Week 4: All is Fair Read-Along

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Our read-along of The Split Worlds series continues, and this month we’re diving into the third book All Is Fair! If you’re interested in joining this Read-Along, visit the SF/F Read-Along group for more information and to join the discussion.

With thanks to Coolcurry for the read-along banner!

All Is Fair

Caught in the insidious designs of powerful puppet-masters and playing a life-or-death game for control, Cathy and her comrades face their greatest challenge yet: changing the balance of power in the Split Worlds.

Now at the heart of the Londinium Court, deceit and murder track Will’s steps as he assumes his new role as Duke. Faced with threats to his throne and his life, the consequences of his bloody actions are already coming back to haunt him…

Meanwhile, Cathy, wrestling with the constraints of the Agency and Dame Iris, comes to terms with her new status in Fae-touched society and seeks others who feel just as restricted by its outdated social rules. As Max works with Cathy to uncover the horrors that underpin Fae-touched society, he bears witness as the final blow is struck against the last Sorcerers in Albion…

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schedule

Week 1: Monday 4th July, Chapters 1-6, hosted by Over The Effing Rainbow
Week 2: Monday 11th July, Chapters 7-14, hosted by Hisham El-Far
Week 3: Monday 18th July, Chapters 15-22, hosted by The Illustrated Page
Week 4: Monday 25th July, Chapters 23-End, hosted by x + 1

Questions

1. Apparently women can’t be Arbiters or Sorcerers. Is this another sign of Nether sexism, or do you think there may be other mysteries at play here? What do you think Rupert will do about it?

Mogsy: Somehow I am not surprised to find out that the Sorcerers and Arbiters also subscribe to some form of patriarchy. I suppose that makes Rupert a bit of a hypocrite, claiming to be so enlightened the progressive, but after all these centuries, do I see him doing anything to try to change the status quo? Ekstrand, for all his mental instability, at least has a woman in a high-ranking position on his staff. Speaking of which, when we got to the part where they revealed the real killer was a woman, I had this sudden moment of panic in which I thought Petra might have been the one behind everything. Thank goodness that didn’t turn out to be the case.

2. Were you surprised at Max’s choice? What about his deliberate reaching for his emotions? What do you think the future holds for him and the Gargoyle?

Mogsy: I think I’d known for a long time that Ekstrand’s days were numbered, so in light of that, I guess I wasn’t too surprised that Max and the gargoyle chose the way they did. I was probably more surprised at Max’s deliberate reaching for his emotions, since I didn’t know that was even possible for him to do. Regardless, that moment of catharsis was a long time coming. I had this thought that perhaps the two of them and Petra can join up with Rupert, and then Rupert can put his money where his mouth is and train Petra as a Sorcerer to head up Ekstrand’s old branch. Wishful thinking maybe, but how cool would that be?

3. Cathy has had sweeping success in beginning her rebellion. How do you think Londinium – and the Agency – and the Fae – will respond?

Mogsy: With extreme prejudice, in all senses of the term. Once Cathy brings these issues to the forefront, no longer will the rebellion be something whispered in backrooms and shadows; I think it will be all out war.

4. Will has finally become an ally. Do you think he’s strong enough to stick to it? Do his secrets make him vulnerable?

Mogsy: Will is weak. Just when I thought he’d finally come around, I watched his epic failure as he just stood by cowering and watched Margritte take the full brunt of his brother’s verbal and physical abuse. Sure, he tells Cathy she has his full support now, and then later proves it by rescuing Margritte. But what that means is I’ll trust him to be an ally…right up until things get hard.

As for his secrets, he still hasn’t come clean to Cathy about a lot of things (there was a moment where I thought he would, but he didn’t). They don’t have to make him vulnerable, but it’s obvious that the longer he keeps them, the worst it’ll be for him when they are finally revealed.

5. Sam assumes the mantle of Lord Iron – what do you think of his intentions to pick up Leanne’s mission as well? Do you think he will find his deeds tainted just as Amir’s were? What do you make of his reflection that he’s found a way to look at the past such that it’s nobody’s fault?

Mogsy: I wish Sam the best. He’s been using his newfound status for good so far, but I just hope this won’t be a slippery slope in which too much power leads to corruption (who knows if that’s what happened to his predecessor?) I think he has good intentions, but he really needs to temper this messiah complex of his where he feels he has to save everyone, or change the world in a day. Start at the beginning, Sam. Learn the ropes. One day, he may fulfill Leanne’s vision yet.

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6 Comments on “Week 4: All is Fair Read-Along

  1. It doesn’t surprise me that the sexism in the Nether extends to sorcerers too – why would it be any different – for that matter I don’t recall seeing any high status female fae at this point?
    I think the idea of Rupert training Petra is a great one – I think that would really work and I hope it’s the way the story is going to go.
    Cathy – everything feels like it’s going too calmly at the moment. I feel like she’s having a temporary reprieve currently experiencing the calm in the eye of the storm.
    Max and the Gargoyle – I can see a great pairing in the future for those too.
    Sam, I really don’t know what to make of him at this point. He definitely needs to chill out – he’s rushing at everything like a bull in a china shop! It doesn’t feel like it will end well.
    Lynn 😀

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    • Like Imyril said, I think there were mentions…but no, no “real” appearances. Apparently lady fae also seem to be relegated to the background :\

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  2. I had that moment worrying that the Sorceress was Petra too – I’m so glad she isn’t (and I love your idea of Rupert training her up).

    The scenes between Nathaniel and Margritte made me feel quite ill; he’s a really nasty piece of work! I agree with your assessment of Will – he’ll do pretty much anything to avoid risk to himself. I think he’s in for a bit of a shock now Cathy has the bit between her teeth (I loved the scene where he came home and didn’t recognise the people in his house, and his servants were somehow less servile. Get used to it, Will).

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    • I was shocked at Nathaniel to be honest. I mean, I always knew he was a bit of an ass, but I felt the author really dialed it up in that scene. I think she’s setting him up to be a big baddie.

      Liked by 1 person

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