'Ballad & Dagger' Book Club Readalong Day 7!

By: OwlCrate .

Welcome back to the final day of our book club readalong for OwlCrate's May book, Ballad & Dagger!

Just a reminder that this will be a SPOILER discussion for all of Ballad & Dagger, so make sure you read are finished  before continuing.

Discussion questions are listed below, and anyone who participates in the comments will be entered to win a free OwlCrate box! Don't forget, you can also post about the readalong on Instagram with the hashtag #OCBalladandDagger for another chance to win! I will be selecting a winner on Monday, July 4th.

The story concludes...

Chapter 41:
Mateo returns to the battle, where the empire pirates have barricaded outside of Tolo’s club. On the way Mateo heals people, storing their injuries inside him. He finds he can reuse these injuries externally, inflicting the taken pain upon others like a weapon. Once reunited with Tolo, he tells Mateo that Chela has given herself up, and that she needs Mateo to come after her. Tolo gives him a sword that matches the dagger Chela typically uses.

Chapter 42:
Mateo takes the sword and goes through the tunnels after Chela, fighting bambarúto on the way. He comes to a concrete platform, on which Chela stands with Veda, Anisette and Gerval - it’s not too late. But the bambarúto here are much more corporeal, and also more difficult to stop as they charge at him. One strikes his eye, and in that moment Galinka appears before him, looking into each other’s eyes Mateo and Galinka become one. Gerval charges and using the power of the death of Tantor, Mateo sends Gerval flying through the skylight to his death.

Chela joins his fight, dagger arm stabbed through a bambarúto, and not seeing another option Mateo embraces Chela and flings them through the skylight, bambarúto and all. Only they don’t fall. They are surrounded by water and the smell of ocean.


Chapter 43:
Okanla and Galinka raise the island, bringing people in need, where they sing and create. The people call Okanla Madrigal.

Chapter 44:
They snap back to reality, both having experienced the same thing, realizing they have been partners for hundreds of years. They fall through the stage of Tolo’s club, landing in the basement with the golems.

Others rush to join the fight against the empire pirates, and for a while it seems like they have the upper hand, but without Chela’s weapons they struggle. Eventually the fighting is called to a halt when Anisette pulls Tolo from the crowd, knife to his neck, demanding they surrender. It is then that Mateo reminds Chela that she’s not just the destroyer, she’s also the creator. Chela looks to the golems.

Chapter 45:
Chela is able to bring a golem to life and sends it after the councilwoman, resuming the fighting. Mateo is fighting alongside Tams and Chela, and as they fight they discuss that maybe all along there were only two spirits with Chela being both Okanla and Madrigal and Mateo being Galinka. But just as they say it Gerval appears, bearing hundreds of teeth, revealing he is the spirit of Vizvargal, true ruler of the broken world, and in possession of Chela’s sword.

Chapter 46:
Vizvargal was written out of San Madrigal’s history after the Madrigal War, but all this time he has had a few devoted followers to do his bidding. Enough to keep a spirit alive. When Vizvargal sees Tolo being led from the room Chela charges at him, but at the last second Mateo pushes her out of the way, taking the sword blow through himself. In that moment he hears hundreds of songs created for him over hundreds of years, and with the strands of those songs and light, they travel down his arm and into Vizvargal, killing him. Mateo transferred his death.

Chapter 47:
After the chaos comes the clean up, and Rabbi Hidalgo tells them that it is time for a new era, with two outlaw angels to guide them.

It is the night of the fall of San Madrigal. Mimi is leading the spirits of Okanla and Galinka to a secret cave where a ceremony is being held with a toddler to raise Vizvargal. Using their powers, the two spirits cause a storm to attempt to trap the Vizvargal beneath the sinking island, but in the last minute he slips free. They know they will now be bound to their human forms and will have to discover who they are together, and in their human bodies, find and defeat Vizvargal.

Together Mateo and Chela find the island of San Madrigal again standing in the ocean. Waiting for them may be an ancient ancestor waiting to fight. 


  1. Most importantly - did you enjoy the book? Will you read book two?
  2. Do you think now having the knowledge that they are one and the same as Galinka and Okanla change Mateo and Chela's personalities?
  3. What do you think will be waiting for them on San Madrigal? Do you think the others from Little Madrigal will return?
  4. Where do you think the remaining empire pirates and bambarúto went?

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