Happy Spring Book Friends, Amy here!
A lot has been going on but I’m glad to be back and reading another book by one of my favorite Art Over Chaos authors, Rose Sinclair. For April, we’ll be reading The 8th Rank, a delightful mishmash of fairy tale characters and adventure. Let’s look at the reading outline!
Week One: Chapters 1-5
Week Two: Chapters 6-9
Week Three: Chapters 10-15
Week Four: Chapters 16-End
I’m excited to get started! So let’s dive into that storybook setting! If you haven’t picked up your copy yet you can do so here, or ask for it wherever books are sold. I got mine in paperback but it’s also in ebook and on kindle unlimited if you’d prefer.
Week 1: Chapters One – Five
I love fairy tale retellings and mash ups so much; something about familiar tropes used in a new way, characters we recognize who are viewed in a different light. The 8th Rank has lots of familiar characters reimagined all together and I can’t wait to experience it with all of you.
-To start off, what predictions do you have about Mal and his role in the story?
-The same for Jonathan, what role do you think he will play in both the story and Mal’s life?
-How could Sphie work to bring them together?
-What fairy tale characters and tropes have started to appear in the story?
-What does Humphrey mean about words? How do words and agreements play a part in fairy tales? Why would someone need to choose their words carefully? How might this come back later in the story?
-How might the sleeping princess play a role in the future? What might happen if she wakes up and the magic can return?
-How do fairy tales work with political intrigue?
-Please appreciate with me just how gay Mal is. There is no question.
-How do the cards suits match up with the royalty they serve? What might the other suits mean? And what royalty might they serve?
-What do you think of the two princes we’ve met so far?
-What predictions do you have for the rest of the book? What might Mal’s memories be leading him towards?
Week 2 – Chapter Six – Nine
I love the idea of the suits of cards being different kingdoms. I’m excited to see who we will discover next!
-What fairy tale references do you notice in this section?
-Compared to Hansel and Gretel, and even Sophie, Mal and Jonathan are adults. How do they handle the gingerbread house differently? How do children and adults handle these types of conflicts differently?
-What seems to trigger Mal’s memories to return? What do we learn about him?
-How does getting his memories back change him?
-How does the book subvert the story of Little Red Riding Hood?
-Do you agree with Jonathan about choosing your fate? Why or why not? Would you rather have a quiet life in the same place or a busy life traveling to different places? What are some pros and cons of each?
-How is music its own kind of magic?
-What would you do in Mal’s situation? Jonathan’s?
-Any predictions for finding Robin and the Queen?
Week 3 – Chapters Ten – Fifteen
We last left off with Mal resolving to go after Robin; let’s see what the others decide as well!
-Do you think Jonathan has a point about Mal’s magic? What could be waiting for them?
-What fairy tales are in this section? How do they mix with the past characters and places to further flesh out the world?
-How is the Huntsman both alike and different from his fairy tale counterpart(s)?
-How is magic in fairy tales both good and evil? How does the Big Bad Magic series borrow from that ancient tradition?
-What do you think might happen with Robin? What plans might they have?
-What does Red gain by doing what she did? What do you think she’ll do now? Does this change anything with Robin’s plan?
-Interruptions, am I right?
-What predictions do you have about the war? About Mal and Robin? Jonathan?
Week 4 – Chapters Sixteen – End
We’re at the edge of a civil war and relationships are running high! I can’t wait to finish this and see where it is all going!
-How does magic impact the fight? Does it make things better or worse for either side?
-What do you think about Red’s ending? Is it appropriate?
-Why do you think the counsel chose who they did to rule? What other options were out there?
-How do you think the new regime will be different for the old? What are some pros and cons of choosing a leader from outside established norms? What good are they hoping to bring to the kingdom and how do they have the experience to do it?
-Do Malcom and Robin get their happily ever after in your opinion?
-What do you think of Madison? (Who get’s his own book in The 9th Pawn, woo!) What role might he play in the Big Bad Magic universe?
-Let us once again appreciate how gay Mal is 🙂
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