Kushiel’s Scion readalong: week 5

Questions by Lynn.

1. Firstly, what do you make of The Guild and why do you think Anafiel declined to join them. Do you think Imriel should join them?

We’re clearly not getting a big picture, but they seem a bit shady. I don’t know what their larger goals are, other than preservation of self. They can change loyalties, presumably, so what’s to say even if Anafiel had joined, there wouldn’t also have been Guild members in Skaldia that favored the invasion? It looks to me that in Terre D’Ange, one can influence politics. One can petition courts or rulers and speak their mind even if they can’t vote. (I don’t know exactly how D’Angeline politics work, but it seems like the people have somewhat of a say.) My guess is that Anafiel saw through the Guild to realize that they lacked purpose, other than to serve the interests of its own rulers, and that there was no way, as a mere underlying, to influence the Guild.

I don’t think Imriel should join either. I think he also sees them as powerless or useless.

2. We have the philosophical debates – how do you think these are going to play a part in the story overall, if at all?

This is Imriel’s coming of age book about him wanting to be heroic and good and trying to figure out what that means in everyday life. The class’s discussion of virtues will likely influence Imriel’s opinions and actions.

3. Claudia – what do you make of her. Do you trust her?

Yes and no? I trust her to be discrete (I don’t think she’s going to turn on Imriel as such), but we know she’s holding back a lot. I think she wants to feel more powerful and important than she is and is using the Guild, Imriel, and her husband to achieve that. I think I like her well enough though. I think in her mind, she’s not using Imriel. Or using him no more than he’s using her.

4. We have lots of possible attempts on Imri’s life, even going so far as to start a student riot – and his own attempts to bring these to a stop. What do you make to all of it?

I like how Imriel wanted to buy out the Travalion contract against him. Now he has that over Bernadette. What do you guys think he will do with that information?

5. Two particular characters that I find intriguing are Canis and Piero. What were your first impressions and how do they differ now?

Hmm… for Canis, I guess I had no initial thoughts, other than there’s more to meets the eye, as Imriel seems to understand.

For Piero, my opinion definitely improved from him chasing pigeons. I really liked the class where he just took them to the workers of Tiberium and made his students face their privilege.

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About emmawolf

I'm a freelance writer living in Baltimore with my husband, son, and two cats. I'm working on editing my first novel. I love reading, traveling, and the cello.
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10 Responses to Kushiel’s Scion readalong: week 5

  1. @lynnsbooks says:

    I agree about the Guild. It definitely seems dodgy. Claudia – I don’t particularly see her as using Imri – like you said, no more than he’s using her, and in actual fact I like his involvement with her at the moment. I don’t think she comes across as particularly trustworthy or even attached to anyone – in fact I think she would turn on Imriel if she was required to do so by the Guild.
    Canis really intrigues me – I can’t help thinking he’s keeping his eye on Imri – whether for good or bad i just don’t know – I hope good because I like him.
    Lynn 😀

    • emmawolf says:

      “in fact I think she would turn on Imriel if she was required to do so by the Guild.”

      Yes, I think I agree. I think I meant earlier, I don’t think she’ll expose Imriel UNLESS she gets something out of it other than giggles. I think her loyalty is to the Guild, so if they said to expose him, she would. (But I don’t think they would require that.)

      end rambling…

      Part of me likes their involvement, and part of me doesn’t. When I first read the books, I didn’t at all. Then I liked it more. Now I just feel, I don’t know. Imriel says something about feeling awkward or uncomfortable or icky because he’s being paid to model and then have sex with Claudia, but there is no sacred calling like with Naamah’s servants. I don’t think Claudia views it as prostitution. I think she can separate the two parts out in her mind. I think Imriel might just be being a bit emo here.

  2. @lynnsbooks says:

    Haha – Imri, emo! Spot on with that observation.
    And definitely – I don’t think she would expose Imri either. I do think she’d attack anybody if she was given the nod to do so and it’s interesting because she now has quite easy access to Imri…
    It will be interesting to see how that develops. I like her involvement with Imri only in that it seems to be making him work out some of his issues – through sex of course!
    I must admit that this set up with the artist studio gave me pause for thought. Firstly, it seems so coldly calculated doesn’t it? Of course, Claudia needs a safe place to meet but even so I would feel a bit odd going to somebody’s place where they then made themselves vacant for an hour so I could have sex – it’s just so, well, calculated. And secondly, at first I was puzzled about Imri being paid and then I remembered it was for the modelling. I was a bit surprised about him falling so easily into that to be honest – and I can’t help wondering if that picture might come back to haunt him in later years – of course he could just say he was an impoverished student and doing it for the money!
    Lynn 😀

    • emmawolf says:

      “and I can’t help wondering if that picture might come back to haunt him in later years”

      Ha ha! I can picture it as some political scandal. The equivalent of politicians today posting dick pics on facebook!

      “Of course, Claudia needs a safe place to meet but even so I would feel a bit odd going to somebody’s place where they then made themselves vacant for an hour so I could have sex – it’s just so, well, calculated.”

      You know…I never thought about it. Now that you mention it, that’s weird.

      • @lynnsbooks says:

        Yeah, and I don’t think I’d like to let somebody use my place just to come and have sex once a week – it’s one of those situations that feels a bit embarrassing for both sides really!

  3. tethyanbooks says:

    I guess I hadn’t really thought about the Guild’s loyalties, just that they were not the same as Anafiel’s (or Imriel’s) loyalties. It would be interesting to see a bit more into the inner workings, to see what they really are trying to accomplish, so I guess I hope Imriel gets a little more involved at least. I was kind of thinking that this might be narratively why he swore his loyalty to Sidonie earlier in the book– it makes kind of a parallel with Anafiel’s vow to Rolande.

    Also, if he can use that letter to keep Bernadette from trying to have him killed anymore, I think that would be enough! I know he really doesn’t want to use it to ruin her, just because it would be such an echo of his mother’s actions.

    • emmawolf says:

      “I was kind of thinking that this might be narratively why he swore his loyalty to Sidonie earlier in the book– it makes kind of a parallel with Anafiel’s vow to Rolande.”

      I hadn’t thought of that, and I think you’re right. I’ll have more to say about this next week.

  4. @lynnsbooks says:

    I was just reading Allie’s thoughts – I hadn’t thought about Imri’s oath to Sidonie – that’s a good point really, can he really join the Guild having sworn such an other. Wouldn’t there potentially be a conflict in interest?
    The other thing that Allie’s post made me wonder was what would have happened if Imri had joined a different uni class – he only really met Claudia through one of his student friends. That makes me wonder if Claudia’s brother is involved, or maybe she prompted him to get the invite – if they hadn’t been classmates though she would have had to come up with another way in!
    Lynn 😀

    • emmawolf says:

      Yeah, I hadn’t thought much about it either in the context of Guild membership. Didn’t Claudia say that the Guild would never ask him to betray his country (which could be kind of vague)? So it could be possible that even in the Guild he wouldn’t have to break his oath, but he might be forced to fight with her (example, no, I think this guy should be commander of the army, or I think we should trade more with this nation). I took it that Delaney didn’t want to fight with Rolande or have the Guild come between them even in less treasonous ways. I think potentially a conflict but I don’t know how likely it would be.

  5. nrlymrtl says:

    The Guild definitely seems to be self-serving. I think both Anafiel and Imriel have seen that.

    Yep, Claudia and Imriel are using each other for excitement and carnal pleasure. And since they are both OK with that, I’m OK with that.

    When I first read this, I wasn’t too sure what Imriel would do with the Trevalion letter. He could do several things: Turn it over to Queen Ysandre, show it to his once friend Bertran, show it to Phedre and Joscelin and go with their suggestion, etc. What he ends up doing with it is the best choice.

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