Welcome back to the read along of The Republic of Thieves! This week covers the sections from Interlude (The Boy Who Chased Red Dresses) to the end of Book I. Questions are provided by myself, and beware of spoilers below the cut.
1. Do you think that the scene with Bug was the imaginings of Locke’s fevered mind or do you think some greater force was at work?
I really want to say that Locke was imagining the entire thing… but… in fantasy novels, these sorts of things tend to become important.
However, I do doubt that the, let’s say “force” for lack of a better word, which spoke to him was actually Bug. It just doesn’t sound at all like him.
Which leaves the question, what was it? A messenger from the gods? Or maybe something that relates to the Elders? The Elders themselves or the thing that the Bondsmagi think destroyed them? Whatever it was, it was certainly creepy.
2. Is this job regarding the election a trap? Do you think the opposition will play by the rules?
I don’t trust the situation, and I don’t trust either party involved. While I don’t think Patience’s group will outright harm Locke or Jean (that wouldn’t serve their stated purpose), I don’t think they’re telling him everything, for all Patience’s claims of openness.
As for the opposition, I trust them even less. I think that they’ll probably try to kill Locke at some point (I can’t remember if they do). I’m also worried on Sabetha’s behalf, since this fraction seems even more bloodthirsty than Patience’s.
3. The Bondsmagi seem to think that there was a reason the Elders disappeared. Any more thoughts on the Elders or their mysterious end?
This speculation on the Bondsmagi’s part worries me. What if it’s foreshadowing for later in the series? Ekk.
I think a large part of the appeal of the Elders resides in their mystery. The same can be said for many of the artifacts and oddities of this world. It feels like humans are just scrabbling among the ruins of something much more powerful and ancient.
4. Do you think Locke will meet his match in Sabetha? The interludes have hinted at a long standing rivalry…
I’m really excited to see Locke vs. Sabetha. She’s someone who knows exactly how he operates and she has all the same tools as he does. That initial challenge between them – the one on the bridge – she would have won if she hadn’t gotten worried that he’d been captured by the city watch.
There’s a lot more I want to know about Sabetha. She definitely seems to have her own motivations and goals. Plus it sounds like she could have some lingering resentment that she got passed over for the priesthood in favor of Locke. She had worked so hard for it and really wanted it. Yet Locke, who was so ambivalent about it was the one who ended up getting it. Actually, that scene made me remember Wendy’s musings during book one about how gender egalitarian this world really is.
5. What are your thoughts on the interludes? Is it painful to be returning to departed friends?
A bit. You see everyone so young and happy and you know which of them will end up murdered horribly.
In the past, I’ve complained some about how the interludes slow the stories down. The purpose of the ones we’ve had so far seem to be to give backstory to Locke and Sabetha’s relationship and to build Sabetha up as an antagonist (note this is not the same thing as villain) for Locke.
I do hope that the lengthy flashbacks fade away as the current time frame picks up.