Wyrd & Wonder Readalong: The Summer Tree, Week 4

So yes, Wyrd and Wonder is officially over for the year but I’m a bit behind on my last posts and gosh darnit, I will cross that finish line. Starting with my final week’s post for The Summer Tree Readalong! Questions by Mayri at The Bookforager, opinions by me…

 

Paul is now the Lord of the Summer Tree. What do you think this means/will mean?

Honestly, I am really not sure what to make of this at this point. I mean, I sort of predicted that his sacrifice wouldn’t be the end for him, but … I dunno, it seems like an awful lot of trouble to go to just to get some therapy, dude.

In all seriousness, I’m fascinated by this, and by what it might mean! I just don’t really have any theories yet, but sometimes that’s a good thing. I’m curious to find out more!

 

Each of our grad students has found a role to play in Fionavar, most questionably Jennifer. What are your thoughts and feelings on Jennifer’s plight, and how have you made sense of it within the scope of the story so far?

Hooboy. This was … a lot. And with it coming right at the end of this book, I’m both a little shaken (for obvious reasons, this is not lighthearted reading) and a bit dubious about the necessity of it? I mean, violence like this being done to a female character never sits well with me but in this case, I’m also wondering if this is really going to be the sole purpose of Jennifer’s character? It feels like there’s more to learn here, about her as a person, but after reading the entire book and very much getting the sense that she’s here as a passive plot device … I’m not sure how to feel about her, beyond feeling very uneasy about what happens to her. I can definitely respect that she did her best to hold her own, but on one hand this had a kind of sacrificial lamb feel to it for her, and yet on the other Maugrim is determined to destroy his enemies and … he starts with “a toy”? Someone who’s unimportant? Either he’s going about this in a very petty and wrongheaded manner or Jennifer actually is more important than she seems to be.

And I honestly don’t have a good sense of which answer is the right one, here. But that was one heck of a cliffhanger and dangit, I’m hooked. Gimme book two!

 

What did you make of the many events in the throne room, from the assassination attempt to the showdown for the crown?

Right. Diarmuid. Mate. Just … naw.

I don’t like him. For one thing, his priorities are definitely screwy and even if they weren’t, he needs to make up his mind about what actually matters to him. Annoyance the first: he is fully unsurprised to find that Sharra has infiltrated the palace with the intention of assassinating him, unmasks her publicly, decides to spare her the embarrassment of admitting his real reason for going to her home in the first place, and then tries to call her out for being childish after he tries the old ‘sneak into her bedroom at night’ trick and gets the faceful of ice water that, may I say, he thoroughly and unquestionably deserved?

Nah, mate. You’re not winning any points from me. And we haven’t even gotten to the fact that (annoyance the second) you decided one minute that you wanted the crown for yourself against the interests of anyone else, then only stepped aside for what I am assuming were politically savvy reasons because suddenly there are gods and goddesses at the table – not that you care about what they say or do?

I understand that he’s supposed to be the charming and charismatic one here. I’m just not convinced. At all. Sorry not sorry.

 

There’s been a surfeit of signs, a plethora of portents in this week’s reading. Now is the time to air your opinions on such things as flying unicorns, getting lost in the woods, the Cave of the Sleepers, magical horns and unearthed Cauldrons.

Catnip to a fantasy nerd. Catnip for days! I don’t really know how much sense to make of all these signs yet, but I’m eating them up anyway. So, the Wild Hunt might get in on this action if The Youngsters make that call? But they might not have all the right information about how to make it because Loren in his wisdom is all “let them decide for themselves” which, fair, but Loren. You’re the wise one here. I hope you will not fail to smack these kids on the hand if they stick that hand in the wrong cookie jar?

But let’s not digress into too much sensible thought here because FLYING UNICORNS (wait does this unicorn have wings or no because if yes, is it even still a unicorn? DEBATE IN THE COMMENTS) and EVIL CAULDRONS and MWAHAHAHA YES GOOD GIVE ME MORE.

 

The Dwarves did it, in the darkness, with the Cauldron of Khath Meigol! What do you make of this last-minute revelation? And care to make any predictions on future developments?

Who the heck is Khath Meigol and why is he leaving evil Cauldrons lying around for just anybody to pick up and hurt themselves with?

And ‘last-minute revelation’ is right – it feels a bit like the author suddenly remembered he needed to wrap things up and finally picked up the pace to get it done? But at the same time I feel like that’s a bit unfair because it IS an effective cliffhanger – I want book two and I want it now! It’s just quite a lot of dramatic turns in a short number of pages and, well. It certainly shook off my cobwebs!

As for predictions – who the heck knows? I am certainly hoping Jennifer will have a more substantial role to play than she did here, and I’m interested to see how that role ties in with those of the others, who have had considerably more time to settle into theirs… In short I want Book 2 to be the Book of Jennifer, please. Whether she becomes a hero, a villain, or something else entirely – just don’t fridge her, is what I’m asking.

 

Finally, reaction shots on Maugrim the Unraveller – go! 

I don’t know what everyone’s talking about, he seems lovely. Ambitious chap, a real go-getter, knows his goals and NO SERIOUSLY THIS GUY IS TERRIFYING OMG. Someone didn’t get enough hugs growing up, I guess. A+ for dramatic effort, here.

Now where’s the second book…?

 

3 comments On Wyrd & Wonder Readalong: The Summer Tree, Week 4

  • 🤣🤣🤣 Right, though?! Who IS leaving frigging Cauldrons lying around??
    I love ALL your reactions! ❤
    (And breathed a sigh of relief at imyril’s comment about Jennifer too).

  • Okay, spoilers be damned: can confirm Jennifer does not get fridged.

    As for Imraith-Nimphais – if you are brave enough to tell her she’s not a unicorn because she has wings, go for it. Me, Imma respect the horn.

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