'Skin of the Sea' Book Club Readalong Day 6!By: OwlCrate . Photo By: @spinesthatshin
Welcome back to the sixth day of our book club read-along for OwlCrate's December book, Skin of the Sea!
Just a reminder that this will be a SPOILER discussion for Chapters 19-23 of Skin of the Sea, so make sure you read are finished this section before continuing.
Please note that there is a content warning I encourage you to read at the beginning of the book before starting!
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 #OCSkinOfTheSea for another chance to win!
The story continues...
In the hold they find Issa, who hid himself in order to come one their journey, but it’s hard to stay angry with him. They are approaching Esu’s island, with not much of a plan other than to get the twins and the rings, and Ifedayo seems unimpressed.
They make land and head northeast towards Esu’s palace, everything seeming a bit too easy up to this point. Simidele’s feet are in pain, so when they come across a river she decides to transform. She finds the others staring, but it’s Yinka who comes over to her first.
They carry on walking, Simi’s feet once again smarting. They stop for a break, and Kola applies leaf wraps to her feet, the same as she did for him when she pulled him from the ocean. It seems as if he may be about to confess something to her, so she hops up and and insists they get going, not wanting things to be harder. They approach the volcano, which the babalawo told Kola has a tunnel leading to Esu’s palace. A howl splits the air.
Impossibly large hyenas surround them, and although Simi tries to use her Mami Wata power to keeps them at bay, it does not work. They are soon overtaken, Bem and Kola getting bitten, eventually Simi is also knocked down and she waits for the bite.
The hyenas stop, forming a semi-circle, and change slowly into human form. One of them, Aissa, who appears to be their leader, asks Yinka if she is one of them. A bultungin. They will not hurt one of their own kind, but the others are not safe. It is hard for them to keep their human form and as they turn back into hyenas Aissa tells them to go quickly, losing their humanity to the hyena.
They flee through the passageway in the volcano, pursued by the hyenas, but soon find the way blocked by a rock slide. Yinka is holding the hyenas at bay, and they manage to make enough room to slide through the blockage, but Yinka says she will stay back to prevent the hyenas from pursuing. Ifedayo once again blocks off the passage, leaving Yinka sealed in with the hyenas
They take a moment to grieve and Issa passes about the last of the abada powder. Not enough to heal them fully, but enough to stop the bleeding and aches. They emerge below Esu’s palace, finding a bridge. It’s immediately evident it’s some sort of trap. Each stone has a different image carved into it, as if they need to stand on specific stones in a specific order, like telling a story, in order to cross. Simidele thinks it’s likely the story of how Esu tricked Olodumare into becoming his messenger. As Simi interprets the story they are attacked by sasabonsam. She is able to make it across, but as Kola and Ifedayo join her the bridge starts to crumble, forcing Bem to retreat back to the other side. One last sasabonsam attacks them, and as it bites into Kola’s arm Issa howls in rage and cuts the creature on its cheek. The bird then easy snaps the little yumbo's body in its mouth, and they watch the life drain from Issa’s eyes as the sasabonsam flies away.
That was devastating! The next (final) readalong post will be up on MONDAY.
- Do you think Issa is truly gone?
- What do you think is waiting for them inside Esu's palace?
- Do you think Yinka truly is of the bultungin? Do you think they will keep their word not to harm her?
- What are your predictions for the last section of the book?
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