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.
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.