If you would like a book review that is spoiler-free please check out this post.***
If you are looking for a book club discussion that includes spoilers and thoughtful questions, please continue reading this post.
Here is a printable page of the questions if you want to use this for your own book club.
Did you like the book? Why?
I like this book very much! Early in the book I realized that this story was very similar to Red Queen and I was worried about it being a boring imitation. I was delighted to find that I really liked the main character. I also liked the fact that this was not centered around a romance plot line as in Red Queen.
I read this book in a little over a day, which is extraordinarily fast. Now, I did happen to be on the road traveling from Dallas to El Paso for something like 12 hours that day. I drove about half that time and read for a fair chunk of the other half. Then I stayed up late that night at the hotel reading until I couldn’t stay awake anymore. So, basically I couldn’t put the book down.
Most importantly…what is her name? I mean, what was written on that piece of paper?
My theory is that it said, Coin. Do you think it had a different name?
Would you have opened the paper and looked? Why or why not?
I would have looked just because I am a naturally curious person. I don’t know that it would have necessarily changed my view, but I would certainly have looked. I would likely still have my friends call me Coin though. Maybe I’d use the given name (which I’m assuming if it wasn’t Coin would have been more regal) for diplomatic/political occasions. I think the council would respect her more (on a subconscious level) if she had a name that conforms to their societal norms.
There was quite a bit of discussion on Goodreads about Coin being a Mary Sue. Do you believe she is a Mary Sue or a competent main character?
What is a Mary Sue? Dictionary.com defines it as: Mary Sue is a term used to describe a fictional character, usually female, who is seen as too perfect and almost boring for lack of flaws
I can see where they are coming from with this claim of Mary Sue. She does pick up on the magic quickly. We could have had a few chapters of her struggling through learning the magic, but this story is not about the magic. The story is about Coin surviving. She is a competent main character, because if she was not, she’d be dead long ago. This story is about saving the ones she loves.
She learned sword fighting quickly because she already knew street fighting. No they are not the same, but she does already have the quick reflexes and the quick thinking.
Some say she picked up on the magic too quickly. She didn’t have to work for it. True. She did pick it up quickly. However, I’m currently reading a story that is droning on and on, through the WHOLE book about learning the magic. It is taking me forever to get through it because the protagonist doesn’t seem to have any goals except to learn the magic. It’s so boring; I’m ready to abandon the book at 80% in. So my retort to this argument. Is the magic important? Is the lesson of learning the magic the focal point of this story? No. This story is about survival and about family and belonging.
The only thing that bothered me is that Glenquartz took to her immediately and unwavering. I wonder why. Did she remind him of his daughter? Did he like her spunk? Was it her humor… like when she asked for pillows in jail? I love that this character as a kind of father figure. I just wish we could have gotten to know him better and his motivations.
Who was your favorite character? At what point did you fall in love with this character?
I fell in love with Coin when she was being taken to prison and she kept asking for a pillow. Then she got out and got pillows for her cell.
If you were to tell this story from another point of view, whose point of view would you choose?
I would love to see it from Marcher’s POV. I could see this POV as a book that Marie Lu would write. I saw on Instagram the author said that the book is a stand alone for now, depending on how the book sells. If it sells well I imagine they will ask her for a sequel. I’m curious about what is going to happen with Marcher and his crew.
- Will they turn the tables on the caste system and over throw it?
- Will Coin consider working with him to change things?
- Will Marcher go so far rogue and unethical that she has to change things on her own in her own way?
What’s Next? What are you going to read next?
Body in the Garden and Bonds of Brass are two books on my Netgalley List. Then there is also all the books on my Lone Star Reading List to read! I completed 2 books so far in January.
I will be sending out “Letters from Kathryn” email soon. If you want to know more about all the books I’ve been reading, some that I’ve put in the DNF pile, and some writing tips for my writer friend, then sign up for my email list.