The Darkest Road Readalong, Week Three

This week Mayri at Bookforager has the questions!

Let’s talk about Amairgen’s ghost ship, shall we?

This boat trip gave me a lot of vibes: The Flying Dutchman, the scenes in the movie version of The Return of the King (especially Jaelle releasing them to their rest), and it was fun to learn a little about the history they’ve seen.

What were your reactions to the army in the forest of Gwynir, the Dwarves’ mountain home, the second word-striving between Matt and Kaen, and the judgment of Calor Diman?

I love crystal stuff. I love the jewelry I have and other people’s statues. I would be so distracted there. I did think it was an interesting decision to make Matt and Kaen do the test. It takes the ultimate decision out of their hands. I also liked the analysis of Matt and Kaen’s offerings. But I do question that Kaen’s creativity has led him to madness. To be fair, as a chronically mentally ill creative, this is going to be tricky subject. Kaen seems very aware of what he’s doing here. His pursuit of power and other selfish things seems to be quite conscious. I did think for a second that the Calor Diman would reject them both and tell them all that they are doomed and good luck with that. I like what it says to Matt about how he shouldn’t have left but he has also gained valuable experience and insight that he didn’t have then and that it literally roasts Kaen. That was satisfying.

Thought’s and feelings on Leyse, if you please.

I’m trying not to giggle. I didn’t think the Lady of Shallot was an option but here she is. This is my theory: I think Kay felt bad for her. I think he read the poem and thought, “What a shame, she doesn’t even get to spend time with him before she croaks.” So she gets time with Lancelot, holds his hand as he naps, and she gets to go to the land her people were supposed to go to but there was a beast in the way. I find the whole thing a little ridiculous but I’ve gotten used to feeling that way over the course of reading these books.

Kim makes a choice, overruling the demands of the Baelrath. Why for the Dwarves, but not for the Paraiko?

I’m glad she made the choice because I was about to have a tantrum. (Luckily my popcorn bowl was empty when I accidentally tossed it to the floor.) But then I almost had another tantrum because the issue seemed to be that Kim disagreed with the Paraiko. She needed them to fight but they weren’t going to. Maybe she learned something from that exchange with Jennifer and Darien about free will? Or that taking the power of the mountain would destroy the home of the Dwarves? And that’s a step too far? I want to be fair to Kim but it feels like the Baelrath and Seer power seem to make her think she should dictate these things.

Let’s reflect on our understanding of the Light and the Dark and how Darien fits into it all?

My understanding is that it isn’t consistent in this world. Sometimes there is an argument for balance. Maugrim exists because of that allegedly. There is also argument that humans aren’t perfect. But we also have the lios and svart alfar who embody one side. And then we have the argument of nature versus nurture with Darien. He has the darkness in him because Maugrim is his biological father. And he carries the sins of his parents? But also he’s a kid and not a kid. He has been loved briefly and then not really. He doesn’t seem to have a place, which is his motivation currently. He feels so unformed. And there is a question of Light and Dark not being about morals or ethics at all, just where does your magic come from. The Wild Hunt does what it wants for good or bad, it is outside the Tapestry or something.

We are almost done…

3 thoughts on “The Darkest Road Readalong, Week Three

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