Here we are folks, at the end of another great read along. My cohosts have been awesome, all the wonderful folks participating have been awesome! And in case you want the awesome to continue, we’re planning a read along of Book 2.
Lauren from Violin in a Void is our host this week, so make sure to swing by her place to see what everyone thought of this section. Chapter 23 to the End was covered in this week’s section. Spoilers reside below!
1. Yeine shows us the meaning of esui when she summons Nahadoth, makes an offering of herself, and asks him to make love to her like the god he is. What did you think of her decision and the scenes that followed? Cosmic sex or verging on comic? What importance does sex have for their relationship?
I think Yeine wanted some control over her life, and one of the last decisions left to her was whether or not to risk taking pleasure from Nahadoth. So she plunged in, requested his time and skills politely, and it worked out for both of them.
Nahadoth is a god and Yeine houses a goddess’s soul, so it makes sense that their sexual activities would take on a bigger, more celestial backdrop. Plus I am assuming that Nahadoth is skilled, even if Yeine is not. I found the aftermath – everyone’s surprised reactions to Yeine’s continued existence – comical. I even found Naha’s bathing of unconscious Yeine to be sweet. Yeine seems to be one of those people that brings out the good in those around her, even if it has to dragged kicking and screaming to the forefront.
Nahadoth has been enslaved and mistreated for thousands of years, and I think Yeine’s simple request and him holding back on his violent, destructive nature is a step in the direction of healing for him. Cue the Marvin Gaye and Sexual Healing:
2. Relad makes a last-minute play for succession by offering to help the Darre. Are you satisfied with his role in this book or do you think he should have had more of a presence? What do you think of his strategy to get Yeine to choose him over Scimina?
Interesting question. Until I read it, I had not really thought too much about Relad. He had a limited role, with hints of more going on (like his personal servants all resembling his sister, etc.). But now that I am thinking about Relad, yeah, I would have liked to know more about him. But it’s not like Yeine has been slacking, lying around in her rooms eating elegant food, and reading the latest gossip rags. She’s been too busy to dig further into his life, and hence we the readers don’t get to know him further.
Relad was obviously desperate to offer Yeine this trade. Even if things did fall out as he wished them to, it would have only bought him a little time. A few days to a few weeks. Scimina is not the type to sit back and let Relad rule.
3. The final chapters show us more of Dekarta’s character than the rest of the book. How do you feel about him now, knowing the truth of his motives and of Kinneth’s death?
On the surface, he is an easy character to hate. But then I look at all the twisted shit Yeine has been put through since arriving at Sky. The whole culture is built on twisted selfishness, and hence, breeds twisted selfishness. I have to wonder what kind of crap Dekarta went through growing up to make him the beast of man he is.
And I was a little sad for him too. He genuinely cared for another being, his own daughter, but not enough to spare her the Sky lifestyle by packing it all up with Kinneth’s mother and moving away.
4. The Succession Ceremony: Absolutely nothing turns out the way anyone thought it would. Did any of it match your expectations? What are your thoughts on what happened?
Yes! That’s it in a nutshell.
Oh, I know this is a reread for me, but I felt the same way as when I read it the first time. I really love that shit just doesn’t go according to plan for anyone. Yeine dies in a way, but continues on; Dekarta doesn’t get to die, laying it down for that eternal rest, though he will soon enough; Relad was so very hopeful that he wouldn’t be killed at the ceremony, or shortly there after; Scimina the witch didn’t get what she wanted, at all. None of the gods saw it coming, how it all went down.
Yeah, it was epic and great.
5. We finally meet Itempas, a mad god whose overpowering love and hate caused all this suffering. What did you think of him?
OK, let’s get out that big fat library that at least one older relative has sitting on a shelf collecting dust, which never gets used except for the holiday Scrabble game. Let’s thump it on the table, and flip to the Es. OK, not look up the word, ‘egotistical’. OK, got it? Now, do you see a lovely picture of Itempas? Perhaps it is just his name spelled out.
Now, I won’t tell you all what to do, but personally, I am going to deface my gran’s big fat dictionary by cutting that entry out and mailing it to Itempas. Yeah.
Wow. Itempas is an ass in so many ways. His assumptions that he was in charge, that his word was law, etc – huge ego.
6. As a goddess, Yeine makes some dramatic decisions and changes, like altering Sky, killing Kurue, and trapping Itempas in mortal form. How do you feel about this new goddess-Yeine? Would you have down anything differently?
Overall, I was very satisfied with goddess-Yeine. She’s a mix of Yeine and Enefa, yet neither. She’s something new, something strong, something that won’t compromise once she has decided something must be. Hence the death of Kurue, which I was a little saddened by, mostly because her name is so cool to say. I loved that Sky Palace is no longer this lifeless man-made structure but it now something living.
And Itempas. He’s going to have to walk the Earth for a long time to correct all his wrongs…..or find true love. And I loved Yeine’s reaction to Itempas’s assumption that he must win her love – she doesn’t need his love. Know, he must win the love of someone who has never loved him, never hated him. I think this will be much harder.
7. Wrapping up: What did you think of the book as a whole? Any loose ends you’d like tied up? How might the world be changed by these events? Will you read the next book to find out?
I loved the book, even the second time through dissecting it with other savvy readers. I would like to see how the new goddess settles into her role among the gods. And now that the head of the Arameri snake has been cut off, what will happen to palace – abandoned? public gardens? And what will happen to the hundred thousand kingdoms?
I’ll definitely be reading the next book as I am part of the planned read along.
Anyone else like the idea of Scimina on a leash to Nahadoth? ;)
And what about Naha? What will he do with his life, and body, that are separate from Nahadoth?