It’s time for another week of the KUSHIEL’S DART read-along! Week 6 is an exciting adventure through the snowy Hinterlands.
Week 6: June 14, Chapters 46-54 is hosted by Grace at Books Without Any Pictures. You can find the read-along schedule HERE, and anyone and everyone is welcome to join in. There’s also a Goodreads group for SF/F read alongs.
Follow below the cut for a spoiler-y discussion of our adventures across the historical counterparts of Germany, Poland, Austria, and the Czech Republic. With wolves and bears, oh my!
After last weeks chaos, this week felt a lot more relaxed… which is telling, because in most books this would be an insane action sequence. This book is insane in the best way. It just doesn’t stop and doesn’t let up.
1) One of the questions from last week dealt with initial impressions of Waldemar Selig’s steading. Now that we’ve finally met him, what are your thoughts about him? Do you think he suspects that Phedre knows anything, and will he continue to play a role in the story?
Waldermar Selig is GREAT. I love how he actively subverts all the usual barbarian stereotypes, and I adore how much of an opposite he is to Gunther. Without Phedre’s experience with Gunther, we’d have nothing to compare this guy to, but placed side-by-side in the narrative the contrast works so well.
I don’t think we’ve seen the last of him. I really hope Phedre finds herself in a high-ranking political role back in Terra d’Ange and gets to face him from the other side of a political meeting, as a free d’Angeline who knows exactly what he’s up to. The rage on his face would be priceless.
2) What did you think of the visit to Lodur? Do you think it will impact how Phedre thinks of herself?
I loved that. It was a really pivotal moment in the story, showing the potential of Kushiel’s Dart in a brand new light, and it had *such* a strong effect on Phedre. It’s so nice to see her moving from her passive, guilt-ridden into accepting her own strength and power.
I liked how it was at this point in the story that she moved from grieving about Delauney to moving forward for her own freedom.
I definitely don’t think we’ve seen the last of Phedre’s new life as a weapon.
3) Phedre and Joscelin have both gone through some harrowing experiences in the past few chapters. How do you think it will change them going forward?
Oh man, I hope these two remain close forever. They work SO WELL as a team, playing off each others strengths, and while Phedre’s brought a lot of bad luck to Joscelin she’s also expanded his worldview in ways he never could have expected.
She’s helped him move from a close-minded person into a more well-rounded, self-aware individual, and she’s given him a lot of strength to act on his own and survive. I hope he’ll be able to see that, but I’m not sure he will (see my answer to question five).
I wonder if they’ll experience any long-term trauma after this. I know I would!
4) If you were in Phedre or Joscelin’s place, would you have acted the same way in crafting your mastermind escape plan? What are your thoughts on how it worked out?
Honestly, I don’t think I could have been as smart as that! Those two really did a fantastic job, and they worked together brilliantly. I loved how clever the plan was, and I love that it still had unexpected twists: both for good, and for bad.
5) We’re finally getting to observe a budding romance between Phedre and Joscelin. How do you see this playing out? What do you think of it?
I was all settled down for a long, drawn-out will-they-won’t-they with these two… and, well. Imagine my surprise!
(I’m not complaining, mind you. Oh wow, it was amazing….)
I don’t think we’re anywhere close to the end of their turbulent relationship, though: Joscelin has a lot to sort out in his head after this, and it’ll be very interesting to see how his guilt over his killings affect his guilt about sleeping with Phedre. I could see him becoming very, very distant to Phedre because she’ll remind him so much of all his disgraces.
If you’d like to hear other answers to these questions, the other participating blogs are below.
Week 1: May 10, Chapters 1-8, Hosted by DAB OF DARKNESS.
Week 2: May 17, Chapters 9-18, Hosted by Allie at Tethyan Books
Week 3: May 24, Chapters 19-26, Hosted by Lisa at OVER THE EFFING RAINBOW
Week 4: May 31, Chapters 27-36, Hosted by Susan at DAB OF DARKNESS.
Week 5: June 7, Chapters 37-45, Hosted by Igret at Igret’s Corner
Week 6: June 14, Chapters 46-54, Hosted by Grace at Books Without Any Pictures
Week 7: June 21, Chapters 55-63, Hosted by Dolce Bellezza at Dolce Bellezza
Week 8: June 28, Chapters 64-73, Hosted by Lynn at Lynn’s Book Blog
Week 9: July 5, Chapters 74-83, Hosted by meeeeeeee!
Week 10: July 12, Chapter 84-END, Hosted by Lisa at OVER THE EFFING RAINBOW