'The Plentiful Darkness' Book Club: Day 2By: OwlCrate Jr
Welcome back, friends, to Day 2 of our book club read-along for OwlCrate Jr's August book, The Plentiful Darkness by Heather Kassner!
Just a reminder that this will be a SPOILER discussion for Chapters 10 - 18 of The Plentiful Darkness, 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 Jr box! We’ll be selecting four winners this time around, so make sure you join in for every session!
The story so far...
Looking up, Rooney finds none other than Trick, hanging upside-down from a tree branch that has grabbed his leg. The Monty is able to scramble up the tree and gnaw on the branch which eventually lets him go. He reveals he LOST both the mirrors when he was swept into the darkness, but knows whereabouts he dropped them. They head into the creepy forest in search of Rooney’s mirror, but Trick finds it and picks it up first! Immediately they hear some creepy (creepy is a theme here!) music and while they hide, children carrying blue moonlit torches pass by singing and playing an eerie tune. After the children have passed by, Rooney and Trick quietly follow into a tented clearing, in the middle of which sits a child on a throne wearing a silver crown. She snaps up her head, looking directly at them, and tells them to come out. Friend or foe!
The ground and trees move and ripple until Rooney and Trick are right in front of the girl on the throne. Like the other children, her skin appears as if the darkness is sticking to it. When they reveal that they haven’t brought anything for her, the girl swiftly plucks the mirrors from Rooney and Trick’s hands and puts them in her pocket. They really have a hard time hanging on to those mirrors! She tells them her name is Sorka of the Darkness and that while they are there there is only one rule they need to know: Sorka can do whatever she wants, and they must do as she commands. Oh dear.
Not one to take directions, Rooney lunges for Sorka in an attempt to get the mirrors back, but sadly this does not go as planned. Sorka is able to manipulate her surroundings and sends Rooney sliding away from the throne. When she and Trick try to leave the group and refuse to stop, Sorka makes the trees form a cage with their branches to capture them. With her captives trapped, Sorka goes back to the other children and reads them a book. But Rooney has an idea—the land around them appears to be made of silk, and like any fabric, silk is made of threads, so perhaps if they find a loose one they will be able to unravel it... Sorka throws the book aside and produces bedrolls for the other children before completely snuffing out the light.
Gloriously, Trick finds a thread and with the help of the Monty they are able to unravel a tree branch enough to escape their cage. Sorka mentioned there was an edge to the darkness, so that is where they decide to head to see if they can escape. Not long after leaving though they hear a voice in the woods - it’s Devin, the violin playing girl who disappeared. She wants to escape with them. Rooney makes the mistake of saying Sorka’s name, whose voice appears out of nowhere and tells them that no matter how quietly, if you say her name she will hear it.
Cut to the magician! The magician used to have a name but she’s all but forgotten it. She is staring into a mirror that has no reflection, instead showing the dark forest on the other side. She whispers a name into the mirror, but as for the past three nights, no one appears. At dawn, the magician falls asleep.
Back in the forest Sorka is looking for the escapees. They hide as she appears using the light of one of the lunar mirrors and stumbles upon the unwoven thread that the Monty still has the end of in his paws. Seemly to save them, the Monty makes a dash and leads Sorka away. Thank you, Monty! Rooney, Trick and Devin head in the opposite direction, tripping over broken toys and random objects on the forest floor until they come to a cracked black cobbled road.
Following the road, they eventually find what must be the edge of the darkness. A wall of darkness so black it looks almost solid. Rooney, not knowing what else to do, reaches into the darkness and feels web-like strands. She pulls, tearing a hole. Trick collects some sharp objects that were scattered around so all three could try to hack holes in the web to get through. This, unfortunately, is successful but doesn’t have the outcome they wanted. Through the holes comes a dark fog that starts sucking things in like a black hole - including Rooney, Trick and Devin. Unable to hold on, they are pulled in alongside a tree which they cling to for dear life. The fog, the magic, is all over and around them. Rooney loses consciousness.
Waking cold on the ground, the black hole seems to have let them go, but not unscathed. All three children now have darkness growing on their skin. Seeing no other choice, they head back to the light of the clearing. To their surprise Sorka doesn’t gloat upon their return, but she does ask what kind of magic they used to escape their cage and if they’re working for her. She also so kindly tells them that there is no escape. Leaving them be, Sorka plays a game with the other children. Rooney doesn’t even bother trying to devise a plan to get her mirror back. What’s the point?
We're halfway done and there isn't much hope for our heroes yet! Let's hope their luck starts to change!
- Why do you think the magician no longer has a name?
- If you could have a friend like Monty, which animal would like it to be?
- Do you think there is a way out of the darkness? Where do you think it is?
- How do you think Sorka ended up in charge in the darkness and why do you think she seems to have some magical influence over the land?
See you again on Friday as we discuss Chapters 19 - 28!