Kushiel’s Scion readalong: week 7

Chapters 53-60. Questions by Allie.

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?

I thought it was kinda presumptuous of Lucius’s mom, just assuming they would want to be married. Maybe I’m applying today’s standards to it, but I’m always like “really?” when I read it.

But since they were down for it, I think it’s romantic. I think Eamonn’s mom will think it’s totally in keeping with his personality to marry someone on almost a whim during a siege, but I do think Brigitta’s family might have an issue with it.

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?

I think Deccus might be being a bit dramatic. They’re not destroying Lucca. They are burning farm land. I am not a farmer, but I understand this is done sometimes even when a city is not under siege. So they can replant. But the olive trees, no. That was a bad idea. Olive trees take years to grow enough to bear fruit, and you can’t eat olives right off the trees anyway. (Also, same with the wheat, right? You need to process wheat, so it wouldn’t help the invading army because they wouldn’t be able to process and eat it. So why burn it?)

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?

I guess it seems fair that foreigners, those who don’t have a dog in the fight, are allowed to leave. I’m not surprised that Eamonn, even though newly married, would want to stay with his friend.

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 think he knew. I think he knew he couldn’t stay forever anyway and reached a point where he knew he had done enough for Lucca.

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?

If Canis was involved, he would have had to have left Tiberium for Lucca before Imriel, saw what was going on, then returned to Tiberium to let the ambassador know.

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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13 Responses to Kushiel’s Scion readalong: week 7

  1. @lynnsbooks says:

    1. I completely forgot but when I was reading that I was also puzzled why Lucius’s mum would assume they want to be married – it did seem to come a bit out of the blue didn’t it! I hope it works out for them but even now I’m still puzzled about that particular element of the story and whether it’s been included for a greater purpose?
    2. Good point about the olives and wheat – I never even considered that!
    5. I’m still really puzzled by Canis. I don’t think he means harm to Imriel because he has had plenty of opportunity already if he did, he seems to be following and watching – like you said, I don’t see how he could have got word of this situation to anyone else in advance? And there he is sneaking into a city under siege! Puzzling behaviour really. I can only think that he’s looking out for Imriel in some way.
    Lynn 😀

    • emmawolf says:

      I’m wondering if maybe it seemed out of the blue to us because it seemed out of the blue to Imriel because he just didn’t notice their relationship growing.

      As for the olives–I know from first hand experience that you CANNOT (or should not) eat an olive right from the tree. My first time visiting my husband’s family in Israel, we were outside of a house of a family member, and he told me about the olive tree and you can eat them from the tree they are so fresh, yadda yadda. I didn’t know! So I did. It was so disgusting! Weird black juices dripped down my chin, and at that moment, the homeowner answered the door and gave me such a look. Yeah, you can’t do that with olives. (Also, whenever I think about olive trees in Israel, I think about the destruction and theft of the Palestinians’ olive trees. This was NOT one of those stolen trees. I also looked it up, and they can bear fruit in 3-12 years depending on the type.)

      • @lynnsbooks says:

        What a great story about the olives – it’s funny how you naturally just assume you can pick something and then eat it. I knew that olives were usually soaked (in brine?) but I didn’t know they had to be – if that makes sense? Great point.
        Lynn 😀

  2. tethyanbooks says:

    The marriage seems a little out of left field to me, too. Their relationship can’t have grown all that much, because she’s been in Tiberium for less than six months total. From a modern perspective, at least, marriage seems like a pretty major decision to make on a whim about a significant other of a few months.

    I was skeptical about the need to burn the olive grove, too. I couldn’t remember if it was possible to eat them off tree, so thanks for clearing that up. Even if you could, I don’t think an army could support itself on olives alone. I agree the groves should not have been burned.

    As for Canis, didn’t he vanish for a while before Imriel went to Lucca? I really hope his situation is revealed by the end!

    • emmawolf says:

      “As for Canis, didn’t he vanish for a while before Imriel went to Lucca?”

      I couldn’t remember. I think so. How long does it take to get to Lucca from Tiberius? And Imriel et al. were planning on going for a while, right?

      “From a modern perspective, at least, marriage seems like a pretty major decision to make on a whim about a significant other of a few months.”

      ….*looks sheepish*… I got engaged after only a few weeks. Then again, considering the olive story above, maybe that wasn’t such a good idea… I guess for me it was more that it came out of no where in that we had them together for [time period] and heard no talk of marriage or when she has to return to Skaldia. A completely spontaneous engagement might have been more in keeping with how I perceive Eamonn. Or it’s one thing to get married spontaneously and completely another to have someone suggest that a couple get married spontaneously.

      • tethyanbooks says:

        “I couldn’t remember. I think so. How long does it take to get to Lucca from Tiberius? And Imriel et al. were planning on going for a while, right?”

        I’m kind of hazy on the distance. I think it was at least a few days, but Imriel’s group was also probably traveling slowly and peacefully with lots of luggage. I think they had planned the trip since they knew there was going to be a wedding, right?

        Well, looks like every situation is different :). On the engagement timing, I guess I’m coming from the overly cautious and slow-moving side — my husband and I were dating for something like 4 years before we decided to get married. I agree that it was really weird that the proposal came from someone else and not one of the couple.

  3. nrlymrtl says:

    You can process wheat and olives in small batches and an army sitting around waiting for a city to crack has time for that. Plus groves and farm fields provide shade and protein (setting snares for rabbits, other rodents, and birds).

    I wouldn’t be surprised if money changed hands to allow Deccus, Claudia, and Brigita to leave. It seems like a gracious thing the D’Angeline ambassador would do, since they are all friends to Prince Imriel.

    • emmawolf says:

      But don’t you need some sort of equipment to process the wheat at least? Rerouting the river would cut into their free time though. I also thought they could try to just sell the raw (is that the right term) wheat and olives if nothing else.

      I really want to eat a whole bunch of (processed) olives now.

      • nrlymrtl says:

        Wheat can be husked and then ground using very simple means, like special rocks if you have to. It takes time, but it’s something that can be done by a handful of soldiers sitting around. And they had to double time rerouting the river because their local food supply was burned. They might have done something different if they still had local food to harvest.

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