So guess what? I decided to go ahead and participate in the read along that’s being hosted by Wyrd and Wonder. I mean I planned on reading the books but at my own pace. And then this week started and I wasn’t in the mood to read what was supposed to be reading, but still wanted to read. One thing led to another and I had read the first 5 chapters of The Darkest Part of the Forest. So then I figured, I might as well follow along.

They are also doing a read along for the The Summer Tree by Guy Gavriel Kay. And I will read that one, but probably not do the read along part.

Let’s get to the discussion!!

All is fair in Fairfold… or is it? What are your thoughts on the way of life in this particular bubble? What do you make of the folk of Fairfold, both Fair and mundane?

It sounds sort of like a fairytale, but not the good kind. It is easy to see how the mundane people could become complacent with the Folk, especially if they have an agreement to not mess with the locals. But I can also see the loopholes in that agreement. Something is bound to go wrong, it’s more of a question of when.

I mean there is that situation with Jack – and let’s be honest Hazel is not the most reliable of a narrator. She seems to be in a state of waiting (and she is, but it was kind of obvious before we KNOW that she is) and there doesn’t seem to be a lot of things that she finds worthy of her attention. So the story about how Jack came to live on this side of the forest is missing some details, it’s like the legend that is passed down generation after generation. But it just happened.

Also I can see the foundation being laid for The Cruel Prince. There are things that happened in that trilogy that makes much more sense now.

We need to talk about Hazel. 

How much impending trouble do you think our ‘hero’ is about to get into? Also: how much of that trouble do you think she’s going to be responsible for?

Is hero the right word for her? I think victim may be a better word. Ok maybe victim is not the word I’m looking for either. Because she made some choices and those choices have been leading up to a moment such as this. I am quite confused with her thought processes. She agreed to give up ten years of her life, and she assumed that it would be at the end. And it’s not until the walnut appears that she knows that They are ready to collect on her debt. So why, for the past few years, have she been acting as if she’s waiting. Yes, I know that she realized her mistake as she was leaving the deal, but I want to know what happened to make her so sure that her time was limited and they wouldn’t wait til later on in her life to call in the debt. And, I hate to say it, but all of the trouble that’s coming – I think she’s responsible for. Unless you want to blame the parents that are barely above being absentee.

Speaking of Hazel, let’s talk about her and Ben’s parents. Are they simply misguided romantics, or do you think they’re Bad Parents?

I think that they are self-absorbed. I would say that they have no idea what their kids are up to, but that seems to be true for every parent in Fairfold. It does sound better to say that they are absorbed in their painting/art that they kind of lose themselves. But they are parents and something tells me that they have no idea what their kids have been doing. And while I wouldn’t label them as bad parents, I would definitely say that they are neglectful.

Well, that’s all of my thoughts for the first week of reading. I am quite interested in what will happen next.

Always Shine,

P & P