'The Marvellers' Book Club: Day 3

By: Shanleigh Klassen Photo By: @pages.for.dawn

“Some things have to be faced. They can’t be avoided.”

Welcome back to the final day of the OwlCrate Jr book club read-along for The Marvellers by Dhonielle Clayton. What an exciting, tense, and promising ending to a wonderful new fantasy series. Don’t mind me, I’ll just be over here waiting eagerly for the next book!

This is a spoiler discussion for chapters 18 - 31, so if you haven’t finished the book yet, beware! You have until Friday, June 24 to get caught up and join in on the conversation. Anyone who participates in the discussion questions below will be entered to win a free OwlCrate Jr box, one per post!


The Story Concludes . . .

Ella is woken by a distressed Brigit: Their room had been vandalized in the middle of the night. Abina shows up and offers to help them clean up. As the three girls scramble to get to that morning’s assembly, they see several students leaving the Arcanum as families pull their students out due to Gia’s escape, putting the blame entirely on the Conjurors. Sneaking away from the assembly, Ella, Brigit, and Jason head to Masterji’s office to perform a hot foot spell to try and find him. Puzzlingly, the spell shows that Masterji Thakur didn’t leave the room at all. So, where could he be?

As the weeks go by, Masterji Thakur still missing. In her Future Forecasting session, Ella angers Dr. Winchester, who sends her off to Dean Nabakov. The dean warns Ella that if she doesn't stop being a “disruption,” she may not be allowed to remain at the Arcanum.

Meanwhile, Gia secretly meets with the other Aces who are ready to “resume the game.” Gia acquires an illegal conjure plant and her prisoner, the Ace of Hearts, refuses to help her. But Gia is undeterred, intent on becoming the most powerful Marveller in the world.

Brigit taps into her marvel and discovers that Masterji Thakur is trapped somewhere, being forced to craft potions by his captor. Later, Ella is taken again to see the Headmarvellers and they reveal that Clare has accused Ella of attacking her. They even produce a recording showing the attack, but Ella is innocent as she had been with Masterji Thakur at that same time. But as Masterji is missing, there will instead be a hearing that will decide whether Ella may remain at the Institute.

Gia has a meeting with Sebastien Durand where she demands the essence of her deceased daughter, revealing that he has been working with the Aces to achieve the Conjure Edict. Sebastien has agreed to return the favor, but Gia’s daughter’s essence is not in the Underworld — she’s alive.

Brigit and Jason are comforting Ella when they’re told coppers are searching rooms for a pocket-box. Brigit takes hers from her bag and inside they discover an old heliogram of the Trivelino Troupe’s Circus with a young Thakur among the other Aces. That night, the three sneak out of their rooms and head to the Commedia Close in the nearby city of Betelmore. Though the Close appears empty, when Brigit falls and scraps her knee, the illusion around them shatters, revealing a brightly lit pier. They climb down into an awaiting gondola, which moves on its own down the canal. After their boat splinters and they’re saved by a baby leviathan, they’re brought to a floating big top. Brigit senses something’s off before falling into another trance and unravels the illusion around them, exposing the Ace of Anarchy.

Jason demands Masterji Thakur be set free, as Gia taunts Ella and Brigit for how alike they all are. Ella ignores her and traps Gia with the conjure plant. At Masterji Thakur’s command, Jason starts destroying the potion bottles filled with an elixir that steals marvels. Gia reveals to a stunned Brigit that she is her mother and attempts to persuade Brigit to join her. Instead, Brigit drinks the elixir herself. Thinking fast, Ella bottles Brigit’s escaping marvel just as coppers flood the space and Gia escapes.

A week later, Ella is declared a hero for saving Masterji Thakur and she goes to visit Brigit in the infirmary room. Ella promises her she and Jason would never reveal the truth that Gia’s her mother to anyone, and that she’ll always be there for Brigit if she chooses to stay. Brigit decides to have the surgery that will restore her marvel.

At the hearing, Clare continues to accuse Ella of the attack to which Ella pleads innocence. When Masterji Thakur arrives to provide his witness testimony, he reveals he was once the Ace of Hearts and confirms Ella was with him in the Founder’s Room at the time of the attack. He also tells everyone the original architect of the Arcanum was a Conjuror. Just then, Samaira and her mother rush into the room with Samaira’s missing lantern, having discovered the thief was one of Siobhan’s night pixies. The pixies confess that they took payment to look like Ella and attack Clare at the request of Dr. Winchester. Dr. Winchester quickly devolves into yelling about how Conjurors will be the end of Marvellian society and the Headmarvellers dismiss the charges.

Gia has made her way to Paris and enters a perfume shop, owned by a Marveller secretly working as a Fewel. Gia calls in a favor from this woman, who was previously an Ace.

Masterji Thakur presents Ella with the Arcanum blueprints to study. She performs an incant on them to reveal the name of the architect, Jean-Michel Durand. Ella is determined to find out more about this architect and why the Institute had buried his involvement in the Arcanum.

Ella nervously waits for her Marvel Examination along with all the other Level Ones. Jason is placed in the Paragon of Sound with a kindred marvel, just as he suspected. When Ella’s name is called, a hush falls over the auditorium. She stands before everyone as her paragon is registered: Paragon of Vision, Cartomanic marvel. Ella will be able to determine fortunes.

Discussion Questions:
  1. Who do you think helped Gia escape the Cards of Deadly Fate, and for what reason?

  2. What are some of the biggest questions you have for the next book in the Marvellerverse series?

  3. Share any other thoughts you had on The Marvellers!

Thank you so much for joining us on this book club read-along and I hope you've enjoyed it as much as have. We’ll be back in a couple of weeks to read through our June book, to be revealed soon. Happy reading!

In the meantime, be sure you join us next week for our OwlBabble live author chat with Dhonielle Clayton! We'll be hosting this on Instagram Live on Wednesday, June 22 at 2 PM PT / 5 PM ET.

The OwlCrate Jr edition of The Marvellers is shown next to the image of the author, Dhonielle Clayton. Dhonielle's photo shows a black and white image of a Black woman with long braided hair, wearing glasses, and smirking towards the camera. The text above reads OwlBabble  with author Dhonielle Clayton with an arrow pointing towards Dhonielle's photo. The background is two-toned pink.

 

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