Week 3 – Book III ‘Revelation’
‘I promise you a death-offering, brothers,’ Locke whispered… ‘I promise you an offering that will make the gods take notice… An offering in blood and gold and fire… This I swear to Chains, who kept us safe. I beg forgiveness that I failed to do the same.’
– Dona Vorchenza
– Stephen Reynart
I don’t cry often. In general, and especially when reading. It takes a lot to get under my skin, and somehow Lynch did it. Even though I knew all along what was coming, even though I had been saying goodbye to the characters I loved even as I was introduced to them once again, this section still broke my heart. Locke’s farewell promise to Calo, Galdo & Bug, which I have included in shortened form above, was such an emotional moment to me. Lynch has done a beautiful job of tying together grief, guilt, anger and shock, into a response that seems perfectly fitting for the man that Locke has become.
I also want to highlight the same passage for another reason. I think it is a terrific example of the culture that Lynch has built up to this point in the book. Though the 12 (or 13) different religious ‘orders’ in Camorr are not all memorable, the sentence I omitted from the quote above shows the depths of the world we have been immersed in. The missing sentence reads ‘This I swear by Aza Guilla who gathers us, by Perelandro who sheltered us, and by the Crooked Warden who places his finger on the scale when our souls are weighed’ and after 350 pages we know that Aza Guilla, the Lady of the Long Silence is the goddess of death, who gathers all to her in the end, Perelandro is the protector of the weak and helpless but also in Lynch’s typical irony, the god of the physical temple that shelters the Gentleman Bastards, and that the Crooken Warden, the Nameless Thirteenth, is the god of thieves. All this background colours Locke’s passionate, emotional declaration of vengeance, and gives life to the culture of Camorr. Though Locke and his friends could hardly be confused with dedicated disciples of any god other than the Crooked Warden, the rituals and observance of the Thirteen is so much a part of their lives that it colours Locke’s expression of grief when he has little else to cling to.
To me, that’s a sign of a complex, but well thought-out world, one that wraps back on itself and rewards readers who delight in the little details. This is my kind of fantasy novel, and I’m so glad to be sharing it with you.
(Feel free to reply to each other, and to ignore my questions if you have something else to talk about!)
1. Hands up, who cried? (Bug got to me, poor noble, earnest Bug)
2. What was your favourite quote?
3. What is your favourite element of the Camorri culture, or an element you would like to see explored further?
Next: Week 4 – Book IV ‘Desperate Improvisation’
Discussion date: 29th February
Photo Challenge: #whereiread – Where did you read The Lies of Locke Lamora?
Remember to use the tag #BabblingBooksRA on your photos, and feel free to tag me @babblingbooks in your captions. I’ll be reviewing the tag throughout the week and choosing my favourite to be featured next week in the final discussion post.