1. In Falcondance, the avians and serpiente in Wyvern’s Court struggle to live peacefully together. Why are they mistrustful of each other? How do they feel about the falcons? What are the differences and similarities between these groups? Do you think the tension between them is a form of prejudice? How do you see the shapeshifters’ conflict as relating to the world in which we live?
2. What do Nicias and Oliza have in common? Why will Nicias always be her friend, and not a suitor? Have you ever felt like an outsider? What were the circumstances?
3. Nicias’s parents are very concerned when he discovers his magic (page 23). What do they see as the dangers if Nicias goes to the falcon island of Ahnmik? What is the alternative? Why does Nicias find it so difficult to keep his father’s warnings in mind once he leaves?
4. What does Nicias immediately dislike about Ahnmik when he arrives? What does he find appealing? How does Araceli convince Nicias not to have his power bound right away in chapter six? Why is flying so important to Nicias? Is he foolish to try to look at life on Ahnmik with an “open mind” (page 61)?
5. Araceli tells Nicias that his mother committed a crime when she fled from Ahnmik (page 59). Were Nicias’s parents as irresponsible as he fears (page 90)? Why did Kel really leave? Do you think Nicias respects their decision by the end? What role did the falcons play in creating the war between the avians and the serpiente? Can you think of events in our own world history in which fear has led to violence?
6. Should Nicias have tried to confront Araceli right away as Darien wants him to in chapter thirteen? What makes him return to Ahnmik later on? Cjarsa asks Nicias to understand the “necessity of what was done” (page 173) to the avians and the serpiente. Do you think the ends justify the means? How much or little should Nicias tell Oliza about what he learned on Ahnmik? What would you do if you were Oliza?
7. When Lily says she has sworn her loyalty to the white Lady (page 81), who is she referring to? Why does Nicias initially trust Araceli and Lily more than Darien? How does seeing his mother’s possessions in chapter twelve change Nicias’s mind about Darien? How does this serve Syfka’s interests?
8. Darien warns Nicias that “everyone on this island is a pawn” (page 83). What does Darien want from Nicias? How does that differ from what Lily wants? What about Araceli? What are some of the many ways in which Lily and Araceli manipulated him during his stay? Do you think Lily’s feelings for Nicias were “all an act” (page 113)?
9. Why is Nicias drawn to Hai (page 66)? What makes him try to save her? How does he escape from Ecl, the void, in chapter thirteen? Do you trust Hai? Should he have woken her? Why or why not?
10. Duty, loyalty, and honor are important themes in this book. In what ways does Nicias act (or not act) honorably during the story? Who else in this book adheres to these values? Have you ever felt torn between your loyalty or responsibility to different people? Why does Nicias, ultimately, feel more connected to the people of Wyvern’s Court than to the falcons?