Kushiel’s Mercy readalong: week 5

Chapters 50-62. Questions by Lynn.

1. We had a number of dramatic chases and escapes this week – what really stood out most for you.

Did we ever! Setting the ship on fire! Again, I love Kratos. I love that for all Imriel’s and Sidonie’s study and cleverness, Kratos had to save the day. Again.

2. Imriel and Sidonie meet with Nicola L’Envers y Aragon who turns into an ally for the two of them arranging for them to gain audience and we once again see Sidonie’s diplomacy skills – how do you think she would compare to Ysandre as a ruler?

I don’t know. Good question. So I’ve griped about Ysandre before. How I thought she was unfair to Phedre and Hyacinthe at the end of book 3. But I do like how she handled the Battle of Imriel. Ysandre had a difficult balance to maintain there. So I would said that I think Sidonie will be more fair and willing to hear everyone out, but we saw Ysandre do that too. I don’t know. Maybe Sidonie won’t need as much convincing to hear all sides of a story.

I did really like seeing Nicola here. I love how this book is really about Imriel coming to peace with those he had been at war with for whatever reason–Bariquel, his mother, and Nicola.

3. Imriel made a statement this week about once wanting to be a hero but now having changed his mind – and how heroism meant living in terror that you wouldn’t be able to protect those you loved – what do you make of his thinking?

Ok, so this hits kind of close to home. I can’t answer. Ask me again on Wednesday. Short, immediate answer, yeah, I agree.

4. Euskerri. The plan is to sway the Euskerri (by offering them sovereignty) to side with Aragonia. Do you think the Euskerri are wise to accept or not?

Yes. They want sovereignty. Carthage won’t give it to them, but Aragonia is offering. I think Aragonia is kind of driving a hard bargain (fight for us, oh any by the way, some mounted dudes are coming anyway), but, well, the Euskerri found their own way to drive a hard bargain. It’s a shame they didn’t try to wield their position in a different way. Like monetary compensation or something.

5. Finally, it seems like both Imriel and Sidonie will return to the battlefront – what do you think of the agreement reached? What do you predict going forward?

I don’t know. I see their point–they don’t trust Aragonia. They want Sidonie there to make sure they stay in line. But I don’t know what Sidonie can do if Serafin or the Aragonians decides to change their minds. As for Imriel’s role that he needs to fight with them, that seems a bit petty, maybe? I mean, I think they will be better served by him continuing on to Terre d’Ange and trying to break the spell/gather an army there. But on the other hand, maybe it shows something about the Euskerri and a value on equality?

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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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6 Responses to Kushiel’s Mercy readalong: week 5

  1. @lynnsbooks says:

    I must admit that I’d been lulled into a sense of false security when Imriel and Sidonie made their escape! I just didn’t foresee anybody chasing – or reaching – them! Which was incredibly naive of me as the story would have been a lot shorter if there wasn’t some hindrance to their return!
    I’ve also griped about Ysandre but I do think she has a really tough role and I think Sidonie recognises that too. I think that Sidonie would make a good ruler one day but I think it would be a shame if she had to take over the mantle at too young an age.
    ‘Ok, so this hits kind of close to home. I can’t answer. Ask me again on Wednesday’ – Oh, this is so intriguing!! What can it all mean – I’ll just have to read on now!
    I also thought it would be wise to send Imriel on to try and raise an army – although could they be gathered and travel back in time to be of any real assistance?? Not sure. I can’t blame the Euskerri for being mistrustful though – Sidonie and Imriel did rather lead an army to their door and force their hand a little.
    Lynn 😀

    • emmawolf says:

      “I can’t blame the Euskerri for being mistrustful though – Sidonie and Imriel did rather lead an army to their door and force their hand a little.”

      Yeah. There could be other options though, but story! This book would be a lot shorter if Imriel and Sidonie went on their merry way.

  2. Allie says:

    I had similar thoughts about Ysandre vs. Sidonie. I see Sidonie as less rigid in thought, so more open to compromise and understanding different perspectives. I’ve also been wondering if Sidonie will pardon Marmion when she gains power. She is aware that he is only exiled due to politics and an accidental death, and that it really isn’t fair for him to have the same sentence as Melisande.

    • emmawolf says:

      “I’ve also been wondering if Sidonie will pardon Marmion when she gains power. ”

      That’s a good thought. I hope so. I mean, I understand why Melisande’s sentence was commuted–she did things to help save Terre d’Ange. And Marmion, he didn’t do anything after his sentence to redeem himself. But yeah. It was a political punishment for an accidental crime. And since his crime is kind of moot now (Melisande is carrying out her sentence), maybe his punishment is too?

  3. nrlymrtl says:

    I love that Imriel had to use a wrestling move that Kratos taught him to get him off the flaming ship and on to the escape boat.

    That’s a great observation about Imriel making peace with folks he’s been at war with. Makes you wonder what he could possibly conquer or take on or champion after this!

    Yep. The Euskerri definitely have their own ideas of equality – not that that is bad. While they give over their best dressware and their guest house to these royals who ended up on their doorstep, they still expect them to give as much as they are asking the Euskerri to give.

    • emmawolf says:

      “Yep. The Euskerri definitely have their own ideas of equality – not that that is bad. While they give over their best dressware and their guest house to these royals who ended up on their doorstep, they still expect them to give as much as they are asking the Euskerri to give.”

      *nods* I hadn’t really thought about how their hospitality played into it. I think I like that. I think I’d like to know more about them.

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