Read Along: The Bone Shard Daughter – Part Three

It’s week three of the readalong. This week’s questions come from Lisa at Dear Geek Place. Week One I struggled to connect to the story. Week Two I was sort of getting there. Week Three?

Sand appears to be organising something of a rebellion herself – but against what? Any ideas about what might be happening to the people on Maila, and why? For that matter, do you have any theories about who Sand herself might be/where she came from?

There seem to be three – four – possibilities of whom is storing people on the island and erasing memories. The Emperor, the Alanga, the Shardless Few, and the criminal syndicate. Who profits? So far the Emperor seems to have the most use for people without memories, but I don’t think we’ve not enough information to piece things together (which kinda sounds like we mightn’t be the end of the book, and that is something I’m ho-hum on).

As for Sand… she’s Emahla, right? The desire of Jovis’ heart? If she isn’t, I’ve no clue who.

Ranami got something of a taste of her own confrontational medicine in another discussion with Phalue, this week. What do you think the future holds for these two? Are either of them really in the right here?

I skipped their chapter.

Then kinda felt bad about it and resolved to read the next chapter with them in that was in this section. There wasn’t one.

After doing last week’s read through, I

a) Rushed to other people’s answers to see if anyone liked them

b) Asked a bunch of friends elsewhere if they wished they’d disappear from the plot.

The majority of readers on this I looked at early doors don’t seem to like them. The majority of friends I asked elsewhere wished they’d disappear, and even those who liked them had reservations. I feel bad dunking on them but they really frustrate me. They’re not my thing to begin with, as I’m not a fan of PoVs having this level of involvement – less works, more works, this is too little to satisfy and too much to just meld in, but all they seem to do is cut at each other and display a singular lack of foresight about where their actions are going. Certainly reflects a reality but no entertainment.

So, er, basically I can’t answer that but felt the need to rant about them. My bad all!

“Fanatics were all alike, cut from the same cloth and dyed different colours.” Do you think this assessment of Gio by Jovis is accurate? And do you think it only applies to Gio?

Is Gio a fanatic? Well, I haven’t seen a lot of evidence to the contrary and everything about him is so far that of someone incredibly dedicated to a cause with everything else coming a distant second i.e. a fanatic in Jovis’ book. But I feel suspicious about how sure Jovis is about what Gio is, and how good a judge he is. Feel like we could be lampshading a twist here.

Is Jovis right that’s how all fanatics are? That it’s the same impulses just for different causes? I think so, yes, although that’s more my personal beliefs than a comment on what the book is presenting.

Is Gio the only fanatic here? Well, the Emperor’s certainly one. But I can’t think of any others are.

Speaking of Jovis, do you think his power really is connected to Mephi somehow, or is something else going on?

I still think it’s connected to Mephi given his absence/sickness, but am not entirely sure.

“I lived in a dollhouse of my father’s making, a living graveyard.” We get part of the truth about Lin (and Bayan!) revealed this week, following a rather harrowing massacre; how do you feel about this particular twist? And what do you think the Emperor’s goal here might be?

This is the good shit. This made me happy I continued past my doubts.

I think I saw this twist coming a few pages before Lin realised, which is how it should be. And I’ve all the good things to say about it, and what it promises for the rest of the book and the series. I would also add – is it even true? It probably is, but who knows for absolute? But it’s so good. The creeping dread at just how fucked up the situation is. The sense Lin might make it. Making it clear just how brutal the Emperor is.

But why is he brutal?

Let me present two scenarios. The Emperor is completely, totally in this for himself. Well, okay, where’s his pot of gold at the end of the rainbow? I guess everyone needs a hobby and maybe he’s just an insane psycho but if he’s not, where’s the benefit to Construct heirs for the Emperor? I don’t see one.

The second is that the Emperor really does believe he is justified because of the threats against which the Empire stands. That it is a simple decision to kill traitors to the Empire. That Construct heirs that can make more Constructs is the best way to govern it and protect people, because look at the shit job the governors seem to do. Obviously they need to act totally human, so failure to remember childhood memories is a big problem for him. One worth – from his perspective – losing shit over. And one important enough to keep Lin alive over. And, well, there’s a good chance the Empire will indeed see such threat.

I think the book is pointing at the second and that this direction is the more interesting one. But I’m not sure.

Now that we know more about the Emperor’s constructs, particularly Ilith… what do you make of the nature of her bone shard commands? Do you think she might prove to be a wild card?

I don’t have much here, but the amount of cards pointing to using her wisdom and intellect suggest she might be as capable of rebelling as Lin is. Of course, there’s a fourth construct she hasn’t stuck her hands in – what of the Construct of War?

That’s my thoughts – fellow readers, stick yours in the comments!

7 thoughts on “Read Along: The Bone Shard Daughter – Part Three

  1. YAAAAAAAAAAS CUT OUT PHALUE / RANAMI ahem sorry, but I need to join the rant party. They just feel so basic vs the plots surrounding the Emperor – it’s fantasy rebellion 101 with a side of interpersonal conflict because we need tension and the rebellion (somehow!) isn’t delivering very much (at no point have I believed any of our characters are in actual peril, which is saying something given where we leave Phalue and Jovis this week). Plus I’ve read The Unbroken and Queen of the Conquered recently, both of which left me in pieces in terms of creating political and interpersonal conflict, and did SO much better at interrogating rebel motives. Humbug.

    So thank heavens for Mephi, Sand and That Plot Development At The Palace because they are absolutely what I came here for (and I have been looking at the book title and laughing like a drain; I appreciate being played like that).

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think you nailed it with “fantasy rebellion 101”. That was kinda in my head and I was pussyfooting around it. It is basic compared to the other plot lines and thoughts on rebellion in the book, both in terms of the story and the actual thoughts on rebellion and other stuff. At times it’s like watching the worst of Question Time or Twitter arguments. They coulda been a great thing, but not like this. Throw in my short fuse when it comes to people being self-righteous and short on thinking, and yup, cut away.

      And it’s a really great book title now. I love how inevitable that development feels after and how I didn’t see it before. Top stuff.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hah I can’t believe you skipped Phalue’s chapter! I don’t blame you though 😂 I think I liked them more during my first read because I was still curious about them and was just excited by the queer rep and I overlooked a lot of flaws but this time around I have much less patience.

    About your theories regarding Lin and Bayan it did remind me of a fleeting thought I had (and forgot to add to my post) – what if all the Emperors since the fall of the Alanga have been constructs created by their predecessors? I say it’s a fleeting theory because I don’t think it really makes sense. People would start to notice, and it holds a lot of risks, but it would be mind blowing if this conspiracy stretched back through the generations!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That idea about each Emperor constructing their heir is really cool. I don’t think it’s happening either but if only. Hell, what if the Alanga constructed the very first Bone Emperor and, using the same rebelliousness Lin has, the first Bone Emperor construct overthrew them…?

      I even liked Phalue and Ranami to begin with! But that didn’t last long.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is where I am right now: trying to work out the Emperor’s game. I like your thoughts and lean towards the second theory more than the first, but I want to KNOW now!

    Liked by 1 person

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