Red Seas Under Red Skies Group Read Part 3

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

Welcome to the third week of the Red Seas Under Red Skies read along! I was responsible for coming up with this weeks questions for this week, which covers through the end of Chapter 10. As always, watch out for spoilers below the cut.

Locke risked his entire role as Ravelle by giving the dead sailors the blessing of the Thirteenth. How much of his conscience do you think is tied up in his priesthood?

I think he takes his duties as a priest of the Thirteenth very seriously, and an important part of those duties is stealing from the nobility. If I remember correctly, Chains initially framed it as a way of reminding the nobles that they aren’t invulnerable, but I think we’re beginning to see Locke grow angry with the unthinking cruelty of those in power.

I think it’s also that the priesthood was really the only thing about morality that he was taught growing up. It’s not that surprising that it’s having an effect on what he views as right and wrong and the choices he makes.

Stragos’s plan to set Locke up as a pirate captain has gone disastrously wrong. Do you think there’s any chance of Locke getting the plan back on track?

I feel like the plan is over and done with, but this is Locke Lamora we’re talking about. If there’s anyone who could somehow pull this off, it’s him.

At this point I can’t see him becoming a pirate captain as was originally planned. It’s become abundantly clear that he’s not capable of that job. However, he’s starting to build a reputation for himself as a fearsome and courageous fighter (which is actually sort of hilarious). Maybe he’ll use his burgeoning reputation to spark off the rest of Stragos’s plan?

I don’t remember much of what happens here, so I’ll get to find it out again on this reread. I’m still wondering how Locke and Jean are going to get back for the antidote. Will they have to tell Ezri and Zamira what’s really going on?

What do you think of the Poison Orchid? Any opinions on Ezri Delmastro or Zamira Drakasha? Have they been all that you’ve expected of pirates?

These pirate ladies are an unexpected gift. Zamira in particular seems astoundingly awesome. I like how she keeps such firm control over the Poison Orchid and is depicted as an entirely capable captain. I also like that she’s a mother, since it seems rare to find mothers doing much adventuring in science fiction and fantasy. Fathers get to have all sorts of stories, but mothers seem to get stuck staying at home and caring for the children, if they don’t get killed off to motivate their husband or son, that is.

Zamira and Ezri are both characters I remember from my first reading, so this time around I was expecting them. They’re one of my favorite parts of the book, but it’s hard for me to remember my initial reaction to them. They certainly don’t seem to be what Locke or Jean were expecting.

The ending of this section has a rift growing between Locke and Jean. Any ideas as to the cause and to the end result?

I’m trying to think of a non-profane way to describe Locke’s behavior and really struggling. He’s being so blindingly arrogant and wrong headed. And his dismissal of Ezri! Urgh!

We’ve previously seen that Locke’s got an obsession with revenge and that’s definitely coming out to play here. However, we’ve also seen that he cares a lot about his friends and is intensly loyal to them. But he’s not willing to expand his definition of “friend” to include any of the new people he’s met, while Jean seems willing to.

I think Jean’s response to Locke was the right one. Here’s hoping Locke gets over himself!

Finally, any further thoughts on who Merrian is working for?

Well, not Stragos obviously. Maybe the Priori? But if she was working for them, wouldn’t she be doing more to stop Stragos? I keep thinking that she’s working for the Bondsmagi, but that’s probably only because she seems to know a lot and is very mysterious.

I’m wondering if we’ll even find out in this book, or if it will be a plot thread left dangling for future sequels.

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