Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Shadow and Bone Read-Along: Week Four Discussion Questions


We are now in the last week of the
Shadow and Bone Read-Along,
hosted by
Vonnie @ Vonnie's Reading Corner!

Fourth Week Discussion Questions
Chapter 18- "After"
A Night's Dream of Books

1.)   Alina asks Mal to do something for her, something which he flatly refuses to even consider.  What is it?  Why did Alina make this request?
Alina asks Mal to kill her if the Darkling ends up winning. She does not want to be the cause of disaster and pain due to the Darkling's dark goals. Alina trusts Mal and knows that he would kill her in a humanly manner when the time comes.

2.)   What were your thoughts and feelings when Alina had her beautiful, magical encounter with the stag?
This part reminded me of the movie called Legend with Tom Cruise. In the movie, the main character Lily encounters a unicorn and tries to caress it while it stands there trusting her. Right when Lily is about to pet the unicorn, the villain shoots an arrow at the animal breaking Lily out of her trance. In the book, Alina gets close to the stag and runs her hand over it. All of a sudden, the bad guys shoot an arrow at the stag, which breaks the magical moment between the animal and Alina. I had a "deja vu" moment when reading this part.
3.)   How did you feel about the Darkling when he took what Alina would not -- the stag's life?
I was not surprised. Like I mentioned before, this reminded me of the scene from Legend, so I expected the Darkling to go kill the stag. Of course, here it was a bit more gruesome than the movie since the movie spared the unicorn's life; its horn was taken away though.

Now, this part definitely showed the Darkling's dark nature. He had a goal that he'd been trying to achieve for hundreds of years, and he would do anything to get to it. Were his intentions and actions noble? No, but I can't help but still feel some hope for his character. I guess he's a villain I just love.
4.)   Why is it the Darkling, and not Alina, who initially controls the amplifying power of the stag's antlers?
The Darkling was able to control Alina's powers because he believed in it. He knew that by killing the stag himself would empower him to control Alina. Alina also believed in that and felt that there was no other alternative. Because of this, Alina does not realize the true nature of the stag's power.
5.)   What, according to the Darkling, would have happened if word of Alina's flight from the Little Palace had spread?
There were many people who wanted her dead, so if word got out that she escaped, then these people would go after Alina. The Darkling was making sure that that wouldn't happen because he needed Alina.
6.)  What role do you think Genya might have played (if any) in the King's sudden illness? 
It appeared that Genya was asked to make the King ill, but it's not for certain. How did she do it if she did? It was not clarified exactly but there were clues. The Darkling must have convinced her to do it and it was easy too because of Genya's desperation to change her role in the community. She didn't want to the King and Queen's servant, but wanted to be part of the Grisha community. This could have been her motive as to why she could have caused the King's illness.
7.)   Do you think there will be an eventual power struggle between the Darkling and the Apparat?  Why or why not?
Not really. Towards the end of the book, it seemed that the Apparat disappeared. He was more of crazy person in the court and it appeared that the Darkling had more power than him. Will the Apparat show up in the second book? Perhaps, but I don't see him taking over. It's mostly going to be about the Darkling trying to take over and him chasing after Alina.
8.)   How did Alina come to realize that she could take control of the amplifier away from the Darkling?
Alina kept having a recurring dream: the Stag's death. There was more to the dream though, and Alina couldn't figure out the dream's message until she was at the Fold. Mal's life was  in danger and it tore Alina apart at the thought of Mal's execution to the volcra. As she tried to figure out a way to get closer to Mal, Alina came to the realization that giving life to the Stag was much more powerful than taking it away from it. She then knew that she had a stronger hold of her power than the Darkling did on her.  
9.)  What does the Darkling intend to do with Mal when he (the Darkling) and his soldiers reach the Fold?
The Darkling wants to get rid of Mal because he is jealous. He wants Alina all to himself so he thinks that by getting rid of Mal, he would be able to make sure that Alina was all his. He decides to execute Mal by leaving Mal in the Fold so the volcra could tear Mal apart.
10.) Without giving too much away, what did you think of the ending of this novel (including the "After" section?  Were you surprised? 
No, I was not surprised but I found it enjoyable. I liked that Alina was able to realize her true strength and turn a negative situation into a more hopeful one. I found it exciting but predictable. It did leave me looking forward to the next book though.

This finalizes our read-along for Shadow and Bone!!!
Thank you so much for stopping by to read my responses. Don't forget to stop by Maria's blog to check out her answers.
Come back tomorrow to check out my review on this book.


  1. Hi, Vonnie!

    Hey, we sure had a GREAT read-along all by ourselves, didn't we? I really enjoyed reading your questions and answers, as I hope you did mine.

    It's interesting that we don't feel the same way about the Darkling. You still see some hope in him, whereas I don't. The fact that he cold-bloodedly killed the stag, just because he really wanted the power those antlers would bring him, really did it for me. And that's why Alina and the Darkling cannot be a couple. She is tender and merciful, whereas he's cold and cruel. I do think, though, that, over the centuries, he has ruthlessly suppressed his softer side, and concentrated on becoming more and more callous and without scruples, in his pursuit of power.

    We also differ on the role of the Apparat in the story. Yes, he's disappeared, but I somehow don't think he's gone for good. I do think he'll return, and engage in a power struggle with the Darkling at some later point, whether in the second book, or the third. However, I do believe that the Darkling will emerge the victor in this struggle. He might even kill the Apparat by using The Cut. On the other hand, I might be totally wrong! Lol. The author might not include the Apparat in the story anymore. But I think it's a strong possibility.

    It's fascinating that you referenced the movie "Legend"! I haven't seen it, but of course I'd love to, because it's a fantasy movie. The parallel between the movie and Alina's experience with the stag is amazing!

    I really enjoyed reading this book! In fact, I LOVED it! I want to go on to the second one, "Siege and Storm" when I get through with all my blog tour commitments!

    Thanks for partnering with me on this read-along! I'm really looking forward to our next one!! : )

    1. Yes, I had lots of fun! Thank you for doing this with me!!

  2. You know what just came to mind? Alina being able to do the Cut. What did you think of that, Maria? What does that show about her power? Did the Darkling's power somehow went into her?