Welcome to Readers Indigestion’s new format: Readers Indigestion Book Club. What I’ve decided to do as I read books is to the review in two parts, the Rundown and the final review, and until I get to that final review I’ll just come here every Sunday and talk about where I am in the books that I’m reading. I haven’t read as much as I would like to in the last few months but I’m hoping that this will help. I had a pretty busy week so I only got two chapters read, two very short chapters. I also promise not to start any other books until I’m done the ones I’ve done a Rundown for. So now, let’s get into this weeks book club!
These posts WILL contain spoilers of the books that are being talked about. It’s a book club, I’m going to chat about books in depth. Fair warning has been given.
Picking up from where I left off in the Halfway Point we have learned the fate of the Akaran children, they have been taken to different points in the world to prevent them from being taken by the Mein’s and being put through who knows what kind of torment. The two chapters that I’m going to be talking about today only has to do with one of the children, Mena, and the second chapter has to do with one of the men who betrayed Leodan Akaran and made it possible for the Mein brothers to take over the Known World.
As we know Mena had been saved from the wreckage of her ship by washing up on a small island where the priests took her and believe that she is their goddess in human form, a vessel of sorts. This is really the first time we see her duties as the goddess’ representation on this island, and it isn’t a particularly enjoyable job she has been forced to take. She dresses as in the clothing of the goddess (a giant bird of some sort) and sits before a husband and wife who have just lost their second child. Their first child was “taken by the goddess” as is the first born of every villager on this island it seems, they believe it to be just a sacrifice to their deity when what actually is happening is that their child was taken as part of the Quota. Their second child had fallen off of a cliff to her death and the parents want to know why the goddess took their second of three children away from them if they had already sacrificed the first to her.
As you can imagine this isn’t pleasant for Mena to put up with and while she is hearing their pleas she is trying to think of solutions to it, while never actually talking, the priest does all of that for her. When she finally decides to talk she does all she can to comfort the sad parents and they are escorted out. Mena goes off on her own thinking about the chastisement she will receive for speaking her native tongue at one point while trying to console the husband and wife. While wandering about she sees a sailor, one she saw earlier but thought nothing of. When he begins approaching her she panics thinking it is someone who is there to harm her. The man comes up to her and asks, in the same language Mena herself used to console the couple, and asks her if she is Mena Akaran. She attempts to dodge around the question but the stranger continues to ask her about her life before and finally her says that she knows him, or at least knew him. He was her older brother Aliver’s best friend, Melio.
This chapter was great because it brings back characters that you think are only minor ones earlier on, but this book keeps showing you that there are no minor characters. Seemingly unimportant characters come back all the time and that’s something I really love about this book.
The next chapter was brilliant, it shows a man who helped the Mein brothers over throw Leodan and what has happened to his life in the last nine years. Rialus Neptos was sent to the North by King Leodan and he saw it as “the great cures of his life”. While there he swore to do anything to get into a better station then he had been in, and that shows there a reason, the main one I believe, that he sided with the Mein’s when they chose to over throw the Acacian monarchy. After the war ended Hanish Mein made Rialus the personal liaison to Calrach, the leader of a race of massive barbarian like humans called the Numrek who were the main reason the brothers won the war, and sent him to follow around their leader. These people at first didn’t seem so bad to Neptos as they didn’t really pay much attention to the restrictions placed upon them by Hanish, but as time went on all they did was use him as the but of jokes he didn’t understand. They made him participate in mindless sporting activities and they seem to have come close to killing him many times. Every evening they would put him at the table at dinner beside two concubines who would feel him up and make him feel very uncomfortable while trying to eat, and this amused the Numrek people to no end. Many times Rialus would have to prevent himself from saying something that would be insulting towards them so that he was not killed.
One night while eating their putrefied food their leader told Rialus that they wanted him to go tell Hanish Mein that they wanted some of the Quota just like the people of the Other Lands received. Rialus tried to reason with the monstrous man, telling him that he had already received many slaves as a thank you from the Mein brothers for helping out during the war, but Calrach would hear none of this, he did not think it far that people that had no hand in the rise of the Meins received a large amount of slaves every year and the Numrek did not receive any of the Quota. Neptos eventually gave up and agreed to leave, he also saw this as a chance for him to be for a new position in the Mein’s rule.
These two chapters give us insight into what has been going on for two of the characters lives in the last nine years. Mena has been having to do the duties thrown upon her as the islands goddess, not all of them enjoyable and Rialus has been tormented by having to put up with a race of people he deems below him. Mena has met a someone from her old life and this may be the beginning of the Akaran children reuniting. Rialus has possibly been given the chance to get out of the horrible position he is in.
What are your thoughts on what may happen from this point in for the two characters talked about this week. Please keep your comments spoiler free for me as I have not gotten much past this point, yes I’m a slow reader but I would prefer if you have read the book already that you don’t spoil things for me. Thanks for reading the first Readers Indigestion Book club and I’ll see you all next week!
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