The readalong is hosted by Imyril at There’s Always Room for One More and the questions are presented by Lisa of Dear Geek Place.

Spoilers ahead!

What did you make of Phèdre’s plan for stopping Melisande’s plot against the Crown, and Marco Stregazza’s power grab? And what did you think of how smoothly (or not) it went? 

Her plan was very daring and chaotic. Also very dramatic. Joscelin gets some closure by battling the Cassiline traitor they’ve been trying to narrow down. I also like that a few of the real rioters realize they’ve been manipulated and make their way out. Plus Severio gets some time to shine with Ricciardo and Allegra as the part of the family that isn’t horrible. The plan relies a lot on guesses of how the other pieces will be set and how people will react. It makes sense why it gets so chaotic.

I also think of the real life attempt on Lorenzo Medici’s life and the death of his brother Giuliano in a cathedral in Florence on Sunday.

Melisande faces the consequences of her actions… only, she doesn’t. What were your thoughts on her confrontations with Phèdre and Ysandre, and her seemingly ultimate fate?

Melisande is amazing at strategy. She even planned for failure. To be fair though, in those scenes in the temple she thought Percy had a shot at taking Terre d’Ange anyway or at least a big mess Ysandre might not get through alive. My consolation, sort of, is that she is separated from her child. She doesn’t get to raise him to be like her and what limited pain she can feel, she’s feeling being away from him.

The dust settles, and it seems our Cassiline hero has learned an important lesson or two. How pleased were you by the progress Joscelin has made in accepting both Phèdre’s and his own true nature/desires?

I’m glad he gets to be her official consort now and that he’s not in so much pain. They’ve both grown individually and as a couple.

Any other thoughts/feelings regarding other characters not mentioned here, or scenes you want to highlight?

Ysandre was amazing. So brave. She comes right up to the City of Elua with the Unforgiven and a crowd of her people moving through the royal army to face her traitorous commander. A man she has known her whole life. Things could have gone so wrong.

Also, Barquiel l’Envers holding the City against Percy is amazing. I like that he and Phèdre have a moment of acknowledgment.

I’m a little sad to be done but also excited that the next readalong is the third book, Kushiel’s Avatar.

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