Book Discussion: A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab (Week 10)

Thursday, May 03, 2018

Welcome to the A Darker Shade of Magic book discussion! We are going to have a blast reading along together. Each week, following the schedule, my friend Jackie and I will recap that particular week’s chapters with hilarious commentary. At the end of each discussion post, there will be a few questions to get the party started. These questions serve as food for thought. All comments related to the book and this week’s chapters are always welcome! Remember: I am giving away a copy of the paperback edition of A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab (for extra entries, comment below)! Now, let’s get this party started!

This week, we'll be discussing Part 10, Chapter 6 and Part 11, Chapter 1 to 4. To depict our thoughts in the most coherent way possible (after all, this is a dialogue between friends), my font color will stay black and Jackie's color will be red.

DISCLAIMER: Spoilers ahead! This post discusses this week’s chapters of A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. If you do not want to be spoiled on what happens in the book, don’t read any further.

Part 10: Chapter 6

Jeanna: Gen and Parrish are back! I know we only had one measly chapter with them before but I really enjoyed their company. So, I was glad that we were hearing more of them until the chapter ended the way it did (which I’m not too happy about). Rhy was kind enough to give his private guards a few hours off to enjoy the festivities of his party that would turn into a lovely masquerade ball come that evening. They decided to dress in their uniforms, so not entirely off work since they still wanted to watch the crowd for wrong-doers but still drink to their merry content.

Parrish catches a glimpse of Lila, sticking out of the crowd wearing gray clothes and men’s clothes at that. Gen, instead, moves Parrish’s eyes toward a figure who is going around kissing woman against their will. If that doesn’t make it bad enough, it’s that zombie who is infecting the town. And FINALLY someone has noticed (for all the good it didn’t do though)! They make their way over to confront him but instead are taken aback by his black eyes. The man deems Gen worthy for the Stone’s hold as he sticks him right in the chest. I thought he was going to pull an Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and rip his heart right out. Instead, Gen falls to the ground, dead. The man takes in Parrish and decides he has too good of heart and lets Gen, who has resurrected, stab him in the back.

Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom GIF

Schwab strikes again. And I was really starting to like those two private guards.

Jackie: Schwab is literally going on a murder spree with these characters and getting rid of everyone. It’s so not fair and not cool. 

I was thinking, oh this chapter we will get to hangout with our guards from the beginning, get to see how the enjoy the festivities...NOPE! NOPE, NOPE, NOPE! 

Nope GIF

Schwab once again says, eh, there’s too many characters still alive and happy, let’s get rid of a couple of them!

I also was astonished that she made the bold decision to not have the stranger kill Parrish and Gen, but to have Gen stab Parrish, that’s insane!!!

Each chapter I keep thinking, no she won’t keep getting characters killed or becoming zombie-possessed by the Stone...I haven’t been right at all. 

For all we know, Kell at this point may not even make it through this whole adventure, Schwab may bore of him and decide to get rid of him as well, though I certainly hope she wouldn’t. 

Jeanna: At the rate Schwab is going, there’s going to be no one left by the end of the novel. And there’s still two more books after this. Will the next one just be about the Stone and everyone is either dead or zombies?

It’s good of Lila to not be using the Stone but you’d think she’d stick to alleyways or something, at least. She sticks out so much with her drab clothes, and her in men’s clothing. It’s good that Gen and Parrish had bigger fish to fry but they would have probably gone after her if they didn’t see the zombie infecting other people.

And now what’s going to happen? Gen is a zombie, who has access to the palace. This is an epidemic- someone quarantine him! There, seriously, will be no one left.

It’s interesting that Gen was deemed worthy by the Stone to become one of its followers. Like, what’s up with that? Why is the Stone being so picky now? Wasn’t he, just moments before, kissing random woman without their permission, and now he’s making judgements on Gen and Parrish’s hearts. Gen has a black heart and, supposedly, has what it takes. However, what about Parrish-- he’s too good?

And do you think he’s really dead? He was stabbed, yes, but in a crowded place where several people must have witnessed this. And where people know magic. So, maybe it’s a false hope that he’s not dead. After all, it is Schwab we’re talking about.

Jackie: Yeah I agree with you about Lila not using the Stone, but her being out in the public eye I thought was just her. I mean, she’s not good with super stealth from what I can see at this point, unless she is using the Stone’s power of the invisible cloak that her and Kell used earlier. I’m guessing that Parrish and Gen definitely would have approached her if they were not already distracted by the zombie kissing everyone. 

That’s a good point that Gen has access to the palace, like there’s no end of trouble to that notion, of the Stone being around the most powerful people in Red London. Also, thinking about how the Stone is choosing, it makes sense that it was looking to choose people close to the palace, and I guess Gen’s heart was not maybe as pure as Parrish’s, so that’s maybe why it chose Gen over Parrish. 

Ouat GIF

There still may be a chance of Parrish being alive, but Schwab has yet to bring many people back that have been killed by the Stone or by a zombie-Stone possessed being. I hope not everyone is dead, but Schwab may be just having fun on this killing spree.

Jeanna: You’re right about Lila. Though without Kell’s coat to hide her, it seems a bad idea to just go walking around, exploring the city. She’s lucky that she is doing this with the crowds of the festival still bustling about. Without the crowds, she would have probably gotten caught already.

Yes, the Stone is going to start infecting everyone in the palace, starting with Gen’s charge: Prince Rhy. And from there, everyone else. And how smart is this Stone? It must have some sort of consciousness to be so exact on its course of action. Now, that the Stone has someone from the palace, there’s almost nothing stopping it from taking over the whole of Red London. That’s a problem!

And just imagine IF Parrish comes back from the dead. You’d have someone who knows that these zombies are not what they seem. This is some evil magic at work. If Parrish comes back, he would probably try everything in his power to warn the royals. And maybe he would even try to research on how to reverse the magic, as in to get real Gen back by his side.

As much as I wish I can say I’m still holding out for Barron’s return, I know that it won’t happen. I wonder if anyone (Ned, maybe) has gone in to the Stone’s Throw Tavern and investigated. I hope they do so soon as Barron should get a proper burial. It’s been, what, a few days now at least.

Jackie: This Stone is definitely looking for a greater place for itself, I mean why go through the trouble in looking for humans to possess that are closest to the power? 

If Parrish came back that would be interesting since he would have the information and insight to know that the zombies are at a greater point of evil and need to be away from the Red London rulers. It would be intriguing to see if Parrish wanted to bring Gen back, or to leave his zombie possessed being alone and just get the evil out of it. Since what Parrish saw was Gen stabbing him, whether he was possessed by the Stone or not. 

I hope that by now someone has gone to investigate the Stone’s Throw. Poor Barron. It’s definitely been a few days since that all happened and I hope he can get a proper send-off, he definitely deserves it. Maybe Lila would be fortunate enough to be around for her friend’s burial and be able to give him a proper goodbye. I’m sure she wants the time to do that.

Jeanna: Oh, that’s interesting. Parrish did turn around to look Gen right in the eyes, but do you think he connected the magic at work there? Or did he just take it as the ultimate betrayal, that his friend just stabbed him in the back, with black eyes, or no. I think if Parrish were to come back, he would probably ignore Gen for a time. We haven’t seen a lot of them outside the palace so technically, all we know are that they are coworkers and the occasional game players. However, after Parrish learns the truth of the evil at work here, I think he would try to find a way  to reverse it. Which do you think there is a way to reverse it? Can the Stone, at this point, be stopped?

Why Would You Do This To Me? GIF

I don’t think it would be enough to kill the host. Somehow, they would have to kill the essence of the Stone itself, but how? And even if they were to take the Stone to Black London, it wouldn’t stop the spreading infection. Red London will turn into Black London. Is there no way to stop this from happening?

Jackie: I’m not sure if Parrish would forgive Gen especially if he didn’t make that connection between Gen being possessed by the Stone or not. I think maybe if Parrish found the connection that he would want to undo it for Gen, but who’s to say Gen wouldn’t have been killed by something at this point? It seems to be that depending on the possessed person that they do not last long under the Stone’s power because they are found by a bystander that tries to stop them from doing whatever evil activity they are doing at the time. 

I’m not sure if the Stone can be stopped by one person or Antari. I think that it would take the combination of Antari and magic-wielding persons to stop it at this point. I think that there still may be ways to stop the infection from spreading, but first the Antari, like Kell and Holland, have to know that it is happening. Then there is the question of, would Holland want to stop the Stone? Maybe he wouldn’t. And I believe it will take the power of two, or maybe even more Antari and magic-users to stop the Stone and its’ influence over others. 

Jeanna: It’s just… is it too much to ask for that I just want everyone to live!

Part 11: Chapter 1

Lila figures that Kell must be in the palace and decides to go after him, not having a very good feeling about this whole thing at all. She starts to make plans to infiltrate the palace but after she takes stock, she realizes she won’t have to. She can just join the rest of the townspeople at the masquerade ball. She is able to steal an invitation from those girls who were practicing their English with her at the parade before. From there, she works on getting a mask and a new outfit.

It’s lucky that she stumbles upon a tent that had witnessed the scene she caused in the market that morning, introducing her to everyone as an acquaintance of Kell’s. The salespeople for both the mask and the ensemble make her promise that she will return to pay for the items, if not in money than in trade. Lila promises but I wonder if she will be able to keep it. She now has everything she needs: an invite, a mask, a lovely coat with long tails, pants and new boots, it’s time to crash a party!

Confessions Of A Shopaholic Shopping GIF

Jackie: I thought it was kind and interesting that the saleswoman, Calla, has noticed that she is a friend of Kell’s and wants to get Lila something suiting for a masquerade. I love that Lila has stuck to her sense of style and still wants to wear the garments usually worn by men, but more upgraded than what she had previously been wearing. It’s suiting since it’s just Lila’s sense of style along with the fact that she is going to a masquerade so her attire will fit right in and it doesn’t matter what type of clothing she will be wearing. 

Lila is just such an intriguing character to me since she is one to just stick to her sense of style, comfort, and being herself. Calla attempts to have Lila try or look at some dresses, but Lila wants to just do what she is most comfortable with and stick with gentleman’s clothing. It’s also lucky for her that Calla speaks English, showing that Lila is in the upper class region of Red London since her language is more sophisticated than that of common folk. I don’t know, I just enjoy the sections about Lila since it just reveals that she is comfortable in her own skin, which for a lot of women and girls is something that they are always looking to achieve. Go Lila with your sense of comfort! 

Jeanna: I think it would be fun to go shopping with Lila. She wouldn’t stop to try on every little thing. She is set in her style, comfortable in it and knows exactly what she wants. As for the masquerade, she’ll fit right in. With her mask and attire, most of the party-goers will probably think she’s a man and not really give her a second thought. Later, when the masquerade is finished, she will once again stick out since it’s clear without the mask that she is a woman in men’s clothing. I don’t think this ensemble is bad foresight, however. The pants give her an advantage, where wearing a dress would make it hard to do active activities like running, climbing, etc. And since she is now in an ensemble from Red London, her clothes don’t stick out in color. She blends in with the bright colors of the region.

I adored that Lila tells Calla how much Kell would love her outfit. It implies such an intimate relationship between the two that I couldn’t help but blush at. Too cute. I wonder, when all the action dies down a bit, if Kell will mention her new look.

Jackie: Yeah, I believe this timing to change into a new outfit to blend in comes at just the right time. She may still stick out a bit after, since she is a woman dressed in men’s garb, but I know she’ll manage. 

I also started thinking about the significance of clothing throughout the London locations. Kell changes the color and look of his coat each time he sets out to another London, and now Lila is changing her clothing to match more in Red London’s attire. I think the significance of these clothing changes to fit into a certain society is intriguing since Lila is not one that wants to fit in at all...I don’t I think that it’s just interesting on the aspects of the story that Schwab keeps bringing up. 

I thought it was too cute that Lila was telling Calla that as well. She’s so happy and excited to show Kell her new outfit, let’s hope Kell tells her that he likes it… 

Jeanna: That’s interesting to point out that Schwab keeps bringing up the different fashions of each London, and not just with Kell either. And I think Lila would find a different way in to the palace, without changing her outfit, if she wasn’t able to get her invitation. She knows that with her gray clothes, she wasn’t going to be let into a party. Therefore, to blend in with the crowd, she changes to fit in as much as she’ll allow. She still of course, keeps her style which is very Lila, indeed.

Calla gives her the mask and clothes under the promise that Lila will pay her back somehow. Do you think Lila will keep her promise? As she is a pirate, I don’t see that she will be back to repay her. Yet, Lila hates charity and since she takes it with such a promise, Lila probably will consider returning. But, with what? Will she pay her in money or trade with her? What do you think?

Jackie: I think Lila will find her own way of repaying Calla. Maybe this won’t be through money, but I think Lila will find an adequate way of being able to repay her. 

I have a feeling we will see Calla later on or learn more information about her and find something that Calla wants to be done, or something she wants, and Lila will be able to get it for her with her pirating ways.

Jeanna: Who knows? Maybe Lila will be the one who saves Red London from infection.

Part 11: Chapter 2

Kell awakes in Rhy’s room, handcuffed. This is certainly not the first time that he has awoke in someone’s else’s room, tied up. When I put it like that, it sounds rather kinky. But it is far from it as Kell is brought out of his thoughts by Rhy himself (or so we think). Kell buys that Rhy had kidnapped and drugged, and now handcuffed him, all because Kell has been missing for a day or so. Who is this Rhy, exactly? Has this happened before? Does Rhy usually handcuff Kell to get what he wants? That sounds absolutely awful.

Ingrid Bergman Film GIF

And, of course, it turns out not to be Rhy at all. Rhy started asking questions about the Stone which he is sure not to know. In translation, it couldn’t be Rhy speaking at all. Instead, Rhy turns out to be Astrid, one of the rulers of White London. PLOT TWIST! Kell notices the necklace he has around his neck, a necklace that he had seen Astid wearing a few days earlier. And she’s compelled most of the palace which can’t be good, especially since there’s a zombie infection right outside the palace’s doors. Does no one know about that?

Astrid wants to take the Red London crown. But if the Stone continues like this, there won’t be a place to conquer. Part of her plan involves the Stone but Kell doesn’t have it on him, thank goodness! Astrid demands to know the location of the Stone. He refuses to tell her. So, naturally, she starts torturing him.

Jackie: Maybe Rhy wanted a peek at Kell’s 50 Shades of Pockets….just kidding! 

Anyway, I was like something weird is going on, and then we find out that Rhy is being controlled by Astrid. 

Maybe Astrid is aware of the zombie infestation but doesn’t mind for the moment…I’m not sure why they wouldn’t care but they must be aware at this point. 

This has to be a double dose of torture for Kell since he knows it’s Astrid controlling Kell, but all he can physically see is Rhy torturing him. I mean on top of physical torture, the mental torture of his own brother torturing him has to be brutal. I’m not sure what Kell is going to do, but he may end up dying over this Stone if he can’t find a way to save himself from this without giving up the Stone.

Jeanna: Kell’s pockets!! But, no, how crazy is the real Rhy if Kell thinks it's okay that his friend drugged him and handcuffed him. Like, what kind of brother is he!

And I don't think they're aware of the zombie infestation. The only people who knew about it: Gen and Parrish and either dead or zombies themselves. And there is a slight chance that Holland knows about it but I think the chance that he knows is slim too. The infestation is gathering wind but not too many significant people, like Astrid or Kell, know yet. And I don't think Astrid intends to turn everyone to zombies unless it's under her power and not the Stones power. I don't think anyone knows how much this Stone is truly capable of.

The torture has to be absolutely awful- I mean, torture is already awful but to have your best friend do it must be horrid. Just like Gen stabbing Parrish. That's super betrayal. Like Rhy cannot get over what Kell has done for him when he was kidnapped, Kell won’t be able to forget Rhy’s face when Astrid took over and tortured him. And imagine what Rhy’s reaction will be when he finds out all that he’s done under her compulsion.

And the compulsion necklace. Is that what Holland gave Rhy “for strength” or was the necklace something delivered before that? Am I wrong in thinking that there's something good in Holland that maybe he was trying to warn Rhy of her compulsion.

Jackie: That’s true since our main characters have been distracted by other things going on. I don’t think anyone knows how strong the Stone is either. 

Animated GIF

Yeah, that realization for Rhy is going to be awful. I mean I know he bears regret for what Kell did to save him the last time, now he is going to have to bear this...

Perhaps that necklace was the strength piece that Holland was referring to. That makes me wonder though, has Rhy had it on since Holland gave it to him? I guess he must have since otherwise Astrid’s reach and compulsion over Rhy may not have worked.

Jeanna: Yeah, what caused Rhy to put on the necklace in the first place? Has everyone just trusted Holland from the start? Or since Rhy is a bit naive, he wouldn't think anyone would try to cause him harm. Even when he was kidnapped, he forgave those who took him. He has a kind heart. So, did he really believe Holland was sincere if the gift was in fact the necklace that caused Astrid to compel him.

And have the White London rulers just been sitting on this plan? They've obviously been in possession of the Stone for a while. And they haven't used it, otherwise the Stone would have started infecting White Londoners. And why not? Aren't they greedy, you'd think they would try out this newfound power.

Jackie: I think you may be right about Rhy being too naive and just wearing the necklace that Holland gave him when he said it would give him strength. Rhy is too trusting and he definitely could have done something like that. 

Maybe the other half of the Stone was not as powerful as the other half. I mean they said there was a chip missing from Kell’s half so I’m imaging it can’t be that big of a piece. Maybe they need the other half to do some real damage, or to get the control they crave.

Part 11: Chapter 3

Jeanna: Lila users her new disguise to get into the palace. There was a hiccup at the door when the guard in the hallway stopped her but instead only wanted to know what name he should announce. And it was a true Lila Bard moment when she was announced, “Captain Bard of the Sea King.” That must have been such a dream come true for her!

Masquerade GIF

The King and Queen are greeting their guests. Lila bows in introduction but notices most of their replies are forced, almost robotic. She dared to look in their eyes and noticed a gleam in them. The same gleam she noticed in that guard who killed Fletcher. This is interesting! She can recognize compulsion. Lila is from Gray London but even a non-magic person like her recognizes the work of magic. Why aren’t other guests, the magical ones, noticing how strange this is? Are all the guests being compelled?

She doesn’t stay long at the party and instead takes the first door she can find. To get away from the guards in the hallway, she ducks into an empty bedroom and takes to the balcony. She’s going to save the day in true pirate fashion.

Jackie: I thought Lila’s introduction of herself was on point and brilliant, there was no other way I would have thought to announce her introduction. 

I guess since Lila has become more attuned to the magic, especially being someone from a place of almost no magic, that she would be more predisposed to noticing these things more than the others of Red London would since they wouldn’t be looking for compulsion but would just be enjoying themselves and the magic around them. I also think that Lila has good street smarts when it comes to noticing these types of signs and when to go towards these signs or walk away from them. Every pirate must have this sort of innate senses in order to stay alive and stay away from danger that they cannot get control over themselves. I think Lila enjoys perilous danger since she still gets control over the outcome, but in this case of compulsion, she really has no control over this, so she takes note of it, prepared to defend herself if necessary. 

I was so excited when she was saying that she has a plan in mind to help save the day.

Nothing like a pirate saving the day...ARGH, AWAY TOWARDS THE BOOTY MATEY’S!!! 

Pirate GIF

Jeanna: That announcement was the best thing; I don't care what the other party-goers thought about. Lila had her moment and all I could think was that the queen has arrived. She, sure, knows how make an entrance and here she was trying fit in and all.

Every pirate has a good sense to stay out of trouble, except of course Jack Sparrow. But, yes, Lila has very good street smarts. It's interesting here that she thought better of using force against the guards and instead took the less direct route. I hope they don't have cameras on the outside of the palace though. And I wonder whose bedroom she happens upon, why was the door open? A bit suspicious, right?

I wonder exactly how a mass compulsion works. The King and Queen have enough sense to answer basic questions. However, when Kell is brought up in conversation, they don't recall him missing. I found this odd with Calla as well. Weren't those missing announcements flashing on every billboard in the city? How come Calla doesn't question Lila if she so claims she is an acquaintance of the missing Prince? And even if the compulsion makes the King and Queen rather robotic, I think they would have mentioned that he was missing. Their answers may have been robotic but still coherent and understandable enough to what Lila had said to them. Also, you'd think Astrid would get wind of a girl who introduces herself as a friend of Kell’s. But with Astrid, it seemed to have worked itself out as Lila walks right in to save the day.

Jackie: I wonder if that bedroom could be perhaps where Kell had awoken in the previous chapter? It may be...perhaps this is why she has to form a plan in order to save the day. Since that open door may have been a bit suspicious, like you mentioned… 

suspicious the office GIF

I’m not sure how the massive compulsion aspect works as well. Maybe the Stone is so powerful that it can generate specific instructions for each person that is under the compulsion, so maybe there’s another reason the King, Queen, and Calla don’t mention Kell’s disappearance. 

Even though Astrid is an evil genius at this point in the story, I don’t think maybe that all aspects of the plan could have been thought out to full fruition to get the info on Lila. I mean, if Astrid knew everything, then Kell would be compelled under Astrid for the rest of his life, and everyone in Red London would probably be dead or compelled, including Lila at this point.

Jeanna: Was Calla also compelled? Do you think the compulsion reached outside the palace walls?

As much as Astrid and Athos plan on using the Stone to take over the world, their plan clearly doesn’t take into account how powerful the Stone is. It goes way back into Kell’s thoughts on the different perspectives of using magic. Whereas Red London sees magic as equal, White London believes in only taking and using magic for their own gain. We know already how powerful the Stone is. If Astrid plans on using the Stone, it’s not going to happen that way. You don’t just use something as powerful as that, the Stone is going to use her. So, I agree in that her plan is not fool-proof in the least. Sure, she may have put some thought into it but she didn’t see all the different variables.

Jackie: I don’t think Calla was compelled since she seemed to have more full conversation that flowed more normally than her conversation with the Queen and the King, which seemed to be more robotic, scripted, and forced. 

I agree with you that Astrid and Athos have no idea what they are getting themselves into with their plan to use the Stone and take over the world, since the Stone wants to take over the world on its own. Astrid’s plans about the Stone I think are not all the way thought through, and that she has no idea of the power of the Stone.

That’s going to come back to bite her.

Part 11: Chapter 4

Jeanna: The torture continues but Kell wasn’t going to crack. He, instead, gets Astrid to tell him her plan. If this was a normal story, usually when the villain tells you their plan, it’s their queue to kill you but Kell is still alive so there’s good news in that at least.

post deliver GIF

Astrid wants to, not only, rule all of Red London alongside her brother in White London. She also wants to use the Stone to merge the two Londons together, to take away the doors between the lands forever. The Stone may not be able to do this but only because it is only half a Stone, we come to discover. The other half is out there somewhere and if the two pieces reunite, it would be unstoppable.

Lila comes to save the day. She jumps from the balcony into the room. Astrid doesn’t even bat Rhy’s eyelash as she sends a lightning strike her way. Lila falls out the window. In the meantime, Kell was able to free himself from the handcuffs that was also keeping his magic low. He isn’t sure what his next move should be. However, Lila returns on a cloud of the Stone’s magic. They always say you shouldn’t show your hand too early. And in this case, I think Lila just gave away their biggest bargaining chip. She is in possession of the Stone.

Astrid gives Lila and Kell an ultimatum. She will kill Rhy or Lila will hand over the Stone. Kell calls her on her bluff. Lila is waiting for Kell’s instructions. The anticipation was killing me here! I mean, this is the royal Prince we are talking about. It turns out that Astrid wasn’t bluffing. She flings the necklace off and Kell and Lila watch the compulsion leave Rhy’s eyes only to be replaced with a stab to the chest. Ugh, not Rhy! What did he ever do to you, Astrid? What did that cutie ever do to you, Schwab? This is not okay. I am not okay. Just no.

Jackie: Yes, the second half of the Stone, now we find out that there are two parts to this Stone! Cool! Or maybe...not cool since who knows how powerful both halves together will be.

Lila, our hero!

ferris buellers day off cameron frye GIF

Oh wait she falls out the window...uh oh…

Yeah, I thought giving up the advantage may not have been the best move, but hey, maybe it’ll end up working in the end. 

I’m not okay either. Astrid is a wicked thing. Rhy, WHY, RHY, WHY???!!!
I’m just not okay right now. 

Schwab is my mortal enemy right now. 
I can’t with life at the moment.

Jeanna: Schwab likes to stab people in the chest. It’s her go-to. Booth got stabbed in the chest and he died. Parrish got stabbed in the chest and he died. Rhy got stabbed in the chest and… there’s a pattern here but I’m not going to say it. There is no way he is dying. That can’t happen. Kell better use his magic or something. Put pressure on the wound and all that. Just save him!

Lila makes such a grand entrance. Well, she makes two grand entrances. It’s the true pirate way, even if she doesn’t own a ship, she’s still one amazing pirate. And she’s still alive after getting struck by lightning, that girl is unstoppable! SHE GOT STRUCK BY LIGHTNING AND LIVED!

Home Video Art GIF by hoppip

Astrid will definitely be back. However, I wonder how she’ll find her way back to Red London since after this, Kell will be on high alert. They better throw away that compulsion necklace. Make it disappear.

We find out that the Stone is only half a Stone which is interesting since last chapter, Lila mentioned that the Stone was humming in her pocket. She thought it must be calling out to Kell, and she felt a little bit jealous that the Stone calls for him. However, do you think that the other half of the Stone is actually there in the palace somewhere? Has it been under their noses the whole time?

Jackie: Schwab likes to laugh as she continues killing her cast of characters. THE JOKE IS ON YOUR SCHWAB SINCE YOU WON’T HAVE ANY MORE CHARACTERS TO KILL SOON IF YOU DON’T STOP!!!

But seriously, Rhy better not die, I can’t handle that. 

I was astounded but so proud when our girl Lila survived a lightning attack from Astrid. Lila is such an amazing creature. Like she really is awesome. She’s like Harry Potter, the girl who lived!!!

Yes, I think Astrid will be back too, and will find her way to Kell later in the book as well. Maybe it’ll be like the final boss battle from a video game, Kell versus Astrid. That would be something. 

Yeah that necklace better disappear for good since our boi Rhy is in danger of dying from a compelled stab from Astrid. 


Maybe it has been there the whole time. Maybe Holland planted it with Rhy somewhere, and that is truly the power of strength that he was referring to. Holland could have another agenda for Rhy or for himself that he has not made clear to the reader yet, who really knows? 

Seriously, I’m super upset right now about Rhy. I hope he makes it because otherwise Schwab…




Okay then Schwab. You are some kind of demented mastermind. You’d better have a great ending for Jeanna and I after all we have gone through.

Jeanna: Oh, imagine that, Holland may have planted the other half of the Stone. His small rebellion of keeping the other half away from the rulers. That would be such a plot twist. I wonder if it’ll happen.

And Rhy better be alive. BY THE TIME WE FINISH THIS BOOK, I HOPE HE’S ENJOYING HIS LOVELY MASQUERADE BALL! BREATHING AND WELL (he better not be turned into a zombie!).

I think you said our feelings exactly, Jackie. Like, are the next books just going to be with other new characters that she’s going to give us two chapters about and then kill them off? I can hardly take all these deaths and this is the first book!

This concludes this week's chapters of the discussion. What did you think?

  • What makes a noble heart and what makes a black heart? And why is the Stone getting so picky on who it turns all of a sudden?
  • Did Holland, perhaps, try to warn Rhy of Astrid’s attack with the “for strength” gift or did he, instead, instigate it himself, like Kell suggested?
  • Could the missing piece of the Stone be closer than believed? When the Stone starts to hum, does it not recognize its missing piece?

You Might Also Like