Beautiful photo by @starlight_and_fairytales_
Hello Fairy Friends!
Happy July 1st! I hope you’re having a good day so far and are excited for the month ahead! Are you ready for our fourth section of the readalong? Let’s dive right in!
Please be warned, the following section will include spoilers for Witches Steeped in Gold by Ciannon Smart, from chapters 32 to 44. Please only read on if you’ve finished this section!
After the final chapter in yesterday’s readalong (and WHAT a chapter it was), we dive straight back into the action. We learn that the locket, which saved Jazmyne and Ira, is a jége AND not only that, but Kirdan has been keeping a secret— that he was actually sent to retrieve the four jéges and that he isn’t an emissary. Kirdan believes that if they’re in possession of two of the jéges, they may have the power to kill the Doyenne. The three of them form an unlikely alliance and observe a shook bargain.
Um, ok, moment to digest that please!
Ahead of the All Souls Night festival, Jazmyne, Kirdan and Ira meet to discuss their plan to find another one of the jéges. Tension ensues as Jazmyne gathers how Kirdan feels about Ira, but despite this Ira gives Jazmyne advice and a dagger in case she needs to protect herself.
YES, I’m here for the women helping each other even if I do get the feeling that something is going to happen between them (and not in a good way).
Enacting their plan while the festival goes on, Ira and Kirdan sneak into the palace and the secret tunnels Ira’s family accessed via her father’s old study. While searching them, they find a chamber and are attacked by a bottlelice creature. In the process of calling to her ancestors to help her kill the beast, she glances up to find a map spanning the ceiling of the chamber. Certain it could reveal where other jéges are hidden, Ira begins making a copy before she and Kirdan have another intense exchange.
Meanwhile, Jazmyne enacts her part of the plan, luring one of the Doyenne’s council members (Presider Magmire), away to an empty chamber where some of the Shields are waiting. While killing her, they’re caught by another one of the Doyenne’s Presider’s (Presider Caldwell). Anya chases after her and traps her in a room, though she winds up unconscious as a result. Knowing she must fulfil the plan, Jazmyne musters up the courage to kill Presider Caldwell only for Kirdan to conveniently arrive and do it first. When the alarm is called as Presider Magmire’s body has been discovered, Kirdan returns Ira to the Cuartel. To buy the others time, Jazmyne reports to the Doyenne and the other council members as they discuss what should be done, though concern mounts as the Doyenne realises Presider Caldwell is absent. Needing to ensure Anya’s safety and protection, Jazmyne returns to the room where Anya and Presider Caldwell’s body are. She moves Anya’s body in time and as she’s doing so reminisces over the exchange she saw between Ira and Kirdan. She comforts herself in the knowledge that she will pin the blame for everything on Ira.
Back in her bohio, Ira awakes to a visit by Kirdan where they discuss how they feel about each other (lust disguised as hate for sure). After he leaves, the other Shields come to speak to Ira, asking her to prove they can be trusted and can help her. They play a game of Bull Inna Pen—a mother hen has to protect her ‘chicks’ and get them to their ‘coop’ before they’re attacked by the ‘bull’. The Shields end up proving Ira wrong by beating her at the game but afterwards kneel for her in respect. Not wanting to let them down, Ira lies and asks them to fight with her. They agree to, but Ira is wracked with guilt knowing she cannot live up to her promise because of the pacts she’s made with the Doyenne, Kirdan and Jazmyne.
Later, as part of the celebrations, Ira and the other Shields at the Cuartel watch a griot witch enact the origin story of the Obeah and the Virago. At the end of the performance, all eyes fall on Ira as they know who she is. But before anything can be done, the Shields are alerted of an incoming raid from the palace. Kirdan returns Ira to her bohio but as soon as she and Delyse arrive, the Doyenne appears. Suspecting their involvement in the deaths of two of her Presiders, the Doyenne demands to know what occurred at the All Soul’s Night celebrations. To protect Ira, Delyse kneels, offering herself to the Doyenne over Ira, but when Ira goes to kneel too, the Doyenne digs her heel into the back of her hand, puncturing her skin and drawing blood. When she leave, Ira realises the lengths Delyse is willing to go to protect her and guilt at abandoning her and the other Shields grows.
Later, as Ira translates the map she and Kirdan found in the tunnels, they discuss the next steps in finding the next jége. Kirdan informs them that he and Ira will travel to the Salt Woods to retrieve the mirror. Jazmyne dismisses Ira before the meeting is out knowing she will have to ‘deal’ with her given the infatuation between she and Kirdan so later informs Ira that Kirdan’s flirtations were all a ruse to get Ira to trust them. Although Ira acts as though she doesn’t believe Jazmyne, she grows angry following the exchange. And when Kirdan arrives later to escort her to the Salt Woods, Ira remains angry with him though she finds herself unable to remain so for long. As the Salt Woods are too far to sift (teleport) to on such little gold, Kirdan and Ira ride his shadowcat, but in doing so Kirdan ends up pressed up behind Ira as they ride only intensifying the tension between them…
And we leave it there for today! Wow. I’m still reeling from everything that’s happened to be honest! Will Kirdan and Ira be able to find the next jége? And what is Jazmyne’s long term plan? I feel like she and Ira have more tricks up their sleeve and I can’t wait to see what they do next!
Do let me know your thoughts below, and I’ll be back tomorrow for the final day of the readalong!
12 thoughts on “Witches Steeped in Gold Readalong Day 4!”
It was pretty hard to stop right there and wait for tomorrow. There is still lots of secrets between everyone, I don’t really care if Ira love or not Kirdan, the same with Jazmyne. I’m more affraid to lose Delyse or Anya when the fight will come :'(
I really like how it’s going with the artifacts and the differents promises. But Ira promises a lot of things that are quite opposite. I hope she doesn’t deceive too many people
Oooohhh so much happening here it’s hard to process it all. Things are so tense! I’m very nervous about Ira revealing her identity as the lost empress will force her to face off against Jazmyne. I definitely think they’ll be able to get the jege. Can’t wait to see how it all comes together tomorrow. I know Smart’s been able to pack a lot into each section we’ve read but there’s still so much that could potentially happen and only so many pages left!
it’s SO tense! and you’re right! anything could happen at this point (and that just makes it even more exciting) 🙂
Honestly? I’m starting to dislike Jazmyne more and more… she behaves so much like her mother… TEAM IRA ALL THE WAY! It’s most definitely not ending with Ira and Jazmyne on the same side that’s for sure, the question is how… can’t wait to read the end tomorrow!
I definitely think I’m Team Ira too! And Team Delyse for sure 🙂
Soooo… I don’t know if its partly because my focus is a bit wack at the moment but I’m struggling with WSIG a bit now. I can see why people like it (the prose is lovely, and the setting and concept are really cool) but I’m not really clicking with it and I’m not sure why.
Part of it is I keep feeling thrown into new scenes and locations and being a tad lost on how we got there. Like, is the place where Ira was near Jazmyne’s home? Because they meet up a lot if its not, but if it is; I thought Jazmyne took a boat to meet her? Or am I getting it confused?
It is also probably not helping that I have been trying to do the illumicrate readalong simultaneously at the same time and it’s left me getting a but muddled with what I’ve read in which book, to be fair 🙈 Still, tomorrow is the last day so I am keen to see how it ends! I dont trust Kirdan in the slightest. I think he’s playing them both.
This is me too, TBH. I’m getting a little lost on where everyone is and what they’re doing and why. I think part of my problem is that Jazmyne and Ira’s logic is sometimes baffling to me, and enough other characters are in the mix too who also have their own motivations that we may not even know yet…whew.
Me too. There’s a lot of moving pieces and factions. It’s hard to keep up with. Like what was the story about? Anyone we know? Or Ira’s family and a whole new group of people?!
whoops, forgot to post yesterday!!!
the various plot threads in this book are starting to get pretty confused, i think. there are more and more characters being introduced, without enough time for me to get to know them, and i feel as though i am supposed to feel emotionally connected to some characters that were mentioned in the beginning but never really fleshed out (like Light Keeper)
i’m sad that it seems Jazmyne and Ira are becoming more antagonistic towards each other as opposed to approaching something like getting along. someone posted on day 3 that maybe in the future the two of them could rule together, which seems like it would be such a cool balance for the whole island!
about to read the last section…..
I’d love it if Ira and Jazmyne could just be friends too! But why do I get the feeling that isn’t going to happen? Having said that, I do love a story with plenty of twists and turns 🙂
I so hope that Jaz and Ira could be friends, but it doesn’t seem that possible at the moment. I like them both, I wish they could work together and reach their goals.
Not surprised that Kirdan betrayed the trust of Jaz, he was suspicious right from the start. I’m still not sure about his endgame and I’m almost completely sure he doesn’t fake flirting with Ira. I’m sure he plays both though.
I’m not sure how things work out for now, I’m scared. ‘:D
I honestly have no idea how this is going to go. As others have said I’m having trouble keeping track of the plot threads and different factions. Hoping it all comes together at the end!