[identity profile] ibmiller.livejournal.com
Section notes - from "The long summer's day was ending" to "He is an Annux, a king of kings."

In today's post, I'm going to pose two questions about all the chapters, and then a unique question for each chapter. I will then answer each of the questions with my own answers, and hope they're interesting enough to provoke discussion!

Questions for all four chapters:

1) What is accomplished in this chapter? (Could also be phrased, "Why does this chapter exist?")

2) If the chapters had titles, what would you call this chapter?

Individual chapter questions:

11: Is Barond Erondites an effective villain?

12: How has Irene changed since The Queen of Attolia?

13: Is the duel effective as a narrative/scene?

14: Is the reaction of the guard to Gen plausible?

My answers behind the cut! )
[identity profile] agh-4.livejournal.com
Welcome to April, the month before the month of Thick as Thieves! This week, we’re reading from “The stool hit the wall with a satisfying crash” to “Costis returned to his room, freed himself of belt and breastplate, and fell, otherwise fully dressed, onto his bed.” As always, these discussions are spoiler free for “The Wine Shop,”The Knife Dance,” and the Thick as Thieves arc, but we WILL probably discuss content from all four published books. Page numbers are from the 2006 paperback.

The discussion for the first five chapters is here. Next week, led by [livejournal.com profile] ibmiller , we will finish the book!

What could possibly happen in a five-chapter chunk that begins and ends in Costis’s room? EVERYTHING.

Summaries and assorted questions )

I'd like to take a moment in this post to acknowledge and remember [livejournal.com profile] philia_fan, whose username came from Chapter Eight. Philia meant a lot to many of us here, and it was very sad to lose her when she passed away five years ago. Her insight shaped my readings of these books as much as her thoughtfulness shaped my experience of this community. So, so, so, shoutout to Philia. <3
[identity profile] sunshinebutter.livejournal.com
Hi Community

I was re-reading the King of Attolia and I came across this part in the books, (which i then subsequently found on good reads quotes -

“Lilies, I rule, heads, you do," he [the King] said, and threw the coin into the air.
"Lilies, you rule, heads, you throw again," said Attolia.
The coin dropped. Eugenides looked at it and then showed it to her. "No need," he said. The coin sat in his palm, obverse, showing the lilies
       of Attolia. He flipped it again and again and again. Each time it landed showing the lilies.
He wanted to dismiss the coin toss as slight of hand. Any circus performer could control the drop of a coin, but he'd been puzzled. The queen had been undismayed; she had seemed almost vindicated in her manner. It had been the King who was more disturbed with each toss of the coin. He'd looked almost sick, Relius thought, by the time he put the coin away.
Walking away along the arcade that lay perpendicular to the one where Relius lurked, the king pulled the coin from his pocket. He looked at the gold stater in sudden disgust and pitched it hard between the columns of the arcade into the shrubbery.”

Why does Eugenides become so disgruntled with the coin toss? I have a theory but I wanted to see what everyone else thought about it. I figure that because the coin kept going to the lilies (=he rules) that it wasn't simply a slight of hand trick that it may have been the work of the gods that he was seeing and getting so disgruntled with -  since later it is revealed on the roof top with Costis that he doesn't enjoy the gifts that the gods have given him, Therefore, his anger is more reflective of his apprehension with the work of the gods in his rule of Attolia...?

What do you guys think?
[identity profile] checkers65477.livejournal.com
Did anyone else think of Relius when they heard about CIA director General Petraeus resigning because of an affair?  He hasn't spilled any top secrets, to my knowledge, but lucky for him he wasn't working for Attolia, eh?

Edited to add:  Doesn't the name "Petraeus" sound like he could work for Attolia?
[identity profile] 1221bookworm.livejournal.com

As we prepare for Hurricane Sandy's impact, we hope that allowing her to blow out her frustrations on the Eastern seaboard will allow her to calm down, and perhaps begin to see Eugenides in a new, better light. (Or at least give him a few sand free days as she is busy elsewhere!!:)

More Hurricane names ... )

[identity profile] sunshinebutter.livejournal.com
Hi everyone, 

Though this may be have an obvious answer - I have read and re-read the series quite a number of times and love it to bits but the betrayal of Relius the Master of Spies I never quite understood and how Eugenides knew that he was lying when he accused him. 

I believe that I may be reading over it too quickly and not understanding the subtleties that are important to understanding it so I appreciate any feedback on this question; its been plaguing me for a while now. 

I'm expecting almost everyone to have an answer to this. 


[identity profile] pysch-colours.livejournal.com
 do i hallucinate, or am i the only one who's weird enough (and obsessed with literary symbolism enough) to see parallels between koa relius and qoa gen?



Apr. 30th, 2011 11:20 pm
[identity profile] missmoonbeam.livejournal.com
hello, people of sounis! i am back with more questions, this time from aCoK, and here they are:

Read more... )
[identity profile] elle-winters.livejournal.com
It started with a post about some friendly competition during the YA Fantasy Showdown,
to which aspectabund said this:  He'd just like, catch it and throw it back harder and stick it right in her EYE!

http://community.livejournal.com/sounis/398470.html?thread=9934470#t9934470 (the orignal post and discussion)

and went on a tangent nicely into a discussion about Attolia and her infrequent smile, the real one, mind you not the scary "I'll eat your liver for breakfast" smile.

To which Jade suggested this side discussion deserves its own post. :-D

More here... )
[identity profile] drashizu.livejournal.com
Okay, so maybe I'm just dense and this has occurred to everyone else before, but I've always been confused about the scene in The King of Attolia where Relius is arrested. And while I understood after much rereading and explaining by this community that he was arrested because it was his fault the Medes found out about the spies, because he had been indiscreet with his former mistress when he should have known better . . . I never understood why he tried to take poison afterward. If he knew he was innocent, just stupid, why would he try to kill himself? It's not like he actually betrayed Attolia, right? He could just explain to her what happened, not lie about it, and still be loyal to her. Right?

So the sudden realization came about 10 minutes ago when, as I was rereading that scene in KoA, I figured out the reason for the suicide attempt. Attolia was going to torture him hideously whether or not he betrayed her on purpose. And not because she doesn't want to trust him, but because she can't trust him, because she can't trust anyone. No matter how convincing he is that the betrayal was accidental and no matter how much she wants to believe him, she has to go forward under the assumption that he's lying through his teeth to save his own skin. And Relius knows that because he taught it to her himself. So that's why he tries to take poison---because anything is better than the infamous Attolian torture tactics, and because he knows possibly better than anyone else in the world how absolutely useless it would be to try to explain. He might not be guilty, but he's in for a world of pain either way. It's not that he's ashamed of having betrayed her or trying to escape a justly-deserved punishment. Death's just a better alternative.

Is this as much of a revelation to anyone as it is to me? Did I explain it intelligibly? Do you disagree? I hope this sparks a discussion, even a spin-off one about Attolian torture techniques or Relius's relationship to Irene, because we need some more book talk around here right now :)
[identity profile] tearoha.livejournal.com
Time is ticking on, and there are already less than three weeks until CofK - the anticipation is killing me! And there's nothing, short of inventing time-travel, I can do except to patiently wait... and read. 

And so we come to the fabulous middle section of KoA! I was very excited to get to do the post on such an action-packed section of the book, AND so was the lovely pigrescuer. As it really wasn't fair to ask Jade to ignore puppy eyes from one or both of us, we made the preparation for this section a joint effort! And just so you know - most of the good ideas and observations are PR's. I just took notes and spouted crazy theories a lot, during our nearly six hours of going over the chapters together (we rambled a lot).  We spent most of that time reading out/reciting favourite lines, gibbering excitedly at each other, and saying "poor Costis" and "Gen's an absolute genius" at five-second intervals. Despite all this, we did manage to get some points ready for discussion.  

I apologise that this read-along is a day late. LJ crashed on me last night and I lost most of what I'd written, which... set me back a bit :( Also, my apologies for the strange variations in the typeface! I'm not sure how to fix that; I've tried a coupla times...

So this week, for our
spoiler-free discussion:
Reading from line: The stool hit the wall with a satisfying crash.
Ending at line: Weaving with fatigue, dismissed by Teleus when they were halfway to the infirmary, Costis returned to his room, freed himself of belt and breastplate, and fell, otherwise fully dressed, onto the bed. 

Sounisian shout-outs (and Eddisian 'woot's) in this section: To philia_fan  and tencups_i_swear, both of whom take their names from a passage in chapter seven, and how could I forget
[livejournal.com profile] pigrescuer , whose name comes from my...

Favourite Lines:
[info]tearoha) Trying to choose one line from this section is like... trying to do a very hard thing. But for a crowning moment of funny, it must be this one: "Ah. They [the attendants] have seen me in my nightshirt." He looked down at his sleeve, embroidered with white flowers. "Not in your nightshirt, though."
He was fully awake and himself again.

This week's read-along is laid out in a somewhat English class-y manner (I'm sorry!) by chapter, with a short synopsis of events,with notes and questions, and then at the end are some general comments, ideas and discussions. Please bear with me - there's so much to talk about that we tried to do it all. There are a lot of notes. Read more under the handily-labelled cuts! All page numbers are from the paperback edition.

Chapter Six )


Chapter Seven )

Chapter Eight )
Chapter Nine )
Chapter Ten )

And I think that's about it!
Every time I read this passage I end up in awe of it. it's so very jam-packed with events, subtle understatement, and misdirection. I like the themes, some of which we picked up on here: Revelations, Names, Identity, Public/Private roles, Kindness, and Bed. I think I've said enough though, so for anyone else who wants to pick up on one of these ideas and run with it, please do.

Next week: Chapters 11-14 KoA.

[identity profile] sgwordy.livejournal.com
Onward we march, getting closer each day to ACoK! Huzzah!   But please no ACoK spoilers!

Reading from line: The queen waited.
Ending at line: Costis walked on through the palace and down to the Guard's barracks, knowing himself entirely guilty of what the king had not condescended to accuse him of.

(page numbers from hardback edition)

General Thoughts/Questions:
We're on our third POV and I know it's been discussed before but thoughts again? I love the POV switches as I feel they lend depth to the stories. Can you imagine KoA from other perspectives?

Right off in the Prologue I'm struck by mwt's fantastic turns of phrase. Something as simple as "unsubstance" is really quite fantastic.

When do we get Ornon's book? :)

Was KoA the first in the series you read? If so, what were your initial thoughts on the characters? After reading the whole series? This was not the first I read and I've always wondered what I would have thought if it was the first in the series I came by.
Detailed Thoughts/Questions )

I can't wait to see what interests everyone from the random stuff I posted and/or any other topics.
[identity profile] elle-winters.livejournal.com
I recently joined Sounis and well...I've just had so many questions, there is a good chance that they have all been throughly discussed already, but who doesn't love a good discussion?

The Theif
1. Gen says something about how his father came into the library and asked him if he knew about Sounis's purposal to Eddis, and then MoW leaves, leaving a bag of coins on Gen's desk. The scene is pretty vague. Did MoW want Gen to go out and find the H-gift? Is this when MoW accepts that Gen is a theif?

2. Gen says the magus couldn't possibly have known if he had a sweetheart because he changed his records...does this allude the possiblity that he has? had a sweetheart/s that is? Its a stupid question, I mean I dont think he has, but I think it was possible that everyone in Eddis's court expected a courtship with the Queen's cousin Agape?

1. In the Theif and QoA Gen is pretty pissed about Sounis trying marry Eddis but in the King, Gen actually suggests it.(that Eddis marry Sounis) WHY?

Eddis also asks the Magus himself, her reasoning is because Gen is the KING of Attolia. Does that pose a threat to her?

2. Gen goes into the prison cell to see Relius
a. He shouts "I CAN DO ANYTHING I WANT" is Gen messing with Teleus, or is he honestly upset?

b. Later when his Eddisian cousins come they ask "did he think that was the king of attolia talking" what do they mean? Did Gen say it out of anger, was it actually the Theif of Eddis talking?

c. Possible Relius and Attolia? (one sided of course)
Gen says to Relius 'you must hate her now' he seems pretty serious and almost hopeful (not sure exactly about the quote), was Gen actually hoping Relius would hate attolia?
in one scene he also kisses Attolia and laughs asking Rel if he's jealous (I'm assuming its because he gets to kiss the queen? but being Gen he kisses Rel on the head too :)

There is point when one of the Attolians brings up Gen's cousins and how they held him down in a catchet of water until he insulted his family...Ornon says something like "they didnt know how close to danger they had come"
would Gen actually have him executed? I dont think so, but then what possible danger could Gen have posed?

Oh and at the end of KOA Gen apologizes to Teleus for "what was done but not done well" or something like that...but I think he's done pretty well...so why apologize?
[identity profile] mycenaeth.livejournal.com
and, as usually happens when rereading Megan's books, I picked up on something I hadn't noticed before.

This is the scene in the small audience room with Eugenides, Attolia, and Relius. Hardcover pgs. 72-75. )
[identity profile] philia-fan.livejournal.com
So...here's a discussion question for fun:  Who is your favorite MINOR character in the books, and why?  Or, which minor character would you like to know more about?

Have at it.
[identity profile] bluestalking.livejournal.com
A Machiavellian Moment brought to you The Prince*, with regards to invasion by a greater power of a group of smaller powers:

"Such invaders are always helped by malcontents within the country, who are moved either by their own overweening ambition or fear, as happened in Greece, where the Aetolians were responsible for the invasion by the Romans. . .What usually happens is that, as soon as a strong invader attacks a country, all the less powerful men rally to him, because they are enviously hostile to the ruler who has held sway over them." (10)

The Aetolians jumped out at me, of course--but the whole thing reminded me rather of Attolia's barons, the 'scared little mice, waiting for their own familiar cat'--who aren't necessarily yet won over to Gen's side. One hopes they keep preferring Irene and her king to the Medes.

* Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought, ed. Quentin Skinner and trans. Russell Price, 1988.
[identity profile] aged-crone.livejournal.com
I figured my last entry on this topic was far enough back to warrant a new one.

1)Why does Dite go to Gen's room when he's hurt? Okay, they're getting along better, but I didn't get the idea that they were good friends; doesn't sitting by his sickbed seem a bit much?

2)How did Gen know Relius was lying, in the scene with the spies who had been injured and sent back by the Mede? Was it just insight into the way Relius was speaking, or did he have other information that conflicted with what Relius was saying?

3)Near the end of the book, when Costis is hauled out of bed to get the king down from the battlements: doesn't it seem a bit unfair that the guards/attendants would be hanged if Gen fell? I can see their being punished for not saving him from an outside attack, but if he's stupid enough to get drunk and fall off a wall, how is it their fault?

4)Where did all those scars of Gen's come from? Not the side, or the one at his shoulder, or the fetters or the dog bites, but the thigh and all the others. (Not the bruises, either; those I understand).

5)How is it that neither Relius nor Teleus had figured out that the queen loved Eugenides? (Or, come to that, that they weren't told?) And that Relius only seems to figure out that Gen became king only because he wanted to marry Attolia after he's arrested, tortured, etc.? I know Attolia's not terribly revealing, but those two were closer to her than anybody else.
[identity profile] aged-crone.livejournal.com
I've been rereading KoA again, and have come up with a couple more things to post...

For instance: "The king rarely missed an opportunity to insult the Captain of the Guard, but to the Secretary of the Archives he was unfailingly polite. It made Relius feel ill." (p. 75)

So - why is Gen polite to Relius and rude to Teleus? Because he knows what will annoy each of them most, maybe? I don't think that he dislikes Teleus more than he does Relius - or does he? Anybody else got an opinion?

And: Just after Attolia speaks with Relius and convinces him that he can't go off and keep goats somewhere, the king and queen learn that Nahuseresh had provided Sounis with the assassins who attacked Gen. "In an interview that morning with the new Secretary of the Archives, the Baron Hippias..." (p. 332). Do you think Hippias is going to be demoted and Relius given back that title? Or will Relius be doing a different job now?
[identity profile] hebe0.livejournal.com
Recently in the Conspiracy Room we've been discussing Attolian etc. clothing, in particular what the men wear (and yes, underwear did get mentioned!). Checkers suggested discussing it here as well.

So, how do you visualise the clothes, or don't you? It seems pretty much up to our imaginations - the books are mainly vague (on purpose, I think?). For the men I've seen various mentions of pants/trousers, a kilt, shirts, undershirts, overshirts, tunics, coats, robes, and a cape - but not all together ;-) And we know Eddis sometimes wears trousers instead of a dress or robe.

And how distinct do you think different regional fashions are? KoA has the King wearing a Medean style and Relius Continental, and talks of an Eddisian tunic.
[identity profile] avian-xj.livejournal.com
 Let's talk about Teleus. 

There was some speculation in Chatzy today. What is Teleus' private life like (if he has one)? Also: thoughts about his devotion to Attolia and to the law and order around her? Isn't it adorable how protective he gets? Speculation about Teleus' backstory? Costis is a younger version of Teleus so what does that say for Costis' future/ Teleus' past?

Comments and thoughts would be lovely, but everyone must promise not to give Checkers any reason to use the idiot icon! :P


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Eddis, Attolia, Sounis


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