26 May 2012

Red Seas Under Red Skies Read Along Week 5

Well, it’s finally over.  Ten weeks of the most exciting and profane read along ever.  If you haven’t been following along, you really missed out.  If you didn’t listen to the audio, you didn’t miss out quite as much but you still missed out!  Thank you so much to everyone who organized and came up with the great and sometimes purposefully leading questions J  Seriously, this has been so great.

1. Oh my god, such a lot going on I thought the showdown between the Poison Orchid and the Sovereign was brilliantly written and they were holding their own until Utgar and his nasty device turned up.  Well a lot of you had kind of predicted it, and I suppose we’d been let off too easy so far in terms of deaths of well-liked characters  – but come on,  did you expect something like that?  And how on earth will Jean ever recover?

I thought this was particularly cruel.  I mean, Jean has already had his parents die.  Then his best friends were killed and after his second (actually probably third after Father Chains) major loss, he was expected to be the strong one and pull Locke out of his funk.  GIVE THE GUY A BREAK WILL YA!

I was actually really surprised how quickly Jean regained his composure and real talk, it felt a little forced.  I mean, after Locke’s brief and feeble attempt at consoling him, he all of a sudden becomes this rational, reasonable man.  I suppose he later took it out physically and maybe that’s just how strong and in control Jean is, but I don’t know… I guess I expected him to maybe break half the world off or something.  Is that really all that much to ask?

2. The deceit, the betrayal, first Rodanov and then Colvard.  Even now I’m not entirely sure I understand Colvard – Rodanov was never keen on the oath but Colvard seemed okay with it all and yet in this final deceit she was more devious than Rodanov – what do you think was her motive?

IMHO, the whole council was a pretty big mystery.  Throughout both of these books Lynch has not been afraid to take a huge chunk of time giving us some juicy history and the complete absence of information here, seems either a gigantic oversight or major clue re: THE NEXT BOOK.  I’m not inclined to believe this was an oversight, but I’m also not sure I really believe this will be touched on in the next one, though I’d like that. 

3. Merrain – such a puzzle, no real answer, the mysterious tattoo, the determination to kill everyone to keep her identity and that of her master a secret.  Does anybody have any ideas where she’s from and what she’s up to exactly and who the hell is she working for??

I am not willing to talk about Merrain yet.  She is the reason for Locke’s life being in question still!  Funny thing is… I’m not pissed that Locke has an incurable poison coursing through his veins, I’m upset that I have to wait till the next book to figure out how the hell he’s gonna fix it!  Whoever she is, whoever she is exactly, man I hope she pays and isn’t just forgotten.

4. Finally we get to the point of the GB’s latest scheme, all that elaborate planning for two years, fancy chairs, gambling, dust covered cards, abseiling lessons – all for one gigantic bluff. I loved the diversionary tactic here but having finally reached the end of the story and, more to the point, the end result – do you think the GB’s are as clever as they think they are?

I do think they are as clever as they think they are!  It seems to me their failing is that they don’t think there are other people out there who are just as clever and devious.  That and Lynch’s world is so complex that there are really just some things that could never be predicted.  The fact that they have survived two books worth of psychological and physical assault proves they are pretty genius.

5. I must admit that I liked Requin and Selendri – particularly at the end – I don’t think Requin will go after Locke and Jean, he was even sort of cool and composed about it all, in fact he came across as a bit pleased with himself because he had the last laugh.  Plenty of good characters this time which did you enjoy reading most about this time?

I actually liked Caldris.  He was one of the few people who could put the GB’s in their place since Father Chains.  They were so out of their element that this old, crusty sailor could absolutely control every part of their day.  They were so frustrated – it was pretty hilarious.  And his silent fury over Locke forgetting the cats!  Who else could make Locke feel that sheepish?!

6. Finally, a triple barrel question, I know I shouldn’t ask this BUT, on reflection do you have a favourite between LoLL or RSURS??  And why?  Are you going to pick up Republic of Thieves?  And, where do you think Lynch will take us to next??

Hands down, LoLL.  The excitement of meeting and getting familiar with Locke and Camorr and the gang just can’t be beat.  The language and insults were punchier, more vulgar, and off the charts crude.  I was constantly laughing during LoLL and the characters seemed a little more fully developed.  There was an energy in LoLL that I just didn’t get from RSURS that I’m not sure I can explain fully.  Which isn’t to say that RSURS wasn’t good.  In fact, I think RSURS was the easier of the two to read and though there were some surprises, I was happy that there wasn’t any surprise unknown bad guy reveal.


  1. I love the point you make about the GBs being as clever as they think but forgetting that other people might be clever also! Good point well made.
    It was a shame about Caldris wasn't it. I couldn't believe he was gone quite so quickly but I guess it helped to move the plot along.
    And, yes, like you, I'm just waiting now to see exactly how Locke gets out of his latest predicament.
    This has been a great readalong (two readalongs), great discussion and everyone getting involved.
    Lynn :D

    1. These read alongs have been GREAT! The fact that I probably wouldn't have read these if it weren't for the read along is exciting but then listening to everyone else's theories, worries and complaints was such a blast!

  2. Good point about giving Jean a break. :)
    I thought about the whole situation after Ezri is that jean can pull it together on the outside, but on the inside, his heart broke completely and he is silently suffering.
    He's actually the silent one of the duo but for that, he feels things more profoundly.

    1. I was worried about Jean throughout the entire book. Between Locke doubting him during the crossbow standoff and losing Ezri. I want to see him pull through, but I also kind of think he deserves a moment of despair like Locke had at the beginning... poor guy.


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