Republic of Thieves Readalong part 1

The Sassy Girl Swoony God tourney has ended, and this has come just in time to take its place! Obviously there will be spoilers here, so if you haven’t read this awesome book yet, come back later! The main readalong is hosted over on, so if you want to read other people’s thoughts on these questions, head on over there.

Without further ado, these are the questions for this section:

1) We get to reminisce with several old friends in this section – Calo, Galdo, Chains. How did you like this? Bitter sweet or happy dance?

I liked it very much. I always really liked Calo and Galdo and all their juvenile escapades, and I could enjoy the things they got up to here without thinking too much about the fact that their future is doomed. I enjoyed going back to a happier time for the Bastards.

2) Finally, the infamous Sabetha makes a physical appearance, albeit in Locke’s reminisces. What are your impressions? How do you think the romance, if there is to be one, will play out?

I was a bit surprised to see that Locke met Sabetha before he was sold to Chains, and initially I wasn’t sure whether I liked it. I also really didn’t like that she was constantly referred to as Beth, but then later I understood that that was so he wouldn’t realise who Sabetha was until he saw her. It explains why nothing was said of it in The Lies of Locke Lamora when he first ended up with Chains.

As for the romance part, I was also not entirely sure about the fact that it was pretty much love at first sight, but I do remember that I was madly in love with a boy when I was about four or five, so it’s not like it isn’t possible. It did give a very good indication of what kind of relationship the two have going. Until now, all you knew is that Sabetha is the love of Locke’s life, but you never knew how she felt about it, and what the problems were between the two of them. Now you find out that Locke is stupid about her and would do absolutely anything to impress her, regardless of whether it’s something smart. It puts her firmly in charge of the relationship, which is interesting because it’s something that Locke isn’t really used to. At this point I’m mainly wondering what makes Sabetha fall for him, because the way it’s going this will be very much a one-sided, unrequited kind of love.

3) After trying absolutely everything to save Locke, Jean still won’t give up. What did you think of that little pep talk he gave Locke concerning Patience’s offer of healing?

Very typically Jean, and it shows him at his absolute strongest. No one else knows Locke well enough to know exactly the right words to snap him out of whatever it is that makes him such a stubborn bastard. Locke is a strange kind of masochist, willing to endure pain to inconvenience other people; one of those people who will cut off their nose to spite their face. This bit just sums it up:

“Give me up, Jean. Let me go and their fun vanishes. Then they’ll have that much less reason to play you false.”

“Oh, marvellous. Fucking masterful. You’ll be dead and they’ll be inconvenienced. Maybe even mildly disappointed. What a worthy trade! Like slashing your throat just before your opponent can take a piece in Catch-the-Duke.”

No one but Locke will think of dying just to screw up someone else’s plans, and no one but Jean can point that out to him.

4) Locke has a few caveats to working for the Bondsmage. Wise or just Locke grasping for some control over his life? What would you ask Patience?

I think it’s just a way of making him feel like he still retains some control. If there’s one thing Locke resents it’s not being in control, so I doubt the stipulation was out of some kind of grand plan on his part. He’s just fed up with bondsmagi being obscure fuckers, so he demands clarity. As for what I’d ask Patience… I don’t really know. I’m going blank whenever I try to think about it.

5) At the end of this section, we see that all is not as Patience laid it out. How much do you think Patience knows of the plot to off Locke and Jean? Do you see it interfering in the rigged election?

I’m not sure the interchange suggests that the plan is to off them both. The ‘crushing’ spoken of can mean a figurative crushing in the election. Yes, there is the suggestion to help Locke to an early exit, but that could just be to tip the scales in the other party’s favour. Personally I don’t think Patience knows anything about it, which just goes to show that even bondsmagi can’t know everything. As for whether it will interfere with the election – from the hints so far it sounds like pretty much anything can interfere with it, so I’d say there’s interesting times ahead!

General thoughts: it’s fun to see the frustration in young Locke over how to impress Sabetha and finding it pretty much impossible to do. It’s also interesting to see how Sabetha is very much a planner, while Locke will do things by the seat of his pants. He’s always done that, and it must be frustrating for Sabetha that he gets similar results by doing so, regardless of her plotting.

Looking forward to next week’s section!

16 thoughts on “Republic of Thieves Readalong part 1

  1. lynnsbooks

    Haha, good point in No.1 – I suppose the fact that we know the fate of these three does lead to a certain relaxed attitude about their escapades doesn’t it!
    Yes about Sabetha. Locke will do anything she says even if it is stupid and it does make for a bit of a one-sided affair. He needs to ‘man up’ a bit methinks.
    Locke really is a bit immature with his whole death wish thing. It’s a bit like when you’re a child and you get told off so you go and hide in a cupboard, and after you’ve been gone ages (about 2 minutes) you imagine your parents worrying about you, thinking you’ve gone missing – and you think it serves them right! Locke is a bit like that in that whole scene. ‘Well, I’ll just up and die and that’ll teach em a thing or two!)
    I was also thinking that Locke’s stipulation about questions was just to try and brazen it out and show he had some control. Having read some of the other answers though, he probably just thinks it’s wise to have some provisos.
    Lynn šŸ˜€

  2. Pingback: The Republic of Thieves read along, part 1 | the Little Red Reviewer

  3. Redhead

    Reading this makes me want to reread Lies, or at least read them in tandem. I’m curious if there are any refernces to Sabetha when Locke was a kid in the flashback scenes in Lies. From what I remember, Chains sends the kids off to different temples all the time, for months at a time, to learn different things, so maybe after the “Sabetha Kidnapping Incident”, he decided it was best if Locke and Sabetha weren’t at home much together at the same time?

    I also really liked that exchange between Jean and Locke, when Jean is kicking him back into shape “oh, we’ll mildy inconvenience them”, the horror, of just slightly bothering a bondsmage. Way to go Jean, for showing Locke how much a petty idiot he’s been! šŸ˜€

    I never expected Sabetha and Locke’s personalities to be so clashingly different. I guess I never thought about it. I’m happy we had to wait until book 3 to meet her, though.

    1. Erica Dakin Post author

      Leaving Sabetha until book three is a bit of a double-edged sword I think – it builds up anticipation, but that makes it so easy for people to be disappointed… I wasn’t, thankfully. But yes, I really want to reread Lies already, and I can’t because my husband is reading it right now. >.<

  4. Genki Jason

    Locke being able to beat Sabetha’s hard work just through improvising definitely angers her and I think that the trend will continue in their adult life which makes a simple romance hard to envision. She’s definitely smarter and more intelligent and I bet she will have to save Locke and Jean at some point. She’s going to look down on Locke and when he breaks her plans, she’s going to be angry…

    Locke’s insistence on doing anything to please her will be ignored.

    1. Erica Dakin Post author

      I personally wouldn’t call her more intelligent, I think she has a different kind of intelligence. But yeah, I can so see and understand her frustration…

  5. Ines

    Glad to see I’m not the only drawing a blank on a question to Patience. šŸ™‚ Although other people came with some really good ones.

  6. tethyanbooks

    I like your choice of quote, I remember laughing when I read that one. Locke is pretty whiny and immature, though in a really entertaining way. It’s a good thing he has Jean there to point out when he’s being ridiculous and pointlessly stubborn! For Sabetha, my first thoughts were “Instant love? Really?”, but I’m hoping for now that it is a childish crush that turned into something more as they grew up.

    1. Erica Dakin Post author

      Oh, there’s so many quotes in the book I loved… I wish I’d made a note of them all! But yeah, it’ll be really good to see Locke’s crush develop into something more solid.

  7. nrlymrtl

    For some reason I didn’t like Sabetha’s name being shortened to Beth either. Maybe it is because I have been thinking of her as Sabetha for 2 whole books. Also, excellent point about Sabetha’s planning versus Locke’s seat of the pants approach – and they get similar results. Must be galling to the planner!

    I love your Jean quote. He really is the rock that allows Locke to come up with these crazy schemes. He’s also a big caring, gleaming hook that will haul his sorry ass out of the depths of self-pity and fling him down on to the firm earth of reality when he needs it.

    1. Erica Dakin Post author

      I agree on all points! I think for me it’s because Sabetha sounds so much more exotic than Beth, and I generally dislike ‘normal’ names in Fantasy books anyway.

  8. suecccp

    Good point about Locke’s subordinate role in his relationship with Sabetha – he is such a control freak normally that this must be intensely uncomfortable for him. I like that they are so different from one another, because it plays into that whole ‘opposites attract’ trope and they balance each other nicely.

  9. Pingback: The Republic of Thieves read-along part 1 | Violin in a Void

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