Red Seas Under Red Skies Read-Along WEEK 2

This week’s first question is about Requin and Selendri. If you’ve even skimmed through my monthly books, it’s pretty obvious I’m a sucker for romance – and gaaaaaaah, Selendri and Requin! The story behind her arm is just magic for me. It doesn’t do for me to read it just once, oh no – I read it a couple of times every reread. I think they are both tough, and they trust each other completely, despite what Requin said. They clearly want to protect each other, which completely endears them to me. It’s almost a pity Locke’s planning on robbing them.

“Ow! Madam, please! Allow me to introduce myself!”

“You’re too fat and well dressed to be an apprentice after patronage so you must be here to beg a favour, and when your kind says hello, it tends to take a while. No, shut up.”

Salon Corbeau. Ugh. The thought just makes me want to break something. It’s really awful. And knowing Locke’s background, it must be absolutely disgusting for him. The Amusement War is just cruel, and nothing else. Lynch really makes you feel it when that girl loses her hair. Horrid. Horrid, horrid, horrid.

In the same category comes the scene at Sinspire, with the stiletto wasps. (To lighten things up, is the Pokémon Beedrill familiar? That’s how I imagine stiletto wasps. Every time.) Locke’s sympathy breaks my heart, and the poor boy in the cage… Even though I just said I like Requin, there are limits. The wasps are not acceptable.

“Crooked Warden, a glass poured on the ground for a stranger without friends. Lord of gallants and fools, ease this man’s passage to the Lady of the Long Silence. This was a hell of a way to die. Do this for me and I’ll try not to ask for anything for a while. I really do mean it this time.”

Locke’s soft side bothers me, just the slightest bit, although it would equally bother me if he didn’t care two shits about people suffering for nothing. Actually, that would be worse. So go on caring, Locke. That makes you human, and that’s good. (Well wasn’t that a pointless few sentences?)

The mysterious assassins! They bother me so much! Who the hell are they? Is this some sort of game the Bondsmagi play, hiring assassins and then make something happen that allow Locke and Jean to escape? So they can never relax?

And who is Merrain? She’s clearly not the Archon’s creature, at least not originally. So for whom does she work? Who sent her to the Archon, and why? Is she some sort of agent for the Bondsmagi? Does she anything at all to do with the pompous Karthani sons of bitches?

She gives me a headache, I’m telling you.

“Eh? Well, the ignorant need room in which to risk their lives without bothering anybody else for a while. This here’s our own private pissing-pond. Never mind the soldiers of the walls; they’ll ignore us. Unless we drown. Then they’ll probably laugh.”

Caldris is such a charmer. He’s not the kind of teacher I’d particularly like, but he sure as hell could make anyone learn. And he knows what he’s talking about. A soft spot for me he is, really.

For learning some nautical words, this book is excellent. Nothing too specific or hard, just stuff that a foreign-language landlubber like me has to check but won’t forget in a hurry. Very very simple stuff, but somewhat essential. Words that’ll come up in other books, too, like ‘doldrums’, ‘capstan’… And thanks to Scott Lynch I can now tell starboard from larboard! Rejoice!

“It is something like a madman’s private language, isn’t it? So intricate in its convolutions. Say you have a rope lying on the deck; after the third hour of the afternoon on Idler’s Day it’s a half-stroke babblegibbet, and then at midnight on Throne’s Day it becomes a rope again, unless it’s raining.”

“Unless it’s raining, yes, in which case you take your clothes off and dance naked round the mizzenmast. Gods, yes. I swear, Je… Jerome, the next person who tells me something like, ‘Squiggle-fuck the rightwise cock-swatter with the starboard jib,’ is going to get a knife in the throat. Even if it’s Caldris. … “

And oh, the quotability of this section! By Their Own Rope was the hardest bit to mark, because quite honestly it’s just a huge verbal explosion of fun. However, this time the winning quote came from a little before that:

“Maxilan, darling. I knew you were driven, but I had no idea you could smoulder. Come, take me now! Jean won’t mind; he’ll avert his eyes like a gentleman.”

Got some looks on the bus again for that. And again today.

One of the things that popped to mind while reading was how big a kick I got from the scene where Locke tries on the uniform. It’s always a pleasure to see him work the details and such, and I’m pretty certain the Archon was duly impressed, although his reaction was minimal. He has the file, so of course he knows Locke is good, but I don’t think he realised just how good.

Plus another thing I’m a sucker for is uniforms, and a blue uniform makes me think of the English naval officer’s uniform from the 19th century.

(That’s young Admiral Nelson, peeps. The uniform’s not the one he wore at Trafalgar, but I like this one better. Less glitter. You can read more about the portrait here, if you’re interested – and if you happen to find yourself in London, the National Maritime Museum is awesome!)

One more quote, then you’ll be free of me. For a week anyway.

“Master Fehrwight, who are you?”

“A man who’s dead serious about chairs.”


Filed under Read-Along

12 responses to “Red Seas Under Red Skies Read-Along WEEK 2

  1. I love Locke’s soft side – I hope he never becomes bitter and twisted. He’s very human. Of course he’s not perfect but he has real feelings for people and I like that.
    I also think that Selendri and Requin are great to read about – they have a really amazing bond and they make me think of Jean and Locke – the way they just work so well together, trust each other, etc.
    Love the Pokemon reference – perhaps we’ll see a Dewgong while we’re out at sea!
    Lynn 😀

  2. Pingback: Red Seas Under Read Skies Readalong Part II « Darkcargo

  3. That whole sequence with Trav, the world’s worst highwayman, was hilarious and I am developing a soft spot for Caldis.

  4. Pingback: Red Seas Under Red Skies read-along, part 2! « the Little Red Reviewer

  5. I like Locke’s soft side. I think its very healthy to have an aversion to violence and cruelty. It might just be that I’m noticing it more, but it seems like Locke has had an even harder time psychologically dealing with violence lately. I was wondering if it might be a result of trauma from everything that happened near the end of “Lies of Locke Lamora”.

  6. oh, I adore Locke’s soft side! if it wasn’t for that, he wouldn’t be my book-boyfriend! Reminds me a little of Vlad Taltos – has a dirty job, but deep down is a total softie, and only hurts people who really really deserve it. and Salon Corbeau? those are the bastards who really deserve it.

    I don’t much go for romance, but the whole Selendri/Requin type of romance thing I love. ok, not the burning poison and all the horrible stuff that happened to her, but the way they trust each other implicitly, and that he will do anything for her, that’s the part that I love.

  7. Haha, love the Pokemon reference! I’ll never think of that scene the same way again. 🙂

  8. I’m wondering who is Merrain working for as well! 🙂 I can’t wait to learn more – there seem to be conspiracies in the background we have no notion of as of yet. 🙂

  9. kaitharshayr

    I do like a bit of romance too, and it is nice to see that even though Requin can be really nasty to others who try and screw him over in, it does seem like it would do anything for Selendri. I after seeing what people have been saying I do wonder if Locke is going to use that to his advantage in anyway.

  10. I went out on a limb and guessed that Merrain is behind the assassination attempts. She always seems to be around and, as you said, she has a hidden agenda.

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