Don't forget to leave me questions if you have any! I'll do my best to answer them at the end of the next post. And feel free to get discussions going in the comments below as well!
Back to classes:
this chapter, we see Una hustled back into her regular study routine. All the
hope of romance and adventure that the last few days brought is now thoroughly squashed,
and humdrum seems to be the order of the day. I feel a little bad for the poor
girl . . .
delicious little hint of history! There are so many of them in this novel, it
quite delights me. Trying to decide how much more of a hint I can give you
without giving away too much . . . Okay, I'll tell you this! Sir Oeric is
involved in the Imposter's War. Does that intrigue you?
Monster and the
you believe me if I told you that this scene between Monster and Prince
Aethelbald was the very last scene
written for this novel?
just a month or two before the book went to print, my publisher asked me to
include one more scene between Aethelbald and Una, after Gervais left and
before Leonard arrived. And I tried. I really did. But I just couldn't think of anything more to say about
it's always so easy to come up with a
scene for Monster.
this scene developed instead. It serves to give us some little extra insights
into the lives of the Knights of Farthestshore and into Prince Aethelbald
himself. You can see here how fond he is of Monster/Sir Eanrin . . . but he
obviously doesn't take him too seriously (nowhere near as seriously as Monster
are so many delightful little hints about upcoming books in this scene as well.
Most specifically concerning Lady Gleamdren, Sir Eanrin's epic "true
love" to whom all his famous poetry is dedicated . . . and who hasn't been
speaking to him for more than a thousand years! Foreshadowing of storyline to
come? Maybe . . .
also interesting to note that Sir Oeric, Sir Rogan, and Sir Imoo all bowed to
Monster when he passed. Sir Eanrin the blind cat is actually their superior!
Advice on Women:
right, it just made me laugh out loud to watch Sir Eanrin offer the Prince of
Farthestshore advice on women! Especially as you read further books in the
series and learn just how old and how
powerful the Prince of Farthestshore
is . . . I mean, the idea that Monster thinks he can offer his master romantic
advice really tickles me. The ego
on that cat is just enormous! But Aethelbald is very patient with Monster, all
another reference I had forgotten slipping into Heartless! Una remembers reading a story about a princess who
disguises herself and sneaks out of the palace into a grand a glorious
adventure . . . Little does Una know, that story is completely true and part of
her own history! The princess in question was named Amaranda, and she has a
wonderfully epic story that I hope to share with you one day . . .
glimpse of the jester: One of the most important characters in this story .
. . and in the series as a whole! And his first line is: "Oi! If you don't
let me through, I'll be certain it gets back to your superior officer!"
Not a particularly propitious beginning. But rather appropriate for Leonard the
jester, when you think about it.
The Bane of
another reference to the Bane of Corrilond makes its way into this chapter. You
know she must be an important figure in this world to be featured both in Una's
tapestry and in this garden statue. Though the statue certainly isn't as
menacing as it might be!
A Stroll in the
ages eleven and thirteen, I and my very-bestest-buddy Erin (yes, the same Erin
to whom Moonblood is dedicated, along
with my namesake "niece," Annie) would go exploring in the forest
behind her house all the time. We had our own favorite hideaway spot that was
completely our secret: An enormous old tree that had fallen over, exposing its
roots, lying at fairly steep slant. We would climb up that trunk and sit in the
upper branches, talking for hours, reading books aloud to each other. Often,
we'd take picnics. I remember one morning especially when we got up at dawn and
took a picnic breakfast out to our special tree: Fort Annerin, we called it, a
combination of our names.
all that to say, I was remembering those walks and that old tree when I wrote this
scene of Una making her way down to the Old Bridge. Like Una, we didn't have a
trail, but we followed landmarks and were never lost, no matter how deep we
went. Reading this scene makes me so nostalgic . . . just as it did when I
first wrote it!
Una's Dream: She's still
having the recurring dream . . . and still unable to remember it. Developing
foreboding!!! Despite what Una thinks, we know it's not caused by her disappoint over Gervais. But
what does it really mean?
Thrush's Song: For
the first time in this chapter, Una really hears the wood thrush singing. And
when she hears it, she suddenly has ideas for a poem, which she hastily writes
down. Did this poem spring from inside her, or is she merely putting the wood
thrush's song into her own language? I think the latter. And keep watching as
the book progresses . . . the wood thrush's song is going to return and
Here's a fun fan art image! The beautiful Clara posing as Princess Una, composing poetry.
The Old Bridge: When Aethelbald
appears on the far side of the Bridge, Una is very surprised. Other than
Monster and the occasional bird, she's never seen any living thing in the Wood
on the far side!
Una's own surprise is nearly overwhelmed by Aethelbald's concern that she get
off the bridge. Obviously there is much more to that bridge than meets the eye.
Sadly we won't discover what in this particular novel . . . but keep reading!
Everything is important, and everything will come back into play eventually.
think this scene between the two of them is kind of cute. He is so concerned
for her and so solicitous. And he's interested in her poetry! I really feel Una
should try to appreciate him a little more than she does here. But she is so set in her mind about what sort romance
she wants and what sort of hero she's waiting for . . . and Aethelbald just
doesn't fit the bill. Why must she be so stubborn?
(Okay, I know she's so stubborn so the story can be told. But still!)
And I love the picture of above! Clara as Princess Una again, in a portrait titled "Glaring at Aethelbald."
someone leaps down on Una from the wall! Okay, be honest . . . how many of you
read ahead to see what would happen?
my head is splitting in two!"
doing a remarkably neat job since I can't see so much as a seam." (p. 101)
passed through the halls of Oriana, his tail high as a banner, and the servants
made certain not to get in his way, being under strict orders from their
princess to "treat him nice." Thus in that small way, Monster
received the respect due a lord, and he accepted this as his right, scarcely
deigning to acknowledge those he passed. (p. 102)
may be but a humble house pet," said the cat, "but if there is one
thing in which I hold complete confidence, it is the conviction of my own
like a true cat." (p. 103)
matter how antagonistic the object of my current affections may be, a
well-timed purr, a sweet trill, an expertly hunted and scarcely nibbled gift
will work magic every time! Consider, my Prince."
raised an eyebrow. "You suggest I take up mousing?"
work well too. I leave toads for Prince Felix. On his pillow."
we all know how great is his affection for you," muttered Sir Imoo. (p.
princess loves a chap who will serenade her from the garden on a moonlit night.
I do it myself every full moon, filling the air with the dulcet sounds of my
the housekeeper throws cold dishwater at you," said Sir Imoo.
cat flattened his ears. "That old hag is tone-deaf." (p. 104)
think you must let me make my suit in my own way."
circumnavigating the girl at every turn? Mrrreeeowl! Is that the spirit that
won the undying devotion of Gleamdren the Fair, Queen Bebo's golden-eyed
when did you actually win Lady Gleamdren's devotion? Last I'd heard she was not
speaking to you."
the last thousand-odd years."
I sensed a distinct softening in her demeanor when I visited Rudiobus last
century. She looked at me once."
smiled. "She would have found it difficult to throw her shoe at your head
without looking at you, Eanrin." (p. 104)
in the gardens, sunlight greeted her, and she tipped her unprotected face up to
enjoy its brightness. Let her nose burn! At least it would disguise any
blotches. (p. 106)
were so many meanings in life, and so few of them meant anything. Why did life
have to be so very confusing? (p. 110)
you seek to follow in the footsteps of the great Eanrin of Rudiobus?"
above, no!" she said quickly. "I wouldn't dream of comparing myself
to his genius."
that's a relief in any case," said the Prince. (p. 112)
Questions on the
1. As part of Una's
history lesson at the beginning of the chapter, she studies the Imposter's War
and the building of Oriana Palace. Later on in Moonblood, we learn for whom Oriana Palace was named. Can you find
the reference? And, can you be even cleverer and name the king who ordered it's
2. I've had a
number secret hideaways over the years, including Fort Annerin. Later on, when
my family moved to Wisconsin, I found a mossy bank by a water inlet deep in the
forest where I would go to be alone and draw, write, or just think. I took Erin
there when she visited, but no one else. How about you? Do you have any secret
hideaways that you go to by yourself or with a special friend? Tell us about it if you do!
3. So what did you
think when the stranger jumped on Una from the wall? Did you guess who it was
right away? Do you think he's a friend or a foe?