Friday, December 27, 2013

VEILED ROSE Read-Along: Chapter 2, Part Four

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And now, moving on into Rose Red's unfolding adventure . . .


Chapter 2

A whole year: This part of the book (Part Four) begins a stage of the story that deals with some CRAZY time-jumps! Because I had established in Heartless than Lionheart’s exile lasted five years, I had to find a way to cover that significant a period of time without letting the story drag. Thus one of the main reasons I decided on Rose Red’s journey into the Netherworld. This provided me with a method in which I could have Rose Red’s story be continuous while Lionheart’s jumped in time.

In the original draft, Rose Red did not journey into the Netherworld but remained in the Near World through the whole five years, dealing with the Dragon. This meant both storylines—Lionheart’s and Rose Red’s—had to keep jumping forward by pretty hefty chunks. One of the reasons, I think, that draft didn’t work so well.

This method is a bit odd unless readers realize that there is no linear flow of Time in the Netherworld (or any of the Between, for that matter). There is some sort of Time, but it doesn’t work the same way as it does in the mortal world. Thus, Rose Red’s adventure doesn’t seem to her to take five years. Indeed, within the Eldest’s House is a timelessness that keeps alive the Eldest, Foxbrush, and the other captured household members, even though they are all but immobile through the whole of the Occupation.

Remember the Name: Poor, faithful Beana has not yet found a way through into the Dragon’s occupied territory. And though she pleads with her Master to come and deliver these people, he remains strangely silent. She must continue being faithful, even in the face of despair. She must continue struggling against impossible odds.

But Beana is no coward, and she is not one to give in easily. Nor is she one to doubt her Lord, even if he doesn’t work on a timetable she finds convenient . . . All she asks is that he give Rose Red what she needs.

Info on the Paths: In this chapter, we  get a little bit more information about the various Faerie Paths.  This is good information to tuck away in your head as you continue reading more Goldstone Wood stories. The Faerie Paths are very important . . . and very dangerous.

We’re going to learn just how disastrously dangerous they can be, come Shadow Hand . . .

The Path to Death’s world: Notice that a Faerie Path does not necessarily have to be in the same place each time it is encountered. Rose Red walked Death’s Path up in the mountains. Now she encounters it again in the Eldest’s House. It is the same path, yet found in two very different locations.

It’s hard to put hard-and-fast rules on the workings of Faerie! One thing I always strive for in my stores is to create a sense of extreme otherness for my Faerie folk and their ways and their rules. Even the rules that govern their worlds. I don’t want my Faeries to seem like humans with wings or other odd features. They are supposed to be different, and their worlds are supposed to be different. Sometimes, that’s led me some crazy directions, like these oddly-mobile Faerie Paths! But that is so much what I love about writing fantasy . . . J

Two Places at Once: In this scene, we find that Rose Red is actually traveling through two places at once. She has stepped into the Netherworld, but the Netherworld is also now fitting into the Eldest’s House. She walks simultaneously in a cave and up a stairway.


I really enjoyed bringing this part of the story to life, this splicing of two worlds together. I had toyed around with the concept a few years before in an (unsuccessful) attempt at a retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses. The thing I liked most about that story was the concept of two worlds crammed into one, so I borrowed it. If you steal from yourself, does it still count as stealing?

The Dragon’s voice: As she walks, Rosie begins to see a light ahead. Immediately, the Dragon appears in her mind, his voice urging her to avoid the light, to go a different way. He tells her she’ll regret it, that she’ll find only sorrow.

The thing is, our Rose Red is a stubborn sort. And she doesn’t like the Dragon. The more he tries to persuade her, the more stubbornly she pursues the light. This isn’t perhaps the most virtuous motivation in all the world . . . but it works pretty well for Rosie!

The Brothers again: It’s interesting hearing more about the Brothers Ashiun from the Dragon’s perspective. Because his perspective is certainly very different from Leo’s!

I enjoy reading passages like this too, seeing once more how these characters have slipped into my world and stories here and there. I am currently beginning a new novella that prominently features Akilun as a main character (Etanun’s there too, but not as prominent). It’s interesting writing about them during their lifetime and back in the days of which the Dragon is now speaking . . . and then reading about them as they became later known in history.
The lantern from the story: And so, in this scene, we see the fulfillment of the foreshadowing hinted at early on during Leo’s tale of the Brothers Ashiun.
In the first draft of this version of Veiled Rose (the version I pounded out in the two months before getting married!), I didn’t have Leo’s story about the Brothers Ashiun early on in the book. So this scene with the Asha lantern came a bit out of nowhere. I find it much more satisfying to read about  now that I went back and added in Leo’s version of the story. Proper foreshadowing can make all the difference in the presentation of a theme!
Conversation with the Wood Thrush: I think this conversation between Rose Red and her Imaginary friend, short though it is, is the very heart of this novel. Here we clearly see what is at stake for our heroine, the questions she must face that go so far beyond all the mystery of her face and parentage. To whom will she give her loyalty? Because, one way or the other, her loyalty will be given. She cannot, as she asks, simply not give anyone anything at all.
A Gift: Though Beana doesn’t know it, her prayers have been answered. She begged that her Lord would give Rose Red what she needed in order to survive, in order to walk his Path through Death’s Realm. And so, here, Rose Red is given the gift of hope. She is given the gift of Asha to light her way.
It’s hard for Beana—who is still existing within time, you’ll remember—not knowing what is happening as the years creep slowly by. But she trusts that her Lord is working and caring for the girl even while she cannot be there to see the results. And ultimately, her trust is proven well founded.
Yet again, Beana is the most admirable character in this whole story! A true heroine.
The Dragon’s Eye: It becomes apparent as Rose Red’s journey progresses, that the Dragon is not bound to his incarnate body. He can move disembodied throughout his own vast realm. We see this in the terrifying moment when the sun rises and it is no sun, but is instead the Dragon’s own eye.
And he cries out for someone to “Take it from her! Destroy that light!” We don’t know yet to whom the Dragon speaks, but we can bet that he has many terrible servants dwelling within this realm . . .
There is a lot of Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came feel to this selection, I think. That poem has always been one of my favorites, and I used to have most of it memorized (though trying to recite it now, I find all but the first few stanzas have slipped away from me). I know I turned to it many times over while writing this book and crafting Rose Red’s journey in particular. I think this is one of those passages (though not the sun as an eye itself, simply the landscape around and the mood created). I definitely recommend that poem to those of you who may not have yet encountered it!
She stood on a mountain: I half wonder if the Dragon sent her this mountain where she finds herself. She was on a plain when she closed her eyes, and when she opened them, here she is on a mountainside. I really do wonder if the Dragon intended for her to encounter the dark entity she meets here . . . for this entity is one she would recognize from ancient stories and fear, perhaps even more than she fears the Dragon himself.
“Have you no compassion?” It makes me laugh a little as I read this scene again. I had such a time with my publishers over this one little section of the story! They could not understand the Wolf Lord’s dialogue. Over and over they told me that he didn’t “sound like a monster.” Why would a monster say something like, “Have you no compassion?” That’s just not what monsters say!
Of course, I would argue that this is what makes him so terrible in this scene. He is seductive and manipulative and . . . pathetic. He is so pathetic. Terrifying and pathetic.
After all, he’s no longer the powerful Faerie lord who made a demesne for himself out of mortal lands. He is a ghost. A sad, dead spirit, trapped forever in the Netherworld, afraid to venture down to the Final Water.
So no, perhaps he doesn’t sound like a monster. But I think he sounds far, far more dreadful.
I don’t know if I ever convinced my publishers to understand what I was going for. But they, being gracious people, allowed me to get away with it even though they didn’t like it. And I hope all of your find it as satisfyingly creepy as I do!
“They tore into me!” The Wolf Lord goes on to give the reader hints of his story (which is told in full in my fourth novel, Starflower). Again, he makes sad case for himself, monster though he is.
And provides me with a fun opportunity to introduce storyline, later revealed in Starflower.
The story of the Wolf Lord and Maid Starflower had been brewing in my head for much, much longer than most of the other stories in this series. And Wolf Lord’s death by “his own” has always been a major part of that story. So, though I had not yet written Starflower, I was eager to begin introducing some of those storylines, hinting at what was to come. This scene with the Wolf Lord might possibly be the scene I most enjoyed writing in the entire book!
Mending Wounds: We see Rose Red behaving very like herself when she actually attempts to sew up the Wolf Lord’s wounds. But it is no use. Despite her best efforts, she cannot make his ghostly flesh mend. She cannot fix or cure the evil fate that has befallen this evil soul.
But she tried. She always tries, even when she cannot succeed.
And, despite the Wolf Lord’s cohesions and manipulations, she insists on continuing to try rescuing Lady Daylily. But even that is a hopeless endeavor . . .
Slowly uncovered: This journey of Rose Red’s is all about her unveiling. Slowly but surely, her layers are stripped away, and she eventually must come face to face with the truth of who she is and what she is becoming. She must even face the secret truth deep in her heart . . . but we’ll get to that in a few chapters!
Questions on the Text:
1. For those of you who have read on in the series, who is another character who, while walking in the Netherworld, also found the Asha Lantern? What other similarities do you see between Rose Red and that character?
2. Considering that this journey is all about Rose Red’s ultimate unveiling, what do you think Rose Red’s encounter with the Wolf Lord reveals about her? Is it a good, bad, or frightening revelation?
3. Did you find the scene with the Wolf Lord frightening? Sad? Or both?
4. What were your favorite lines?


Caitlyn wants to know: "All that remained of the Starflower statue was the wood thrush. Is this symbolic, foreshadowing?"

Absolutely! But I leave it up to the reader to decide exactly how . . .

Allison wants to know: "I was wondering how old Daylily is compared to Leo and Rose Red. She strikes me as older, but I don't know if that's just because she never had a childhood. Also, does Rosy mature at a rate similar to mortals?"

Daylily is a year younger than Leo and a year older than Rose Red (approximately). She seems older partly because she is better educated than Rose Red and naturally more mature than Leo (girls tend to mature faster than boys . . . generally). And yes, Rose Red matures at a similar rate to mortals, though this is possibly to do with the fact that she lives among mortals. If she lived among her own kind, she might mature at a different rate . . . probably faster.

Fan Art:

Hannah Williams
Above we have a lovely fan art by Hannah! She has depicted Captain Sunan and the Duke of Shippening sitting together at table. On a stage before the table sands the sad, albino jester in clown's motley. Off to one side, we see Lionheart with his hair slicked down, serving drinks and looking very sad for the jester.

This is, I believe, the very first fan art depiction of both Captain Sunan and the Duke of Shippening!


Unknown said...

1. Eanrin also found Asha, in Starflower. Unlike Rosie, he found it when he had been wandering death's realm for some time, and I think he needed it more. He came a lot closer to temptation than Rosie did. Similarly, he recognized it from the stories and used it to light his way.
2. Three cheers for Rosie! In that scene you could see how beautiful she was, even with her physical veils.
3. I found it sad beyond belief. 1600 years, and he hasn't changed at all.
4. When Rosie said, "I hate nobody."
My question is... what originally caused or inspired you to create the tale of Etanun, Akilun, Halisa, and Asha?

Sarah Pennington said...

1. Alistair, in Dragonwitch, found the Asha Lantern. Like Rose Red, he had ventured into the Netherworld in search of someone- someone he doesn't especially like. Like Rose Red, finding the person means losing something precious to him. But like Rose Red, he does his duty all the same.
2. Good. Even though she obviously sees the Wolf Lord for who he is, she tries to help him.
3. Both, especially having read Starflower.
4. "If I only ever did for them what deserved it, I'd have little enough to do."

The bit about the Dragon's eye reminded me of the Eye of Sauron.

Anonymous said...

3. I found the scene with the Wolf Lord both sad and frightening. The Wolf Lord is one of my favorite villains, because he never thought himself evil. Villains rarely do. (Except the Dragon. He excepts and relishes the fact, which is awesome). He thought that he was somewhat justified in what he was doing, even though he totally was not. In the scene, I don't think he was just lying to Rosie when he said he loved the people of Southlands. He was lying to himself as well. It was sad, but scary, because he is a delightful villain!

Question: In Moonblood (SPOILER) Lionheart is talking about paths and quests, and Eanrin says, "That is a quest. Not a path. Don't confuse the two." Or something like that. It also says he looked sad or something while saying that. That was also right after Sun Eagle's phantom wafted past them and gave Lionheart the rope. Please tell me, with all the hints your dropping, was that foreshadowing for Shadow Hand, or some other book?

Hannah said...

1. Beana finds the lantern, Anahid sees the lantern but doesn't take it, Lionheart sees the lantern but doesn't take it, Eanrin finds the lantern, and the Chronicler finds the lantern. I'm drawn most to the similarity of the Chronicler and Rosie. Both social rejects, both disguised royalty...

2. I think it was very sweet that she tried to help, though quite dangerous to herself.

3. Very, very, very sad. Your portrayal of him was perfect. This is a funny thing I noticed. In this book, I was very sympathetic for the Wolf Lord. In his actual story, I wasn't sorry for the beast at all. When we meet the Dragonwitch in the Netherworld, I wasn't sorry for her. But when I read her actual story I was sobbing for her redemption (though I had the uncomfortable knowledge that she ends up in the Netherworld floating around in the back of my head).

Anonymous said...

1. I don't remember who else walked the path.

2. I think it's a good revelation. It might reveal more about her character than what she looks like.

3. Both. It was creepy and sad.

4. "Remember the Name, Rosie." The voice touched Rose Red with more force than a mere memory just as she stepped through the doorway. -pg. 251

"You hate her." "I hate nobody." "Dislike her thoroughly then" -pg. 260



What would you name the Parts of the book if you could?

In Chapter 1 of Part 4 it says the Duchy of Shippening, is this a typo?

What colors do you see Daylily wearing? Redheads tend to wear colors that match their hair.

The sylph granted a wish to Leo, but never gave one. Will we see the sylph and Leo's wish in another book?

In the last post you said something about the Duke of Shippening's guest. Did you mean the two characters met before? Does this book take place before Heartless, even though there is a crossover?

How did you come up with Fireword for a sword name?

Ruth said...

3.Both. But mostly sad.
4."I...I'll give you one my gloves
The wolf Lord growled,deep in the back of his throat.It was like a chuckle but harsher. "You need those, though. Don't you? They are part of mask with witch you shield yourself. Can you bear to strip even one away?"
Closing her eyes, Rose Red removed one her ragged gloves. She toke the damaged one from the hand she
had burned when she slapped the Dragon. "Take it," she said "But I cain't give the lantern."
The Wolf Lord sighed then. "No, I did not think that you would. I am
beyond the aid of its light, for I am dead." With a flash of white teeth, he darted forward and snapped the glove out of Rosie's hand. I vanished.
"Very well, he said you continue this suicide. But don't tell anyone that I, the first god of the South Lands, never warned you."

Anonymous said...

1. Alistair and Eanrin both traveled the Netherworld. Eanrin was the most similar to Rosie's. He was tempted much more than Rosie and almost became a dragon. Perhaps it was harder for him because he didn't deal with the Dragon for so long beforehand.

2. It shows she has compassion even for her enemies.

3. Personally, I found it more sad than creepy.

Have you ever seen Tammy and the Banchelor? (It's an old movie) I saw the movie again recently and it reminded me of a few characters from Veiled Rose. Pete reminded me of Leo, Tammy of Rosie, and Barbara of Daylily. Tammy even had a goat! And lived by herself with her grandfather!

- Heather

Unknown said...

2.I think this reveals a lot about her character - she clearly knows how dangerous a being the Wolf Lord is/was, and still is willing to offer and try to help him in his suffering even at risk to herself.

3. Sad and a bit creepy. Mostly sad though, to see a being that clearly had a major effect in the past so that he is spoken about through the history of the world in a fearful manner, yet he is stuck here in a rather pitiful state that is very unlike what his reputation would have people think of.

4. “Remember the Name, Rosie.”
The voice touched Rose Red with more force than a mere memory just as she stepped through the doorway. She stopped as her hand let go of the supporting door frame and she stood fully in the darkness of that tunnel. She closed her eyes and pictured her goat, her comforter, her friend.

Anna said...

1. Anahid. Well, not very many similarities. Anahid wouldn't take it.

2. It reveals a good heart.

3. In this scene, I felt very sad for the Wolf Lord. Then, in Starflower, I didn't like him very much. :)

Meredith said...

3. I found this scene to be very sad, but I definitely got chills when he takes her glove. It's so interesting to me how both the Wolf Lord and the Dragonwitch still try to justify themselves even in their deaths. They are both pathetic yet still so selfish. They both desperately plead with Rose Red to go back, so it's an insightful picture of Hell. I think of Luke 16, the account of the rich man and Lazarus. So very chilling.

4. Lines: "You're no better than the Dragon. You want me for yourself."
I want you for yourself. To become what you were meant to be before the worlds began. Everything that this Death-In-Life has prevented you from becoming. (The whole conversation between Rosie and her "Imaginary Friend" is phenomenal).