1. In the chapter “A Curious Tale for Countess Amberglass” we learn of the tradition of the night tea in Camorr. I found that not so much fantastical as realistic – how about you?
It was kind of funny actually… ‘cause I had just poured myself a cup of normal, Norwegian fruit-tea when I read about Doña Vorchenza and Doña Salvara’s midnight-tea. I envied them sooo much! It sounds so fantastic I’m not sure I’d be able to drink the tea before it got cold because I’d be too paralyzed by just staring at its glow… Why can’t they invent such a tea in real life?
2. When Jean meets with what will become the Wicked Sisters for the first time, the meeting is described very much like how people feel when they find their true work or home. Agree? Disagree? Some of both?
What Jean feels for the Wicked Sisters is somewhat similar to what a man might feel for his favorite dog… I find it both extremely cute and a bit disturbing that he has so much affection for a pair of deadly hatches. But it’s like he feels complete whenever he holds them… With absolutely no comparison to Sweeney Todd and his barbers knifes!
3. Salt devils. Bug. Jean. The description is intense. Do you find that description a help in visualizing the scene? Do you find yourself wishing the description was occasionally – well – a little less descriptive?
Yes, it’s intense descriptions, but that’s what I like! I mean, are you bothering to describe something at all, you might as well do it thoroughly. I especially remember the black blood spraying out of the Salt Devils covering all of Jean… Lovely! But seriously, it’s making the story more realistic, and it makes us as readers understand that things are never simple or easy. It’s not just to walk in there, wave your hatches and kill a bunch of Sea Devils, and then rescue Locke from a barrel of piss, without getting messy at all…
4. This section has so much action in it, it’s hard to find a place to pause. But…but.. oh, Locke. Oh, Jean. On their return to the House of Perelandro, their world is turned upside down. Did you see it coming?
I knew It was coming ‘cause I’ve read it before… But the first time I was practically in shock! I could not believe an author could do that to his own main characters. And the scene where Bug dies in Locke’s arms… I cried so hard.
“You brave little idiot. You brave, stupid little bastard. This is my fault, Bug, please… please say this is my fault.”
“No,” whispered Bug…
As much as I hate the fact that they got killed, It makes the story more exciting and it brings a great deal of change to the characters of Locke and Jean. Lynch has no limitations… absolutely anything can happen, and for that I both love and hate him!
5. Tavrin Callas’s service to the House of Aza Guilla is recalled at an opportune moment, and may have something to do with saving a life or three. Do you believe Chains knew what he set in motion? Why or why not?
I think he knew exactly what he was doing! Like it’s being said in the book several times, people tend to see the badge/clothes rather than the face. This knowledge is extremely helpful to Locke and Jean whenever they want to disappear. And a locked door can soon be unlocked for a priest of the Twelve…
6. As Locke and Jean prepare for Capa Raza, Dona Vorchenza’s remark that the Thorn of Camorr has never been violent – only greedy and resorting to trickery – comes to mind again. Will this pattern continue?
Gentlemen Bastards… That’s what they are: Gentlemen. Or were… The Grey King litteraly split the Gentlemen Bastards, so in some way only the Bastards remain. They were family. When someone does something awful to your family you simply don’t say: “No problem, its OK.” I’m normally not for vengeance, but that grey scum and his Bondsmage pet decerves anything Locke and Jean can come up with… I know what they’ll do, and all I can tell you is that you simply can’t wait to read it! Its an endgame totally worthy a Gentleman Bastard…
7. Does Locke Lamora or the Thorn of Camorr enter Meraggio’s Countinghouse that day? Is there a difference?
That is truly a good question… It’s sort of like Batman and Bruce Wayne. Rachel tells Bruce that his true identity is Batman and the rich playboy-face of Bruce Wayne is his mask… But as for Locke, you got to think about the fact that even “Locke” is a costume. We don’t even know his true name. All we really know about him happened after he came in the care of the Thiefmaker. I think that deep down inside he really is the Thorn of Camorr. I also believe that’s what Chains discovered during Locke’s time as an apprentice. Locke will never go so far as believing or acknowledging it, but that really proves my point. Locke is the Thorn even though he does not believe it himself, but Jean knows.
“I need your wits, Locke. I need the Thorn of Camorr.”
“Let me know when you find him. He’s a fucking fairy tale.”
“He’s sitting here in this boat with me. If you’re not him now, you must become him. The Thorn is the only one who can beat the Grey King. I can’t do it alone; I know that much.”
This book is actually about Locke’s journey to accept who he really is. Only then can he win. The incident in the Countinghouse I somehow consider as Locke doing just that. Just think about it. At first he gives lying a half-hearted try. When that doesn’t work he tries to tell the truth. When even that fails he must roam his brain for something utterly brilliant. That’s when the Thorn shows up…