Chapters 23-35. Questions by me.
1. After being freed, Kratos decides to stay in Leander/Imriel’s service. Did his loyalty or reasons surprise you? What about how he was able to aid Leander/Imriel?
Since I first read this book a few years ago, I have a hard time remembering what surprised me. But I like it. I love how we saw his intelligence from the very beginning. I love his conversation with Imrieleander after the wrestling match about how he wants to help bring Astegal down. I love his plan with the bath attendant and was a bit surprised by it. Now by the logistics, I guess, more so that it was needed. More on that next.
2. Despite Justina’s training, her loyalty to Melisande, and her position ready to tip the balance, she is unwilling or unable to help Leander/Imriel. What do you think of this? What good is the Guild or Melisande and her spies if not for this?
I think I remember that this did surprise me. Or at least, it annoys me. I guess like Imrieleander, I’m having trouble seeing the point of Melisande’s spies if they don’t do anything. Sure, gathering information is great. It’s what allowed Solon to figure out what was going on in Carthage and make the needle, etc. But action seems…I guess a necessary part of this? Or the obvious next step? Aside from “all knowledge is worth having,” Melisande’s spying would have been useless if Sunjata hadn’t acted.
3. Any thoughts about the Longest Night?
I loved it. I loved seeing Imrieleander become more Imriel. It’s almost as though with each physical memory of Imriel (Imriel’s muscle memory remembering how to do the Casseline forms), Imrieleander becomes more Imriel.
I also like how the sword fight showed insight into Astegal’s character–thinking Imrieleander didn’t know anything about sword fighting, he wanted to humiliate Leander by making him face his Amazigh.
4. Any thoughts about the aftermath of the breaking of two of the spells? Were you amused by Imriel’s conversation with Sunjata? Were you surprised by Sidonie’s reaction once the spell on her is broken?
I’d always wanted to laugh when Imriel and Sunjata face each other again after that part of the spell is broken, but this time around, I felt a little uncomfortable. Was Imriel’s will taken away like how Sidonie’s was? Imriel never had a male partner, and this was kind of a big deal. Did Sunjata take advantage of him? Susan’s words from last week about how Imriel was always there from the very beginning make me feel better about it, but I don’t know. This was the first time reading it where I felt uncomfortable. I think there is just so much about sexual assault in the news that it’s making me more aware.
5. Last week, Allie said she hopes Bodeshmun’s power “all blows up in his face.” Thoughts on his death?
When I read this from Allie last week, I laughed out loud. She got exactly what she wished for, pretty much literally. It was such a fitting end to his cruelty, and I loved Imriel’s cold line about it being unwise to meddle with D’Angelines when it comes to love. Elua is not a gentle god.