Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Lies of Locke Lamora Read-Along, Part 3

Beginning the Don Salvara Game by TolmanCotton
Lynchmob unite!

Hey everyone, it's that time again. No, not bath time (though things are a bit ripe in the Awful Review house). It's Lies of Locke Lamora Read-Along, week 3! And that means that the other incredible bloggers that started this hot mess of awesome gave me the keys to the ferrari and looked the other way. Vegas, baby!

Quick Reminder: Week 3 covers chapter five thru the end of Interlude “The Half Crown War,” so if you haven't read that far, get your nose in that book before you start peeking at my tasty questions.

Quick Reminder the Second: I'll be trying to add everyone's reviews to this post in a nice happy list. However, my wife just got called into work, which means I've got the kids (not all that different, since I have the kids every day, but unexpected nonetheless). So, it might take me a bit to catch up. If you want to add your link in the comments, that should help things a LOT.

Now that we've got that out of the way, here are this week's questions. Enjoy!

1. This section is where we finally get to sneak a peek at the magic in The Gentleman Bastard sequence. 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?


1. In my first read-through, I would have answered that Locke would probably find a way. I mean, otherwise there's not really much of a novel, is there?

2. Since I know, I'll tell you who the Grey King isn't. He isn't Bug. There ya go. Major spoilers there.

2.5. Once the whole Nazca thing went down, I started to realize (to a small degree) that no one was off-limits. The situation suddenly felt a lot more dangerous for Locke and Co.

3. Far too many to count! The other one that brings a maniacal grin to my face, hasn't happened yet, though, so I'll wait until next week. Oh! I almost forgot the part where they climb down the tower. Yeah, that part gets me every time as well.

4. The first read-through, I was shocked. They got played, and they got played bad. I had really started to think that they'd find a way out of everything, but they Nazca....yeah.

5. No comment, except to say that the first time I was far too busy devouring pages to think about things like "the future."

6. I love Lynch's characters. If I had to fault them in any way, I'd say that for me the Sanza twins just seem a little too similar, and not quite filled out enough for me to be 100% invested in them. The same goes for Bug. It seems like Jean and Locke got a little better treatment as characters up to this point in the novel, that's for sure.

7. Pure speculation, but I think Chains simply wanted to create a new brand of thieves, to have a legacy as someone that created the greatest group of con-men in the history of a world that hadn't had many con-men to that point.

Well, have a great weekend, everyone! Also, check back at 10:30 or so (EST) for the first of three posts called Thoughts on Scott, where an author gives his opinion of what makes Scott Lynch's writing so great.


  1. Wow!  I was so happy to wake up and see that picture.  Great stuff.  I really liked the questions this week too!

  2. I loved that picture. In fact, there were a lot of good ones to choose from in that gallery, but this captured one of my favorite parts of the book.

  3. What, the Grey King ISNT Bug - damn!  Thought I had that figured out nicely. They really did get played didn't they - and it's a bitter pill to swallow.  I'd sort of bought into their brilliance myself and then for them to be suckered was a shock.  Didn't see the Nazca thing at all (and this is a reread!)  Gods, I'm such a moron!  I'm totally with you that Nazca's murder opens everything up.  It's a good ploy because you can't sit comfortably any more just expecting that everything will be okay.  The twins don't seem to get the same treatment - everytime I read about them I can't help picturing the twins in the Shining (I know they're not girls!) but I can't help picturing them side by side (almost joined looking) and mirroring each other's words in a spooky echoey voice.  I love Jean - he's my favourite character :D
    Great questions - thanks and I love your picture!
    Lynn :D

  4. I also loved that climb down the tower! Cue Immature Laughter from my corner of the world. What about Jean's training ground - Tower of Glass Roses? Nothing like that to teach you caution. 

  5. That's a great rendition of the con.

    As for Chains, I really don't know what he wants to do. He says he wants to use the GBs to upset the Secret Peace, but why does he hate it so much? Does he have a thing against the Capa or the nobles of Camorr?

  6. "The situation suddenly felt a lot more dangerous for Locke and Co." Yep, that's exactly how I felt after the Nazca episode.

  7. Question: how DO you get a horse to pee into a barrel? :D

    Here are my answers to your questions:

  8. Info from the 2nd book below, probably not spoilers, but an interesting bit of lore.

    Regarding item 7, Priests of the Nameless Thirteenth have 2 tenets: 1. Thieves prosper 2. The rich remember.

    They have to show the rich that they're not invincible as part of their divine duties, that's why their targets are almost exclusively among the upper tiers of society.

  9. great fan art!!  I totally need a Locke Lamora comic book, and a movie, and a poster above my bed. . . .

    all of the dialog in these books has me laughing my head off.  I do loves me some cocky banter, that is for sure.  Locke & Co are so used to their Camorri ignorant thugs, that they are just caught completely off guard by The Grey King.  As much as I love con-men who always win at the con, I love more so con-artists who aren't all -knowing, all-seeing perfect at what they do all the time. A little reality check makes for a better story.

    that flashback with the Half Crown war, when Locke gets the living shit kicked out of him and hangs on tight for more?  the rare times in my life when I am in utter pain (hangnail, nasty papercut, stubbed my toe on the stupid sofa leg), that's the scene I think of.  if he can get the shit kicked out of him for who knows how long, who the hell am I to whine over a stubbed toe?

  10.  Very carefully? You can lead a horse to a barrel, but you can't make him drink it's it's piss? I dunno.

  11.  Gotta love those scenes that remind you that this is Scott Lynch's world, and we're just reading it. Any of those lovely characters could disappear at any time.

  12.  If you love the picture, make sure to check out the rest of that guy's art. Just click his name above and you'll head to his DeviantArt gallery. I think that he's actually done a lot better stuff for other books/fantasy worlds, but this was pretty awesome.

  13. The picture = love! 
    And, about Nazca, I also understood in that very moment that this was an author with no limits. Anything seems possible, Which means no one are safe... It drived me insane! But it's also the aspect of the book I like the most...

    I also have to agree about the Sanza's... We really don't get to know much about them?

    Here's all of my answers :) 

  14. Did you ever see that short-lived but excellent series Rome? That seen where the sacrificial bull is up on a raised wooden platform and what's her name is in a pit below. The bull is sacrificed and she is bathed in blood. Wouldn't take much to to funnel a couple of horses peeing all night into a barrel. 

  15. I did see Rome: it was excellent! That does indeed seem to be the solution to the problem, thank you! :D

  16. Darn, and here I was so sure it was Bug all along!! Talk about ruining the hope! ;)
    I'm also really fond of the characters, even the ones he doesn't seem as invested in, and I'm also very afraid by this "no one is off limit"...

  17. Couldn't agree more on the devouring pages part. :) This is my first reading and well, after part 3, I couldn't stop so I devoured the rest of the book.

  18. Agreed on the Nazca thing.  The moment he killed her off, I started to get scared for all of the characters.  Nazca was pretty awesome, and he disposed of her so quickly and almost callously.  My first thought was "Oh crap!  Locke isn't safe!  Bug?  Jean?  Oh God, they're screwed."  Up until this point Lynch was pretty kind to his main characters...

  19. I hope Chains has a reason he's putting all this effort into training the Bastards. I want to see about his background, most of all, I think.