Kushiel’s Scion by Jacqueline Carey, Readalong week No.1

559172Today is week one of our readalong for Kushiel’s Scion.

If you’re interested in joining the readalong the details and other participants are below.  This is a nice gentle readalong and as this is the start of a new series I don’t believe it’s necessary to have read the first three books by this author – so, if you want to read some Jacqueline Carey this could be just the incentive and time for you to jump on board.  Feel free to join in and obviously, if you haven’t read this series but are intending to do so please be aware of spoilers – because they’re running amok below


Now, to the Q&A:
1) Throughout this section, we relearn the events of the first trilogy through Imriel’s eyes. What do you think of his perceptions of those events? 

I think he remembered it all very well to be honest and it made for a really very good recap.  I found it odd at first that Imriel was narrating – even though I knew that was going to be the case – so at first it was a bit jolting to hear him say things about Phedre or Joscelin.  I needed to shake myself to bring me out of it.  I thought it was really intriguing to hear his side of things too.  His earlier years spent in innocence before he was abducted and then the horrible time afterwards.  If nothing else being in Imriel’s head also reinforced the fact that he was completely unaware of his mother’s plans and schemes and also blissfully unaware of his own inheritance.  I was also intrigued about his thoughts on Ysandre.  It was only a fleeting thought but I would say he doesn’t seem too enamoured of her which I found rather intriguing.

2) What do you think is in Melisande’s letters? How did she escape and who do you think assisted her this time?

I worry about these letters and also about the fact that they’re still being kept.  I just find it very difficult to believe anything Melisande says or does and so can’t help wondering if there will be some secret subtext hidden amongst the seemingly innocent.  As to how she escaped.  Well, she doesn’t seem to find it difficult to bend people to her will.  Plus, she had a following all of her very own!  It wouldn’t surprise me if there was something larger going on though.  Her disappearing at a time when Imriel is almost of an age – she’s clearly still plotting to put him on the throne and there are plenty amongst her former house who would benefit if she succeeds.

3) What do think about how Imriel handled Maslin of Lombelon? Has he made an ally or a foe for the future?

I’d like to think he’d made a friend by acting so kindly and thoughtfully.  The other side of me though thinks that it would be very easy for somebody – a certain somebody – to manipulate that situation and misuse Imriel’s obvious liking for Maslin to encourage a friendship between the two.  A friendship that was actually a bit duplicitous.  We’ll see.

4) There’s a few moments of foreshadowing in this section: Elua’s priest’s words concerning finding and losing love over and over again; Alais’s dream concerning a man with two faces. Are you intrigued or just happy to zoom along at this point?

Yeah, that priest was a real bundle of laughs wasn’t he – thanks for that, very cheerful!  I’m happy to zoom along at this point although obviously my mind is racing a little bit.  There are a number of possibilities already on the horizon for Imriel so it’s going to be interesting watching it all pan out.

5) Imriel’s Shahrizai cousins (Mavros, Roshana, Baptiste) have come to visit for a summer. What are your impressions so far?

I’m not sure I trust any of them.  They all seem to be playing a game of wait and see who Imriel takes to and confides in.  They’re a  bit pushy to say the least and just a bit overly curious – I can’t help wondering if those letters are going to go missing!  Of course they could be totally innocent and just purely wanting to get to know another member of their family.  I really do wonder though at the reasons for them being there at all and I’m sort of with Joscelin on the whole affair.  It smells suspicious to me and the timing of it all is too much of a coincidence.

What a great start – there was a bit of recapping but I found it really enjoyable especially as we were getting the story from another narrator.  I really liked gaining an insight into Imriel and his thoughts, fears and wishes.

I also thought it was great to see the family dynamic that Phedre, Joscelin and Imriel share – I really liked that and the fact that they gave him such a happy stable home.

Here is the current schedule:

Week 1: Prologue-chpt. 11, post on Sunday Jan 3rd, hosted by Dab of Darkness
Week 2: Chpts. 12-19, Jan 10th, hosted by Tethyan Books
Week 3: Chpts. 20-27, Jan 17th, hosted by Emma Wolf
Week 4: Chpts. 28-36, Jan  24th, hosted by Over the Effing Rainbow
Week 5: Chpts. 37-44, Jan 31st, hosted by Lynn’s Book Blog
Week 6: Chpts. 45-52, Feb 7th, hosted by Dab of Darkness
Week 7: Chpts. 53-60,  Feb 14th, hosted by Tethyan Books
Week 8: Chpt. 61-End, Feb 21st, hosted by Emma Wolf

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

Two Serpents Rising by Max Gladstone, readalong week 1

Hi everyone, sorry I’m late with this one but life just conspires sometimes!

So, the first week of the Two Serpents Rising readalong is upon us.  Susan from Dab of Darkness is our lovely host (over here) and the details for the readalong are here.  You know you want to join us!

Without further ado, other than to add an obligatory spoiler alert, here are the Q&A for this week:

1) Poison in the Bright Mirror reservoir! What are your thoughts on the infestation? Then an explosion later on! Any ideas of who is the culprit yet? Are the two events related?

That was a bit mind blowing wasn’t it – I certainly didn’t see that coming at all – makes me have second thoughts about walking round reservoirs.  I can’t help thinking the reservoir and the explosion are linked – it’s just too much of a coincidence and it will be interesting to see if Mal is being used or is involved.  I hope that she’s not involved as it would be a bit obvious.

2) Let’s talk about Mal and the sport of cliff running. Care to compare this sport to one here in our real world? What do you think Mal gets out of the sport? 

I suppose she gets to be rebellious to a certain extent – she seems to come from a privileged home so it seems that this is her little break out.  Also, I suppose she gets a massive rush of adrenalin and a certain number of cool points as she does seem to be rather a daredevil. I’m not sure what sport it reminds me of – other than perhaps something I saw about people jumping roofs – but I could have just made that up or dreamt it or something.

3) Are you enjoying the deities and culture this book is infused with? Has any of the architecture wowed or frightened you? 

The first book was impressively creative so there was a lot to live up to and I think so far this one is definitely doing well to live up to it. And, in spite of the clue in the title  – snakes, really!!  Yes, between the serpents and reservoir monster – omg!  Both scary – and what was the whole thing with the slaughterhouse.  Talk about watch this space.

4) The Red King is a pretty serious guy. Will he make the deal with Alaxic concerning the powerhouses known as Achel & Aquel? 

I think it’s too soon for me to call at the moment.  There is definitely something big afoot but I’m really clueless to be honest.  The Red King though – what a description heh!  Wouldn’t really like to meet him alone in a dark alley – he just sounds creepy.

5) Finally, Caleb has a wealth of scars, linguistic skills, and a complex relationship with his father. Discuss!

This is very intriguing to me.  I wouldn’t say that Caleb seems unduly jumpy or scared when his dad is around so I’m kind of discounting certain things, I suppose.  And he doesn’t seem to hate his dad – they just clearly don’t agree with each other – which no surprise there given what his dad is up to – and certainly his dad’s got a terrible reputation which does rather get in the way of Caleb’s work.  It’s complicated to say the least.

A great start to the series – I feel like I’ve been very bad this week though – I’ve not really given this a detailed examination so looking forward to everyone elses’ comments.

Sorry for being absent.  Loving the book so far though.