One of the excellent features about Blog With Bite is the chance for a more formal discussion of the books through the discussion questions that go along with the book. Sometimes the questions are a place where we can all kind of gush about a good book; other times, they're a way for us to get our thoughts out in a cohesive way without too much spitting and swearing. Queene of Light seems to fall in between the two poles of opinion, so to clear things up, extra interpretation of my answers will be provided compliments of the O rly owl. You have been warned.
#1 Did you have an understanding of the world created by this novel, or did you find the complexity too much? I didn't have any difficulty understanding the world created by the novel, per se, but I did have trouble sometimes understanding what purpose the complexity was intended to serve. I found myself wanting to hear more about the epic battles that had gone down between the various factions but just as the explanation was starting to get interesting, we were launched into another plot point and that explanation seemed to get forgotten. If anything, I was ready for MORE complexity, not less!
#2 In a book that it appears many have trouble liking, what is one thing that you like about this book?Easily my favorite thing about this book was the wide variety of physical settings in which the story took place. I loved imagining the Strip and trying to imagine the palace and Keller's laboratory/apartment. I think the author provided just enough description to get my imagination going but didn't spoon feed the details, which I always appreciate. Ya, rly.
#3 Did you agree with the author’s decision to make Ayla a fierce assassin in battle and a weakling in her emotions? For example her obvious contempt for Garret but yet her willingness to be his mate and subject herself to his demeaning manor?Oh snap, this owl must be an Ayla fan! I'm going to take a different line here and say that if anything, I don't think Ayla gave enough weight to her emotions- she was so focused on survival and jockeying for a better position in life most of the time that she let other impersonal forces kind of make her decisions for her. To be fair to her, though, while I don't think Ayla ever loved Garrett, I think even she was surprised by how big a douche he turned out to be. I think all she ever wanted was a life of stability with the chance to make choices for herself, and until she met Malachi the best way to accomplish that was to settle down with Garrett. Ayla certainly had a hard life, and living among people who don't really care about you, let alone trust or respect you, would make a lot of people consider a marriage of convenience in a different light. And hey, there are plenty of examples from real human history of people doing things because they seemed like a good idea at the time and not because those courses of action would be emotionally satisfying. I'll write Ayla a pass on this one because I think at the end of the day she was trying to do what she thought would be best for herself in the long run.
#4 What do you think the significance of the the baby Ayla carries is/will be?There are so many possibilities! I think the fact that's she's a combination of light and darkness because of her parentage could be important, especially in light of the fact that she can inherit the throne if something happens to her mom. I also think she'll have to overcome some negative attitudes because of that parentage. I'm thinking of Cedric's comments here and how even though he was a cool guy for the most part, even he wanted nothing to do with anything or anyone from the Darkworld. I wonder how less...enlightened...members of the court will react to her.
#5 What do you think of Ayla's ascension to the throne? Do you believe she accepted her own destiny too easily? I think Ayla was kind of flung into the situation of being Queene and once she was there had to deal with the fact that she would have to sink or swim by her own merit. I think it occurred to her that this might happen if she were to mate Garrett but she didn't honestly think it would, not for years and years. I think she realized that panicking would get her nowhere she wanted to be and would just make it easier for Garrett to crush her in every sense. If she wanted to stay alive, she needed to toughen up right quick.
The next Blog With Bite book is Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater, and the polls for books for December will be up shortly too, so there's lots of fun stuff going on. If you haven't checked out the Blog With Bite action yet, do it!