Traitor King Discussion Questions

Howdy teachers! For those of you who use the Accelerated Reader program, you’ll be pleased to know that The Traitor King is an AR book (with a reading level rating of 5.1, and a point value of 10). I took the AR quiz in front of a group of fourth graders, and luckily scored 100% (although I had my doubts about one question). I’ll keep posting new resources for my books, and if you come up with interesting ideas for teaching these books, please send them to me at toddmitchellbooks (at)


Me, in Ireland, while researching The Traitor King.

1) Why did Uncle Will destroy all his notes and journals on their family history?

2) What makes the Manananns different from other people? Why do Darren’s father, Aunt Cass, and Uncle Aidan feel a need to keep their unusual heritage a secret?

3) What is shadow sight? Why do the Manananns have this ability to cast shadows? How might this ability be both a gift and a curse?

4) How do the fay differ from the Children of Mil? How are they similar? Why did these differences lead to war?

5) Why does Nim call Tir na N’Og a “pretty prison” in Chapter 26? Given this, why is it painful for him, as well as other fay, to leave Tir na N’Og?

6) Do you think, when Darren and Jackie return from Tir na N’Og at the end of Part II, that their father knows where they’ve been? Why doesn’t he talk to them about it? Similarly, why, in Chapter 31, does Jackie think it’s better to act like nothing happened? 

7) In Chapter 32, Aunt Teeny says, “You can only ignore things for so long before they come back to haunt you.” What things have the Manananns been trying to ignore? Why is it difficult for them to face these things? How might this come back to haunt them?

8) Aunt Teeny also says in Chapter 32, “When you begin to lie on the inside, that’s the worst kind of lie.” What might it mean to “lie on the inside?” Why might this be “the worst kind of lie”? Can you think of times in your life when you’ve lied on the inside? How does this relate to Darren’s situation and his family?

9) Why does Darren’s father want the Staff of Mananann? What caused him to want to give the staff to Starrag?

10) How did The Traitor King betray his people? How did he save them?

11) Why does Darren’s father disagree with Darren’s decision to let the barrier between worlds crumble? Why does Uncle Will think this is a good idea?

12) What would you do if you were Darren and you had the power to control the barrier between worlds? Do you think it’s better to keep the two worlds separate, or to bring them back together? What current situations in our world does this seem similar to?

13) What do you know about your own family history and ancestors? Did they immigrate to this country from other places? How might this be similar to the Manananns’ situation? How might it be different?