Read Along: Full Fathom Five, Week 3

Banner by Anya @ On Starships and Dragonwings
Banner by Anya @ On Starships and Dragonwings

So we’re into the third part of this book, and the mystery’s getting deeper and darker, with a few surprise twists thrown in for us to chew on…

Our host this week is Heather at The Bastard Title, and we’re covering chapters 33 to 50. Mind the spoilers! 

Kai and Izza finally meet face-to-face. What do you think about their confrontation? Did it go as you expected, or did they surprise you?

Hmm. I wasn’t really surprised that they seem very much at odds, but with that said, my initial thoughts about Izza have definitely changed. Could be that she’s in too far over her head in this whole business to back out now (though it remains to be seen whether or not she can still leave…), but there’s much more heart to her character than I thought there was at the beginning. And the clash of beliefs between her and Kai was interesting reading, in this part of the book. It seems to me that Kai is seriously reluctant to accept that what she thinks she knows about the idols is wrong, though given the business she’s in that’s probably understandable…

Poor Margot. Do you trust that Claude just did a stupid thing and didn’t believe Kai when he needed to, or do you think he has a bigger role in the conspiracy? And who is behind the mysterious murdering Penitent?

Aw, Margot. I kind of started suspecting he was done for during his last conversation with Izza, but the manner of his death was still a bit of a surprise – and I have no idea who might be behind the murdering Penitent. I think the logical theory that Mara’s clients are behind it is too obvious, and we haven’t actually seen them at all this far in the book. Beyond that, I’m reserving judgement – mostly because any guess I make is probably wrong, heh!

As for Claude… OK, this is an interesting situation to me. I don’t think he masterminded Margot’s murder, and I think he was possibly even being honest when he told Kai he wasn’t involved. With that said, I suspect his own record of being punished via Penitent, and the descriptive hints at how passive, or ‘broken’, he is now might mean that he could have known, and simply not done anything about it… Though I don’t know what purpose it might serve for him to have known. Maybe we’ll get last-minute, change-of-heart heroics? We’ll see…

Kai and Teo’s conversation about evolution and creation myths, science vs. belief, was really striking. Which side of the philosophical argument would you lean towards?

This was another interaction scene I really liked, and I thought it was excellently written. As for my own position on that argument, I’d probably come down on the science side of the line. I’ve never held much in the way of religious belief, strictly speaking, but science is a marvellous thing to me. I’ll take that endless sense of wonder that comes from actual discovery over acceptance of the world’s mysteries on blind faith, any day.

So we know now that all of the idols and Izza’s gods are different facets of a single goddess. How do you think this development might affect the different characters, and Kavekanan society as a whole?

I can’t say with any certainty how it will compel these various characters to act, but I definitely think it’s going to impose a LOT of change upon what they think they know. Kavekana in general, as well, might find itself in upheaval if it’s made widely known that there is in fact a god in their midst. I doubt it’s going to bring good change, at least not at first; I can’t imagine being forced to accept that their societal beliefs have been wrong this whole time is going to go over well…

Why do you think Teo threw her bracelet into the pool?

ARGH. This is a twist I was not expecting, and I’ve thought it over and I still don’t know what to make of it! I mean, I did expect that there was some reason Teo made an appearance in this book, but as for what she’s up to… I don’t know! This genuinely took me by surprise, and if there’s some significance to the bracelet and how it involves the pool, I’m missing it at the moment. I mean, it kind of looks like an act of sabotage of some sort, and wasn’t she just saying that she doesn’t like gods…? I think maybe Teo knew what it’s taken Kai this long to figure out about the idols, but if she went to the pool intent on damaging it somehow, I don’t know how or even really why, yet…

Uh, oh, Jace. All signs are starting to point to Jace being the architect of this conspiracy. Signs can be wrong, of course. But where do you think we’ll go from his surprise appearance? If he did know about the goddess in the pool all along, why do you think he would have covered it up?

Bad for business, would be my very first assumption on the cover-up question… Creating and controlling idols is one thing, and it’s what they do. Controlling gods is something else entirely, and if Jace is smart enough to realise it can’t be done, then covering it all up is perhaps a logical alternative… What he might do now that Kai and Teo are rocking that particular boat, I don’t know – but bear in mind that we still don’t know what became of Mara…

Bonus (silly) question: what possible reason could a skeleton Craftsman have for poolside tanning?

This is why I love Max Gladstone’s writing. You’ve got these massive, world-changing/world-threatening conspiracies and murder mysteries, philosophical debates and so on, and then you’ve apparently utterly random nonsensical asides like this one. Sunbathing skeletons. It’s a moment straight out of a Pratchett book. There’s absolutely no reason that I can see for it to be in there, yet there it is, and I honestly paused during reading for a moment to go “…what?!”

It’s weird as hell. I love it.


So, there are my thoughts for this week. Next week is our final week, and my own turn at the questioning helm! I’m getting a bit nervous now. What the heck is going on?! Join us next Monday to find out…

(And if you want more thoughts and opinions, remember you can peruse my fellow bloggers’ post links, or even join our group, over here!)

4 thoughts on “Read Along: Full Fathom Five, Week 3

  1. I think Teo dropping the bracelet into the pool was my favourite moment in the whole book purely because it was so incredibly out-of-nowhere to me. At least now we know why she was so insistent upon wanting to see the idols!

  2. I can’t really see Claude as the one who killed Margot, either. Given the nature of the punishment, I guess we don’t really know how much free will he has, even now.

    I have no idea on the bracelet either, but it has to be significant! She seemed too eager to get to that pool for it to be innocent.

  3. Claude is frustrating me right now, because he’s the one character that I really feel like I need something *more* from; I need to understand his motivations. Something besides seeing him through Kai’s eyes. And I think that’s kind of the point Gladstone is going for, maybe, that the Penitent broke him and now he’s this essentially unknowable figure. But I don’t know what to do with him and it kind of drives me crazy.

    Those little moments of oddity like the skeleton give this world such a weird, original texture and I had to point it out because I love them 🙂

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