How is the theme of “reward” reflected throughout the novel? What types of rewards are given and received?
In Thornsgorge, Varrick is accused of betraying his two closest friends. Did he betray them by abandoning his position as subgerent? When is it acceptable to break a promise to a friend?
After Paxton is wounded while fighting a darkgard, he comes to this realization in the infirmery: “Then his gravest fate reared up again before him. Not death. Never death, but failure. If he failed to close the ambit, his heart would beat for nothing.” Why do you think Paxton is afraid to fail? Are you more afraid of failure or of death?
In Reward, two characters change their names. What power exists in the changing of a name? Have you ever wanted a different name than the one you were given? What name would you choose, and why?
Near the end of the novel, Varrick says to Paxton: “This isn’t about winning or losing. It’s about doing what you were born to do. And what’s the one thing you’ve wanted to do since you were a child?” What is the one thing you’ve wanted to do since you were a child? Do you feel called to some special purpose? How has that “one thing” been a part of your life?
In the final chapter, the king distributes gifts. How does each gift signify a new beginning for the character who receives it?
Is Paxton a heroic character? If so, how? If not, what keeps him from being a hero?