'Jade Fire Gold' Book Club Readalong Day 5!By: OwlCrate . Photo By: @kindleandkettle
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 26-34 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...
They spend their final night in the canyon, leaving it to find a friendly farmer who picks them up in his wagon. They arrive at a tavern called The Three Axes where after hearing a secret phrase and inn keeper lends them a room, which unfortunately for them has only one bed!
Altan wakes in the bed the next morning (Ahn on the floor asleep in blankets), and deciding not to wake her leaves her a note telling her not to leave the tavern. Feeling restless, Altan heads into town and decides to buy a bag of red apples. While talking to some townspeople Altan is interrupted by a (poorly) disguised Ahn who came into town to buy Altan the mooncakes he likes. There is a disruption. A new decree has been sent, signed by the Premier, stating that every family must send one man or boy to enlist as soldiers. A mother is desperately yelling for her son to be returned to her, but the soldiers take the child away.
Back at the tavern Ahn is delighted to see Ama has arrived in good health! They retreat to a room to talk and Master Sun comes to help Ama with her illness. He has been able to use needles to stabilize her qì and she is feeling much better. Master Sun asks Ahn to join him for tea, which she brews well (for a beginner.) Altan returns and tells them Master Luo, the innkeeper, has asked that they join him and his family for dinner. When Ahn goes upstairs to tell Ama she overhears some men talking about trying to get one of the wealthy boys, Master Li, out of town to avoid the draft.
That night Ahn settles down in the barn to sleep after they gave up their room to paying customers. Feeling restless she sees Altan’s figure come in in the dark and start retrieving his weapons. He is going to go after the boy. Ahn insists she go with him and they are going to get the boy back to his mother.
The find the soldiers’ camp but they overhear a conversation and it’s too late - the recruits have already left. In the dying light of the fires the head Diyeh priest, the exact man who killed Altan’s mother, emerges from a tent. Altan tries to go to him to take his revenge, but Ahn stops him, telling him she needs him to help her find the sword.
Ahn knows after the lie she just told, not revealing the head priest is her father, things with Altan are never going to end well. A messenger priest arrives in the camp and after Altan overhears the conversation he insists they head back to the inn immediately.
Back in town the tavern is on fire and they watch a priest ride away on horseback with Ama. Altan stops Ahn from going after them when there is an explosion. They watch Master Sun jump from the building, fighting off priests as he does so. Altan makes a choice to protect Ahn and they flee, leaving Master Sun behind.
When they return the next morning the inn is in rubble and they find Master Sun gravely injured. Before he passes, he tells Altan he needs to find his peace.
Altan gives Master Sun a burial, a small one and not the one he deserves. He wonders if this is the blood he must pay that the Phoenix referred to. He feels so much anger towards Ahn, for choosing her, but when she approaches and wraps her arms around him the anger subsides.
They flee the tavern and stop that night in an abandoned monastery. Altan sits in grief, looking lost. Ahn decides that she will not be her father’s pawn. She implores Altan to help her - find the sword, save her grandmother, and get rid of the priests. Altan agrees, but only because everyone he has loved is dead.
They meet up with Tang Wei and after weeks of traveling are finally a day’s ride away from the Cuihai Port. Ahn has kept her disguise as a boy and pretends to be Tang Wei’s younger brother. When they stop to rest in a forest Ahn decides to practice her magic, so she goes off alone and finds a stream where she is interrupted by Leiye. He tells her that he never asked Altan to take her on a sea voyage. He simply asked him to get her out and keep her safe. To his surprise, no one showed up at the agreed meeting place after the jail break, so Leiye had to improvise to give them enough time to flee. He has come to tell her not to get on the ship because something isn’t adding up and he needs time to figure it out. Altan finds them and Leiye let’s out his secret to Ahn. Altan is actually Jin, rightful heir, and he’s using her to get his throne back. Tang Wei runs to them and tells Ahn to get on a horse and go. Priests have found them.
In the skirmish Tang Wei gets hit with a dagger meant for Ahn and this causes something in her to change. Ahn harnesses her life stealing magic to kill the remaining priests but can’t help but listen to the voice inside her telling her to kill more, to take everyone. She reaches for Tang Wei but in the moment feels a sharp pain and passes out.
Ahn comes back to consciousness, luckily with Tang Wei still alive. Altan asks her to ride by herself so that he can carry Tang Wei. She tells them of a safe house in the port town and they ride quickly to get her help.
- What do you think the voice is in Ahn’s head when she uses the life stealing magic?
- What do you think Leiye is going to discover in the tampered with records? Why do you think they were changed?
- Where do you think the priests took Ama? Why do you think they took her?
- Now that Ahn knows Altan’s true identity, do you think she will still help him? Do you think finding out his lies will make her disclose hers?
Pick up your signed exclusive copy of Jade Fire Gold in the OwlCrate Shop!