Girl, Serpent, Thorn Readalong: Day 2

Stunning photo by @sorcha_bookish_quill

Hello everyone!

It’s day 2 of our Readalong for Girl, Serpent, Thorn!

We left off yesterday with many question to be answered! Will we find out if the Queen lied to Soraya about her curse? I’m very excited to find out! So without further ado, let’s read!

Today we’re reading Chapters 7-12!

Please be warned, the following will include spoilers for Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust Chapters 1-12! Read only if you’ve finished those chapters!


We begin today’s section with Soraya being taken to her brother after being found in the dungeons. I’ve been anticipating an interaction between these two! They really don’t act like siblings at all with Soraya thinking of him as the Shah rather than her brother Sorush.

Oh interesting, her brother seems pretty decent! Her mother clearly doesn’t like being out ruled though and forbids Soraya from speaking with the div again. Even if there’s a chance Parvaneh may know how to break the curse? Ooh there was a flicker of fear there, she’s definitely hiding something…

Whatever the truth is, the Queen seems terrified that Soraya may discover it.    

Aah man Sorush agrees with the Queen and asks Soraya not to visit the div again.

But wait! He thinks she should visit the div. In return he asks a favour, she is to report back to him if Parvaneh reveals anything about the divs and their plans. He needs to stop the raids happening if he is to work towards the plans his father left unfinished when he passed away.

Plus the nobility have started to lose faith in him, with the simorgh missing the nobility believe their family should no longer rule. Another reason as to why Soraya is kept a secret from the public. I wonder if the simorgh will play a part in this story?

I must say I do hope we get to see Soraya and Sorush rebuild their relationship. Will this bring them closer?

Ooooh she’s back in the dungeon talking with the div, will we find out how the curse can be broken?

It turns out that Pravaneh wants the simorgh’s feather and won’t tell Soraya how to break her curse without it! No one but the Shah and the high priest know where the feather is and even if she found out it’s location, taking it would be the biggest of betrayals! Just how desperate is she and can she trust that anything she learns from the div is true?

Ah this div is smart! She knows Soraya is fishing for information and that she will report back. Oh intriguing, Parvaneh tells her that the divs are more united now than they have ever been and the real question she should be asking is who united them.

We jump a week ahead and Soraya has a plan, to seek out the old high priest as he should know the location of the feather. She’s pretty sure she knows where to find him, in the dakhmeh, which is the one place where the living dare not enter. Oh boy this sounds all kinds of creepy!

Yay Azad is back and he’s going to go into the dakhmeh with her. He really wants to play the hero but she brings him back down to earth by telling him he can’t save her. She can save herself, yes Soraya!

It turns out Azad’s family was cast out when he was younger thanks to his father’s actions and he lost everything he had. I can completely understand the resentment he feels for his father.

Azad is being super sweet, perhaps a little too much? Thoughts? They’re growing closer but is this going to all end in tears?

She tells him the story of the Shahmar and how the prince transformed into a div after killing his father to take power for himself. She also confides in him her own fears that the same thing will happen to her one day, that she’ll lose control and become something monstrous too.

Boy I can’t help but feel for Soraya and all her internal conflict but thankfully Azad is being a sweet cinnamon roll and reassuring her that stories lie, cute!

In the dakhmeh we meet the creepy priest and find out that the simorgh’s feather is the heart of the Royal Fire!

Oooh so if she removes the feather from the fire, her brother will be unprotected! Surely she’s not gonna….oh wait the feather is the way to lift her curse.!!

Aaaaand he knocked her out..

Oh god he’s got her held and wants to trade her life for a pardon but Azad gets to be the hero he wants to be and swoops in to the rescue!

Wait she killed him! He was about to kill Azad when she touched him!

Oh noooo is Azad now going to see her as a monster? She does admit to herself that a small part of her wanted to kill him.

So Azad isn’t phased apparently? She did save his life after all! But yet she can’t understand how Azad would want to help her after seeing her kill someone but he says he’s glad she did it and that she’s extraordinary? Is it just me or is his reaction a little suspicious?

He convinces her that she should take the feather, maybe they can find some way to borrow the feather without endangering anyone?

Oh boy she’s really struggling with her guilt over killing the priest and the perception she has of herself.

Hmmm her conversation with Pravaneh is very interesting, is she trying to manipulate Soraya here into taking the feather and have her turn on her family? Why should Soraya care about her family’s wellbeing when they have essentially cast her out? Ooh Pravaneh is tearing up, has she been cast out from her family, why such an emotional reaction?  

Asking herself the important questions here; “I was always afraid the poison would make me a monster, but what if trying to get rid of it makes me more of a monster than I was before?”

Huh so Pravaneh is trying to convince Soraya not to break her curse?  But Soraya wants her family and companionship, oh god my heart! But Pravaneh says she could have a family with the Pariks?

Wait her mother brought Soraya to the Pariks and asked them to curse her?

By bathing her in the blood from a div’s heart she took on the properties of the div, making her poisonous. Oooh cool so If a human bathes in blood from a div’s heart, that human takes on properties of the div!

Why would her mother choose to curse her own daughter? I really hope Soraya will go and confront her but will she own up to this? Or is Pravaneh lying?

“But trust me when I say that if I were you, I wouldn’t shed my armor for the sake of a kind word or a gentle touch. That’s my advice to you, from one monster to another.”

It’s the day of the royal wedding and Tahmineh joins Soraya for breakfast, is she finally going to talk to her about the curse? She’s scared of losing her mother by accusing her, as you would be!

She tells Soraya that the div would have only lied to her, to trust her mother and that she’ll understand one day. Understand what exactly and how can she trust her?

Ah man she didn’t confront her but she did find the blood stained blanket hidden in her mother’s room! More evidence that Pravaneh is telling the truth?

Oof she’s feeling resentful towards her bother, why was she cursed and not him and why had she chosen not to take the feather for his sake, when her family had never once done anything for hers?

And Azad shows up again-always just at the right moments it seems! She tells him her decision and he’s all in to help plus he says he will leave Golvahar with her. Very supportive…perhaps too supportive?

Okay so now he just kills the guards?!

Huh, it wasn’t that he had killed them that bothered her—it was that he had done it so well. So she doesn’t care? Will we see Soraya become the villain of her story?

She’s doing it-she’s putting out the fire eeeeek

She finds the feather, pricks her finger and it worked! The poison is gone from her veins! But she has a chill of regret….oh no, has she just made the wrong call?

They’re kissing, that was a ballsy move I must say, what if it hadn’t fully worked? Wow imagine never feeling the touch of another person, no wonder she’s feeling overwhelmed by the sensation

But oh damn! Just as things were getting cosy…

Azad transformed and he’s actually the Shahmar?!

Woah what a place to end today’s section! Anyone see this coming? I suspected something was off with him but oh boy!

I have so many more questions now! Was she the only one who could have stopped the Shahmar and that’s why he helped her get rid of her curse? Did her mother have her cursed to defeat this guy? What about Pravaneh, is she in league with him somehow? I can’t wait to see what happens in tomorrow’s chapters.

Don’t forget to let me know your thoughts and theories and let’s all chat in the comments!

I look forward to seeing you tomorrow.



69 thoughts on “Girl, Serpent, Thorn Readalong: Day 2

  1. Aaaaaaaaah what a twist! What a twist!
    I mean, I expected Azad to be a div, many things ringed the bell, but definitely not the Shahmar! “you don’t need to finish it, I know how this story ends” oh-ho I bet you do.
    And Soraya succeeded in getting rid of her powers, so soon in the story! What now?? She’s defenseless against him, oh boy, oh boy!
    And do you guys think Pravaneh knew about Azad’s deception? Maybe when Azad saved the shah from her, she was actually aiming at Azad himself? She often points out that her tribe is different from other divs. I also kinda sorta ship her and Soraya ?
    Today’s chapters left me shocked and with more questions than answers, I can’t wait to read more!

    1. Right?! What a twist!I can’t wait to find out more about the pariks and I do wonder whether Pravaneh was in on Azad’s plan ?I ship them too!! So happy you’re enjoying this one so far! Thank you for sharing your thoughts once again❤️

  2. I suspected something like this… He was always a little bit too eager to help her in her missions, though he barely even knows her. And just killing the guards? He wasn’t fazed a bit with people dying or when Soraya turned out to be poisonous…
    Soraya was tricked. I want to know what happens next!

    1. I thought the same thing! Yesterday, I though Azad was was a bit overbearing, but still cute. But, I was a little wary of him today after he shamelessly killed those guards and tried to justify to Soraya that there would be consequences. I wonder how Soraya will now react…

    2. I thought it was just me being cynical at first but it’s so satisfying that my suspicions were correct! ?
      I can’t wait to see what happens either, so happy you’re enjoying this one!

  3. So much happened in today’s chapters!

    I love hope Soraya’s brother had her back and wasn’t going to stand in her way in finding a cure. I had hoped that’s one one in her family would be there for her.

    Sorayas mum has a lot of explaining to do! Hard to blame Soraya for taking matters into her own hands when she feels she can’t trust anyone.

    What a way to end the section! I was getting even more suspicious of Azad but loved how he supported Soraya, letting her make her own decisions but woah! At first I thought maybe she had still poisoned him or her getting rid of the power had left some kind of side effect but him being the Shahmar!? Did not see that coming!

    I was looking forward to this book but it’s exceeding expectations so far

    1. I’m so glad to hear that! ?
      I’m hoping that Soraya and her brother will grow closer, he seems really nice.
      Yes! I thought at first there would be some kind of side effect when they kissed and maybe the curse would be transferred to him as he started transforming. But nope ?
      Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on today’s section too my love!

  4. Azad as the Shahmar, what a twist! I wasn’t expecting this at all, I was rooting for him and Soraya so much! ? But reading this thread, his actions were really suspicious and it does make sense. Oh, but whyyy? I’m so conflicted! ?

    1. oh no ? I think some of us are maybe more cynical, myself included haha. But saying that I totally see why you would have been rooting for them! I hope you’ll enjoy discovering what happens next ?

  5. Ahhh! She was warned not to trust the affections she received! What a way to end the day. Let’s fast forward to tomorrow.

    1. So happy you’re enjoying it! ?

  6. So we finally get to meet her brother, and he’s a lot more likable than I though. Unofficially supporting and asking Soraya to make sure she gets an answer and find a “cure” for herself. Which I think is sweet, her brother looking out for her like that.
    While Soraya’s mother is showing fear at her speaking with a div??? She’s so shady.
    Now Azad shows back up, and he’s a bit weird. Like obsessive with Soraya. While before he just seemed like some insta-love, now he seems like some stalker the more we read.
    Anyway! They head out to dakhmeh. And they catch some trouble and the only way to escape is for Soraya to kill. She’s never killed before. And it’s interesting to see her conflict within herself. She feels guilty over her actions even though it saved Azad.
    Hmmmm…I want character development for her so bad. To realize she’s not the monster she always thought herself to be.
    They head back home, and she talks with Paravaneh. She tells her some very interesting things and goes snooping. But instead I wish she would’ve confronted her mother. I would’ve loved to see the mom’s reaction and I’m still waiting for it in later chapters I suppose. I truly hope it happens.
    Now she’s putting out the fire, which is so out of character for her but she’s fed up at being mistreated. And she deserves to feel loved and treated right.
    Only…dun dun dun…AZAD IS NOT AZAD. Lol I suppose he is but he is also the Shahmar. Which is crazy. What a way to leave day 2 off. And we both know I’ll be reading ahead a bit. Cuz you can’t leave a girl such a cliffhanger.

    1. Her brother seems so sweet right? Her mother though-super shady..
      I can’t wait to see her confront her, hopefully! I know, such a cliffhanger, it was so hard not to read on. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts!?

  7. I had a feeling Azad was the Shahmar little by little, such as his passing comment that “stories lie” (I was thinking maybe he was the Shahmar and he didn’t turn into a green scaly monster and was possibly the hero of his story, but the Shah of the time twisted the story to show a diffeeent angle) buttttt I’m starting to think the Shahmar is evil evil.

    Ugh, I’m hoping that Soraya can get her abilities back by repricking her finger or by other divs, because it seems like she is going to need them back ASAP. I also hope she can free Parvaneh, because I think she’s going to be helpful in protecting Soraya and possibly making her feel like she can have a family with her, or even somehow helping save her brother and country from some terrible fate.

    This whole book is stressing me out and now I need to keep reading or else I will keep thinking the worst ?

    1. Oooh that would have been cool! But yeah i think he is evil evil too ?I would love to see Parvaneh and Soraya team up to take him down but we’re still not entirely sure of her motivations., hmmm
      Right? It’s really intense and I have to know! ?
      Thank you so much for leaving your thoughts here and I hope you will continue to enjoy ?

  8. I did not see that coming!!! I was so glad for it because if it had stayed like that their romance would have ruined the book for me.

    I’m shook. I just don’t know what to say as this took a whole new direction than I thought it was going to.

    Anyone else think she is actually part-Div (her mum actually had an affair with a Parik) and as such hasnt actually lost her powers but through some sort of placebo effect has mangaed to control them?

    I’m wanting Parvenah to get out of jail now so they can kick butt together.

    Oooh so excited for tomorrow’s chapters.

    1. I agree, I wasn’t a fan of their romance either but what a twist!
      That would be really cool if she is actually part div and can now control her poison.
      So happy to hear it! Thank you for sharing your thoughts on today’s chapters ?

  9. Omg I was not expecting Azad to be the Shahmar! I suspected that Azad was bad but didn’t think he would be that bad! I have no idea where the story will go from here, I thought the book would end with her getting rid of her poison but it’s already happened and we aren’t even halfway through ? so excited for tomorrow

    1. Same! So much has happened already ?I hope you will continue to enjoy this one! ❤️

  10. When she broke the curse I kept thinking that before leaving she better free Parvaneh. Totally didn’t expect Azad to be Shahmar. Such a twist. I think that now she’ll have to free Parvaneh and they both fight to save the kingdom and Sorush.
    Maybe that was the reason for the curse in the first place. Sacrifice Soraya to also bind the Shahmar. But if that’s the case, all troubles would have been solved by just telling her the truth.

    1. I would love to see them team up to take him down!.
      Ooh interesting idea, maybe by lifting the curse he can regain his power? Yeahhh I hope we find the truth out soon because I need to know!
      thasnk you so much for sharing your thoughts ?

  11. Exciting read so far! I knew Azad was supernatural somehow, but didn’t expect him to be the Shamar! I expect she’ll need to ally with Parvaneh since she’s the only one revealing anything.

    I’m interested in seeing how her relationship with her mom and brother with develop.

    1. Me too! I hope she can grow closer to her family and that Parvaneh will team up with her to take him down. I hope you continue to enjoy this one ?

  12. Once Azad told her that story about him I was thinking he might be the Shahmar
    and than he told him the story and I was like “he is absolutely going to be that one, isn’t he”.
    Also maybe her mother intended her as a weapon against him? Or against divs maybe? There has to be a reason (be it a good or bad one) I’m just coming up with weird theories at this point XD. Really curious. Hoping for a confrontation there.
    Also I really liked her brother, did not expect that.
    Again really really curious about the next chapters. Maybe tis will be the book to finally bringt me fully out of my slump

    1. *she told him the story…
      looks like I can’t write today

    2. Oh wow you totally called it! I’m doing the same and have all the crazy theories myself ? Definitely want to see that confrontation too! I hope this is the one my love ?Thank you for sharing your thoughts on today’s chapters ❤️

  13. Ah what a twist!
    I was thinking there’s definitely something else to this guy, he just seemed so eager to be involved. He definitely wanted her with out the curse, I wonder what’s he’s up to!
    I can’t wait for tomorrow’s chapters ?

    1. Yeah there was something dodgy about him but I didn’t see this twist coming ?
      So happy this one is keeping you intrigued! ?

  14. So yesterday I had to stop myself from reading on and today was so much harder. That was a great reveal at the end. I kinda thought that Azad might have been a div but not that ?
    I’m kinda still shipping them though, but then also shipping her and parvaneh so…

    I’m super excited to see what will happen next, like I didnt expect her to lose her curse so soon into the book. Part of me is hoping she doesnt get it back and that she learns to be powerful without it

    1. Tell me about it! What a cliffhanger to end on ?
      Yeahhh I’m still shipping Soraya and Parvaneh too, I hope they team up to take down the Shahmar!
      Me too, I can’t wait to see her character arch play out! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts my love ?

  15. Poor Soraya, just as she’s struggling with her mother and the curse and the lies…
    And just like that, the fair young man, the only one that looks really cares about her, and what he kills without second toughts ? and he became the thing she nightmares about since she’s a child ?

    And maybe she brought things on her brother and the kingdom by taking the feather…
    Oh I can’t wait to see what happened!!

    1. I feel so bad for Soraya! Just when she thought she had found someone she could trust man ?
      Me too! I hope you will continue to enjoy! ?

  16. Yeah, I flagged it yesterday but when they had their second interaction and they were suddenly so close with no real reason it was totally confirmed for me he was up to something. The Shahmar was mentioned at some point and in passing I just thought to myself that it could be Azad and BAM!
    Definitely knew the mother was dodgy, want to understand her reasoning though.
    Pleasantly surprised by her brother. I think there’s more sympathy there than I expected but we’ll see how that develops.
    Excited for tomorrow!

    1. He was super shady and way too supportive of everything she said in a way that seemed suppppper manipulative to me, so this wasn’t shocking. I do wonder how it’ll branch off from here because there are so many possibilities!

    2. Ah you totally called it! Same, I hope she confronts her mother soon. I’m also hoping to see Soraya grow closer to her brother, he does seem sympathetic as you say. So glad you’re enjoy this so far and thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on today’s chapters ?

  17. Wow! I thought Azad’s behavior was a bit odd but wasn’t expecting him to be the Shahmar though for a moment when he was helping her at the dakmeh I thought that maybe he is a human reincarnation of the bird-ancestor or something of that kind. Couldn’t have been more wrong ? But honestly speaking I love this twist! So much already happened and we are not even half in. I am very curious to find out about the mother’s reasoning. I don’t think it will be anything noble because if it was why would she lie to Soraya all her life? I am so excited for tomorrow!

    1. Also I kind of ship her with the evil Shahmar… anyone else? Maybe tommorrow I will regret saying this and will be in love with Soraya and Parvaneh but for one there wasn’t enough of their interactions for me

      1. I’m glad I’m not the only one! ?

  18. I KNEW HE WAS SHADY AF FROM THE BEGINNING. Azad came into the palace with a plan and everything seemed far too orchestrated and tailored to make Soraya interested and enraptured by everything he says. Now, even if he ends up as the love interest, tbh, I can’t trust him any more so I don’t ship it (although it would be cool to see the storyline progress into her ascent into acknowledging her ferocious powers… although they’re gone now, but ya know). Sigh.

    I sorta trust Pravaneh– she did try to talk her out of the transformation right beforehand AND was encouraging of Soraya embracing herself as she was before all of this. I definitely could get behind this ship ?

    I think that they were in league but the fact that she’s in the dungeon means that Azad McSnakeyface has something over her in some way.

    Not gonna lie, I might end up reading ahead ?

    1. Mcsnakeyface… I love it!!!

  19. Oh my…… I guess I should’ve seen that coming because I didn’t quite trust him, but this I didn’t expect. I’m sure Pravaneh helped him. I really didn’t like how easily they killed the guards. In the end I blame her mother, it’s clear she hasn’t been honest with her daughter and that makes me angry. Can’t imagine being that kind of mom, I really don’t like her!!

  20. I was NOT expecting Azad to be the Shahmar….a div, maybe, and definitely not the perfect man he was pretending to be…..

    I never understand why parents have to lie to their children – telling them the truth from the beginning is always going to prevent worse heartache further down the line! I’m looking forward to Soraya confronting her mother, and finding out why she’s lied to her all her life.

    Also excited to see what will happen to Soraya now that her curse has been lifted….. ?

  21. I didn’t see that coming! I almost
    Felt like mmm the fairytale is over but we just started the book ? so much questions can’t wait to see how this plays out!

  22. I knew Azad was up to something. It all just felt a little off. But I hadn’t expected him to be the Shahmar.

    I had started to think that was where her curse had come from – when her mother took her to the div that it was blood of the Shahmar, but that does make sense now. I’m not sure that ever made sense to begin with either…

    I have zero ideas where this is going to go after that crazy plot twist but I’m really looking forward to tomorrow’s chapters!

  23. I also suspected that something was off with Azad – I guess we’ve all read way too many books to fall for a guy like that, we know all the tricks and red flags ?
    I already thought he was part of the Shahmar story – literally – but my suspicions were that he is the good guy of this tale, the son of the simorgh who came back to do who knows what. But the Shahmar himself? Nah, didn’t see that one coming.
    I’m hooked. I’m hooked on finding out what happens next because I have no idea where this is going and I like it. I thought getting rid of the curse was the big quest of this story but now it’s gone and we‘re not even halfway through the book. I’m looking forward to the blind flight tomorrow’s chapters will be and feel like the previous 12 chapters were only the warm up!

    Happy reading, fellow fairies ??‍♀️

  24. Sooo actually didn’t see it coming that Azad was the Shahmar. I knew something was off with him. He was just toooooo kind! But definitely not that. Maybe Soraya just screwed her chances at defeating him, but then again, her mom should have explained to her why exactly she was cursed. I hope her mom explains everything to her. It’s probably going to take Soraya a long time to forgive her but at least she’d have the truth.

    I figured she would break the curse. Her family has isolated her and kind of demeaned her (even though her mom doesn’t think she has). She was at a breaking point and really only wanted someone to love her like a daughter/sister since clearly her mom and brother didn’t.

    I’m honestly not sure where tomorrow’s reading is going to go, but I’m intrigued to find out more about what’s going to happen with Soraya now that she broke the curse. Definitely enjoying this book.

    1. I agree, maybe if her mom had been honest with Soraya from the beginning, she wouldn’t have put out the Royal Fire, putting her brother in danger. I wonder what the real story behind the curse is, what her mother will say now.

  25. So I suspected that Azad was a div but I did not expect THAT! Holy $&#@

    I am betting that Azad/Shahmar is the one who united the divs. I’m thibking either he and Parveneh were working together OR she was working against him and he got her arrested so she would be exectured and he would have a way to get to Soraya. Maybe Parveneh wanted Soraya to bring her the feather so she couldn’t break her curse because she is the only one who can defeat the Shahmar and thats also why Parvenah didn’t want Soraya to tell Azad specifically that she wanted the feather.

    Really enjoying this. If it wasn’t 1 am on a weeknight I’d keep reading!

    1. I forgot that Azad was the reason Parvaneh was captured! I can see them being on opposite sides, maybe that’s why she insists on making a distinction between divs and pariks.

  26. Ahh! It feels like everything is happening so fast! I didn’t think she would break her curse so quickly. I definitely did not see the Azad twist coming. I thought maybe he’d be a relative of the Shahmar doing his bidding, but not the actual Shahmar himself. And her brother seemed like he cares about his sister and his people, what will he do when he founds out what Soraya has done? As for Pranaveh, I think she and Soraya will have to work together. She’s hasn’t lied to Soraya so far nor has she done anything to harm her. I can see Soraya trusting her in the future, both “monsters.” So many questions, can’t wait to read the next section!

  27. Aaaaand here he is. Azad was always to smooth and friendly. But i didn’t expect him to be the shahmar. So excited what will happen next. So many possibilities.
    I wonder if the feather really worked. And what does Azad wont with it? If he want’s it.
    And i really want to know what her mother did! And why… so many questions

  28. Oh my goooood, how? Why? What???
    This is the worst ending for this part. THANK GOD I am a day late. So now I can immediately continue. ??
    There are so many questions! Somehow I already felt that something wasn’t quite right was Azad. I mean he wasn’t even shocked that Soraya killed the yatu and then he killed the two guards without remorse.
    I kinda want Soraya to work together with the Shamar though. I want him to help her find out what and why her mother did this to her!

    Also, when Soraya felt this tiny bit of regret… yes, girl! You shouldn’t have given up your powers!! ? Maybe she can get them back…
    I would appreciate a really dark turn at this point. Like, marry the Shamar and rule together in terror or something like it. ?

  29. Well, the cat is out of the bag. Definitely guessed Azad a div, but not this way, not like this!!! Is it bad that I still kind of ship them? ?
    I’m annoyed at Soraya’s mother, because while I understand her need to protect her daughter, the secrecy didn’t work out obviously in the end, like it barely ever does.
    Can’t wait to read more!

  30. I was definitely a bit suspicious about Azad… I mean I know a lot of love stories in books start off fast but this guy was WAY too into her way too quickly which was odd.

    I’ve been feeling like things were going a little too conveniently for Soraya up until now, everything she’s tried to do has pretty much been successful and the people around her were very helpful… Maybe now there’s this div issue we’ll start seeing a few more roadblocks and so the need for some problem solving skills from Soraya. I love when a book character solves a problem that I think seems impossible, it really makes a conflict seem more real and tough.

    Also would love to see more of Parvaneh, she seems like a really interesting character and I definitely ship her and Soraya. They seem like they’d understand each other, both being types of outcasts in the world for most of their lives.

  31. I KNEW WE COULDN’T TRUST AZAD. Everything he did was just too weird for me, he never questioned her and even pushed her to do things. And when he killed the guards…. I just wasn’t expecting him to be the shahmar himself.
    I think the person uniting the divs is Ramine, he was kind of shady when we saw him. Or maybe it’s Tahmineh, because what would she curse her own daughter???
    I’m glad I’m a day late in the readalong so I can read what’s next without waiting!

  32. Feel so vindicated in my guess that Azad was a div… that he seemed a little too nice or too happy?
    But can’t believe the curse has been broken so quickly, but in a good way – really excited to see where the plot might go now.

    Really felt for Soraya when she realised that her mother might have cursed her purposefully, so understand why she acted so defiantly. But know she might now have to make up for that, and want to see how!

  33. This book is wildddd, also.. can someone pleas tell me how to change my profile picture. ?

    1. Go to the top of this page. You should be able to click on yourself in the top right corner and choose Edit my profile.

  34. I wasn’t expecting Azad to actually be the Shahmar, but we should have realized it when she told him of her favourite story (which wouldn’t count as favourite, really) and he didn’t even seem scared of her.
    Oh boy, Tahmineh and Soraya need to have a heart to heart, spilling all their thoughts at each other. What does her brother think of all this?

    1. So I had to go back and reread that part where she was telling the story. I knew it was important to her because of her fear, but it wasn’t important enough for me to remember the fine details, so I was surprised when that came full circle.

  35. Uhm…..what just happened?!?!? I was expecting something to happen-like her getting caught- just not not that. Things are about to go down!

  36. I had no idea this was going to happen! it might be the case that her mother was trying to protect her from the shahmar by cursing her? I did start thinking he is very obsessed with her for not knowing her long and looks like it was all a ruse!

    1. I agree with the obsession. The entire time Azad was in the picture, I felt like he was a little too…. attached? He was super willing to help her in all ways even with all of her issues.

    2. I agree with the obsession. The entire time Azad was in the picture, I felt like he was a little too…. attached? He was super willing to help her in all ways even with all of her issues.

  37. So I’ve been distrustful of Azad pretty much from the beginning… though I didn’t really trust anything anyone else was saying either but I distrusted Azad most of all but I pretty much thought he has manipulated himself into the palace and into Soraya’s affections for his own agenda, what ever that was but I was not expecting him to be a giant scaly serpent monster evil guy. I’m now scared about what he is going to do now that he has turned into his true form…. I was about to close the book and go to sleep when this dramatic turn of events occurred & then I just HAD TO keep reading after that reveal….

  38. “I’m your favourite story”!
    Hate this twist, love this twist! Such a great reference back to the end of chapter 4.

  39. I am still trying to process what the heck just happened. I was reading and I was like YES they finally get together (but silently going this boy is way to eager to be around her and help her with these crazy things) I don’t like the love at first trope normally but I am glad that is not what happened hear. When Parvaneh told her that she needed to not trust people I was like there it is Avad is bad! Then they kiss and I was like ummmmmm maybe not? And then you know…. bad guy alert.

    I LOVE how the author portrays Soraya’s internal struggles with not only her identity, but her dealing with killing the Yatu. I think the author really let us see what Soraya was feeling. The scene where she starts ripping up roses and having full melt down, I honestly felt and related to that in so many different ways that it made Soraya real for me.

    But can I just say one thing….. Soraya should have talked to her mom. I think that Soraya turning on her family so quickly is infuriating. Did they keep her a secret? Yes. Should her mom have been transparent about what happened to her as a baby? Also yes. But Soraya should have confronted her mom before making any decisions. I don’t like it when characters make assumptions like that.

    My theories? Soraya was still born and her mom was desperate and went to a div to have her revived (or she was mortally ill and needed supernatural healing). I also think that mom is ashamed of even working with the div.

    She constantly said that they lie and don’t tell the truth, so I really think she was being honest. Maybe they didn’t tell her exactly what would happen when she asked for their help and she was ashamed at what happened to her daughter? I haven’t read any further in the book so I guess we will see if I am right.

  40. There were a lot of reveals in these chapters. I had a feeling that her mother cursed Soraya for an important reason. I didn’t think she did it out of malice. I didn’t expect the twist about Azad. Wow! Now what is she going to do?! I wonder if she will free Pravanauh and ask for her help?

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