We’re getting toward the end of the first book. In earlier parts of the story it’s easy to imagine that things will work themselves out. But as the story winds down, the Igibys’ fears—of the Black Carriage, of Gnag the Nameless, of whatever secret the Jewels carry—are beginning to be real. This excerpt is a bad moment. How can Nia be so graceful in the midst of darkness?
Gnorm met Nia’s gaze. “Bring them.”
The Fangs forced the Igibys to their feet, all but Leeli, who was thrown over one Fang’s shoulder, just as Slarb had done.
Janner suddenly felt as tired as he’d ever been. His feet dragged as he walked behind his grandfather, who only a few days earlier had looked like a warrior on the back of Danny the carthorse. Now Podo was hobbling along, bent like the old man that he was. Tink said nothing, but scowled with hatred. Janner’s heart felt heavy with dread. Just days ago, when he and his brother and sister were in the jail, their only salvation had been Nugget, Nia, and Podo, and the gold that Nia had hidden away. Now the gold was gone, Nugget was gone, and Podo and Nia were to be locked away with them. This time there would be no stopping the Black Carriage. It would creep into town on its dark errand, and they would be fed into its maw, taken away to meet whatever grisly fate Gnag the Nameless devised for them.
Yet Nia’s strength still emanated from her like a candle in a dark room. Janner noticed that she was steady and graceful, and even with blood dried at the corner of her mouth and hair askew, she was beautiful.
Discussion: Where do you think Nia’s strength comes from?
Janner thinks that “Igiby luck” has brought the Fangs down on them. Do you ever feel unlucky? What else might be going on?
Why do you think Podo is so angry with Peet?
This week’s reading was full of Oskar’s quotes. Think back over all the books he’s quoted. Have any stood out to you as something you wish you could read? What made you want to read it/them?
Activity: Download the Dark Sea book club kit and make your own sock hands!
Forum fun: If you’ve got thoughts about the Monster in the Hollows (spoilers here!) or know where to get a real whistleharp, visit our forum! We’ve got conversations happening on all kinds of topics. 🙂
I would love to read your favorite excerpt from this week’s reading. Share it in the comments. 🙂