Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch, Readalong week 1

Posted On 28 April 2012

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This week sees the start of our group readalong for Scott Lynch’s RSURS.  We recently read the Lies of Locke Lamora which turned out to be an incredible readalong with loads of discussion.  The readalong is being hosted by the Little Red Reviewer and the schedule and information can be found here.  If you haven’t read the Lies of Locke Lamora then I would personally advise that you read this first (but that’s just my preference and I have no idea how well this would read as a stand alone – if you haven’t read the first but have read this I would love to know how you found it to read and whether you enjoyed it.  That aside, I love these books.  Scott Lynch is amazing and I strongly recommend that you pick up his books and give them a try – also, it would be great for you to join in with us all now!  I would also point out that beyond this point the questions and answers will contain spoilers not only for the Lies of Locke Lamora but also for Red Seas Under Red Skies – so if you’re a bit curious, then read on.  If you don’t want to know ‘things’ then stop right HERE.

1. The Sinspire. It looks like our heroes (can they really be called that?) find themselves in search of a way into an unbeatable vault. Do you think they have what it takes to make it happen?

I think they always manage to come up with something.  It seems pretty tough though!  And, I can’t help drawing the parallel with Lies of Locke Lamora.  We start with the set up for some elaborate ploy.  Then something seems to go astray.  Working on that basis it depends on how you measure success – did the GBs succeed with their original ploy??  Not in a conventional way for sure.  Will this storyline be similar?

I can’t help wondering though why they always have to go for such a big heist.  They seem to thrive off the pressure somehow.  And,in that respect, yes, I think they can succeed.

2.  Anyone want to guess how they’re going to make it happen?

I have read this book fairly recently so don’t want to speculate too much on this one.  I do know, and can admit, that I didn’t have the foggiest notion of how they were going to accomplish such a feat and I was gobsmacked and overawed by their planning and foresight!

3. It’s a little different this time around, with us just being focused on Locke and Jean. Is anyone else missing the rest of the Bastards as much as I am?

It’s really odd but I’m not missing them as much as I should or thought I would and somehow it makes me feel guilty.  I honestly really liked the other members of the GBs and was gutted about what happened to them but I’m not sure if that’s because I bought into their actual characters or I bought into the gang itself – a bit like football, I liked the team but I definitely had favourite players.  This time, and virtually from the offset, the banter has been brilliant.  Jean and Locke are so great to read.  Their dialogue is just plain bloody funny!  And it makes me forget the others – again guilt, guilt, guilt!

4. I love the section where Jean starts to build a new guild of thieves. It really shows just how well trained and tough he is. Do you think the Bastards will end up training others along the way again like Bug?

Not sure about this.  I hope they do but perhaps it will feel like a betrayal to them.  Obviously Jean did this initially as a means of making some quick and easy money when they were in dire straits.  He actually ended up liking it though and felt a sort of pride in what he’d done.  It makes you wonder how Chains must have felt.  I loved the scenes with Jean – he’s a total maniac just striding in there all confident!  I do love him though!!!

5. For those of you looking for Sabetha, we still haven’t spotted her yet. Anyone else chomping at the bit to see the love of Locke’s life?

I really do want to see Sabetha – it’s beginning to feel like she’s a myth.  She’s a unicorn or the Lock Ness Monster – we’re just not going to see her.  She’ll be discussed and mentioned and it will intrigue us….   I really do hope that she’s going to put in an appearance.  At some point.  Come on Scott – chuch us a fricking bone!

6. It’s early on, but the Bastards are already caught up in plots that they didn’t expect. How do you think their new “employer” is going to make use of them (The Archon, that is)?

The Archon feels a little bit like the Grey King to me already.  Of course this is not a good thing because we all know how that panned out!  He’s under control, he knows what they’re up to – there are quite a few parallels which frankly would never have occured to me if I hadn’t read the books in such quick succession.  It’s very interesting….  I can’t say more because of giving things away

I would also just point out that although this is a reread i’m trying to be circumspect with my answers so if I make a statement it doesn’t necessarily mean that something will go that way.  I’m just saying…. Thats all.

Enjoy, and thanks Bryce at My Awful Reviews for this week’s questions. 😀

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37 Responses to “Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch, Readalong week 1”

  1. Booky Pony

    It’s right what you say about the parallels between tLoLL and RSURS: all going well until someone unpleasant comes up and messes things up. I’m kind of afraid that’ll happen again in RoT, because it might not go down with me for a third time, although I know Scott can make it so hilarious I’d just forgive. But it would be there nagging, and I don’t want that.
    Jean is lovely. ^^

    • lynnsbooks

      OMG the banter so far has been hilarious. The name calling between Locke and Jean is so funny and I just wish I could remember some of their lines and reuse them! I adore Jean. I don’t know what’s up with me – I have a total fan girl crush on him and I just don’t think he can do any wrong! Locke would certainly be lost without him. Lynn 😀

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  4. Grace

    I love the Sinspire, but I kind of miss the sharks. Is that bad?

    The Archon should have taken Locke up on his offer to let everything go. Surely he heard what happened to the Falconer? Does he really think a little poison is enough to stop the Thorn of Camorr?

    • lynnsbooks

      The sharks were pretty good – in a totally bad way that is! It’s a bit like me with dragons – love em but they’re not exactly friendly now!
      I don’t think a little poison will be enough to stop the Thorn – although can you imagine if somebody told you that you’d ingested slow acting poison – even if you just got a headache you’d think it was starting to work! Total paranoia!
      Lynn 😀

      • Grace

        And I think that after the incident with the Grey King that Locke isn’t going to take well to being forced to work for people, lol. The poison is that little extra touch that’s going to seal the Archon’s doom at Locke’s hand.

      • lynnsbooks

        The thing is with the poison is that it’s the perfect ploy – it could simply be a placebo but then again maybe not. Are you going to take the risk – nope! So you’re now a captive audience whether you like it or not.
        That’s twice that Locke has now been poisoned – in different ways. Not sure which I least prefer – knitting needle to the neck or mug of cider – think I’ll go for the cider! If I’m gonna be poisoned I might as well have alcohol at the same time.
        Lynn 😀

    • RealBooks4ever

      The shark scenes in TLOLL were awesome! How thoroughly wonderfully frightening! 🙂

      • lynnsbooks

        Sharks are so scary – just seeing that fin moving through the water – you don’t need any special effects that’s good enough all by itself.
        Lynn 😀

  5. Genki Jason

    I totally agree about the Archon being like the Grey King. He’s had some help getting acquainted with his opponents but he seems to be the type who tries to cover all angles and ensure he can sew up the opposition without revealing too much of himself. Don’t feel guilty about not missing the Sanza’s or Bug when Locke and Jean are in a new predicament! Like you I’ve totally come around to liking Jean a lot. Maybe not as much as you…

    • lynnsbooks

      Yeah, I’m a bit of a sucker for Jean – I don’t think he can do any wrong! I loved the way he brought Locke out of his downer! Very funny.
      Lynn 😀

      • Genki Jason

        I had to laugh when Locke finally got the door open only to be confronted by the crates!

      • lynnsbooks

        Plus having to climb out the window. I was taken by surprise when Locke punched Jean though – Jean didn’t see it coming himself either!
        Lynn 😀

      • Genki Jason

        I felt sorry for poor Jean through that whole sequence. Locke certainly wasnt being heroic but then he did get nearly everything he loved taken away.

  6. nrlymrtl

    I hadn’t really thought of the parallel between the Grey King and the Archon – one wrapped in mystery and driven by revenge where the other has privacy/security and an unknown motive for an unknown activity.

    • kaitharshayr

      I didn’t really think/see the parallel’s either, I mean the Archon has only grabbed them off the street, he hasn’t gone around killing people off in horrid ways (yet). Perhaps its the roleplayer in me but when they were talking to him I was like ‘oh quest time!’ because that sort of thing often happens in games. 🙂 still doesn’t mean The Archon is a nice person though.

      • lynnsbooks

        I think the Parallels I’m thinking of are not that the Archon and the Grey King are the same, more that we’ve seen what the boys have planned and now they’ve been picked up by the Archon soon to be dragged into a scheme that we don’t yet know about. Just like in the original book they had a big con going on that was then put on hold whilst they undertook the Grey King’s bidding. I don’t find this a bad thing though. As with the LOLL I’m loving the world building. I think it’s great that we’re out of Camorr and finding out about a new place, I think we’ve been introduced to some new and brilliant characters and we don’t know what to expect next. Plus the banter is outstanding! I wish I could remember some of Lynch’s one-liners and reuse them (note to self – start writing things down!!!)
        I’m definitely not getting the impression the Archon is a nice person either – although like you say he doesn’t just seem to be killing random people. It’s going to be very interesting.
        Lynn 😀

    • lynnsbooks

      To be honest I think I only saw a bit of a parallel because of reading both books so close together. I don’t think it’s a flaw though. I like the way Lynch sets his stories up. I can’t wait for RoT!
      Lynn 😀

  7. Alex

    Good point about the measure of success. I’m ready to bet they’ll manage to get to the top level only to then see everything go haywire, just like in The Lies. God laughs at your plans, etc.

    • lynnsbooks

      I think God is definitely having a good laugh with Locke and Jean’s plans! He’s going to chuck a spanner into the works and have a proper giggle!
      It’s going to be fun though!
      Lynn 😀

  8. Redhead

    I was madly in love with Jean by the end of this book, I sort of felt like I was cheating on my bookboyfriend Locke! (and a million fan-fics were born).

    why do they only go after the big heists? I do think the GB’s, and Locke especially, get drunk off them. He is a little bored with the easy jobs, and he gets such an adrenaline rush off the complicated stuff, he’d rather stay home and drink than do anything else.

    Sabetha is a big part of Republic of Thieves. and beyond that, I know nothing about the book. I’m totally with Booky Pony, RoT could be a rehash of what’s already happened with similar twists and turns, and i would still love it. Like Lynn, the big twist(s) in Red Seas had me so completely thrown for a loop that I had no idea what had just happened. and it was great!

    • lynnsbooks

      I think Lynch could have a similar format for all his books and I would still love them – providing he’s coming up with new places, interesting cons and witty banter – it’s just too good to miss. I think Locke also has a little bit of the showman in him – like when Jean sort of challenged him (during the reminisce) and so he went and stole a load of stuff to prove to Jean it still could – but he went a bit overboard, ‘stole a necklace, whilst still round the woman’s next, while she was asleep in bed, with (was it the Governor?) lieing asleep next to her! Yep, I think you’re gonna need to leave town – I loved the mashed apples as well! Lets just face it I’m a total sucker for these books and a big pushover!
      Lynn 😀

  9. SueCCCP (@SueCCCP)

    I think ‘normal’ thieving is so easy for them that they have to give themselves a challenge to stop themselves getting bored, hence the crazy heist schemes.

    I’m glad I’m not the only one NOT missing the other GBs, but I am also guilt-ridden about it 😦

    • lynnsbooks

      I was a bit horrified to realise when I read this question that I hadn’t missed them at all! That’s really bad isn’t it. But I was just really getting into the new story and all the banter. I see what you mean about the ‘normal’ thieving thing – particularly when you see how easily Jean managed to take command of a new crew! He made it look easy didn’t he? You sort of feel, with Locke particularly, that they’re always wanting to pull off something more so then can skulk off and enjoy the rest of their time in retirement – I can’t imagine them ever stopping though. They’ve been conmen for two long.
      Lynn 😀

  10. Ken

    Interesting that you’re comparing Archon with the Grey King. Yeah they’re both trying to using the GBs to further their goals but I think the main difference is that the Archon is not planning to kill them. I think the Archon has some ulterior motives that he wants the GBs to complete. Hopefully this wouldn’t end as another fight to the death scenario.

    • lynnsbooks

      It amazes me as well that both Archon and the Grey King seemed to find it so easy to find the GBs. Okay, in LOLL, I think the GBs were a bit over confident and were not expecting anybody to be paying them attention, but having been through all that you can’t help thinking that maybe they should be a bit more careful! Saying that though, it would be a whole lot less interesting wouldn’t it! lol
      Lynn 😀

      • Ken

        I imagine Bondsmagi can track someone once they know their real name or have a piece of their belonging. That’s why the GBs will never be safe with the threat of the Bondsmagi always hanging over their heads.

      • lynnsbooks

        Chilling thought – hopefully it won’t be the mad Falconer who eventally comes for them!!
        Lynn 😀

  11. Ines

    I’m seeing parallels as well. And they got me thinking that Jean and Locke will again triumph over both Bondsmagi and Archon – hopefully without so much blood as last time, but I believe that to be wishful thinking. 🙂
    Also, I know if they do end up on top, it will be through such strange happenings I couldn’t even begin to guess at.

    • lynnsbooks

      I think Lynch is definitely going to take us on an interesting journey full of ‘strange happenings’ It’s going to be great!
      Knowing Jean and Locke – and particularly Locke’s attention to detail you just can’t help having confidence that he will have a perfect plan – however, you can’t always plan for certain variables – such as the Archon!
      Lynn 😀

  12. Amy

    There are a lot of parallels but I’m OK with that for now. The Archon/The Grey King, yes, I’m thinking he’s pretty much the same type but I’m beginning to think he’s a tad more devious.

    I miss the other Bastards but I’m enjoying the time Locke and Jean. And I’m especially happy to see more of Jean who I happen to like oh so much. 🙂 I still think they’re going need a few more members to pull everything off though.

    • lynnsbooks

      I love that we get to spend so much time with Locke and Jean – they’re so bloody funny together! I think it will be so difficult to ever be in a position to take on more members – they’ve lost such a lot after all and you can’t help thinking that they must feel guilty. They’re not going to want to take on youngsters who could potentially be just as vulnerable as Bug!
      Lynn 😀

  13. Froggy

    Gobsmacked and overawed! What an amazing way to describe what I felt too. I know it’s gonna end up like this again after re-reading, but I’m still thinking… wtf?!
    Sabetha, the loch ness monster 😀 Imagine, a big sticky lizard with red hair… gosh! I’m sure she’ll be in the next book (she HAS to), so the suspense is coming to an end, finally.
    And don’t sweat it with the guilt, we’re all the same! We miss the guys but Locke and Jean are so awesome, how could you stay focused on it?

    • lynnsbooks

      This is also a reread for me – I can’t believe how much i’ve forgotten though in such a short time – my memory is dreadful.
      And now, i have a picture of the Loch ness Monster in my mind swimming along with red fiery hair. LOL
      The bad thing about the rest of the gang is – I didn’t even give them a second thought until I read the questions and then I was all sheepish!
      Jean and Locke are so brilliant to read though – they have a great dynamic!
      Lynn 😀

  14. Akshay Bakshi

    I don’t think Jean originally meant to make the gang his own, he did state that it was only a source of income. However, with Locke’s pitiful state, that gang became Jean’s refuge and he began to understand how Chains must have felt. Just my 2 cents though.

    http://www.akshul.com/2012/05/03/red-seas-under-red-skies-read-along-week-one/

    • lynnsbooks

      I think you’re right – it was just a source of income but then I think he started having an interest in their welfare – luckily he didn’t get too attached – given that they left fairly shortly after (but at least the gang had a better chance of looking after themselves.
      Lynn 😀

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