If you haven't read the book why not join in and read along with the rest of us? You can find links to everyone else’s thoughts at the Little Red Reviewer.
This week we read through to the end of Chapter 9.
1. Do you think Tiffany will be able to hold up her end of the bargain that she made with the Kelda?
Absolutely: Tiffany is the kind of girl who can do anything when she sets her mind to it!
Although her task seems very difficult at the moment I have no doubt that everything will turn out well in the end, otherwise this is going to be a very disappointing story. We have already seen her overcome the difficulty of having to marry the Big Man, Rob Anybody, so that is a good start. She also managed to outwit the Drome . . . and she does have the Feegles and William the Gonnagle with his ability to make things explode by playing his music.
I also need to make a special mention of No’-As-Big-As-Medium-Sized-Jock-But-Bigger-Than-Wee-Jock Jock. Not only does he have possibly the most epic name of any character in literature, but he can destroy things with his poetry. How cool is that?
2. Do you think Tiffany and Fion will ever be friends?
I do not see Fion as a forgiving sort of girl and I cannot imagine that she will ever approve of Tiffany being made kelda of the clan, even if it was only a temporary arrangement. I get the impression that she was bad tempered enough before Tiffany showed up and that she has a teenager’s ability to sulk in the most dramatic fashion possible. I think the best that Tiffany can hope for is a little grudging respect after she has saved the day and handed the clan over to their new kelda.
3. What do you think of the Queen's world? How does this interpretation of Fairyland mesh with other interpretations you've run into in other books?
Discworld constantly takes well established tropes and turns them on their heads, so I really appreciate the distorted Fairyland that we have here. I love the idea that the trees and landscape only develop detail when you notice them: Mr Pratchett does like to add sentience to the most inanimate of objects. This also adds to the dream-like quality of the land, so that we can never be quite sure of our sense and what they are telling us. Of course, the Fae are often portrayed as rather ‘chaotic’ characters, to use the Dungeon and Dragons terminology, and there are plenty of stories and myths about them being evil. We see this in the Queen’s lack of understanding of what children need as oppose to what they want.
I have read quite a few books that involve the fae, and most of them show us two types of fae, one ‘good’ and one ‘evil’, that are normally in opposition to one another. Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files include several fae, most notably Mab, Queen of the Winter, who is very capricious: trying to kill him or help him seemingly at random. In Kim Harrison’s Hollows series, the fairies are rather nasty insectoids who are happy to work as mercenaries. Sookie Stackhouse is possibly the most famous example of a fairy in modern fantasy, even if she is mostly human.
4. What do you think of Roland? Will he be a help to Tiffany or a hindrance?
I am not at all sure about Roland. He makes me think of Edmund in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and his relationship with the White Witch. I hope that Roland proves to be an ally for Tiffany, although I would not be surprised if he is more of a hindrance.
5. I don't know about you, but I do NOT want to run into a Drome!
Most definitely not: they are way too powerful and cunning. Being stuck in a bad dream that can change with your perceptions sounds like the worst thing possible.