Saturday, December 15, 2012

Read-along: Chapter 14


A likely story. Una is, understandably, pretty incredulous of Leonard's revelation. The jester? A prince? Um . . . right.

But 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 scrubber."

Una 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!

Leonard's Story. There are a number of interesting little tidbits to be gleaned from Leonard/Lionheart's account of his adventures these last five years.

For 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 . . . 

But 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.

We 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.

And 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?

An almost-confession. At 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!

But he doesn't actually say the words.

Instead, he asks, "Will you trust me?"

And 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.

But 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.

Yes, 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 heroines!

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!

Miscommunication. One 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.

It 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 that went!

My Personal Favorite Lines

"So what must I do to prove myself? Cut my arm and show you how blue my blood is?" (p. 153)

"Whatever your grievance may be, I hope--"
"That daughter of yours!"
"Whatever her name is!" (p. 159)

"You know that I cannot enter into a betrothal without your blessing."
"And 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)

Questions for the text:

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?


Beka said...

1) I didn't like Lionheart in this scene; I didn't like how Una was so very trusting of him, but he wouldn't say outright that he loved her. He seemed to keep dodging the issue, really.

2) Sigh. Poor Una. She was far too trusting, and given what happens next I think she needs boatloads of chocolate.

3)"Whatever your grievance may be, I hope--"
"That daughter of yours!"
"Whatever her name is!"

Bookishqueen said...

1) I liked Lionheart but I did not trust him in this book. Not because he tries to be untrustworthy, but because he lacks the courage to keep a promise.

Hannah said...

2. I had already fallen for Leonard, and I wanted so very badly for his Lionheart story to be real. But his evasivness combined with his bluntness rose suspicion in my heart. Once again, I had no idea how this story was going to turn out, since I loved both Leonard and Aethalbald.

3. I can be very emotional some days, and will cry for no reason. Here Una has a reason so I can relate to her. I'm glad she wasn't the super-hot girl that all the super-hot guys fall for.
Funny thing about that. I had a super-hot girl (who also happened to be a tough-as-nails warrior girl) in one of my stories and she didn't even fall for the super-hot guy but married the ordinary guy instead. Ha!

Anna C. said...

1. Lionheart seems much too evasive in this scene for me to believe him... However, his charm easily hides his evasivness, so I can understand why Una would choose to trust him, but if I were in her place, I don't think I'd trust him at all.

Anonymous said...

1. I believed Lionheart's story. He seems truthful and honest. Maybe after some thought, yes I would have trusted him.

2. Yes, Una is relatable in this scene.

3. "What?"

"If not, then whom have we just been discussing?"


Meredith said...

1. I love Lionheart, too, but I greatly disliked him on my first reading of the book. I was so interested in Una's plight, and I remember being angry by Leonard's request that she trust him. I remember thinking, "You don't know him well enough yet", (kind of echoing Fidel's thoughts). I was frankly very shocked when she gave him her ring.
Now, after several rereadings, I do like Lionheart much better thought not in this particular scene. It's not fair for me to judge his actions since there was so much going on, but just based on Heartless alone, I always was frustrated by his character. Now, of course, I like him very much.

2. I loved Una in this scene although I've never really been that enamored of anyone yet. Chocolate always helps.

3. Lines: "Nurse, isn't it a beautiful world"?
The whole exchange between the duke and Fidel.

Jennette said...

1. Since I've only journeyed with Lionheart as far as Heartless, I can't say that I like him much. I wanted to believe him, but he was evasive & shady. I believe his story, but he skipped around certain facts and assured Una, the lady was just friend, when she wasn't. I think there were enough incidents that left me suspicious of him, but yet hoping I was wrong. Yet, I see within him a conflicted man, especially when we get further into the story. I can't wait to read Veiled Rose and learn more about him.

2. Amusing, yes. Slightly relate-able but in a whole different context. Definitely needs chocolate. :-)

3. Love Una's exchange with the Nurse, about how beautiful the world is, then it isn't in the next sentence or two. And Nurse's exchange with the father.

Anonymous said...

1. I believed he was who he said he was. Yet since I knew who Aethtelbald represents I didn't trust him. Though I did take pity on him once I understood more of his story.

2. I thought it was hilarious. Unrelatable in some ways but I think everyones been there, whether for "noble suffering" or something else. And yes, Una probably could use some chocolate.

3. I liked the entire scene through page 158 to 162

Q. I was wondering, though this has to do with Veiled Rose. What happened to the ring Lionheart gave to Rose Red to show that she was in his service when he was about to leave to his exile? I'm just curious, and I completely understand if you did not wish to answer. Thank you so much.


Courtney said...

I am sorry! I am sending this at 1:52AM on Sunday so I don't know if you will take it. =(

1.I think I remember believing his story. I don't remember if I still trusted him fully though. I wanted them to be together at that time so maybe...He really does seam earnest. He is very determined to do what he thinks is right... It is a desirable quality, if you know what is right.

Camryn Lockhart said...

#1 - If someone came to me and told me, "Hey, I'm not actually a jester, I'm a prince. In fact, I'm the rumored-to-be-dead prince of Southlands and I'm learning to kill the dragon. Will you believe me?", I wouldn't believe them. I was suspicious at first of Lionheart. Once Una trusted him, I thought, 'Alright, if she trusts him, it must be a part of the story.' ;)

#2 - Definitely in need of some chocolate. :)

#3 - "I am so glad you feel that way, Father, even if he is poor. But I just know he will succeed and regain his power! You will be proud, though not nearly so proud as I!"
Fidel's frown returned. "One moment. Regain his power? He had not lost it, last I knew. What rumors have you been listening to, child?"
"I know only what he himself told me. I trust his word."
"We are speaking of Prince Aethelbald, are we not?"
"Aethelbald?" Una blinked. "Aethelbald!" The corner of her mouth curled.
"If not, then whom have we just been discussing?" Fidel asked.
"Why, Prince Lionheart of Southlands, of course. Leonard, Father. The jester?" (p. 162)

Rebekah said...

1)I believed him. And yet there was that feeling of wanting to be cautious about him....

2) Needs some chocolate, definately.

3) I love the whole scene with Una and Fidel talking about different guys with out knowing it, and I love the Duke mentioning he was asking abou the dowery as soon as he proposed. Ha! Odious!