Weekend Reads #110: Kushiel’s Dart Readalong, Ch. 80 to the end

Weekend Reads is a weekly post in which I discuss a variety of topics and mention the books I plan to read on the weekend. However, for this post I’ll instead discuss the final chapters of Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey. SPOILERS below.

Here we are at the end of this group read for Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey. It was hosted by Imyril of the Wyrd & Wonder crew. However, each week, a different blogger would post discussion questions for participants to answer. For this week (the final week of the readalong), Lisa at Dear Geek Place is our host. Check out my thoughts on chapters 80 to the end below!

Phèdre risks everything yet again on a chance to finish what she started, and keep her word to Ysandre. Joscelin does the same trying to thwart Selig, if not stop him. What were your thoughts about their last confrontation with the Skaldi warlord, and what it means for their relationship?

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Weekend Reads #109: Kushiel’s Dart Readalong, Ch. 32-47

Weekend Reads is a weekly post in which I discuss a variety of topics and mention the books I plan to read on the weekend.

But for this post, I’ll share my thoughts on chapters 32-47 of Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey. Imyril of the Wyrd & Wonder crew is hosting a month-long readalong for this fantasy novel. Each week, a different blogger posts discussion questions for participants to answer. For this week (the third week of the readalong), I AM THE HOST!! 😀 😀 It’s my first time doing this, so I went a little overboard on the amount of questions, I think, lol 😊. Well, check out my thoughts on this week’s chapters below!

Btw, if you’d like to join in the readalong, you can check out the links above or visit the Goodreads group for the reading schedule or to share your thoughts on the book.

(Oh, and SPOILERS!! Totally forgot to warn about that to those who haven’t read the book.)

Do you think Delaunay was right to keep Phédre unaware of his identity, motivations, and true intentions to prevent such slips on her assignments?

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Weekend Reads #108: Kushiel’s Dart Readalong, Ch. 17-31

Weekend Reads is a weekly post in which I discuss a variety of topics and mention the books I plan to read on the weekend.

But for this post, I’ll share my thoughts on chapters 17-31 of Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey. Imyril of the Wyrd & Wonder crew is hosting a month-long readalong for this fantasy novel. Each week, a different blogger posts discussion questions for participants to answer. For this week (the second week of the readalong), Susan from Dab of Darkness is our host. Check out my thoughts on these chapters below!

Btw, if you’d like to join in the readalong, you can check out the links above or visit the Goodreads group for the reading schedule or to share your thoughts on the book.

We get a few more hints of magic or the supernatural in this section. Phédre sees Kushiel’s visage after Alcuin is injured; Hyacinthe’s mom & he himself both have things revealed via the dromonde; that moment of deep peace at Elua’s statue. What do you think of magic in this world?

The magic is definitely prickling my curiosity more and more. At first, I didn’t think there was anything special about Phédre having Kushiel’s dart. Characters kept saying she’s special because of it, but I didn’t see how. In these chapters, I think we begin to get hints that she is indeed “god touched” or something. I do wonder what it means when her eye is blotted red and she sees Kushiel. I wonder if it’s something that actually happens to her or if it’s figurative.

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Kushiel’s Dart Readalong, Ch. 1-16

Gah! I’m so late with this post. Life got busy for a minute there, but guess what?? I’m participating in a group readalong for Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey. I’m very excited for this because it’s a book that’s been on my shelves for quite some time that I often hear great things about and have wanted to read but, of course, didn’t get around to it until now.

The readalong is hosted by Imyril of the Wyrd & Wonder crew, but each week someone new will pop in to host discussions. We’re now halfway through the second week, but here are my responses to the first week discussion, which was hosted by Imyril at There’s Always Room for One More.

If you’d like to join in the readalong, you can check out the links above or visit the Goodreads group for the reading schedule or to share your thoughts on the book.

You know it’s an epic fantasy when it starts with not only a map but a list of Dramatis Personae. How do you feel about this approach to beginning a new story? Do you read the character list or use it for reference along the way?

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Weekend Reads #107: Anger

You ever feel so angry and frustrated that it’s as if the emotions are choking you? That’s how I feel. Angry, frustrated, exhausted, and powerless.

Since the beginning of this year, I’ve tried to stay on top of news and politics, but the more updates I consume, the more angry and frustrated I get. I mean… yo! Jacob Blake was shot 7 TIMES!! in his back. By the police. In front of his kids! While walking toward his SUV after trying to break up a fight. What??!!

And a White kid was going around the same area (Kenosha, Wis.) toting a big-ass gun and shooting protesters; he was able to walk by the police with his gun and go home WITHOUT getting shot by the police… or stopped by them. Apparently, he got a bottle of water from them.

This is fucking crazy world. A crazy country.

I won’t even mention what’s going on in politics regarding the antics and some of the shit said at the RNC. I just…

UGH!!!

Weekend Reads #106: On the Assumption That White Means Universal

There is an assumption in publishing (and in Hollywood, actually) that books by Black authors aren’t universal, that they won’t appeal to a wide (White) audience. I recently read two articles that touch on this topic (one on LitHub and another on Tor.com) and they reminded me of a blog post by notable sci-fi author N.K. Jemisin that I read a couple years ago on why she doesn’t want her books to be placed in the African American section of bookstores and libraries. I reread Jemisin’s blog post this morning and although it was published a decade ago, back in March 2010, it still applies today.

These days, the African American section of bookstores I visit contain sociology books and history books that pertain to Black experiences in America. No longer (it seems) is that section an amalgamation of books by Black authors no matter the genre or whether or not they are fiction or nonfiction; no longer (it seems) is it a place where all books written by Black authors are dumped. But despite this improvement, publishing still has a problem with how it promotes books by Black authors.

To me, it’s recently, within the past year or so, that publishing increased its promotion of books by Black authors somewhat. I may be wrong on the timeframe, but up until then, whenever I saw a recently published novel by a Black author, they were often pushed toward Black audiences only, unlike books by White authors that were promoted to everyone, regardless of race, because of their “wide” appeal.

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Weekend Reads #105: Black Lives Matter

Weekend Reads is a weekly post in which I discuss a variety of topics and mention the books I plan to read on the weekend.

I don’t have a discussion post this week. This is just a quick chit-chat because I can hardly think straight right now. There’s so much going on at the moment. So many people are upset and in uproar. I’ve been having conversations about the current political and social climate all week that by end of the day on Thursday, my mind was so wrung out that I couldn’t think straight much less contribute well during a virtual work meeting.

Despite the corona pandemic, as a Black person, I’m happy to be alive at this time. Yes, it is a traumatic time. Yes, I’ve been anxious, depressed, confused, and angry just about everyday, but I am happy to be alive at this time to witness the movements and pushes for change to better Black lives and to see the urge for this change and support for it spread around the world, to see other nations stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

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Weekend Reads #104: Goblin Emperor Readalong, Ch. 27-end

🙂 / 😥 I don’t know how to feel. This is my last (for now) Wyrd & Wonder readalong post for the Weekend Reads series.

I’m so… I don’t know. I finished the book and I love it so much because Maia is one of my favorite, all-time characters. The Goblin Emperor was a great book, and I’m glad it was selected for the Wyrd & Wonder readalong, but I’m sad the readalong and the book has ended. The Goblin Emperor is a standalone novel (a unicorn in fantasy publishing, lol!), and it made me realize even more that I prefer series, although I never complete them. I want more Maia! 😥

Well, here are Lisa’s questions (and my answers) on the latest chapters. Lisa, from Dear Geek Place, is the moderator for the readalong on Goodreads and is a co-host of the Wyrd & Wonder fantasy celebration event.

Goblin Emperor Readalong Questions for Chapters 27-the end:
Now that I’m at the end, I realize that I kept forgetting to warn about spoilers. Well, better late than never, I guess, SPOILERS!!
Let’s start with Maia’s grandfather! What do you think of the Avar, and his budding relationship with Maia?

He was a delight. I was expecting something else from him. I was expecting someone seeking to use the opportunity (discarded grandson suddenly an emperor) for self-serving reasons, probably to gain a hold on the elf kingdom. I was expecting him to be mean… Basically I was expecting him to be like Maia’s late father, but I love how the Avar is. 🙂

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Weekend Reads #103: Goblin Emperor Readalong, Ch. 18-26

Weekend Reads is back with another Wyrd & Wonder readalong discussion for Katherine Addison’s The Goblin Emperor.

Y’all, I love this book so much and it’s all because of Maia. I think it will be one of my favorites of the year, which is saying something because I have no idea who’s who, the names confuse me, and I have no idea how anything outside or inside the palace looks. I’m just going along with Maia here. And I think this may be the first that I read a book and love it although I don’t have strong images in my mind of what things or people look like.

Anyway, here are Lisa’s questions (and my answers) on the latest chapters. Lisa, from Dear Geek Place, is the moderator for the readalong on Goodreads and is a co-host of the Wyrd & Wonder fantasy celebration event.

Goblin Emperor Readalong Questions for Chapters 18-26:
These chapters open with a very candid, yet significantly warmer than most, conversation between Maia and Arbelan, and from there things begin to change as Maia learns to act with more confidence. Do you think Arbelan’s kinder treatment of him is what sparks this, and if so, how much of an impact do you think it had?

I don’t think Arbelan’s kinder treatment is the cause of the change in Maia. I think it’s simply that he’s getting used to the court and his position. He has grown since his arrival at court, since becoming emperor, and it’s showing now in how he navigates people and situations and especially as he slowly gains confidence in himself. (I can’t believe it’s only been a little over a month since he became emperor. I keep thinking months have gone by because of all Maia’s dealing with.)

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Weekend Reads #103: Goblin Emperor Readalong, Ch. 10-17

Weekend Reads is back with another Wyrd & Wonder readalong discussion for Katherine Addison’s The Goblin Emperor.

I’m still enjoying the book, still can’t pronounce any of the names and mostly skip over them, and still suspicious of everyone in it and am looking forward to what happens next.

Here are Lisa’s questions (and my answers) on the latest chapters. Lisa, from Dear Geek Place, is the moderator for the readalong on Goodreads and is a co-host of the Wyrd & Wonder fantasy celebration event.

The questions and answers below will most likely contain SPOILERS so if you’re interested in what else I’m currently reading, skip to that section below.

Goblin Emperor Readalong Questions for Chapters 10-17:

So many verbal encounters. So much political muck! Let’s start with Princess Sheveän, who seemed so very outraged at the idea of the late emperor’s body being ‘desecrated.’ Do you buy that as her reasoning? Or do you think she was making a scene for another reason?

Continue reading “Weekend Reads #103: Goblin Emperor Readalong, Ch. 10-17”