The Poison Song Read-along: week three

Read-along banner: The Poison Song, A #WyrdAndWonder Read-along

Our heroes’ situations are rapidly going from bad to worse. Noon must confront her past, Vintage must confront a former friend and Tor really mustn’t confront his sister. But can any of them seize some advantage from adversity to aid their war against the Jure’lia?

Well this week certainly provided plenty of drama! Expect spoilers throughout along with heartfelt sobbing – I’m starting to fear what the next two weeks’ will put us through…

Tyranny goes full Bond villain this week. Do you think that’s the last we’ll see of her? Can there be any reconciliation after setting fire to Windfall?

I’ll be honest, I had a sliver of hope that Tyranny or Windfall would see reason. Sadly, they seem entirely committed to their self-interest. I’m not entirely surprised, I’m just disappointed (not that I think they’d care; I’m quite sure they’d cheerfully squash me like a bug for my presumption).

However, I think it’s safe to say there’s no going back from here: I had to admire the melodrama, but I don’t see Vintage or Chenlo giving Tyranny a second chance (even if Windfall allowed them anywhere near Tygrish). I still sort of hope we see them again – preferably being drowned in Hest’s varnish.

Why yes, yes I am bitter.

On the other hand (as I wasn’t wise enough to frame questions to talk about this), how awesome is Okaar proving to be? Amoral, yes – and I really can’t admire how he makes his money (and oh, I loved Chenlo for intervening; she can’t help herself but help others in whatever small way she feels she can) – but he’s a delight to have back on the page. He rather makes up for Tyranny and Windfall all by himself.

Although I’m still not entirely sure I ought to trust him, I do.


Don’t answer that.

Now we know What Noon Did, how do you feel about She Who Laughs – and what do you make of Noon’s response to being confronted by her past?

Oh, Noon.

Look, I don’t feel any different about Noon for knowing what happened all those years ago. It was horrific and sad and wrong – and yes, yes, she should really have been paying more attention – but she was young and upset and if I take one thing from the awfulness, it’s this: fuck you, She Who Laughs. How dare you decide what’s best for someone else when you clearly don’t have an ounce of empathy. And Noon is my brave, brilliant bitch for giving you what for.

Taking a step back, though, bloody hell a fell-witch can really do some damage if she knows how, can’t she? And I can’t help but note that everything is connected now. Even if the Jure’lia were once entirely other, they are now bound to Sarn through Hest and Bern.

Erm, that’s not an entirely comforting thought mind, given the consequences for Bern and Tor.

Speaking of Tor, though, my heart skipped a beat at Noon’s conviction that those who love her have more right to judge her than she does to judge herself. Noon, darling, is that acceptance that maybe – just maybe – you love and are loved in return?

(cue Moulin Rouge music swelling and ALL THE TEARS just for a moment)

This book is going to break my heart, isn’t it?

At home with the Jure’lia: giant spiders, insect people, and a full-on Aliens hatchery. Did Tor make a huge mistake? What do you think will happen with Bern?


I had the awful sense throughout this sequence that Tor had found his preferred way to die – but I wasn’t in the least bit surprised that someone else was the one left paying the price.


Here’s the weird thing though: I’m not actually sure the Queen will hurt him. Maybe. I think he’s made such a tangle with his implanted memory that she might almost make him a cup of tea and ask him to tell her all about this love business (…okay, I don’t really think this). Still, I think the real risk to Bern is that Hest gets home and finds him there…


And finally, your shipping forecast?

Rough, occasionally very rough at first. Rain later. Moderate, but improving.

Which is to note that Chenlo doesn’t like being touched, but she’s okay if Vintage touches her? Why yes, I think our ship may be heading out to sea.

Last thought for the week: what the hell is it with Eborans and quickly braiding their hair? Hest does it. Tor does it. WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?

If we ever needed evidence that they’re enhanced humans, this is it folks.


This is a casual read-along – we’re reading companionably to an outline schedule and some of us are blogging as we go.

Want to join us? You’re very welcome – just grab the book and weigh in with your thoughts in the comments, on Twitter or on Goodreads. I guarantee we’ll be happy to chat about this for weeks.

Discussion Schedule

Casual is the name of the game, but we’ll broadly follow our schedule. Consider this a guide to the earliest date you can start discussing weekly prompts – it’s fine to post later (but if you read ahead – no spoilers please!):

  • Sunday 15th September | Beginning through end Chapter Nine
  • Sunday 22nd September | Chapter Ten – Nineteen
  • Sunday 29th September | Chapter Twenty – Thirty
  • Sunday 6th October | Chapter Thirty-one – Forty-two
  • Sunday 13th October | Chapter Forty-three through the end

Prompts typically posted on the Goodreads group midweek (if they’re not up by Friday, kick me).