Week Three covers chapters 35 through 51 and this section was hard to read because our heroes are in some dire circumstances. Plus Drujan is an awful place.
Imyril is hosting the readalong and Lisa of Dear Geek Place has the questions.
We meet the Mahrkagir, learn his story, and witness what Phèdre has gotten herself into. Are you all right? Do you feel like there’s any sympathy to be had for the villain of this piece?
I’m doing okay. I was prepared for this section to be hard and it has been again. Like Phèdre, I have sympathy for the Mahrkagir as a child, that is a lot to go through so young and I don’t think I would have gotten through with my sanity intact, but I have none for him as an adult. He is deliberately making choices to worship this god that wants “ill thoughts, ill words, ill deeds.” He seems to know what he’s doing even if he doesn’t have reasonable morals or ethics.
Then Lisa has a few questions that are about predicting things and I don’t think I can answer those without spoiling what is about to happen.
“Joscelin Verreuil, I would die without you.”
“Probably. Of melodrama, if naught else.”Carey, 268
I love that the zenana works together to open up the garden (and make it look closed up still). It is a small moment of hope and morale boosting in the midst of their horror.
We’ve also found out about this ceremony that all the Skotophagotis have to do and Gashtaham wants the Mahrkagir to do eventually. They sacrifice the person they love most, rather brutally.
I find Gashtaham interesting too, like Phèdre does. He’s kind of the power behind the throne. Also, I think he’s one of the former pupils of one of the trapped magi.
I also like that Phèdre is taking the time to learn a new language that she hopes will help her with Hyacinthe’s quest. Besides the practical reasons, I think it’s her way to cope with these challenging circumstances she tends to end up in. It gives her something to do and it helps with human connection.
I might waltz right into the next section because I want to get to what’s coming… It’s going to be intense.
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