Hope is a fragile thing: The Poison Song Read-along, Part 4

Noon returns. The gang rescue Bern, with some unforeseen assistance. Hestillion is truly tested in battle, at last. And I spilled my feelings absolutely EVERYWHERE.

Let’s discuss The Poison Song. Spoilers follow for chapters 31 through 42.

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Take a seat. Make yourself comfortable. Now, in your own time – how are you feeling after this week’s developments?

In a word? Wrecked. But in the best ways.

I’d like to call it now: one of my favourite scenes from any book I’ve read this year came from this one, and it’s the scene where Noon returns with Vostok to tip the balance back in their favour during the hair-raising rescue of the once-more captured (and tortured, oh my poor baby) Bern. Not only that, but she damn near obliterates the Jure’lia queen, quite literally smashing her into paste with winnow/dragonfire.

LOTR fans – you know the Battle of Helm’s Deep scene where everything is going badly for our heroes and defeat looks inevitable, but then suddenly Gandalf turns up and there’s all the radiant light and Help Arrives and the orcs don’t know what hit them? THIS IS RIGHT UP THERE WITH THAT SCENE.

Then there was her reunion with Tor, and FINALLY getting to see them admit their feelings for each other. Oh, my heart. My poor battered, broken, delighted heart.

I just. That’s it. All I’ve got is flailing and feelings.

The fruit may fall far from the tree, but all war beasts share a connection. What are your thoughts about Celaphon as we head into the final act?

I did not expect that to happen. I seriously did not. This caused a bit of screaming for different reasons. My eyes. They were wide.

Celaphon is a bit of a complicated one. I definitely still sympathise with him; he is so torn between what his indoctrination is making him think, and what that little nugget of untouched(?) connection to the other war beasts is making him want to believe. We can’t deny that he’s a creature of the Jure’lia, and a monster of Hest’s (and his…) own making. We can’t forget what he did to Eri, and I wouldn’t even if I could. But he began as something else, something potentially better, and while his methods of helping seem monstrous (BERN’S HAND OMG), I think he’s genuinely trying to prove that he isn’t so much of a monster. But is he trying to prove it to the other war beasts, or to himself? Or both? How much of what he is now is because of what he was turned into, and how much of it might simply have been in his nature?

We may never know, but either way, my heart hurts for him. Even while he terrifies me because HE ATE BERN’S HAND IN AN EFFORT TO HELP.


Did Tyranny and Windfall get what they deserved? How do you think our heroes will fare against Hest’s latest tactics?

Well. Shit.

Here’s another thing I didn’t expect to happen! I went into this scene half thinking Hest would be the one who’d fare badly, because she might be clever but she’s relatively untested in battle, compared to Tyranny. Right?

But it turned out Clever (and amazingly ruthless) was enough to win the day, and … I have mixed feelings about it.

I think Tyranny got what she deserved. She was arrogant and ignorant, and these things worked against her. Where I start to feel conflicted is with the fact that Windfall went down with her – and seemingly with more finality. There was always some part of me that wondered if there might be hope for Hest when it came to seeing sense and at least trying to redeem herself.

Then she went and murdered a war beast, and I’m pretty sure that hope is now dead. It feels like she’s now finally crossed a line that she can’t ever un-cross, and given all that she’s done that’s saying a lot. Or perhaps it’s more like the final nail in her coffin. Whatever her reasons and justifications might be, Hest is fully aware of the sheer awfulness of her choices and is choosing not to own up to it. And now she’s killed a war beast. I’m not sure the fact that Windfall was an enemy will matter to the others of her own kind?

We’ll see. But it doesn’t bode well for Hest in the grand scheme of things, in my opinion…

As for how the others will fare against her now… Well.

*Nervous flailing ensues*

…any last thoughts before we plunge into the final week?

*Nervous flailing intensifies*

Also: Tor. Tormalin. TOR. Just tell them. Tell someone. Tell anyone. I CAN’T TAKE IT PLEASE TELL THEM BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE.






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