Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Lies of Locke Lamora, the final week!

Jean Tannen Ready to Attack by Tolman Cotton
Hi everyone, and welcome to the final week of the Read-Along! We've had quite the ride, haven't we? From Shades Hill to the palace, and everywhere in between, we've watched our heroes grow, scheme, bond, suffer and overcome. Good times.

I think Little Red Reviewer said it best, so I'm just going to quote her email earlier in the week.

"Hi Everyone! Can you believe it? this is the final week of our read along of Scott Lynch's The Lies of Locke Lamora, and what a wild, wonderful ride it as been!  Everyone give a warm welcome the newest member of our lunatic read along team, Lynn, from Lynn's Book Blog, who provided our discussion starters today.  The last chunks of the book are pretty dense, and there is a lot to cover. Feel free to focus on as many or as few of these discussion starters as you like, or add in your own!

A huge, heartfelt thank you to everyone who participated in this read along, it couldn't have grown into the giant monster of the most incredible read along I have ever been a part of without you!"

I echo her sentiments completely, and hope to see all of you when we kick of the Red Seas Under Red Skies Read-Along after a couple of weeks off to recharge. :)

Here are Lynn's discussion starters for the final week:

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?
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?

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 civilizations or maybe similar to a myth?

4.       We have previously discussed Scott Lynch’s use of description and whether it’s too much or just spot on.  Having gotten 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?

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?

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?

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?

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?

So, there you have it. Hope you enjoyed reading with us, and if you're just seeing this for the first time, it's not too late to jump in. The great part of the internet is that it's forever, so if you comment on the read-along a year from now I'll still respond. :) Have a great time everyone!

My Answers

 1. I don't think much changed in my opinion of Locke. He's far too clever, sometimes arrogant, terrible with a sword and generally "the brains" of the operation, having no skill or inclination to be "the brawn."  But when the chips are down, and I mean way down - falling off the table and landing in the dirt - he'll come up with some beautiful way of winning.

2. I think Locke and Jean are too professional to worry about common courtesies afforded ladies as far as chivalry goes. I absolutely LOVE when Locke punches out The Spider because she doesn't think to have any concern for her safety. That scene right there is why I think that Locke and Jean will always survive - because they think outside the box.

As to the women in the series, I thought they were pretty excellent. Strong characters (although who really attempts to write weak characters?) and they certainly gave the Bastards a run for their money.

3.  I am not at all certain about the old races, but I'm not going to spend much time bothering with it. Everything that I've read from interviews with Lynch suggests that we won't really be hearing about those old races, so I'm not going to spend my time puzzling it out. Instead, I'll just think about Sabetha or something.

4. I still enjoyed them. I think that Lynch said a while back on his blog that he wished that he could have been more clever about introducing stuff like that; maybe Chains could have taught it to the boys, etc. I still don't mind them, though I agree that there was probably a better way. Still, the small amount of complaints that I have about a man's first novel shows that it's quality work. Everyone makes little mistakes.

5. I think that the Grey King's reveal was a real shocker. For some who had created these crazy plot schemes in their head about how it was a character we'd already seen it might have been difficult to swallow. The first time I read the books, I didn't really try to guess who it was. It makes a certain amount of sense that it was someone we hadn't been introduced to before, since all the other characters don't really have the right motivation (with the exception of possibly Chains, but he's stone dead) to want revenge on Capa Barsavi like that.

6. No urine soaked carpets here, thankfully! I'm not too surprised that he made the right choice. Locke can always track the Grey King down, but this was an opportunity to deny him his revenge, and Locke had just sworn that he would do that not too long ago.

7. I think that this is one of those books where I wouldn't recommend it to teenagers unless they were people I knew really well. Other than that, adults are adults, and if you don't like the profanity, stop reading the book and go find something else that's enjoyable. It really bothers me that people give a book bad reviews based on swear words. Some people in this world have a habit of cursing. If you don't happen to be one of them, it doesn't mean that your particular societal values are correct, and that shouldn't reflect how you review a book.

8. I'm pretty sure I'm going to be participating. Barring something massive. :)


  1. "Locke can always track the Grey King down, but this was an
    opportunity to deny him his revenge, and Locke had just sworn that he
    would do that not too long ago."exactly.  remember when he said he would unmake everything the Grey King wanted, and destroy everything he desired?  taking care of the Wraithstone plot was exactly that.I cracked up when Locke punched Vorchenza! what a wonderful surprise! she totally wasn't expecting it, and I have to wonder if Vorchenza respected the Thorn of Camorr all the more, or surprising her like that!   uughh, and the Berangias sisters? those bitches got exactly what they deserve! Regarding the vulgar language, everyone knows how much I fucking love that stuff!  I haven't read any of those reviews (I have better things to do. . . like troll Lynch's livejournal!), but I worry that with so many more adults reading so much YA stuff, perhaps they mistook this for a YA book? which it most certainly is NOT, and that's one of the reasons I love it, it is for grown ups only.  But I do have to worry about people who complained about the language, but didn't complain about the violence and the torture??

  2. Agreed on all points. People that don't like "bad language" can stuff it. Go read something else, wuss. :)

  3. I'm surprised you aren't curious about the Eldren civilization! Even if Lynch never fleshes it out, I am still glad it is there adding to the background of the world. 
    And great comment about the cursing. Cussing happens. Doesn't mean that the person cussing or the book are not worthy of your time. It just means they are more flexible than those with strict rules against it.

  4. Very true about chivalry and Locke being a professional. Honestly, I'd hit her at that time as well. :) She was just being so smug about it all. Which makes her and Locke quite similar, he also didn't think someone might get one on him.
    and I love it when they try to outwit one another - Locke being the winner by the end of the book, but that doesn't mean something isn't in store for him down the road. ;)

  5. I know - I can't believe people would give this a bad review because of what they class as bad language - really?  Get over it!  And then coming up with crap like not being able to finish the book because of it - well then you're just a raging wimp and you've missed out massively.  At the end of the day it's all language and it's just another way of expressing yourself.
    I loved the way Dona Vorchenza under estimates Locke - so didn't see it coming which made it all the more enjoyable to read.
    Lynn :D

  6. I've not read the second book yet but I plan to.  I do think it could be interesting to have an installment in the series or a story in which despite his best laid plans and ability to think on his feet, Locke loses.