The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch, readalong

Okay, we’re on to the third week’s readalong of Scott Lynch’s Lies of Locke Lamora.  This week we stopped at a particularly tense part of the book – and can I just ask who the hell came up with that stopping point!!! You raging maniac you!  I have managed to not read on, but I have read this before and I want to take my time with this readalong.   This readalong is being hosted by some lovely and impressive bloggers as follows:

Dark Cargo
Little Red Reviewer

If you haven’t read this book – then really, I would recommend it m0st heartily.  Plus, come and join us all, we’re having a great time.  If you have read it and want to readalong then get in touch with one of the lovely people above and they’ll add you to the info.  And, be aware, ‘there be spoilers ahead’.

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?I guess I would say I’m more puzzled, or intrigued, by the magic we’ve seen used.  There isn’t much of an explanation this far into the story about ‘why’ the Bondsmage can use magic or where they draw their power from – although I could be missing something here!  I enjoyed Chains story about the Bondsmage and how they became such a force to be reckoned with.  It’s all part of the world building that I enjoy so much about this book.

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.  Even though I seem to have forgotten such a good deal about my original reading I’m not going to take a guess because if it turns out to be in any way remotely connected it will look like a big fat spoiler (or as though I’m trying to be a tremendous smartypants)!  I am intrigued though (and I have really not a clue – how is that even possible?)

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)  Again, I would love to speculate about the crazy turns in store – but spoilery!  Dang!!  And, believe it or not I’d forgotten about Nazca – I knew in my tiny brain that her and Locke were not going to get it on, but I had forgotten about her being murdered.  Strangely enough I remembered the whole scene with the barrel full of horse urine – what is up with me, really?  The other thing about this is – I was really quite enjoying the character of Nazca and here she is getting bumped off – I think that’s a really difficult thing for an author to do and I really respect it.  I’m not saying I enjoy losing the characters that I like but sometimes it is necessary and it’s a hard decision.  Big respect for not being too precious to lose a character if the plot needs it.

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?  I have been laughing out loud a lot – but I think you probably hit on what was, for me, the funniest scene – when Locke met the Grey King and his bondmage for the first time.  ‘Nice bird, arsehole’ is pretty hilarious!  I always feel really odd about using ‘asshole’ – just the whole ass/donkey thing!  I did think of a couple of lines I really enjoyed: “When you don’t know everything that you could know, it’s a fine time to shut your fucking noisemaker and be polite.”   and the story about the half crowns where Tesso says “because I can’t imagine that you shit-wits would really be sitting there right where we beat the trouser gravy out of you just yesterday”.  Trouser gravy?  LOL!  There are others, but I’ll leave it now (it could become an essay!)

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?  Well, as much as I hate to say it, I feel that they’ve been ‘bested’ at this point.  The Grey King knows exactly what they’re up to and how to turn the screw.  They are between a rock and a hard place and don’t even have the option to run because they’ll never get away with it now.  I suppose if they’d got out of there years ago – and it seems like they probably had enough money to do so, but they kept just wanting to put in one more job – then they wouldn’t be in this mess – but hindsight is a thing of beauty! (I wonder if you can buy hindsight glasses – I want a pair of those)

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?  Won’t elaborate on this as I have already read.  Also, can’t remember and haven’t actually read ahead!  And, I don’t have the first bloody clue.

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?  I really enjoy the characters so far, we get little glimpses into the history behind the relationships and I think that slowly but surely we have a world being developed with really easy to picture characters.  To be honest, I think Jean may be my favourite character – I’m not sure why.  I like his nature, he’s very real.  But I also like that he can just totally look after himself!

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?  Ha, I can’t actually remember whether Chains had any other goal such as revenge.  I like Chains and I like the way he sometimes doles out his lessons – like the way he taught Locke a bit of humility when Jean first came to stay!  I feel as though he thinks he’s like a master tutor and he’s giving his apprentices the best, the fullest, the most comprehensive education in how to be a trickster – he’s like the Ivy League of conman tutors!

Comments from other bloggers:

Travels Through Iest


Scruffy Fiction

Felix Pearce

Genkinahito’s Blog

Nashville Book Worm
Rose’s thingamajig
Rememorandum / Logan K Stewart

The Hugo Endurance Project
Booky Pony
John Ayliff
Numbers Words and Ramblings

Just Book Reading

24 Responses to “The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch, readalong”

  1. scruffymorris

    I’m really enjoying the world building too. I like the way Lynch just gives us a few small details at a time, always leaving us wanting more.

    • lynnsbooks

      Yeah, Lynch is very cunning, he tempts us and teases us and keeps us wanting more! But in a good way.
      Lynn 😀

  2. Genki Jason

    The inclusion of magic has given the world an interesting new angle. I want to see how magic is used, created and where it comes from. Maybe it’s something to do with the Eldren!

    • lynnsbooks

      I’m also curious about the magic – why can some people use magic but not others? Where does it come from?? Is it something that anyone can learn? (Gods, nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!)
      I like the fact that it’s not overdone though – such a cop out in some books when people just use magic to get out of any situation.
      Lynn 😀

  3. The Lies of Locke Lamora read-along, week three! « the Little Red Reviewer

    […] 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 […]

  4. Booky Pony

    I completely agree about Chains! He is a great “parent” for the little Bastards, not too strict but not too lax, keeping them in line (well, his definition of a line, anyway) and making them into better people. Teaching Locke humility is no unimportant task! 😛 I shudder to think what he would be like had Chains not had a hand in raising him…

    • lynnsbooks

      I don’t think Locke would have made it into adulthood if it wasn’t for Chains! Too reckless.
      Lynn 😀

  5. The Lies of Locke Lamora Read-Along, Part III « Darkcargo

    […] Book Worm Rose’s thingamajig Lynn’s Book Blog Rememorandum / Logan K […]

  6. Michael

    I love that the magic system is limited. I dislike magic systems that are used as a get the author out of jail free card. (Or in the world of TV, how K9 and the sonic screwedriver became a crutch for Dr Who writers at times in the mid to late 70s)

    As for the fate of Nazca, I can see why you’d want to forget. She meets a really brutal end.

  7. Ines

    Ha! Good to know Jean makes it into second book (I’ve been worried).

    And I don’t remember the part about trouser gravy – you made me go check now – it’s there – I really need to focus more on the words and not the action.
    I think it might happen next time around. 🙂

    • lynnsbooks

      Oh No! ffs! I’ve put in a really massive spoiler there without realising – a thousand apologies – I guess it’s too late to go and remove that now. Damn, damn, shit, shit, shit!!!
      Gods, I’m such a sodding moron!!
      Drat. And double drat!
      Kicks oneself repeatedly.
      Lynn 😦

    • Grace

      Ooooh! I’m excited to know that he at least will survive. I’m terrified for our poor characters…

  8. lynnsbooks

    Yeah, I know what you mean. I had a similar moment when I was reading a Raymond Feist book which, don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed, but there was a particular part of the book where two of the characters had grown so strong and powerful in terms of magic that it almost became non sensical and pointless for all the other characters to even be involved!
    Lynn 😀

  9. nrlymrtl

    I really enjoy the fact that the reader doesn’t know everything about the magic – it leaves room for more world-building later in the book or even the sequel. Trouser-gravy had me laughing too. And the comment by one of the ladies of the night about having a real use for the Sanza brothers tongues.

  10. lynnsbooks

    Forgot about the tongue comment – this question was really well chosen – it’s like we’re getting a playback of all the funniest moments! Everytime I read somebody else’s chosen clip it just makes me laugh all over again. Actually it’s pretty difficult to choose a favourite really. I did like the scene where Jean and Locke were climbing down the outside of the tower and they end up in a woman’s bedroom! – Very funny – can’t remember the exact words but Locke said something about ‘can you choose one man to cheer for and stick with him! 😀

  11. Rose's Thingamajig

    I REALLY want a pair of hindsight glasses.

    But we’d probably need the magic of Camorr to make such magical things.

  12. Redhead

    I remember reading somewhere that there is more Bondsmagi in book three, so hopefully we’ll be enlightened more later this year!

    I didn’t mind that the magic wasn’t explained all that much, it keeps it more mysterious to leave it at “whatever you do, don’t piss those people off”

    oh, all the dialog in these books always has me laughing my butt off. Lynch has totally spoiled me for good banter!

    • lynnsbooks

      I think it’s probably better not to have an explanation of the magic, after all we didn’t get an explanation of Gandalf’s magic in LOTR, plain and simple, he’s a wizard so get over it! (I kind of like that). I suppose I’m curious as to whether the magic is learned and is something that anyone can be taught or whether it’s something that the Bondsmagi are born with?
      Lynn 😀

      • Grace

        One thing that I like that other people have mentioned is knowing that the magic does have limits. I wish that we’d get to see a bit more of the rules that magic has, because I think it adds to a story when the wizard/mage/etc. isn’t omnipotent.

  13. Allie

    I would really like to know more about the magic system, too, so I hope that’s elaborated on in the future. If it isn’t inborn, wouldn’t it be neat if Locke eventually infiltrated the Karthain Bondsmagi? Now that would be a high stakes con!

    I like Jean a lot, too. I think it has something to do with how he was so often underestimated in the Interludes. People (even Locke, at first) saw him as just a soft, chubby, glasses-wearing kid, but he’s really tough and smart. Also, I I thought it was adorable when Locke tried to steal glasses for him, and accidentally got the wrong kind. A nice touch of detail there.

    • lynnsbooks

      Best story involving Jean is the Crown story where Locke is holding on to Tesso (and taking a beating) and Jean is rowing back to shore – I can just imagine him with a grin on his face!
      Lynn 😀

  14. Froggy

    It’s funny that you don’t really remember what happens next, somehow it makes it even better because you can get surprised again! I don’t remember much either, only the big actions, but even that is a bit fuzzy in my mind. I wish I would forget the end though…

    • lynnsbooks

      I can’t believe how much I’ve forgotten about this story – I’ve forgotten just about every key element all together – but remember really ridiculous things – like the barrels of horse urine (nice!)
      Lynn 😀

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