Throughout the book, Senna struggles with her identity. What advice would you give to her—to anyone—who feels like an outcast?
2. After a childhood of feeling powerless, Brusenna finally realizes the ability to stand up for herself was inside her and always had been. Have you ever been in a situation where you felt powerless? What did you to take your power back?
3. How does Brusenna change from the beginning of the novel to the end? What obstacles did she have to overcome to grow and change? Do you think obstacles are necessary for growth? Or do they destroy an individual?
4. At the beginning of the book, Brusenna is a reticent person. Is she still shy by the end? What did or did not change?
5. At the beginning of the book, what was Joshen’s motivation for helping Brusenna? Was it the same motivation as at the end?
6. Did Sacra (Brusenna’s mother) protectiveness shield or cripple Senna? If the latter, what do you think Sacra should have done differently?
7. Trust comes up again and again in the story. How do you decide who you can and cannot trust?
8. Senna is terrified of loosing those she loves. How does this affect her decisions?
9. Do you agree with how Brusenna dealt with Wardof, Garg, and Espen. What would you have done differently?
Sacrifice is another theme that is repeated in this story. How does Senna decide what she will and will not give up?
11. The book mentions that the witches sold their songs for money. Do you think this justifies the populace’s hatred and mistrust of them? Why or why not?
12. Near the end of the book, Grendi claims that no one group should have more power or control over a people than another. Do you think this is true? Why or why not?
13. Do you see Senna as a weak or strong character? Does the fact that she often cries affect how you see her?
14. Do you think Sacra was justified in hiding Senna away from the world and its dangers? What would you have done differently?
15. Senna feels a tremendous amount of guilt when someone dies trying to protect her.
16. Conversely, was Brusenna justified in spying on her mother to discover the answers to her questions? Explain.
17. The book hints that Espen used a potion to force Wardof and Garg’s to serve her. Does this excuse their actions? Why or Why not?
18. What do you make of Pogg’s dislike of men?
19. Senna often puts herself in danger to protect those she loves (chasing after the whale, using the Ioa potion). Are her actions justified?
20. What do you think of the Discipline Head’s treatment of Senna? How do you think they should have treated her?
21. What do you think of Reden’s betrayal of his country and his soldiers? Is his a traitor? Or a hero?
22. AT the end of the book, the Witches curse Tarten—basically sentencing the entire country and its people to drought. Do you think they were justified in this? What would you have done in their place?
23. Do you agree with the Witches decision to surrender to Reden? Or should they have fought?