'The Marvellers' Book Club: Day 2

By: Shanleigh Klassen Photo By: @lostinbookworld

“We’re all one awful day away from becoming
the world’s worst nightmare.”

Welcome back to day 2 of our Book Club Read-Along for The Marvellers by Dhonielle Clayton. I am FULLY invested in Ella, Brigit, Jason, and even Gia’s characters, and I cannot wait to see how their stories will come together.

Remember, this is a spoiler discussion for chapters 8 - 17, so if you aren’t quite there yet, look away! You have until Friday, June 24 to get caught up and join in on the discussion questions below. Anyone who participates in the comments will be entered to win a free OwlCrate Jr box, one per post!

The Story Continues . . .

In one of their lessons, the Level Ones are instructed to channel their marvel light. Ella struggles but eventually, her light appears in her hands, only it’s not a bright, warm glow like the other students. Hers is “a ball of black light with a violet and white core.” Ella and the other Level Ones are shocked. Soon after, Ella meets with Masterji Thakur who hands her books about Marvellian society from his own personal collection. Ella tries to ask a few questions, but Masterji Thakur suddenly feels ill and ends their meeting early.

That night, Brigit sneaks out of their room so naturally, Ella follows. Brigit intends to leave for New York City and even offers for Ella to join her, but Ella refuses. They’re caught by a starfolk named Aries, and Brigit’s clown doll Feste comes to life, much to the girl’s horror. Aries puts the girls to sleep with a hit of sleeping powder.

Gia arrives in Betelmore and makes her way to her old home. To her delight, everything is exactly how she’d left it eleven years earlier, “before the accident.”

Ella’s godmother Aunt Sera is the Arcanum’s first Conjure instructor and though she does her best to dispel the false rumors Marvellers have about Conjurors, she’s interrupted several times with ignorant questions from some of Ella’s biggest bullies.

Later in their room, Ella and Brigit confront Feste who explains he was sent to Brigit by her birth grandmother, but doesn’t know who her mother is. At detention in the menagerie, Ella and Brigit meet Jason’s older sister Beatrice. Brigit gives Jason and Beatrice a quilt square she made while in a trance of their family, and Bea is horrified to see conjure symbols on each family member. Bea quickly pulls Jason away, and Ella believes it’s because Jason secretly hates her.

Gia heads to the Trivelino family vault but when she tries to enter, a message reveals that only “pairs bonded by blood” may enter. Later, she visits a fae teahouse to remember the night of the accident where she killed a rival who challenged her . . . and her daughter.

Jason sends Ella and Brigit a message that his family left for winter break early and he can’t tell them anything. Ella is already hurt when Headmarveller Rivera and MacDonald bring her to a group of reporters and insist Ella is acclimating well. After responding to a few questions, they take Ella back to their offices and question if she took a lantern belonging to Samaira, her old roommate. Distressed and shocked they believe she stole something, Ella flees.

Ella’s soon found by Masterji Thakur and she wonders if she truly belongs in the Arcanum. Masterji Thakur assures her she does, leading her to the Restricted Lift and taking her to the Founder’s Room. There, he shows her the Arcanum blueprints . . . which look like just Conjure maps. Masterji suddenly falls ill again, so Ella calls for help. Before the doctors arrive, Masterji Thakur writes on a page, “Conjurors were here!”

Two weeks later, Ella hasn’t heard anything from Masterji Thakur. Meanwhile, Brigit is summoned to the Vision Tower by Dr. Karlsson who believes Brigit has a timesight marvel. Ella is happy for Brigit, but wonders where she’ll belong at the end of the year. Dr. Karlsson also reveals that the woman’s face Brigit keeps knitting is Gia Trivelino, the Ace of Anarchy.

Weeks later, Ella brings Brigit with her to stay at Gran’s farmhouse in Mississippi for winter break. Though she worries Brigit will try to run away again, Brigit has a wonderful time with Ella’s family. As winter break wraps up, Ella’s family travels to New Orleans and there, she bumps into Jason and his mother. He then drops a huge reveal: Jason and his whole family are secretly Conjurors. Though Ella is at first furious, she quickly forgives Jason for his deception. But just then, it’s revealed to the public that Gia Trivelino has escaped.

Gia confronts Fabien Fournier, one of the people whose testimony secured her imprisonment. She forces him to ingest one of her father’s mimicry solutions. When he opens his mouth, his marvel trickles out like a ribbon made of light. Gia tucks his marvel into a vial and leaves.

Ella and Brigit return to the Arcanum and Ella immediately goes to see Masterji Thakur. Except when she arrives, a sign claims Masterji is on an extended vacation. Another Level One student, Bex, arrives having also had an appointment with Masterji Thakur scheduled. Headmarveller Rivera appears and tries to distract them, but neither Ella nor Bex believes Rivera is telling the truth.

At the Gatherfeast celebration, Ella’s bully Clare arrives without her roommate Abina, which causes Ella to feel off. She heads to their room and finds Abina sobbing because her braid-hands aren’t working. Though Abina has been cruel to Ella ever since their first meeting, Ella helps fix the malfunctioning braid-hands, and the two head down to the feast together. Finding Brigit and Jason again, the three friends agree Headmarveller Rivera is hiding something. Ella tries to send Masterji a starpost, but the letter comes back as “Return to Sender”

Discussion Questions:
  1. Why do you think Ella’s light appears differently than the other Level Ones? Is it just because she’s a Conjuror, or could it be something else?

  2. Jason is sure he has a kindred marvel with the Paragon of Sound and Brigit most likely has a timesight marvel, marking her for the Paragon of Vision. Where do you think Ella will be placed at the end of the year?

  3. Ella shows kindness to Abina when Abina has only ever been unfriendly to Ella. How would you have reacted in Ella’s place, if one of your bullies needed help?

Join us again on Friday to discuss what's sure to be an exciting conclusion to The Marvellers!

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