Today is the final week 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.
Not really, I think both Max and the Gargoyle had reached a conclusion about Ekstrand – I admit that I’d been suspecting him of much more than simply being a bit eccentric and I think I’ve been proved totally wrong in that regard (another wild supposition bites the dust) so it did seem harsh that he had to die like that – but, he also seemed a bit unhinged (perhaps this is something that runs commonly amongst sorcerers!) I was pleasantly surprised that Max decided to reach out and grasp his own emotions – it was really quite touching (and a bit sad – that part about his mother wondering what had happened to her little boy!) I think Max and the Gargoyle could have a good future pairing to be honest – Max is clearly still capable of feeling some emotions and with the gargoyle as his companion he has help when he’s in the field.
3. Cathy has had sweeping success in beginning her rebellion. How do you think Londinium – and the Agency – and the Fae – will respond?
Well, Cathy has certainly gone for it 100%. I don’t blame her to be honest, I’m not sure that pussy footing around or taking baby steps would work here – in fact she’d probably just find herself with a doll curse or some such other. The Agency will obviously be livid because this obviously takes from them a very lucrative business, the Londinium crowd – well, there will no doubt be some people who rail against a woman trying to change the rules. I don’t really think there should be a knock on effect about taking staff away from the agency – the families will still have their staff and just pay them instead of the Agency. Not sure how the fae will react – part of me wonders why they would be concerned about how the people in the Nether run their domestic affairs – but maybe they like to be in control of this and so Cathy’s actions will seem out of place. At the back of my mind I can’t help thinking that there has to be an underlying threat of the fae wanting to escape but I’m not sure how that plays into the themes so far. I predict lot of bother.
4. Will has finally become an ally. Do you think he’s strong enough to stick to it? Do his secrets make him vulnerable?
I think his secrets do make him vulnerable. Cathy had a little bit of the same and decided to come clean about things which makes her a lot less vulnerable to blackmail for example. I think Will needs to come clean with Cathy about a number of things – otherwise they’re likely to just come out further down the line. I still don’t think Will is strong enough to be honest. He seems to give a little but always hold back, or try to think of the line of least resistance and he comes across as a bit cowardly – he’s always got his eye on damage limitation in terms of the fae or his family and I really don’t see him rushing into the fray. He just seems a bit lily livered to me.
5. Sam assumes the mantle of Lord Iron – what do you think of his intentions to pick up Leanne’s mission as well? Do you think he will find his deeds tainted just as Amir’s were? What do you make of his reflection that he’s found a way to look at the past such that it’s nobody’s fault?
Just a quick post to notify you of a readalong of Late Eclipses (No.4 in the October Daye series by Seanan McGuire). Organised by Lisa at Over the Effing Rainbow. The details are over here on Goodreads – the schedule is below. This series got off to a great start with Rosemary and Rue, got even better with A Local Habitation and then reached an all time high for me with An Artificial Night. I can’t wait for No.4. Everyone welcome to join. If you want to jump on board then leave a comment, visit Lisa or check out the Goodreads page. Come join in the fun.
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
And now for a little bit about the book:
October “Toby” Daye, changeling knight in the service of Duke Sylvester Torquill, finds the delicate balance of her life shattered when she learns that an old friend is in dire trouble. Lily, Lady of the Tea Gardens, has been struck down by a mysterious, seemingly impossible illness, leaving her fiefdom undefended. Struggling to find a way to save Lily and her subjects, Toby must confront her own past as an enemy she thought was gone forever raises her head once more: Oleander de Merelands, one of the two people responsible for her fourteen-year exile.
Time is growing short and the stakes are getting higher, for the Queen of the Mists has her own agenda. With everything on the line, Toby will have to take the ultimate risk to save herself and the people she loves most—because if she can’t find the missing pieces of the puzzle in time, Toby will be forced to make the one choice she never thought she’d have to face again…
Late Eclipse is the fourth installment of the highly praised Toby Daye series.
Today is the final week of our readalong of A Local Habitation (No.2 October Daye by Seanan McGuire) arranged by Lisa from Over the Effing Rainbow.
Without further ado here are the questions and answers with a customary word of warning that spoilers will be lurking below:
1. Alex and Terrie’s secrets are finally revealed. Was that the outcome you were expecting? If not, what theories did you have concerning the two?
Actually given all my usual maniac theories I think I pretty much knew what was going on with the Alex and Terrie situation. They reminded me of a strange combination of Princess Fiona from Shrek who changes shape at midnight every day and one of the main vampires from Generation V who feeds off the emotion of others who then become totally enamoured and think they’re in love but eventually die. I was wrong in that I thought Alex could have been trying to protect Toby from Terrie because (1) they weren’t involved in the murders and (2) neither of them had any real cognisance of each others behaviour so Alex wouldn’t have known if Terrie was a threat to Toby.
2. We get Toby doing more powerful things with blood during the course of this story aside from gleaning information. What are your thoughts on this? Do you think we’ll start to see her doing more wondrous things over the course of the series?
I think what was really demonstrated here (and perhaps that’s what’s given Tybalt cause for thought) is that Toby is maybe more powerful than she (or anyone else for that matter) really knows. She did just bring somebody back from the dead after all which is no small feat! The one concern I do have for Toby is that now we have started to learn more about her mother I wonder whether this whole blood magic can eventually lead to madness?? But, that being said perhaps her changeling status will help to protect her somewhat.
3. Did you expect Tybalt to actually show up at Tamed Lightning? What’s your take on this “not-friendship” that is developing between Toby and Tybalt? Does learning more about the cats and sensing Tybalt’s own feelings about what has occurred make you feel differently about him or see new aspects to his personality?
I actually did expect Tybalt to show up to be honest – in fact I would have been sorely disappointed if he hadn’t done so. Tybalt clearly likes Toby although he seemed to be acting very strangely after witnessing her most recent trick. I don’t really know what to make of this whole cat kingdom business yet. From other books and films I tend to think of cats as guardians of the underworld so, if that is the case here, I can imagine that Toby’s most recent actions will have been a bit disturbing to Tybalt. I look forward to seeing how this develops.
4. Despite being misguided, what did you think of the attempt to create something lasting for Faerie after hearing Elliot’s explanation? Is there a way to save and preserve Faerie or is Toby right that maybe its end is near?
It’s kind of what I guessed at early on – it’s a bit sad because personally it doesn’t feel like the way forward. I think it was something that April bought into because of her own circumstances and she was being used dreadfully by Gordan who was clearly as mad as a pit of snakes! I think that the fae world is very antiquated and governed by strange rules They don’t move forward with the times – which is frankly what makes them so appealing to read about – but I think this experiment was maybe a bit misguided and the evidence here suggests it doesn’t work. Even if they uploaded everyone and had some sort of virtual fae existence you would need somebody at ground level to be looking after things wouldn’t you?? I don’t really buy into the idea of what they were trying to do – I’m pretty certain if somebody offered me the chance of being downloaded onto a computer I would pass on the offer!
5. What do you think will happen at Tamed Lightning now that Jan is gone? Do you think April will be able to maintain or do you think things are just getting started between Tamed Lightning and Dreamer’s Glass? Do you think others will be willing to go to Tamed Lightning after this?
I think Tamed Lightning is now in a very vulnerable position. In some respects I think April could do a good job and as we’ve already seen her new found responsibilities have made her grow up somewhat – but, as we also saw, she’s not totally aware of boundaries between what’s possible between the living and electronic worlds. Although, obviously she was being led astray by Gordon. It will be interesting to see whether this now becomes a plotline for future stories.
6. Overall, what did you think of A Local Habitation? Did you like it more or less than the first book? Are you still excited to see where Toby’s journey leads? Any favorite parts? Least favorites? Gush as much or as little as you want.
I loved ALH more than the first book – I liked the first but I think that like any first in a series it is a set up book and most authors don’t want to go on a massive info dump spree. Like most UF they develop as they go along. The characters become more fleshed out and the world building deepens and so I’m definitely keen to see what happens next for Toby.
Today is week seven of our readalong for Kushiel’s Scion.
Feel free to join in with the comments 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
This week Allie at Tethyan Books is our lovely host. The schedule and other participants are listed below. Go check them out. To the Q&A:
1) We begin this section with a slightly happier topic, Eamonn and Brigitta’s wedding. Do you think this was a good idea, for Eamonn and Brigitta as well as for the people of Lucca? Assuming they both survive, how do you think it will go for them when they break the news to their families?
This reminded me of so many books that I’ve read during war time where people, well, rush into marriage. To be honest, I can see this working out for Eamonn and Brigitta because they seem well matched – but, it was very quickly realised and time will tell. On top of that, they’re both from very different backgrounds and I wonder whether they’ve forgotten about their family expectations (not that I would judge them for doing so). I like Eamonn though, i don’t feel like I know Brigitta enough yet, but I hope it works out. As to whether this will be good for the people of Lucca – it will be in terms of Eamonn fighting hard to return to his wife!
2) Firestorm! Do you think this action was worth the sacrifices? In the words of Deccus Fulvius, do you think it is worth destroying something to save it?
Well, it seems like a contradiction in terms doesn’t it – destroying something to save it. But I can see the thinking behind it. At the end of the day if an enemy is outside your gates and you’re under siege you have to lessen their chances somehow and that’s going to be less easy with them being unable to eat the spoils of your labour.
3) The d’Angeline delegation makes a deal for Imriel’s friends. Do you agree with the characters’ decisions on who would go and who would stay?
Well, I could see it coming and the deal was no surprise. If I was Imriel I would have chosen the same. It was sort of obvious who would stay behind to a certain extent – and what I mean by that is the opportunity for Eamonn and Imriel to fight side by side.
4) Do you think that Gallus Tadius knew that his plan to funnel the water to the underworld would require him to also depart? Was that an act of self-sacrifice, or was it unintentional?
I’m not sure what to make of this yet – maybe only Gallus has departed – by which I mean that Lucius will return. That does seem a bit fantastical but it’s kind of what I’m hoping for.
5) Any new thoughts on Canis? Do you think he was involved in informing the d’Angeline delegation, and do you think he’s a part of (or in opposition to) the Unseen Guild?
I’ve thought all along that Canis was looking out for Imriel. At first I wondered if Phedre and Joscelin had sought somebody out for this purpose but now having thought about it I think that’s more Melisande’s style. I don’t think he is a part of the Guild – but, now I’ve said that I’m probably going to be wrong! If he is working for Melisande it would still make sense for him to inform the D’Angelines – because his mission would be to protect.
Here is the current schedule:
Imriel de la Courcel’s blood parents are history’s most reviled traitors, but his adoptive parents, the Comtesse Phèdre and the warrior-priest Joscelin, are Terre d’Ange’s greatest champions.
Stolen, tortured, and enslaved as a young boy, Imriel is now a Prince of the Blood, third in line for the throne in a land that revels in art, beauty, and desire. It is a court steeped in deeply laid conspiracies … and there are many who would see the young prince dead. Some despise him out of hatred for his birth mother Melisande, who nearly destroyed the realm in her quest for power. Others because they fear he has inherited his mother’s irresistible allure – and her dangerous gifts. And as he comes of age, plagued by dark yearnings, Imriel shares their fears.
At the royal court, where gossip is the chosen poison and assailants wield slander instead of swords, the young prince fights character assassins while struggling with his own innermost conflicts. But when Imriel departs to study at the famed University of Tiberium, the perils he faces turn infinitely more deadly. Searching for wisdom, he finds instead a web of manipulation, where innocent words hide sinister meanings, and your lover of last night may become your hired killer before dawn. Now a simple act of friendship will leave Imriel trapped in a besieged city where the infamous Melisande is worshiped as a goddess; where a dead man leads an army; and where the prince must face his greatest test: to find his true self.
I’m currently making my way through the Jacqueline Carey books as part of a readalong with a group of other blogger buddies. We’ve just finished the first series that started with Kushiel’s Dart and focus on the exploits of Phedre. We’re now about to embark on the second trilogy starting with Kushiel’s Scion which focuses on Imriel. 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 – so, if you want to read some Jacqueline Carey this could be just the incentive and time for you to jump on board.
Here is the current schedule: