Week three of The Republic of Thieves read along covers from Interlude (Striking Sparks) to Intersect II (Tinder). Questions are provided by Imyril of x+1. For previous posts in this read along series, check the tag. As ever, spoilers are under the cut.
1. Just how awkward must it be living with 4 highly intelligent, rather bored teenagers trained to take advantage of everyone around them? What do you make of Chains’s stratagem – and of how the gang respond to it?
I do think that the group needs practice working together as a unit, without Chains’s guidance. This trip could be good for that. Of course, everything’s likely to go terribly wrong.
2. The Bondsmagi of both factions seem very keen to see a proper contest. Do you think this is just part of their entertainment, or do they have ulterior motives?
I get the feeling that while Patience might think hiring Locke and Jean is a great idea, the other Bondsmagi have their doubts. The threats are probably intended to keep Locke in line.
As for the bondsmagi having ulterior motives… who knows? They’ve been mysterious and cunning so far, so I wouldn’t put it past them.
3. Is Sabetha fair to Locke under the circumstances (both past and present)?
I’m going to talk about Sabetha in the past first. I have a lot of sympathy for her. Just look at it from her perspective.
She’s sixteen (and that age is difficult enough) and she’s living with this boy who’s utterly obsessed with her, despite the fact that he doesn’t even know her. He sees her as some sort of embodiment of perfection, not as a person. My response at that age would probably be to just try and avoid the entire situation (maybe not the best response, but that’s being a teenager for you), but since she’s living under the same roof as him, that’s not really an option for her.
To make matters worse, he seems to get everything she’s ever wanted without even trying for it or seeming to appreciate it. She wants to be a priest of the Thirteenth, but that goes to him instead. He instantly becomes the leader of their little gang and is much closer friends with all the other boys than she is. She feels like an outsider, the only girl in a boy’s club.
Since she tries to talk to him about how she feels, but he just doesn’t get it at all. I don’t think she always reacts in the best possible way, but I think her reactions are understandable. She’s sixteen and in a really difficult situation. I’ve known girls in this sort of situation, and let me tell you, it really sucks.
As for whether or not she’s being fair in the present… I think that’s the purview of the next question.
4. Affections aside, what do you make of Sabetha’s tactics? Both she and Locke assume they will win – who is your money on after this opening round of hostilities?
From what we know of Sabetha, more than anything else she wants to win. And from the sound of things, she may also want to prove that she’s capable of beating Locke.
The question becomes, is it fair for her to be using Locke’s obsession/attraction against him. I’m not a huge fan of the femme fatale character type, so I would rather that not be her main tactic… but I don’t think it’s against the rules of the game. I do think it counts as playing dirty, though.
However, you have to admit the “twenty armed men in the next room” thing was hilarious.
As for who will win… my gut says to bet on Locke, since he’s the protagonist and the protagonist usually wins these things. But, Locke hasn’t been entirely successful in the past, has he? Tal Verrar blew up rather spectacularly right in his face. If I have to venture a guess, I’ll say that Locke will win but there’ll be a twist of some sort. (I honestly can’t remember who wins even though I read this before).