Sisters of the Snake Readalong Day 1By: Guest Post Photo By: @grumplstiltkin
Welcome to Day 1 of our book club read-along for OwlCrate's June book, Sisters of the Snake!
Just a reminder that this will be a SPOILER discussion for Chapters 1-6 of Sisters of the Snake, so make sure you read these chapters before continuing.
Discussion questions are listed below, and anyone who participates in the comments will be entered to win a free OwlCrate box! Let's get started!
The story so far...
Ria is on a mission to steal some delicious naan from a street vendor - and succeeds, but not before being seen and chased through the village. Luckily she is light on her feet and is able to shake her pursuers and meet up with her friend Amir.
A group of Charts - royal guards - come into the village from the palace. One of the Charts takes out a parchment with the face of a local naan seller, Samar, who was missing from the market this morning. It turns out he used to be the tutor of the princess and now is wanted for treason! As no one speaks up to reveal if they know Samar, one of the Charts grabs a woman and holds a knife to her throat. This gets Samar to reveal himself and the Charts take him captive. Before they leave they leave a conscription notice from the palace, and to Ria’s dismay her name is on it.
In the palace Rani’s mother calls her down as she has been summoned by her father. She is to witness a trial, and that of none other than her past tutor who deserted the palace and has been labelled a traitor. Rani let’s in the mind of her snake familiar, Shima, taking in her strength and fierceness. Unexpectedly, Rani’s father orders her to carry out the execution, but when she hesitates after her tutor presses a ring into her hand, her father instead gives the command and he falls into the pit of snakes. As if nothing has happened, Rani’s mother announces she is going to talk to Amara, mother of Rani’s betrothed, Saeed.
Ria is remembering the story Mama Anita told her of the Masters - magical people who controlled different elements and what came between the Master of Snakes and all the others for his evil cunning. Using the Bloodstone, something that can grant any wish or desire save bringing a loved one back to life, the Master of Snakes banished all the other Masters and created what is now the Abai throne. His power was passed down through generations of kings and queens. Hundreds of years ago, the Bloodstone was lost, the kingdoms of Abai and Kaaman agreed to the Hundred Year Truce, a truce which is now ending.
Ria and Amir gather the little they own and leave Nabh. When they come upon a melon cart clearly destined for the palace and the Diwali party, Amir hatches a plan. They pull a heist on the palace during the business of Diwali, steal some jewels, and with those riches acquire fake passports and flee Abai. Ria and Amir scramble and hide in the melons as the driver returns and they head for the capital.
The next day Rani is approached in the throne room by Saeed and he needs to tell her something, but before he is able courtiers interrupt them and Rani flees for her room. Sleeping before the party that night, Rani dreams that it was Saeed who fell into the viper pit instead of Tutor. When she wakes with a jolt she realizes that Shima has set off to do what she imagined - poison Saeed.
Ria and Amir wake to find themselves locked inside the cart with the melons. In an effort to escape, Ria makes a bunch of noise so that the cart driver comes to investigate. When he opens the door Ria and Amir pelt him with melons and flee into the jungle. The palace in sight, Ria leaves Amir to keep watch while they execute their plan. Ria witnesses a boy checking in as a conscript before seeing the Fountain of Fortune. When she leans over the water at first she sees a boy before hearing a voice in her head warning her that her fortunes are changing for the worse. Amir does as planned and causes a distraction getting the Charts to chase him, but when Ria runs for the fronts gates she is soon found by a Chart who, very oddly, bows to her and tells her she should be inside. Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, Ria enters the palace.
Rani:Approaching Saeed’s room Rani finds Amara and the king and queen are already there. Luckily Saeed’s life had been spared this time. The king tells her that Amara is his new advisor and she will listen to whatever punishment Amara has for her. Back in her room Rani studies the ring that Tutor left her, and recognizes the plant on the ring matches that in one of her old botany journals. Next to the image of the plant is a strange set of symbols and numbers she doesn’t recognize.
Spurred on by Tutor, Rani rushes to find her father and to demand to be of help and renegotiate the treaty. It’s not so simple though, and he tells her that the terms of the treaty demand that blood be spilled on the battlefield at the end of the century. Fleeing her father back up to her room, Rani hears someone inside her closet....
- Okay, obvious first question, who do you think is in the closet?
- What do you think the symbols in numbers in Tutor's notebook mean?
- Who do you think the boy that Ria saw in the Fountain of Fortune was?
- Did you enjoy the first section of the book?
See you again on tomorrow as we discuss Chapters 7-13!