The questions this week have been provided by Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow, go check out everyone else’s answers!
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?
Considering how far gone he was, it couldn’t have been anything other than really difficult to save him, so in that sense this bit gave me pretty much what I was expecting. I found it interesting that some of the other bondsmagi on board just randomly came along to help out, and the bit with Bug seriously freaked me out. I really hope that was just Locke’s fevered imagination and not something real, because that’d just be horrible…
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 the uptake… Who do you think deserves to be given the final oath? Locke or Sabetha?
Ahh, this is a difficult one, because I can see arguments for both. Sabetha is ambitious and determined to be the best in everything, and she gets damn close too, so in that sense she definitely deserves it. However, I do get the sense that she does things more for her own sake, which is usually something that Gods don’t really appreciate. Locke, on the other hand, might have more of an innate quality that the Crooked Warden looks for, which is his intuitive ability to turn a situation to his advantage. Locke does things for the sake of doing them – the results don’t really matter because the fun is in the doing, which is in this case more important, I think.
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?
I’ve never really wondered much myself about the Eldren, though it’s been interesting to read more about their history. It makes sense that they woke/angered something even more powerful than themselves, so in that sense I believe Patience is right to worry. And in a purely bookish sense, when you create a group of people as powerful as the bondsmagi, I guess you do need something to keep them in check. 😉
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?
I thought it was bloody funny to see Chains’ exasperation at having to deal with a houseful (templeful?) of hormonal teenagers, and I bet the Sanza twins in particular got on his nerves! So yes, I can definitely see why he wants them out of his hair for a while so he can have some peace and quiet. I also found it interesting that Calo and Galdo are in a phase where they can’t stand each other and have to be completely different – is that a common thing in identical twins? It makes sense when I think about it, but I’ve never known any identical twins, so again it’s not something I ever thought about.
As for the acting thing, that too makes sense. It’s one thing to teach them all sorts of languages and dances and etiquette and deportment, but if they can’t put that into practice it’s all for naught. Since he can’t send them out to do a proper heist yet, then if all he wants to do is test their abilities, a play is the next best thing.
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’s a liability if ever I saw one. Not much more I can really say about it.
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?
I think they both have as much right to be frustrated as the other. I can definitely sympathise with Sabetha, especially if she really was the centre of attention before Locke arrived. There seems to be a great deal of equality between the sexes in their world, but evidently there’s no such thing yet as full equality, and I can see why that might eat at Sabetha, especially if Locke doesn’t even seem to be trying to be in charge. However, I think it’s precisely that which gives Locke the right to be annoyed about her attitude. It’s not like he deliberately swanned in and took over from her, then thumbed his nose at her. He has genuine charisma and leadership, so to rebuff him for something he doesn’t even have any real control over seems a bit petty (not sure that’s the word I was looking for, but can’t think of anything better right now). Especially when she admits that she’s not entirely immune to his charms herself.
Extras! Let’s be having any random bits that amuse you, confuse you, or just plain interest you…
Nothing right now I think, just absolutely loving the book so far. Bring on next week!