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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

So, this is for motifs (I'm pretty sure you guessed that one already, though).

The main ones I could see are:

1) Like calls to like
2) Appearances can be deceiving
3) The effects of power

Does anyone have any more? Want to discuss those? And now I will be quiet before (maybe after?) I ramble on.


message 2: by Dreams At Dusk (new)

Dreams At Dusk (dreamsatdusk) | 79 comments There's the repetition of "the boy" and "the girl" in the Before and After chapters of the books. And something I found amusing the other day was the scene in S&B in chapter 12, with Baghra calling Alina "girl" and the Darkling "boy".


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

That's a good point. Do you think the last "boy and girl" piece is the Darkling and Alina?


message 4: by Dreams At Dusk (new)

Dreams At Dusk (dreamsatdusk) | 79 comments I would like for it to be.

On a more general note, I reread the Before and After chapters of each book, looking for similarities and differences.

In S&B, the Before is past tense, After is present. The boy and the girl are called little ghosts in the first and ghosts in the latter. They are both the focus in the chapters, mentioned first at the same time. The theme of home and belonging somewhere repeats.

In S&S, both Before and After are past tense. In Before, the boy and the girl are referenced in the first words. Again, the idea of home comes up: "Let us be home", the girl thinks at the very end of it. In After, only the girl is mentioned at first; the boy comes up at the end of the second page. The Apparat tells them that the White Cathedral is their sanctuary and home (there's that word again), but neither the girl or the boy believe it, though for different reasons. There's a reference again to a ghost's life, but in a way that implies the past.

We've only seen a part of the Before for R&R (http://instagram.com/p/mODJt2ziGF/#). Past tense. In the little that can be seen, there is mention of neither the boy nor the girl yet. We're given a name for the monster mentioned in the After of S&S.

I look forward to seeing the rest of it.


message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

I wonder how the connection between the Darkling and Alina will play into it all.


message 6: by Cari (new)

Cari | 644 comments @Dreams- Very interesting thoughts about the Before/After of S&S and S&S. I'd like to hear your thoughts on the Before of R&R, that was recently unlocked, perhaps in comparison to the previous "Before"?


message 7: by Dreams At Dusk (new)

Dreams At Dusk (dreamsatdusk) | 79 comments Past tense. Unlike any prior installment, neither the boy nor the girl is mentioned until the third paragraph; instead, we learn of Izumrud, the great worm. Myth or metaphor or both? (Note: ‘izumrud’ is Russian for emerald: http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?t... Izumrud is also not the Darkling’s name; someone asked the author earlier.) There’s no overt mention of ‘home’ this time. But reference is made to the girl’s past as a “ghost of Keramzin”.

The girl is no longer simply “the girl” in this passage: she is referred to as “the saint” as well. There is a break in the passage and she is "the saint" from that point on, until the end mentions "the girl" a couple of times. It's a simple, but effective way of hinting at a blurring of identity; it's interesting that this is the first glimpse we've had of straying 'from the mold' on that particular motif. It's also of note that this is the one Before/After that doesn't mention home at all.

This feels like the 'busiest' of the Before/After chapters in a way, with the largest number of other people having mention.

Off the wall comment: there's been talk about what, if any, additional significance Izumrud has. Something totally random I thought of the other day was that I always thought "Ruby" was a peculiar name when she was mentioned in S&B, given everyone else's names seemed more setting-relevant. Didn't think much more of it at the time, but now, it's a bit interesting that she is the one from S&B who has reappeared, in a chapter where we have 'emerald'. Probably nothing. But funny.


message 8: by Cari (last edited May 17, 2014 03:52PM) (new)

Cari | 644 comments Thank you for the close reading, Dreams!!

Ever since I read your comments on the idea of home, I've been thinking about this. I started re-reading S&S and I wonder what "home" is for Alina. At the beginning, in Cofton with Mal she thinks twice of the life after they're done being on the run. Twice she says she's nervous. One of those times, she wonders if she's perhaps excited or nervous.

It could be that Alina is not sure what "home" means. Presumably it means to be safe, or to be free from fear. Later on (not there yet but I remember) she will identify the familiarity (happiness?) associated with the Little Palace to "home."

I think many of her fears about "settling down" may be illuminated once she knows more about her origins, namely what could have been her home. Or what briefly was her home.


Edit- Interesting find about Ruby and Emerald. Let the gemstone parade begin :)) I was very surprised to find Ruby in R&R. (I wonder where that is going. Is it to give Mal some leverage? Or Izumrud some company?

Izumrud is interesting to me because we're all eagerly expecting the apparition of a bird in this book. And yet, it opens with the story about a worm. "Birds and worms" is a trope. There is a history there that makes me think, we may see Izumrud again in the book.)


message 9: by Dreams At Dusk (new)

Dreams At Dusk (dreamsatdusk) | 79 comments Cari wrote: "Later on (not there yet but I remember) she will identify the familiarity (happiness?) associated with the Little Palace to "home."

I know just the lines you're talking about; they really struck me too. There are many points in the books where we see Alina's longing for something to belong to. I think its significant that, in spite of everything, she still experiences that sense of home upon returning to the Little Palace in S&S.

The tv show Once Upon a Time had its season finale last week and there was an appropriate quote in that. The main character is someone who has spent a lifetime wanting to belong somewhere, to have a home. Something she remembers hearing from someone she knew years prior was "You don’t have a home until you just miss it."


message 10: by Cari (last edited May 17, 2014 10:48PM) (new)

Cari | 644 comments Dreams At Dusk wrote: "Something she remembers hearing from someone she knew years prior was "You don’t have a home until you just miss it." "

That's a great quote. I guess it's a moment that stands out because we are as surprised as Alina to learn the Little Palace does feel like home. (It is, after all, the place where she learned who she truly is and the one place where she was among peers and was able to be her whole self.)

Related to the "home" motif is the "marriage/family" motif. Alina clearly struggles with this in S&S. We see it in her dreams/nightmares aboard the ship, at the beginning, but also in other instances.

I just read the first dream, the one in which she sees the woman carrying the heavy load for her husband. In this dream, Mal as a child says he wants to marry her. Alina is clearly horrified because she's seeing marriage as a burden. This has to do with Mal but I think it also has to do with the Darkling.
Perhaps what she's fearing is not necessarily marriage itself, as she's not in a serious relationship that may lead to that at the moment of the dream. I think the dream represents her fear of lack of agency in a relationship. On the one hand, with Mal she doesn't feel like she can be her "grisha" self. On the other hand, with the Darkling she feels he's using her. Both guys, to some extent, want to define her and she refuses.
The dream (always?) ends with a wish for wings, freedom, interestingly enough. (Foreshadowing for endgame none?)


However, regarding this motif, what completely threw me off is the end of S&S. When she decides to end both her life and the Darkling's, the whole scene turns into one in which she identifies with him and the nichevo'ya as her monsters. It does sound like they are a family, of sorts. At that moment, she seems to find a sense of belonging that really surprised me.

And then, of course, she crumbles the whole church to the ground. If that is not a commentary again on marriage/family, I'm not sure what is.


message 11: by Cari (new)

Cari | 644 comments Motif: Flight

In the dreams, Alina slowly transforms. First she sees a girl carrying a heavy load. Then she sees the girl has her face. Finally she feels she is the girl but she doesn't feel the burden for long because she immediately takes off flying.

Later on, she's terrified of Nikolai's flying ship. Then she discovers she likes it. By the second time, she's quite comfortable and enjoys it.

So in dreams and reality, Alina is faced with the possibility of flight. Of course there are many meanings here: freedom, escape but also coming to one's own, transformation.

Could this somehow foreshadow the fact that she will significantly transform with the third amplifier? Will we see Alina unfurl her wings and fly in R&R?

(I have this image of X-Men's Phoenix and her fire wings -and many troubles-... and I can't shake it.)


message 12: by Dreams At Dusk (new)

Dreams At Dusk (dreamsatdusk) | 79 comments More on flight:

Of all the forms of terror the volcra could have taken, they are winged creatures. If the stories are to be believed, the volcra were formed from humans, so they didn't come from a template originally with wings.

The nichevo'ya also have wings.

The possibly most powerful and definitely the most elusive of Morozova's amplifiers? The firebird.


message 13: by Cari (last edited May 19, 2014 11:19PM) (new)

Cari | 644 comments Oh... You are right. I never saw it that way... the volcra were humans who ended up with wings. What is it with the Darkling and winged monsters?

(It's a contradiction too because in both cases the monsters have wings but are not free, like flight would suggest.)

Also, I only thought of the idea of Alina taking flight 'gloriously" but after you point this out, she could also take flight "monstrously" then.

Has the Darkling tried to do this before? Is this what the Fold is?


message 14: by Natalia (last edited May 19, 2014 11:50PM) (new)

Natalia (natalia_g) | 574 comments I don't think all those volcra were potential "firebirds" at one point.
Like I said in the Darkling's thread, they are likely the repercussions for turning the firebird into an amplifier. Because the firebird is legendary and you just don't do something like that to legends. That's why I think the Darkling is Ilya Morozova. Or he has taken someone else's blame, if Morozova another person.


message 15: by Cari (new)

Cari | 644 comments @ Natalia- You know what would be a curve ball? What if Morozova couldn't turn the firebird into an amplifier after all? I mean, one of these mythical creatures had to fight back, right? The stag was so humble and peaceful. The seawhip was powerful but not too smart. The firebird seems like a more imposing figure. It is pure myth (neither animal nor man-turned-animal).

I do agree with you in thinking that if he did turn it into an amplifier (or even if he tried and failed) there are perhaps repercussions.


message 16: by Dreams At Dusk (new)

Dreams At Dusk (dreamsatdusk) | 79 comments With all the recent talk of angels, Watchers, winged photos on the R&R Pinterest board, etc., has this been brought up?

From Alina's dream sequence on the whaler in S&S:

"I can see my shadow pass over them pass over the road and the barren winter fields, the black shape of a girl, borne high by her own unfurling wings."

So first we had associations of the Black Heretic with wings from the S&B Pinterest board. The thinking is the images on the R&R board showing a man with wings could again tie to the Darkling. The volcra have wings, the nichevo'ya have wings, the naming of the Grisha relates back to the Biblical Grigori - the Watchers, fallen angels.

And Alina has dreamed, not of being a bird, but of being a girl with wings.

I'm intrigued.


message 17: by Evelin (new)

Evelin | 337 comments Dreams At Dusk wrote: "With all the recent talk of angels, Watchers, winged photos on the R&R Pinterest board, etc., has this been brought up?

From Alina's dream sequence on the whaler in S&S:

"I can see my shadow pa..."

Have you considered that the Darkling,himself could be a volcra in disguise?From the pictures on the pinterest board I've considered it a possibility.


message 18: by Melanie-Claire (new)

Melanie-Claire | 126 comments Evelin that gives me an idea! Do you guys think it's possible the volcra will turn back into humans when the Fold is destroyed? Maybe they'll all turn back into human corpses considering they are hundreds of years old.


message 19: by Evelin (new)

Evelin | 337 comments Maybe,nice theory.Wouldn't it be odd to have a group of 1,000 year olds wandering around Ravka?I bet they would after the Darkling with pitchforks.Run Darkling Run!


message 20: by Melanie-Claire (new)

Melanie-Claire | 126 comments Hahahaha :D (forest gump, great movie!)
It would be nice to see the volcra's souls set free and redeemed, though, as well as the Darkling.


message 21: by WinterRose (last edited Jun 06, 2014 08:15PM) (new)

WinterRose | 843 comments The very first time I read S&B I wondered if the Darkling could turn into a volcra. haha

A werevolcra? That can be a thing, right? lol


message 22: by Evelin (new)

Evelin | 337 comments WinterRose wrote: "The very first time I read S&B I wondered if the Darkling could turn into a volcra. haha

A werevolcra? That can be a thing, right? lol"


Werevolcra?The Darkling can make anything possible!If he can create shadow people then he can create werevolcra.


message 23: by [deleted user] (new)

Volcra wers. I'm sure Maerad and Cadvan, as well as Alina and company, would be traumatized. Sorry, had to mix fandoms.


message 24: by Evelin (new)

Evelin | 337 comments Elvina wrote: "Volcra wers. I'm sure Maerad and Cadvan, as well as Alina and company, would be traumatized. Sorry, had to mix fandoms."

Lol,I'm sure they would be.


message 25: by [deleted user] (new)

Have you read the Pellinor series before?


message 26: by Evelin (new)

Evelin | 337 comments Nope,but it's on my wishlist.


message 27: by [deleted user] (new)

It's really good. Three years ago, I was obsessed with that series. Really. I read book four 12 1/2 - 13 times.


message 28: by Dreams At Dusk (new)

Dreams At Dusk (dreamsatdusk) | 79 comments Evelin wrote: "Have you considered that the Darkling,himself could be a volcra in disguise?From the pictures on the pinterest board I've considered it a possibility. "

Heheh, werevolcra. And maybe such creatures only transform beneath an eclipse.  

In general, the volcra make wonder more and more what experiment of Morozova's the Darkling was trying to recreate.

Actually, it makes me wonder most about what Morozova was trying to do in creating the amplifiers to begin with.


message 29: by Anna (new)

Anna | 114 comments @Dreams At Dusk- I'm really wondering about Morozova too. I've heard so many theories about him: he's the Darkling, he's the Darkling's father, he's Alina's father, he's the Apparat, and every theory just leaves me with more questions.


message 30: by Evelin (new)

Evelin | 337 comments Dreams At Dusk wrote: "Evelin wrote: "Have you considered that the Darkling,himself could be a volcra in disguise?From the pictures on the pinterest board I've considered it a possibility. "

Heheh, werevolcra. And mayb..."


Yes,Morozova sounds like a strange one.I hope we uncover all his secrets because I'll be disappointed if we won't.Maybe there will be more of him in The Dregs.I hope so!


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