Betwixt Discussion Questions

1. What do you think is the significance of the characters’ names?

2. Ondine, Morgan, and Nix seem to have unique abilities related to their fay nature. What is the relationship between each character’s supernatural powers and their personalities?

3. The three main characters have very different reactions to the revelation of their true identity. What would your reaction be if you were in their place?

4. The drug “dust” features heavily in the story. If dust were really available, what do you think its affect would be on society?

5. How did your opinion of Moth change as you learned more about his character?

6. Morgan says that she is not capable of loving someone—do you agree?

7. What do you think is the significance of the word “ring” given how it is used to describe different things in the story?

8. From all that the story reveals about the fay and changelings, do you think they are beneficial at all to humans, or is their relationship only damaging?

9. Which path do you think Morgan will choose? Or do you think she is already on her way to being good or evil?

10. What do you think Bleek’s ultimate goal was? Did he achieve this goal by the book’s end?


48 Responses

  1. A comment on #4….throughout the story i thought dust just ment like pot or cocaine but now that i just read that i realize that its just a fantasy drug..ha..well i guess i will just have to start the book over and read it from this new perspective.

  2. answer to question number ten is that i think Bleek did achieve one thing he was hoping to do which was reproduce. which it i believe says he did with Neve. I don’t think he was able to accomplish anymore because he didn’t end up getting nix and he didn’t kill any more of their ring.

  3. for #4, i thought dust was like the actual dust you find under your bed…

  4. This is for number one…
    “Ondines or undines are elementals, enumerated as the water elementals in works of alchemy by Paracelsus.They also appear in European folklore as fairy-like creatures; the name may be used interchangeable with those of other water spirits. Undines were said to be able to gain a soul by marrying a human and bearing his child.”

    “The Neck (English) or the Nix/Nixe (German) refer to shapeshifting water spirits who usually appear in human form. The spirit has appeared in the myths and legends of all Germanic peoples in Europe.”

    “When malicious nix attempted to carry off people, they could be defeated by calling their name; this, in fact, would be the death of them.”

    “Morgens, Morgans or Mari-Morgans are Welsh and Breton water sprites that drown men. They may lure men to their death by their own sylphic beauty, or with glimpses of underwater gardens with buildings of gold or crystal. They are also blamed for heavy flooding that destroys crops or villages. In the story of the drowning of Ys, a city in Brittany, the king’s daughter, Dahut, is the cause, and she becomes a sea morgen.

    The morgens are eternally young, and like sirens they sit in the water and comb their hair seductively. In many ways they are a female version of the Scandinavian nixie. In Arthurian legend the “Lady of the Lake” is named “Morgen”. The origin of Morgan le Fay may lie in these Breton myths.

    Tales of morgens are preserved in the English countryside, like the one from western Somerset, where a fisherman adopts an infant morgen, only to have her revert to the sea when she grows up.”

    It’s extremely interesting how they ALL are water sprites and their names accutally suit them for the most part, (with Ondine and Morgan at least) I’m not so sure about Nix though because he’s supposed to be kind of like a male siren… and unless Nix is hiding something, I don’t think it really fits him.

  5. Dust is refering to Heroine, but that is what i thought. Didn’t it say dust is Heroine?

  6. for number 5, at first i thought moth was a jerk low life, but then later on in the story it turns out he is the total opposite. He seemed like a creep especially at the party, but he just wanted to protect his race.

  7. Reply to number 5. In the beginning, when they were at Ondine’s party, I thought moth was a total jerk. The way he’d manipulate people and make them think/do certain things. Through Morgan’s eyes at the party when she and Moth are dancing, I thought he was really disgusting, but powerful. Later in the story when you start to see things through his eyes, it seems as though he isn’t as strong as I thought, and he’s not that intimidating. It’s like he went from me thinking he was evil and manipulative in the beginning, to me thinking he’s one of the heroes in the end because he’s againt Bleek and wants to save Neve.

    Response to number 9. I think it will be a toss up. In the story, it went from her really liking Moth and being on his side, to her being controlled by Bleek so he could kill the ring (which he didn’t), to her going back to Moth’s side because she tried to save Neve. If I had to guess, I’m thinking she’s leaning more towards becoming a cutter because she REALLY hated Neve, and that kind of feeling doesn’t just randomly go away. Sure, she saved her (sort of), and she realized how Bleek was using her, but her anti-Neve feelings still are burning somewhere behind that pretty face…

    Reply to number 10. I don’t think Bleek succeeded. Well, actually I do in some ways, but not entirely. I think the sequel will be awesome because Bleek did succeed in reproducing because in the end of the novel, it says, “The daughter reads a magazine and doesn’t speak about the fluttering inside of her.” This little twist means another cutter in the sequel (I’m guessing). I think Bleek’s goal was to eliminate the ring (Nix, Morgan, Ondine, Moth), and become more powerful than Viv, the way she created Ondine who’s VERY powerful. I think he wanted to “inhabit” a more powerful human body than the one he was currently in. I think he half acheived his goal.

  8. 3.Possibly the reaction Ondine had.
    5.I started to like him.He and Nix were the most interesting characters to me.
    6.No,i think she loves K.A. enough already.
    9.She looked like the villain from most part of the book,but i think that in the end she will change path.I hated her personality,i need to say.

  9. I thought dust was some weird sland word Americans use for some sort of Drug…?

  10. ok their names, well Morgana le Fay? famous Faerie Queen. and Nix is explained as nothing, the Saint Michael was a nice touch though. Isn’t he meant to be the commander of the army of God? Ondine’s name escapes me though… Yea, I’m a sucker for names…

  11. for #4, it’s fairy dust. I love how all the things in the book are like that- the ‘fairy ring’ is what Nix sees, and also a group of fairies. I love the way Smith uses cliches like that in an inventive way :).

  12. by the way, ‘nix’ means ‘night in greek, and nix is one of the forces like gaia (earth) in greek myth.

  13. #2: Morgan is a morpha, and she keeps changing her position-good,bad,good,bad.
    #3:Shocked…confused…disbelieving…and sort of happy. Fay…how cool is that?!
    #4: Anyone without willpower (97% of society) would be on the stuff-not good.
    #5: I started to not hate him later on, once I knew his motive.
    #8: Harmful. All they’re doing is getting human teens pregnant with fairy babies.
    #9: SHE IS PURE EVIL!!! Sorry… no other way to put it!
    #10: I honestly couldn’t tell. If he’s alive yes, because Nix messed up. If he’s dead, no. If he’s in Neve’s baby, then also yes.

  14. ok so here is an answer to #4…well, kinda =O

    dust was made up by the fay to make leaving their corpus (the human they inhabited) easier for the human, so that they would basically be all drugged up and not know whats going on…

    hope that helped lol
    PS, cant wait for the next book!

  15. morgan le fay is from the arthur legend right? according to different versions the evil sister who does it with her brother and so on…

  16. #3 I’m pretty sure my reaction would be most like Ondine’s. But as I learned more about how much some people, like Neve, needed me, I would be like Nix.
    #7 The “ring” that they keep talking about it symbolizes unity, I think. Their race is continuous and never-ending and they all need to stay together in order to make it.

  17. 3. I would most likely be very disbelieving at first, then eventually believe it.

    4. I think dust would be very popular in society, because it is yet another drug to help you escape society for a short amount of time.

    5. My opinion of Moth didn’t really change too greatly throughout the book. At first, I thought he MUST have something to do with a twist or something, because he OBVIOUSLY had some type of power also. Later on I started liking his character more, because he was merley misunderstood.

    6. Morgan says that she is not capable of loving someone. I disagree. I think that she is the sort of person who will go through life disbelieving, thinking she will never find love, but one day, she will stumble upon the perfect person and fall head-over-heels. Also she does seem to love her brother more than anyone in the world at this moment in time, despite her multiple-personality-disorder moments (which I believe to be an internal battle between her mortal’s feelings, her fay nature, and the cutter inside her coming out).

    8. I think their relationship is actually harmful in a way, because the fay inhabit, and almost completely control the human’s body, which can corrupt quite a few things in their lives. Also when fay are intertwined in human pregnancy, their is a chance that a human may loose their child because they are fay.

    9. I think that right now Morgan is on her own path, neither good nor evil, but a mixture of both. Her mind is clearly contaminated in a way, because of the voices, sleepwalking and rash, yet spontaneous thoughts that bubble up in her mind. Morgan seems to want to find a way to control Novala, or maybe the changelings.

    10. I think Bleek’s ultimate goal was to create a powerful fay child, like Ondine. He was looking for a human that could be easily manipulated, which turned out to be Neve. With this human, I believe he would make it a cutter, and try to defeat all rings, and possibly his father, or Viv. Then again, he may have wanted to create the young fay to control both Earth and Novala. Bleek most definitely did NOT complete his goal, because he let his corpus die, along with his fay self. His child will be born though, with cutter potential, and as long as Morgan doesn’t earn control of it, the child should be able to be a “good” member of the fay community, and won’t corrupt the balance between Earth and Novala.

  18. I’m not sure about the rest but I think that Morgan comes from the witch in the King Arthur stories. She was a power hungry witch.

  19. this is to #6..
    i do think morgan is capable of loving someone, but she has to find the right guy. i mean she liked Moth and thought he wasd srop dead sexy! thats saying the type of guys she goes for. If she found someone like Nix perhaps someone kind and myschiveious but still careing for her. She needs that. That would lead her to loving someone for sure.
    Oh… and she needs to calm down on people and not judge them right away. then guys would probably be swarming her 24/7.

  20. Is there going to be a sequel? Does anyone know? I’m dying here!!!!! It was like a book that never ended I’m hanging off the edge of a cliff!!!!!! 🙂

  21. I hope that they can find some way to get Neve’s baby out of her. It is like a whole new all-powerful Bleek.

  22. Answer to #5: At first….well, I thought Moth was a perv, an ass and just wanted to get down and dirty with any chick he sees. But as the book progressed I found him genuine and really caring for the three in his ring. I now know he will do anything to get them through exidis smoothly.

  23. Answer to #6: Of course! Morgan is DEFINITELY capable of loving omeone. I mean, she would do ANYTHING for K.A. her brother and that is loving someone. She really just needs to find the perfect guy. Sexy and hot, but not a sleeze; a teacher to her, but not annoying and knows everything; someone who loves her deeply and will do anything for them; someone mysterious, but not secretive.

  24. Well, not OVERLY secretive…

  25. Answer to #9: I HOPE, I TRULY hope that Morgan will turn good. I really don’t think it will be possible for her to be on a different side of K.A. Plus, I doubt, HIGHLY doubt that MORGAN will want to raise Neve’s child. I just think she will need to learn how to dispose of all the hate built up inside of her. She’s a great person and has such a potential to do great things for the world of humans and Novala. She just needs to find a way to put her anger into good use or just away. She needs to find that amazing person inside of her.

  26. Answer to #4: Actually, even though I doubt I would EVER do it, I think lots more people will be hooked on drugs. Dust has a significance to the ring of fire, a supernatural and a party that everyone “NEEDS” to get into, that everyone will be tempted to try it. Also, it seems to be that it is quite a mild drug and hard to suspect, so not many will be scared to try it (also, it is not addictive)

  27. What does the word “fay” mean? Like, I know vaguely what it means but what does it LITERALLY mean?

  28. #4.
    i heard it is really a drug made out of horse tranquilizers.

  29. I’m about halfway through the book and I’m super confused! I suppose with time and patience i will disect it enough to fully understand everything. Anyways I just wanted to say that if you believe you can explain anything you believe will help me to understand the book better, feel free.

  30. I was just wondering does anyone know if there is going to be a sequel? Because the ending was vague….
    But anyways I REALLY liked the beginning and stuff, but i had a hard time understanding the end and it took me a while to figure out they were fairies oooooooooo and I think Moth LIKES Ondine because it seems at first tht he liked Morgan but now he seems drawn toward Ondine……

  31. I thought someone should mention that Nix was also the Greek godess of night. And mostly everything important that happens in this book happens at night.

  32. morgan luvs her self, so yes she is capable of luving someone.

  33. that was for # 6 btw

  34. 3. The three main characters have very different reactions to the revelation of their true identity. What would your reaction be if you were in their place?

    Honestly, I would be confused at first. But I’ll be like Nix because he seems to know what he was after, even though he was scared. I think Morgana was a little into herself-and believed whatever came to her first. Ondine kinda well..ran away before trying to see what happen first.

    4. The drug “dust” features heavily in the story. If dust were really available, what do you think its affect would be on society?

    I just thought it was a magical drug. But didn’t pay much attention really in the beginning…

    6. Morgan says that she is not capable of loving someone—do you agree?

    Yes and no.
    Yes because he loves her fake brother K.A..
    No also she she only really love herself (also hate herself too)
    But I guess we see later on…

    7. What do you think is the significance of the word “ring” given how it is used to describe different things in the story?

    I think it means together. Like a group or as one. Through thick and thin.
    It’s describe differently in the story-
    1) Everyone in the story thought something different or somewhat close at the same time.
    2) The author wanted to do that- to make us think what it means and see which character is more correctly =0

    8. From all that the story reveals about the fay and changelings, do you think they are beneficial at all to humans, or is their relationship only damaging?

    It depends how you look at it.
    Like the changelings can be very powerful and try to take over.
    But it’s beneficial because it gives hope to many people who believe in it. Secondly, many of changelings, fay help people too.

    9. Which path do you think Morgan will choose? Or do you think she is already on her way to being good or evil?

    I honestly not sure. I can’t tell. Not yet anywayz..There are many reason why she could take either side.
    1) good-exidus
    2) earth and possibly exidus…

    10. What do you think Bleek’s ultimate goal was? Did he achieve this goal by the book’s end?

    Hmmm…no because he wanted to destory the ring. Or maybe not, maybe to play around. Cuz faeries love to play[:
    But I guess we truely won’t know til the next part comes out.


    It would be kinda kool if you could be other magical being in this *hint* *hint* vampires…witches…other things…

  35. (Question 5) I really liked Moth at the beginning. He was really cool and mysterious and I really knew that he had a secret that he didn’t want to tell. Near the end of the book, he wasn’t all mysterious and cool like he was before.

  36. Regarding question number 5:

    I have to agree with Amandaaaa:)))): on this one. I absolutely loved Moth at the beginning. However, he became slightly vulnerable at the end and all of his awesomeness was ruined for me. I’m really confused over his interest with Ondine. I mean I saw the signs, but it was kind of sudden. Maybe he’s just interested in her potential. Who knows….

  37. #2: according to wikipedia, Ondines appear in European flolk lore as fairy like creatures… Morgan le Fay appears to have originally been a fairy in the Arthurian legends… Nix are German shapeshifting water spirits… and also, the word Fay comes from the French term, “le fee`”, which means “fairy”… The terms in the book were mostly European influenced. 🙂

  38. #10 i was reading the other responses to this question and jess mentioned that he could be in Neve’s baby! he totally could be. And he’ll come back as a very powerful half human half fay like Ondine! And i think that was his ultimate goal was to create basically another Ondine.

  39. #4: I think the name Nix fits him well. Calling his name is his ultimate defeat, and at the end, Ondine calls to him, which leads to the scene on the boat, which features water.

  40. Moth LIKES Ondine i mean really LIKES here….


  41. I think Bleek’s plan worked; but not exactly how he wanted it to, I mean Neve’s pregnant, right? Poor Neve (for 10) and I think Moth is a creeper! I thinks it’s so gross how he hit on Ondine and Morgan…. Ewww. I totally think Morgan is evil, killing small animals is the 1st step to going crazy, remember the toad? that grossed me out, big time.

  42. Is there going to be another book coming out or is there a sequel already out? I really hope there will be another one out there it was a great book but left with a cliff hanger and I want to know more.

  43. wat happened to ondine? i mean i thought it was a ROMANCE but i dont know wat happened in the end 😦 so ondine saved nix, morgan and etc but there was an earthquake and then nix wasnt found? then?? ondine and nix didnt become a couple??? :((

  44. This is crazy!
    I read the book like a year and a half ago,
    and I remember someone saying it would be out a couple months from then, (the sequel I mean)
    but I am still waiting as are the rest of us!

    I remember the book so vividly, and I love it so much

    where is the sequel?!?!?!!

  45. We’ve just started the book,

    C: and I’m at the time of the party at Ondine’s. I couldn’t wait to learn more about it, since I’m SUPER BUSY over summer holidays, and I found this site! I really love your comments and feedback on the book. It makes me want to read more!! I’ve previously figured out that Moth is… well different, and Morgan is Totes evil child! I know that Neve will have a great influence on the story and I can’t wait to see what happens!!

    V: and I’ve read ahead to the part where Jacob, Nix and Neve are hanging out, i think, and Nix has somehow transfered the halo to Neve from Jacob! WTFudge? How did it happen? Oh yea, Morgan/Bleek are pretty evil, Neve’s in the middle, Ondine/Moth/Nix are good, I think?

  46. #4. I think that dust would be in every teenagers pocket. Because its not strong or addictive. Just helps escape reality. That’s not good but its what majority or society wants to do.

    #5. I liked Moth from the beginning because I already knew he was someone important. Towards the end, he was becoming to be one of my favorite characters.

    #10. I think Bleek new a thing or two about Ondine and where she came from so he wanted to create someone/something to overpower her or go against her. He wanted to make a betwixt baby just like Ondine!! But it will be a being between human and cutter.

    Ahh I read it so long ago I need to read it again. This is why Tara needs to keep popping out new books!! To feed her fans because they will forget and lose interest if she doesn’t!
    NO MAGICAL BEINGS like vampires and witches. That will ruin everything. The main reason I loved it is because its so much closer to being reality than other fantasy books. Not magical. It was more serene or dream-like. Which in my opinion, got many readers hooked.

  47. This book was so amazing I have shared this book with many friends. This book had pulled me in from the first paragraph. The characters were wonderful if more books were writen I would make sure to buy them. The book felt like it should have a sequel. I don;t know maybe I am just weird course been that since birth.

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