Friday, March 15, 2013
Froi of the Exiles: Week Two
I've got to be honest - I think I'm enjoying Froi of the Exiles more than Finnikin of the Rock! Something about this book just begs me to keep reading, and I hate having to put it down. There is so much to talk about this week!
As always, discussion questions are after the jump!
1. What did you think about the fact that Froi begins sleeping in Quintana's room and about the scene where they compare scars?
So, this is one of those questions that doesn't necessarily inspire much discussion, but I still wanted to include it. I loved that Froi does things so differently than every other "lastborn" - including the fact that he spends the night in Quintana's room. It seemed like such a sweet gesture to me, especially in light of what he saw Bestiano do to her. I felt like staying the night was his way of trying to make sure she wasn't alone and vulnerable at night.
I also love that he sees one of her scars and immediately shows her his own. Instead of staring or making her feel like she's on display, he brings the attention back to himself and shows her what they have in common. It felt like he was saying, "See? You're not that different." I just loved that moment! But I also found it so heartbreaking that Quintana's scars were the result of assassination attempts. I can't even imagine the life she's lived.
2. Were you surprised by the revelation that Quintana has multiple personalities? Do you think this was a coping mechanism, like making shadows on the ceiling?
I find it interesting that Quintana has sort of disassociated these different sides of her personality and that they show up at various times. I wondered what was going on when she kept referring to herself as "we," and I found it surprising that it's a way she's learned to deal with the things that have happened in her life. Here's where I'm curious/confused - is this something that she'll do forever or is there a chance that her mind can be rehabilitated and restored?
3. Beatriss longs to speak of the past, but Trevanion refuses to hear it. Can you understand both desires?
My heart broke for Beatriss when she wanted to speak to Trevanion of the past. When she referred to his desire to know who Vestie's father was and he refused to acknowledge it or ask the question... so sad! I understand why she wants to talk about it because ignoring it or pretending that it never happened won't help anyone heal. But I feel like I can also understand why it's so painful for Trevanion to hear. However, I feel like by not speaking of it, by refusing to hear it, it's like he is rejecting her.
4. Froi makes two significant "jumps" - into Arjuro's tower and up to Lirah's room. What did you think of his meetings with the two?
I don't have many thoughts on what actually took place in both of these meetings (although I hope you do!), but I did love that Froi took things into his own hands. He's doing everything he can to get in front of the right people and try to get the whole story of what is going on in Charyn. My favorite thing about both scenes was how he took initiative and just jumped/climbed to get what he wanted.
5. What did you think when you found out Lirah was imprisoned for attempted murder and that she tried to kill her daughter?
I'm still not sure I completely understand why she wanted to kill Quintana. Was it because she knew what Quintana would have to experience - that she'd be used and hurt over and over again? It just broke my heart that Quintana knew what Lirah had tried to do. How can you ever look at someone the same when you know that they tried to end your life?
6. We started to see a new side of Phaedra this week - did any of her actions or words stand out to you?
My favorite moment was when she lashed out at the women who were saying such mean things about the Charynites. It wasn't just that she finally found the courage to speak out and stand up for her people. The bigger thing to me was what she said in response to their claim that no offense or harm was intended by their. Phaedra's reply that the children hearing them would one day kill her people because of careless words spoken in their presence was SO POWERFUL to me. Children are born a blank slate - they don't have any built-in prejudices. It's something they learn from the people around them, and I love that Phaedra recognizes that cutting words, even when said in jest or frustration, can have an impact beyond what you'd ever imagine.
7. There were several things worth discussing that occurred when Froi and Quintana were in the caves together. What struck you most from those scenes?
While I loved the scene where Quintana was singing and dancing, the one that really struck me was when she attacked that man that was embracing his lover in the cave. I loved her bravery - that she wanted to protect the woman from the pain she herself had experienced - but it broke my heart that she had no idea that people could actually enjoy physical intimacy.
8. Lirah tells Froi two shocking revelations: 1) that Gargarin killed the Oracle and the child she bore and 2) that the child Gargarin killed was actually Lirah's son. Thoughts?
I felt like there were so many secrets that came to light this week! I thought it was interesting that Gargarin seems so aloof and removed from it all, but we then learn he'd done something so horrific. Lirah spoke of the King asking Gargarin for his allegiance and this act being a sign of that allegiance. What I didn't completely understand is why Gargarin decided to make that pledge. How did killing the Oracle and what he thought was her child benefit him, other than keeping him alive?
And why did Lirah give her child to Gargarin to throw into the gravina? I'm sorry to ask so many questions - I just feel like I don't 100% understand the motivations for some of the character's actions? I can't tell if it's because I missed something or because it's kind of typical Marchetta to hold out on some of the details and slowly reveal things over the course of the book.
9. Shocker: Gargarin and Arjuro swapped places! What did you think about this twist?
I want to make sure that I understood something about this before continuing. Arjuro and Gargarin did not agree to switch places, right? From what I understood, Arjuro basically manipulated the situation and sort of screwed over his brother. Is that actually what happened or did I read it totally wrong? I can't imagine how Gargarin felt about it, if so. I know Arjuro had to watch Gargarin murder the Oracle and Lirah's child, so maybe he felt that Gargarin deserved the imprisonment. Do you think that's how he justified it to himself? I'm just not sure I completely understand what motivated him to this - was it just self preservation?
10. I'm sensing a lot of tension between Lucian and the Monts. Do you see trouble ahead for this young leader?
I'm so worried for Lucian! I can literally feel the tension between him and his people. Add to that the fact that people have referenced him not being ready for the position and the power, and I'm just worried that he's going to run into trouble further on. Am I the only one getting nervous for him? Plus, why is he being such a jerk to Phaedra? He DID marry her, correct? And then just changed his mind? Lucian needs to get his act together!
"'If we forget who we lost,' Lady Abrian would tell Froi and her children, 'then we forget who we once were, and if we forget who we once were, we lose sight of who we are now.'"
"'If your people mean no offense, they should not speak their thoughts out loud in front of their children, Tesadora. Because it will be their children who come to slaughter us one day, all because of careless words passed down by their elders who meant no harm.'"