Late Eclipses (#4 Toby Daye) by Seanan McGuire, readalong week 3

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Late Eclipses is the fourth installment of the highly praised Toby Daye series and I can seriously say I’m firmly hooked on this series now!

Today is week three of our readalong of  Late Eclipses (October Daye #4) ) by Seanan McGuire) arranged by Lisa from Over the Effing Rainbow.  This week Lisa is hosting the  Q&A which is a slight change to the schedule.  I’ve been out of the country so my post is a little late – for which apologies.

The details are over here on Goodreads – the schedule is below.  If you want to join in or jump in with the comments then please do so.  Without further ado here are the questions and answers with a customary word of warning that spoilers will be lurking below:

Week 1: Saturday 2nd July, Chapters 1 to 9, hosted by Over the Effing Rainbow
Week 2: Saturday 9th July, Chapters 10 to 18, hosted by Lynn’s Book Blog
Week 3: Saturday 16th July, Chapters 19 to 27, hosted by Books By Proxy
Week 4: Saturday 23rd July, Chapters 28 to End, hosted by Hisham El-far

1. We get to meet a new character in the form of Walter, who’s got a rather unusual special skill among the Fae… What are your first impressions of our first faerie scientist in the Tobyverse?

I really liked Walter and I hope we get to see a lot more of him – he’s the perfect scientific accompaniment to Toby’s ‘detective’!  I think they make a great pair.  Well, I’m not saying that they’re going to become a pair necessarily but I like him and I think it would be good to see more involvement in future investigations.

2. “I choose the evil I know.” 

We finally get to meet Amandine (sort of) in the flesh, and she’s got one hell of a bombshell to drop… How surprised were you by the revelation of Toby’s bloodline, and by her second Choice?

I’m not totally sure I understand what Toby actually is if I’m being really honest – or what the revelation actually meant.  It seems that she’s more fae than was originally suspected – the scene with Amandine – I’m reading into that that the first time Toby was given a choice between her half fae self or a human life – the choice was in actual fact more difficult than that.  Amandine was hiding what Toby really was?  Is that how everyone else reads this as I’m not sure whether I’m on track or not here.  The only reason I can imagine Amandine hiding Toby’s real nature is that she maybe thinks she will be in more danger by revealing her true self?  I’m mixed up without doubt!

3. Rayseline’s reasons for hating Toby come out in the open, though that doesn’t put a stop to her efforts to have Toby removed from her position… Do you think she deserves more or less sympathy now, after their confrontation(s)?

I admit that I felt a degree of sympathy for Rayseline when she was explaining to Toby why she dislikes her so much.  I don’t agree with her reasoning but I think it makes things a little easier to understand from her point of view.  At least when she thought Toby was dead it was easier to accept that she hadn’t come to the rescue.  But, what also puzzles me about that is I can’t help wondering if she blames Sylvester as well?  So, yes, I think it made me feel sorry for Raysel but at the same time her reasoning isn’t sound.  Like I said last week, it sort of irritates me that everyone keeps beating on Toby for not coming to the rescue when she was turned into a fish.  She was just a teeny bit indisposed.

4. “We were peaceful while you were gone.”

Speaking of scheming to remove Toby, the Queen is handed a chance to lock her up and takes it – and she doesn’t waste much time or show much mercy. What do you make of her reasons for what she’s done? Is that all that’s driving her or do you think there might be something deeper and darker behind it?

I definitely think there’s something more to all of this but I don’t really know what.  Nobody seemed to really agree with the Queen’s verdict – in fact it was clearly unjust and made her look bad.  She’s unhinged for sure and maybe Raysel has been pouring poison in her ear and stirring things up.  Perhaps the two of them were planning some sort of pact.

5. And what about Oleander? It seems she isn’t a figment of Toby’s imagination after all – but how is she managing to stay so close without being found? Any guesses/theories/suspicions?

I really don’t understand how Oleander is doing this – the only thing I can think of, and it doesn’t really make sense, is that she’s being helped and the only person I can think is helping her is Raysel!  See, it really doesn’t make sense at all!  Raysel doesn’t seem to be too upset about what’s happening with her own mother, neither does she seem to be helping Sylvester – she seems to be making a play for power and the Queen seems to be helping her.  Not sure how that all feeds into what Oleander is doing – she seems to be omnipresent!  Or she’s stolen a cloak of invisibility from HP.  Maybe she can transform into inanimate objects!  Yeah, I have no idea.

 

Lady in red…

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Here we are again with the Friday Face Off meme being hosted by Books by Proxy .   This is a great opportunity to feature some of your favourite book covers.  The rules are fairly simple and can be found here.  Each week, following a predetermined theme choose a book, compare a couple of the different covers available for that particular book and choose your favourite.  Simples.   This week the theme is:

Lady in Red

A cover which features a female character in red

This week my book is Fire by Kristin Cashore.  This was No.2 in the Graceling Realm series and was my favourite book.  Here is the cover:

For me, this week, there is simply no contest.  The woman, with the dramatic background and the swirling red dress – oh yes, that’s the one for me.  Everything about that cover is gorgeous.  The Font, the placement of the font, name and central character, the ominous background (with maybe a hint of light) and the female, poised, ready.  the undoubted winner for me:

Fire

Feel free to join in and, if you want to make suggestions for future covers – call over to Books by Proxy and leave a comment.

 

Waiting on Wednesday: The Bloodsworn by Erin Lindsey

“Waiting On Wednesday” is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine.  Every Wednesday we get to highlight a book that we’re really looking forward to.  My book this week is : The Bloodsworn by Erin Lindsey.  Bloodsworn is the third and final conclusion of what has turned out to be an excellent adventure.  This series manages to combine, fantasy, romance and war and has an ace protagonist that you can’t help but love.  Need I say more?  Plus, check out this cover, it’s absolutely gorgeous:

BloodswornThe bonds of family, love, and loyalty are pushed to their limits in this thrilling conclusion to the epic saga started in The Bloodbound
 
As the war between Alden and Oridia draws to its conclusion, the fates of both kingdoms rest on the actions of a select group of individuals—and, of course, the unbreakable bonds of blood…

Unbeknownst to most of Alden, King Erik, in thrall to a cruel bloodbinder, is locked away in his own palace, plotting revenge. To save her king, Lady Alix must journey behind enemy lines to destroy the bloodbinder. But her quest will demand sacrifices that may be more than she can bear.

Meanwhile, as the Warlord of Oridia tightens his grip on Alden, the men Alix loves face equally deadly tasks: her husband, Liam, must run a country at war while her brother, Rig, fights a losing battle on the front lines. If any one of them fails, Alden could be lost—and, even if they succeed, their efforts may be too late to save everyone Alix holds dear…

Truth is indeed stranger than fiction…

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Every Tuesday over at the  The Broke and Bookish we all get to look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point ten) examples to demonstrate that particular topic.  The topic this week is:

Ten Facts About Me (bookish or just general)

This week is ten facts about me – okay, I’ve decided to give this a slightly different slant, as I love the world of SFF I’ve decided to give ten facts that reflect how close I come to living in a world of make believe!

  1. I have a wonderful place that I retreat into when I read a book, call it a wormhole if you will, but it’s quite magical – sometimes, I almost forget to come back at all.
  2. My reading takes me to extraordinary places where I meet all sorts of unique and diverse characters and experience totally different cultures.
  3. ‘Nobody’ lives at my house – you may remember Nobody, or Bod, as a character from Neil Gaiman’s Graveyard book but actually, no, he lives with me and my family, and the reason I know this is because ‘Nobody’ left wet towels on the bathroom floor, ‘Nobody’ left rubbish at the side of the bin instead of in the bin, ‘Nobody’ left dirty cereal bowls next to the sink unrinsed – you get the picture, yes?
  4. I live with a crazy critter – he’s four legged and has a very happy, waggy tail.  He’s been known to have a mad half hour every now and again and his name his Dude – he’s actually named for the character in the Big Lebowski but he’s anything but chilled!  Every now and again he appears in the odd one or two of my doodles – which are known as Dude’lls’.
  5. Occasionally I turn into a dragon.  It’s true, my friends and family can attest to the fact.  It’s not big, clever or pretty when this happens.  I taught Smaug everything he knows!  True that.
  6. Having three children happily coincided with a money tree springing up in my garden, which feeds directly into the Bank of Mum and Dad – I call this damned helpful.  I don’t question these things.  Never.  Ever.  Look a gift horse in the mouth – it will probably just bite you if you do.
  7. I am a mindreader, I know what everybody wants to eat and can miraculously conjure all the ingredients without a second thought.  Really, it’s just a gift. I’m lucky like that.
  8. I have Borrowers living with me – don’t be jealous, this basically means I have 500 pairs of odd socks – which considering I only EVER buy black socks is more than puzzling.  Where the hell did all these multi coloured socks/socks with cat faces or faces of elves or Bart/striped socks/socks with bobbles and bells on them come from???? And, more to the point, where did their counterparts go to. Somewhere in the universe someone is looking for all their socks and cursing the appearance of all my black socks in their undie drawer!
  9. Yes, I live in a parallel universe, see all the above if you don’t believe me!
  10. I’m a wine whisperer – yes, I can hear wine – calling to me… ‘drink me’  It’s just odd but who am I to deny these voices??

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All is Fair by Emma Newman, #3 Split Worlds, reading week 2

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Today is week two of our readalong of book #3 of Emma Newman’s Split Worlds series, All is Fair.  The schedule is below, all welcome and please be aware of potential spoilers lurking below.

Week 1: Monday 4th July, Chapters 1-6, hosted by Over The Effing Rainbow
Week 2: Monday 11th July, Chapters 7-14, hosted by Hisham El-Far
Week 3: Monday 18th July, Chapters 15-22, hosted by The Illustrated Page
Week 4: Monday 25th July, Chapters 23-End, hosted by x + 1

1. We finally meet the Sorcerer of Mercia (Rupert?) – He is VERY different to Ekstrand. Not only does he seem younger and more adaptable to the modern world, he seems comfortable working with scholars from and In the Nether! As we compare and contrast the two Sorcerers, what does this say about Ekstrand – and does it change our views of his actions, behavior and decisions? Is he completely bonkers?

I think Ekstrand is completely bonkers and meeting Mercia has finally made it even more apparent.  I think Ekstrand is afraid of change or anything modern – perhaps he’s one of the reasons that the Nether stays so olde world – I don’t really know to be honest but I don’t trust Ekstrand at the moment.  He comes across as just plain harmless and dotty but I’m not sure I buy into it.

2. Cornelius and Amelia have been well and truly rumbled – Will knows how badly he’s been manipulated by the siblings, and exactly how! Do you think that either or both of the siblings might bounce back somehow? What about Will and Amelia’s baby? Did Amelia benefit inadvertently from the “help” Will received from Lord Iris’s faerie? If Amelia benefited, Why didn’t Cathy?

I never even considered Amelia benefitting from Lord Iris’s faerie in that way – although I’m sure Cathy wouldn’t have seen it as beneficial!  I don’t think this is the last we’ll see of at least Amelia – not sure about Cornelius.  Amelia is very calculating I think.

3. Skullduggery and Subterfuge! Sam has uncovered Leanne’s secrets and mission – Cathy is unearthing the secrets and like minded thinkers that Miss Rainer has kept hidden. Margritte and Bartholomew seem to have been likely allies to Cathy’s cause – is it possible Lord Iris/Poppy and the other Fae are Intentionally manipulating events to keep the current status quo/gender in-equality in Londinium? If So, to what end? As for Sam – what is he going to do with his new knowledge about Leanne or her findings?

I don’t really know – things definitely seem to be coming out of the woodwork now.  I don’t know what the fae are playing at to be honest.  It feels a little like the Nether is being kept from progressing somehow – like as though keeping it in it’s current status makes it easy to manipulate people or something.

4. Where do you think the main characters are going to go now? Will Cathy meet Rupert? Will Rupert destroy Ekstrand? Will any more/new hidden players in this drama come into the center stage?

Well, I hope Ekstrand’s plot to kill Rupert doesn’t work.  I don’t know much about Rupert but I think Ekstrand’s plot to kill him is terrible!  We don’t know that this Rupert has done anything wrong after all.  It’s all speculation on Ekstrand’s part and makes me suspicious of him.

5. So much happened in this weeks chapters It was hard just limiting my questions to the above – What did you find to be the most interesting event/revelation? Or is there anything else you want to talk about?

I thought this week’s chapters were very intriguing.  I’m still not sure that I really have a handle on what’s going on so I keep jumping to all sorts of crazy conclusions.

I thought Cathy’s visit was very interesting – particularly that it seems like maybe a few of the wives in the Nether are unhappy and are having charms used on them to keep them all in line.  Kind of puts you in mind of the Stepford Wives or something.

 

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