the Little Red Reviewer

The Lies of Locke Lamora read-along, week three!

Posted on: March 24, 2012

I only read books like this because it’s the only book I own!

Liar!!

I only read books like this because I secretly want to be a con-artist posing as a sneak thief!

Liar!!!

I only read books like this because they are scads of fucking fun!

BASTARD!!

Welcome one and all to week 3 of our Lies of Locke Lamora read along. Pranks have been pulled, lessons have been learned, and even more horrible things have happened. The Gentlemen Bastards are up to their eyeballs in it, and some fast thinking and faster running may be the only thing that can save them.  They may be richer and cleverer than their usual sort of opponent, but the Grey King and the Falconer are most certainly not their typical thuggish Camorri opponents.

As we’re beyond the halfway point of the book, there will be spoilers. Sorry, there isn’t much I can do about it at this point.  But, if you haven’t already, you should check out Scott Lynch’s livejournal for some behind the scenes goodies, and My Awful Reviews for some other surprise goodies. There. Does that make up for the spoilers? if not, all i got to say to that is Nice Bird, Asshole.

This week’s discussion starters were supplied by Bryce at My Awful Reviews, and cover Chapter 5 through the end of the interlude called the Half Crown war.

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?

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.

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)

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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

my answers are after the jump.

Leave your link in the comments so I can visit you and add you to the link list. :)

Check out all the other wonderful discussions:
Travels Through Iest
My Awful Reviews
Nashville Book Worm
Rose’s thingamajig
Lynn’s Book Blog
Rememorandum / Logan K Stewart
Scruffy Fiction
Genkinahito’s Blog
The Hugo Endurance Project
Booky Pony
John Ayliff
Numbers Words and Ramblings
Dark Cargo
Just Book Reading
All I Am – a Redhead
Paperless Reading
Coffee Cookies and Chili Peppers
Kaitharshayr’s Musings
Beware of the Froggies
A Blog Thinger
realbooks4ever
Tethyan Books
The Bente way
SF Signal NEW!!
Books without Any Pictures NEW!!


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?

The magic strikes me as fairly simple, actually. What makes it so fucking creepy is the secretive nature of the Bondsmagi. No one lives to tell the tale of how their magic works, other than that if they learn your true name they can have power over you. Only think I can think of is to never let anyone learn your true name. But it’s def too late for that.

Locke needs to pull the same stunt he pulled back in shades hill – get someone else to take the fall.  He needs to get someone else to kill or injure the Bondsmage, that way the Bondsmagi will go after someone else!
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.

Someone who really, really hates Capa Barsavi.  And since Chains is dead, who else is left?

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)

The first time I read it, I truly thought Barsavi was pulling one over on Locke, to see how his future son-in-law would respond to something like this. A test of sorts.  yeah, but it wasn’t a prank, was it?  What are those first steps of mourning? Denial and then Anger? Even during this bazillionth reread i still go through denial and then anger when I get to that scene. She can’t be dead and it’s not fucking fair!!!

are there more crazy turns coming? why yes, yes there are.

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?

Dayam, leave it to Locke to be a cocky shit and completely antagonize the baddie whose got him by the balls. I’ve got the US version, in which the line is “nice bird, asshole”, and omfg, it is HILARIOUS!  Everytime I get to that scene, I read that line out loud, and my husband is like “what??  oh, you’re reading that again”.  laughing out loud? giggling like a madwoman? oh, i dunno, only like every single dialog scene!  Especially the banter between the Gentlemen Bastards. “I’m in need of Camorr’s ugliest seamstress”,  stuff like that.

Gotta give it to Lynch, the man knows how to write some fucking incredible dialog.  Among everything else he does brilliantly.
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, are they up to their eyeballs in it. Sure, when they were just dealing with your average illiterate street thug, of course they were cleverer. But they have never dealt with someone like The Grey King, and Chains certainly never trained them for anything like this. The Grey King seems to know everything about everyone, and the fucker has a godsdamned Bondsmage working for him! Where the hell did this guy come from??  Well, wherever he came from, I worry that if Locke & Co were to end up there, they’d be the dumbest kids on the block.

I don’t care how clever or unclever the Bastards are. I want them to win.

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?

Well, Barsavi is hopefully going to chill out a bit. Sure, he’s still freaked about his daughter,  but now that his enemy is dead, hopefully the Right People won’t be quite so nervous.  We got at least another 200 pages to go, so the story has got to go somewhere. . . .  and we know Locke isn’t getting married anymore. ;)

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?

The characterization is wonderful!  from Bug to Chains, to Barsavi and Nacza, I feel like I know everyone Locke has interacted with.   Instead of reading the dialog, I feel like I am having the dialog.  Does that make any sense? But there is still so much about these people that I don’t know, but that I want to know.  Lynch is masterfully pulling that trick of telling me just less than how much I want to know. I think the flashbacks are the icing on the cake of characterization. If the story was only the “now” time period, I might have some characterization complains, some concern about where all these people came from and why they are the way that they are. Framing device flashback to the rescue!

And that recent flashback with the bastards getting the crap kicked out of them by the Half Crown gang and how Locke solves his problem? pure, fucking genius. someday, when I have a masters degree, I can only hope to be that smart.

I like that none of these guys are supermen. sure, they know how to throw a punch, but they also know how much it hurts to take one. they bleed and they bruise and they get the wind knocked out of them, and they tell recovery to fuck off, we’re busy, thank you very much. they run on pure adranalin, and figure they’ll sleep when their dead. Forget those WWJD bracelets, I need a WWLD bracelet. Not the lying and cheating so much as the telling sleep and serendipity to come back later.

what might be missing?  I always wonder if a lady love might spice things up a bit, keep the boys on their toes.
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?

How awesome would it be for Chains to be alive in the current storyline? I’d love to ask him what his plans were.  I don’t know that he had a specific endgame in mind, just that he wanted to train the best con artists Camorr had ever seen. I love the idea of the apprenticeships. We’ve already seen a few times that people see the robes and the badges of office, not so much the face.  Camorr doesn’t strike me as an overly religious city, but certainly a city where priests are highly respected individuals. Chains isn’t stupid, he’s seen how a priest can get past any locked door, can influence any official, how priests are above reproach.  And we know how easy it is to sit on some steps, claim blindness, and take the money of the wealthy, no bruised knuckles required.

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26 Responses to "The Lies of Locke Lamora read-along, week three!"

I must admit that I was a bit gutted about Nazca – and I’d totally forgotten! In fact I seem to have forgotten more than I ever knew! That’s what makes this reread so enjoyable. I do remember certain things but I seem to have discovered the art of selective memory.

http://lynnsbooks.wordpress.com/2012/03/24/the-lies-of-locke-lamora-by-scott-lynch-readalong/

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What a section! Nazca’s death was brutal and unexpected for sure. You said it, Lynch is excellent at telling me just less than I want to know. Makes for quite a compulsory reading session, I say. And the Bondsmagi?! Woah. Hopefully we get to see more of them sometime.

http://www.logankstewart.blogspot.com/2012/03/lies-of-locke-lamora-group-read-week.html

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Seems like I have more questions than anything else this week. I genuinely don’t know where this story is going and that’s why I’m loving it!

http://www.scruffyfiction.co.uk/2012/03/24/the-lies-of-locke-lamora-read-along-week-three/

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When anwering the questions I just went and answered one by one as they came so when I read question 5, I was smiling as that was my point in answer 4, who managed not to read ahead if that was the first reading? I certainly didn’t. :)
And then it took I don’t know how many chapters to get to the rest of the story (very devious of Mr. Lynch) and I’ll stop here.
Because I’m still upset. :)

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[...] decided to rein it in and watch some movies because I’m behind on my viewing… Anyway check out Little Red Reviewer, the lynch mob leader, for more information and [...]

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I’m really enjoying the book now. The twists and turns are brilliant and the inclusion of magic has given the world an extra spark of excitement. Anyway, here’s my entry!

http://genkinahito.wordpress.com/2012/03/24/the-lies-of-locke-lamora-readalong-part-three/

Also… Echo Hole – Creepy as hell.

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Awesome, so much stuff going on already this morning!!

If you don’t get responses from me today, please don’t kill me. My social life has made an appearance this weekend, and it’s all I can do to keep the links list above updated every time my e-mail pings.

I will visit everyone as soon as i can, pinky swear. besides, if i didn’t, what would Locke think of me?? a bastard never, ever lets their friends down.

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Nice bird, asshole got read aloud at my house too. Husband looked at me, shook his head, and went back to watching basketball. I thought it was hilarious though. :)

Lynch is great at dialogue. For me, it’s the best part of the book, well that, and a lot of other parts too!

http://justbookreading.com/2012/03/24/the-lies-of-locke-lamora-read-along-part-3/

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Yeah – that half-crown solution showed to me that Locke was willing to take some pain and humility (getting pummeled) in order to set someone up for a fall. I like that development in his character.

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Is Chains really dead? What happened to him anyway? I wanted to see Nazca for a bit more, that talk of the wedding really threw me off.

http://www.paperlessreading.com/2012/03/lies-of-locke-lamora-read-along-week-3.html

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A bit late in the day than I’d like but here’s my answeres :) http://kaitharshayr.wordpress.com/2012/03/24/the-lies-of-locke-lamora-read-along-wk3/

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Oh, you also thought Nazca’s death was a prank… I was just furious to see that she indeed was dead, it’s really unfair.
And I want them to win too! Gosh, sometimes I wish I could forget the end so that I get the surprise all over again, though I’m not sure it would be good for my little heart.

And here’s my post for this week: http://bewareofthefroggies.blogspot.com/2012/03/lies-of-locke-lamora-read-along-part_24.html

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One day after listening to the Half Crown War interlude, I tried to tell my wife about some of the great lines and it just fell flat. They are some seriously cocky dudes!

Love your intro by the way!

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I’m constantly reading the funny bits out loud to my other half, and they only seem to work in the context of everything else, cuz he doesn’t laugh either.

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That never really works does it – I read the Princess Bride recently and was laughing at a lot of the humour and I kept saying things out loud ‘inconceivable’, etc, – husband sat opposite – mouth in a line, not amused! ‘okay, I’ll just read quietly then’ :D
Lynn

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we totally need a list of books that have snortworthy lines that don’t work when read out loud out of context!

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I’m a day late to the party, but here’s my answers: http://tethyanbooks.blogspot.fr/2012/03/read-along-lies-of-locke-lamora-part-3.html

Hopefully I’ll get some time this afternoon to go through all the different blog’s answers :). It’s so much fun to see what everyone else thinks, and there’s a lot of speculation in this set of questions for those of us reading for the first time!

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no worries, I’m still catching up on catching all the links as fast as I can. I gotta catch up too.

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I’m going to read and comment when I get home tonight… but here’s my post :)

http://thebenteway.blogspot.com/2012/03/lies-of-locke-lamora-read-along-part-3.html

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“They bleed and they bruise and they get the wind knocked out of them, and they tell recovery to fuck off, we’re busy, thank you very much. they run on pure adrenalin, and figure they’ll sleep when their dead.”

Could not be more true! I almost laughed out loud when I read this (and I sit in a library), because that’s them! The essence of the Gentlemen Bastards.

About Nazca, I had forgotten that she got killed, so I had to go through the stages of grief all over again! I think this proved to everybody that no one is safe, that it’s really Lynch who decides where the story goed and who gets to survive it…

And I totally understand what you mean with *having* the conversation instead of reading it… That’s what makes all the dialog to brilliant!

Last thing: I actually do not miss a lady love… This story is one of a kind partly because it proves that you don’t need a love story for a book to be good… Though there are still a lot of books to come :)

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Here’s mine… sorry I’m so far behind!

http://bookswithoutanypictures.wordpress.com/2012/03/28/lies-of-locke-lamora-readalong-part-iii/

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don’t worry about it, I am way behind on EVERYTHING this week!

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