And in the meanwhile, we may continue with our adventure!
Sorceress in the mountains: Poor Rose Red sits on the steps of the baron’s great house, unaware of the talk going on around her. Or perhaps she isn’t unaware, but chooses to ignore it as best she can (though the text does say she’s oblivious, so maybe she is. How reliable is this narrator anyway? LOL). But there are whispers of bewitchment and sorcery, such as we have heard before.
Whispers that will only grow louder with time. And yet all our sweet Rosie wants to do is serve her master to the best of her abilities!
The baron’s reversal: Rather to everyone’s surprise (well, perhaps not to our surprise so much, since we know what villains are), the Baron of Middlecrescent immediately goes back on his promise to Leo. Or did he really? Looking back at the previous chapter, I see no moment when the baron himself agrees to anything.
And I see a lot of disapproval of Leo’s choice to leave. Perhaps in the baron’s mind, Leo has given up all rights to rule or command now that he has chosen to abandon Southlands. The baron is not one to bow to any authority, after all, not even to the authority of Eldest Hawkeye himself, though the baron does pay the king appropriate lip service. But Leo he has never liked. More than that, he has never respected the crown prince.
And he certainly doesn’t respect the strange little veiled chambermaid who seems to command so much of the prince’s favor.
An unlikely ally: Daylily proves herself unpredictable yet again when she attempts to defend Rose Red . . . even against her father’s express order not to speak! Daylily has been bending over backwards to please her father throughout this book, and yet right here—defending someone she doesn’t even like and whom, I believe, she views as a rival—she stands up to him. Fiercely even.
Can you really dislike Daylily so completely? Is she really nothing more than the Other Woman?
What’s really frightening, however, is that Daylily uses the authority of the Dragon to save Rose Red’s life. And it works. The baron may not be willing to bow to Lionheart’s command or even to completely be ruled by the Eldest. But he will not counter the Dragon’s wishes.
A Beating: I wonder if the baron’s men really would have been able to kill Rose Red even if they’d tried. Probably, but there’s no guarantee. I think she could be killed by hanging, since that would snap her neck. But she is really tough, and obviously not of this world. Would they have been able to harm her with their weapons?
Perhaps if the weapons were iron. After all, Faeries never react well to iron . . .
As it is, they try beat her, kicking her with their steel-toed boots, which should have broken her ribs. But Rose Red simply curls up and takes the blows, and they do not harm her. Not her body, anyway.
And notice how she snaps the bindings on her wrists without a thought. I wonder what kind of damage she could have done to those guards? I wonder if the thought ever even crossed her mind . . .
My fault: As Rose Red sits in desolation on the roadside, she consider that this is all her fault, this terrible situation with the Dragon. He had warned her, after all. She hadn’t believe he was real—not really real. But he had warned her. If she had obeyed him, she could have prevented all of this.
The Name: Names are an ongoing important theme in my series. In Heartless, Prince Aethelbald’s name is part of the reason Una finds it difficult to take him seriously (and really, who can blame her? Although it does mean Noble and Bold, which are both good descriptions of the Prince of Farthestshore). Also, when Una (SPOILERS!) becomes a dragon, she loses her name for a time and is referred to simply as “the young dragon” or even “the dragon princess.” But when Aethelbald calls her “Una,” she lashes out in response.
Here in Veiled Rose, the name theme becomes even more overt. Rose Red is given the name Eshkhan to call out in great need. There are other name-themes in this book as well, overt and subtle.
As the series progresses, names continue to be very important for a variety of reasons. Perhaps they are most important in Starflower, where my heroine must speak the Wolf Lord’s true name before she can defeat him. But the theme crops up in all of the stories in one form or another.
“I ain’t going to be so foolish.” Despite the power of the name at her disposal, Rose Red chooses not to call it but to continue on in her own strength. And she is a strong little thing, no doubt. Physically, she is a match for most any man, and spiritually she is full of endurance and courage.
But are any of these strengths enough to match the Dragon?
M’lady: Once more Daylily surprises us by defying her father and riding across the countryside in pursuit of Rose Red. And she declares that she will go with Rose Red and help her as she can. When Rose Red protests, trying to convince Daylily to turn around, Daylily responds, “Do you honestly believe I have so weak a will?”
But again, what is a strong mortal will against the likes of the Dragon and his poisons?
Freedom: As Lionheart makes his escape out of Southlands—trekking up through the mountain range known as the Circle of Faces—we again get a momentary glimpses into his heart of hearts. We know what he longs for more than anything.
But he is not free. He is marching into exile, not liberty. And he must return one day. He must find a way to kill the Dragon and set his people free.
And yet, he cannot help thrilling at the notion of escape. Of leaving behind his princely self and becoming whatever he might wish to in the lands beyond his captured kingdom. What a tempting dream . . .
Questions on the text:
1. Considering how tough Rose Red is physically, what sort of Faerie do you think she might be (or did you think she might be, depending on if you’ve read this book already)?
2. How is Daylily comparing to traditional Other Women in fiction for you? Does she fit the part comfortably enough, or are you able to see her in possible other lights?
3. Considering Rose Red could have prevented all the terrible things happening in Southlands, do you think she was wrong not to return to the mountain like the Dragon said?
4. There are several instance of name-themes going on in Veiled Rose besides the Name Rose Red given to call in great need. What are some of the other instances you see? Do you see how they connect to name-themes in other stories?
5. Any favorite lines in this chapter?
CajunHuntress wants to know: "Why is your series called the Tales of Goldstone Wood? How did you come up with the name?"
Goldstone Wood is one of the names of the name of the Wood Between, and it was a little easier to say than Tales of the Wood Between, or so I thought at the time. I realized after the series title had already been finalized that most of the stories take place before the Wood Between was even called Goldstone Wood . . . so that's bit awkward. Oh, well.
The wood gets its name from the Gold Stone to which the Dragon was bound for a thousand years of sleep (as referenced in the first three books).
CajunHuntress also wants to know: "I was wondering in what capacity do you work for Rooglewood Press? Is that your publishing company?"
I am the primary editor and designer for Rooglewood Press, which is my small indie press. Just launched in mid 2013. :)
Sarah wants to know: "Question: how do you come up with the names of your characters and places, particularly the Faerie characters and places? Southland and the names of its people are pretty obvious, but not the others."
A variety of ways. Many of the Faerie names are based on the half-invented language I've mentioned a few times before. "Imraldera" is one such name. Her name literally translates Star (imral) Flower (dera). All the Rudioban names are Gaelic, and all the goblin names are Armenian. All the Parumvir names are Latin-based (for the most part), all the Beauclair names French-based . . . you get the picture. I very rarely "make up" names, but mostly draw from our world. Imraldera, Etanun, and Akilun are some of the few that were "made up," again, based on the Faerie language.
Heather wants to know: "Who did Lionheart see?"
I think he saw Rose Red. (SPOILERS) At the end of Moonblood, when Rose Red is finally unveiled by the Prince of Farthestshore, she is described as having golden skin and silver eyes. So Lionheart very likely saw her true face, behind all the various layers of veils that shroud her, rendered visible during that vulnerable moment between pain and healing.