This week, courtesy of the lovely Lisa @effingrainbow, we have the third part of the Skyscraper Throne reread, in other words, chapters 9-12 of The City’s Son. Don’t forget to check it out over on her blog here and follow @jofletcherbooks on Twitter to let us know what you think of the #SkyscraperThroneReread.
Expelled from school, betrayed by her best friend and virtually ignored by her dad, who’s never recovered from the death of her mum, Beth Bradley retreats to the sanctuary of the streets, looking for a new home. What she finds is Filius Viae, the ragged and cocky crown prince of London, who opens her eyes to the place she’s never truly seen. But the hidden London is on the brink of destruction. Reach, the King of the Cranes, is a malign god of demolition, and he wants Filius dead. In the absence of the Lady of the Streets, Filius’ goddess mother, Beth rouses Filius to raise an alleyway army, to reclaim London’s skyscraper throne for the mother he’s never known. Beth has almost forgotten her old life – until her best friend and her father come searching for her, and she must choose between the streets and the life she left behind.
Today I’m playing host to the Skyscraper Throne Reread
, organised by Jo Fletcher Books
in the build-up to the third and final book in the trilogy, due in August! This week we’re reading through chapters 9-12
. Let’s recap – and in case you haven’t deduced it, please beware of spoilers!“Night seeps in from the sky. The breath from the manholes starts to steam. The city shivers, and draws darkness about it. This is when the Sodiumites dance.”
This section introduces one of the fantastical creatures that I love most – the Sodiumites. Glass-skinned dancers who reside in London’s streetlamps, formed of light and electricity, they provide Beth with her second glimpse of the hidden London she’d never known about before her encounter with the Railwraith, and Filius. Here, she tracks him down (as he challenged her to, silly boy) and meets Electra, one of the Sodiumites, into the bargain. Though it seems Electra is less than pleased to find Beth on her patch… Jealous much?!We also get a look at the ruthless side of these beings when they defend their homes – Electra’s lamp, in particular – from what seems to be an invader… Beth may be determined to join with Filius instead of staying lost and alone on the streets, but she might just be in over her head…
In addition to all the wary wonder of Beth’s second meeting with Fil, though, we get another ominous look at what Fil’s enemy is up to. Looks like Reach has a minion, and it’s up to no good… Poor Whitey was just trying to get out of the rain!
“…and here she was, eyeball to eyeball with a spider the size of a small car.‘Remind me why we have to do this again?’ she said. The thing’s eyes were like glittering pits of ash.‘Communications.’ He didn’t look away from the creature as he answered. ‘There’s no point having an army if you can’t talk to it.'” (Chapter 11)
…Ah, yes, the Pylon Spiders.Excuse me while I shudder helplessly… But yes! Following the Sodiumite encounter, Fil introduces Beth to the Pylon Spiders, while he tries to negotiate with the ‘Motherweb’ and gain himself an ally against Reach. Upon finding out how the Spiders maintain their food supply, though, Beth very nearly screws everything up when she tries to set it (read: her) free… Yep, the Motherweb feeds her kids lost souls, the missing persons, the true down-and-outs. Or rather, she feeds them their voices. THIS BOOK HAS SPIDERS THAT EAT VOICES *goes back to shuddering*Thankfully, we get away from all that for a bit, for Chapter 12; it’s back to Pen, who’s got more problems than anybody could guess at… The truth of why she let Beth be expelled instead of keeping her silence comes out here, and the real depths of their friendship, all strain upon it aside, begins to show as well. And to make Pen’s guilt worse, she meets Beth’s dad as well, as he becomes more desperate to find her. Thanks to the graffiti trail left by Beth previously, they’ve got a place to start… But how far will they be able to go?
Find out next time…