Read-along: The Poison Song by Jen Williams (week 3)

Banner by imyril of There’s Always Room for One More

Wow, there’s been some serious adventuring done this week! Vintage has been in her element, Tor has contracted the gathering information bug, and Noon has just undergone the worst session of hypnotherapy ever. Let’s talk about it all, right now!! This week’s prompts have been posed by the inimitable imyril of There’s Always Room for One More and I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: SPOILERS all the way.


Week 3 – Chapters 20 to 30 inclusive

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?

Oh my goodness, if we don’t see her again then Williams’ is not only missing a trick, but also not the writer I take her for. My dreams of Tyranny joining the Good Guys in the fight against the Jure’lia seem dashed, however. If she comes back now I’m pretty sure it’s going to be with revenge in mind – not only for escaping Certain Death by Wild Cat, but also for burning Windfall and stealing some of her bats … Vintage has been on fire this week!

Let’s talk about that: Vintage has just been awesome. Whether she’s been schmoozing in the gambling house or breaking, entering and taking without leave, she’s been perky and quick-witted and utterly delightful. I wonder if she’s trying to impress someone, perhaps? Or is she just back to her old self after too long ankle-broken, heartbroken and out of action? Whatever the reason, I’m so happy to have her back in the thick of things.


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?

Noon. Oh, Noon. I feel for her so much right now. Rather than discover that she burnt everyone by accident she’s discovered that her curiosity (and inability to control her experiment) killed everyone she ever knew. And her awareness of her mother’s thoughts right at the end was a killer. She’s got to go through all that self-loathing again, only magnified ten-fold.

And now I get She Who Laugh’s whole ‘you’re good at figuring things out’ thing. And what Noon worked out is … well, it’s huge. It’s a game changer if she can teach it to the other fell-witches and if they can learn to control it. I can almost see the shape of the army they might become and, darn it, it’s an exciting sight!

So come on, Noon, I believe in you. You’re not that kid any more, you’ve grown up, you’ve learned so much, you are so much more than you were when we first met you – don’t let this memory destroy you. Someone say something to make her see that’s she’s forgivable, please? Tor? Surely you can say something … right?


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?

Urgh. The most Wild-touched place on the planet is a disturbing place indeed. I don’t think Tor has made a mistake, what he and Bern have discovered is valuable information, but I do question his desire to go further in when they could have left. You could almost see the desire to go out in a blaze of glory written all over his face, but if we love Bern because of it …

What I want to happen to Bern is for him to convince the Jure’lia Queen that the crystal imbedded in his hand was bad idea so that she’ll undo the damage and let him go free, but … yeah, we all know that’s not going to happen. I wonder if the Queen will ask him about the memory he’s infected her with – how far does she want to understand what has happened? Or does she just want it undone? Whatever, if he gets away with his life I will be so relieved.
(I had to laugh when the Queen was all like, ‘You!’ and Tor was like ‘yeah, it’s me, Tormalin the Oathless here to kick your ass’ and she was like ‘not you! Him!’ pointing at Bern – because even when faced with your own mortality Tor, it’s still not all about you, buddy).


And finally, your shipping forecast?

If Chenlo doesn’t fall in love with Vintage after seeing her laugh in the face of death by worm-touched cat, navigate The Shining Coin like a pro, make a deal with an assassin and execute a daring plan to steal four of Tyranny’s bats in order to ship a Secret Weapon back to Ebora, then her heart’s made of stone and I want nothing more to do with her. As it is, I’m pretty sure she’s falling for our darling Vin – which would be wonderful after the blow of Nanthema’s betrayal. I feel like Vintage recognises how much of that relationship was one-way now. And I feel that Chenlo is a much steadier prospect … and we already know that Vintage thinks she’s “exquisite” *all the hearts*.

Not that that will make up in any way for the utter heartbreak I think we’ll all feel if Bern does not survive. After everything Aldasair has been through, surely Williams’ will give him a happy ending? Or at least the opportunity to go out in fighting style with his beloved Bern by his side? Seriously, Williams, don’t let me down now. Please.



The next post for this read-along can be found here:

Week 4 – Chapters 31 to 42 inclusive


  1. VINTAGE ❤ you're right, it was such a big week for her – full-on dashing rogue archaeologist (…and can we take a moment for her buying Chenlo a dashing red silk shirt to be her dangerous glamorous sidekick? No, no, there's definitely no ship in sight here, uh uh). I love the dynamic between them: Vintage has a solid grasp of what makes people tick, but can absolutely get carried away by her own enthusiasm and convictions – she's very goal focused – while Chenlo can set the world on fire and really has quite limited life experience… but a very well-developed conscience and a depth of compassion. Not to say Vin isn't compassionate – she can be – but I think back to The Ninth Rain, where even when she was showing Noon friendship she was manoeuvering her to get what she wanted from her too. I think they make an awesome team (Couple. Pairing) in terms of how they balance one another out.

    HA that moment with Tor was brilliant. LOOK AT ME COME TO DIE A HERO. No, look at me. Me? Him? Dammit. COME BACK HERE AND LET ME FIGHT YOU. Dammit.

    Noon, though. Oh, my poor darling Noon. Can someone give her a hug soon please?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! I keep missing how manipulative Vintage can be because I get all carried away by her derring-do and enthusiasm. Chenlo makes the perfect companion for her in that respect. Seriously, if there’s no ship I’m going to be so pissed!

      And … oh Noon. She needs all the hugs, no?! *sob*

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s