And now for the final week of our discussions of The Lies of Locke Lamora… time has flown!
From this point on there will be spoilers. I’ll post a spoiler-free regular review of the entire book sometime later this week.
1. The Thorn of Camorr is renowned – he can beat anyone in a fight and he steals from the rich to give to the poor. Except of course that clearly most of the myths surrounding him are based on fantasy and not fact. Now that the book is finished how do you feel the man himself compares to his legend. Did you feel that he changed as the story progressed and, if so, how did this make you feel about him by the time the conclusion was reached?
Locke’s saying “I’m a thief, maybe even a murderer, but this is too much” in response to Vorchenza’s questioning sums it up perfectly. He’s not Robin Hood, and he’s definitely a thief, but he does have his own ethical code that he adheres to. Even though stealing isn’t the greatest choice of profession, I respect Locke, because when it counts he’s still willing to risk his life to save others.
2. Scott Lynch certainly likes to give his leading ladies some entertaining and strong roles to play. We have the Berangia sisters – and I definitely wouldn’t like to get on the wrong side of them or their blades plus Dona Vorchenza who is the Spider and played a very cool character – even play acting to catch the Thorn. How did you feel about the treatment the sisters and Dona received at the hands of Jean and Locke – were you surprised, did it seem out of character at all or justified?
I was very glad that Locke and Vorchenza ended up joining forces against Raza. When Vorchenza’s character was introduced, I found myself torn as to whom I should be rooting for. I’m glad I could root for both of them without either one having to lose.
As for the sisters, they deserved everything they got and more. They’re not getting any sympathy from me.
3. Towards the end we saw a little more of the magic and the history of the Bondsmagi. The magic, particularly with the use of true names, reminds me a little of old fashioned witchcraft or even voodoo. But, more than that I was fascinated after reading the interlude headed ‘The Throne in Ashes’ about the Elderglass and the Elders and why their structures were able to survive even against the full might of the Bondsmagi – do you have any theories about this do you think it’s based on one of our ancient civilisations or maybe similar to a myth??
Reminds me a bit of the show Ancient Aliens. I would enjoy learning more about the Eldren, but I don’t see the plot going there, unfortunately. I’m thinking that the Bondsmagi will play a greater role in the future though because they’re not going to like it when they see what happened to what’s-his-face. Did he even have a name other than The Bondsmage?
4. We have previously discussed Scott Lynch’s use of description and whether it’s too much or just spot on. Having got into the last quarter of the book where the level of tension was seriously cranked up – did you still find, the breaks for interludes and the descriptions useful or, under the circumstances did it feel more like a distraction?
It worked perfectly in this last section. It added suspense while filling in necessary background and the earlier interludes made a lot more sense when we saw how much they were foreshadowing.
5. Now that the book has finished how did you feel about the conclusion and the eventual reveal about the Grey King and more to the point the motivations he declared for such revenge – does it seem credible, were you expecting much worse or something completely different altogether?
Ok, I absolutely loved the ending. Just a brief rant here, but I hate it when fantasy and sci-fi authors think that it’s okay not to give each book in a series or trilogy some sort of logical conclusion. It pisses me off, especially if I pick up a series that isn’t finished yet. Scott Lynch ended this story. He left room for sequels, but he did so in such a way that we still have a sense of resolution. I like that, and it makes me even more likely to keep reading.
6. Were you surprised that Locke, being given two possible choices (one of which could possibly mean he would miss his chance for revenge on the Grey King) chose to go back to the Tower – especially given that (1) he would have difficulty in getting into the building (2) he would have difficulty in convincing them about the situation and (3) he would have difficulty in remaining free afterwards? Did anyone else nearly pee their pants when Locke and the rest were carrying the sculptures up to the roof garden?
Locke made the right choice, and I’d have hated him if he had done otherwise. One of the central themes in this book was the nature of revenge and when understandable feelings cross the line into something more. In Lynch’s world, there’s such a thing as a healthy sense of vengeance that comes from caring about others and wanting justice for wrongs done, but there’s definitely a line. The Grey King went too far with his revenge plot and when he was willing to harm innocents who weren’t even born when his family was wronged and had nothing to do with what happened to him on a personal level. Locke, on the other hand, realized that there were things even more important than his own desire to avenge his friends, which explains in part why he didn’t just go straight to Capa Raza. Saving everyone else was more important.
7. Finally, the other question I would chuck in here is that, following the end of the book I was intrigued to check out some of the reviews of LOLL and noticed that the negative reviews mentioned the use of profanity. How did you feel about this – was it excessive? Just enough? Not enough?
The profanity wasn’t at all excessive, and I think it helped add to the atmosphere of the book. It helps to remind readers of the fact that the main characters aren’t the nobility, and they are a bit coarse at times, as they should be. I don’t see why it would merit criticism, but then again, I’m not a fucking prude about cursing either.
8. Okay one further, and probably most important but very quick question – having finished, will you pick up the sequel, Red Seas Under Red Skies?
Mid April to very early May is when my classwork piles up and I have lots of papers/finals/etc., so I’ve been having a hard time deciding, especially since I’m participating in a Mistborn readalong starting this week. However, I’ve enjoyed Lies of Locke Lamora and the resulting discussions tremendously, so I’m thinking that I’ll give it a shot. I might be late with some of the posts if things get too busy.