SF/F Read Alongs: Chimes at Midnight, Part 2

In the second part of Chimes at Midnight, things take a deadly serious turn for Toby, while more unexpected questions arise in her quest…

Lynn at Lynn’s Book Blog is our host this week, as we cover chapters 8 to 15. Spoiler alert!



Well, as ever I’m curious about the Luidaeg. I used to feel as though she’d simply withdrawn from the world of the fae but the more I read the more it feels like she really is very restricted. Any guesses why the Luidaeg is so restricted in what she can say and do?

Hmm. Not really guesses, because I’ve read these books before and I know things, but it’s interesting to revisit the series and refresh my memory, and fill in a lot of blanks with the details!

So I can’t say yet what the Luidaeg’s deal is, because I don’t want to spoil that for anybody, but let’s just say that yes, there is much more going on with her and even I don’t know the whole story yet. Nonetheless, she is and probably always will be one of my favourite characters in this series. Her moment of terrifying badassness in these chapters was a delight, but on a more thoughtful note it was probably only barely scratching the surface of what she’s capable of. I love her presence in scenes like this, and while I approve of Seanan McGuire’s restraint when it comes to not overusing her, it does lend some very, very interesting weight to the major arc of the story.


Is it suspicious that there was an earthquake the night that Arden and Nolan’s parents were killed – was that part of something bigger or was it just pure chance. Was somebody helping the Queen in the Mist to gain the throne that isn’t hers.

I suspect that might be so; either that or it was an opportunity she/they chose not to miss when the earthquake happened. I suspect more that it might have been the second scenario, because setting up a distraction on that scale would have taken some serious use of magic, and that kind of thing tends not to go unnoticed…? Unless that was hushed up as well, but we’re getting into perhaps needlessly twisty conspiracy territory there.

Bear in mind, too, that the Queen in the Mists is known for not plotting her plots as carefully as she could, or ought to. An attack of opportunity, followed up by a show of scary threatening strength to keep people quiet, sounds like it would have been more like her.


Marianne, the nurse who whisked Arden and Nolan away from danger, provided them with protective illusions and then left – do you think she’ll turn up again? Do you think this nurse could be known to us – or maybe in hiding somewhere?

I’ve been wondering about that, and I can’t remember whether or not she turns up again here! So I suppose we’ll find out…


There was one particular comment in these chapters about no other Fetch having lived as long as May – I’m curious about that and worried in equal measure. Why do you think May has lasted so long and does this bode ill?

I think that might be a larger-arc plot detail, like the Luidaeg, but in May’s case she is more of a wild card in the sense that I don’t think anybody really knows what she’ll turn out to be capable of. Wild cards always make things more interesting, and while I confess that this is something else my memory fails me on, I think that whatever May gets up to from here, it’ll be her relationship with Toby and how it’s affected that will be the most interesting thing.


So, we’re searching for a Hope Chest – any ideas about firstborns that might be holding one?? Interesting too that the Hope Chest name was Goldengreen – any other guesses about names?

Now, this is something I do remember things about! Trouble is, I can’t really go into that because it would mean spoilers for things that happen later in the book/series. But it is an interesting question, because who knows which knowes might be hiding surprises like this? Or, indeed, people who know things that we’ve overlooked until now… *Cue mysterious sound effects*


A pie in the face – very slapstick and quite horrific how easy it is to become addicted! We seem to be onto something with Toby’s blood helping to stave off the hunger, do you think this might be the key to a cure somehow?

THIS. This twist was something I’d been waiting for since the beginning of the book, for the very reasons you mention. It is a bit slapstick, but nonetheless the results and what they mean for Toby are pretty damned scary. All bad timing aside, it’s especially hard on her because Toby was JUST starting to get used to being her ‘real’ self, after discovering what her mother had done to keep her hidden. And now she’s made herself more human, and more vulnerable, than she’s ever been in her life. DRAMA.

But thank goodness for Walther! And yes, I think having him around will lead to some pretty remarkable scientific discoveries, which pleases me immensely because the notion of applying science to faerie magic and making it work delights me. If anyone can figure out how to put Toby’s blood/her magic to the most widespread good use, it’s Walther.







2 thoughts on “SF/F Read Alongs: Chimes at Midnight, Part 2

  1. Haha – ‘go team silence’ – nooooo, tell me all the things!
    This goblin fruit storyline is so bad! I can’t believe it. McGuire is a genius really, she built Toby up, increasing her abilities, giving her friends and generally making her feel more stable (and lulling me into a false sense of security) and now she’s ripped it all away. I can feel that between Toby’s blood and Walther something good could possible happen, maybe even something that makes goblin fruit less of a threat to changelings and humans – I don’t know what that will be yet though.
    And I’m hoping that we’re going to have a badass confrontation with Queenie! I’d love Toby to actually slap her – she definitely deserves a good slap.
    Lynn 😀

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