The Kingdom of Gods Read Along Part II

One of the few times Smudge has willingly held still for her photo.

One of the few times Smudge has willingly held still for her photo.

Welcome everyone to the continuation of The Inheritance Trilogy with Book 3, The Kingdom of Gods. Violin in a Void is our host this week, so be sure to swing by her place and check out everyone’s thoughts.

Want to join in the fun? It’s never too late to join us. Here’s the SCHEDULE but feel free to leap in as you like.

Sorry for getting this up late. Yesterday I was fighting vertigo due to congestion in my eustachian tubes. I took some decongestants, which had me up late (but still vertigo-y and nauseous when I set eyes to paper or screen) and then took a different decongestant which let me sleep late. But Here, I am, able to type without feeling like I just road all the amusement parks rides all at once. :)

Chapters 5-10 are discussed below. Spoilers are having a party!

1. Do you think Shahar can keep her childhood promise and be a good person and an Arameri?

Because others still have a huge say in her life (can order her about, etc.), this may be quite difficult. Yet, when we see her act on her own volition, she is kind and passionate and just. She told Sieh that her family was hoping she would get pregnant by him. She didn’t have to. She stood before a raging godling who had just slaughtered 30+ people to protect her mother, the mother who she feels conflicted about (and rightly so!). That took courage. So, I think if she could break those ties, or at least only bow to them under her rules, she would be a good and just person.

 

2. The Arameri family has changed drastically and now we learn they’re being systematically killed off. Do you like the changes? Do you feel sorry for the family or are they getting what they deserve?

I never like to blame the current generation for the past ill deeds of the previous generation. So, do the Arameri deserve to be killed off for what Dekarta Senior did? For the deeds of Shahar of ancient times? No. But the current Arameri seem to have plenty of members who don’t mind using others and have a very ‘who cares about the poor people’ attitude. And everyone in Sky, Dusk, and Shadow who is below the ruling house is poorer than them. Later in this section we learn how scarce work is for the masses. While the Arameri haven’t killed off a chunk of the population to rectify this, they haven’t done anything to stimulate the economy either.

So, am I sad to see some of them being killed off at this point? Not really.

 

3. Any theories on the antagonist that Sieh meets in his dream?

This was such a spine tingling scene! I really loved it’s intensity.

The antagonist knows Sieh, openly admits that eventually he (she? both?) intends to kill him. Yet he doesn’t want to be seen by Sieh, which means that Sieh would recognize him straight off, or later at some critical moment. Could Kurue be back? They killed her for her traitorous acts in Book 1. Did they do a good job? Or is it a demon child all grown up who knows Sieh’s role in the Gods’ War (spying on Itempas and his first mortal lover, the Shahar of old)? Hado (Nahadoth’s mortal daylight body) might have a big, big grudge, but does he have the power and the inclination to either harm Sieh or the Arameri or both?

I really don’t know, but I love pondering!

 

4. Religious belief in the city and the palace has changed a lot, as have humans’ relationships with the gods. Thoughts? What might your beliefs be if you lived in Sky/Shadow?

I think this is a natural evolution in religion. How could religion NOT change with the population living hand in hand with godlings? With Yeine, a goddess, going walk about through the city? I can also see how the ‘divinity shine’ could wear off. When you see your gods behaving badly, or even just simply imitating mortals, you may lose your faith in their divine nature over time. Especially since magic and increasing technology can mimic some aspects of godhood.

I think that I would have to believe in them (as I am a practical person and tend to believe what my senses + logic tell me), but I wouldn’t feel the need to be ruled by them. Would that make me a kind of agnostic?

 

5. Sieh’s not quite the charming boy god we saw in book 1. How do you feel about his character at the moment?

Well, we’ve seen Sieh throw fits before, even to the point of giving Itempas a good kicking that may have killed a mortal. But now we see all those things we have heard about the power of childhood. Wow! Do not fuck with Sieh! I knew when he stormed off to find Remath that there would be some blood shed, but naive me expected there to be controlled or directed bloodshed. But Sieh just turned En loose to zip around the room burning deadly wholes in anyone. I felt bad for the scrivener who had paid Sieh some courtesy.

Honestly, I liked Sieh a bit less after that scene because he was indiscriminate in his anger. If he had killed Remath, I would have understood. If he had killed Remath & Shahar, I would have been a bit sad, but still understood. They used him, tricked him, maybe even killed him.

 

6. Should Sieh work for Ahad?

Tough question. Sieh obviously has some strong feelings about the work and about Ahad. Half of me thinks Sieh would be far better off finding a nice country village to go spend 20-50 years in, having a good think. But that would be a boring story.

So, high-class brothel worker? Working for Ahad?  I am still on the fence on this one.

Other Tidbits:

Sieh and Shahar together were so teen! Did anyone else picture all those teen movies from the 1980s with the silly hopes of sex, and occasional awkward sex?

Melty Masks! Eeewwwww! And the Arameri hope to keep it all hush-hush! With all those servants, even if they are ‘family’. Idiots.

Hymn seems like a very practical person. I think I am going to like her quite a bit.

Who else wants to call Sieh a ‘brat’ on general principles?

My Fellow Readers:

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6 thoughts on “The Kingdom of Gods Read Along Part II

  1. tethyanbooks says:

    I don’t really like the idea of punishing people for the sins of their ancestors, either. I don’t think we really know enough about the victims so far to know whether they had done anything to get those enemies besides being in the wrong family. It seems like some of the Arameri even see the ‘family’ as a kind of company to work for, now. I’m not super sad about it, but I’m not especially happy to see them suffer, either.

    Interesting ideas on Sieh’s enemy! I had thought of Ahad, but it seems like Sieh might have figured that out when they did their mind-mergy thing. It would be interesting to hear more about the godlings’ role in the god’s war, so it would be neat if it was someone from that period.

    • nrlymrtl says:

      Good point about the Arameri being a kind of company to work for, even if you have to marry into it or be adopted and that it is pretty much for life.

      I think Sieh’s role in the Gods’ War was perhaps innocent, or even childish. But I won’t know for sure unless we hear more. If he was actively vindictive or cruel or vengeful, even as a child may be without thinking about consequences, I could see how a lot of people may want to pay him back.

  2. Lauren says:

    Whoa, I didn’t know you could get vertigo like that…

    1. The fact that Shahar rushed to save her mother was very much a sign of how conflicted she is as a teenager. Earlier on she wanted to murder her mother (although now I doubt she would have gone through with it).

    2. I have a tendency to see Rimina and Remath as representative of the main Arameri family, so I’m more inclined to dislike them. I don’t agree with the idea of them paying for the sins of their fathers, but with the Arameri cruelty is practically built in. I’m pretty sure Deka and Shahar would be bad people if they hadn’t met Sieh and been given the opportunity to reflect on their morality.

    3. Ooh, Kurue, that’d be interesting. I also wondered if it might be a demon – Oree’s child? But what reason would they have to hate Sieh? I’m still wondering if it might be Hado/Ahad who later plays dumb or has some kind of split personality.

    4. I think you’d be a primortalist then, which is basically their version of an agnostic.

    5. I thought Sieh was a badass brat in the slaughter. I was partly impressed, partly disturbed. What I found more unnerving was his suggestion that godlings could just rape humans so why bother with a brothel.

    • nrlymrtl says:

      Yep. Vertigo is a bitch.

      I think that if you are raised within the inner Arameri family, you don’t have an outside mirror to hold your actions up to. All the adults in your life encourage and stand by your cruel actions…..or you die. And that is that. Sieh provided an intense if periodic outside mirror in which Deka & Shahar as kids and later Shahar as a teen could look at their actions and have them questioned.

      Sieh and his knitting needles. I like knitting, and yes, I have contemplated the many uses of knitting needles….still. Such slaughter was never on the list.

      And, yeah, why is Sieh so dismissive of adult humans in general? When I was younger, I foolishly thought that if someone lived through something horrible, this then gave them a decent grasp as to what others would feel in similar situations. I know that isn’t true – just look at how female genital mutilation is sometimes carried out by the female family members generation after generation. And in this story, we have Sieh – having been a slave for 2000 years, which included rape. He’s OK with gods/godlings simply taking what they wish from humans, including sex.

      • Lauren says:

        I agree with the Arameri lacking a mirror. I think that’s why Shahar thought she was a decent person because she only threatened genocide but wouldn’t actually do it. That might be ‘kind’ in Arameri terms, but, as Sieh points out, it’s still a horrible thing to do.

        Hmm, yeah, people do tend to perpetuate the crimes that were committed against them. The cycle of child abuse is another example. I expect a god to be more self-reflective, but ugh, I guess it’s another symptom of Sieh’s dreadful immaturity.

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