Monday, July 27, 2015

Read-Along: Full Fathom Five by Max Gladstone, Part 2

Welcome to part two of the read-along of Max Gladstone’s Full Fathom Five!  This week’s host is Lynn of Little Lion Lynnet's, and her questions cover chapters 14-32.  Keep in mind that spoilers up through chapter 32 are fair game in the comments below! As always, feel free to join in on our goodreads group.

1) So Margot too is hoping that Izza can lead him to the Blue Lady. What do you make of his vision? Especially in relation to the nightmares that Kai is having. Do you think they're related?

I’m pretty convinced at this point that all of this is connected to the idols in the pool.  I’m a little unclear on whether Seven Alpha and the Blue Lady are the same entity, or whether Seven Alpha was created from the remains of the Blue Lady.  If the first case is true, then does that mean Izza and the other children were also benefits of her grace, and the Blue Lady died for them when Seven Alpha died?  Either way, it seems like the idol is not completely gone.  I’m wondering if this is a case where a deity is barely saved by the faith of just a few followers (Izza, Margot, Kai?).

2) Teo! Did anyone expect to see Teo? What role do you think she'll play in the rest of the story?

I was not expecting Teo!  She’s shown up twice now, so I can’t imagine it’s just a cameo.  She must have some role to play.  I’m wondering if her pilgrim status is actually just a cover, and there’s something else she’s trying to investigate in Kavekana.  She seemed very keen to see the idols, after all.

3) Kai is worried that Mara has set her up. Do you think it likely?

My guess is that Mara is in a tough spot, and she saw Kai as a potential help.  She probably wanted to get that evidence out of the mountain, and when Kai showed up she realized she had a convenient way to do just that.  It also could have been a way to get Kai to investigate without explicitly asking her (for deniability).  I don’t think she’s setting Kai up, but I do think she’s trying to use Kai while protecting herself.

4) It seems everyone is having discussions of faith with one another. That's not particularly surprising given the tenor of the books, I know, but still. How does what we've learned from Cat and Margot in these chapters affect your feelings on the idea of gods, Craft or Idols that Allie asked?

I don’t think it has really changed my preference, but idols are beginning to seem more and more like enslaved gods.  I mean, they do the same things gods do, but with no choice.  Even if the idol chose to help Margot and Izza, people will see it as Margot and Izza stealing grace.  

5) We're getting a better idea of what Penitence means for the people of Kavekana. What do you think of their idea of punishment now that you have a better idea of how it works?
Cruel and unusual? That’s my first thought.  It sounds like they are basically put through physical and mental torture until they’re at the point where they would believe anything if it would make it stop.  There has got to be a better way to rehabilitate criminals, especially since I get the impression from Izza that teenagers get tossed into those things just for petty theft or hanging with the wrong crowd.

6) Kai has built up an idea of what's going on, but what do you think happened? Did Margot really steal soul without realising it or is there something else going on?

I think Kai is mostly right, except that I suspect Seven Alpha has a conscious mind.  It seems to me like Margot did not steal soul, Seven Alpha gave him her grace.  I think Kai is missing this because she does not believe the idols have any agency of their own.

Other Things:

--Even if Margot is in trouble, I think getting her ex-boyfriend to incarcerate him with no charges is not the way to go…

--Also, it seems like things are not quite over between Kai and Claude. It seems like he’s a mistake she just can’t stop making :(.

--Kai was right, she’s a pretty dreadful salesperson. That’s another reason I’m sure Teo has an ulterior motive.

--Wouldn’t that just be awful if Makawe actually did return from the wars, but the people of Kavekana enslaved him into an idol?

--That’s pretty cool that the priests go to work on a volcano by cable car.  Kai talks about it as if it’s completely mundane, but it’s really neat when you stop to think about it.

Also check out the answers of the other participants!


  1. I think it's possible that Mara may be a victim rather than a traitor as well. I had my suspicions, especially since the narrative was trying to push us towards one way. I guess we'll see!

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    1. Yeah, I'm really eager to see how this turns out in the end.

  2. The mundane + the magic is my favorite thing about Gladstone's world. I mean, in one of the books they have chain coffee shops in steppe pyramids! It's weirdly discordant and I like it a lot.

    I can't get over the feeling that Mara is up to no good.

    1. I really like that feeling in his world as well :). I guess we'll see about Mara, we don't know her too well and I may be far too trusting.