The Republic of Thieves read-along part 2

The Republic of ThievesI’m loving The Republic of Thieves, so it was no problem at all to catch with the schedule for this read-along. If anything, it’ll be harder to slow down now that I’m on track.

The read-along is being hosted by 5 bloggers, and for part 2 we’re in the lovely company of Over the Effing Rainbow. Head over to her blog, and from there you can hop to the others and join the conversation. I’ll also provide links at the end of this post.

The chapters of part 2 were very satisfying to read, and I had so much to say about them – particularly the details of Locke and Sabetha’s relationship – that I should not waste any more time on introductions. Here are the questions:

Blood And Breath And Water: Patience tells Locke that the ritual to save him is serious business. She wasn’t kidding… What did you make of this scene, and do you think any of it might (perhaps literally) come back to haunt Locke?
 
Orphan’s Moon: Back to the childhood of the Gentlemen Bastards, and here we get another ritual, this one in service to the Nameless Thirteenth. It looks as though it might be Locke vs. Sabetha, round two – but this time Locke seems to be a little slow on that uptake… Who do you think deserves to be given the final oath? Locke or Sabetha?
 
Across The Amathel: This chapter takes a breather for quite a bit of Eldren history, while Locke starts recovering. What do you think of the history lesson, and Patience’s ominous speculation regarding the Eldren? Is this something you’d like to know more about?
 
Striking Sparks: The gang’s off to Espara, after a bad summer and a pretty thorough dressing-down from Chains, and we finally get to the source of the book’s title – they’re bound for the stage! What are your thoughts on this latest ‘challenge’ and the reasons for it?
 
The Five-Year Game: Starting Position: The election gets underway with a party (as you do) and before it’s even over, the Deep Roots party has problems – and not just thanks to Sabetha. What do you make of Nikoros and his unfortunate habit?
 
Bastards Abroad: The gang arrives in Espara, and already they’ve got problems (nicely mirroring the Five Year Game!)… This aside, we’ve also seen some more of what seems to be eating at Sabetha. Do you sympathise with her, or is Locke right to be frustrated with her?
 
Extras! Let’s be having any random bits that amuse you, confuse you, or just plain interest you…

And here’s what I thought:

Blood And Breath And Water: Patience tells Locke that the ritual to save him is serious business. She wasn’t kidding… What did you make of this scene, and do you think any of it might (perhaps literally) come back to haunt Locke?
What I liked most was the touch of horror. Patience had already made it clear that it would be painful and magical weirdness is par for the course. But the reappearance of Bug and what that implies about the afterlife… creepy. Because he died so young and idolised Locke, I can imagine him, more than the others, becoming bitter and angry at Locke if he finds himself trapped in some kind of limbo.

Bug completely contradicts Locke and Jean’s beliefs about the afterlife, which is why Jean dismisses it all as a nightmare, but as with any religion, they’re relying on faith and with no clue as to what the truth might be. Bug could have been perfectly real. So while I agree with Jean’s insistence that you need to be rational, I also like that Locke is doubting his beliefs. Of course, there could be other, metaphorical ways to interpret what he saw.

Lynch doesn’t use scenes like this lightly, so I think it will come back to haunt Locke, and I look forward to seeing how that plays out.

Orphan’s Moon: Back to the childhood of the Gentlemen Bastards, and here we get another ritual, this one in service to the Nameless Thirteenth. It looks as though it might be Locke vs. Sabetha, round two – but this time Locke seems to be a little slow on that uptake… Who do you think deserves to be given the final oath? Locke or Sabetha?
I don’t know what’s required, and I still don’t know Sabetha very well, but I would have chosen her on the basis that she’s actually thought this through and decided that it’s what she wants. Locke is still mulling it over at the moment he’s meant to decide and he ends up being a candidate partly because he’s just standing there, thinking. His motives have little to do with the priesthood and everything to do with impressing Sabetha. But Locke, you dimwit, how can you expect to impress her by stealing what she longs for?! Did you think that instead of being hurt and angry she would think “Wow, Locke is such a super awesome thief he can rob me of my heart’s desires without even trying. He’s so hot right now…”

Honestly, it’s like Locke can’t do anything except steal. And drink. And curse. TWIT.

Anyway, back to who deserves the oath. Chains knows both Locke and Sabetha very well and he’s a wise man so he would have had good reasons for choosing Locke. Maybe he sees that Sabetha is simply ambitious while Locke might be more suitable for the role. On the other hand, Sabetha later suggests that Chains favours Locke, so perhaps he’s not entirely objective. I don’t know…I’m more interested in how thoughtlessly Locke hurts Sabetha.

Across The Amathel: This chapter takes a breather for quite a bit of Eldren history, while Locke starts recovering. What do you think of the history lesson, and Patience’s ominous speculation regarding the Eldren? Is this something you’d like to know more about?
For part one, Little Red Reviewer said she was wary of Locke’s caveat about having his questions answered, because such an opportunity typically leads to infodumping. And she was dead right. This is a very… educational chapter.

But I don’t mind Lynch’s infodumps. Infodumps can be clunky and tedious, but they can also be a simple (if inelegant) way of telling you interesting things you’d like to know, and I not only enjoyed Patience’s history lesson, but all the info and insights into Magi’s political workings. It’s also the first time we see what a deep and pervasive influence the Eldren have had on the world, beyond the Elderglass they’d left behind. The mystery of their vast power coupled with their total absence is what informs the existence of the Bondmagi, their decision to destroy Therim Pel, their monopoly on magic, and their acceptance of work contracts. Without the Bondsmagi’s suspicions about the disappearance of the Eldren, the Falconer would not have been part of the Grey King’s plan and the events of Lies would have been very different.

So yes, I want to know more. Much more. Infodump all you want, Mr Lynch.

Striking Sparks: The gang’s off to Espara, after a bad summer and a pretty thorough dressing-down from Chains, and we finally get to the source of the book’s title – they’re bound for the stage! What are your thoughts on this latest ‘challenge’ and the reasons for it?

Well, I enjoyed Chains’s send-off. One moment he’s apologising for having failed them, the next he throws a bag of money at them and tells them to fuck off because he can’t stand them anymore. I particularly liked the bit where he took out the pin that he’d brought for the occasion and dropped it into the silence he’d caused 😀

The challenge itself immediately made sense to me, because as master thieves, they need to act all the time. Their best schemes are like elaborate stage performances. I don’t see this as just a challenge, but as crucial training.

I also like journey plots, especially since they typically present opportunities for personal development. And I was not disappointed; as soon as they join the caravan, Locke finally starts talking earnestly with Sabetha.

The Five-Year Game: Starting Position: The election gets underway with a party (as you do) and before it’s even over, the Deep Roots party has problems – and not just thanks to Sabetha. What do you make of Nikoros and his unfortunate habit?

It was quite a wtf? moment to see Nikoros drugged to the eyeballs! He’d been the definition of professional until  that point. There’s something very odd going on here, and I suspect that Sabetha’s also dealing with all sorts of weirdness on the Black Iris side, all because of the Magi. I’m not going to speculate any further, but I’m highly intrigued.

Bastards Abroad: The gang arrives in Espara, and already they’ve got problems (nicely mirroring the Five Year Game!)… This aside, we’ve also seen some more of what seems to be eating at Sabetha. Do you sympathise with her, or is Locke right to be frustrated with her?

Oh, Sabetha. All this time…

Up until that crucial conversation in Bastards Abroad, I’d been getting frustrated with Sabetha’s character. She’s too serious, so focused on her training or a job. She doesn’t laugh and joke and drink with the other Bastards. She’s not as fun as they are. She’s clearly aware of Locke’s infatuation but she won’t address it. And most importantly, she doesn’t seem like part of their brotherhood. So disappointing…

I blamed Lynch. He’d failed his character. He didn’t include her in the beginning for god’s knows what reason, and now he’s trying to manhandle her into the plot and SHE DOESN’T BELONG.

And then… and then Sabetha finally explains herself to Locke and everything makes sense and I’m not mad at Lynch, instead I’m impressed because WOW, that might just be my favourite scene in all three books so far, and it’s certainly had the most emotional impact, thank you for writing another great female character, and OH SABETHA…

So, ahem, yes, I sympathise with her, almost completely. Locke unwittingly usurped her, but this didn’t just topple her leadership; it’s also the start of her detachment from the Bastards. Jean came along, became Locke’s best friend, and the Bastards are divided into two pairs – Calo/Galdo; Lock/Jean – with Sabetha as a bit of a fifth wheel. Being the only woman must have made her feel even more like the odd one out. In addition, she is never taken as seriously as Locke, as demonstrated with the Sanzas. It all adds up and I can empathise with her frustration.

This scene and their earlier conversation also made me realise that Sabetha is very much the object of Locke’s affection. He’d throw himself under a cart for her her, but it hasn’t occurred to him to try understand what she wants, that what he’s trying to do for her isn’t what she wants from him. She says

“Why do you assume it’s something you’ve done, and something you can undo at will? I’m not some arithmetic problem just waiting for you to show your work properly Locke. Did you ever think that I […] might have warm-blooded motives of my own, being as I’m not an oil painting, or some other decorative object of desire-“

And Locke has been treating her like an equation or a machine – he thinks that if he just get the numbers right, if he can just push the right buttons, she’ll be his. Even if he fails hopelessly time after time, he still sees himself as the one in control believing that his actions will determine the outcome, depending on what he gets right or wrong. As we all know, Locke hates not being in control. I love that Sabetha points out this great flaw in his towering romance. He’s so shocked when she suggests that she might be “actively contributing” to their awkwardness or that she might prefer girls.

Absurdly, even the crass Sanza twins have been more respectful of her feelings in this regard. Locke on the other hand, only thinks about Sabetha from his dim perspective. He thinks that if he keeps proving himself better than her, she must therefore admire him. Or that if he doesn’t back down she must admire him. She’s an equation. He doesn’t think about how she might feel when he beats her at something or, as Jean points out, how pathetic he looks when he allows her to abuse him. Jean, being more sensible and sensitive, is at least trying to consider things from Sabetha’s POV. I thought one of the most ridiculous parts of Locke’s plea was to tell her how wonderful it would be for her to see herself through his eyes, which would even further diminish her subjectivity, making her an idol rather than a person.

I’ve wanted to whack Locke over the head for being unable to notice any of this, but he’s young and stupid, and Sabetha hasn’t been open about her feelings. In fact, we seldom see any of the Bastards talk openly to each other about their personal feelings; it’s all joking and scheming. However, you could assume that the Sanzas or Locke and Jean might open up to each other off the page; who would Sabetha talk to?

Like Locke though, Sabetha’s also very arrogant. If she wasn’t so determined to be the leader, then her relationships with Locke and the other Bastards might not have been so fractured. So I’m on her side, but with reservations. And I think Locke has one very good reason to be frustrated now – after suddenly dropping the very complicated truth in his lap, she expects him to come up with a “good answer” for how they should proceed. And clearly Locke is no good at intimate personal relationships.

But Sabetha’s young, she awkward, she doesn’t know how to handle this, she seems to have feelings for Locke, but she resents him too. She mentions two or three times that she chooses not to be charmed by Locke, and I think this is key. Chains, Jean and the Sanzas could not help but be charmed by him, and that’s how Sabetha ended up in this position. She doesn’t want to fall for the same charms that have caused her so much anguish. But she likes Locke anyway. It’s… complicated. I could talk about it for ages.

Extras! Let’s be having any random bits that amuse you, confuse you, or just plain interest you…

– I found the ritual in Orphan’s Moon a bit silly. Too theatrical, and some of the recitations reminded me of being in church. *snore*

LOLz
– Chains on the Sanzas’ promiscuity: “You two spend more time in bed than invalids.”
“False names are fun,” said Caldo. “Call me Beefwit Smallcock.”
“These are aliases, not biographical sketches,” said Galdo.

– Does Locke feel at all betrayed that the Sanzas each made a pass at Sabetha, or does he just dismiss this as part of their increasing vulgarity?

– The Thorn of Camorr: Dear god, as if Sabetha hasn’t been hurt enough. The grand name is her idea, and she wants one for herself. Then the Sanzas tease her about it before making up a name for Locke, essentially stealing her idea and handing it to her greatest rival, who doesn’t even want it. We all know how important the name will later become, making this all the more poignant. Sabetha’s silence at the end of this scene actually pained me; I could imagine her trying not to cry or scream at them.

– For part one, Dab of Darkness suggested the possibility that Locke and Sabetha never actually had a sexual relationship. This had never occurred to me, but it seems possible now that Sabetha’s cracked and revealed some of her feelings. Could Locke have been agonising over a failure instead of an intimate relationship this whole time?

– Locke doesn’t respond well to losing control. Could this be why his relationship with Sabetha didn’t work out? Or is it because he never comes to understand Sabetha’s desires and ambitions?

– It’s become very easy to see why Sabetha chose to compete with them in Karthain. She and Locke have been competing since they met, and Locke defeats her even when he’s not trying to. However, they wouldn’t have had that rivalry if she wasn’t at least as good a thief and con-artist as he is. She might be even better, and Karthain gives her the chance to show it. I don’t think she needs to do it for Locke though; it’s for herself.

Read more at:
Dab of Darkness
Over the Effing Rainbow
Tethyan Books
Little Red Reviewer
Lynn’s Book Blog
Genkinahito’s Blog
Just Book Reading
Joma’s Fantasy Books
Theft and Sorcery

 

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38 thoughts on “The Republic of Thieves read-along part 2

  1. “Honestly, it’s like Locke can’t do anything except steal. And drink. And curse. TWIT.”

    This made me laugh out loud. Don’t hold back, now… 😀

    Nah, seriously. If I end up sitting here in a corner by myself in my TEAM LOCKE T-shirt, that’s cool. I am loving all this varied discussion! It seems we can’t get enough of Locke vs. Sabetha… I call that a win for Mr Lynch. 😀

    • I actually went through a series of words to throw at Locke, and “twit” was the nicest 🙂

      It’s not that I’m not on team Locke (especially since this is the third book I’m reading about him and none of them are short), but rather that I can’t pick a team because I can’t quite cheer for either of them. And hopefully they’ll at least be on the same team – and in the same bed – for a little while. I feel like I’ve become addicted to a soap opera! But good not trashy. Definitely a win for Lynch!

      • I agree: I love Locke, but he is being an idiot in these sections . . . in fact he often behaves in a way that makes me want to smack him in the face, but I still love him. It is strange how some characters can do that to you! 😀

  2. Pingback: The Republic of Thieves read along, part TWO. | the Little Red Reviewer

  3. “Wow, Locke is such a super awesome thief he can rob me of my heart’s desires without even trying. He’s so hot right now…”

    snicker snicker snicker Great way to sum it up! Locke was a dolt.

    Yes! Chains was all on stage when he kicked the young hoodlums out. That pin he brought for the occasion was perfect stagecraft :).

    Yes, Locke & Sabetha are complicated people stuck in the beginning of what will be a complicated relationship. Could get messy. I suggest aprons ;).

    Biographical sketch: Beefwit Smallcock. Yep. The Sanzas. Damn it’s good to see them again.

  4. ha ha! Chains with the pin dropping was so perfectly done, i loved that! and his bratty teenagers are all like “what the hell?”. Too funny!

    Yay for tons of Sabetha discussion! I like the quote that pulled out, Sabetha showing him that she’s not an equation, not something to be won or figured out, and poor Locke, he never realized girls were so . . . complicated! He really hasn’t got any experience actually talking to girls, does he? Just like you said, the guys can all talk to each other, but who has Sabetha got? no older sisters, no Mom, the only person she can have a real conversation with is Chains. I’m sure she’s got some friends back from Windows, but still.

    I do adore all the Sanza humor. they have South Park potty humor! and that Alias scene, it’s crushing. What more does Sabetha need to see to know that she’ll never truly be one of the gang? #teamSabetha

    • Yes, the gender imbalance of the Bastards’ gang really is a problem. If Chains’ had recruited more girls, it’d have been quite different. I think Lynch’s society is more egalitarian than ours, but even then the fact that the boys spend most of their time in the company of other boys is going to be a problem.

      I think I need to hashtag myself too – #TeamSabetha.

  5. You are dead on about the Bug sequence. The idea of there being an afterlife is scary enough but it seems that serving the Nameless Thirteenth won’t get you into any kind of heaven. Even scarier! Or it could be the Bondsmagi messing with Locke. Either way it’s chilling!

    I thought that Locke had wanted to be a priest anyway but his love of Sabetha was strong enough to make him indecisive. That indecision she brings out in him is sort of frustrating to read for a bloke who has grown out of that phase (for the most part). I guess my frustration mirrors that of women who look at a hopeless guy getting it all. I’m standing by the notion that Locke is ‘the chosen one’ and Chains knows more about his background.

    The Bastards Abroad section was vital for giving us an in on the character of Sabetha. We get a sense of how much of an outsider she is and how being beaten by the seemingly ineffectual and incompetent Locke hurts her pride. It’s the moment when a guy should realise that women are people too and they have their own thoughts and desires and treating them as decorative objects or ideas doesn’t work.

    • Does Locke state that he wants to be a priest? I don’t recall (and I don’t feel like looking it up on my Kindle right now; sometimes I wish I had a normal book). I got the impression that he put himself up for consideration to impress Sabetha.

      Noooo! Not the ‘Chosen One’! I hate that destiny crap, and I’ve just realised how much I like that Lynch hasn’t used fate, destiny, the will of the gods or anything like that. Locke is an exceptional thief, and that’s why he’s suitable for the position. We can’t know if Sabetha would have been a better choice, but Locke was not a bad one.

      At first I thought Sabetha’s outsider status was a flaw in the novel, but now it just makes me sad 😦

      • I’m pretty sure that in a midnight conversation just before the ceremony Locke thinks that he wants to be a priest but when Sabetha says she wants the role and wants to know the secrets that come with it and why Chains smiles all the time Locke changes his answer.

        • Ah, you’re right, found it:
          “Locke had always been fascinated by the hints Chains dropped about the secretive structure of the Crooked Warden’s priesthood, but he wasn’t sure what Sabetha wanted to hear from him.”
          Still, he’s not quite as decisive as Sabetha and (I looked at this scene again) ultimately it’s her decision to stand that makes him decide to do the same, rather than her ambition making him more indecisive.

          Glad I went back to that chapter because Sabetha’s motives really are just wrong for the priesthood:
          “I want it. I want to know what Chains smirks about all the time. And I want to win it. I want to be the best-“

          • I think because we’re been with Locke for the last two books he just fits the role of the priesthood. Looking at the quote Sabetha does come across as the wrong person for the role but then we’re only really getting to know her now.

  6. I’m posting this knowing it might just be me being insanely speculative, but WHAT IF?! Check out these quotes:

    Locke “Sabetha, I don’t remember my own father. And other than a single memory of… of sewing needles, my mother is as much a mystery. I don’t remember where I was born, or the Catchfire plague, or how I survived it, or anything that I did before the Thiefmaker bought me from the city watch!”

    The images that Patience projects into Jean’s minds as a representation of her identity: “folds upon folds of pale silk, needles punching in and out of delicate lace, the rough edge of a cloth unraveling into threads – the pressure on his fingers was a actual needle, moving up and down, in an endless steady dance across the cloth…”

    “What were you before you were Patience?” said Jean.
    “I called myself Seamstress.”

    “Besides, she didn’t choose Lamora just to boil your blood. There’s something about him you don’t understand yet. […] This is deeper than the five-year game, and Patience means for you to know it all soon enough.”

    I think the idea that Patience is Locke’s mother is a tad over the top, but maybe it’s some other connection?

    • plans within plans, wheels within wheels.

      yeah, I know I already tweeted that, but now it’ll be easier to find later. “Wheels within Wheels”? sound like something Frank Herbert would pull.

      • I think Genki brought that up on another persons blog! 2nd time…I think it could happen, gave him up because didn’t want to know his name, have the same problem with falconer..but what implications could this have? Or we could be crazy.

        • Actually, that was my idea that I brought up on his blog – look at the comments again (I saw your comment and I was like “No, *I’m* the genius!” 🙂
          But yes, the name will be a crucial issue. It could also be that she gave him a name but left him so he wouldn’t resent her like the Falconer does. Or so she wouldn’t try to wield that power. Who knows if she tried that on the Falconer?

  7. Some really good insights into the whole Locke/Sabetha mess there! And I just can’t put myself in a team with either of them… I sympathise with Locke because he’s just confused and he doesn’t really do anything to deliberately hurt her, he’s just clueless. But I sympathise with Sabetha as well because she’s been so thoroughly usurped it’s not even funny, and she *knows* that she could fall for the same charms that everyone else has fallen for. Locke just has oodles of charisma, and he doesn’t even know it.

  8. I agree with you about Sabetha and the priesthood. Her motives were not the best for wanting to be chosen and clearly the people doing the choosing thought not as well!
    I love your insights into Sabetha. I’ve found it difficult to come off the fence on one side or another with her. I really did sympathise with her when she was finely explaining herself to Locke a bit more and you can see how left out she really is. Even down to Chains choosing Locke all the time. I think this is probably why she’s always pushing to be the best – recognition – and yet it’s so elusive for her.
    I suppose at the point where they leave Chains they’re both still very young and neither of them have had any real role models in terms of relationships so it shouldn’t really be a surprise that they’re struggling – Locke is always so tongue tied and Sabetha wants him to read her mind!
    *Teamjean – that’s my motto out of all of this. What you see is what you get *simples*.
    The sequence with Bug was definitely Creepy – I still haven’t quite worked on with that yet but it doesn’t feel as though Lynch randomly threw that in there to never revisit again. And, yes, imagine how bitter Bug is going to become. It doesn’t bear thinking about really – not to mention if he’s in such trouble and he died so young what the hell is going to be waiting for Locke and Jean!
    Lynn 😀

    • *sigh* Every time I read another comment about Sabetha and Locke my allegiances shift as someone points out some nuance of their personalities or relationship. A moment as I was thinking that Sabetha is just excessively ambitious, and now your point about recognition makes me think that it’s understandable again. There aren’t certainly any simple answers here. It does make Jean look rather appealing 🙂

  9. Pingback: The Republic of Thieves- Read Along Part II | Joma's Fantasy Books

  10. I am with you on Sabetha. It was really good to finally get some insight to her feelings, and I agree with a lot you’ve said about them. In addition to the quote you chose, the ‘hedgehog’ conversation also stuck out to me (“I try to talk to you about my feelings, and you think I want to be reassured as to your perceptions,” I paraphrase). She’s trying really hard to get Locke to realize that he is treating her like an object.

    I don’t know if she really expects him to solve the whole problem, though. I think a ‘good answer’ would be to treat her more like a potential partner in romance and less like a prize, so that she can reciprocate without feeling like she’s been won.

    I hope Sabetha wins in Karthain, or that they collaborate against the Bondsmagi to run a deeper and more dangerous con.

    • Hmm, you’re right about the ‘good answer’ – she needs a means to “reciprocate without feeling like she’s been won.” Sabetha would not settle for a relationship that diminishes her.

      I also think a collaboration would be ideal with Sabetha winning as the next best thing. But honestly, i don’t have a clue how this is going to turn out and I just know that my feelings are going to keep changing as the plot develops and Lynchs throws more complications our way.

  11. Pingback: Scott Lynch: The Republic of Thieves read along (part 2) | All I am - a redhead

  12. I loved that you gave the last question such a long and thoughtful answer. I agree with you and I sympathized with Sabetha.
    It was smart of her to explain herself because let’s face it, Locke in this case would have never got to understand it by himself.
    I wonder if he’ll change a bit in the future but I guess not – it’s possibly the reason she left GBs in the first place…

    • Thanks! I was a bit worried that I was just rambling.

      I think that even if Locke starts to understand Sabetha more, she’ll choose to leave. She’s too proud, too ambitious, not enough of a team player.

  13. Pingback: Republic of Thieves Read-Along Week Two Answers | Genkinahito's Blog

  14. Locke, for as good as he is at the game, he has no idea how to react to Sabetha. Interpersonal relationships are not his thing. He’s a natural leader though and that’s something Sabetha doesn’t have. She doesn’t relate to the others as well as he does. Locke, however, can get them all to follow and agree without much work.

    • I think it’s not so much interpersonal relationships as romantic ones. If Locke could just see Sabetha as a regular person, he wouldn’t have such a problem. In book one it’s stated that Locke and Nazca became good friends over the years, and except for their first meeting, he doesn’t show any of the awkwardness he has around Sabetha.

      I agree with you about Sabetha as a leader. I don’t think it’s just the fact that Locke usurped her either. She doesn’t have the camaraderie shared by the other bastards. She wants to be the leader; she’s not satisfied with just being a member of the gang.

  15. 1. I agree with you about the necessary horror of this scene. I would have been disappointed if we had been led to believe in a massively painful and difficult procedure and then had a bland bit of hand-waving. The scene had a very visceral, forces of nature disturbed feel to it that hit just the right note.

    2. Yep, Locke has as much empathy as a small stone. I am fairly certain that what Sabetha sees as bias from Chains is actually the old man’s understanding of Locke’s innate talents and skills. Also, it could be that Chains realizes that Sabetha does not have the charisma to lead this gang of males – she is certainly replaced by Locke very easily and makes no attempt to regain her position.

    3. There is a subtle difference between boring info-dumping and providing enjoyable world building. I think that Mr Lynch always manages to steer clear of the first.

    6. Locke is a bit of a moron about Sabetha and his obsession is almost for the idea of her rather than the real person. I loved his amazement when she mentioned that she might be gay! But this seems to reflect teenage thinking to me: teenagers go through a phase where everything revolves around them and they lose the ability to see other points of view. OK, so perhaps he is going through a very prolonged puberty, but it does make some kind of sense, especially as he is such a control freak.

    • 2. I’m not ready to dismiss Sabetha’s belief that Chains is biased (after all, she was the only girl he recruited), but I agree that his judgement was fair here. And yes, Sabetha doesn’t seem to have made a serious effort to win back the favour of the other Bastards. If anything she seems quite surly a lot of the time.

      6. Yep, Locke is very much a dimwitted teenager here. I think he definitely cares about Sabetha for who she is, but he’s completely misguided in his ideas about how she perceives him and his infatuation.

  16. Pingback: The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch | Violin in a Void

  17. Pingback: Republic Of Thieves Readalong – Week 2 | Over The Effing Rainbow

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