Welcome everyone to the read along of Seanan McGuire’s An Artificial Night, Book 3 in the October Daye series. Anyone is welcome to join us over at our GoodReads Group! Check out the info at the end of the post.
This week’s hosted by Books By Proxy. We’re covering chapters 8-17 below, so beware of spoilers if you have not read that far. I’m doing the audiobook version (which is awesome) but I apologize now for any misspellings of names and such.
1. Toby makes her journey to Blind Michael’s realm with the aid of the Luidaeg – who is back and on form and has, as yet, decided to hold off on killing Toby. What did you think of Toby’s journey by candlelight and her first encounter with the Wild Hunt? What do you think this favour is going to cost her with the Luidaeg?
The Luidaeg seemed rather hurt that Toby asked for her aid and I think the Luidaeg took some masochistic fun in having Toby drink that foul drink. Toby’s landed in a place where her straight forward bravado won’t get her as far as it normally does. For one thing, she is not child-sized. Even the other kids don’t take her seriously at first. Then all the big adult-sized nasties spend all their time tormenting kids, so they aren’t really going to expect any consequences from a child-Toby.
The Wild Hunt appears to be just as dangerous and scary as we all expect. The terror of the hunted was palpable and yet Helena still managed to save her friend cat sidhe by tossing him into the rose patch. Yay!
Toby as guessed that the Luidaeg can’t simply grant a favor. It must cost something. I think she is right and the Luidaeg must extol a cost sooner or later. I think she is fond of Toby, so maybe she will put it off as long as possible. She has sworn to kill Toby, but maybe the Luidaeg was hoping to put that off until Toby was old and decrepit and needed a swift peaceful ending in her sleep. Could the Luidaeg be that nice and that attached to Toby? Hmmm……
2. As a prisoner of Blind Michael, Toby encounters a disturbing number of altered and transformed children and, assisted by Quentin, discovers the children who are yet to be toyed with. What were your thoughts when Toby discovered these child monsters and other detainees? Do you think there is any hope for them? And what did you make of Quentin’s bargain with the Luidaeg?
So we all know that Blind Michael has been doing this for perhaps millennium. But now we have some of that proof staring Toby in the face and making fun of her hair. It’s harder to ignore the monstrosity that is Blind Michael when you are interacting with the fruits of his twisted games. So my thoughts were much the same as Toby’s – Blind Michael will die.
There’s hope for those that Toby took out, though Katie might be permanently changed by the experience. As for the rest… well, if Toby can actually kill or permanently contain Blind Michael, then there is hope for the others, most likely. Those that still have kin they can return to, could do so. Perhaps Blind Michael’s consort Acacia would let the rest live in her woods in peace.
3. In spectacular style, Toby swoops in and relieves Blind Michael of his prisoners and vows to put an end to his evil ways. How do you think Blind Michael will react when he discovers Toby and the children are missing? What do you think Toby will do for those she left behind?
Blind Michael made a bargain with Toby but she cheated and took more kids that she initially named as her own. I expect this will free Blind Michael from keeping his side of the deal and he will be able to pursue Toby and/or the kids she stole back, perhaps even Quentin. So, since Toby is still a kid and the Luidaeg said that will last a little time, perhaps Blind Michael will pop into her place and steal her as he would any kid he wanted.
Of course, this will free Toby to kill him when she gets the opportunity. Yay!
4. Whilst straying into the forests within Blind Michael’s realm, Toby encounters Acacia whose revelations regarding Blind Michael and her own daughter are nothing short of astounding. Were you expecting this? What were your thoughts and reactions?!! How does this change your view of the characters involved?
No, I wasn’t expecting to stumble across Luna’s mum in the woods surrounding Blind Michael’s Wild Hunt zone. Definitely not the place where I would stash my elderly mum.
I want to know who slashed Acacia’s face with iron. I think that is important. Maybe not right now, but perhaps later in the series.
Luna has been rather hush hush about this, but she might very well have her reasons. Perhaps she would have more enemies if folks knew (enemies of her mother’s basically) but also it seems that she must have had a falling out with her mum so she probably doesn’t want weekly reports on her life making it back to Acacia. All sorts of questions! I need to know!
So Luna and Sylvester were not a love match. Mores the pity. I wonder if that is now part of the strain they are facing?
5. Toby seems to have escaped Blind Michael’s clutches – for now! – and is currently enjoying the company of her Fetch, May. What do you expect will happen from here? Do you expect her to pursue Blind Michael to the end? And what are your thoughts on Toby’s sentient portent of death and its implications for her future?
First, the Luidaeg was really, really pissed when she met May. I think that if the Luidaeg could have killed May, she would have. I now believe that the friendship she has developed with Toby really means something to her and it hurts her greatly to think of Toby dead, and perhaps dead by her own hand.
I expect Blind Michael to retaliate. Toby did break the rules by taking more than her own kids. So, Toby will have to kick his ass.
I expect there will be some loophole where May is satisfied – perhaps she gets to fetch away dead kid Toby while adult Toby gets to go on living… but then wouldn’t May be child-like? Hmmm…
The Luidaeg gave Toby some rules about the Wild Hunt – she can’t take any weapons with her and she can’t take any companions with her, but, hey, if they show up along the way, she can utilize both. Then the Luidaeg makes a comment about rose thorns being able to prick deeper than one expects or some such comment. I wonder if that will come back around later.
Spike is turning out to be quite the useful companion! I expect s/he is the reason Acacia did not kill Toby.
I do really like how May is very nonchalant around the Luidaeg – no big deal, she hangs out with the ancients and the powerful all the time.
OK, so maybe this is just me, but Toby was obviously checking for signs of sexual abuse when they first found Katie. So, I have to wonder if there is a darker side to being ridden if you are part of Blind Michael’s Wild Hunt. If so, can we kill him twice?
Info on the Read Along
Here’s the schedule:
Week 1: Saturday 9th April, Chapters 1-7, hosted by Over The Effing Rainbow
Week 2: Saturday 16th April, Chapters 8-17, hosted by Books By Proxy
Week 3: Saturday 23rd April, Chapters 18-24, hosted by Lynn’s Book Blog
Week 4: Saturday 30th April, Chapters 25-End, hosted by Over The Effing Rainbow
You can catch the weekly questions and links to folks’ weekly posts over at our GoodReads group SF/F Read Alongs. Have a look around and you’ll see we have other upcoming SFF read alongs planned. As always, you’re welcome to be lurker, a commenter, or do your post.