Readalongs

Divine Rivals Readalong: Day 2!

Shannon

Amazing photo by @lonely_reader!

Hi Fairy Friends!

Welcome back to day 2 of our readalong of Divine Rivals. I hope you’re all loving the book so far and are ready for some ✨rivalling✨.

Today we’re reading from chapter 9 to the end of chapter 20. Let’s go!


Please be warned, the following section will include spoilers for Divine Rivals by Rebecca Ross, from chapters 9 to 20. Please only read on if you’ve finished this section!

-!SPOILERS!-

Iris’s mother isn’t home. Not only that, she has another letter. WE know it’s Roman, and that he seems to be talking about how Iris sees him, but of course she has no idea. The dramatic irony!

The next day isn’t a good one. There’s an emergency and they need an announcement in the paper to say a body has been found and they need help identifying her. The minute Iris reads it, she knows, and she’s out the door.

Iris goes home after identifying her mother, she weeps and she sleeps. Until a knock wakes her… and Roman’s voice comes through the door. He seems worried about her. She’s late, but never a no show. He offers to make her food, he brings her his coat and reminds her to lock the door. It is always interesting to see how worry can bring someone’s true emotions out. He’s trying to care for her. 

Iris pours her feelings out on paper, unknowingly sending her deepest woes into the hands of her rival.

After her opening up, Roman does the same. He tells her of a loss he once suffered, and he tells her she’s not alone. MY PAINNNN. I WISH SHE KNEW!!!

When she returns to work, Zeb is pretty rough on her, but she doesn’t tell anyone what happened. Instead, when she writes up that day’s obituaries, she adds one for her mother.

Zeb gives Roman the promotion… but he asks Zeb to reconsider. He read the obituaries and tells Zeb he has an unfair advantage as Iris has just lost her mother. He offers her a few days off and nothing more, she in turn, offers him his resignation. Good on you Iris!

Roman tries to convince her to stay and how, 13 chapters in, am I so heavily invested in these characters that my heart hurts right now?

Iris leaving seems to have similarly clicked something inside Roman, because he goes home and tells his father he won’t marry Elinor, he tells his father he’s evil for harbouring the bombs Elinor and her father made, and then his father makes a dig about how it was his recklessness that killed Del. If anything, that spurs him on more, he couldn’t protect Del, but he’ll do everything he can to protect Iris.

Iris is off to the front lines as a war correspondent, I’m both proud of her, and scared for her! Those disclaimers in the contract don’t sound too promising…

Oh, oh oh oh, THIS is very interesting… Helena knows all about Iris’s typewriter and how it came to be. They’re magic. Is this how Roman is getting Iris’s letters? Does he have one of the other Alouette’s?

Iris meets a friend, Attie, and I’m glad at least that if anything, Iris won’t be heading into the front lines alone. They reach Avalon Bluff and find Marisol, who is already giving great energy! She tells them of the war, of the sirens and what to do when they sound. She tells them of the hounds. Honestly, this is so frightening but I can’t help but focus on the setting and the imagery. Everything is so vivid, I can picture it all in my mind!

Iris settles down, and knowing that her letters might reach whoever has the other Alouette now, whoever she’s been writing to, she writes again. 

Iris and Attie spend time visiting the infirmary, Iris with the hopes that she can learn news of her brother. Instead of using the time to gain intel to write her articles, she helps a woman in the infirmary pen a letter to her sister. I love herrrr. We need more Iris’s in the world.

Iris and Roman share stories through the portal, but Iris cuts hers short when the siren wails. Seeing Roman’s response to this will be interesting indeed!


Do you think Iris will find Forest?
What do you think is next for Roman?
If you had one of the Alouette’s, and it could connect you to anyone in the world, who would you write to?

I’m so invested in how this story is progressing! I can’t wait to read more. See you all tomorrow!

Love,
Shannon

Conversation

35 Comments

Comment

  • Caitie Pearce

    I think Iris might not find Forest, but she will learn what’s happened to him. I think he may be captured or caught behind enemy lines

    • Hannah

      That’s what I’m thinking too! It’s really odd that Iris isn’t receiving replies from him and seems out of character considering the way they said goodbye. Something must have happened

  • Sammy Ronayne

    I am not that optimistic for her finding Forest. I hope that she can or at least talk to him but I just don’t know if that is where the book is taking us.

    I kind of feel like Roman will be keeping his identity secret for a while longer but if he feels like she is in danger he might try to go after her. At least that is what I would like from the story.

    Honestly I have no idea how to respond to the last question. There are so many people in the world but maybe Stephen Fry. He just seems like a cool guy and I think he has a lot of interesting thoughts to share.

  • Han

    Chapter 12 ? SOBBING UNCONTROLLABLY ?

  • Nat (@somethingbookishtwc)

    I love that Iris has an older brother that she cares about even though she has complicated feelings about his decision to fight in the war. Any book with an older brother figure I’m automatically interested in because I have an older brother and he’s always been someone I look up to.

    For that reason, my first thought was that if I had an Alouette typewriter, I’d want it to connect to him. However, I see my brother often enough that it kinda doesn’t feel necessary haha. I actually think I’d like my typewriter to connect me to my Nonna. I have a chronic illness that makes car rides difficult (I get really bad vertigo) and I haven’t seen her very much since the pandemic started, so it’d be cool to exchange letters with her to stay in touch.

    1
    • Hannah

      That would also be such a sweet way to stay in touch (especially if your Nonna is as technologically challenged as my grandparents were!), I really hope you get to see each other in person soon ?

  • hbaileyw17

    I really hope that Forest is alive, but I am not confident that he will be found in this book. I feel like there is a lot happening at the war that we do not know about. I wonder after hearing the second half of the myth is we have met Enva as a character in the book or if we will meet her and not notice.

    When Iris found out about her mother that was so sad, but I am glad it kicked her into high gear so she could go pursue her brother. When she signed up to be a war correspondent I was hopeful Roman was the other one, but alas I am glad they are still connected and that he will send the letters for her. I am super curious what the floor letter was as well, I hope we find out later what he said to try and get her to stay.

  • Hannah

    I am absolutely loving this story, it’s hard to stop at the end of the day and not read ahead!

    I doubt Iris will find Forest, at least not right away, since she doesn’t have a lot of info to go off and he could be anywhere (and that’s if he’s still alive). I’m hopeful though as his send off scene in the beginning had me SOBBING! Then to follow that up with her mothers death? Our poor girl Iris needs a break so I hope for her sake he’s alive and she can find him.

    I think Roman will follow Iris, defying his family in the process. After his concern and worry about her when she didn’t show up for work, it revealed some depth of feeling there on his part. However, I can’t imagine his family will be easy to shake off or defy. I’m excited to see where this goes and read more of Roman’s POV.

    If I could be Alouette pen pals with anyone in the world I would want it to be a mystery just like in Iris’ case. Getting to know someone secretly sounds like fun! Hopefully with someone who looks vaguely like Harry Styles or Henry Cavill and would just happen to fall in love me too (a girl can dream). Otherwise I’d pick my best friend, but we can already contact each other instantly so maybe we wouldn’t use it as often as it deserves to be used.

  • Alex Shaffer

    Poor Iris. This section broke my heart for her. But I’m glad she’s getting out there and doing what she can to get more information about her brother. Personally, I don’t think she’ll find him. But I think she’ll try very hard to find him.

    I think Roman will defy his father and follow Iris.

    I’m not sure who I would write to if I had this magical typewriter. To be honest, with the technology we have today, I probably wouldn’t use it. But maybe, I can get a magical typewriter that will help me write my own story and prevent writers block? I’d be down for that. Haha!

  • lulu.james2712

    I’m really enjoying this book so far I’m sad that iris lost her mother but I’m glad she following her heart too try to find her brother I really hope she finds him safe and well bur not very hopeful as why hasn’t he wrote too her ever also I live roman what a lovely person I think he may follow iris and become a qar correspondent himself too find iris as I think he really cares about her I wonder if she will feel the same when she finds out who he is how amazing too have a typewriter who can talk too anyone in the world with the Sam typewriter if I could choose u would write too my best friend from my child hood elena who I lost touch with when I was a child I miss her

  • Sophia

    Wow, I have already sobbed 3-4 times ?

    I think Forest was taken by Dacre. Maybe bringing all three typewriters together will somehow lead to finding him or what happened to him.

    Roman will leave his old life and set out to find Iris. He fervently wants to protect her and not lose her the way he lost Del.

    I am OBSESSED with this book. Major kudos to the team for this wonderful selection ❤️

  • Sandra H @book.storm_

    This part was so sad!
    I hope there’s a plot twist with Forest, something like he’s become the villain and is in favour of war and conquering the east.
    And about Roman I was hoping he would have been the other war correspondent, but I’m glad to have met Attie and Marisol.
    I think he’s going to defy his father by writing anonymously about the war in the paper, because I think the ban on talking about the war comes from a bribe to the governor.

  • Ari@Bookish Coven

    The story is so good! I don’t think Iris will find Forest so fast…

  • Rachael Meilak

    Rebecca Ross always makes my heart HURT for her characters, and she has done it yet again!

    If I have my own magical type writer, I think I’d probably write my sister who lives in a different state.

  • agsing

    I am in love with this story and where it is going!
    I hope that Iris does find her brother out here on the front or at least an idea of where he is. Maybe a soldier that comes into the infirmary will have seen him at some point.

    Sweet Roman, I can only imagine how worried for Iris he is after that last cut off letter. I am not sure what he will do exactly but I hope he finds a way to help bring the goings on of the war to the people of Oath. I need him to get away from his father though! What a horrid person.

    The typewriter is so cool, I think I would want my sister to have the connected one. Luckily texting works but if we didnt have that I can only imagine how useful the Alouette would be.

  • karoliina.laakso

    I really like Roman’s pov. He’s father is horrible but I absolutely adore his Nan and I hope we get to see more of her. He is clearly starting to find strengt to stand up against his father and it does feel like he is on the road to self-forgiving. I kind of want to see him rushing to Iris at some point.

  • Bec @Booktineus

    I accidentally finished the book ahead of time (it was so good! I couldn’t stop!) so I’m not going to answer all the questions since I know where things go.

    But if I had an Alouette, I’d want to write to my friends who live across the country and overseas.

  • ladymeg

    Welp. My mom has been sick for many years so I was relating SO hard to Iris’s simple dream of having her mom be well, and then the next chapter ripped out my heart and kept going. Holy cow.

    1) I think she’ll find answers. Whether they are that he’s alive or not…unclear.

    2) In not sure but I love that we’re getting his POV some!

    3) This is such an awkward question in the modern world where we have instant messaging and email and texting. We can already be connected to whoever we want. Every answer I think of I’m like…that’s just Facebook, that’s just Bumble, etc. Connect me to my soul mate, oh magical typewriter, so I don’t have to kiss all these frogs to find my prince!

  • SeaFox.Adventures

    I don’t know if she’ll find Forest, but she will learn /something/ about him and his fate.
    I honestly think my initial thought was right – that, even though he got the promotion, he’d go to war too. I think they’ll both end up out there, writing about the war and the gods/goddesses.
    Years ago, I would have said my best friend, because we lived at least across a country, if not across two, for so many years. But I have them around me now, so maybe one of my other favorite people, the ones I miss terribly and don’t reach out to often enough [and I think a magical typewriter might help motivate me to change that]!

  • Marilag Angway

    Oh boy. For a moment there after Iris left her building I wasn’t sure there’d be any letter writing left. But turns out, it’s not the case and I’m kind of happy about this! Still really enjoying this book, and there’s more lore that gets explained. I’m beginning to wonder which of the stories of the gods are true and which are major exaggerations.

    1. I feel like the story is eventually going to take us to the Underworld, and perhaps the reason Iris isn’t hearing back from Forest is because he’s been sent below on a mission from Enva. So maybe yes she’ll find him, perhaps on account of the war getting worse and her somehow ending up in the realm of the Underlings.

    2. Poor Roman! I think keeping him in the east for now will help Iris in the long run, but I doubt he’ll stay for long. If he does, I’m worried how far his father will go with his nefarious plot, and I’m equally worried at how much the guilt in Roman is going to lead him to complying with his family.

    3. I mean…assuming there’s no internet or the telephones are no longer at work, I’d probably want to keep a connection with my sister. She’s the one I speak to most on a daily basis, whether through text or video calls.

  • j.iris

    This section has been a complete emotional rollercoaster from start to end. My heart aches for Iris, she already went through enough pain and suffering with her brother, and now she loses her mother as well. I’d love for a reunion between her and her brother, but I’m skeptical it will happen. At least not in this book, maybe in the sequel. That said, I’m glad she’s finally taken her life into her own hands and went to search for him!

    Roman surprised me even more this chapter. Standing up to Zeb for Iris. Standing up to his father. The character growth! His determination to protect Iris makes me believe he’ll definitely follow her into war. Their relationship deepens, as they are bound now both by their typewriters and the secrets they shared.

    I was fascinated by the story behind the Allouette typewriters, and I’m starting to believe that Roman and Iris’s grandmothers were Allouette’s two friends, to whom she wrote. I love the idea of corresponding with a kind stranger, of telling them your pain and secrets without fear of judgement since I relate a bit too much to Iris’s way of keeping her pain to herself, out of fear the others may pity her. So far this may be my favourite read of the year!

  • ASHLEY KALATUSHA

    Do you think Iris will find Forest?
    I think she will find out what happened to him but not necessarily him alive. I am kind of doubtful that he is still alive. If he is I really want to know why he couldn’t write to Iris!

    What do you think is next for Roman?
    I think Roman will somehow at the frontline with Iris. He may pretend to be shocked she is there but I think he will find a way to “report” the news.

    If you had one of the Alouette’s, and it could connect you to anyone in the world, who would you write to?
    That’s a difficult question. One may say an author or celebrity but I fear they may not be who you expect them to be and you may just be disappointed. And I think that disappointment could ruin the books or shows they make that I love. So I guess I would chose the afterlife but it doesn’t seem to work that way in this book.

  • Victoria Todd

    Holy cow. I did not expect to get blasted in the feelings by her mom’s death. I can’t believe Rebecca Ross actually did that to Iris and to us.

    I hope Iris finds Forest and I hope he’s alive.

    Maybe Roman will finally reveal to Iris that it’s him and they are able to use the magic to send her transmission back to the city, getting the people information faster than sending them back by train.

    I don’t know who I would use the Alouette to write to. A few years ago I probably would have said my grandmother, but she’s since passed. Maybe I’d like an mystery friend like Iris.

  • Jennifer

    Iris has gone through A LOT. I’m glad that she has now quit and gone off to be a wR correspondent. I’m not sure if she will find Forest or not. Maybe he is a prison of war?

    I LOVE the magical type writers and the story behind them. As I we have cell phones, the internet etc and I can communicate with friends and family whenever I want I’d say I would want a magical type writer that would allow me to communicate with someone like Emma Thompson because I think she is hilarious and would give excellent advice… Or if the typewriter would let me communicate through time I’d like to be Jane Austen’s penpal.

  • Amy Kosta

    I really don’t know if Iris will find Forest – I hope she does as he’s all she really has left! I do think he’s still alive as I think she would have heard if something had happened to him. The other soldiers were desperate to send letters home so I don’t think her brother has broken his promise to her about writing letters intentionally – maybe they don’t have the means to write letters or post them!

    I’m not sure what’s next for Roman! I really don’t think he’ll marry Elinor, and I don’t think she wants to marry her either. He seems quite infatuated with Iris, so much so that his father’s noticed! Maybe he’ll apply for a position to be a war correspondent too – either he’ll change companies or he’ll convince the Gazette it will be good for the company! Or maybe he’ll chase his dream of going to university, though I don’t think he’ll totally go against his family on that one because of his guilt over his sister!

    I don’t know who I’d write to if I owned an Alouette! If it worked across time I’d maybe like to speak to my late great-aunt or maybe my younger self! But if it was only across the present I’d quite like it to be a stranger that I can get to know, like Iris (in a sense!)

  • TupaKitty_Reads

    I knew Roman would get the promotion & Iris would take the War Correspondent position, but I didn’t anticipate the events of her mother’s death or that the little brother I guessed at was actually a little sister. I’m also glad that it was a magical typewriter, not a magical (Narnia) wardrobe because I was wondering how they would keep in touch after she left. This also means her Nan knew his Nan (I’m thinking this would be his mother’s mother, but we shall see).
    Daily Q&A:
    Q:
    1.) Do you think Iris will find Forest?
    2.) What do you think is next for Roman?
    3.) If you had one of the Alouette’s, and it could connect you to anyone in the world, who would you write to?
    A:
    1.) I hope so, & what’s more, I hope she can find him alive somehow.
    2.) No idea, but I’m curious to see how he handles the bomb his dad dropped on him (pun intended).
    3.) I’m not sure. Maybe its magic would find me a complementary soul to be pen pals with, too.

  • Abbey Brabazon

    Gosh I feel like the search for Forest is a bit of a lost cause, but the found family that Iris seems to be making might help her heal with everything!
    As for Roman, I have no idea what he’s going to do next but I’m certain it’s going to be against his father’s wishes

  • Meggan H

    I’m honestly waiting for Iris to find out that forest is no longer alive. I don’t understand why Forrest is important to the story line in Iris’s eyes. I understand that is her only remaining of relative, and the only person who truly believed in her before he went to the war. However, she has become her own person and she doesn’t necessarily need her brother to be alive for her to live her life.. if I had one of the Alouettes and I could connect to anyone in the world I would want it to be somebody who I don’t know because everyone I know right now is so small and I think it’ll be so exciting to be able to write to somebody in a different country or a different state is a different area all together who has a different perspective on things and then when the time is right now maybe I can meet them, and it would be a whole experience. Honestly, I’m surprised at how much I like this book the description didn’t really explain too much about the book as far as the divine part but I like the aspect of the historical fiction side of this much more than I would’ve ever thought.

  • Bianca <3

    I did not expect it to take such a dark turn with her mother, but I suppose we are in a war story. There’s such sadness and hope in this book. The letters omg the letters! I hope Iris doesn’t make a big fuss when she finds out it’s Roman because they’ve got some bigger worries in their life right now but if she does, I would completely understands she bared her soul to him. This quote from Roman is fantastic, it’s such good life advice ““Because you are not alone. Not in your fear or your grief or your hopes or your dreams.
    You are not alone.”

    I expected Roman and Iris to go to the front together, it was such a delight to find that Iris made a female friend instead.

    As for Forest, I have this weird theory that he’s Enva’s lover??? No idea where it came from.

    Also the scene where Roman accidentally caught Iris underdressed makes me want smut included, even though it would not fit the tone of the story at all.

  • akacya23

    Do you think Iris will find Forest?
    —i have a feeling that by the end of the book, iris will have a huge clue as to where he is, and maybe find him in the next book? either that, or she’ll find out he’s dead and/or never actually joined the military? lots of options haha
    What do you think is next for Roman?
    —i think his dad might disown him since roman keeps pushing back. his dad seems to have guilted him for now because of his sister, but i don’t think roman will continue to put up with this
    If you had one of the Alouette’s, and it could connect you to anyone in the world, who would you write to?
    —i don’t have anyone specific in mind, but i would love to be connected to someone in a different part of the world, kinda like a pen pal!

  • Vivian Lu

    Oh my goodness. Tragedy. ?Iris is really going through it right now isn’t she. I’m glad that Roman at least was able to check up on her. He was very sweet and I love their dynamic already. I feel so bad for Iris though.

    Wow. I relate to Iris so much. I keep tabbing the pages. And I never tab pages. This book made me start.

    Um ok so this book is destroying me right now. It’s gonna make me cry ahhhhh
    You know what Iris and Roman remind me of? Hermione and Draco!! That enemies-to-lovers with hidden tenderness… ?

    Hmmm I do think that Iris will eventually find Forest, but I have no idea what the circumstances will be.

    As for Roman, I think he might stay at the Gazette for a little longer. But perhaps the situation with his father will drive him away, and he might come to the warfront and work as a correspondent with Iris?

    Wow, if I had an Alouette, I would have it connected to my mom.
    I’m so invested in the story now too!!

  • Ha My @littlecreekbookery

    1. I really hope Iris can find Forest. He’s her last family member and after what happened to her mom, I hope she still has her brother even if he’s far away.
    2. I think Roman is going to join her as a war correspondent because I need their rival dynamics again.
    3. If I had a magical typewriter, I think it would be really cool to talk to other writers and see their writing styles and tips.

  • Anouk Adriaensen

    I’m loving this story, even though it’s like a punch to the gut sometimes. Iris’s mother dying was really unexpected, I felt so sad for her. Roman is so nice, making sure she’s all right. I think he’ll be very worried when he finds out she’s at the front. I think Iris will find out what happened to Forest, but she won’t find him yet. The magically connected typewriters is so inventive, I love the touches of magic in this war story.

  • feedmefairytales

    I’m not sure if Iris will find Forrest, but I do think she will learn more about what happened to him. Hope he’s okay though, since he’s the only family left. My goodness, was I heart broken when she had to identify her mother. ?

    I think Roman will find a way to get out of the arranged marriage! And maybe he will try to stop his father with the bombs. I also wonder if at some point he will leave his position at The Gazette because he will learn more about the war from Iris but won’t be allowed to publish it in The Gazette… whatever he does, his dad won’t approve!

  • indra.lei

    I do think Iris will find Forest. I feel like he’s been selected for a special position, perhaps by Enva’s side, and that’s why he hasn’t been able to write letters.

    It seems like Roman will work at his columnist position but secretly gather information on the war from Iris’ letters. Maybe he’ll write a piece using that information or somehow sneak it into his own articles in the Gazette.

    My best friend lives two states away and we do text each other occasionally, but I think it would be fun to send letters to her with the typewriter. I also just love the aesthetic of typewritten text.

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