Part 1 – Plot questions
Part 2 – Character questions
Part 3 – Gotham questions
Part 4 – Pelletier questions
Part 5 – World questions
Part 6 – Gripes

Warning! This FAQ is for readers who already finished The Song of the Orphans. There are SUPER MASSIVE spoilers here. If you don’t want the plot twists ruined, turn back now. I mean it.

Plot questions

At the beginning of the book, Integrity finds six dead Silvers in a Staten Island movie theater. What’s up with that?
The Pelletiers cloned some perfect corpses of the Silvers and then stashed them in the theater as a red herring for the government. If all had gone well, Integrity would have finally stopped chasing the Silvers. But of course things never go well with Hannah and company.

How did Mercy find Zack and Hannah at that Greenwich Village tavern?
I had a whole explanation for that in an earlier draft of the book, one that involved Mercy’s mother and some misleading predictions. But that became too convoluted, so I took it out. Let’s just say it was freak coincidence that Mercy happened to be there.

How did Jonathan become a guitarist in the Quadrants?
Pure good fortune. The band recently lost their original guitarist. The drummer found Jonathan playing songs for street coins. One thing led to another and suddenly Jonathan was part of the group. In gratitude, he taught them a whole mess of old-world rock songs, including “Wish You Were Here.”

This was also explained in an earlier draft of the book, but I took it out to keep the story moving.

Why doesn’t Mercy shoot Zack when she has him dead to rights in that street alley? Is she already smitten with him?
No. She’s just squeamish about killing people. She’d much rather let Rebel do the dirty work.

You refer to that strange, warped corridor as a “Salvadored alley.” Do you know how much I hate you for that pun?
Yeah. I get that a lot.

Peter, Zack, and David are all saved in that alley by a fast-moving stranger in white. Is it safe to assume that it was—
Semerjean, yes. And as you know by now, he didn’t have far to travel.

What’s the deal with Hannah’s new power trick, the one she used to keep her and Jonathan underwater all night?
A number of readers have already asked me about this, so I clearly didn’t explain it well enough. Here’s the deal: when Hannah enters her normal speed mode (blueshift), she essentially slows down time. For every one second that passes outside her temporal bubble, Hannah lives for several seconds, enabling her to move faster, think more, and do more than the people around her. It’s a very handy talent to have.

But when Hannah goes into redshift mode, the opposite happens. For every minute that passes outside her temporal field, she only lives a fraction of a second. She merely stands there like a statue, suspended in time, while the world keeps moving on around her. It’s not a particularly useful power in battle, though it does allow Hannah to hide at the bottom of a river all night without drowning, a trick that ends up saving her and Jonathan.

How did the Gothams not know about it?
Because none of them have ever experienced redshift before. The phenomenon is entirely unique to Hannah.

That talent comes back in a big way in The War of the Givens. Hannah will learn a brand new use for it that makes her all kinds of powerful.

Jonathan and Heath barely survived the attack that killed the other six Golds. Why didn’t they use their powers that night? Jonathan could have easily dropped Rebel. Heath could have unleashed his wolves.
You’d think so, but no. Mercy Lee was part of Rebel’s attack team, and used her solis to jam Jonathan and Heath’s abilities. If it wasn’t for the sacrifice of Zack’s brother, the two of them would have died with the rest of the Golds. Instead they barely escaped with their lives.

Why do Rebel and Ivy lay such an elaborate trap for the Silvers at Atropos? It seems unnecessarily convoluted.
That’s exactly how Rebel wanted it. He expected to be matching wits against Theo and the Pelletiers, four very talented augurs who are notoriously difficult to surprise. As such, Rebel hatched a complex plan with multiple contingencies, all of which could be enacted at a moment’s notice. The only good way to confound a precognitive is to keep changing the future.

Yes, but taking the fight onto a runaway aerstraunt doesn’t seem like the brightest of moves.
I don’t know. Rebel and Ivy came awfully close to winning that battle. The only thing they didn’t count on was a secret Pelletier hidden among the Silvers.

The Coppers seemed to be causing all kinds of trouble in Seattle. Why didn’t they run to another city once Integrity started hunting them?
As you learned from the book, Seattle’s the gambling capital of Altamerica, a place where criminals abound and anything can be bought for the right amount of cash or barter. Their young augur, See, looked to the future and saw that staying in town was their best chance of keeping off Integrity’s radar. Only in the Wallows could a woman and six urchins blend invisibly among the riffraff.

Why does Gemma Sunder choose to attack the Silvers when she damn well knows it’ll bring the Pelletiers down on her head?
Because she’s a ten-year-old girl and she has a lot of misplaced anger, especially after the death of her beloved aunt Ivy. Suffice it to say that she isn’t thinking clearly.

Though in her defense, Gemma came damn close to killing Semerjean, a fact that still sticks in his craw.

Now that you mention it, how did the mighty Semerjean manage to eat a poisoned cherry? Wouldn’t he see Gemma’s trick coming from a mile away?
As you learn near the end of the book, Semerjean’s foresight isn’t what it used to be.

Ioni tells Theo that she’s from his world but not his era. Is she a distant descendant of one or more Silvers?
There is indeed a twist to Ioni’s existence, but that’s not it. You’ll find out everything about her in the next and last book.

Why does Ioni want Theo to gather up all the breachers?
Another thing you’ll learn in The War of Givens. Safe to say she has good reason.

What’s the deal with Merlin McGee? Why does Ioni insist that he become famous?
She wants everyone cleared out of San Francisco, for reasons you’ll learn in the next book. The only way to do that was to make Michael Pendergen, aka Merlin McGee, the world’s most trusted and credible augur. When he says “get out,” people will listen. That plays right into Ioni’s plans.

Why didn’t Ioni warn Theo about Semerjean’s secret identity?
Because knowing too early would have caused more trouble than it saved. The Pelletiers would have erased Theo’s memory before he could warn his friends. Or worse, they’d kill him.

How come none of the other augurs saw through Semerjean’s disguise? Wouldn’t they have glimpsed his true face in premonitions?
Some of them, like Prudent Lee, did see through it. But the Pelletiers had thirty Gotham hostages, each one a blood relative of one of the clan’s augurs. The threat was enough to keep them all quiet.

How long have you planning that Semerjean twist?
Since before I wrote the first word of The Flight of the Silvers. If you go back and read it now, you’ll find at least thirty different hints and allusions to David’s true nature. I had a lot of fun with that one. I also had fun planting false clues to get you suspect Peter, Jonathan, even Heath.

Why did you have to kill Jonathan? I liked him. You’re a dick.
I liked him too, but sometimes you have to kill your darlings. But even in death, Jonathan’s presence will be felt in The War of the Givens. Heath will find a new and interesting way to make sure that no one forgets him.

Why did Ioni tell Mia to shoot Esis when she knew it wouldn’t work?
That’s a question Mia will ask Ioni when the two of them next meet. It won’t be a pleasant encounter.

So are we to assume from the end of the book that the orphans are now on good terms with Integrity?
The orphans, the Gothams, and the U.S. government have a three-way truce now. There may be grumbles and squabbling, but there won’t be any more battles between them.

So who’s left to fight?
They still have the Pelletiers to worry about, not to mention the impending apocalypse. In The War of the Givens, our heroes’ biggest enemy is time itself.
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Plot questions | Character questions | Gotham questions | Pelletier questions | World questions | Gripes

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