The Darkest Road Readalong: Week One

And so begins the readalong for the third book in the series, hosted by Imyril. The questions come from Ariana of the Book Nook.

We’re straight back in where the last book left off – how are you feeling about returning to Fionavar?

I feel a little conflicted, I’m excited to be joining the group again and I want to know what’s going to happen. But part one hasn’t been very fun.

There are a lot of characters that, whether through long life, immortality, or reincarnation, have long memories. How do you find this shapes the story?

Well, Galadan’s villain origin story is that he was rejected and didn’t get over it. Maugrim created a monster to eat the lios alfar. These grudges cause lots of issues for our characters. There are multiple pieces of media that explore this idea in different ways. Nidhogg, a dragon of Final Fantasy XIV, continues the Dragonsong War even though the humans who killed his sister died generations ago. The argument is that he remembers the event as if it were yesterday. He has to be destroyed for the war to end (and to save the possessed dragoon too). The book keeps telling me that they can’t be killed but I really want them destroyed anyway.

What do you make of Galadan’s point of view and what do first time readers think he might do to Jennifer?

I’m hoping that Jennifer throws the flower dust in his eyes. I’m not optimistic though. He is a nasty piece of work. Reading Galadan’s section felt a lot like reading Fairest by Marissa Meyer, which is from the perspective of the main villain in that series. I don’t feel like I gained anything from either. Please tell me she isn’t getting kidnapped again.

We have finally met the Paraiko and there is a lot to unpack. Here’s your chance to talk about it!

Pacifism and using someone else’s trauma for motivation, what delight. I don’t want to be rude but I find their pacifism misguided in the face of actual evil. In Gundam Wing, Relena Peacecraft attempts to run a pacifist nation and ultimately must dissolve it because they end up being attacked and Relena’s supporters fight back. But Maugrim, Galadan, and their minions aren’t complex humans. They are actually evil, I would argue beyond redemption. The fact that the Paraiko value the lives of their people less than their ideals, irritates me.

But I find Kim’s actions pretty offensive too. Corrupting them into joining the fight by showing them what happened to Jennifer is disgusting. Manipulating people into fighting is garbage and Kim is so far out of line here. The fact that their people were being eaten should have been sufficient motivation.

3 thoughts on “The Darkest Road Readalong: Week One

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