White Heart of Justice

SPOILER ALERT!

Reading these discussion questions will tell you how most of the story questions are answered. If you don’t want to know the ending, DON’T READ AHEAD!!

1. “Cruell love turmoyles my captive hart”: Part I opens with a quote from Ovid, Amores 1.2. The contemporary Valentine’s Day cupid is an angelic cherub, a divine toddler… who shoots arrows straight through people’s hearts. Is love really as harmless as contemporary Cupid would have us believe? If so, why doesn’t he just blow kisses or wink? Are the agonies of love worth its ecstasy?

2. Fate v. Free Will: Noon interprets her perennial spring visions as signposts along the road to her future. She tells Rafe she wants to fix the broken bell at Tartarus because she thinks she was meant to. Do you believe in fate? Are some things “meant to be”? Do you think Noon’s visions were scenes from her future… or just one possible future out of a million or more? Why didn’t Noon leave Tartarus after freeing the mortem animae?

3. You can’t unring a bell… or can you? The phrase “you can’t unring a bell” is sometimes used to refer to the fact that knowledge, once given, cannot be taken away. You can tell someone to forget or disregard something, but you cannot erase their memory of it. In White Heart of Justice, the opposite happens… sort of. The bell rings and Noon and Rafe lose their “borrowed” memories. And Album Cor Iustitiae loses its magic. Does this mean whatever consequences came about as a result of Noon and Rafe having those memories should be forgotten or disregarded? Is Album Cor Iustitiae’s magic gone forever? How likely is it that Noon could ring the Angels’ bell again?

4. Madly, deeply, fiercely: Did Rafe really love Noon or were his emotions simply the result of having Ari’s memory of loving Noon that way?

5. Would you have used the White Heart? Kasper Bialas made a postscript plea to any who followed him not to disturb the sword’s final resting place. And both Aurelia and Joy warned Noon not to use Album Cor Iustitiae if she found it. Yet she did. Would you have tried to use the sword to free the mortem animae from their curse?

6. Individual Wants v. Society’s Needs: Noon tells Linnaea that she doesn’t care about the Laurel Crown itself – only the right it gives her – the right to direct her own future. Linnaea’s response: “Mederies go where they are needed most.” Which is better? To be allowed to work where you want or to be willing to go where you’re needed? In the end, Noon abandons her goal of working for Ivy’s family. She allows Charnockite to win the Laurel Crown and agrees to go wherever Karanos sends her. Would you have done the same? Do you think Noon won in other ways? If so, what were her rewards?

7. Absence v. Presence: One of the biggest themes in the book was absence versus presence. How was this theme supported in both big and small ways?

8. Six words: The story opened with a prologue written from Ari’s point of view. He’s haunted by Noon’s last words to him: “I can’t be with you anymore.” In the last few pages of the book, Noon tells herself that it wasn’t the Angels’ bell that changed everything; it was six words: “You still love him, don’t you?” Did opening and closing the book with a scene about Noon and Ari give you the impression that Noon’s journey was as much about finding her way back to him as it was about finding Album Cor Iustitiae? In the end, Noon admits she is going to forgive Ari. Would you?

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