Things are really starting to point toward the climax and ending now! This chapter sets in motion some of the climactic-aiming action. It also contains more hints of the history behind these characters and this world. Hints that may or may not connect to some of the hints dropped early on in this novel . . . .
Keep leaving comments for an opportunity to be entered in the big final giveaway!
I feel a little funny to keep posting this "Christmas" banner after the New Year . . . but hey, they twelve days of Christmas are still going, so that counts, right?
Last Scene with
is the last time we see the struggling Prince of Southlands in Heartless. And it is quite a revealing
scene, I think!
on in the novel, in chapter four, we saw the scene between the Dragon and the
Lady of Dreams as they played dice for Una's life. Now, for the first time
since then, we glimpse the Lady of Dreams again. And we learn of her influence
over Lionheart. She whispers into his mind, and he seems, at least in part, to
believe that her thoughts are his own.
as the Lady whispers the words, "Rid yourself of them as soon as possible.
Just as you did the girl," Lionheart puts his head in his hands and
replies, "Get out of my head!"
not so unaware of her presence as all that. He's not so blind, though he might
be mostly blind at this point. He knows he has given in and submitted to a
darkness . . . a darkness to which he does not like to admit, a darkness he
will excuse as much as possible.
when she mentions "the girl," he becomes angry enough even to grab
and throw burning embers with his bare hands!
assume, of course, that "the girl" referred to here is Princess Una.
But, as you read deeper into the series, you might find a different possibility
. . .
Fidel. Finally, after
many chapters away from him, we see Fidel again. He is in hiding, protected by
Aethelbald's men as promised. He is still struggling to rule his kingdom even
from hiding, however, receiving reports and sending out judgments. But
ultimately, he has to admit that the real king of Parumvir at this time is the
Under attack. Despite the
defense put in place by Oeric, Imoo, and Rogan, the Duke of Shippening's
forces--as led by the Dragon, no doubt--break through and wreck havoc on
Fidel's loyal men. But Fidel proves that he is no soft-skinned king, but a true
warrior at heart, despite the suffering he's endured and the dragon poison.
With the aid of the knights, he battles bravely, and for a moment it looks as
though Parumvir might win the day . . .
the Dragon himself arrives.
Rogan's death. The Dragon
proves himself more than a match for Aethelbald's men. Wild-hearted Rogan
attacks, but is completely destroyed in the blast of the Dragon's fire. Imoo
himself only just avoids the same fate, and is soon sent flying across the yard
by a single sweep of the Dragon's arm. They are like so many dolls before this
Oeric and the
interesting little exchange happens here between Sir Oeric and the Dragon. An
exchange which might shed some light on various back-stories hinted at earlier
in the novel.
Dragon, calling Oeric "goblin," asks if he's found himself a name
yet. Names, as we know, bear great importance in this world. And when last the
Dragon and Oeric met, Oeric had no name.
Dragon goes on to say that he will not kill Oeric because, "I owe you too
much to crisp you to cinders . . . I do not forget a service rendered, however
unwillingly. If not for you, little knight, I might yet be bound to the Gold
back now to the ugly picture on the wall in Oriana, mentioned a few times. The
picture of the Dragon in his awful man's shape, lying upon a golden altar.
Might we now have some idea who one of the three men mentioned might have been?
course, I hope to tell the whole story eventually. And more of it is revealed
in Moonblood, though not the whole of
it. Just hints. Just hints . . .
Fidel taken. Meanwhile, our
good King Fidel is taken by the Dragon and stolen away back to Oriana, we must
By the cage. Una is almost
too frightened to approach the cage in which the dragon kin have imprisoned
Prince Aethelbald. But he calls to her by her name--her lost name--and though
it hurts to hear, she cannot resist, but draws near. It's interesting to me,
seeing the importance placed on names in this book! I had forgotten that this theme
was so iatrical to the plotting of Heartless.
It is a massively important theme in Starflower,
but I like to see that it was set-up for so early on. I like internal
consistency of themes within my series . . . whether planned or otherwise! LOL.
Felix is alive. Una learns for
the first time that her brother did not die. It has been quite a while now
since the Dragon whispered word of Felix's supposed death into her poisoned
mind. But now she knows he lives, and for a moment, we almost think that love
of her brother and joy at this news might be enough to bring Una back around to
instead, she says, "He may as well be dead, for I am dead to him, dead to
all of them!"
key. But perhaps Una isn't as far gone as even she believes. Perhaps news
of her brother's life was enough to pluck at some living string. For she steals
a key from the Bane of Corrilond's robes . . . they key to the cage in which
Aethelbald is held.
froze as though paralyzed at the sound of her name. It hurt to hear it, like a
knife in her mind. (p. 304)
Questions on the
1. Did you
recognize the Lady of Dreams in that scene with Lionheart? What did you think
was going on with him at first? What do you think of the difference between the
Dragon and his sister?
2. So in this
chapter, we learn that one of the Dragon's names is "Death-in-Life."
What do you think this means?
3. Favorite lines?