Naamah’s Kiss by Jacqueline Carey, readalong week No.6

naakissToday is the sixth week of our readalong of Naamah’s Kiss.  Feel free to join in (the schedule is below) or to jump in with the comments.  This week the questions are being hosted by Allie at Tethyan Books.   Please be aware that spoilers may be lurking below for this and future books in the series so please be careful.
Dec. 5th Week 1 – Chapters 1-12, Hosted Lynn’s Book Blog
Dec. 12th Week 2 – Chapters 13-26, Hosted by Dab of Darkness
Dec. 19th Week 3 – Chapters 27-36, Hosted by Books Without Any Pictures
Dec. 26th Week 4 – Chapters 37-48, Hosted by Tethyan Books
Jan. 2nd Week 5 – Chapters 49-60, Hosted by Dab of Darkness
Jan. 9th Week 6 – Chapters 61-74, Hosted by Tethyan Books
Jan 16th Week 7 – Chapters 75-End, Hosted by Lynn’s Book Blog
1) We’ve finally met Snow Tiger!  What do you make of her and her relationship with Moirin?  Does anything stand out in particular?
I like the idea of Snow Tiger having a dragon within!  She’s quite a impressive character in some ways – a warrior, and also to be able to continue given everything that she’s having to deal with.  I found her to be a little haughty at first but I guess that is just natural reservation not to mention her upbringing and standing.  The thing that maybe irritates me slightly with the relationship between the two is the way that Snow Tiger expects Moirin to entertain her and tell her stories – I can’t help wondering if she doesn’t have something to contribute herself!  But overall I think she comes across as quite naive and hopefully this adventure will be good for her in more ways than one.
2) The dragon is a surprising new addition to the cast.  What do you think he’ll do when he is free?  Will he really help in the civil war?
Well, funnily enough, my Chinese sign is the Dragon so I really like him.  I don’t know whether to trust him or not but I’m going to say that I do trust him.  I’m not quite sure why he would help with the war other than to show his own displeasure over what happened to him but thinking on that a little more I think that’s a good enough reason.  I look forward to seeing what he does when he’s free (I have a vision of the genie from Aladdin when he’s released from the lamp and pings around everywhere).  He’s a dragon after all – not a lapdog and I don’t think you can tame a dragon.
3) What do you think of the Path of Dharma, as described by Master Lo Feng?  What path would you prefer to follow?
I don’t know – to be honest, I am what I am.  I’m not sure I could change even if I wanted to – which I don’t particularly.   Sometimes I think it would be nice to be a much calmer person, reasonable, controlled – but it’s in my nature to be a bit more impetuous.
4) Moirin does not seem to mind Bao’s jealousy.  What do you think of their possible future as a couple?
I think they have a great chance as a future couple.  They very much put me in mind of Phedre and Joscelin so whilst I think they will have some obstacles to traverse I think it’s possible.
5) Do you think they acted wisely against Lord Jiang’s men at the temple?  Can you see any other decision they should have taken?
Well, I think their hands were tied really – they were ambushed and this is a war.  They’d be very lucky if there was no bloodshed during a war.  The only thing I did think was that it was a shame there couldn’t have been a little bit more parlay before the slings and arrows began but Lord Jiang’s men did make the first aggressive step.

And here is the current list of participators:

Kushiel’s Mercy (Imriel’s Trilogy #3) by Jacqueline Carey readalong week No.6

kushiels-mercyToday is week 6 of our readalong for Kushiel’s Mercy by Jacqueline Carey.  This week  Tethyan Books is hosting.  Anyway, here’s the Goodreads link and also the schedule is below in case you want to join in.  Beware of spoilers because they’ll be lurking.  Now, over to the Q&A.

1.  The Euskerri paid a brutal price for their sovereignty.  What do you think about how this played out?  Did anything stick out in your mind?
It was a horrible battle wasn’t it and the Euskerri paid such a high price.  I think the thing that stuck out most for me was that Sidonie has such a head for strategy – good on you Sidonie!
2. How do you feel about the way things ended for Astegal?  Was it just?  If not, what would you have preferred to see happen?
Well, to be honest I sort of expected that ending for him.  Well, not exactly, I didn’t see him having a fight with Imriel but I did think he would lose the battle and either die during the battle or be captured and executed.  I can’t say I felt any sorrow for him at all, sorry if that seems a bit harsh but I just can’t find it in myself to feel any pity on this occasion.
3. Do you have any theories on why Imriel’s charm is able to protect Sidonie?
Well, at first I was thinking it was maybe just down to the fact that it’s a talisman that protects against magic?  I suppose there’s also the fact that both Sidonie and Imriel believe in it and I wonder if that gives it some power, plus calling on their own Gods?.  And then there’s Sidonie’s heritage and the fact that she maybe has a trace of magic in her blood.  At the end of the day I’m not really sure – I am glad it worked though (at least so far!)
4. What do you think about Alais’s change of heart regarding political power and her new plans for her future?
Well, I don’t entirely know what Alais’s new plans entail for her or what it would mean for her going forward but I think it’s good that she has reached some decisions about her own future – I kind of hope that they’re not the sort of decisions that she can never walk away from or change though because she is only young – and I’m not patronising her, just thinking that you change your mind a lot over the course of your young years (and I’m speaking from experience in that respect).  I guess if you look at her past there has been quite a lot of violence involved in one way and another and so perhaps she’s tired of the depths that people will sink to in order to acquire power.
5.  The spell twists the personalities of people we knew, sometimes in disturbing ways.  Do you see the seeds of who they are now in their true selves?  Given their currently twisted view of reality, do you think anyone is acting against their own principles?
It’s like something out of Stepford isn’t it! It’s so weird – even the way Phedre and Joscelin are behaving – they’re like automatons with no real soul left  – or maybe it’s that the soul has been trapped.  I don’t know but it is spooky as anything.  As to whether they’re acting against their own principles – I’m not sure if they are or not, it’s a tricky question.  For example, Phedre and Joscelin seem to think they’re protecting the City and defending what they’s fought for in the past – but, I think rather than say they’re acting against their own principles I’d probably rather say they’re acting against their own principles so much as acting out of character.  The way that they’re all behaving with their own children for example, really cold and indifferent.  That is what really strikes me.  Plus, it strikes me if so many people were telling them a different story they would take steps to try and either prove or disprove it once and for all – rather than sitting behind walls threatening battles.  I guess, to me, they’re acting on their principles, but they’re delusional and irrational.
The Schedule:
Oct.  9th Week 1: Chpts. 1-10 (Hosted by Dab of Darkness)
Oct. 16th Week 2: Chpts. 11-22 (Hosted by Tethyan Books)
Oct. 23rd Week 3: Chpts. 23-35 (Hosted by Emma Wolf)
Oct. 30th Week 4: Chpts. 36-49 (Hosted by Emma Wolf)
Nov. 6th Week 5: Chpts. 50-62 (Hosted by Lynn’s Book Blog)
Nov. 13th Week 6: Chpts. 63-75 (Hosted by Tethyan Books)
Nov. 20th Week 7: Chpts. 76-END (Hosted by Over the Effing Rainbow)

Kushiel’s Justice by Jacqueline Carey, Week 6 readalong

Kushiel's justiceToday is week 6 of our readalong of Kushiel’s Justice by Jacqueline Carey.  The schedule and participants are below.  All welcome to join in or to simply jump in with the comments.  This week we cover chapters 38-46, and our host is Emma Wolf.  Without further ado, to the questions with the customary warning of spoilers!

1. At some point before she died, Dorelei made Urist promise to bring Imriel back to the City of Elua and Sidonie for fear that, if he didn’t go, he would be driven to bitterness. What do you think of this promise? Do you agree with Dorelei that Imriel would turn bitter?

Yes, I think she read him very well.  I think he would have dwelled on it all, probably found himself totally guilty and no doubt after wallowing around in guilt and despair would probably have turned very bitter!  Okay, I’ve laid that on a bit thick but I really do think Dorelei knew Imriel very well and I think she was sending home to somebody who would love him and help him to cope. 

2. Imriel questions whether there was no way to escape the fate of his son foreseen by the Maghuin Dhonn. What do you think?

Well, I’m not sure.  I don’t know whether I totally buy into the ethos that all things are fixed or pre-determined.  I think some of what actually happened in the vision seemed to hinge upon the fact that Imriel had left his son after Dorelei died and perhaps there was bitterness that turned even worse.  So maybe knowing that Imriel could have made a difference by simply raising his son?

3. Urist explains the politics underlying the matter to the other Cruithne by noting that Imriel was good enough for Dorelei and Alba, good enough to father Alban heirs, but not good enough for Terre d’Ange. What do you think of his observation?

 I think he made a very good point – which also brings me back to our comments (was it last week) when it was noted that Ysandre had never visited Alba.  I do wonder about Ysandre sometimes.  There have been moments along the way where I’ve definitely felt a little annoyed with her behaviour.  Plus I didn’t like what she said to Imriel about Dorelei when she found him with Sidonie.  I know that she was angry but it really did sound as though she was almost accusing Imriel of being behind Dorelei’s death somehow.

4. We see new places and new peoples. Imriel wonders about the tanner and his wife and their story and how he will never know it. Of all the minor characters we’ve met so far, are there any you wish you knew more about?

Ohh, this is a difficult one.  I sometimes think it would be good to spend more time with Drustan.  I think I would like to know more about him and how he deals with having such a long distance relationship with Ysandre. It would be good to be inside his head for a while and see if we could discover more about the real Ysandre as a result.   

5. What do you think of what’s become of the Yeshuites? Of Micah ben Ximon? Do you think the written word is more open to multiple interpretation than the spoken one, as Urist hints?

I’m not sure what has become of the Yeshuites to be honest.  Perhaps I’ve missed something so will wait for all the answers on that one. – (I think I misunderstood this question – blame it on being tired!  I think I was reading into and thinking something bad had happened to them and I’d missed it – apologies!)

I guess the written and the spoken word are open to misinterpretation depending on the language used and maybe even the wishes of the person listening or reading.  But, it seems to me that people started recording things in writing in order to keep an accurate record whereas the spoken word, I think, can quite often develop and become adapted as time goes by – like Chinese whispers or a fisherman’s tale!  So, in that respect I think the written word is probably more correct – providing of course it was accurate in the first place.

Here is the schedule:

Week 1: Chpts. 1-7, Mar 20 – Hosted by Dab of Darkness
Week 2: Chpts. 8-14, Mar 27 – Hosted by Emma Wolf
Week 3: Chpts. 15-22, Apr 3 – Hosted by Lynn’s Book Blog
Week 4: Chpts. 23-29, Apr 10 – Hosted by Tethyan Books
Week 5: Chpts. 30-37, Apr 17 – Hosted by Dab of Darkness
Week 6: Chpts. 38-46, Apr 24 – Hosted by Emma Wolf
Week 7: Chpts. 47-56, May 1 – Hosted by Lynn’s Book Blog
Week 8: Chpts. 57-65, May 8 – Hosted by Tethyan Books
Week 9: Chpts. 66-END, May 15 – Hosted by Dab of Darkness

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