So here it is, the fifth and last part of this fantastic readalong. I’ve had a whale of a time with the good discussions and I’m rather sad that it’s coming to an end… I do hope that you’ll all still visit my blog!
This week’s questions are hosted by Allie over at Tethyanbooks, and since this is the end the spoilers are going to be even more spoilerific than before. Don’t say you haven’t been warned.
1. The Republic of Thieves: It’s the first and final performance! What did you think of the play? Were you entertained, or eager to get on with the rest of the story? Also, how do you feel about how the play fits in the novel, in terms of the story and the characters who play the parts?
I didn’t really think too much about the play itself as a real play, to be honest. I don’t really think you get to see enough of it to make a judgment on it. It seemed pretty classical to me, but the bit I liked best was when the Sanza brothers set the whole thing off with their double chorus and heckled the hecklers. Plus I liked the fact that Sabetha really took to it and even earned the respect of the seasoned actors. Kudos to her.
2. The Other Performance: Of course, the GB and company had another important performance to get through—the one that ensures none of them end up hanged! What was your favorite part of this scheme? Do you agree with their plan for dealing with Moncraine’s treachery?
Well, I certainly couldn’t have come up with anything better! It seems to do the trick in avoiding the noose and still getting them paid. If that means his corpse has to suffer the indignity of being lugged around like a deadweight (see what I did there?) then meh. He was a bastard son of a cock anyway. My favourite part was the bit in the bathhouse where they fooled the person with the actual money, because that was the much harder part.
3. The Election: It seems Lovaris was indeed the final trick, and the election is over. Are you satisfied with how things turned out? Do you wish that the election had focused more on the political problems of Karthain, or are you satisfied with the mudslinging and pranks that went on between Locke and Sabetha?
I’m glad that Sabetha technically came out on top. She technically won, since Locke only managed to convince Lovaris to turn neutral if that would be the deciding vote. He didn’t win him over to the Deep Roots, so while Locke didn’t lose as such, this was the best he could manage. Sabetha really was ahead of him most of the way. It’s a beautiful result, really, and I don’t think either of them has lost face in front of the other.
As for the political problems… In a way I was a little disappointed to realise just how little the election really means for Karthain, and how unimportant it was to the Bondsmagi. The pranks and stuff were fun, but the whole aftermath is so anticlimactic as far as the election is concerned that I was a little baffled by it. For something that dominated the book for so long it was a complete fizzle rather than a bang.
4. The War: Do you have any speculation on what specific issues might have escalated the two Bondsmagi factions rivalry into this kind of violence? What do you think the surviving Bondsmagi will do next, with all their gathered money and knowledge?
I think I’m going to have to read this book again in order to fully understand what’s been going on here. Coldmarrow eliminated the ‘bad’ bondsmagi in one fell swoop, so I do believe that the rest intend to do what Patience said and go into hiding. The intended effect of this seems to have been to eliminate the bondsmagi as a factor in the politics of the world, which probably could have very far-fetching results, even if they’ll take a while to get going. All those things people have been too afraid to do because it would interfere with what the magi saw as their territory should become accessible now that the magi are gone. But with all that they’ll still have to scout for children with magical talent, since I believe it was implied that it’s dangerous to leave them untutored? So they can’t stash themselves away completely. It will certainly be interesting to see what happens from here on.
5. Patience: Given the final revelation that Patience does hate Locke for what he did to the Falconer, what do you make of her behavior towards Locke throughout the book? Do you think her plan of vengeance is well suited to Locke? What do you make of the Black Amaranth story now, as well as the prophecy she threw on top?
I think she’s got a bit of double standards going there. She hates Locke for what he did to the Falconer, but she’s manipulated him into locking himself inside his mind by doing what she said she’d never do. Also, even as a mother I’m sure you can hate your kid for being an arsehole, which the Falconer is/was, so I don’t buy the whole ‘I want to take revenge because you hurt my son’ thing. Then again, I’m not a mother, so maybe I just don’t understand.
To me it does throw the whole Lamor Acanthus story into a far more dubious light. She could just have been fucking with Locke’s mind (track record and all that), so I’m still sceptical. Also, keeping Locke in uncertainty hasn’t really worked before, has it? He has a way of setting that aside. Frankly, I’m sure he’s going to agonise a lot more about Sabetha having done a runner again.
As for the prophecy… It’s probably true, but you can put so much interpretation into such vague phrases. Just look at that premonition Patience had about the Falconer that he’d meet his doom in Camorr – well, that was true, but from the end of the book we know that’s not the last we’ve seen of him. So I’ll take it like all prophesies – I’ll wait and see.
6. The Epilogue: Speaking of vengeance, do you think the Falconer’s vengeance against his mother was merited or excessively cruel, given the circumstances? On that note, how do you feel about the Falconer’s transformation and possible status as a continuing villain?
Excessive? I don’t think that word exists in the Falconer’s vocabulary. He’s a dick and always has been from what I’ve seen of him so far. He’s also proven that Patience’s soft-heartedness towards him was totally unmerited. That said, his vengeance basically was to kill her – the method was just the only thing he had available. He could have kept her alive like she did with him, which could arguably have been worse.
As for his restoration to power… Oooh boy. I’m curious to see how Locke is going to fare going up against him, because I can’t imagine that the Falconer is going to hold back. Whatever way Locke may find to counter him will have to be quick and final. I really fear for Jean though, because he’s the truly vulnerable one. It almost makes me think that Locke must truly be Lamor Acanthus, because what else could stop a bondsmage bent on vengeance but another bondsmage?
7. Wrapping up: Thus ends the third book in the Gentleman Bastard sequence. How do you think it compares with the first two? In the end, do you prefer the Espara storyline or the Karthain storyline, or did you like them both equally?
I felt a bit deflated after it finished, mainly because of the way the whole election plot just fizzled into complete insignificance. Way to put us on the wrong foot there! I’m also very, very disappointed in Sabetha for running away again. She really needs to learn to stand and face her issues rather than flee from them. She does love Locke, even if she may not love him like he loves her, and I’m a bit angry with her for not believing in him. Even if his fixation on her was something to do with Lamor Acanthus and his love for his wife, so what? Is his love any less real for it? Does she think it’s just going to peter away now that he knows who he supposedly is?
Okay, I’m a romance author. I like my happy endings, and so far in three books I’ve not had one, so sue me for wanting a little reprieve for Locke and for wanting to see him happy for once. At least he got one night with her. So in that sense I’m disappointed. Do I like this book any less for it? Hell no. Lynch is an exceptional storyteller with a flair for words that makes me weep with envy, and all three of his books have held me absolutely captivated. Can’t wait for the next one.
Thank you for sharing with me, it’s been a pleasure!