Artwork by Tithi Luadthong. Week Three questions are hosted by Lisa at Dear Geek Place
The book is finally heating up a bit. I finally got my undead horse familiar. Fox finally got the characterization he needed from the start. Some action is happening. I’ve lost my patience with the book overall but this week is a step in the right direction
Alright here are the questions:
There was someone else in Ankyo who could channel the Dark. And whoever it was, was after me. (P. 154)
1. Do you have any theories about who could be behind the skeleton incident, and why they’re after Tea?
So… My first thought is that if deathseekers, heart forgers, and dark Asha share some magical traits, could it have been Kalen? That doesn’t make sense though…
We are starting to see The Faceless portrayed as the eventual antagonist so I’m thinking it’s tied into one of them somehow. Maybe. It’s. Very frustrating to not have a clear idea of the plot yet
2. This week we learn why Fox has been turning up bruised and battered whenever he disappears on his own. We also learn that he’s been getting into disagreements with noble women! He’s gaining a lot of agency for an undead familiar – what are your thoughts on this, and where do you think his part in the story might lead him?
First off, I think the part where Fox’s “undeadness” shines through should have come much earlier in the book. We know he still has his fatal wounds, we have seen the blood magic, and his entire character just feels a little more realistic now. One curious thing is that Fox is not with Tea as she is telling the story to the Bard, so eventually he must go off in his own direction. Where that is, who knows.
3. Tea gains her asha-sisters, and one of them is not like the others… What do you make of Zoya in this role? Do you think her relationship with Tea might develop into one that’s less antagonistic?
I think they will reconcile at some point when things get heated. Either that, or Zoya will be part of the downfall that causes Tea to be exiled. One or the other 🤷♀️
What I’m making of her so far is that Parmina wants Tea to keep her friends close and her enemies closer. I also think Zoya is a pretty uncommon name and that some of the Zoya/Alina relationship from Shadow and Bone is being ripped off. If that’s the case though, they’ll form a begrudging respect at some point
4. Speaking of suspect characters and antagonistic relationships, Tea and Kalen find themselves in a new, if somewhat unwanted, position as student and teacher, respectively. Do you trust Kalen to learn something from his time as Tea’s instructor? For that matter, do you trust him at all given how seemingly opposed he is to Tea’s presence/nature in general?
I trust him, yes. I think he’s devoted to Prince Kance and sees the benefit in training Tea to the best of her abilities. I wonder if Kalen is the third spoke of the love triangle that was mentioned at the start of the book
5. This section ends on a rather dramatic cliffhanger – any thoughts or theories as to who’s behind the apparent attack at the darashi oyun?
I’ve got no idea, but I’m assuming it’s whoever did the skeleton as well. Did this person kill off that last other dark Asha too? Is there a dark Asha in the ‘other side’ who’s being employed to wreak havoc? Someone in secret we don’t know about?
Overall I’m frustrated by the pacing of the book despite the action heating up. It’s an adult epic fantasy pace (slow as tar) stuffed into a YA novel where we expect action. We know Tea is building an army but we don’t know who cast her out. Who is the man she loved that was wronged, slighted, and how? Who is she going to war against? It’s a bizarre way to unravel a story and I don’t hate it but I also can’t imagine this being popular with the target age group.
I’m ready to wrap this one up and staying cautiously optimistic for a wild ending