GB Readalong: Week 7

Red Seas Under Red Skies continues...

If you're just joining in, check out the intro post for the schedule and other details!

What we're reading this week

Red Seas Under Red Skies | Chapters 8-12

Recap from last week

Reminiscence: We witness the Amusement War in all its disturbing glory. Locke has a peculiar set of fake chairs made, although we don't know exactly what is odd about them yet. Jean and Locke take on a rather pathetic burglar while hanging from a cliff and struggling not to fall to their deaths.

Present Day: Stragos has Locke and Jean learn how to handle a ship from Caldris. The pair stage the escape of some prisoners to man their ship and stir up pirate troubles (but they tell Requin it's to find a locksmith); Merrain secretly kills all the guards involved after Stragos specifically forbids it. Things go well on the ship until Locke realizes he forgot the all important cats, and dear old Caldris dies of a heart attack.


Can I just say that I love how Scott Lynch weaves in little feminist fist-bumps into the story!

"When you go to sea, there's two necessities, for luck. First, you're courting an awful fate if you take a ship to sea without at least one woman's plain common sense. They're good officers." - p287, Red Seas Under Red Skies

And can you picture the little kitten in the rowboat just preening while Locke and Jean work their butts off? Ha such a great image :)

Also, I think I need to confess that I am a terrible human being: when Caldris died, I laughed. Yes, I was sad for half a second, but mostly I was just overcome by the hilarity of the situation: how the hell are Jean and Locke going to get themselves out of this one?

Food for thought:

  • The Amusement War: What is your take on the Amusement War? It's disturbing and terrible, and yet as a bystander notes, no one is forcing anyone to participate. Desperate times call for desperate measures, right? You get what you sign up for! But Locke's not having it, and he has to try really hard to keep from plotting to take the whole system down. Do you think he should have done it? Do you really think Camorr's brutality is really anything less? I personally think they're about the same, especially considering how far Barsavi and the Gray King went in terms of violence and torture. I do think Locke might return to Salon Corbeau later on in the series, since he is so disturbed by what he sees. The rich remember, after all.
  • Merrain's mysterious employers: Who do you think Merrain works for? She's proven herself to be a formidable assassin, and it seems like even Stragos is a bit afraid of whoever she works for ("Yes, I suppose this commits us...send my regards [and] my prayers that we might continue to prosper...together). Even though I'm rereading, I've completely forgotten this little detail. My first instinct was that Merrain is employed by the bondsmagi, but it just occurred to me that Requin and Stragos have a kind of mutually beneficial relationship. Maybe they're both trying to get something from Locke and Jean? But then again, does Requin stand to gain from the pirate confusion and taking away the Priori power? Probably not.
  • Last Reminiscence: What do you think about the last interlude coming up just under halfway through the book? Do you think it will be jarring without them, or do you prefer the story to flow without looking back? I kind of wish we'd just started at 2 years ago and then jumped to the present day instead of having interludes for less than half the book.

Do you think Jean and Locke are going to get out of this mess in one piece? At this point, it seems like everything that could go wrong does go wrong...

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