Aboard a ship with an excellent chef and some well-made manacles, Locke and Jean must figure out a way to get back to Karthain. Some years earlier, the Gentleman Bastards get their first taste of false-facing as nobility when they discover their contact Moncraine has been imprisoned. Can Locke and Sabetha find a way to beguile the angry nobleman who holds the key to his freedom?

1. What do you think of the young Gentleman Bastards acting skills? Do you think they’ll be able to pull off this performance?

I have no doubt in Sabetha’s ability to command a stage (or do pretty much anything she sets her mind to; yes, okay, I’m a huge fangirl and hideously biased). But seriously, she’s been acting her whole life – even before she learnt to false-face – and she seems to respond well to having an audience (even when she’s not on stage).

Locke has similar abilities, but I wonder whether he’ll be hindered by his affections – especially as he hasn’t landed the role of leading man. He kept himself in check with Boulidazi, but what if the play has kissing scenes? Can he watch Alondo kiss Sabetha night after night? I suspect not.

The twins sound like they’re warming up to it – and they’re pretty competitive. They may be going through an awkward phase, but I think they’ll cope. I wasn’t surprised that Jean wasn’t a great actor. We know he can false-face, but he tends to play second fiddle / support – he’s better at one-to-one contact (with or without fists) than playing to a crowd.

 

2. Any opinions/impressions regarding Baron Boulidazi? Do you think Locke will be able to spin his way out of this new mess?

Boulidazi smells like trouble. He’s not a warm, likeable peer like Salvara – he’s young, arrogant and twitchy. From his shifts in attitude about his prize sword to his nod to his butler to back off (any bets that the butler is trained like Conte?), he strikes me as a short-tempered man who will need very careful handling. And he fancies Sabetha. What can possibly go wrong?

On the other hand, Locke can spin his way out of most situations, so I think he’ll get them out of this one. But I think we’ve got an explosive situation developing in Espara.

 

3. For the present day timeline, do you think Locke and Jean will be able to get back to the city before Sabetha wreaks serious damage?

Oh my, I hadn’t really given thought to what she might have been up to in their absence. Um, I’m going to assume they’ll get back to find one hell of a mess to sort out. She’s had about a week to turn their faction upside down – I bet she’s made the most of it…

 

4. Any other thoughts on this week’s reading?

I’m thoroughly enjoying seeing two books of flirting with the theme of the stage coming full circle and literally taking the characters on stage – and I love that they’re doing Lucarno, who got so many mentions in Red Seas. If you haven’t tried reading any of the play’s text aloud, give it a go – Lynch is rocking the dramatic verse!

 

Take a tour of our responses this week:

  • Wendy and Tiara at The Bibliosanctum
  • Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow
  • Sarah at The Illustrated Page
  • and John in the comments 🙂

 

Discussion schedule 

We’ll be reading roughly 100 pages per week:

Want to get in on the action? It’s not to late to join us – just leave a comment below and get reading!