'Together We Burn' Book Club Readalong Day 1!By: OwlCrate . Photo By: @betterwithabookinmyhand
Welcome to the first day of our book club readalong for OwlCrate's June book, Together We Burn!
Just a reminder that this will be a SPOILER discussion for Chapters 1-5 of Together We Burn, 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! Don't forget, you can also post about the readalong on Instagram with the hashtag #OCTogetherWeBurn for another chance to win!
The story begins...
Zarela is with her parents to Santivilla where her Mamà is dancing in celebration of the recent capture of an Escarlata. After the performance, the creature breaks loose from its bonds, casting fire around the arena, burning Zarela’s mother as Zarela and her Papà flee.
It’s a year later and the day of their 500th anniversary. Zarela dances in place of her mother, dancing in her honor, but also as her as that is what the people want. After her dance her father, one of the best Dragonadores there is, takes on a dragon. In the aftermath as the dragon is taken away to be butchered Zarela hears screams from the arena. Above more dragons have been set loose, attacking those remaining.
In the aftermath of the attack Zarela’s father is badly injured, and up to 70 others as well. Six of their dragons remain, but three others have fled, and with only one dragon tamer remaining, there is no hope to get them back. La Giralda is Zarela’s family's responsibility, and she worries about what will happen now. And wonders how the dragons were freed. Lola, her maid and dressmaker, runs up to Zarela to inform her that the healers have arrived at her father’s side, and they have requested she come to them quickly.
One of the healers needs Zarela’s permission to operate on her father. She must remove all the burned flesh or he will die of infection, but in doing so he will lose the ability to raise his arm above his heart, therefore ending his Dragonador career. Her father begs her to find another way, but there is none. The Dragon Master, Don Eduardo arrives with other members of the Dragonador Gremia. They inspect the damages to the arena and deem that three of their dragons must die for their crimes. He tells Zarela that this incident will not go unpunished.
The healer is able to remove all of Zarela’s father’s ruined skin, but there is still no guarantee he will fully recover. Lola listens to Zarela’s grief, wondering what to do now. She is determined to save La Giralda, even if that means hiring a new Dragonador.
In the kitchen Ofelia, their cook and housekeeper, is preparing breakfast. Zarela asks her if she noticed anything strange the day before, pondering how the dragons could have broken free. The summons from the Dragon Master has arrived, demanding her father come before them before noon that day and to pay a fine.Zarela descends to the belly of the arena where the dragons are kept, somewhere she hasn’t been in many years. She needs to find out what dragons they have left before hiring a new Dragonador. Benito, the remaining dragon tamer, is no where to be found, and when Zarela looks inside of the dragon’s cages she notices it isn’t moving. Not only that, but that the cage door is open. It’s been slaughtered. And so have the other remaining dragons.
Before Zarela can run from the room she notices a form against the wall. Benito, lifeless on the floor and Zarela assumes he has been murdered. She tries to collect herself and back upstairs breaks the news to the others. Although difficult, Zarela forces herself to remain collected, and confirms that the three keys - the only three keys - to where the dragons are kept are still there. She heads to her father’s study to collect the money for the fine from the Gremia, but in the safe finds nothing but the earnings from the day before when there should be far more than enough. Her father must have spent the money in the year since her mother passed away.
Not knowing what else to do, Zarela makes the decision to sell some of her mother’s famed dresses and Ofelia advises her where to go. But Zarela instead goes to visit someone her mother despised.
- Who do you think is killing the dragons? Do you think the same person set the other dragons free?
- What do you think will happen when Zarela goes before the Dragonador Gremia?
- Who do you think the woman is who Zarela's mother hated so much? What do you think she does?
- Do you think Zarela's father truly spent the missing money frivolously?
- Did you enjoy the first section of the book?
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