Saturday, May 26, 2012

Read-Along: Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch, Part 5


This is the fifth and final post for my participation in a read-along of Scott Lynch's Red Seas Under Red Skies, hosted by Dark Cargo, @ohthatashley at SF Signal, My Awful ReviewsLynn’s Book Blog and the Little Red Reviewer.  What this means is...

Read-Along posts discuss a specific portion of Red Seas Under Red Skies and are therefore full of spoilers!  This is also a sequel of The Lies of Locke Lamora, so this post may be filled with spoilers from that book as well!  I will do a usual review post once the book is complete.

This week’s questions include through the end of Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch.  I’m surprised that everything came together so well in the end.  I was wondering how Lynch was going to be able to wrap everything up in so little time.  We even got closure on the Salon Corbeau situation!

1.       Oh my god, such a lot going on I thought the showdown between the Poison Orchid and the Sovereign was brilliantly written and they were holding their own until Utgar and his nasty device turned up.  Well a lot of you had kind of predicted it, and I suppose we’d been let off too easy so far in terms of deaths of well-liked characters  – but come on,  did you expect something like that?  And how on earth will Jean ever recover?

 Well, as was said quite a lot in the past few weeks, Ezri was Lynch’s prime choice for a dramatic death in this novel.  After the device was activated and Ezri charged after it, I felt like it was pretty clear she was going to sacrifice herself for the ship.  I would have been much more surprised (and delighted) if something like that had not happened.  This always happens when one has a romance with a main character in an adventure story… it’s the kiss of death…

2.       The deceit, the betrayal, first Rodanov and then Colvard.  Even now I’m not entirely sure I understand Colvard – Rodanov was never keen on the oath but Colvard seemed okay with it all and yet in this final deceit she was more devious than Rodanov – what do you think was her motive?

I guess the pirates aren’t really Jean and Locke’s ‘people’.  They don’t follow either of the strictures of the Crooked Warden.  They stab each other in the back and make sure not to bother the rich folks too much.  I suppose Cpt. Drakasha was different!

3.       Merrain – such a puzzle, no real answer, the mysterious tattoo, the determination to kill everyone to keep her identity and that of her master a secret.  Does anybody have any ideas where she’s from and what she’s up to exactly and who the hell is she working for??

The only idea I’ve got so far is the Bondsmagi.  I don’t know any other organization that would be involved.  Honestly, I’m expecting it to be some secret society that just hasn’t been mentioned yet.  I’m sure we’ll find out when book 3 comes out.

4.       Finally we get to the point of the GB’s latest scheme, all that elaborate planning for two years, fancy chairs, gambling, dust covered cards, abseiling lessons – all for one gigantic bluff. I loved the diversionary tactic here but having finally reached the end of the story and, more to the point, the end result – do you think the GB’s are as clever as they think they are?

I still think they’re pretty clever.  They made one mistake, where there would have been room for so many more.  It just happened to be a mistake that cut their payoff by about 90%.

5.       I must admit that I liked Requin and Selendri – particularly at the end – I don’t think Requin will go after Locke and Jean, he was even sort of cool and composed about it all, in fact he came across as a bit pleased with himself because he had the last laugh.  Plenty of good characters this time which did you enjoy reading most about this time?

Locke and Jean?  Okay, I guess you probably meant besides the two of them.  I suppose I would pick Captain Drakasha.  She was a very interesting pirate.

6.       Finally, a triple barrel question, I know I shouldn’t ask this BUT, on reflection do you have a favourite between LoLL or RSURS??  And why?  Are you going to pick up Republic of Thieves?  And, where do you think Lynch will take us to next??

At this point, I think I have a slight preference for LoLL.  I enjoyed both of them, but LoLL felt more like a self-contained story.  I was also more interested in reading about Camorr than I was about the Poison Orchid.  Maybe I’m just not a strongly nautically inclined person.  Anyhow, I will definitely pick up Republic of Thieves.  My predictions are that Lynch will take us to a faraway land where we will a) finally meet Sabetha, b) learn who’s behind Merrain, c) see Locke and Jean find a cure for the poison, and d) possibly get some more insight into the magical system of Lynch’s world. 

14 comments:

  1. Honestly, the Salon Corbeau closure made me love Mr. Lynch!
    I really thought that wouldn't get resolved in this book.

    As to the next book, I agree with all you said might come next and the poison question will definitely need to be settled unless the next story happpens right after where we left off this one and lasts a couple of weeks. :)
    I wonder if Mr. Lynch will resolve the poison story by making it a bluff, or if Jean and Locke will turn to bondsmahi for help. Now that would be fun. ;)

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    1. Yeah, I am so glad the Salon Corbeau subplot wasn't just abandoned! I was wondering if the poison were a bluff, as well. I thought that if that were the case, maybe the Archon's alchemist gave them a poison instead of a cure. It seemed more likely that he would just hand them a poison than that he carried a single portion of cure-all around with him. However, Jean drank it, and he's not dead yet!

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    2. Ok, I see the books are having an effect on you. :) Your mind is working in devious ways. ;)

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    3. Haha perhaps! I emerge from RSURS as a much more devious and paranoid reader ;).

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  2. It seemed that the Alchemist had created a unique poison, so I am not sure that there can be an antidote, which makes me think that it was all a bluff. Otherwise, they will need to stumble upon a very unlikely cure-all, which would be really sloppy writing. :)

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    1. Yeah, I hope Lynch doesn't go the unlikely cure route. I think that it could be interesting if they turned to magic, though, as Ines suggested!

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  3. I figure Merrain is either an agent of the Bondsmagi or a rival organisation. I want to see her again.

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    1. I can't imagine we won't! That was one subplot that was very conspicuously unresolved. I hope we find out more in Book 3, though, and don't have to wait years for the reveal!

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  4. I get the feeling there's a lot more to Merrain than meets the eye....

    And I have a funny feeling Lynch will be ready to pull the rug out from under us yet again when he gets around to the big reveal.

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    1. Yeah, I can't wait to read Book 3 :)!

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  5. I think Locke needs to get over Sabetha and go out with Drakasha. Those two would make a cute pair.

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    1. Now that would be an interesting and unexpected development!

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  6. This is coming a bit late but wow, I hadn't put that together with the pirates. I think you're right, they aren't really the Bastard's people. They are like some kind of bizarro thieves compared to the GB's.

    And I liked LoLL better too.

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    1. Yeah, I think the folks on the Poison Orchid were a lot closer to the Bastard's kind of thieves than the other pirates, though.

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