1. We see a lot of distractions but no sign of a master plan. Is Patience right to think our tricksters haven’t applied themselves or do you think they’ve all got something up their sleeves?
It’s possible that Sabetha has some plan. I really doubt Locke does. He doesn’t seem to have any grand plan. He’s mostly just reacting to what Sabetha does. It reminds me a lot of that flashback to them on the bridge actually.
2. Sabetha thinks Chains inflicted the Bastards with a conscience and is afraid it makes her soft. What do you think?
I think it’s true that Chains did install them with a conscience, although I tend to think that’s a better thing than Sabetha does. I think she’s worried that if she feels something she’ll get ground down and end up like one of the dead bodies that litters this series. Which, is a reasonable fear. But I’d rather see her follow her conscience than try to crush it.
3. Baron Boulidazi shows his true colours and they’re not pretty. Did Sabetha (and Locke) underestimate him? For first time readers: how can the Bastards handle this twist? For second time readers: any comments on the narrative choices here?
I’m a second time reader, and I’m more critical of the narrative choices this time around. It feels like rape being used for a cheap plotting device, which I’m really tired of. There’s also so many different issues intersecting here from gender to class to race. I don’t see any of these getting addressed. It’s just a way to move the plot forward.
I could probably say more on the topic, but I feel too tired to do so. It’s a popular enough series that someone somewhere may have said more in depth. I might look for that at some point, but not at the moment.
4. Lamor Acanthus. Do you believe Patience’s story or is this a cracking confidence trick? If so, who do you think it is aimed at?
I believe her. Locke’s been very mysterious about his past, plus this could tie in with the weird Bug vision… I would say it’s aimed more at Sabetha than Locke. She’s trying to get Sabetha to keep away from him, and bringing up this (especially with the ties to the red hair) seems like a way to do it.
5. The universe seems determined to disrupt Locke and Sabetha’s courtship! Do you think they can (or should) have a happy ever after?
Most stories tend to end when the couple gets together, but I want to see what they’d be like together. I think they’d make a truly epic Outlaw Couple.
I think what Sabetha wants is an equal partnership with Locke. She doesn’t just want to be Locke’s girlfriend, she wants to be a mastermind thief in her own right. And I’d like to see that.