So I am way behind on this, but I am finally having a productive turn so let’s get cracking!
In this section, our various disparate characters start to come together, though it’s far from being all sunshine and roses. Meanwhile, Lin’s subversive efforts start to bear results – just not the ones she was hoping for…
Let’s discuss The Bone Shard Daughter.
Sand appears to be organising something of a rebellion herself – but against what? Any ideas about what might be happening to the people on Maila, and why? For that matter, do you have any theories about who Sand herself might be/where she came from?
This mystery does seem to be shaping up to be The Key To Solving Everything, at least in terms of big plot reveals. I’m guessing that this island is where the Emperor’s failed experiments are being taken and dumped – it’s on the furthest reaches of his empire, no one ever seems to visit there, and in fact the only ones who apparently go there at all is the owner of the equally mysterious blue-sailed ship. But that’s (mostly) another mystery altogether…
As for Sand, I do get a strong sense that she’s someone important in all of this, or why would we be getting her POV at all? Or is it just that she wasn’t important until she started asking questions about her situation? I’m not sure, but either way I’m feeling very drawn to her, and I want desperately to know what her role in all this will turn out to be!
“Fanatics were all alike, cut from the same cloth and dyed different colours.” Do you think this assessment of Gio by Jovis is accurate? And do you think it only applies to Gio?
I think it is alarmingly accurate, and I absolutely do not trust Gio to be the one who ultimately tries to do the right thing, or at least not for the right reasons – I think he’s lying when he says he doesn’t want to be a leader himself. And anyone who actually wants a position of power can perhaps not be trusted to use it wisely…
As for the second question, no, I don’t think it only applies to Gio. The Emperor himself is clearly not in his right mind, but beyond that… I suspect there’s something a little fanatical about the way Jovis thinks, regarding his need to find that blue-sailed ship. Granted, his priorities and motivations have shifted considerably, but I did worry early on that his obsession with finding Emahla was a) not healthy, and b) possibly not what she wanted. Now I think it’s way more complicated, of course, but that was my knee-jerk reaction and I’m still not entirely sure that the situation is as clear-cut as Jovis might want it to be.
Speaking of Jovis, do you think his power really is connected to Mephi somehow, or is something else going on?
Yes, and yes!
This is the story arc bone I am chewing on the hardest, because I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS ABOUT MEPHI. Is he sick because Jovis went so far away? If so, why? Is there some much deeper bond between them than anyone realised?
On the other hand, is Mephi sick because someone (Gio) arranged to have him poisoned? It’s clear that there is some important bond between him and Jovis, and if Gio thought that keeping Mephi out of the way was more beneficial to his cause, then…?
Also, if my beloved ottercat-critter dies I will NOT BE HAPPY.
“I lived in a dollhouse of my father’s making, a living graveyard.” We get part of the truth about Lin (and Bayan!) revealed this week, following a rather harrowing massacre; how do you feel about this particular twist? And what do you think the Emperor’s goal here might be?
I figured it was coming; I mean, this does not seem very much like a story where the heroine simply gets her way and manages to keep all her promises. Things were bound to go wrong. I wasn’t expecting how starkly or suddenly they went wrong here, however, but I did expect something.
And I was right about Lin being a construct! Though I didn’t expect to get two for the price of one, but it makes sense. Of course the Emperor would have a pet project AND a backup pet project. But which is which? As for his goal… He’s obviously self-obsessed and this is probably some means of clinging to his own power. If he can’t live forever, he’ll rig the system of power to keep people following his commands even when he’s gone. (Sidenote: TOO REAL IN THIS POLITICAL AGE.)
Now that we know more about the Emperor’s constructs, particularly Ilith… what do you make of the nature of her bone shard commands? Do you think she might prove to be a wild card?
I think Ilith is definitely a wild card, or at least she was before Lin messed her up so badly. It even seems like she was designed to be one, albeit one who still serves the Empire, if not necessarily the Emperor. (See my answer to the last question.) But is she out of commission altogether? I’m not so sure. She would certainly make one hell of a final twist in this book, if she manages to somehow turn on the Emperor after all…