If you haven't read the book, why not give it a try? You can find links to everyone else’s thoughts at Dab of Darkness.
This week we read through to the end of the book.
Before I answer the questions I would just like to thank Barbara Friend Ish for the chance to read her book for free and nrlymrtl for organizing the Read Along.
1) These final chapters show us much more of Iminor's character and his growing Talent. What stuck out the most for you about how he handled the various exploding aspects of his life?
I was constantly amazed that he did not stab Ellion in the eye when it became obvious that the human was bedding Letitia. He seems to be remarkably tolerant of her choices and able to restrain his jealousy well beyond the point where I would have expected at least a well-placed knee in Ellion’s dangly bits. Ellion has some inkling that he is considered so far beneath her as to not really warrant jealousy from her designated Consort, but I was still very impressed.
2) While Rohini is a late addition to the party, she is an interesting one. What aspect of her character or objectives would you like to see more of in forthcoming book(s)?
She reminds me very much of Brienne of Tarth from George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series, although Rohini is not supposed to be as ugly or manly. I was very impressed by the way that she fulfilled a traditionally ‘male’ role with great ease and commanded such loyalty and respect from her soldiers.
3) Amien has been managing and maneuvering Ellion quite a bit in this last section. What do you think his motivations are?
I think that he has always wanted Ellion to take over as his successor and this plan is now even more important as he is being overwhelmed by the death magic. I do not think that he has any other motive behind this wish other than seeing the strongest, most Talented man take over his position.
4) Letitia continued to learn more about her abilities, but everyone agrees she still lacks the ability to go toe to toe with Nechton. What more would you empower her with?
I think that what she really needs is information. She needs to know what her mother could and could not do and how they differ in their Talent. More importantly, she needs to know why Carina failed to destroy Nechton. This could all be in the journal that she uncovered, otherwise I have no idea how she can hope to survive the encounter.
5) Throughout this entire book, the deities have played an important, if a backseat driver, role. As a reader, how as this worked for you in the world-building/plot department?
I am still rather ambivalent about the deities in this world. Ellion seems to believe that they are real entities, and he certainly escaped that mine explosion by some sort of divine intervention. However, they feel very distant and somewhat unconcerned with anything other than their own desires and needs. I see a lot of similarities with the Greek / Roman pantheon, especially with the overthrowing and imprisonment of the old gods by the new. It is unfortunate that we have only Ellion’s internal monologue to inform us as his wandering exploration of the dark forces has identified several potential sources of that power. At the moment I am not certain which dark god is the most powerful or the identity of the one calling to him.
6) We had yet one more assassination attempt in the hot water baths of Sucello. Now that we are at the end of the book, what are your insights into who is behind these attempts?
What insight: did I miss a clue? As far as I can tell, we are no wiser now than we were with the first one.
7) Bealtan reveals much about our narrative hero, Ellion. From his reuniting with Conar, to the revelation of Amien's intentions, to his argument with Letitia, and his own internal recriminations about himself. Here at the end, what are your lasting impressions of Ellion?
Erm, this is going to sound rather harsh, but I have trouble liking Ellion or developing a great deal of sympathy for him. I have spent most of the book wanting to give him a good slap because so much of his problems are self-inflicted. He has made things so much worse by trying to hold to his vow, unless it involved subtle breaks in it to get into Letitia’s knickers. He could have resolved so much of his angst by talking to Amien and the others. He is basically narcissistic and selfish: personality traits that I struggle to find appealing.