(join the discussion here!)
I’m your host this week. It was an exciting section and I enjoyed coming up with the questions. I hope you all enjoy them, too!
1. Kai and Izza finally meet face-to-face. What do you think about their confrontation? Did it go as you expected, or did they surprise you?
Izza surprised me a bit, because I don’t think I expected her to be as distraught about Margot as she was. I’m still trying to figure out what Margot represents for her. I really liked how the meeting revealed important things about each character, and I loved the bit where Izza revealed their secret temple.
2. Poor Margot. Do you trust that Claude just did a stupid thing and didn’t believe Kai when he needed to, or do you think he has a bigger role in the conspiracy? And who is behind the mysterious murdering Penitent?
I do not trust Claude at all. If he’s ‘innocent’, then he’s much too bland of a character for Gladstone’s history. We still don’t know what really happened between him and Kai, and yes, Kai has her own demons, but I get some skeevy vibes from Claude nonetheless. I think he at least knows more than he is saying, if he is not being directed totally by the priests (who I think are behind the whole conspiracy, whatever it may turn out to be.)
3. Kai and Teo’s conversation about evolution and creation myths, science vs. belief, was really striking. Which side of the philosophical argument would you lean towards?
This section really resonated with me, because even though this is a fictional world, I feel very much like Kai does. The way she talked about creation myths were very close to my actual beliefs in this world. Which was kind of fun, to be honest. I study myth and religious books as literature, and I think they give important context to the human story that can go much deeper than science. And I just really, really loved the line “And here, we became human.”
It is fascinating to me that in a world where gods and magic are known entities they are treated as mundane things, so I think Kai’s approach to metaphor almost brings a little bit of holiness back into the equation.
4. So we know now that all of the idols and Izza’s gods are different facets of a single goddess. How do you think this development might affect the different characters, and Kavekanan society as a whole?
I loved this development. It seems like the people of Kavekana have either been willfully ignoring or actively trying to hide that their idols evolved into this goddess. It puts the idols much more firmly on the side of the gods rather than the Craftspeople, and it destroys the neutrality of the idol system. I think Kavekana is going to end up going back to gods worship–perhaps with this new figure taking the place of Makawe?–and I don’t have a clue what will happen to their economy.
5. Why do you think Teo threw her bracelet into the pool?
I have no clue, but maybe she’s some sort of secret agent working on behalf of Two Serpents who knew about the goddess in the pool the whole time?
6. Uh, oh, Jace. All signs are starting to point to Jace being the architect of this conspiracy. Signs can be wrong, of course. But where do you think we’ll go from his surprise appearance? If he did know about the goddess in the pool all along, why do you think he would have covered it up?
Going back to what I said about Claude: the quiet ones aren’t to be trusted. It seems pretty clear to me that Jace has been the one tracking Kai, and maybe he’s behind Mara’s disappearance and the set-up. Who knows? I think he’s a status quo kind of guy, and he’s probably been hiding the goddess for a long time.
Of course, knowing my track record with these stories, I am also, probably, wrong.
Bonus (silly) question: what possible reason could a skeleton Craftsman have for poolside tanning?