A quick apology to all of you patient readers and commentators: So sorry for not answering all of your most excellent questions these last few days! I do hope to catch up on them soon, but alas, life at Rooglewood has been a little extra busy this last week, and I'm doing good to keep up with the read-along itself. Maybe this weekend I'll get a chance to catch up on them. Do be patient with me!
And continue to comment and leave questions. There will be three winners of books drawn at the end of the week!
Poor Felix. As soon as
prince arrives safely in Dompstead, he is separated from both his father and
Monster! His father is whisked away to be treated for dragon-poison, and
Monster leaps from his shoulders and vanishes into the night. Now we, of
course, knowing that Monster is also Sir Eanrin, a knight of Farthestshore,
probably figure he's off to attend to his knightly duties. But as far as Felix
knows, it's just his sister's pet cat, running away into the unknown night. I
think how I would feel if one of my darling pets ran off into the night like
that! After all the rest of the stress and terror of that evening, I think that
would just be the final straw. I'd probably poke out the eye of anyone who
tried to stop me from following him!
however, allows himself to be dragged away into the fort.
Captain Janus. The only person
who shows Felix any consideration is the young officer, Captain Janus, who
brings him a stool to sit on as Felix waits outside his father's sickroom door.
Keep an eye on that Captain Janus . . . he'll come back into the story in
another chapter or two . . . .
Dragon Poison. After a long
night of waiting, Felix learns that they are treating his father for dragon
poisoning. His father did have a much closer encounter with the Dragon than
most of those in the palace, including their tussle at the dinner table.
Whatever amount he breathed in is dealing harshly inside him.
you imagine how badly poisoned Una must be by this time if Fidel is suffering
so after so brief an encounter?
Irony. I do think it's
pretty funny when Felix considers Bard Eanrin, who wrote The Bane of Corrilond epic poem. Bard Eanrin whom Felix had just
carried draped over his shoulder that night! HA!
yet another reference to the Bane of Corrilond. You can bet she's going to be
again, Fidel is surprisingly rough with his son. When he comes to from his
poison-induced state, he immediately demands to know where General Argus is and
sends Felix off to find him. He states later on in the next scene that he sent
Felix away to distract him, knowing that the boy had probably been sitting
outside his door, stewing all night. But it still comes across very gruff! I
wonder if that might have something to do with the poison. Or just simply
Fidel's fear in this dreadful situation. I can't blame him, but I do wish he
would be a little gentler on the boy . . .
Out of the Wood.
learn in the scene between Fidel and Argus that Shippening's army came out of
Goldstone Wood itself! This should be impossible. Shippening is far south of
Parumvir, and an army that size should have been spotted long before it could have reached Goldstone Wood. But somehow, the duke
and his men crossed unnoticed.
can only be by evil magic.
He warned me. Fidel's mind is
full of the warnings with which Prince Aethelbald left him. And when Argus
suggests that Una might already have perished,
Fidel answers with the dreadful comment, "That would be almost too
much to hope for."
A tiny scene. That short
little scene with Una was another one from the original manuscript. If I wrote
the book now, I probably wouldn't have included it, figuring that it
interrupted the narrative of Fidel and Felix. But you know, that's one of the
reasons I'm glad that I didn't write the
book now. While I am a better writer now than I was at age 21--sounder at narrative
construction, etc.--I think some of my natural instincts as a less-experienced
writer worked well here. This short little scene with Una, following on the
heels of her father's cryptic comments, is rather haunting. The imagery of her,
hollow-eyed as she brushes her hair and tells herself that Leonard hasn't
forgotten her . . . well, it's actually quite spooky! And I like it.
that to say, you writers out there who cringe at your old work, don't be hard
on your former writer-self. Yes, we grow in our craft. And we improve. But
sometimes those untutored instincts are more real and raw than the polish we
achieve later on. Sometimes. Not always. But sometimes.
Worth. Una asks
herself, "How can I be worthy of his love if I do not trust him now?"
She's thinking of Leonard, of course. But the whole theme of worth is an important
one in Una's story. Earlier, she wondered if she wasn't "worth"
Gervais's love. And now, she's determined to prove her own worth to herself
when it comes to Prince Lionheart's love.
given what is to come, we all know that Una ultimately cannot prove worthy. No matter how she might try.
Felix is sent
appreciate that Felix tried to find Monster! I feel so bad for the forlorn
young prince, pushed around and ignored in the midst of all these great doings.
He's not old enough to be counted part of battle plans, but he's important enough
to be hastened off to safety. The poor boy must be completely overwhelmed and
worried sick about his sister! So he tries to find Monster and can't even
succeed in that. I really feel for Felix in this scene.
1. Yet he neither
died nor turned evil but was a hero who figured in a hundred tales, most of
which he had written. (p. 195) LOL. Ah,
Eanrin, how we love you . . .
Questions on the
1. When Fidel made
his comment, "That would be almost too much to hope for," what did
you think he meant when you first read the novel? Could you guess at this point
what was in store for Princess Una?
2. Why do you think
Fidel was so harsh on Prince Felix in these scenes?
3. Favorite lines?