Trail of Lightning Read Along, Part Two

It’s time to return to the Sixth World! imyril is hosting the read along this week, and there’s some fairly meaty character action in these chapters, so let’s get the discussion going.

NOTE: Spoilers follow for chapters 9 through 18.

Maggie and Kai are still on the trail of their mysterious monster, but along the way they encounter Coyote, who wants them to undertake another quest on his behalf, and Maggie finds some old, painful (and horrifying) memories being dug up during their meeting. Oh, and there is definitely something fishy about Kai. Isn’t there…?

Let’s discuss Trail of Lightning.

 

Banner by imyril

 

24 hours isn’t long to forge a partnership, but it’s been eventful! Do you think Maggie and Kai make a good team? Why?

It certainly has been eventful, and I am more interested than ever in both of these characters. The question of their partnership is interesting. I’m not entirely sure they make a good team yet, as such; it seems to me that they still have a lot of trust to build between them before a good partnership becomes a proper, solid prospect – but I think the seeds of one are there, for sure.

At the moment, though, Maggie clearly has too much baggage to work through/set aside to let trust become a real possibility, though deep down she may not be as hard-hearted as she seems. As for Kai, I still think there’s something unusual about him, and if he really does want a partnership with Maggie as much as he seems to, then he’s going to have to come clean about himself – and I don’t just mean about his family background, though that undoubtedly helps. Maggie explicitly calls him out on the strange way he has with people, and the change of his eyes that she noticed, and either Kai is genuinely unaware that he’s doing anything supernatural, or he’s lying to her about it. I really want to know which it is, and why!

 

A Trickster comes to tea! We meet our first Bik’e’áyée’ii – what do you make of Ma’ii? …and his mission?

He doesn’t like tea, so naturally I distrust him on these grounds alone!

Seriously, though – Coyote gives me the epic-level creeps. Whether physically, or because of the ways in which he chooses to antagonise Maggie, or just on account of the very idea of who and what he is … However I take him, he’s Not Right and I do not like him.

As for his mission, you just know that’s going to be trouble, down the road. Maggie is being hired to trap some element of a god (or his power?) and give it to another god, who happens to be of the Trickster variety? Yes, I’m sure that’s all entirely innocent and above board, just a harmless prank, what could possibly go wrong?!

MAGGIE. THINK ABOUT THIS ONE.

 

We learn more about Maggie’s past, and about Neizghani. Do you think she’s too hard on herself? How do you feel about Neizghani’s role in her life – and about the way he left?

Do I think she’s too hard on herself … Yes, and no. Yes, because what happened to her and her grandmother was not her fault; she suffered through something horrific, and used the only power she had to survive it. It’s hard to imagine she would have done so otherwise, even if Neizghani had been nearby. On the other hand, while I have a lot of sympathy for what she went through, I think that in some ways Maggie isn’t simply giving in to self-loathing. She understands, or at least believes she understands, what she is, what she’s capable of, and what the things she’s done make her. What Maggie is and what she can do is incredibly dangerous, and it’s clear she doesn’t have the best control. Yet she’s still willing to use that power, and however much sympathy I have, that also says something about her.

That said, however, I don’t think that the blame for Maggie’s lack of control, or necessary education, can be laid entirely at her own door. Neizghani, I’m looking at you, dude.

I don’t approve of the way he’s apparently handled her situation; for a hero of legend and one who’s seemingly dedicated to fighting evil, it feels awfully callous of him to have abandoned Maggie when she needed him. Perhaps it’s a case of tough love tactics; I can’t be sure yet, and likely won’t be until we get his side of the story, if we ever do. But as things stand right now, I don’t like him very much…

 

Any predictions or other observations at the half-way stage?

Kai is very possibly up to something; Coyote is definitely up to something; and if anything happens to Grandpa Tah I will riot.

 

 

 

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Dear Geek Place is my new home on the internet, though I've been around here before - I am the blogger formerly known as @EffingRainbow. Here, you can still find reviews of science fiction and fantasy books, but hopefully more besides, as I throw myself cheerfully out into the world and attempt to chronicle my experiences, one adventure at a time.

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