I would like to direct your attention to Chapter Eight, The Funeral Cask, the last paragraph of subchapter 2.
Sniffle or cry your eyes out, according to your inclination.
Yes. Scott Lynch is a cruel author. I was so mad at him the first time, now I just grumble “Why? Why?” while searching for a handkerchief two chapters before anything has actually happened.
What most struck me this time around was Jean’s reaction. The silence, then dropping his hatchets… That’s more powerful than anything he could have said or deliberately done.
Also, for the first time, I realised how violated I felt, reading the description of the sacked Elderglass cavern. We get to used to the fact that no one knows where it is, that the Bastards are safe there, and then suddenly someone has been there. And then the Sanzas…
“Your moral education is over. Now you’re going to learn a thing or two about war.”
But let’s talk about some of this week’s questions, even though I’m still taking a rather liberal line with them.
Doña Vorchenza is awesome. If the movie will be made, I want her to be played by Helen Mirren. That was pretty much my first ever reaction to her. (Although I suppose I would take Maggie Smith as well.) And Doña Sofia is great, too. Actually, Lynch’s women tend to be very likable – but I think I’ll discuss that more when we read Red Seas Under Red Skies.
The idea of night tea does indeed sound more realistic than fantastic, although of course we can’t be sure it’s not something unusual in, say, Tal Verrar or Emberlain. I also came to think of morning calls (yes, my brain lives in Regency England, and does not seem inclined to move to a more contemporary setting) and how they function much in the same way as these night teas.
“I’m a Gentleman Bastard. Nobody messes with us. Nobody gets the best of us. You’re going to pay!”
Jean and his Wicked Sisters – I completely agree that is the way it feels when one finds one’s “thing”. I went through that myself, in a small but defining scale: in high school I constantly changed my mind as to what I would like to study after graduating. First it was Biology, but I got bored of it while reading for the matriculation exams. Next on my list was History, but since my interest was pretty much limited to Britain and the entrance exams were too much of a bother, I gave that up too. Then I found English Philology – and haven’t regretted a moment. I’m in the right place, doing what I want to do, and I think that’s how Jean must have felt, too: he gets the way his hatchets need to be used for maximum effect, they feel natural in his hands, they are a comforting weight when concealed under his clothes.
In the far corner of the Floating Grave’s ballroom, that particular illusion fumed silently to himself, clenching and unclenching his fists.
As an insectophobe and an aracnophobe in particular I could have done without the description of the salt devils. I don’t like to think about them much when I’m not reading. Makes my flesh creep. Had I been in that situation with Jean and Bug I would have either been completely useless or gone crazy and tried to smash the creepies with anything in my reach.
“Your pride. Justified. Gentleman… Bastard. Justified. Am I… not a second? Not… apprentice. Real Gentleman Bastard?”
“You were never a second, Bug. You were never an apprentice. You brave little idiot. You brave, stupid little bastard. This is my fault, Bug, please… please say this is all my fault.”
“No. Oh gods… hurts… hurts so much…”
If that scene did not make you at least want to cry, I don’t even know what to call you. My eyes tear up every time. Poor, poor Bug. He deserved better.
This week I had very little to say, I notice. It’s an emotional section, and it’s hard for me to concentrate on Jean’s apprenticeship at the Order of Aza Guilla and Locke’s cunning plan to get presentable clothes from Meraggio, no matter how much I like these occasions.
I also noticed yet another typo on my copy – I just love hunting those! – while starting this post. It does not say “Chapter Eight”, but “Chaper Eight”. Teehee.
Are we really down to the last section? Woah.
“Out on the town? You have a plan?”
“No. Not even a speck of one. Not the damnedest idea. But don’t all of my better schemes start like this? I’ll find an opening, somehow… and then I suppose I’ll be rash.”