Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch, readalong week 3

Welcome everyone to the third week of the Republic of Thieves readalong (weeks 1 and 2 here and here!).  I hope you all had an excellent weekend filled with fun and Gentlemen Bastards.

This week we read Chapter 6 thru Interlude “Aurin and Amadine”.  We finally get an introduction to the theatre troupe that the gang will be working with and in the election competition we see the boys unexpectedly wind up back out at sea!  For those not reading along please beware of spoilers below.

  1. The election competition.  Sabetha isn’t wasting any time throwing pranks at Locke and Jean.  Mostly it seemed fairly harmless, or at least not overly serious, until they were kidnapped and put onto a ship and taken out to sea.  What did you make of Sabetha’s latest plan? And what did you think about the way she executed it?  I never saw that coming at all!  In fact I was quite staggered. I really hadn’t realised just how seriously this whole election campaign was going to be taken.  We started off with a few pranks, spider infestations, minor insults, bit of pick pocketing and it was plain to see that Locke and Jean were playing catch up with Sabetha who seemed to be constantly one step ahead.  At first I was really shocked that she’d put them out to sea – and I do mean really shocked!  It just never occurred to me that either side would take such measures.  I guess all’s fair in love and war after all.  And, as to the way she executed her plan – well, at the end of the day we all know that Locke is besotted with Sabetha and we’ve had lots of discussion about whether she manipulates his obsession or not – well this put us all straight.  Yes, she’s aware of how much he idolises her and no she’s not afraid to use it!  She crooked her finger and he came running and fell hook, line and sinker into her little plan.
  2. During the escape overboard and Jean’s rather subtle nose dive into the water – I was curious about the lights Locke saw deep in the water when he was performing his rescue – Locke thought they looked different once he was under the waves which I suppose they would but he also had the feeling that he was being watched?  Do you think this relates back to the Eldren or some other presence? Firstly, I thought it was great that Locke actually got to do some rescuing as it feels that Jean is usually the one getting Locke out of trouble.  I really don’t know what the lights under water signify – that’s why I asked this because I’m hoping that one of you has a theory!  Maybe mermaids exist in this world – it does seem as though the lights were at first an attraction but once Locke was in the water he felt like he was being watched by something more sinister.  A bit as though the lights are some kind of lure or trap?
  3. Given that Locke hadn’t seen Sabetha for five years how did you think their first meeting together went (well, it wasn’t strictly speaking their first meeting of course – were you surprised that Jean and Locke hadn’t figured out that the woman pickpocket was Sabetha?) and also what did you make of Jean and Sabetha’s reaction to each other? I think the first meeting they had with Sabetha, even though she was in disguise, showed again how she was ahead of them, it never even occurred to them that it was her!  Even with the initialled handkerchief.  I thought for the second meeting there was a really big build up, Locke getting ready hours in advance (so he’d have enough time for pacing nervously) and so the initial meet felt a little bit flat almost.  I guess I was hoping for more emotion in some way, even if they were both annoyed and shouting at each other.  It felt like they were both treading on eggshells a bit although I liked that it gave us a little bit more insight into why Sabetha left.  I thought Jean and Sabetha’s reaction was very interesting and even a bit strange.  Jean seemed very cool and suspicious of Sabetha and it was Sabetha who instigated the hug.  I suppose Jean isn’t the one enamoured with Sabetha after all and maybe he doesn’t like watching Locke constantly suffering over her?
  4. So, the gang have arrived in Espara and already the plans have gone wrong through no fault of their own!  Jail for a year plus lose a hand for slapping a noble?? What do you think of the justice system in Espara and how does this bode for the gang?  Losing a hand for hitting someone – bloody hell!  I don’t suppose it should come as a surprise that the justice system is biased – it’s probably put in place by the nobility after all! The way the GBs carry on you can’t help thinking they could all end up missing a few body parts!  They’re not shy about insulting people after all and we all know they have light fingers – what do you suppose is the penalty for pick pocketing!  Lose both hands and have your ears cut off if not worse.  It makes you think that they’re going to need to be very careful whilst in Espara not to upset any of the nobility.
  5. The acting company are finally coming together and we’re watching the gang as they try to read, act and grab the best parts – are you all ‘happy face’ with the whole theatre scenes or, sad face!  Also, I can’t help feeling like this whole storyline is a step out of character for the gang.  Any ideas of how it will play out??  I love the theatre story.  I think it’s genius.  It shows us the gang finally getting to put a lot of their training into use.  They need to be able to act after all when they start pulling cons.  Plus I think the play itself is great.  This part of the story is unusual because Chains has sent them to help somebody and until they get a feel for the place they won’t really know how to do that.  Of course it all goes wrong from square one with Moncraine being in prison!  I liked that they didn’t use this as an opportunity to pack up and go back home but saw it as a challenge and we finally got to see Locke and Sabetha in action together pretending to be nobles in disguise (I love that they’re thieves, pretending to be nobles who are pretending to be actors).  I guess this storyline is also going to give us some more of Sabetha and Locke’s background and add to the ‘will they won’t they’ debate.
  6. We are also being introduced to a number of new characters, particularly Moncraine and Boulidazi.  What are your first impressions of these two and the other new characters in the Company and any particular likes or dislikes so far?  I can’t say that I like either of the two new characters so far.  Although I probably dislike Boulidazi marginally more than Moncraine.  I mean Moncraine is obviously a bit of a maniac isn’t he?  Why would you punch a noble in the first place (if you know the punishment) but why when he’s offering to help you out.  Why wouldn’t a simple ‘no’ suffice?  Considering his position he’s not short of arrogance and pig headedness.  He’s also not particularly concerned about anyone else but himself.  His whole ‘being in prison for a year is the best place to be’ – for him – what about all the other troupe members and the mess it leaves them in.  Then Boulidazi – he’s a slippery sort, or so he seems to me.  I didn’t like, for example, that he immediately saw himself as a likely suitor for Sabetha and also that he took Locke to one side to ask about her – like she doesn’t have a say in the matter at all!
  7. The rooftop scene and the apology.  How did it all go so wrong?  And how will Locke get out of this latest fix with Boulidazi?   OMG, how could it go so wrong so quickly!  Locke was doing so well, he was finally making a good impression with Sabetha and they were talking at last!  I did want to say to him though to ‘shut up’ – he was just so determined to say as much as possible as quickly as possible.  It went from punching the air to slumped shoulders in one easy step! To be honest I don’t quite get the whole obsession with the ‘hair’ colour thing.  I mean, why is he fixated on Sabetha’s hair colour.  Obviously he loves her and so he loves everything about her but I suppose from her point of view you wouldn’t want somebody to be just fixated on something like that would you?  Okay, he has this memory of the first time he saw her hair and he romantically seems to link this with his Sabetha ‘lightbulb’ moment, but he still seems to know so little about her or how she feels.  I mean, she dyes her hair and never lets her true colour show – has he never thought about that?? Or that maybe there’s a reason behind it so going down the whole ‘the first time I saw your beautiful red hair’ route seemed highly likely to cause problems!  You just can’t help feeling sorry for him though.  He tries so hard to please her and he’s just so desperate for any scrap she throws his way!  As to how he will get out of his latest trouble with Boulidazi, I think that Sabetha will come to his rescue – just like she did when she thought he was being arrested by the yellow jacket!

Quotes this week:

‘Yeah, but if I don’t start my nervous pacing now, I’ll never have it all done in time.’

‘Remember how she joked about twenty armed men in the next room?’  said Jean with a resigned sign.  He set down the book he’d been reading.  ‘There were twenty armed men in the next room.’  How cute is Jean – sat on his bed reading!  *sigh*

‘Do you want to do as you’re told, or do you want to kiss that pavement?’  It turned out he wanted to do as he was told!  (Well you would wouldn’t you – kissing pavements – not recommended!)

Check out everyone’s answers here:

Many a true nerd

Genkinahito’s Blog

Over the Effing Rainbow

Just Book Reading

Violin in a Void

Little Red Reviewer

All I am a Redhead

Dab of Darkness

Joma Fantasy

Theft and Sorcery

Coffee, Cookies and Chilli Peppers

Booky Pony

45 Responses to “Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch, readalong week 3”

  1. kaitharshayr

    The nobility in Espara really make me think of the old school British Nobility (although we haven’t met that many of them so I could be wrong). But it’s all about their damned honour, and considering Boulidazi felt the need to talk to Locke about Sabetha then its very possible that women aren’t quite viewed as equals. I did laugh slightly at that, Boulidazi asking Locke to be his wingman.

    Locke walks around in such a daze when it comes to Sabetha! His emotion, whatever it is, is never small. When he feels something he is all about that emotion (depression, love) and really he does get so silly where Sabetha is involved. I don’t want him to have to have taken extra precautions against her, that does make me sad, but they should know what she’s capable of. And maybe he did do something in the whole time that he was getting ready early, perhaps Lynch will reveal some secret later in the book?

    • lynnsbooks

      Yeah, Locke and Jean felt very much like the runners up so far in the competition. They don’t seem to have caused Sabetha any trouble at all and spend most of their time getting out of the bother she’s caused them!
      It would be a shame if Locke couldn’t trust Sabetha but I think during a challenge like this then the gloves are off – he definitely should have been more cautious – he knows how competitive she is after all.
      Lynn 😀

  2. Genki Jason

    4-5: The whole Espara scenario is great training because it forces the GB’s to use their training and think outside of the box at the same time. New territory and laws, new threats so they cannot rest on their laurels or pull the same tricks. Surprisingly it is Locke who suggests that they play their roles.

    6: Moncraine struck me as an arrogant fool as well. None of the characters really grabbed me.

    7: I think Locke had so much to say because Sabetha kept shutting him down and it must have felt like his one chance so he just went for it. In a state like that he just let his feelings flow and poured out his most precious memories. His brain didn’t have time to sift through certain bits to look for anything that might be misconstrued.

    • lynnsbooks

      Yes, it’s a shame that he ran off at the mouth there a little bit. I must admit I was thinking he was doing so well and just as the thought flitted into my brain he blew it! You’re probably right, he wasn’t sifting through his thoughts but that’s what always gets him into trouble with Sabetha. She pounces on any little thing that he says wrong.
      Lynn 😀

      • Genki Jason

        Yeah, Sabetha acting just like a woman and jumping on minor comments and blowing it out of proportion 😉

      • lynnsbooks

        Hahah, you little wind-up merchant you!

      • jomafantasy

        Haha right Genki! She didn’t even let him get a word in edge wise to correct himself or try to mend the problem. How was he supposed to know everyone in Camorr has a redhead obsession. Locke has never shown that he just wants to just get her into bed. Now she isn’t listening to him. He has poured his heart out to her saying all these other reasons why he likes her and the first physical attraction he mentions ruins everything.

      • lynnsbooks

        I think she feels a little bit touchy about that particular subject! And she’s a little bit passionate when she’s angry as we all now know.
        You’re right though – it’s a pity she had to jump on that one thing – it’s also a pity that he didn’t shut up when he was doing so well! But, if he’d never made that remark and they hadn’t argued they could have been caught in a much worse position by Bouldazi??
        Lynn 😀

  3. Lisa (@EffingRainbow)

    Excellent stuff! My brain’s gone mostly offline at the moment so I’ll come back to add comments, but for now here’s my link:

  4. The Republic of Thieves Read Along – 3 | Just Book Reading

    […] Lynn’s Book Blog is hosting this week’s questions. […]

  5. Amy

    Sabetha is so far ahead of them. I can’t believe they didn’t pick up on her being the woman!

    I like your theory better about why they’re in Espara and the play. The storyline is not working for me but maybe after this week’s questions I’ll see things differently. I know it’s all part of a big ploy by Chains to get them to finally use their skills on their own but, a play?! Oh well, let’s see how I feel later in the week.

    Here’s mine:

    • lynnsbooks

      I must admit that I’m really enjoying the whole ‘play’ theme but it doesn’t feel in character for their usual plots! It’s going to be interesting to see what sort of a mess they get themselves into
      I know – about Sabetha and the disguise as a pickpocket – Locke was so incredibly slow with that – he never even thought of why this woman had barged into him. Clearly his illness has left him a bit more under the weather than we all realised. I mean he showed great form when he first arrived but obviously he’s nowhere near to being fully up to speed.
      Lynn 😀

  6. Lauren

    1. Damn it Sabetha! I didn’t think she’d pull something like that either. I didn’t even think that was an option! On the one hand, I liked seeing her seduce Locke – this is the first time we see anything intimate happen between them. On the other, I was disappointed that she resorted to such cliche, underhanded methods to trick him. Ah well, it’s not like it didn’t work perfectly…

    7. I really want to know more about this red hair business! It seems to have some serious social ramifications for Sabetha, and it seems odd that Locke knows nothing about this at all. Odd as in Lynch’s fault, maybe. Is Locke so dense about EVERYTHING when it comes to Sabetha? But at least he’s learning. They’ve managed to work together, and he had the courage to insist on another conversation. Well done Locke.

    Quotes: Oh, I forgot to add that twenty men quote! That was a good one 🙂 Poor Jean! I like that he’s a bookworm too.

    • lynnsbooks

      It was almost brain numbingly ridiculous how easy it was for Sabetha to seduce Locke! And, I really never saw it coming at all. It was a complete surprise – not to mention fairly humiliating for Locke – I mean it took 20 armed men to control Jean but Locke just went and licked that sedative right off her neck! I knew there was something odd, firstly that she was so willing and then second she was holding him really tight – but not in a romantic sounding way??
      The red hair business is very intriguing. I don’t see how Locke can have failed to notice Sabetha’s sensitivity about the subject but like you say, he is making some progress – if he could have just shut up!!
      I liked the part where Jean had the fight with the other troupe member and Locke said he looked down and he was mysteriously holding Jean’s glasses – you can’t leave them on during a brawl after all!
      Lynn 😀

    • Andrea J

      LOL, Locke and Jean had no idea kidnapping and thowing out to sea was an option either, which is why they were so vulnerable to it. It’s interesting, that they are pulling their same old tricks, while Sabetha is doing all this thinking outside the box stuff. Makes me wonder how she spent the last 5 years of her life.

      personally, i think Locke IS totally dense about a lot of things. he ignores what isn’t right in front of his face, he’s impulsive, and impatient. Also, maybe Lynch wasn’t quite sure of all the details back when he started? And hey, if there had been some “omg, redheads!” plot in the first book, we’d all have tripped on that foreshadowing and someone could have broken a nose. I know i’m making exsues. I’m okay with that. 😀

      • lynnsbooks

        I don’t mind that we’re only just finding things out like the ‘redhead’ issue. It makes sense otherwise it would have been one huge info dump. I dunno – I mean do I know everything bad that happens in my country – absolutely not! So why should Locke. Okay, he’s a thief but he’s not some sort of sexual deviant so he hasn’t really any interest in this whole red headed business – which is pretty repulsive btw! That being said he might have paid attention to the fact that she always dyes her hair and maybe come up with the notion she’s anti red! Locke = dense – hell yes!
        Sabetha definitely seems to have surpassed the two of them in terms of thinking differently – perhaps it’s because she’s become used to working on her own and hasn’t had a team to rely upon.
        Lynn 😀

  7. Andrea J

    I’ll catch up with everyone’s posts later today. . . in the meantime, here’s my post:

  8. Ines

    I must say I’m not giving the Espara characters much thought. I see them as props in the Locke and Sabetha teenage love problems scenario. 🙂 The whole gang’s teenage problems scenario basically.

    • lynnsbooks

      Maybe that’s what this whole scenario is really about – to show us how Sabetha and Locke eventually sort out their acts (and I don’t mean as part of the troupe!)
      Teenagers – all that angst and amateur theatrics.
      Lynn 😀

      • Andrea J

        Some of my friends have teenaged kids, so I’m finding the teenager “omg, what do i do with these feels??” stuff hilarious. I definitely witnessed (and may have done!) that same type of fumbling when i was that age.

  9. jomafantasy

    Before I Comment on everyone else’s awesome answers here are mine! Take a look

  10. The Republic of Thieves Readalong – Part Three | Theft and Sorcery

    […] three already! Doesn’t time fly? This week’s questions are hosted by Lynn over at Lynn’s Book Blog, so hop on over and check out everyone else’s replies! (After reading mine, of […]

  11. Erica Dakin

    Lol, you picked the same quotes that I picked (if I’d posted them all, I picked one only)!

    My replies are here:

    • lynnsbooks

      I do love some (okay most) of the lines in this book – I’ve ended up highlighting so much as I’m going along that it’s practically silly!
      Lynn 😀

      • Erica Dakin

        I’m planning a full re-read over Christmas with a notebook in my pocket, and I’m going to write down every single line I liked and do a post about them!

        It’ll probably have to be three posts actually, one for each book…

      • lynnsbooks

        Haha, that’s definitely one of the bonuses of a kindle – so easy to highlight things. I do prefer to read a book but the highlight feature is a must – especially when you’re taking part in events and readalongs!
        Lynn 😀

      • Erica Dakin

        I actually have it on Kindle, but the highlight function on it is far too fiddly! Pen and paper means I’ll have them all on one sheet rather than having to gather them all off my Kindle. 😛

  12. The Republic of Thieves Read along, Part 3! | the Little Red Reviewer

    […] over to Lynn’s Book Blog for links to everyone else’s […]

  13. nrlymrtl

    I thought there was some rule about No Kidnapping! But I guess that is just for the political heads and other important city functionaries. Kidnapping Locke and Jean probably won’t get Sabetha in trouble, right? Well, maybe she needs a little trouble.

    Perhaps the Eldren became sea dwellers and Locke saw their warm, cozy little house fires as they were all making dinner?

    I too wanted Locke to stop talking and give Sabetha a chance to digest what he had already said and to also talk. Alas, he kept on going. Dork.

    • lynnsbooks

      Yes, he’s a big dork! Still, he was trying to do what was right after all!
      Underwater Eldren – living in a dome underwater – they have the technology to build it…
      To be honest I can’t remember all the rules about the election and whether it included kidnapping. Perhaps I should go back and have a look again, although maybe not – seeing as how they freed themselves anyway. Sabetha definitely needs a bit of trouble but I think that Locke and Jean (but especially Locke) are going to treat her with kid gloves during this competition. Locke certainly needs to wise up and realise how seriously Tabetha is taking this.
      Lynn 😀

      • Andrea J

        yeah, I think the no kidnapping is only for people in Karthain. when it comes to the GB’s, the only rule is they can’t murder each other. also seems like the Bondsmagi that Sabetha is working for aren’t making her be anywhere near as strict with rules.

        everything Locke wants to say to Sabetha? he’s been holding it in a long time. so yeah, he makes a bumbling fool out of himself everytime he opens his mouth around her, but i can understand why he does it.

  14. tethyanbooks

    1. I actually thought Sabetha was trying to be pretty transparent in her tricks, maybe just to see if Locke was still that muddle-headed about her. I guess now she knows. Though maybe he will be a bit sharper when he gets back!

    2. My thought was like Dead Marshes in Tolkien– the magical residue of some major Eldren battle. I wonder if we’ll ever find out in the series.

    5. I’m really enjoying the theatre story too! 🙂

    6. I saw that less as a “Verena has no say” and more of a “Is it inappropriate for me to flirt with her? Is she already in a relationship?” from Boulidazi. I guess I can’t defend him too much, though, since he was willing to let a guy be imprisoned for a year and then maimed for hitting him, just because mercy would hurt his noble reputation!

    7. I felt so bad for Locke, too! He was trying so hard, and he just conversationally tripped in the wrong direction :(. I bet he’ll get a chance to clarify his intentions, though, once Sabetha’s had a chance to cool down.

    • lynnsbooks

      Yeah, the whole boat trip – I admit that I felt a bit annoyed with Sabetha at first – not sure why really, she came up with a plan and she pulled it off and Locke and Jean shouldn’t have been so easy to sucker in. I hope that Locke is going to realise now just how seriously Sabetha is treating this. I think it is part of the problem with the two – he doesn’t treat her like a worthy adversary! Not through lack of respect but he just doesn’t take it seriously when she’s involved.
      Oh, the Dead Marshes, I like it – course i like any references to Tolkien. I seriously hope we find out about some of the mysteries though.
      Interesting thinking about Bouldazi – it’s so funny the way you can read something completely differently from each other. That had literally never occurred to me and yet now you’ve said it it does make sense.
      Lynn 😀

    • Andrea J

      ooh, I really like your thoughts that the lights are like the Dead Marshes! I was definitely thinking it was something to lure someone in a kill them, but now i want it to be like the Dead Marshes.

      i’m on the same thought process about Boulidazi. Also seems like Espara isn’t as forward thinking as Camorr, there seems to be more racism, more classism, so maybe more sexism too? the more I read, the more I disllike Boulidazi. he’s not exactly a villain or anything, just a dense jerk and really inconvenient!

  15. The Republic of Thieves read-along part 3 | Violin in a Void

    […] host for part three of the RoT read-along is Lynn from Lynn’s Book Blog, and I was so glad when her set of questions landed in my inbox. The scheduled reading for this […]

  16. suecccp

    1. I was also amazed by Locke waking up on a prison ship, but in a way I wasn’t, because they always end up in the worst possible trouble.

    2. I wouldn’t be surprised to find that many little fish are attracted to the lights and so big, predatory monsters hang about waiting for a snack.

    3. Yeah, how they didn’t get the “G.B.” joke was totally beyond me because it was so obvious.

    5. I think we will also get a good look at how they functioned as a group which will show us why Sabetha is so good at outwitting Locke and Jean – she knows them and their ways very, very well.

    6. Totally agree – there is something not right about that bloke, and I think Moncraine was probably right to give him a good punch in the chops. I also thought it was rude for him to make a play for Sabetha like that.

    7. Yep – she takes a lot of trouble to NOT be a redhead, and yet he never wonders why – what a twerp! 😀

  17. lynnsbooks

    1. I know what you mean – it shouldn’t really have come as a surprise. They always end up in massive trouble – I think for some reason I had this vision that they were going to go backwards and forwards pulling little pranks on each other. Lynch had lulled me into a false sense of security just like Locke and Jean were also dozing a bit on the job!
    2. That’s just made me think of Finding Nemo – with the creepy fish that has a light that it shines above it’s face (and it’s extra sharp gnashers) as it waits for unsuspecting fish to be lured in – good point!
    7. I suppose like Andrea says – he could put her dyeing her hair down to not wanting to be so easily recognisable??
    Lynn 😀

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