Ashes of Honor (October Daye #6) by Seanan McGuire readalong week #3

ashesofhonorToday is week three of our readalong of Ashes of Honour (October Daye #6) by Seanan McGuire  The schedule is over on Goodreads and this week I am hosting the questions.  With the customary warning about potential spoilers lets get straight to the Q&A.

So Duchess Riordan is indeed involved in Chelsea’s disappearing acts – a plot which coincides with Samson’s efforts to remove Tybalt from power and “remove” Toby with him … Do you think Samson and Riordan are in cahoots somehow?

Oh my – I never even considered that but now the question has been asked it makes sense!  Riordan was speaking to a man on the phone when Toby was earwigging the conversation so that could have been Samson.  I’ve become so used to the Queen of the Mists being oddly involved with things or acting strange that I tend to always look in her direction when things go wrong and this has probably blinkered me a little and stopped me considering other people’s involvement.

Speaking of Toby and Tybalt … Not so much a question, but let’s discuss THAT confession from Tybalt!

Well – that little confession clears up so much.  For example, why Tybalt originally disliked Toby due to her changeling nature.  And, more than being revealing it just helps to build up more of a picture of Tybalt – not to mention just how long he’s actually been around. Plus it feels like the air has been cleared – there’s really nothing standing between Toby and Tybalt now!  These two do make a great couple.  I liked the remarks in the book – that Connor was in love with ‘Toby the girl’ but Tybalt is in love with ‘Toby the woman’ – I’m not quoting there but there was definitely something along those lines and I thought it was spot on.  Toby and Connor were together in a strange hankering after ‘what was’.  It never felt right for either of them really – more like they were clutching at straws.  I certainly didn’t want Connor to die mind you – but there it is!

Meanwhile, Officer Thornton’s last appearance was not so random. Do you think he might know more than Toby realises about what’s going on, or does he just suspect something more?

The feeling I’m getting from Officer Thornton is that he doesn’t believe Toby.  He knows that something is wrong but just not what or why?  That’s the way he comes across to me at least.  Like turning up at Toby’s house for example – he’s obviously looking into her because otherwise how would he know where she lived?  That being said – I don’t like that he’s looking into her!!  I don’t really know what his role is going to be in all this – I’m not getting a bad vibe but I can’t help feeling a little bit suspicious.  I’m hoping though that maybe Officer Thornton might be a future ally for Toby – he could certainly be very helpful in future cases – in the same way, he could, of course, be very unhelpful.

Lastly, I need to mention that last encounter between Toby and Luna, in which things seem far less cosy at Shadowed Hills than they once were. What do you make of Luna’s reactions, and Toby’s responses to them? Is Toby in the right, or do you think Luna’s not being entirely unreasonable?

At first I was thinking this was strange but now I’m not so sure.  It’s always felt as though something strained the relationship between Luna and Toby.  At the back of her mind maybe Luna blames Toby for not actually succeeding in rescuing her and more to the point Rayseline?  I also sometimes get the impression that Luna maybe dislikes the close relationship that Toby and Sylvester enjoy.  Plus, at the end of the day, Luna did send Toby into a situation that would more than likely end up with her death.  That must cross Toby’s mind as well – it just feels like the two of them really need to clear the air and speak their minds.  As it is it feels as though Toby has hardened a little towards Luna and it feels very much as though Luna has withdrawn into herself.  I hope the two of them figure it out – they do have a lot of history between them and not all of it is good but I think they could work it out if the desire to do so was there.

 

 

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

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Today is week three 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
Straight to the Q&A:
1. What do you think the fae could be breeding people for? And why Cathy and Will?
This is very puzzling and I don’t really understand it one bit to be honest.  My only thought was that maybe the fae are changing the babies for changelings but again I can’t see why that would be beneficial to them.  Plus there seems to be some urgency about it all with a baby being demanded from Will and Cathy within the first year of marriage.  I puzzled over why Cathy and Will – Cathy seems to be railing against the lifestyle but Will feels fairly indoctrinated.  I really can’t pinpoint anything although I feel like there’s something just eluding me.
2. Cathy’s third wish starts to provide some hope right when things look most desperate. Do you think she has a shot? Will the book group end up being of any help?
I think that Cathy has finally reached the right conclusion in that she has to try and make changes herself – she’s spent her time so far looking for someone else to take up the gauntlet.  That third wish was certainly a good one and has already improved things for her.  I don’t hold out too much hope for the book group at the moment, they’re too afraid, although perhaps they’ll change and come around if Cathy starts to make a difference.  Strength in numbers after all.
3. Will’s landed in some dire straits. Do you think he’ll be able to wiggle out of it? Do you want him too?
I’m not sure if I believe there’s any hope for Will – I keep thinking that he will change but then he will just disappoint me with something else.  At the end of the day he needs to clear Bartholomew’s name, it’s the right thing to do.  Yes, it will cause him problems but he was acting on what he believed to be sound knowledge at the time.  Then there was his tender moment with Cathy when he was kissing her but thinking of Amelia!  What!!  I think there will be a way out of this situation but at the moment I’m not sure that I care enough about him to be pleased about it.  I feel like I’ve gone through various stages with Will – disbelief, anger and now can’t be botheredness!
4. So much has been revealed about the Elemental Court. Do you think Sam’s making the right decisions? Will he be able to use his new power to create some change?
At the moment I think Sam is floundering around a little – I would like to think that he can make some changes and I thought it was interesting that one of the changes he was thinking of in particular was rescuing Cathy!  It will be interesting to see how both these storylines pan out.  They both seem to be trapped in situations that they didn’t want but that have resulted in them both having more power or standing then they ever expected.  Whether their hands will still be too tied to use any of that remains to be seen.
5. Any other thoughts?
I’m a bit blank on other thoughts at the moment.  The Agency seem to be a bad lot – in fact they come across as worse than the fae at the moment.  Then there’s the whole issue with Ekstrand and his strange behaviour.  I feel like we only have a little book left to see how some of these strands come together so it’s going to be interesting.  (Of course we do have a book 4 on the horizon!)

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.

 

Any Other Name (Split Worlds #2) by Emma Newman, readalong week 3

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Cat has been forced into an arranged marriage with William – a situation that comes with far more strings than even she could have anticipated, especially when she learns of his family’s intentions for them both. 

Meanwhile, Max and the gargoyle investigate The Agency – a mysterious organisation that appears to play by its own rules – and none of them favourable to Society. 

Over in Mundanus, Sam has discovered something very peculiar about his wife’s employer – something that could herald a change for everyone in both sides of the Split Worlds.

Today is week three of our readalong of Split Worlds by Emma Newman.  The schedule is below and a link to the Goodread’s page here.  Feel free to jump on board or join in with the comments and if you haven’t read the book please be aware of spoilers below.

Week 1: Monday 6th June, Chapters 1-6, hosted by Over The Effing Rainbow
Week 2: Monday 13th June, Chapters 7-13, hosted by x + 1
Week 3: Monday 20th June, Chapters 14-20, hosted by Lynn’s Book Blog
Week 4: Monday 27th June, Chapters 21-End, hosted by The Illustrated Page
Well now, it seems like things are shifting! Very interesting this week. To the questions:

Cathy has her first meeting with Lord Iris. What were your first impressions? And what do you think it is that Lord Iris and Poppy both now ‘see’ in Cathy?? 

Lord Iris is awful isn’t he!  He makes Lord Poppy seem like something out of  a Disney movie.  I really don’t like him.  I don’t know what’s going on with Cathy that appeals to both of them so much but I can only assume at this point that maybe it has something to do with the fact that she’s slightly rebellious and has already spent time in Mundanus or the fact that she simply isn’t content to put up with her lot in life and toe the line.

We had an insight into Amelia and also an insight into Cornelius – what are your thoughts on the two of them now and also how does this make you feel in terms of Will?

Well, I can’t say I’m surprised to be honest.  I think Will is a bit of a tool and they’re both using him.  Frankly, I’d like to say that I feel sorry for him but with these particular two I think he’s made his own bed (sorry!)  The only thing that it does now give me puzzle for thought over is whether Will was acting under his own steam all the time as he had a charm on him? At any rate he seems to be becoming a little more immune – which does make me wonder whether he really had any free will at all in the beginning.  In which case, maybe I’ve been a bit harsh on him?

It seems that everyone is puzzled by Will and Cathy’s match. Even Will jokingly (or not) wonders if he’s being offered up as a sacrifice – any thoughts as to why Will and Cathy as oppose to their more ‘suitable’ siblings?

The only reason I can assume that these two are being matched is because their families are at the will of their fae Lords.  They don’t make sense as a match for either family given that they have other children that are so much more easy to manipulate.
Let’s just discuss the consummation of the marriage and the overall feelings afterwards? Thoughts please.
I’m not sure I know what to make of it.  First of all Will was going to drug Cathy, then he wasn’t – what, then he was??  He did use the charm didn’t he?  I thought he did – in which case he’s a total, unspeakable git!  If i have that wrong and he didn’t use the Charm then okay.  It’s such an aggravating situation.  Oh, God, I’m sure he used the charm!  But did he??

Max and the gargoyle, how do you think the investigation is fairing? What do you make of their tactics?

I didn’t really like their tactics to be honest.  They have an investigation to carry out but all their investigations seem to rely on Cathy finding out things for them – and then they act like they’re rough housing her.  They kind of come across as a little bit useless.  Yes, I know Cathy held things back BUT nobody is looking out for her and also Max and the Gargoyle don’t seem to be able to uncover anything by themselves.

Sam and his marriage. Any more thoughts about Lord Iron or Neugent?? What about the other couples who had rings forged?

Well, I’m very puzzled by all of it to be honest.  At first I thought that maybe Sam’s wife was some sort of fae/changeling or there was some reason why Neugent was interested in her.  Now I think that maybe she’s the only one who managed to survive whatever it is that is going on- maybe some sort of mind control/mind bendy thing.
I really like the fact that Cathy seems to be stirring things up – but, I think it could have very dire circumstances for her!
I also meant to ask about Will, his potential Dukedom and his rival!  So many questions.

An Artifical Night by Seanan McGuire, Readalong No.3

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Today is week three of our readalong of An Artificial Night (October Daye #3) ) by Seanan McGuire) arranged by Lisa from Over the Effing Rainbow.  This week I am hosting the Q&A.  I have to say that this book is so good!  And I also have to say, who chose to end the chapters there exactly – oh the torture – we’re all looking at you Lisa!  Torture…..

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 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

1. We’ve seen a good deal more of May and her interactions with Toby – any speculation on how this might play out yet??

Well, I must confess that I’m liking May very much and in a strange and unexpected fashion I hope that she’s going to stick around.  Maybe she’ll be a permanent feature constantly reminding Toby of how close to death she becomes.  The fact is I’m not sure that she will stick around although I would like it if she did.  She seems to really be trying to help Toby which is so great because she’s absolutely working against her own objectives and that makes me think that maybe she’s going to take the fall here somehow because she’s started to care.  Somebody is going to have to pay Blind Michael somehow – unless he’s defeated, of course, so I’m thinking that maybe May will take Toby’s place at some point???  I hope not.  I’m hoping this will all work out.  But, at the end of the day she is Toby’s fetch and I definitely don’t want toby to die!

2. Tybalt – what did you make of his rather cryptic comment about what he found out and particularly that he now knows that Toby didn’t lie to him?

I am really puzzled by this and kind of hoping that somebody else can shed some light on it.  Tybalt is clearly looking into something and he obviously had a spell there where he suspected that Toby wasn’t being honest – or maybe he suspected everyone and has at least found out that Toby was being honest – but about what??  Chuck me a bone somebody???  Is it about Toby’s abilities or what she inherited from her mum??  He seemed really surprised in the last book when Toby resurrected somebody and I wonder if he thought this was something she was aware of already?

3. We finally discovered a little bit more about Luna. What are your thoughts on her now, why did she run away, thoughts about her character, why she sent Toby into Michael’s realm?

This is a very complicated situation.  She obviously ran away from home and she’s been hiding ever since – and quite successfully by the sounds of it.  It does make it a little bit clearer now as to why she always seems so sad and reflective.  I really don’t blame Luna for running away – things were obviously not okay.  As a result of course Michael now has the hunt and steals all these children to help him search for her (unless I’m reading it wrong) – she must feel so incredibly bad. If she wasn’t in hiding then surely Michael wouldn’t take these other children.  It’s a really awful situation and one that part of me thinks she needs to step up and do something – but then the other side of me completely understands why she’s staying in hiding!  It’s so incredibly conflicted.

4. What were your first impressions of the Court of Cats?

I loved paying a visit – I loved even more that they’re so selective who they let in – and yet even more I loved that Tybalt said that Toby is always welcome!  It kind of reminded me of the alleys and fight grounds in West Side Story.  I don’t know why and I can’t even describe it but that’s what it reminded me of!

5. And, finally, back to Tybalt – what on earth just happened!!

I don’t knowwwwwwww!  What just happened.  Is he just exhausted?  Has he travelled too far too fast.  Or has he taken Toby to somewhere that he can’t exist?  What happened.  I’m almost sure that Tybalt hasn’t died – almost!!!  However, there is still a tiny tremor of dread!  No, Ms Mcguire – just no.  No messing with the King of Cats!

 

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