'Jade Fire Gold' Book Club Readalong Day 4!By: OwlCrate . Photo By: @thetatteredpage
Welcome back to our book club read-along for OwlCrate's October book, Jade Fire Gold!
Just a reminder that this will be a SPOILER discussion for Chapters 18-25 of Jade Fire Gold, so make sure you read are finished this section before continuing.
Discussion questions are listed below, and anyone who participates in the comments will be entered to win a free OwlCrate box!
The story continues...
After getting Tai Shun back to his quarters Ahn insists to Linxi that she can get herself to bed. When she awakes from a dream she draws herself a bath, and seeing the glass vial the empress gave her that may unlock her memories, drinks it. In the bath she sinks into sleep and memories start coming forward. Of her father praising her over a dead bird, of her mother refusing to let her father take her away to use her magic, of her mother giving her tinctures to block her memories, and lastly of what she did to her nanny.
While waiting for her father in his study Ahn again inspects the hidden room and finds it opens up further, to reveal Diyeh priest robes. Her fathers comes in, and he tells her he is the head priest of the Diyeh. He’s been lying to her. Her mother was also a priest and killed people before it was her own daughter that showed magic. When he asks how she can remember everything she reveals the empress gave her a tincture. Ahn wants to leave the palace, and tells him she will not be his weapon. But he insists she cannot run from her fate.
Altan heads to the roof of the safe house to be alone and think about what happened that night. Who the girl Ahn is, is drunk cousin seeing him alive. His thoughts are interrupted by a figure in black though, and when Altan attacks he doesn’t fight back. He asks Altan to hear him out, and Altan agrees. He says that if Altan will become part of his plan to meet him in a week. Altan’s former best friend, Leiye, jumps away into the darkness.
Ahn’s father has had her locked up in a cell. Although they seem to try to be keeping her healthy and alive, Ahn refuses to eat. She loses track of how much time goes by, but one day (night?) Leiye brings her her food. Dismissing the guards, he tells her to at least eat the rice, and after he leaves she does so, finding inside a small piece of paper disguised as a grain that simply says “stay awake.” Later, she hears a guard’s scream cut off and before her appears the boy from the desert. Altan.
On the outer limits of the city Ahn is able to bathe and change clothing, and is finally able to demand answers from Altan. It is her assumption that Leiye is paying Altan as some sort of mercenary after he explains they have procured a ship to take them to the Emerald Sea. He let’s her keep this assumption. Thrusting her jade ring at him, she insists they take a detour to the safe house that Shīfù will be bringing her grandmother to. Altan pretends to pawn the ring to cover the costs, but keeps it hidden safe in his pocket.
They travel in silence for days before one evening Altan asks Ahn to tell him about herself. He then tells her about Yuan Long, and how vastly his legacy differs from the history books. It was he who created the Diyeh priesthood, using them to kill Tiansei who refused to join him and slandering their magic as cursed.
They are traveling through a canyon and enjoying some banter when they are attacked by bandits. In her panic, Ahn isn’t able to use her magic and is grabbed by an attacker. Trying to fight back, she ends up finding the same power that killed the men in the alley, killing the man. Unfortunately the light also seems to engulf Altan and she does her best to pull it back. A dagger kills one of the attackers, coming from a masked figure in black. Altan shoots the final bandit with an arrow before falling to the ground.
Ahn helps Altan dress his wound, finding her jade ring while doing so. She helps him to a cave to rest. Ahn thinks while washing Altan’s blood from her hands about how, in the moment, she might have enjoyed using her magic to kill the attacker.
Back in the cave she watches Altan sleep, and while trying to retrieve the ring from his pouch once again, Altan mutters the name Sarangerel. He grabs her hand and asks her to stay, so she does until he falls back asleep.
Altan wakes up in pain but insists on going back to see the bodies of the men they killed, specifically the body of the man Ahn killed. Ahn goes with him and describes the man with the mask who helped them. Leiye. When they reach the body Ahn gasps - it is completely desiccated, as if drained of blood. Altan thinks that it maybe would be better if the Life Stealer didn’t exist.
They eat a hare Ahn trapped that night. Altan finally admits it’s not about the money for him, but about vengeance against those who hunted down his mother and family. Ahn tells him of her other kills, and about a vague memory of something bad happening with her magic as a child, which is why her mother took her away. Altan reveals that his magic manifested in the desert when they were on the run right after his mother was killed, and it manifested in the form of a sandstorm he couldn’t control. That sandstorm happened to also kill his sister.
- Why do you think the priests haven’t tracked down Ahn and Altan yet?
- Do you think it is really Leiye who is trailing them? Why do you think he is doing so?
- Do you think the Phoenix magic really worked on Altan, or do you think Ahn was somehow able to control her magic in the moment?
- We’re on the hunt for the White Jade Sword. Recommend another book featuring an important blade!
Pick up your signed exclusive copy of Jade Fire Gold in the OwlCrate Shop!