Welcome to week seven of the read-along of Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel’s Scion! This week I’ve provided the discussion questions, and they cover chapters 53-60. Only one week left of the novel, and I’m excited to see how everything will play out. For now, beware of spoilers through chapter 60 below.
1) We begin this section with a slightly happier topic, Eamonn and Brigitta’s wedding. Do you think this was a good idea, for Eamonn and Brigitta as well as for the people of Lucca? Assuming they both survive, how do you think it will go for them when they break the news to their families?
I was surprised that Eamonn and Brigitta agreed to this, though I think it was good for the morale of the city to have something to celebrate. Still, getting married is a lifelong commitment, and I didn’t think that Eamonn and Brigitta had been dating for very long. It all seemed very fast, especially when you consider how much thought and planning seems to go into political marriages for nobles. I can’t help but wonder how much the “tomorrow we may die” atmosphere of the siege contributed to their decision-making. I really hope that Eamonn survives the siege.
Assuming they both make it through, I’m not sure how their families will take the news. I don’t think there will be problems of personality (who could dislike Eamonn!), but there are some issues that will need to be talked through. For instance, Brigitta was in Tiberium only for six months, after which she was supposed to return home. Now she’s apparently planning to move permanently to Alba. I expect her parents will not be thrilled. On Eamonn’s side, I imagine his parents probably planned him to make a political marriage, and not for him to marry a woman he had dated for only a few months in college. I hope they’ll come around and accept Brigitta eventually.
2) Firestorm! Do you think this action was worth the sacrifices? In the words of Deccus Fulvius, do you think it is worth destroying something to save it?
First off, I’m skeptical of how useful an olive grove would be as sustenance for an army. I guess they have calories, but it would take a lot of time to gather them and they are pretty small. I guess I don’t completely buy that it was necessary to burn down the ancient olive grove. I think burning the crops is merited, but it’s also less of a sacrifice. They can be regrown in a year, and I think trade is developed enough that Lucca will be able to import food, once the siege is lifted.
I’m also conflicted on the sacrifice of people for this goal. Gallus Tadius sent those men out with the expectation that it would be a suicide mission, but I didn’t get the impression that the men really understood this. I think that if they were going to close the wall against them as they did, they should have made sure the men knew what they were signing up for. If they had, maybe the one brief survivor would have fled elsewhere and lived.
3) The d’Angeline delegation makes a deal for Imriel’s friends. Do you agree with the characters’ decisions on who would go and who would stay?
I agree wholeheartedly with Imriel’s decision. As for the others, I was surprised Brigitta didn’t choose to stay with Eamonn. They had only just married, and I can’t imagine how hard it would be to leave your new husband in a siege. She’s a fighter as well, so her presence could make a difference. I agree with Deccus and Claudia leaving, especially since Claudia can now try to use her ties to the Guild to ask for help.
4) Do you think that Gallus Tadius knew that his plan to funnel the water to the underworld would require him to also depart? Was that an act of self-sacrifice, or was it unintentional?
I’m not sure about this one. He seemed very confident that he would be able to filter the water to the underworld, so part of me thinks he knew what he was doing. Also, for all of Gallus Tadius’s faults, I think he does value Lucca and his family more than his own life. I wonder if Lucius will be able to recover, and if his sense of the lemures will be gone now.
5) Any new thoughts on Canis? Do you think he was involved in informing the d’Angeline delegation, and do you think he’s a part of (or in opposition to) the Unseen Guild?
I still don’t really know what to think about Canis, but the discussion from last week has put the idea in my head that he might be working for Melisande. The main clue we have so far is that Claudia is lying about not knowing anything about him. I have been wondering if he might have been involved with the Guild in the past, but has since left them. Thinking back to his statement about being truly free as a nameless beggar, I wonder if he found he didn’t like being beholden to a powerful group. Could Melisande have somehow allowed him to get free of the Guild, and that’s why he is looking after her son? Whatever his loyalties, I think that he was involved in informing the d’Angeline delegation, and he has been protecting Imriel.
--After Imriel’s concern about his tendency to cruelty in the past few weeks, it was nice to see so many examples of his kindness this week. For instance:
- It was kind of Imriel to speak with Helena, and to share some of his pain to help her deal with her own.
- It was kind of Imriel to use his Cassiline skills to coerce Gallus Tadius into getting a good night’s sleep.
- It was kind of Imriel to help Helena’s parents cope by getting them involved in organizing their home for the flood and the invasion.
--Now comes the battle. I really hope Eamonn lives.