Naamah’s Kiss Readalong, Week 2

Hi everyone, and welcome to week 2 of the Naamah’s Kiss readalong. This week’s questions cover chapters 13-26, and were written by Susan from Dab of Darkness.

Readalong Participants

Allie at Tethyan Books
Lynn at Lynn’s Book Blog
Grace (me) at Books Without Any Pictures
Susan at Dab of Darkness

1) How does one go about finding their destiny? Do you think Moirin is doing a good job of finding her’s? How did you find your own destiny, or have you?
The thing about destiny that this book gets right is that you don’t always know where you’re going, and sometimes it’s just stumbling blind and making shit up as you go along. And part of growing up is realizing that sometimes that’s all you have go to on. So Moirin has a vague idea that she has a destiny, but she doesn’t know what it is and where it will take her, so she just has to trust her gut and her gods and try to figure it out in the process.

As far as my own destiny, I think that most of what got me to where I am today was stubbornness, dumb luck, and being in the right place at the right time. Lots and lots of stubbornness.

I identify a lot with Moirin in this section though, because on my eighteenth birthday I moved from a sleepy town in Western PA with a population of 2500 to Washington DC. It was a massive change for me, and a big cultural adjustment. It was exciting and wonderful, but going to the school that I did also meant that most of my classmates came from a much wealthier background than I did, and there were a lot of things that I just didn’t know. It felt so familiar seeing Moirin arrive in the City of Elua and realize that there were cultural norms there that she has no idea about, even though she’s clearly well-educated and open to learning.

2) Moirin is pretty uncomfortable within stone walls and cities in general. Have you ever found yourself in a similar position, whether in the forest or at sea or in a large city? 
Yes. I’m an introvert and need a certain amount of alone time, otherwise I get stressed out and uncomfortable. And growing up in a small house with six people and three cats meant that that alone time almost never happened. So I totally get the feeling of almost suffocation that Moirin feels when she’s away from the outdoors and loses her connection to the land.

3) We continue to meet or hear about descendants of characters we met in the first 6 books. Who has caught your attention the most?
The guy on the boat who was all about being related to one of Phedre’s Boys. It made me smile.

4) The Maghuin Dhonn. The Tsingani. Do you see parallels between the two or how they are treated?
Both are considered outsiders. Both have a deep connection to nature. Both are feared to an extent. But to me the biggest difference is that the Tsingani are familiar to the D’Angelines, but the Maghuin Dhonn are not.

5) First impressions of the denizens of the City of Elua? Of Raphael de Mereliot?
I particularly enjoyed the carriage scene because it showed that even though Moirin initially thought that Florette and Lydia were airheads, that there was more to them than she had given them credit for, and in the end, she changed her mind.

I don’t trust Raphael. He’s toying with both Moirin and the Queen, and isn’t really being honest with either of them about the other. He seems like he’s up to something.

6) Morin continues her hunt for her D’Angeline heritage. What do you expect from Phanuel, her father?
He seems to be a bit of a wanderer, so I don’t expect him to be filled with paternal instinct. But I hope that he’s a decent guy and that Moirin can learn a bit more about herself by meeting with him.

6 thoughts on “Naamah’s Kiss Readalong, Week 2

  1. ‘you don’t always know where you’re going, and sometimes it’s just stumbling blind and making shit up as you go along’ – quite right!
    I also liked the Phedre’s Boys story.
    Raphael – yes, don’t trust him at the moment. He’s playing a dangerous game isn’t he.
    Lynn 😀

    1. I wonder what his end game is. I can’t imagine that Jehanne likes being toyed with, and I suspect she’ll see right through him.

  2. I also grew up in a sleepy town of ~2500 people (in NC), and my “destiny” has led me all over the place! I guess I would say chance and stubbornness played a major role in shaping my life, as well. I still prefer small towns, though.

    The Phedre’s Boys legacy made me smile, too :).

    I hope Moirin actually does follow up with Florette and Lydia eventually, because they seem to be on some hard times. It was really kind of them to offer to lodge her, and I’m glad that they weren’t simply a caricature of shallow d’Angelines.

    1. Mhm. And I like that she thought they were at first, and then realized that she had judged them too hastily. Just because she didn’t understand them didn’t mean that they were bad people.

  3. I bet that move when you were 18 was wonderful and scary all at the same time. And that is a good point about how Moirin is fairly well educated, speaking 2 languages fluently but then also a smattering or other words she came upon in her readings. You can’t prepare for everything, that’s for sure, even in our day of information.

    Yes, true. The D’Angelines have had generations, perhaps centuries at this point, to enjoy the Tsingani, and they them. The Maghuin Dhonn are outsiders and little is known of them.

    Florette and Lydia seemed to be so judgy and gossipy at first and then we had enough time to see there was something more to them. I really love how Carey can show that a character has more than one side even with her minor characters.

    1. “I really love how Carey can show that a character has more than one side even with her minor characters.” That’s it exactly!

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