Wotcha all, and welcome to part two of the readalone, covering chapters 17 to 31. The questions this week come from Nrlymrtl at Dab of Darkness and with that said, time to get on with it.
Q1) We get a few more hints of magic or the supernatural in this section. Phedre sees Kushiel's visage after Alcuin is injured; Hyacinthe's mom & he himself both have things revealed via the dromonde; that moment of deep peace at Elua's statue. What do you think of magic in this world?
Q2) More politics! For those new to the series, what do you make of Baudoin and his mother, the Lioness of Azzalle? For those rereading, are you noticing details you missed before?
Baudoiiiiing! No, I never actually thought of that before. But the noise seems appropriate for his role in the story. I don't really recall what I thought of him the first time I read this but this time around, his callowness and insensitivity are magnified. He's the stock image of a romantic prince that might be the hero in some Arthurian tale, but here presented from the view of one better positioned to see feet of clay than the head of gold. That Phèdre is so affected by his death is part testament to her empathy, part her weakness for magnificent and ruthless assurance (even if he wasn't so assured in the end).
Q3) What do you think of Alciun's final assignation? Guy's death? Would Alcuin have been happier, but perhaps less useful, as something other than Naamah's servant?
Mm... I don't think Alcuin would have been happier, because he'd have been less useful.
Q4) Phedre has a new bodyguard - a Casseline Brother, Joscelin Verreuil. What do you think his life was like before this posting? Are you surprised that Anafiel didn't dismiss him after the confrontation with Childric d'Essoms?
A lot duller.
Q5) We finally meet Barquiel L'Envers. How dangerous do you think this man is? What do you make of his history with Anafiel?
Put it this way - I'm not volunteering to poison his sister.
Q6) How did you feel about Phedre granting Childric another assignation? Was she right that she owed him a debt?
Q7) Alcuin has completed his marque and displays it to Anafiel. How do you feel about the shift in their relationship? Phedre's response to it?
I find it sweet that Alcuin finally gets what he wants. That's my main take. Early indications seem to be I'm in a minority there, and I'm idly wondering whether it's because being a bloke, imbalanced relationships are less of a thing in my head because the risk of me or one of my friends getting caught in a bad one was far far less (not to mention it strips out less rung of inequality) in my head growing up.
And, of course, include anything else that piqued your interest from this section.