A likely story. Una is,
understandably, pretty incredulous of Leonard's revelation. The jester? A prince? Um . . . right.
it does explain a lot, doesn't it? It explains his courtly bows. It explains
his pride, and his irritation at being reduced to the role of "floor
does have a point, however, when she demands to know the reason for his lies.
One doesn't ever like to be lied to, no matter how good the excuse!
are a number of interesting little tidbits to be gleaned from Leonard/Lionheart's
account of his adventures these last five years.
one thing, he mentions ancient Southlands, "back before we traded with the
Continent." He mentions dragon-worship. Oh boy, is that ever foreshadowing of stories to come! Of one particular
story, coming up very soon, actually . . .
Southlands hasn't had much or any doings with dragons since, and they had faded
into stories and myths. Then, out of nowhere, this dragon dropped from the sky,
laying waste to the surrounding country and imprisoning the king, the queen,
and eighteen other nobles within the Eldest's House.
learn that Lionheart had been out riding with "a friend" that day.
Those who have read Veiled Rose know
who that friend was and what Lionheart had intended to do with that friend on
that day. But he doesn't mention any of this to Una, and we are left to wonder
along with her about these details. Though Una does, quite pointedly, pick up
the little tidbit that this friend was a girl . . . But Lionheart hastily
assures her that this girl is nothing but a friend.
at last, we learn that the Dragon sent Lionheart on his five-year exile.
Lionheart has spent all that time searching, searching, searching for a way to
kill the creature. But the Dragon seems to think that Lionheart will help him
somehow . . .
The Game: We learn from
the Dragon's recounted dialogue that he does not take Lionheart for one of his
own because "I lost that game long ago!" So we can extrapolate from
this that Lionheart's life was also played for by the Dragon and his sister . .
. and this time, the Lady of Dreams Realized won.
Evasive: Lionheart does
not seem willing to tell Una as many details as it might first seem. For
instance, when he says he "picked up a thing or two about dragons,"
Una asks him if he means, how to kill them. But he answers only,
"Perhaps." Much as I love Lionheart in this scene--he really is kind
of adorable--I do feel a little bit of suspicion here. What is he not telling
her? Is he afraid to tell the whole truth? Is he ashamed?
the end of his story, Lionheart almost
confesses love for Una. Almost . . . but not quite. He doesn't actually say the
words, does he? He implies a lot, and I believe he means it, sincerely. And Una
believes him as well, and suddenly all her thoughts and feelings of a few days
before come raging back to life again!
he doesn't actually say the words.
he asks, "Will you trust me?"
first, Una thinks of Gervais, and his false charm. Then, once more, she thinks
of Prince Aethelbald . . .
The opal ring. To help
Lionheart pay for his journey back to Southlands, Una gives him her mother's
ring. With scarcely a thought, she slips it from her finger and hands it right
over to him!
Moodiness. Una gets a lot
of guff from readers. She's simply not
the heroic type! She's not the tough-as-nails warrior maiden who solves all of
her own problems, makes only a few mistakes, but ultimately rights all wrongs.
She's not the hot chick that the super-hot guys fall madly in love with, and
she's not exactly Miss Pious either.
I really do love her. She's so female sometimes, it's hilarious! Her
moodiness in this next scene, for example. Maybe I’m alone in this (though I
doubt it), but I can relate to Una's spontaneous bursts of weeping for apparent
reason to those around her. Not that I go around crying my eyes out all the
time . . . well, except for those certain
times, you know. But when I'm feeling a bit fragile and emotional as Una is
in this scene, it's a nice relief to be able to cry now and then.
she's maybe a bit extreme. But isn't that part of what makes her lovable? I'll
stand by my comically naïve heroine, even in a world of monster-slaying warrior
And goodbye to
the duke . . . for now. I did like the exchange between Fidel and his old
nemesis. The duke seems so shocked
that Una wouldn't be interested in his suit! Even though he hasn't bothered to
learn her name . . . HA!
of the most fun things to do with a pair of characters is to stick them both in
a scene with two completely different
"scripts," so to speak. The one firmly believes they're talking about
one thing, the other firmly believes they're talking about something totally
different . . . It's quite fun for a comedic scene such as this one between Una
and her father.
also shows just how bad the communication has gotten between Fidel and his
daughter. It's hard for fathers to keep track of the emotional ups and downs of
their teenage daughters, I know. And Fidel is a king, busy ruling an entire
kingdom. And he does not have the advantage of a wife to keep him posted on
what's up with his eldest child. Nurse does her best . . . but, we all see how
must I do to prove myself? Cut my arm and show you how blue my blood is?"
your grievance may be, I hope--"
daughter of yours!"
her name is!" (p. 159)
know that I cannot enter into a betrothal without your blessing."
you know you will have it so long as the man of your choice knows better than
to eat soup with his fingers and isn't up to his ears in debt." (p. 160)
1. I really love
Lionheart. Honestly, I really do. Obviously, he's gone on to star in two more
novels, while my sweet Una, much as I like her, has only featured in this one
novel. Lionheart just stole the show for me! But what do you think of him in
this scene? Upon first reading, did you believe or disbelieve Lionheart's
story? Does he seem truthful, evasive, honest, or shady to you? Did you trust
him as quickly as Una did?
2. So what is the consensus
on Una in this last scene? Amusing but un-relatable? Frighteningly familiar?
Probably needs some chocolate?
3. Favorite lines?