think Fidel's reaction to Una's story is pretty understandable. I mean, I can't
imagine I would feel any better about it if my child told me that the court
jester claims to be a prince and got her to promise him her trust. Not to
mention giving away her priceless opal ring like that!
Fidel is surprisingly understanding, I think. He does tell her that Lionheart
proves sincere, he will accept him gladly. He simply doesn't want Una to give
her trust--her heart--away so easily.
Una is quite determined the Lionheart is who he has said he is. She wants to believe him. And who's to blame
her? I want to believe him myself!
Felix's age. Well! I'd
forgotten that Felix turns fourteen here in the book. Someone asked earlier how
old he was, and I said about fifteen, but I was wrong. He turns fourteen in
this novel, which means he's probably fifteen by Moonblood, which is where I was pulling that age from. My bad!
Monster. Una's pet has been
a bit quiet in the last few chapters. But we continue to get references to him
here and there. He's close by, watching over her, even while Aethelbald is
away. I'm sure it was frustrating for him, watching his mistress give away her
heart to the jester while she continues to refuse the Prince! But Monster
remains loyal no matter what.
Una's dream. Once more Una
dreams a harsh dream. This time, it flashes quickly across her mind, the face
of the evil, death-faced man. and she hears voice saying, 'It's yours! Take
that she wakes up. But the burns on her hands remain sharp and painful, and
they do not fade the next day. Even Nurse notices them and thinks Una was
grabbing the fire irons.
Alone in the
shuts the door in poor Monster's face as she hastens out to the Wood on her own
that cold evening. Winter is coming, and Parumvir is far north enough to
promise a very cold winter. I picture it all gray and still, with dark, naked
branches tangled above Una's head as she goes. And her nose is biting with
cold, and her air steams before her face, but she doesn't care! She is so lost
in her own thoughts, worrying about Lionheart, wondering if she will ever see
him again, ready to make herself sick with this obsession.
of me feels, while reading this, "Wow, Una needs another passion.
Something to focus her mind on. Anything to shift her thoughts a little bit!
Surely this obsession over Lionheart isn't healthy!" Well, it probably
isn't. But it's also very relatable. I've been there myself!
briefly believes she sees Lionheart return. She believes he came and asked her
to come with him, now. But though she is ready to fling herself into his arms,
she stops. She wonders if he has done what he said. Did he kill the Dragon?
hasn't. He must admit that he has not succeeded. And he says that she cannot
love him. Una tries to protest, tries to hurry to him.
then she wakes up from this cruel dream.
wakes up, and meets the Dragon.
The Dragon. At this moment,
the whole of Heartless takes such a drastically new turn, it's almost
unbelievable. I remember when I sent the third draft to one of my Beta readers.
He told me how shocked he was by this
sudden turn of events. To go from dreamy-princess-wants-to-get-married to . . .
DRAGONS! FIRE! DESTRUCTION! It's a bit dizzying.
I've always really liked this moment. And really, when you read carefully, you
see that everything has been leading up to it. Even the dream she just had
about Leonard . . . I'll bet you anything the Dragon sent her that dream, just
to torment her!
now, the story begins to steamroller at a frightening pace. Are you ready to
keep up with it?
was burrowed somewhere deep, a furry lump at her feet, as near to the bed
warmer as he could safely sleep. (p. 166) Such
a cat. LOL.
pretended she slept but couldn't fool herself. Her nose was frozen, but Una was
too tired and too cold to lift the blankets to cover it, so she pretended it
wasn't cold and failed at that as well. She wondered if the faerie-tale
princesses who fell into enchanted sleeps felt like this as they lay for a
hundred years, frozen in time. How boring it must be for them after a decade or
two. (p. 166) After Starflower, this makes me laugh particularly!
placed himself in her lap and started grooming with all the care of a dandy.
(p. 167) Oh, Monster. How we love you.
Questions on the
1. Una says the
trust is believing without seeing. Fidel says trust is knowing the truth and
believing in that. Who do you think is right? Or do you have another
perspective neither of these two saw?
2. Have you ever
been so upset about something that it consumed your thoughts to the extent
Una's thoughts are consumed? I really relate to this bit with her, because I
have felt this way many times over. So hard to focus on anything else, and so
impossible to get that recurring thought out of your brain, even when you know it should go!
3. So, initial
thoughts . . . What about that Dragon?!?!?