Red Seas Under Red Skies Group Read Part 2

Two ships on high seas under full sail. Text: Red Seas under Red Skies - Gentleman Bastards Read-along

This week’s installment in the Red Seas Under Red Skies group read covers chapters four through six. Questions (and spoilers) are below the cut.

And if some small part of him felt sour at twisting her emotions (gods damn it, that part of him had rarely spoken up before!) – well, he reminded himself that he could do as he pleased and feel as he pleased while he was Leocanto Kosta. Leocanto Kosta wasn’t real.

Between flirting with Selendri, confronting the horrors of Salon Corbeau and handling a certain cliff-top encounter, Locke’s conscience gets a solid work-out this week. What do you make of our little thief’s elastic ethics? Is he a good man, a good thief, or both?

As the end of the last book showed, Locke does have a conscience. He has to rationalize to himself what he does, like saying that the nobles deserve to get ripped off for once or that the waiter from the last book will be fine because Locke gave him money and a chance out of the city. I think this section’s seen him start to question some of his rationalizations, which could be interesting if Lynch continues in that direction.

“I think Selendri can be sweet-talked, at least a little bit.”

…what do you think? What do you make of Selendri so far?

There’s hints to Selendri having more to her (her history as an Eye of Archon for instance), but I feel like she mainly exists to characterize Requin. The whole story with half of her being chemically burned seems to say more about Requin than it does her.

“You are thieves. I am offering you a chance to help steal history itself.”

Now that Stragos’s plan is laid bare before us, what do you make of his purported ambitions – and of his strategy for achieving them?

It makes sense. He’s most powerful when there’s some threat to the city. Why not manufacture a threat to gain more power?

I do think he’s quite confident of Locke and Jean’s ability to pull this off. Those two might have pulled scams before, but they’ve never done anything at all like this.

“Then I may report to my masters that the plan is underway?”

How many different factions do you think are in play at this stage? Any ideas who Merrain might be working for?

Well, there’s Stragos, the merchant council, Requin, and the Bondsmagi. I don’t know that any other groups have been introduced into the situation, and it’s unclear what all these different fractions might be doing. What’s the Bondsmagi’s end goal with this?

I also have no earthly idea who Merrain is working for. If it was revealed in the book, I’ve completely forgotten since I last read it. Maybe for some group that we haven’t seen yet? She seems to know more about the situation than anyone else, and she gave some ominous hints towards the future.

Now let’s be frivolous. How cool are Verrari job titles? Eye of the Archon. Consulting Poisoner. Second Mistress of the Great Guild of Artificers. What would you like your Verrari job title be?

The Reader of Books? The Devourer of Words? Mistress of the Book Blog?

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8 thoughts on “Red Seas Under Red Skies Group Read Part 2

  1. Locke and his rationalizations – yep, definitely something he is going to have to watch out for.

    That’s a good point about us learning more about Requin through Selendri’s ordeal than we learn about Selendri. Still, I kind of like that we don’t know what is going on behind that half-mask. Makes it more mysterious and has me more worried about Locke.

    I vote for Devourer of Words also!

    1. I do think Locke is being wildly overconfident in his belief that he can sway her to his side.

      I remember very little about her from my first read, so I’m interested to see if we’ll learn more about her.

  2. I’m with Susan, on Selendri – it’s true that we know what happened to her but we still don’t know much about her, but I kind of like that. We’re seeing her from Locke’s perspective so far, and to Locke she is a puzzle because she gives him so few verbal or physical cues. To a con-man like him, that’s bound to be worthy of note. Or something to be poked at (very gently) to see what he can get from her. In Locke’s case it’s probably both.

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