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The Locked Tomb trilogy: teenage lesbian necromancers... IN SPAAAAACE!!!!

Egarwaen

(He/Him)
So @Lucas noticed something interesting:

JG is the main one who uses modern memes a lot, and he's also an extreme phone addict. One way of interpreting this is as a hint that JG is contemporary. We know he predates the other Lyctors by an enormous amount of time, and seems to be the only character with direct knowledge of what killed the solar system in the first place.

This implies that the First House is Earth, which syncs up with the descriptions in Gideon. But that also tells us some other interesting things!

The First House - Earth
The Second House - The Cohort - are obviously on Mars, of course, being the god of war.
The Sixth House - The Wardens - Mercury, whose Greek analog, Hermes, is a god of boundaries. We know from the end of Harrow that they're closest to Dominicus, as everyone's very concerned about them getting obliterated by even a tiny fluctuation in the star.
The Ninth House - Keepers of the Locked Tomb - Pluto, the lord of the underworld and farthest planet-ish-thing from the Sun.

So if this is right, we should be able to work out where the other houses are...

The Third House - The Procession, The House of the Shining Dead - Saturn, a god of plenty in the Roman pantheon
The Fourth House - The Emperor's Sword - Jupiter, as the chief deity of the Roman state. They're represented by a skull crowned with laurels.
The Fifth House - Watchers over the River - Neptune, apparently originally associated with springs, lakes, and rivers prior to becoming a God of the Sea... Though could also be a hint that the River being a river is an extreme misnomer.
The Seventh House - The Rose Unblown - probably Venus
The Eighth House - The Forgiving House - Uranus, since the name is ironic and they're actually judgmental bastards. (And as @Octopus Prime pointed out... They're assholes)

The Houses based on a gas giant are likely actually on moons, but I don't think that changes the correspondences much.
 

Sarcasmorator

Same as I ever was
(He/him)
Some of this I'd inferred or seen other people mention (the King Undying is a bit of a contemporary edgelord, and I'd assumed the 9 Houses were in our solar system with the Ninth on the former Pluto for example, and JG notes that he hoped the sun flickering on again didn't cook the House closest to Dominicus). But that's a good breakdown putting it all together!

The First House's location in the ocean also suggests that the polar icecaps have long since melted and flooded whatever landmass it was on, and it kinda sounds like no one lives on Earth itself anymore.
 

Egarwaen

(He/Him)
The First House's location in the ocean also suggests that the polar icecaps have long since melted and flooded whatever landmass it was on, and it kinda sounds like no one lives on Earth itself anymore.

I vaguely recall a throwaway mention that people were moved to each of the Houses as they were established. In Harrow, JG gives Harrow the gift of a bunch of sleeper cells filled with resurrectees to reestablish the Ninth House.

But, importantly, we still don't have any kind of reliable information about what killed the Dominicus system in the first place. Harrow establishes that the only person who might know is a habitual liar, so...
 

Octopus Prime

Mysterious Contraption
(He/Him)
The Lyctors repeatedly mention that John caused some kind of extinction-event, and given that the entire population of the planet the first house is a single half-crazed zombie, it sounds to me that the Necrolord himself may have done something that destroyed the Earth himself.

I'm also fairly confident that he's also the tenth Resurrection Beast, since only a handful were accounted for, and it was noted that there was no consistency to their appearances whatsoever.
 

Positronic Brain

Out Of Warranty
(He/him)
Well, I’m counting on Allecto being a resurrection beast, and the Emperor leeching off her power as part of the perfect lyctor process.
 

Egarwaen

(He/Him)
I think it’s more likely that Alecto is another victim of JG and her imprisonment is somehow covering up his biggest lies.
 

Erilex

hourglass figure
I steamrolled through both books in a little less than a week. I had intented for the second one to last me longer, but after I was around 3/4 of the way through I just couldn't drop it. I finished Harrow last night. What a ride.

Anyway, a thought that affixed itself to my brain pretty early on in the second book was "Boy, the Emperor sure is giving off some serious dad energy", so let me tell you, when I got to the "Hi, Not Fucking Dead, I'm dad" part I completely LOST it.
 

Rosewood

The metal babble flees!
(she/her)
I finished Harrow a few days ago! It is a less friendly and endearing book than Gideon, imo.

- I actually recognized a meme. As expected, I didn't appreciate its presence.
"My body is ready"

- All this worldbuilding talk loses me. I don't remember any but the parts that were literally stated outright. It makes me want to reread both books, sort of! But it's also true that I don't ever focus on that aspect when I read.

-
identity and death being volatile things with permeable barriers was really interesting. I liked seeing the recurring characters from Gideon and the explanation of the "AU" was quite cool. I never developed as much of an interest in John and co., so the big splashy battle at the end didn't have much impact.
 

Paul le Fou

Pickle Bus Owns Tulip Town
(He)
I also finished Harrow recently! I can talk about it lots, but at the moment I'm just antsy for the third to come out.
 

Lucas

So bad
(he/him/they)
So @Lucas noticed something interesting:

JG is the main one who uses modern memes a lot, and he's also an extreme phone addict. One way of interpreting this is as a hint that JG is contemporary.

I meant to clarify so that I'm not getting too much credit here, that my observation was just that John's tablet addiction and love of contemporary internet memes was more likely to be an actual story point pegging his origin to roughly our time rather than simply a befuddling choice of characterization. Extrapolating that to the planet/House connections was all him.

I still want to know how long Muir had the "red hair-ing" meta-pun planned.
 

Egarwaen

(He/Him)
I meant to clarify so that I'm not getting too much credit here, that my observation was just that John's tablet addiction and love of contemporary internet memes was more likely to be an actual story point pegging his origin to roughly our time rather than simply a befuddling choice of characterization. Extrapolating that to the planet/House connections was all him.

I'm not sure what Muir's going for, as I wouldn't have predicted any of Harrow's swerves at the end of Gideon... But given how Gideon did have a ton of clues about a lot of Harrow's twists, I'm pretty sure that a lot of the things that are "out of place" or "nonsense" are actually worldbuilding hints that the Houses' are fundamentally mistaken about... Something.
 

Paul le Fou

Pickle Bus Owns Tulip Town
(He)
I'm not sure what Muir's going for, as I wouldn't have predicted any of Harrow's swerves at the end of Gideon... But given how Gideon did have a ton of clues about a lot of Harrow's twists, I'm pretty sure that a lot of the things that are "out of place" or "nonsense" are actually worldbuilding hints that the Houses' are fundamentally mistaken about... Something.
I think one of the things about the first two books is just how limited their worldview is; I'm not sure if that's good or bad, purposeful or not, but it's definitely a thing. One annoyance of mine from Gideon was that a lot of stuff that shouldn't have been secret knowledge was just not mentioned in the text, only to find out that there was a list of definitions in the appendix that explained what the heck a Lyctor was besides the vague suggestion that they were high-ranking/close to the emperor. There is almost no worldbuilding or exposition - which can be good, and which in most of the books works very well, but I actually found myself missing a little bit of it. "What is a Lyctor" would have been appreciated! (Without the end-of-Gideon spoiler as to their true nature, of course, just the brief rundown in the appendix's definition would have been great to actually have in the text of the book.)

The big one that I think we're going to see in book 3 is "What is the galaxy/universe actually like, outside the Empire/the Nine Houses." Muir's hinted from very early in book one that there are wars and military campaigns against non-Empire civilization(s?), which gets a bit more development but no more explanation in book 2, what with the ships getting nuked and the Blood of Eden commander showing up, etc. But the epilogue/preview for book 3 seems to be set on a non-House planet? That's how I read it, anyway. Even if it's set on a House planet, being in a city would be throwing the doors wide open, because it will be one of the first times that we actually see other people and the way they live their lives, and that has very many, very large implications for what's "really" going on in the universe around these characters and the relatively very narrow scopes of their experiences.
 

Egarwaen

(He/Him)
I think one of the things about the first two books is just how limited their worldview is; I'm not sure if that's good or bad, purposeful or not, but it's definitely a thing. One annoyance of mine from Gideon was that a lot of stuff that shouldn't have been secret knowledge was just not mentioned in the text, only to find out that there was a list of definitions in the appendix that explained what the heck a Lyctor was besides the vague suggestion that they were high-ranking/close to the emperor. There is almost no worldbuilding or exposition - which can be good, and which in most of the books works very well, but I actually found myself missing a little bit of it. "What is a Lyctor" would have been appreciated! (Without the end-of-Gideon spoiler as to their true nature, of course, just the brief rundown in the appendix's definition would have been great to actually have in the text of the book.)
The way I see it, Gideon and Harrow both hew pretty closely to their POV characters' knowledge and goings-on. And Gideon - like most people - doesn't actually know very much about Lyctors, other than that they're super-Necromancers that have some direct connection to the Emperor. The definition in the glossary isn't really a spoiler, per se, but it's also not what I would say was common knowledge. And I think that's important! The way the Empire is divided into Houses and responsibilities portioned between them guarantees no-one has more than a few scattered pieces of the puzzle - which is endlessly frustrating to both Palamedes and Abigail. And I think that setup's an intentional ploy by JG to protect his sprawling, habitual deceits.
 

Paul le Fou

Pickle Bus Owns Tulip Town
(He)
So I finally got my girlfriend to read this by kinda strongarming her recommendation to her book club as their next read. Everyone in the book club has loved it, including her (she gave me the "you were right, I should have read this months ago when you first said" yesterday).

A few things I'm noticing from second read-through listen of the first book:

Dulcinea's appearances and dialogue have a lot more to them, obviously. Almost every single scene she's in has at least a minor hint/oblique reference to her Whole Thing. Especially standing out to me was the scene when she was comforting Gideon while Harrow was doing the siphoning trial. The basic meaning is the same and applies either way, but the implications all land very, very differently through the lens of a lyctor's saying it - apologizing to her for what they do to cavaliers, what they take, how it isn't worth it. This is also given a note of how Gideon would remember these words later, with a new understanding of them.

I think one of the first things Teacher says, and/or someone's offhand comment, says that these trials are "about the union of necromancer and cavalier." Heh.

Jeannemary's death in particular hits just as hard, or harder. Her breakdown(s) after Isaac dies is all the more heartrending knowing she's about to face the same fate instead of the fear and tension/false calm.

The pool scene is still very moving, though it felt a little more abrupt, at least in the audiobook. I still teared up at "You are my only friend. I am undone without you" and how thoroughly she

I don't think G9 details all of the theorems that go into Lyctorhood, and one of the niggling bits of Lyctorhood from G9 and H9 both still stands out to me - it's not at all clear how they add up to Lyctorhood, or what other elements might be included. It's not a gaping hole or a contradiction, it just strikes me as a little handwavey. That only bothers me because the underpinnings for all of the necromancy is described very scientifically/mathematically, down to being called "theorems" - it seems like something that should and would be explicable amongst the rest of her stuff, but ends up going most of the way then skipping right to the end.

EDIT: Lol I was wrong, Ianthe explains all 8 steps in her reveal

Gideon's golden eyes are mentioned juuuust a few times and never with much weight. Very subtle. The big scene is when Dulcinea examines Gideon's eyes. She looks very closely, and she says she "likes" looking at people's eyes, says that they "tell you so much about" a person. This is also when she says that Gideon is very worthy/more than worthy of being a cavalier, and says "I wonder if Harrow even knows what she has in you." Trying to remember the H9 details of the backstory, but she almost certainly recognized Alecto's (John's) eyes in that moment.

Also, the audiobook's reader, Moira Quirk (aka Moira from Nickelodeon GUTS), does an amazing job. Jeannemary's voice in particular is delightful.
 
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Positronic Brain

Out Of Warranty
(He/him)
You guys didn't tell me that Alecto had been delayed to 2023 because this was now a quadralogy and the next book, "Nona the Ninth*", will be out in fall 2022.

You're under notice, Talking Time.

*(no, no word on whether this is a Oxenfree crossover)
 
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Paul le Fou

Pickle Bus Owns Tulip Town
(He)
I am very intrigued about what this could mean. Apparently "The character (of Nona) just jumped off the page" so much that it demanded a whole other book inserted into the series. The very existence of this character is a surprise, with no clue except the name Nona (from Nonagesimus?) and the little girl of unknown identity at the end of Harrow the Ninth, but what that means for Alecto the Ninth or the character of Alecto or wherever the hell the series was going after this (which was already waaay up in the air), who knooooows?
 
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