The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch, readalong

Welcome to this weeks question and answers for the Lies of Locke Lamora readalong.    This readalong is being hosted by some lovely and impressive bloggers as follows:

Dark Cargo
Little Red Reviewer

The questions this week are brought to us by SFSignal and are below.  If you haven’t read the book then I suggest you stop reading now as there be spoilers below!  Also, if you haven’t read the book but have a love of fantasy then I strongly recommend Scott Lynch, I love this series.

1. In the chapter “A Curious Tale for Countess Amberglass” we learn of the tradition of the night tea in Camorr. I found that not so much fantastical as realistic – how about you?

I definitely found it had a ‘real’ feeling.  Dona Salvara going to see the Countess for some ‘tea and sympathy’ not to mention a bit of gossip!  What could be more normal than that.   I think the normal elements are what grounds the book – it almost feels in parts as though it’s a parallel universe, things that you’re familiar with and then things that are fantastic.  The tea party is definitely very normal but then there are other elements that bring it back to fantasy.  I suppose the setting was rather fantastic, sitting on a glass balcony above the clouds!  Probably not my ideal spot with a fear of heights!  Then we move on to a rather elaborate cake that sounded a bit amazing – packed with goodies (and calories!)  So a good mixing of fantasy and reality.  Then on top of that we have yet another of Locke’s plans thwarted.  It seemed like such a good ploy by Locke and he seemed to have almost pulled it off!  Makes you wonder what else is going to go horribly wrong.

2.      When Jean meets with what will become the Wicked Sisters for the first time, the meeting is described very much like how people feel when they find their true work or home. Agree? Disagree? Some of both?

It was like he’d found his soulmate!  LOL.  I thought that little story was brilliant, like finally Jean had found something that had been missing.

3.      Salt devils. Bug. Jean. The description is intense. Do you find that description a help in visualizing the scene? Do you find yourself wishing the description was occasionally – well – a little less descriptive? 

No, I didn’t want less description – particularly in this instance!  Okay, I can hold my hands up and admit there’s a lot of description in this story, personally, I really enjoy it, however, okay, you could probably lose a bit of detail about the food/drink/clothing – and it wouldn’t be detrimental – but to lose the description on something like the Salt Devils – it would be criminal to have cut that down.  It was such an exciting scene – massive, spider like creatures, Locke stuck in a barrel (feel like there’s a pun flying around in that statement somewhere), blue ick flying about all over the place and Jean being brilliant slashing and hacking – no, I thought it was just the right amount of detail.  (Was anybody picturing Shelob from LOTR when the salt devils appeared!)

4.      This section has so much action in it, it’s hard to find a place to pause. But…but.. oh, Locke. Oh, Jean. On their return to the House of Perelandro, their world is turned upside down. Did you see it coming?

Oh, this is such a sad scene – I was already prepared for it, but, and even though I hadn’t formed a real connection with Calo and Galdo, it still made me very sad.  In a way yes, I did see this coming.  They were out of the way, the Grey King was at large – he’d clearly been following them and knew where they lived and so it’s not rocket science to assume he’ll want to get his hands on their dosh – after all he thinks Locke is dead – and best irony of all is that he can now use the Bastard’s money to pay the Bondsmage for his services – perfectly despicable methinks.

5.      Tavrin Callas’s service to the House of Aza Guilla is recalled at an opportune moment, and may have something to do with saving a life or three. Do you believe Chains knew what he set in motion? Why or why not?

I just think that Chain’s wanted his GBs to be prepared for all eventualities.  You never know when something will be useful and so he’s given them a bit of a grounding in all things.  And, as we can now see, its paid off.

6.      As Locke and Jean prepare for Capa Raza, Dona Vorchenza’s remark that the Thorn of Camorr has never been violent – only greedy and resorting to trickery – comes to mind again. Will this pattern continue?

I think that things have the potential to become much more violent at this stage!  It’s personal now!!

7.      Does Locke Lamora or the Thorn of Camorr enter Meraggio’s Countinghouse that day? Is there a difference?

I think Locke Lamorra enters the counting house.  I think the Thorn of Camorr no longer exists.  And I think this is seen in the way that Locke has to make a few attempts before he finally succeeds in obtaining a set of clothes.  He’s not being calm and collected, he’s not taking the time to study his opponents, he’s just hellbent.  The Thorn of Camorr was a conman – almost playing with the rich and flaunting his brainpower, ‘look at me, look at how easily I walk among you and deceive you’ and actually not just deceiving them but also pulling the wool over the eyes of the rest of the criminal element.  I think from now on we will only see Locke, I think he will still be clever, and come up with plans, after all he did succeed in the Countinghouse, but he now has a different motivation.  Let’s hope he doesn’t resort to his previous reckless self – revenge is a dish best served cold (or something like that!) or – another quote – fools rush in.. etc. etc.  That was very rambling and incoherent – for which apologies.  Basically, I think the Thorn has now gone and Locke is in the building!

Thanks for the questions

Lynn 😀


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

  1. The Lies of Locke Lamora Readalong Part 4 | Genkinahito's Blog

    […] Lamora news I got my hands on a copy of Red Seas Under Red Skies. Check out the other conversations taking […]

  2. Genki Jason

    Great post! Spoilers! This whole section has been crazy! I didn’t see the Sanza thing coming… Or Bug for that matter – it’s not often children get killed… Last time I saw something like that was in Berserk and that was tough… Anyway it seems to obvious now because the Grey King is a ruthess operator. I liked how Locke used variations of their name when he was trying to infiltrate Meraggio’s Countinghouse and secure some new threads!

    I cannot wait to see Locke and the Grey King battle. I get the feeling it’s going to involve sharks at some stage.

    • lynnsbooks

      I thought your comment about how high up the tower you travel is in proportion to the status of the person you’re visiting was really insightful and I never even thought about that – I suppose it’s like always having the penthouse in a hotel!
      Bug really was a surprise – even though I knew it was coming I was still upset 😦
      Lynn 😀

  3. Ken

    I didn’t expect there to be so many deaths. Since there is going to be 7 books in total, I thought maybe a few more of the GBs will live on to the next book.

    • lynnsbooks

      I know – there’s virtually no GBs left now! So very sad!
      Lynn 😀

    • RealBooks4ever

      My thoughts exactly, Ken! Locke and Jean are going to have to recruit a whole new set of GBs!

  4. Booky Pony

    I never realised that pun before! xD Locke stuck in a barrel indeed.
    What you said about it being the realistic things that ground the book, I agree. That’s probably part of the reason Camorr seems so comfortable. The things people do are mostly everyday things, not something that has some peculiar reason beyond our own lives behind it (not that I have anything against obscure habits and such), and this makes them easy to understand and, at least for me, to remember. Same as with names – Meraggio has a very Italian sound to it, and thus it’s much easier to remember than some random pile of consonants with a couple of vowels thrown in.

    • lynnsbooks

      I like the everyday realism in the book and I also like the fact that the names are easy to get along with! Sometimes, particularly if you’re reading something a bit futuristic where names have been changed dramatically, it can affect the flow a bit!

  5. Locke Lamora Read along, nearly to the end! « the Little Red Reviewer

    […] Lynn’s Book Blog Nashville Book Worm Dark Cargo Genkinahito’s Blog Scruffy Fiction Numbers Words and Ramblings Tehthyan Books Kaitharshayr’s Musings Paperless Reading Rose’s Thingamajig Rememorandum […]

  6. Rose's Thingamajig

    That question 7 is impossible isn’t it?? There are so many ways to answer it, and no real right way either.

    Maybe he is still Locke, but Thornier…

    • kaitharshayr

      Its really interesting seeing everyone’s replies to question 7 all with completely different views. 🙂

      • lynnsbooks

        That’s what makes a readalong such fun. It makes you stop and rethink things, not necessarily that you’ll change your opinion (although you might) but that you start seeing things from a different POV and you pick up ideas from others that you had’nt even thought of! No.7 has been a real teaser in that respect and I have to hand it to Ashley – it’s a top question.
        Lynn 😀

      • RealBooks4ever

        I love this question! A Thornier Locke! lol

    • lynnsbooks

      Some of the answers for number 7 have been great – I keep changing my mind over and over!
      I like the idea of a Thornier Locke!
      Lynn 😀

  7. The Lies of Locke Lamora Readalong Part IV « Darkcargo

    […] Lynn’s Book Blog Nashville Book Worm Genkinahito’s Blog Scruffy Fiction Numbers Words and Ramblings Tehthyan Books Kaitharshayr’s Musings Paperless Reading Rose’s Thingamajig Rememorandum ReadBooks4Ever Booky Pony […]

  8. nrlymrtl

    I really enjoyed Jean’s time as a priest of Aza Guilla. He has such a practical, patient head and it would take a death-worship cult, constantly getting close to death, to scare him off.

    • lynnsbooks

      The Aza Guila is just one weird bloody priesthood! Plus all that thing with the masks – although the masks did come in very handy later for Jean when he was spying on the plague ship – he would have been recognised otherwise.
      Lynn 😀

  9. scruffymorris

    I really liked your answer to question seven, completely different to my answer. An interesting way to look at it.

    • lynnsbooks

      But now I’m rethinking my answer…. (doh) Can’t make my mind up – I think I’m finally coming round to the idea that there aren’t two separate identifies here. Thorne is Locke and vice versa and the two can’t be separated.
      Lynn 😀

  10. Allie

    Nice almost-pun in #3 :). I like your answer to #1, it does seem like a combination of very normal and very fantastical. And I definitely agree with you about Locke vs. Thorn. I think he will need to keep his cool if he wants to accomplish his goal without losing Jean, too. Locke tends to survive “Locke Lamora games”, but the people around him often don’t seem to be so lucky.

    • lynnsbooks

      I know – there are so few survivors – it’s quite devastating really!
      Lynn 😀

      • Genki Jason

        Three GBs down, three to go. Locke really does drag people down with him but all of that seems to be changing now that we are getting to the end of the book. It reminds me of John Costantine – he doesn’t want to hurt his friends but his life is dangerous and he can be sloppy.

  11. SueCCCP (@SueCCCP)

    I have to agree with you about the amount of description. I love the feel of reality that we get from the details about food, etc. It is a great counterpoint to the fantastical aspects of the world. I like the more slowly paced sections of the book: if everything were blood-splat-gore-horror action the book would feel rushed.

    • lynnsbooks

      Yes, there’s a really good blend going on here. Things are definitely picking up pace now though and you can feel that the next section is going to become very tense!
      Lynn 😀

  12. Jeremy F

    hmm. Yeah, maybe you’re right that there is no Thorn anymore. After all, his entire existence is now devoted to STOPPING the now biggest criminal in Camorr. Sure it’s for revenge, but would the Thorn really do that?

    • lynnsbooks

      I can’t really see Locke in either guise becoming really ruthless – even though he has plenty of incentive – somehow it just doesn’t seem part of his character does it?
      We’ll have to see though. At the end of the day I’m really hoping that the Grey King and the Falconer get their just desserts!
      Lynn 😀

      • Jeremy F

        I don’t know, the Falconer is such a loathsome character, I don’t think anything that could happen to him would do him justice…

      • lynnsbooks

        You’ve definitely got a point – although I’d settle for ‘dead as a post’. Is that a bit mean??

        Lynn 😀

  13. Grace

    I knew that every character that I got attached to was doomed to die the moment that we lost Nazca. I had hoped Bug would have lived a bit longer, but now Locke has even more revenge-fuel against Capa Raza.

    • lynnsbooks

      I know, it’s so sad – we just started to get to know everyone in the little gang (and, yeah, it’s not exactly a huge gang in the first place) and then, bam! near wipeout.
      Poor Bug!
      Lynn 😀

      • Grace

        I think the picture on Andrea’s blog sums it up perfectly. Scott Lynch puts George Martin to shame with killing off characters.

  14. RealBooks4ever

    Great answers, Lynn!

  15. Ines

    What is it about spiders? 🙂
    Some of my favourite books feature spiders in rather dangerous settings (LoTR and HP come straight to mind).

    As long as the spiders get defeated, I’m all for them appearing. 🙂 It makes for some extremely exciting and nerve-racking reading.

    • lynnsbooks

      I forgot about the HP spiders – nice reminders. What about the film Arachnophobia – definitely not one to watch if you don’t like the 8-legged critters!
      Lynn 😀

    • RealBooks4ever

      No! No! Spiders are our friends! 🙂 In this case, not-so-friendly.

  16. Redhead

    Ashley sure came up with some great questions, we are all answering them completely different!

    uughh, Shelob from LOTR, don’t remind me! I prefer to think of the salt devils as a cross between an octopus and umm, something crunchy and disgusting. ewww. The first time i read the book, I figured that was the end for Bug! oh, poor Bug. Even though I know it’s coming, that last scene with him nearly always has me in tears.

    calories be damned, I totally want to eat that cake from Dona Vorchenza’s!

    • lynnsbooks

      I know that No.7 has done my head in! I can’t make a decision – watching me with number 7 is like watching a game of tennis going back and forward.
      I would so eat that cake! (The problem is I wouldn’t know when to stop!)
      Lynn 😀

  17. Michael

    It’s been interesting to watch as Locke’s plan has unraveled how much less and less control he has…and to see that impact on him.

    While he planned carefully, he didn’t consider certain factors playing into his plan…such as the Gray King showing up. But it makes me wonder if Locke was a big fish in a small pond and is now trying to swim in a much bigger pond. And not doing as well.

    • lynnsbooks

      It’s almost felt like chaos watching as all of Locke’s plans have unraveled. And yet here he is determined to get back into his game again – and it’s going to be a trap – NNNNNOOOOOOO!!!
      I suppose the thing is Locke has always had this superior attitude (and I don’t mean that in a bad way) but he’s been the only one playing this game and he’s never had to figure somebody else into the equation who might be watching him. If you think about it none of the gang ever really checked out what was going on around them – even when they were being followed over the rooftops they didn’t observe that – they never even thought to look up. You could call it over confidence but i think it’s more a case of letting your guard down or in actual fact never really having your guard up because you haven’t had to!
      Lynn 😀

  18. Froggy

    I totally agree with you about not cutting the exciting description – sometimes we could do with a bit less of the “boring” stuff but action can be as descriptive as it wants, it’s always great! And yes, I totally thought of LOTR too while reading.
    I love your reflexion about the Thorn of Camorr gone and the real Locke meaning business, very well thought.

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