Oh, my goodness! We are almost done now! Just today and tomorrow left . . . .
I'll be picking the winner of the Grand Prize giveaway tomorrow evening, so be certain to leave your comments just to make certain your name is entered. You could win Veiled Rose, Moonblood and Starflower!
Better late than
I said in the previous book, these last two chapters of resolution didn't come
until a much later draft of the novel. It's just so hard after all that drama and tension to then start letting
ended up starting the chapter with Fidel and Felix because I felt like it would
be easier to look at resolution through their eyes rather than Una's. There are
just too many emotions to deal with in Una following her transformation,
salvation, and that final epic battle! Maybe I was a bit of a coward to do it
this way . . . and maybe, as a more experienced writer now, I would have been
able to tackle this bit from Una's perspective. But the writer-me of years ago
certainly found it far too intimidating.
face it: we all like getting back to Felix anyway.
Monster's back. Well there you are, dragon-eaten cat! Where
were you when all the action was taking place?
here he is, purring and rubbing around Felix's ankles as though nothing had
happened. Silly beast. But who knows, maybe he was involved in some part of all
the drama of which we are unaware? Maybe there was something going on with some
of the soldiers of Shippening . . .
Running down the
love this moment when Felix, catching sight of his sister--whom, you realize,
he might have believed was killed--yelps and goes racing down the hill into her
arms. Yes, the squabble and fight. They're siblings! But they really do love
each other. All of these adventures have only strengthened the love between
these two. I think this is a really touching little scene . . . I might have
even teared-up a bit (but shhhh. Don’t tell).
I will return
for you. Aethelbald
leads the family into the Wood and guides them by Faerie paths across miles and
leagues. At last, they emerge at the coastal city of Glencrocus, where they are
greeted with much joy by the people of that city.
there, before they are overwhelmed by the crowds, Aethelbald quietly tells Una
that he must go. He has others he must look after, his own servants and those
of her father. But he promises that he will return for Una. And he asks,
"Will you wait for me?"
crowd parts them before she can speak, but I'm sure he saw everything he needed
in her smile.
Nurse! After many,
many, many chapters without her,
Nurse finally appears again, well and whole, delighted to be reunited with her
dear princess! Hoorah! And, of course, she has to disguise her joy by telling
Una what a mess she is and immediately falling into her usual, fussy ways.
sigh.* I do like the ends of books, so full of meetings and greetings and
reunions. I don't like writing them
particularly, but they are fun to read!
Felix and Una. While awaiting
Aethelbald's return, Una and Felix spend a good bit of time together. I think
they know that things will never be the same as they were. They'll never be as
close, playing their games, teasing their tutor, running away to the old
bridge. They've both grown up a lot, Una especially.
they know that she is going to marry and move on, never to return. Never to be
the sweet, young, immature Princess of Parumvir that she was.
a bittersweet time in a way. The fact is, you can't want everything to stay the same. It's not healthy. We have to move
and grow and learn how to love each other in new ways along the paths of our
lives. But it's hard not be wish--just a little
bit--that things could go on the way they always have.
think that's what this scene is about, between Una and her brother. But they
love each other better now than they did before. And ultimately, their love
will go on growing.
he does, he brings with him a certain treasure found in the ruins of Oriana:
Una's opal ring, the gift from her mother.
Una makes the wisest choice she's made through this entire novel. She says to
Prince Aethelbald, "I would be . . .
I think I should like you to keep it. If you would."
we know they're definitely going to
get married now!!!
to think about it." I liked having Una say, "I'll have to think
about it" when Aethelbald proposes to her for the second time. It makes me
laugh, because it's so obvious to
everyone that she is absolutely ready and willing to marry him! And Felix rolls
his eyes, because he knows too . . . he knows
Una is just being a pill and tease.
editors almost took this little bit out, however. In fact, in the advance reader
copies of Heartless, this little
"I'll have to think about it" section isn't included. They thought it
distracted from the romance of the scene. But I asked them to put it back. I
like a little laugh along with my romance!
now, there's nothing but a wedding left . . . .
Una, her father, and her brother were too full of joy after their bitter
separation to consider the fragility of their position. They clung to each
other and laughed and cried and interrupted each other and laughed and cried
some more. When at last Prince Aethelbald asked them to follow him into the
Wood, they did so without question, still laughing, still crying, and saying
words very little worth hearing save for the glad voices in which they were
never once let go of Una's hand. (p. 356)
"Are you going to marry Aethelbald?" Felix asked . . .
Aethelbald?" Una said with something like a smile. "I don't
snort at me, Felix. It's not seemly." (p. 358)
Questions on the
1. What do you
think it means when Una tells Aethelbald to keep her ring?
2. Any favorite
It's so sad to be coming to an end of the read-along. It's been a lot of fun seeing how much work goes into a book, and how little things you may not always notice actually have a lot of meaning!
1)When Una tells Aethelbald to keep her ring, I think it shows how much she trusts and loves him. The ring is the symbol of her heart, and that she would willingly give it to Aethelbald shows that she's ready to marry him and follow him wherever he goes. And I think it also shows how much she realizes its value as well--she's not just throwing it off on someone she hardly knows. She's offering it to the man who has shown how trustworthy he is and how much he values her heart. It's finally in the right hands! :D
About Una: Is there any possible way we will see her in the future--a short story perhaps, or a glimpse in a future novel? She's such a great character, and I love her at the end so much! I'd love to see what her new-found wisdom and stateliness could bring to the world. I love seeing characters grow, and I want to see more of grown-up Una! :)
1. Ms. Beka answers this question beautifully.
2. The whole scene with Una and Felix. He's so much like my own brother, seemingly unsentimental yet with a kind and loving heart. No, he didn't bribe me into saying this! Ha!
I've loved every minute of this read-along and hope that one day you might consider doing one over another book in the series. I, too, wonder if Una might make an appearance in a later book. I loved several of the fan fiction stories that featured her. God bless.
Sorry. Also loved the line where it is stated that Una never wanted fires to be lit in her room. Totally understandable!
Ergh I meant to comment earlier but it messed up a little and wouldn't publish it.
1. As in my previous answer, I love the way Beka put it. Its exactly what I thought put into more beautiful words. :)
2. I also like the line you put down, when Felix asks Una if she'll marry Aethelbald. I mean, it's so obvious, so her "I don't know" and Felix's snort made me laugh. :)
1. I think it means Una trusts Aethelbald.
2. "Why is this fool cat sitting in my lap and not yours?" Felix pushed Monster from his knee, crossed his legs, and folded his arms across his chest. Monster meowed irritably and started grooming a paw. "Una," Felix said without bothering to soften the scowl on his face. "Yes?" "I'll miss you when you're gone. A little." Una reached across and took her brother's hand, sqeezing gently and smiling at his refusal to meet her gaze. "I love you too, Felix."
I think that giving the ring to Athelbald is about trust? She trusts him now so he gets to keep the ring that she first gave to Lionheart as a symbol of trust?
1. Beka pretty much wrote what I was going to say.
2. Though the weather was somewhat cold, Una discovered that she did not like to order a fire in her rooms but preferred to wrap up in blankets. Felix and Monster complained noisily at this, but she was immovable. (pg. 358)
I also like the part where Felix mutters, "Applebald!"
1. She's finally given him her heart!
Haha, I went to look up opals on Wikipedia, just for the fun of it, and their historical background is pretty interesting... In the Middle Ages, they were supposed to have the power of invisibility and were good luck charms. When Sir Walter Scott wrote about a duchess who died after holy water was dropped on her opal ring, the market for opal dropped by 50%, and they began to be associated with bad luck. Not very cheerful, or even related to "Heartless" (I like the idea that Una's heart is symbolized by the opal ring), but it was interesting, all the same. :)
Yes, this read along has been awesome. I've enjoyed the behind the scenes snip-its, and such.
1. She has given him her heart.
Love all the lines. ha! :-)
This was such a satisfying chapter. And it was nice to see Monster again. Where was that cat? Maybe they'll be an explanation in a Fan Fiction story or something.
1. The ring represented Una's heart through the novel. But when she gave it to Lionheart she really didn't know just how much it was worth. But now, after she'd lost both the ring and her heart, they far more important to her. So Una giving her ring now is even more significant.
"Felix and Monster complained loudly at nosiily, but she was immoveable."
1) The ring symbolizes her heart - Her heart is his.
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