decide to fuck with them after what they did to the Falconer, which most of us realized during the last book.  All-powerful magicians aren’t going to like what Locke and Jean did to one of their own rank, even if he deserved it.  I’m guessing that that the Sinspire arc is going to be something like the the Lucas Fehrwight game.  It will be amusing enough to give us an introduction to Locke’s time in Tal Verrar, but it isn’t where the real story is.

2.  Anyone want to guess how they’re going to make it happen?

They’ll probably trick Requin into opening it for them.

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?

Poor Bug… may he rest in peace.

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 hope so, but I don’t think they will.  Training up the crew was more of something for Jean to do until Locke got his act together.  Quite frankly, after what happened back in Camorr, I don’t think that Locke wants the added responsibility of having to watch other people’s backs.  He’s not ready for his own gang yet.  Maybe one day he’ll settle down, hook up with Sabetha, and raise some new little Bastards of his own, but for now that’s not happening.

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?

Scott Lynch has made us all curious by playing her up without actually introducing her.  I’m curious to know what she’s like.  It takes a lot to mess with Locke’s heart like that.

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)?

Well, I am out of ideas on what he wants them to do.  I don’t think they’ll cooperate with him because they won’t appreciate being poisoned.  The Archon should have learned from the Falconer’s mistake and taken Locke up on his offer to forget about the whole thing.

Other Thoughts

I am both intrigued and intimidated by Carousel Hazard (by which I mean it was genius).  Playing games that involve shots as a penalty is never a good idea unless you can guarantee that you will win nearly every round.  I loved watching Locke figure out a way to beat the system despite being horrifically bad at the playing the game.  Watching him work is a bit like watching Johnny Depp in the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie.  His whole demeanor gives the book a lighthearted and fun mood, even when Lynch decides to kill off characters left and right.

28 thoughts on “Red Seas Under Red Skies Readalong, Part I

  1. Carousel Hazard – you wouldn’t be able to see your cards – or you’d be seeing double and think that a four was a much better card than it really was!
    This week’s chapters were great. I love the sinspire – it’s like Vegas all in one building!
    The scene in the market place was really good as well – creepy like a zombie movie.
    and did I mention yet that I love Jean!
    Lynn 😀

    1. It seems like the kind of game you’d regret in the morning, lol. The Sinspire is a great opening for this book. And yeah, agreed on the zombie scene. I wonder if the Bondsmagi are going to tease them for a while by not taking massive revenge yet. The anticipation is almost as bad as something happening.

      1. yes to all. Carousel Hazard sounds wonderful but awful, actually reminds me a teeny bit of the drinking game at the beginning of the first Indiana Jones movie, even tho that was a straight up “who can drink more” type of drinking game. Can you imagine playing euchre, and whoever loses the hand has to take a drink?

        and that market place scene was just skin crawlingly creepy!!!

  2. I definitely agree about Locke wanting to avoid the responsibility of running a gang. Two years on and he’s still feeling guilty. The only way he will accept anyone new is if he is forced or if he is so dazzled by the skills of a potential recruit. I’m also starting to get ticked off with these Bondsmagi. It’s not just the Falconer who is a complete swine it’s nearly all of them.

    1. Yeah. It’s making me think maybe they’d have been better off killing the Bondsmage and giving the body to the Camorri sharks. It’s not like they’d be any worse off than they are now. Speaking of which, I miss the sharks almost as much as the other GBs who died in the last book. They were pretty cool.

      1. I’ve been wondering the same thing about killing the Falconer… Would the Bondsmagi have found out (especially with the shark eating the evidence? At least they’d have the satisfaction of being the only guys daring/stupid enough to do so.

        1. Even if they did find out, would it be any worse than what they’re dealing with now? Or… could they have pinned it on someone else? Framed the Grey King, perhaps?

          1. We know that the Bondsmagi are not all-seeing, just all-powerful. In any case the Falconer got what he deserved… Now I expect him to show up again with new mutated limbs and tongue and fearsome genetically engineered powers…

            1. Normally I get squeamish during scenes involving torture or mutilation, but the Falconer was the exception because he deserved every moment of it, lol.

        2. I was wondering that too. How would the bondsmagi back home have found out? tracking device? other spies? they should have just killed that fucker.

  3. Agree: Sinspire is just the initial scene, to get us hooked from the start before we move on to the boats. But what a start!

    Good point about Jack Sparrow, there is indeed something of him in Locke and it’s likely their resemblances will be even more evident once Lynch gets Locke on a boat 🙂

    1. Locke just has that certain attitude and swagger that makes him seem like Jack Sparrow, lol. He’s got a knack for getting into trouble and for getting out of it in one piece. 😛

  4. Lynch has got all of us really curious about Sabetha right now! I’m sort of amazed at how he’s managed to take a character he’s yet to introduce and make her a continuing thought through out.

    The Bondsmagi — they were all I could think about during the market scene! I don’t know if I’m looking forward to more of them or less.

    1. I’d like to learn a little bit more about the way that their magic works. Clearly it’s not invincible, but right now we really don’t know what it’s capable of.

  5. Ha, raising a little gang of his own with Sabetha, that would be funny! With uncle Jean teaching them how to throw hatchets… I picture them more retiring in a quiet little place where they would raise chicken and teach their kids how to swim. Not sure Locke would wish his life to anyone else…
    And I think Requin would rather die than opening his vault, though we’re in for a nice surprise I guess!

    1. Carousel Hazard seems like a brilliant but at the same time terrible idea.

      Locke’s just so charismatic. He’s fun to read about and has that lovable rogue type feel.

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