So it’s the last week of the Lies of Locke Lamora read-along. The book came to a very satisfying ending and has me excited to read the next book. Here are this weeks questions and my answers:
1. The Thorn of Camorr is renowned – he can beat anyone in a fight and he steals from the rich to give to the poor. Except of course that clearly most of the myths surrounding him are based on fantasy and not fact. Now that the book is finished how do you feel the man himself compares to his legend. Did you feel that he changed as the story progressed and, if so, how did this make you feel about him by the time the conclusion was reached?
Well Locke is clearly very different to the legend but does appear to be growing into the role. I noticed in this weeks section that Locke starts to refer to himself as the Thorn for the first time. This is a big change from the start of the book where he thought that the idea of The Thorn of Camorr was a big joke. There were points in the book where I didn’t find Locke to be particularly likeable, being a thief isn’t really a noble profession so at times I was sympathising with his victims more than Locke himself. By the end though Locke had a genuine cause to fight for which made him an easier character to root for. I quite like the journey I went on with this character because he’s not immediately likeable, not the typical hero but he won me over anyway.
2. Scott Lynch certainly likes to give his leading ladies some entertaining and strong roles to play. We have the Berangia sisters – and I definitely wouldn’t like to get on the wrong side of them or their blades plus Dona Vorchenza who is the Spider and played a very cool character – even play acting to catch the Thorn. How did you feel about the treatment the sisters and Dona received at the hands of Jean and Locke – were you surprised, did it seem out of character at all or justified?
I wasn’t surprised at all by what happened to the sisters, they certainly had it coming. The moment where Locke attacks Dona Vorchenza took me by surprise though and is another example of Locke breaking the mould of the typical hero character. Though considering the circumstances it was certainly an understandable way for him to react to the situation. I would like to see more female characters in the next book. Though there were some very good ones here we didn’t get to spend a whole lot of time with them making the book feel a little male heavy. Dona Vorchenza became one of my favourite characters by the end and I’d like to see more of her. Sofia is also very promising, I’m looking forward to seeing how she develops.
3. Towards the end we saw a little more of the magic and the history of the Bondsmagi. The magic, particularly with the use of true names, reminds me a little of old fashioned witchcraft or even voodoo. But, more than that I was fascinated after reading the interlude headed ‘The Throne in Ashes’ about the Elderglass and the Elders and why their structures were able to survive even against the full might of the Bondsmagi – do you have any theories about this do you think it’s based on one of our ancient civilisations or maybe similar to a myth??
I can’t say that I’ve thought about this until now. I didn’t pick up on any parallels to our ancient civilisations, I’m inclined to think it’s more myth than anything else.
4. We have previously discussed Scott Lynch’s use of description and whether it’s too much or just spot on. Having got into the last quarter of the book where the level of tension was seriously cranked up – did you still find, the breaks for interludes and the descriptions useful or, under the circumstances did it feel more like a distraction?
This time I found the interludes to be more of a disruption. Until now I’ve enjoyed them very much, mostly because we got to spent some time with Chains who is a really interesting character. This time though the interludes were used more to fill us in on the history of Camorr which though I did find interesting probably would have been better placed earlier in the book.
5. Now that the book has finished how did you feel about the conclusion and the eventual reveal about the Grey King and more to the point the motivations he declared for such revenge – does it seem credible, were you expecting much worse or something completely different altogether?
The Grey Kings motivations for revenge seemed very credible to especially given everything that we’ve been told about Camorr and it’s history. I didn’t find the revelation that he was the brother of the two sisters to be a particularly satisfying twist though since not much had been made of those characters up until that point. I wonder if those people reading this for the second time picked up on any foreshadowing that I missed?
6. Were you surprised that Locke, being given two possible choices (one of which could possibly mean he would miss his chance for revenge on the Grey King) chose to go back to the Tower – especially given that (1) he would have difficulty in getting into the building (2) he would have difficulty in convincing them about the situation and (3) he would have difficulty in remaining free afterwards? Did anyone else nearly pee their pants when Locke and the rest were carrying the sculptures up to the roof garden?
I wasn’t really surprised that he chose to go back to the tower, it seemed like the kind of overly ambitious plan typical of Locke. He’s nothing if not an overachiever!
7. Finally, the other question I would chuck in here is that, following the end of the book I was intrigued to check out some of the reviews of LOLL and noticed that the negative reviews mentioned the use of profanity. How did you feel about this – was it excessive? Just enough? Not enough?
Profanity in books has never bothered me. As long as it’s used in a realistic way and not just there to be attention grabbing I see no reason to mark a book down because of it. I didn’t find the profanity to be excessive at all here, it just felt like the natural way that these people talk.
8. Okay one further, and probably most important but very quick question – having finished, will you pick up the sequel, Red Seas Under Red Skies?
Oh yeah! I’m looking forward to getting stuck into that.
That’s it for the read-along for now. I’ve had a great time taking part so a big thank you to everyone involved, particularly those of you setting the questions. You got me thinking about the book in ways that don’t always occur to me so this has been a very positive experience. I’m looking forward getting started with the Red Seas Under Red Skies read-along.