Deeper and down: The Bone Shard Daughter Read-along, Part 2

The plot thickens this week, as we get to know people a bit more intimately and some intriguing connections emerge. Let’s discuss The Bone Shard Daughter.

 

 

Jovis has begun to show strange new strengths since escaping Deerhead Island. What do you think is going on?

I honestly have no real idea, and I’m wondering if I missed some detail in the opening chapters that might turn out to be a clue. Right now my only real suspicion is that it involves Mephi somehow. There is definitely something going on with our furry friend, and if it isn’t connected to the changes in Jovis I will eat my bookmark. But beyond that, I’m happy to be surprised!

 

What is your understanding of witstone, and the strange effect it has on Mephi?

Make that two real suspicions, actually – I feel like witstone is also connected to the mystery of Jovis’s powers, though that’s a bit more of a shaky theory – surely if witstone was responsible he would have noticed before now? But I definitely think there’s more to witstone as a substance than there seems. Not least of which is a sort of “hazardous chemical” analogy that’s taking shape when I think of it. Most people don’t seem to think it does any harm, but the evidence of how harmful Mephi finds it can’t be ignored. People thought nuclear energy was a great idea once too, after all…

 

Lin attends two rather different – and rather awkward – family dinners. Why do you think her father invited her to eat with him? What do you make of Bayan now?

First of all, I’m glad to see that Lin is discovering some sense of empathy, and possibly of longing for the warmer, more affectionate relationships she is clearly lacking in her life. I was, and am, fascinated by the clinical aspects of her personality thus far, but it does make it difficult to relate to her.

That said, I am already up to my eyes in sympathy for her situation where her father is concerned. If any of this is what her father deems appropriate attention and care, then neither Lin nor Bayan need it and OMG they need to get far away, very fast. Or at least do something more decisive about their father’s hold on the Empire, because this man is Very Not Good, as Mephi might say.

Beyond that, I have to say I’m unsure what to make of the Emperor’s motivations where they’re concerned. No doubt he believes that his “lessons” will lead them somewhere, but I suspect it’s not where he intends to lead them. And as for Bayan… I’ll be honest, I’m a bit less intrigued by him than most of the other characters here. Maybe he’ll surprise me, but he seems a bit more like a plot device or a foil for Lin than a fully realised character in his own right, at this point. Bitter about his position, to be sure, but while that’s probably entirely fair, it’s not quite enough to get me to stay interested in him.

 

What do you make of the rebel plan and the deal they offer Jovis? Do you trust them to deliver what they’ve promised? How do you think Phalue will react to their plan?

Oh boy. Ooooooh boy. First of all, I have to say I was glad to see Phalue get her rude awakening this week, because pretty much all I’d been doing until now was roll my eyes and want to yell at her privileged self.

That said, I am … very much, actually, looking forward to her reaction to Gio’s plan. Because given his reputation, I can’t imagine his intention to go with Jovis into the palace will mean anything good for the governor. And somehow I don’t think Phalue is just going to shrug it off and continue trying to keep the peace if she puts that particular two and two together.

But who knows?

 

…as ever, feel free to get anything else off your chest that you’d like to discuss.

I’m getting myself all over this And Another Thing segment this week, because I need to talk a bit more about Lin. I’ve been speculating pretty wildly about her missing memories and what they mean, and … I don’t think Lin is who or what she believes she is. Right now I’m leaning toward either a) she is not actually the Emperor’s daughter, and this is why he went to so much trouble to erase all representation of her mother within the palace (the fate of Anne Boleyn, anyone?) or, b) Lin is some form of construct, and again I suspect her mother had some hand in her creation and this is why the Emperor went full Henry VIII on her and is denying Lin her birthright – and on that note, I am also starting to suspect her mother’s death was not so innocent. AND c) I think the Emperor is responsible for her missing memories, somehow. I think Lin saw or discovered something that is the key to all of this, and his constant assessments of her memory are his way of making sure she doesn’t remember too much.

But this all still feels very much like Wild Theory territory, and time will tell how right I am. I’ll have popcorn ready when it does…

 

 

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