Question about Lies of Locke Lamora

Discussion in 'Fantasy / Horror' started by Jay83, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. Jay83

    Jay83 Registered User

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    I really enjoyed reading this book and finally convinced the wife to give it a go. She thought it was pretty good up until the end. While she liked the story she found it frustrating that Scott Lynch did not explain exactly how the bondsmagi found out about Locke and his crew. I remember wondering the same thing. I re-reads parts of the book the other day and still can't find the answer I was looking for. Am I missing something here or do they really not explain it?

    I'm trying to convince her to read Red Seas under Red Skies but she wants nothing to do with Scott Lynch anymore as she feels that he didn't explain a very important aspect of his story. While i still think the book is great I am inclined to agree that not knowing took away from the book as a whole.

    Jay
     
  2. saintjon

    saintjon Illustrious Gambler

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    Not sure if you're talking about the Falconer in the context of finding out the truth about the Gentleman Bastards or the other bondsmagi finding out what they had done to the Falconer leading into Red Seas Under Red Skies. If you're talking about the Falconer he probably used some sort of divination or scrying, which is likely what happened in the latter case also.
     
  3. polishgenius

    polishgenius Registered User

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    It's implied that he used Vestris to spy on them, but really, why is a precise explanation that important? They're magicians of ill-defined but large powers in a place where no-one has a way to counter them, there are any number of ways it could be plausibly handwaved. It's not important to the story how he did it, only that he did.
     
  4. Kazz Wylde

    Kazz Wylde Rogue Warrior

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    Or Locke's beloved Sabetha had a hand in that & might be revealed in Republic of Thieves would be my best guess.
     
  5. Jay83

    Jay83 Registered User

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    Yes it was the Falconer that I was referring too Saintjon. Polishgenius I know that Vestris was sprying on him, but how did Vestris know to spy on him? The thought of the Falconer scrying every garrista and pezon to find out about the gentleman bastards doesn't sit well with me either.

    I was thinking more in line with Kazz after I read Lies, but then I read Red Seas and Locke is still not curious about How the Falconer found out about him. That seems pretty out of character for someone who's so calculating. I'm thinking that Kazz is correct in his assumption about Sabetha having a hand in it. I Can't see another way that it could play out right now.

    PolishGenius I know you don't think the "why" is important to the story but for me it is. It's what puts them in this mess in the first place.

    Jay
     
  6. Danogzilla

    Danogzilla Couch Commander

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    "Nice bird, arsehole."
     
  7. Kazz Wylde

    Kazz Wylde Rogue Warrior

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    LOL

    Vestris was The Falconers name? I was doing a reread of this a couple months ago but got sidetracked with something, so I've forgotten some details.
     
  8. Danogzilla

    Danogzilla Couch Commander

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    Vestris was the bird's name. Can't remember if the falconer had a name other than The Falconer.
     
  9. Kazz Wylde

    Kazz Wylde Rogue Warrior

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    Oh thats right, thanks man! Yeah I think that was all his name was, The Falconer.
     
  10. KatG

    KatG The Bony Hand of Death Staff Member

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    The bondsmagi are hired by the Grey King who has been plotting revenge for years against Barsavi and the nobility of the city for the execution of his family to found the Secret Peace between the criminal underworld and the nobility of the city. The Grey King knows all about the players in the Camorr underworld in the search for his revenge, as well as having his sisters work for Barsavi. He learns about Locke and his crew and he gives that information to the Falconer as part of his plans to use Locke as a pawn in his revenge by having Locke impersonate him with Barsavi to lull Barsavi into believing he's safe from the Grey King. The Falconer learns further info about Locke from spying on them with his Falcon and gathering information in the underworld, but does not know Locke's real name. The bondsmagi are sorcerers who are psychically linked. So if you kill one, you hurt the rest and lessen their power and so they will come after you and kill you and yours. When Locke and crew torture and maim the Falconer instead, the bondsmagi therefore know through their links and plan to extract revenge.

    There are hints that the bondsmagi know information about the history of Camorr and the Nameless God that Locke worships and that this increases their interest in Locke and who he is. However, the principle agent involving Locke in the revenge plot is the Grey King who picks Locke and hires the bondmagi, involving them with Locke and the revenge plot/con. So it's not really a mystery. The Grey King and the Falconer both misunderstand and underestimate both Locke and Jean and this is a principle factor in the plot. This is pretty much a standard noir crime plot concept -- a person considered useful but not particularly threatening is picked to be the patsy and then turns the tables on the plotters. The Grey King and Locke are very similar in nature, and in the Grey King, Locke gets to see a version of what he could have become if not for Chains and Jean, and what he may still become if he takes certain paths. That's in large part why he decides to save the nobility of the city from the second stage of the Grey King's revenge plot.

    So I'm really not certain what specifically was upsetting your girlfriend.
     
  11. Jay83

    Jay83 Registered User

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    How exactly does the grey king come to the conclusion that he can use Locke to impersonate himself in the first place though? If Locke is as careful and thorough as Lynch would have us believe then why would the grey king want to use such a small player for anything? You may be on to something about the Falconer knowing about the nameless God that Locke worships and being interested in him though.

    I think my wifes problem was that she felt that Lynch was so thorough and explained everything else so well yet never fully explained how if Locke was so careful to not let his true colours shine that the grey king would ever find out about his mummers game in the first place.

    As for myself, it didn't bother me much but i do remember thinking that it was strange that it wasn't explained.

    Jay
     
  12. Kazz Wylde

    Kazz Wylde Rogue Warrior

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    So she thinks it's a deus ex machina for the bad guys type deal huh?
     
  13. Jay83

    Jay83 Registered User

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    You've hit the nail on it's head Kazz. That's exactly what she thinks. I'm more inclined to agree with what you were saying before about Sabetha. The only reason I started swaying from that thought is because in both Lies and Red Seas Locke doesn't really seem to ever wonder about exactly how the falconer and grey king were led to him. It's almost as if Lynch couldn't be bothered to approach that topic within the series so far. Hopefully he resolves it in ROT. If at some point there is a resolution then I'm sure I can get the wife to read the next book!

    Jay
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2012
  14. Kazz Wylde

    Kazz Wylde Rogue Warrior

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    Yeah, I'd kind of forgotten some of this. Kat explained it really good, but I think I'm on your wife's side and mine with the guess that some of this will be fleshed out in RoT.
     
  15. Kazaxat

    Kazaxat Registered User

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    I've never felt that Locke's merry little band had quite the security many of you indicate they had. Yes they are able to fool the Capa and his men into thinking they are common, low-class thieves, but the true beauty of their acting is that no one suspects they could be anything else. Thus, so long as they keep up their monthly(?) charade no one has cause to look into the comings and goings of any member of the group, and they are free to plot as they always have.

    The Grey King is an outsider however, and has to investigate each crew and garrista without any prior knowledge. I for one have no trouble believing that their thin veil of deceit fell apart when someone poked at it, and having a Bondsmagi spy through a falcon's eyes is hardly just a poke. It would have been ever so easy for the falcon to see any of the crew in the midst of some suspicious activity, particularly in situations (as with their first job) when the crew assumes they are alone without thinking to look to the skies.

    Alternately, it could simply have been some scrying of the Bondsmagi, who perhaps managed to view them in their secret lair (which would be immediate cause for alarm). All we know of his power is that having someone's name makes him more powerful, but Lynch hasn't gone to any lengths to expand on the intricate workings of his system.

    So yes, I believe it very plausible that in the process of thoroughly investigating Camorr's underworld the Grey King unmasked a glimmer of their true lives, and from there it's actually shown that the Falconer continued to spy on the crew. Scott Lynch doesn't explicitly state either way, no, but it doesn't strike me as a plot hole so much as just an unclear detail.
     
  16. KatG

    KatG The Bony Hand of Death Staff Member

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    I'm not entirely sure I need to do spoiler boxes here, but I'll do them to be on the safe side.

    Because Locke presents the image of a small time braggart sneak thief and con artist running a small crew out of the temple to the criminal underworld. And a small time thief is exactly what the Grey King needs as a patsy for his revenge scheme. A big time thief would have resources, reputation, etc., and not want to or be desperate enough to agree to impersonate the Grey King. The Grey King needed someone small time who had secrets like Locke did who he could coerce and bribe to do it. Also, Locke was well known to Barvasi and had an association with Barvasi's daughter. Therefore he knew Barvasi and would be better able to perpetuate the con, and his role in it as the Grey King would be more upsetting to Barvasi and his family, and also it would be believable to Barvasi that Locke was the Grey King and knew enough about Barvasi's operations to do the killings. Locke looked like a great patsy precisely because he was so secretive in the criminal underworld.

    But Locke wasn't careful. That was the point of the story. Chains was always trying to teach Locke discipline, carefulness and leadership, as shown in the flashbacks. Whereas Locke was impulsive, tempermental, over-confident, grandiose and often lacked leadership smarts, and thus often made mistakes. In the wake of Chains' death and Sabetha leaving, Locke and his crew had become careless. The Grey King relentlessly studied both the criminals of Camorr and the nobility whom Locke was fleecing for his revenge. He didn't always follow Chains' rules correctly. Therefore, it was relatively easy for the Grey King to twig to what Locke was up to and choose him as his patsy. From the events of the story, Locke learns to be more careful and what it costs if you do not (the loss of his friends.)

    Lynch does give very clear portraits of how Locke, Jean and a few others think. But he does not give you the inner workings of every character, nor should he logically in a crime thriller. The Grey King is meant to be partially mysterious, though at the end, we do get to see inside his mind with his history. We don't know exactly how the spy mistress of Camorr gets all her info either, but we do know that she has spies at every level of society. So it's not a deus ex machina or handwaving. It's logical that Locke's secret is uncovered by some because he takes more and more risks that reveal that secret. To say that when a character says, I found out about your secret that this is impossible when the gist of the story is that Locke keeps acting before he thinks and making mistakes would seem more wishful thinking than discovering a plothole.

    I do think that Lynch has some minor problems with plotting. The barrel incident with Locke was striking but not very logically done. Locke's elaborate con to get a set of clothes instead of just stealing them quickly didn't make a lot of sense to me, though I enjoyed the con. And there is a major plot problem with Red Seas, though it doesn't come up until the end and most of the book is very interesting regardless of it. But Lynch's writing, descriptions, characters, dialogue, and use of crime and fantasy elements more than makes up for the quibbles. And the crime revenge plot of Lies I found pretty logical.
     
  17. Kazz Wylde

    Kazz Wylde Rogue Warrior

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    No, I gotta go with my gut, and agree with homeboy here..ask Scott...he'd agree with me. lol
    Hell, really I dont know....good arguement
     
  18. Kazz Wylde

    Kazz Wylde Rogue Warrior

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    Y'all forget, you gotta make room for Sabetha...pissed off ex girlfriend or whatever...get ready....thats the way it is...ever had a psycho ex? You go go Scotty boy.......