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?

I guess I’m of two minds about this. Keeping Phédre unaware of his identity helps to prevent her from slipping any information, but I don’t think he had to keep her totally in the dark about what he was up to. I don’t see why Alcuin could be privy to some information but Phédre not learn the same. It gave me the impression that Delaunay does not fully trust them, especially Phédre.

Delaunay, Alcuin, and the entire household are murdered. Do you think it’s significant that this murder takes place when Phédre has gained enough to complete her marque — that her guardian dies at the moment when she’s able to gain freedom from Naamah’s service, if she wants it?

I do. I was actually surprised at the murders. From how the story is narrated, I got the impression that Delaunay does not survive to the present that Phédre is writing from, but I thought his death was a long way off, so this part totally surprised me. Before reading about the murder, I wondered how Phédre would handle her new freedom (marque completed) and how this freedom would affect her relationship with Delaunay because we saw her testing Delaunay’s restraint on her in the previous chapters and him threatening to sell her bond, so what would have happened if Delaunay hadn’t died? How would he have controlled her then?

Delaunay’s death is obviously a turning point in the story; it makes me wonder who or what Phédre is becoming. Will she become a master of spies like Delaunay or cold, cunning, and conniving like Melisande, or something in between?

Do you think Phédre will be able to have her marque completed? Do you have any predictions of how her unfinished marque might affect her in the future?

This really worries me because I’m concerned about Phédre’s freedom from Naamah’s service. (Although I wonder that since she is god-touched with Kushiel’s dart, does that mean she’ll never escape Naamah’s service even if she gains her marque?) I don’t have any predictions about how the incomplete marque may affect her, but I do worry that no one will believe that her marque is complete since there’s no evidence of that.

Is it just me, or are you also curious about this strong, compulsive attraction Phédre has to Melisande to the point where she can’t even think straight sometimes? What are your thoughts on this? Do you think Melisande is as drawn to Phédre, or is she simply fascinated by Phédre being an anguissette and what Phédre’s limits are?

OMG! This bugs me so much because I don’t understand why Phédre is so attracted to Melisande. The idea cooking up in the back of my mind is that it has something to do with their connection to Kushiel: Phédre the dart and Melisande from the line. Maybe that makes them like magnets — drawn together.

However, I don’t think Melisande is feeling Phédre as much as Phédre is feeling her. I think Melisande is only interested in Phédre’s boundaries, pain tolerance, and loves toying with Phédre’s strong attraction to her. 😦 I hope this attraction is explained at some point.

We get to meet the Skaldi! What were your initial thoughts when Phédre and Joscelin were handed over to them? Were you disappointed that Phédre did not try to fight like Joscelin did or aid him? Were you frustrated by her seeming to surrender or impressed by her quick assessment of the situation or didn’t care and wanted to the story to take a different route?

I was a little disappointed, yes. I wanted her to show some resistance. I didn’t think of her as a traitor to her people, I just didn’t want her to go so quietly. As her narration progressed and she shared her reasons for her actions, I slowly began to appreciate her quick assessment of the situation, but I was initially frustrated.

As their enslavement under the Skaldi persists, both Phédre and Joscelin seem to gain a greater understanding of the sacrifices their representative angels made. What do you think about the roles Phédre and Joscelin have to play in comparison to the acts of the angels they worship?

I find this very interesting to the point where I began to wonder if maybe the two are in some ways physical representations (avatars?) for their respective angels. It makes me wonder to what extent do the gods in this world try to affect people’s lives (I’m still not yet convinced that Kushiel is actively working in Phédre’s life). Also, it shows how committed Phédre and Joscelin are to their beliefs.

We’ve now gotten a couple scenes that show Joscelin’s badassery as a sword-dagger-wielding Casseline brother dude. Are you convinced of his abilities as a fighter? He’s also had to loosen his hold on some of his oaths to remain by Phédre’s side. How do you think that will affect him?

Yes! I’m excited and very convinced that Josce is not one to willingly take on in a fight. Oh man! I need more fight scenes! And I look forward to see what becomes of him. I am worried about how him loosening up will affect who he is. He came across as very stiff when we first met him. I’m hoping that he becomes more chill and not totally immoral or something. I also wonder if him loosening up on those oaths will make him more likely to give in to his attraction to Phédre because I’m convinced that the two are attracted to each other.

What do you think of Selig? Were you impressed?

I wasn’t impressed, but it made me wary and a teensy bit scared for Phédre and Josce because Selig is obviously not one to mess around with. He’s obviously very smart and cunning, so I wonder if his invasion will succeed. I predict it will or come very, very close.

That’s it for this bit.

Unfortunately, I’m short on time to really go in on my answers here or dig into other thoughts.


WHAT I’M CURRENTLY READING:

WHAT ARE YOU READING THIS WEEKEND?

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.

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

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?

Continue reading “Kushiel’s Dart Readalong, Ch. 1-16”

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. 🙂

Continue reading “Weekend Reads #104: Goblin Emperor Readalong, Ch. 27-end”

“Wyrd Sisters” by Terry Pratchett

I managed to read another Terry Pratchett book and guess what?? I enjoyed it too! 😊

I read it for a Turtle Recall group read, which I was happy for because it motivated me to get started on this yearlong Discworld readathon. I was hoping to wrap up the Witches subseries of the Discworld books in May, but that didn’t happen so I might do so next month. Who knows? Anyway, my thoughts on Wyrd Sisters

Genre:

Fantasy, humor

Series:

Discworld, book 6
Witches, book 2

Pubbed:

1988

Quick summary:

“You’d have to be born a fool to be a king,” said Granny Weatherwax

Continue reading ““Wyrd Sisters” by Terry Pratchett”

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.)

Continue reading “Weekend Reads #103: Goblin Emperor Readalong, Ch. 18-26”

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”

Six Degrees of Fantasy Separation: Lord of the Rings to the Oddling Prince

After seeing Imyril’s Six Degrees of Separation post for Wyrd & Wonder (inspired by Kate’s meme over on Books Are My Favourite and Best), I decided to give it a go too although I felt daunted by the task because I never remember details about books for posts like this. I always draw a blank. (How will I connect one book to another?)

Well, I don’t know if I did it right, but here’s my attempt at it. I pulled up the virtual version of my bookshelves and set it to the fantasy books to help me out.

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

Continue reading “Six Degrees of Fantasy Separation: Lord of the Rings to the Oddling Prince”

Weekend Reads #102: Goblin Emperor Readalong, Ch. 1-9

My plan was to use Weekend Reads for my bookshelf tour BUT I’m participating in the Wyrd & Wonder readalong for The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison and am enjoying the book too much to not answer the readalong questions for the chapters, so… Weekend Reads will be used for that instead. 😀

So far, The Goblin Emperor is a fantasy book that seems to be about a young man who suddenly, and unexpectedly, becomes emperor of his realm. I get the impression that the story will be only about political intrigues and that this world is filled with only goblins and elves since only those two types are mentioned in the first 9 chapters.

Well, then, now for Lisa’s questions — 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.

These questions and answers 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 1-9:

The first thing that struck me about this book is the formality in the way the characters speak. What do you think of this style? Do you enjoy it?

Continue reading “Weekend Reads #102: Goblin Emperor Readalong, Ch. 1-9”

Book Tag Week: Dragon Book Tag

Guess what I’m posting today?

Yep, it’s another post for BOOK TAG WEEK and since this is Wyrd & Wonder month, it will be fantasy-themed (no guarantee that all answers will be fantasy-related).

Today I’m doing the Dragon Book Tag created by booktuber the Dragon Queen’s Lair. Some of the categories have two questions, but I only did the first ones in the set. Anyway, to the tag!!

Uncle Iroh a.k.a. Dragon of the West

Amphiptere: a book that was too much for one story and should have picked one topic

Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman

Continue reading “Book Tag Week: Dragon Book Tag”