Kushiel’s Scion Part VI

Elderly Waffles has no idea whats going on.

Elderly Waffles has no idea whats going on.

The Terre D’Ange Cycle by Jacqueline Carey (of which Kushiel’s Scion is Book 1 of the second  trilogy) is one of my all time favorite series. The read along continues! Everyone is welcome to join in. Here is the SCHEDULE for the read along.

This week, I am your host. We’re covering the Chapters 45-52, so be prepared for spoilers below!

1) Imriel spends a night on the island of Asclepius. Do you agree with Imriel that his nature is to be cruel? Do you think of Imriel as a stunted tree reaching for the light?

I think he’s looking at one aspect of his life and seeing it accentuated above his other traits. He has the capacity to be cruel, yes, but he is usually striving to balance it out. So, no, I don’t see him as a stunted tree reaching for the light – I see him as a tree basking in the little light he has been given and making it count.

2) Imriel makes a good go of breaking things off with Claudia. However, throughout this section we have seen how the spark between them is not yet doused. What do you think of Imriel’s lingering desires? Is Claudia telling the truth about her own desires?

I doubt the spark between them only resides in Imriel. So, yes, I do believe Claudia has a desire for Imriel. After all, D’Angelines are known for their prowess and attention to detail in bed. My guess is that she may have had one or two other excellent lovers in her life, and even then, Imriel is probably the best of them all. As for Imriel… well, she’s the only woman he has bedded in Tiberium, so she is familiar. And she’s always up for it. He doesn’t have to romance her. Quite frankly, it’s easy to attain sex. Now, I do believe that their coupling in Luca after Gilot’s death was for comfort.

With that said, I think Claudia is well aware that if she can entice Imriel back to the Guild, or even somehow trap him into being beholden to the Guild, it would be a feather in her cap and would help her rise in the Guild ranks.

3) Imriel reveals his full identity to Lucius and he learns of the legend of the Bella Donna, based on his own mother. Clever, intentional legend building by Melisande, or a fanciful story that built up over time or was borrowed from another legend?

I think this was Melisande that started it. She probably borrowed the basis from some legend and built some of her specifics (like her looks) into it. I bet this made it easier for her to escape. If folks believe that her child was stolen, they would be more likely to assist her. Also, building that legend and now having young ladies pray to the Bella Donna might be useful for something even today. It’s definitely awkward for Imriel.

This reminded me on the La Llorona legend here in the Southwest US. A woman in white who lost her children wanders the river’s edge weeping. Some legends say she drowned them and her ghost is doomed to haunt the river for eternity. Some say she lost her children to a flood.

4) All is not well at the city of Luca. Helena has been kidnapped. The ghosts of the dead walk among the living. Lucius is possessed by his warlord ancestor Gallus Thaddeus. What do you think of this harsh man/ghost?

Gallus definitely harkens back to an older time, doesn’t he?  He’s a harsh, harsh man but he might just be what Luca needs right now to get through this. On one hand, he’s got everyone on food rations right away, he puts every able bodied person to work (nobles on night patrol, women with bows) no matter their station or what is considered proper.

But then there’s the other side – like when he was ready to forcibly marry Helena to first deny her ‘husband’ his legal rights to the city and then simply to cuckold the man. Ugh! So glad that so many were willing to go against him on that one, even if they had to be sneaky and hide behind rules to do it.

5) When Imri and crew return to the Thaddeus Villa with the injured Gilot, Imriel ponders the wonder of women. ‘The courage of women is different than the courage of men.’ Do you agree?

No. It’s situational. Brigitta and Eamonn both come from ‘warrior’ cultures where women are expected to be competent with at least one weapon if not three. So I think Brigitta’s courage is much like Eamonn’s (though he’s been in at least one battle before so he has a little more experience).

However, in most if not all of Caerdicca Unitas, the roles of women are very different than the roles of men. They aren’t expected to handle weapons, to go to battle. They are expected to be at home, tending to the household, perhaps helping a little with a home business, have babies, and be beautiful and charming at dinner parties. So, for most Caerdicca Unitas women, yes, their courage is different from that of their male counterparts.

6) With the city under siege, an older mystery pops up with the arrival of Canis. Why do you think Imriel held his tongue and only told Eamonn?

I know Imriel is more comfortable being straight with people, but I think he is learning that you don’t have to lie to conceal a truth – you just have to shut up sometimes and not blurt things out. So, I think he finally learned that (thanks to Claudia and her handiwork at the theater) and he wants to know more about Canis in general and specifically why he so obviously followed him to Luca and then dared the army to break into a town under siege.

Other Tidbts:

I’m glad Eamonn and Brigitta appear to be a couple for now. Like two sleeping hunting cats, I think that’s how Imri described them as they slept on a sofa.

Claudia’s insulting Phedre was childish and peevish. I think she totally underestimates Phedre and what she would do if her son Imri went missing or turned up dead, or even badly maimed.

Caerdicci Unitas as a whole doesn’t seem very homosexual friendly and I am glad that Carey built this aspect into the storyline. Ignoring it would be unrealistic. Instead, by building it in and showing both the cultural aspect and how that affects individuals, it really humanizes the situation.

Even though I knew it was coming, I still sniffled over Gilot’s death. It was so hard on Imri and he has to survive this siege and tell Gilot’s girlfriend and kid, and then tell it to Montreve’s household and Phedre and Joscelin. It was very nice that Imriel had him model for the painter before they headed off to Luca.

And here is the current list of participators:
Allie at Tethyan Books
Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow
Lynn at Lynn’s Book Blog
Emily at Emma Wolf
Susan (me) at Dab of Darkness

We also have a Goodreads Group started for SF/F Read Alongs in general, and there is a specific folder for this read along. You are welcome to follow the fun there as well. If you want to be on the weekly email, just leave me a comment or shoot me an email with KUSHIEL’S SCION in the subject (nrlymrtl@gmail.com).

Kushiel’s Scion Part V

Elderly Waffles has no idea whats going on.

Elderly Waffles has no idea whats going on.

The Terre D’Ange Cycle by Jacqueline Carey (of which Kushiel’s Scion is Book 1 of the second  trilogy) is one of my all time favorite series. The read along continues! Everyone is welcome to join in. Here is the SCHEDULE for the read along.

This week, Lynn at Lynn’s Book Blog is our host. We’re covering the Chapters 37-44, so be prepared for spoilers below! Sorry again for posting late. Pneumonia is still kicking my butt.

1. Firstly, what do you make of The Guild and why do you think Anafiel declined to join them?  Do you think Imriel should join them?

I think it would be awesome to be one of the controlling heads of the Guild to have access to all that info and power. Or, at least, to be a powerful someone who can trade with the Guild for info and influence.

I think Anafiel rarely did anything rashly, so if he said no to the Guild, then he had good reason. In fact, he may have been approached more than once by them to either join their ranks or ally with them on some matter. I am guessing he repeatedly turned them down. Obviously, you never get to see the whole goat before you buy in this case – you join the Guild at your own peril, knowing that there is probably more than they initially present.

I don’t think Imriel should join them. It’s good that he knows they are there and perhaps in the future he can use that knowledge in some bargaining. However, I don’t think he’s particularly suited to be a spy (he really does like straight forward people and he is pretty much a straight forward guy as well) so it would mostly be about trading favors if he joined the guild – they would give his some info and he would back a certain trade deal, or some such.

2. We have the philosophical debates – how do you think these are going to play a part in the story overall, if at all?

In general, I think they are reinforcing to Imriel that he is indeed a moral person and also they are helping him fine tune his moral compass. I can’t recall if they play any larger role than that. Imri has already lived through events that would make many adults question morality. Now that he is an adult, perhaps he is ready to look more closely at those events with this in mind, based on the philosophical debates he and his friends have been a part of.

3. Claudia – what do you make of her.  Do you trust her?

Obviously, I don’t trust Claudia. She has a few loyalties that reside higher on the list than Imriel – her family, husband, and the Guild (tho I don’t know which comes first). So, there’s always the possibility that one or more of her loyalties will require her to do something that could harm Imriel in some way – perhaps just a little broken heart, perhaps a sullied reputation, perhaps a slit throat.

4. We have lots of possible attempts on Imri’s life, even going so far as to start a student riot – and his own attempts to bring these to a stop.  What do you make to all of it?

With the Guild in play, it can all be rather muddy. Looks like we have Trevalion making a mess of things. I am glad to see that Imriel went with a solution that requires a little more subtlety than his initial blunt force trauma inclination. I think it was brave and very calculated to go to the home turf of the hired assassin and basically buy out the hit on his life. Imri’s got big brass balls, that’s for sure.

I don’t think the student riot was started to cover up an attempt on Imri’s life but I do think more than one person was out there looking for an opportunity to take him down.

5. Two particular characters that I find intriguing are Canis and Piero.  What were your first impressions and how do they differ now?

My opinion of Master Piero hasn’t changed much. He’s a philosopher and a teacher. I like that he points out that for raw teaching an institution isn’t needed and then he lets his students argue the pros and cons of having educational institutions. He was chasing pigeons when we first met him and now he’s trying to coral students and get them to behave like civilized people. I wish him luck.

Canis is the one that has me most intrigued. When I first read this book, I at first dismissed him and his ramblings. But then when Imri kept wearing the pendant and then later Imri thinks he sees Canis on some corner, I started to ponder. Now Imri thinks someone else had his back in the student riot and Canis goes missing for a few days to returned clean and bruised. Hmmm…. the plot thickens!

Other Tidbts:

If someone held a knife to my throat as part of love play (without my permission) I would have a hard time jumping into bed with them again… and yet Imri does just this. Perhaps he feels he has something to prove.

I thought Eamonn’s example of why the winners of a battle or a war are also affected negatively by the whole event. And I also agree with Lucius that you can’t really separate the noble reason for an invasion from the means. It’s interesting to see Brigitta deal with all these arguments.

And here is the current list of participators:
Allie at Tethyan Books
Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow
Lynn at Lynn’s Book Blog
Emily at Emma Wolf
Susan (me) at Dab of Darkness

We also have a Goodreads Group started for SF/F Read Alongs in general, and there is a specific folder for this read along. You are welcome to follow the fun there as well. If you want to be on the weekly email, just leave me a comment or shoot me an email with KUSHIEL’S SCION in the subject (nrlymrtl@gmail.com).

Rosemary and Rue Part IV

rosemary_and_rue_read_along McGuireWelcome everyone to the read along of Seanan McGuire’s Rosemary and Rue, Book 1 in the October Daye series. Anyone is welcome to join us! Check out the info at the end of the post.

This week’s host is Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow. We’re covering chapters 21-END 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. On the way to finding Evening’s killer at last, we get to meet the Luidaeg in person. What are your impressions of her, and what do you think of the sneaky ‘deal’ Toby managed to make with her?

Wow! First, I like her cranky, blunt ways. She’s powerful, so don’t let the clutter fool you. Obviously, she’s dangerous but I think she appreciates those who can manage to entertain or trick her (like Toby’s sneaky deal). I bet she has some incredible stories to tell but I also think she’s a little bitter, being the last ancient standing with no real family or friends to commiserate with.

Toby was very daring to do her sneaky deal. I respect her for it but I also worry that it speaks to having a short life span – eventually her daring could get her killed.

The ‘sneaky’ deal seems to cut both ways – both Toby and the Luidaeg each have a question in reserve to ask at some later date. Toby may or may not regret that later, along with all the other futuer favors she’s been passing out in order to save today.

2. Next stop is the Court of Cats, where we see Tybalt in his role as a king, followed by another visit to Lily to finally learn the truth. We get some more evidence of the regard they both have for Toby; in light of previous discussions about Toby’s friendships, what do you make of this new evidence?

One of the things I like about this series, is that Toby isn’t just coming into her powers, she’s not a teen just entering adulthood. She’s been there, done that, and done something incredible to get knighted – and we don’t know (yet) what those things are. So, no, given the little hints we’ve already had about how much Toby’s friends care for her and what she’s done in the past, I am not surprised that both Tybalt and Lily hold her in high regard.

3. Now for the final reveal! Devin ‘fesses up, and Dare is killed defending Toby… Was any of this finale what you’d expected? What do you make of Devin’s reasons for killing Evening?

OK, so while I was hoping Devin would turn out to be a bad guy so that we could at least get him out of Toby’s bed, I expected him to be someone’s minion and not the mastermind. Still, it was satisfying to see Toby figure it out and then decide to do the hard thing and take him out. No Court of Fairie for him!

I think we’ve all seen those movies where someone is really fearful of growing old and dying so they will do anything to prolong their life – even stories like the Fountain of Youth. So, when I think of how long Changelings last and how much longer they have to think about their demise, well, I can see how a self-centered prick like Devin would want desperately to get his hands on the Hope Chest and have some control over his ultimate destiny.

4. The hope chest is given over to the Queen at the end of the story. In light of what we’ve seen of her and the potential power that the hope chest has (regardless of what it does), do you think this was the right thing for Toby to do?

Well, I don’t think she had much choice. Too many knew she had it and the Queen could order or strong arm just about anyone into giving it to her. While I don’t like the idea of her having the Hope Chest because she doesn’t come off as the most stable person, I am sure she has many, many other powerful items in her keeping. This might simply be one more drop to the lake of power she already has.

Other Tidbits:

Mmmm…. Blood Tea!  Not so yummy as one might think.

I really felt for Julie, tho I didn’t like her blaming Toby. It’s like all those years of friendship went right out the window. But I have to consider her nature, that of both fae and cat. When I consider that, I can’t see Julie reacting any other way.

 

Info on the Read Along

You can catch the weekly questions and links to folks’ weekly posts over at our GoodReads group SF/F Read Alongs. We’re gearing up for a read along of Book 2! 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.

Kushiel’s Scion Part IV

Elderly Waffles has no idea whats going on.

Elderly Waffles has no idea whats going on.

The Terre D’Ange Cycle by Jacqueline Carey (of which Kushiel’s Scion is Book 1 of the second  trilogy) is one of my all time favorite series. The read along continues! Everyone is welcome to join in. Here is the SCHEDULE for the read along.

This week, Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow is our host. We’re covering the Chapters 28-36, so be prepared for spoilers below! Sorry for getting this up late – was in hospital for pneumonia for nearly a week.

1. The aftermath of Imriel’s night at Valerian House takes a bit of a dark emotional turn… What did you think of what happens between him and Phedre? Did it surprise you at all?

I think Carey did a little foreshadowing about this when Mavros and Roshana came for their summer visit to Montreve. Imri is Kushiel’s Scion (tho he doesn’t really grasp that yet) and Phedre is Kushiel’s Chosen. They aren’t blood related. She’s likes a good whipping and he has these dark desires to whip someone for sexual pleasure that he’s still wrestling with. I think sooner or later this had to be acknowledged between them and it couldn’t really be acknowledged until Imri had had an experience such as he did at Valerian House.

Of course, Phedre loves him first and foremost as a son and nothing is ever going to come of it. I do think it took some thinking for Imri to realize that, but once he did, things were well between him and Phedre again.

2. We go from this scene to Imriel’s decision to leave Terre D’Ange and visit Tiberium, and he doesn’t waste much time arranging the trip – though he does make time to say some goodbyes, and to confront Barquiel L’Envers. Any thoughts about this encounter – or his meeting with Sidonie?

Barquiel makes me laugh once again – ‘I like your hair’ (totally paraphrasing). Everything is a kind of chess game with Barquiel. I think he has more respect for Imri now that Imri thwarted (mostly) his attempt to smear his name with treason and also got his fired (albeit quietly). Imri didn’t give into to a young man’s fury to demand a duel either.

So no sex as a goodbye for him and Sidonie. So sad. But maybe for the best. While young men often have stamina, they lack finesse. Besides, if they had entangled their limbs, it would have had to be a quickie due to the guards starting to wonder what was up. Also, I doubt Imriel would have been so quick to jump into bed with Claudia in Tiberium if he had recently bedded Sidonie. As it was, it was a tangle of complicated emotions for both of them.

3. Next stop is Tiberium, and Imriel quickly catches up with Eamonn! What do you think of the University setting, and Eamonn’s taste for studying philosophy? Do you think it will help Imri in any way?

The University setting is wonderfully eccentric and full of conflicting notions on how to teaching and just what teaching is. I don’t have to like every aspect of it to like the setting.

Eamonn picked a most interesting teacher and I think it is a good choice. He teaches his students to think, not simply what to think. I like that the teacher doesn’t have all the answers and he knows it.

Already, I think the entire experience is helping Imri. He’s experiencing life without everyone knowing who he is and without having to search for double meanings in every conversation. I think the teacher’s lectures and group conversations are already showing Imri how to think in new directions.

4. An old mystery deepens as Imriel searches for information on Anafiel Delaunay – and appears to find more than he bargained for… What did you make of Claudia Fulvia?

Claudia definitely enjoyed the romp, no doubt about that. Imri was a bit of a fool to so easily let his guard down and I am sure he will beat himself up about that more later.

I honestly don’t recall how much Claudia knows about covertcy or about Delaunay. Obviously, she knew just how to disarm and relax Imriel, but I don’t think that would take too much talent in these circumstances. Of course, now we have to always ask ourselves how much is she lying or withholding from Imriel.

Other Tidbts:

Imriel’s name means the Eloquence of God, according to Phedre, which I think is quite beautiful.

I liked that Joscelin was solid and understanding about Imriel’s need to go off to college. I was a bit surprised that Ysandre didn’t send a few men at arms (even in disguise) to watch over him.

What I wouldn’t give for a good garum!

I was surprised that the inns and ale houses/wine shops serve little to no food and that walking the street is your best way to find dinner.

Brigitta seems very proud of her heritage (nothing wrong with that) but she’s a bit prickly when it comes to others being proud of their heritage and also of how events fell out a generation ago.

Cannis and his beggar’s wisdom.

And here is the current list of participators:
Allie at Tethyan Books
Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow
Lynn at Lynn’s Book Blog
Emily at Emma Wolf
Susan (me) at Dab of Darkness

We also have a Goodreads Group started for SF/F Read Alongs in general, and there is a specific folder for this read along. You are welcome to follow the fun there as well. If you want to be on the weekly email, just leave me a comment or shoot me an email with KUSHIEL’S SCION in the subject (nrlymrtl@gmail.com).

Rosemary and Rue Part III

rosemary_and_rue_read_along McGuireWelcome everyone to the read along of Seanan McGuire’s Rosemary and Rue, Book 1 in the October Daye series. Anyone is welcome to join us! Check out the info at the end of the post.

This week’s host is Anya at On Starships and Dragonwings. We’re covering chapters 15-20 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. We finally get to meet Lily in person! What do you think? Does she live up to the buildup in the first part of the book? We also meet Julie for the first time. Does it surprise you that Toby seems to have more friends than she lets on?

So first, I was totally off in one of my answers last week – about the pond holding magical healing powers for Toby.

Lily seems to have all the common sense that Toby lacks. But she also has a much longer view and I think her powers are confined to this particular garden. I am unsure if Lily ever leaves the garden. There’s still a fair amount of mystery to her, but yes, I feel she lives up to the buildup. I look forward to learning more abut her.

Julie and Toby seem like great friends, practically finishing each other’s sentences kind of friends. After seeing how Toby has all these other friends that she has not bothered to contact since her return from the pond, I was not surprised to see she had yet one more. Let me just say that Mary Robinette Kowal does this great near-pur voice for Julie in the audiobook.

2. Tybalt to the rescue! Do you buy his excuse for why he chose to save Toby’s life? Ulterior motives much?

In part, it makes sense. He could always get out of it by presenting the chest to her corpse and then someone else would be free to pick it up. The letter of the promise is maintained. However, it looks like ties to Tybalt are more complex than we know. Toby is great friends with one of his nieces? distant  offspring? And I suspect there may be agreements between the Court of Cats and Sylvester’s court. Plus, I think Tybalt genuinely likes Toby and may have been flattered by her trust in him when she entrusted him with chest.

3. Toby gets together with Devin in this section. Their relationship is a bit fraught, what do you think? Is it good she is relying on Devin or do you think it is unhealthy?

I think it is unhealthy but not sure it goes any deeper than that. Devin has served a purpose in the gran scheme of Changelings and Fae life for perhaps centuries, right? How long do Changelings live again? So, it might only be a few hundred years, but still, he has become this useful place for unwanted Changelings to go. I don’t like him or how he treats the kids, but Toby makes some strong arguments about how everyone has to choose when to grow up and show some spine to Devin before they’re ready to move on with their lives.

Still, it all smacks of co-dependence. Devin likes the power and Toby likes the attention.

4. That freaking doppleganger! Did you suspect Gillian was fake? Do you think Toby should try to get to know Gillian now that she is older?

Yes, I suspected Gillian was something with malevolent intentions right off the bat. It was too coincidental that Toby’s daughter would pop on by at this moment. I didn’t know if it was a strong glamour or perhaps a possession of the real Gillian. I had not thought of a doppleganger.

Yes, I think Toby is ready to take that tough step. Through all this misadventure, she’s reconnecting with all her fae friends and it’s not as painful (in most cases) as she thought it would be. It would be tough if her daughter rejected her, but that might only be her initial reaction. Toby can’t know unless she reaches out to her.

5. Finally, we only have a few chapters left, any idea how everything is going to shake out? Ideas on who is behind it all yet?

Well, I don’t particularly like Devin, but that doesn’t mean he’s evil, just a jerk on a power trip. Is it wrong to hope it’s him and that he is soundly vanquished at the end of the book? But then there’s Connor’s wife (Luna’s daughter) Ralin or Raslin or some such. She’s not firing on all cylinders so while she might be part of it, she wouldn’t be the master mind. I trust Sylvester and Lily and mostly Tybalt.

I fully expect Toby to end up with a few more scars before this is over.

Other Tidbits:

If I ever get shot with a cold iron bullet, I want some sexytimes healing!

Devin’s kids who are sent to guard Toby seem like a fun pair. I think we met them last week. I am hoping Toby can help them see they don’t have to be dependent on Devin.

Do you think the doppleganger had to meet Gillian in order to look like her, or would a picture suffice? Should I be worried for Gillian’s safety?

 

Info on the Read Along

Here’s the schedule:

Week 1: Saturday 9th January, Chapters 1-6, hosted by Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow
Week 2: Saturday 16th January, Chapters 7-14, hosted by Lynn at Lynn’s Books
Week 3: Saturday 23rd January, Chapters 15-20, hosted by Anya at On Starships and Dragonwings
Week 4: Saturday 30th January, Chapters 21-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.

Kushiel’s Scion Part III

Elderly Waffles has no idea whats going on.

Elderly Waffles has no idea whats going on.

The Terre D’Ange Cycle by Jacqueline Carey (of which Kushiel’s Scion is Book 1 of the second  trilogy) is one of my all time favorite series. The read along continues! Everyone is welcome to join in. Here is the SCHEDULE for the read along.

This week, Emily at Emma Wolf is our host. We’re covering the Chapters 20-27, so be prepared for spoilers below! Sorry for getting this up late – was in hospital for pneumonia for nearly a week.

1) Maslin says that Imriel’s gift of Lombelon made the estate small by so easily discarding it. Eamonn says it was Maslin that made it small. Who do you think is right?

Eamonn’s right about this one. I can see how Imriel’s actions might have given that initial punch to the gut ‘oh my! this is a small gesture to him’ feeling. But Maslin had months (years?) to decide that Lombelon was too small for him and he could have decided otherwise. Still, he is a young man and probably feels he has much to prove. His dad was an excellent swordsman, once a hero of the realm, and then a betrayer of the realm who saved the kingdom despite that. So, yeah, I can see how Maslin felt that living a quiet life managing a pear orchard while sipping pear brandy was too small a life for him.

2) What do you think of Imriel’s oath to Sidonie? Do you believe him? Would you believe him were you in Sidonie’s position? When he makes this oath, Imriel is still fairly young and doesn’t have a lot of experience in politics. Do you think there’s anything that could change his mind?

I think it was made from the heart and on the spur of the moment. It was genuine and Imriel didn’t really have to think about it because he honestly has no intentions to be lord of anything, let alone wear a crown.

I think if I was Sidonie, it would be difficult to accept the oath had I not known Imriel for years at this point. Alise speaks his praises and he’s shown no court ambition whatsoever and rarely comes to court and even then, has to be ordered to by someone of authority half the time anyway.

I think Sidonie would have to turn into quite the monster for Imriel to even consider going back on his oath and that is just really unlikely. Plus, if she did, I think her mom would paddle her ass in front of the entire court.

3) Things change between them during a hunt. What do you think?

They each got to see the other with their court masks down, briefly, and I think that is why they connected. Also, Imri then got his own hands  dirty sewing up Alise’s dog Celeste. Of course that couldn’t fail to touch Sidonie’s heart. I like that Imriel asks Sidonie (much later at the Longest Night?) if they will talk about it. I think, at this point, that Imri is much more willing to acknowledge his emotions on any subject than Sidonie is.

4) Imriel becomes the unwilling target or subject of potentially a treasonous plot. What do you think of Bertran’s reaction? Of Ysandre’s reaction and advice to Imriel?

That was pretty rude of Bertran, especially how he changed some of the facts around when he reported the incident. I think it also shows that perhaps all along he felt that Imriel was fine for drinking and dicing with but that he would never trust him in a position of power.

Unfortunately, Ysandre is right. Barquiel is best handled quietly in house if Imri wants any justice. Barquiel would never admit in public he had a hand in it and trying to force him t do so would probably lead to a duel that Imri would lose, and perhaps lose badly. I am very glad that Ysandre acknowledged how fucked up it all is while also laying out the options and explaining why she strongly recommended the path she did.

Besides, knowing Ysandre, Barquiel probably got a severe tongue lashing in her cold, calculating way, and perhaps some other punishments were laid upon him that Imriel will never hear about.

5) What do you think of Talorcan and Dorelei and the idea of the betrothals?

So far, we know little of them. Drustan, of course, speaks highly of them and I don’t think he would do that just to hurry some betrothals along. As he and Ysandre have said, it’s still up to the kids involved and they won’t force them into it.

I don’t think Alise would mind living in Alba, at least part of the year, and Talorcan seems to be a gentleman, not pushing Alise. But we’ve seen very little of him, so hard to say. If both Alise and Imriel marry Alban royalty, that could solve a lot of political issues, placating the masses of nobles.

6) Mavros takes Imriel to Valerian House and forces him to confront…less vanilla sex, if nothing else, and Imriel eventually gives in. What do you think of this? Was Mavros too pushy? Why did Imriel give Sephira her own signale?

Overall, I think it was a needful and insightful experience for Imriel. I don’t think Mavros was too pushy. After all, he kept telling Imriel he didn’t have to do anything, that everyone abided by Elua’s sacred rules of consent, and love and mutual pleasure was at the core of things. I think Imriel needed to see it before he believed it.

I’m glad that he had such a chat with Sephira and that she was honest with him about why she desired him and how she desired him. At the end, I think Imriel gave the only signale he knew (Sephira’s sunshine) because he needed to be done so that he could have time to process him own emotions. It was a lot of break throughs for him in a short period of time.

Other Tidbts:

I liked Phedre’s comment that she was happy as a teen, but that she was also vain and a silly thing.

I love that Phedre’s household went as Skaldi deities. It shows that old wounds can be set aside, if not healed yet.

It’s very sweet how much Imri misses his Eamonn, who gets to go off to college.

And here is the current list of participators:
Allie at Tethyan Books
Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow
Lynn at Lynn’s Book Blog
Emily at Emma Wolf
Susan (me) at Dab of Darkness

We also have a Goodreads Group started for SF/F Read Alongs in general, and there is a specific folder for this read along. You are welcome to follow the fun there as well. If you want to be on the weekly email, just leave me a comment or shoot me an email with KUSHIEL’S SCION in the subject (nrlymrtl@gmail.com).

Rosemary and Rue Part II

rosemary_and_rue_read_along McGuireWelcome everyone to the read along of Seanan McGuire’s Rosemary and Rue, Book 1 in the October Daye series. Anyone is welcome to join us! Check out the info at the end of the post.

This week’s host is Lynn at Lynn’s Books. We’re covering chapters 7-14 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. We finally get to meet Devin and Sylvester. They’ve both played important roles in Toby’s life. What were your initial impressions of both of them and the worlds in which they live. What were your first thoughts about them?

Devin comes off as a bit slimy. He has his rules and, so far, seems to hold to them. He fills a void for those unwanted or wandering misfits. Toby has some fondness for him still, so he can’t be all bad. Still, I think of him as a bad, unhealthy habit that can still give a little sugar rush upon first consumption.

Sylvester rules with a light touch. I like him far better. He has genuine affection for Toby and I really do wish she had gone to him sooner. Still, I think I understand why she didn’t – she doesn’t feel worthy for some reason.

2. I’m totally intrigued by the Hope Chest – do you have any ideas about what exactly it is and what might be the significance of it being found?

Well, I don’t have any solid ideas, but I have to assume that the name – Hope Chest – has some significance. Does it hold the hopes of Evening or the hopes of whoever holds it?  Does it make those hopes come true? Or does it twist them? So far, everything to do with the fae has had some price. Everything is a trade. So I am guessing this Hope Chest exacts some price on the user or bearer.

So far, both Toby and Tybalt seem quite surprised at its very existence and yet they both know what it is. Toby, we know, hasn’t been alive all that long compared to many of the fae we have met. Not sure how old Tybalt is, but probably at least 100, but maybe 400 or more. So, that probably means that tales of Hope Chests feature in fae lore and bedtime stories and yet I don’t know the real significance of it yet.

3. Tybalt – I was curious as to Toby’s reasoning to trust him with the Hope Chest – what do you think?

Even if you are on the outs with someone, if you understand their nature and know that they will hold to their word, then you can make use of them. So, I agree with Toby’s reasoning here. It will make the Hope Chest far harder to find.

However, everyone has that price at which they will trade away their promise. I wonder if Tybalt will be pressed or tempted to do so at some point.

4. We experience the reaction of other members of the fae to the murder of Evening and Toby telling them about the Queen’s reactions – did their reactions give you any clues at all??

I think Sylvester’s and Luna’s reactions were closest to what Toby was expecting – that sense of true loss and worry over the murder of such a powerful and long-lived fae. Raysel is not firing on all cylinders so I am not sure yet if her laughing outburst means anything. Sylvester or Luna (I forget which) told Toby she would be wise to stay away from the Queen and to not trust her. I think that was rather self-evident to Toby, but it’s good to hear from another source. And perhaps Sylvester and Luna have reasons of their own for not trusting the Queen.

5. What were your thoughts on Raysel and Luna?

I’m really very curious as to what Raysel and Luna underwent for 12 years. I think it is significant they went missing at the same time as Toby. Obviously, Luna weathered it better. Perhaps that is because she has Sylvester to confide in. Perhaps it is because she underwent less. Raysel has gone off her rocker and I hope she can confide in someone and get back to good. However, I expect we shall see a tragic ending for her.

6. That ending, did we just end up back in the first post? – what is going on? Speculation?? Lets just talk about it please.

Ah yes, being ambushed by a freaking red cap! I did like how Toby rattled him around the back seat before trying to flee on foot. She’s badly injured but I suspect that particular pond holds some healing powers for her now. I am not sure if she will change into a fish and then be healed, or be healed in her natural form and wake up cold and damp on the pond’s edge in a few hours. Perhaps she now has this special power to change into a koi fish in any body of fresh water and heal herself and this is how she will discover that ability.

Other Tidbits:

Sounds like Toby’s old beau at Sylvester’s court may still hold a little flame for her. Still, when Toby described him as a surfer, I can’t help but think of all the bad surfer comedies and it’s hard for me to take him seriously.

Luna’s rose garden sounds awesome and creepy at the same time. It kind of reminded me a bit of this rooftop garden from Scott Lynch’s series The Gentlemen Bastards, a place where Jean learned to fight – and his balance and of limb placement were greatly improved by the blood drinking plants.

I liked how Tybalt helped Toby make it through sunrise. Like a cold splash of water there!

Info on the Read Along

Here’s the schedule:

Week 1: Saturday 9th January, Chapters 1-6, hosted by Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow
Week 2: Saturday 16th January, Chapters 7-14, hosted by Lynn at Lynn’s Books
Week 3: Saturday 23rd January, Chapters 15-20, hosted by Anya at On Starships and Dragonwings
Week 4: Saturday 30th January, Chapters 21-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.