Sunday, January 5, 2014

VEILED ROSE Read-Along: Chapter 11, Part Four

We are getting so close to the end of this book now! It makes me a little sad and a little relieved, I won't lie. I love being able to share like this with all of you, to read your insights and observations. But finding the time to write up these posts is getting a bit difficult! I keep meaning to write up a "Doings at Rooglewood" post for this month, but every time I start trying to list all of the things I need to do in the next few weeks . . . I choke. There's just too much.

So I won't list them, I'll just do them, and I think I might be able to handle it all a little better! Hopefully I'll be able to jump back into regular "Doings at Rooglewood" posts again next month.

Anyway, we still have a few days of read-along left, so I hope all of you will continue with me to the end.

Whoops! Almost forgot! Here is the name of this week's winner:


Well done! And what perfect timing, since you just submitted the lovely fan art below! Please email me ( with your mailing address, and I'll get your prize in the mail. (I still haven't mailed two of the other prizes too, so I promise all of you who are patiently waiting that I'll get your copies of Veiled Rose to you this next week.)

Chapter 11

Those monsters were never supposed to be real. Here is another one of the major themes of Veiled Rose, captured in a nutshell. And it definitely illustrates all over again the hidden truth’s of Lionheart’s soul. The monsters were never meant to be real . . . but his courage and heroics were. Yet as the story progresses, Lionheart is beginning to realize which was the truth and which was the fiction. It’s not the reality he would like to face, however, so he continues to deceive himself. He continues to tell himself that somehow, someday, he will be the hero.

Only now, he believes being the hero means somehow taking that precious ring from a sweet, naïve young lady.

The ring: Again, it’s so much more interesting to me reading these scenes in the context of more recent stories . . . specifically Golden Daughter, in which you, my dear readers, will learn some of the history and significance of Una’s ring. It means much, much more than either Heartless or Veiled Rose ever reveal!

Have I mentioned to the two-fold inspiration behind this ring yet? I think I did back in the Heartless read-along, but I don’t believe I’ve talked about it yet in this one. So I’ll mention it now . . .

I needed to give Una some physical symbol of her heart. Something she could give away that would represent what she was truly giving. So I made it a ring. And then it expanded from there. I chose to make it an opal ring in a literary nod to George MacDonald and The Princess and the Goblin. In that story, Princess Irene is given an opal ring by her great-great-great grandmother, a ring which also boasts some interesting allegorical significance (though not the same allegorical significance for which I used it). I made my ring a cluster of opals because of a lovely opal ring my grandmother gave me years back, which looks like this.

Since then, I have been very pleased with the opal-cluster concept, since it fits that much more naturally into the newly-developed history behind the ring. A history that fits so perfectly (I think), that I am sometimes surprised I didn’t know it from the beginning! But many aspects of this world has surprised me the same way . . . as though it’s all right there, waiting for me, and I simply have to dig down to find it.

The old bridge: The old bridge features in Heartless as well, and all of the characters are very carefully warned never to cross over it. That is a mystery that remains unexplained through both Heartless and Veiled Rose . . . but keep reading! Moonblood may just have some answers for you.

As to the origin of the old bridge, well, that you’ll have to wait for a little bit longer. But I think you might be getting your answers as of Book 9. I just need to write Book 8 first!

Another new look at an old scene: The scene between Una and Leonard down by the old bridge featured in Heartless as well. However, in Heartless we viewed the scene entirely from Una’s perspective . . . and here, we are seeing it entirely from Lionheart’s.

We realize now that there was a surprising amount of menace in this scene of which Una was entirely unaware! She had no idea how desperately Lionheart wanted to take her ring, even by force. She had no idea how strong were the urgings whispering in his head, telling him to take what he must, telling him to possess his dream.

Again, I think this is further prove that, immature though they might be, Lionheart’s feelings for Una were genuine. Were he simply using her or even just casually interested, I think he would have succumbed to the Lady’s urgings much more quickly. He would not have been able to control himself . . . to wait until Una was ready to offer the ring of her own accord.

The duke returns: Another new little development is our insiders’ knowledge that Lionheart and the Duke of Shippening have met before. Definitely changes our whole perspective on the scene of Lionheart’s song . . . reemphasizing our hero’s brashness. I mean, does he really think the duke won’t recognize the jester’s costume? Or the man who freed his Faerie slave?

The declaration: Again, we get to see Lionheart’s declaration of his true identity, now from his perspective. It was definitely interesting trying to find ways to make this scene feel fresh! But I like some of the lines in it, such as: “A Fool? Try idiot instead!”

But it’s all or nothing for our hero now . . .

Questions on the Text:

1. For readers of Heartless, how did you enjoy reading this chapter, comparing it to the original scenes from Una’s perspective? Did add some depth of drama that perhaps made Heartless more interesting as well?

2. Do you have any speculations about the history of Una’s opal ring and what might be revealed about it in Golden Daughter?

3. Any favorite lines?

Fan Art:

Christa has painted a wonderful watercolor to go along with the ending of today's chapter! I hope you will all enjoy it as much as I do:

By Christa

Allison wants to know: "Will any future books take place within the same time frame or context of other books, as Veiled Rose does of Heartless?"

I suppose Goddess Tithe does that since it takes place within Veiled Rose. But I don't have any current plans to do other novels that overlap like Veiled Rose and Heartless do. I may write some novellas that overlap--I have plans for a novella that will overlap with the opening Golden Daughter, for instance.

But we'll see! The series is still growing, and there are always so many stories-within-stories going on here. It's certainly possible that I'll do something like this again. And possibly do it better, now that I have more experience!

Allison also wants to know: "Also, almost completely off topic, would Leonard be pronounced phonetically or like Lin-erd?"

I've always pronounced it "Leh-nard," which is, I believe the typical pronunciation of that name. Though I suppose "Lee-oh-nard" would also make sense.

Allison thirdly wants to know: "The role of Lady Life in Death very much reminded me of the witches in Macbeth. To echo the frequent argument about Macbeth, to what extent do you believe the Lady influenced Leo's actions?"

The Lady preys on Lionheart's natural inclinations and instincts. She doesn't change who he is, but she makes use of who he is. Whether or not he would have done differently without her influence . . . that's difficult to say. He would still be himself, after all. But perhaps with an alternate, more beneficent influence, his natural instincts could have been better directed. But without any influence at all . . . who could say what his choice would have been? I do not believe the Lady motivated Leo to make any choices that were outside of his natural character or inclinations, however.

Caitlyn wants to know: "How did you come up with the name Monster for the cat?"

My family has a tradition of doing "M" names for our cats. The current Rooglewood cats include Minerva, Marmaduke, Monster, Magrat, Makoose, (Milly the "big kitty" who's really a dog), and our outdoor kitty, Mutti-cat. So an "M" name was almost an instinctual choice for me. I didn't even think about it!

In the original version of Heartless, Monster was not Eanrin, but just an ordinary black cat. Or, rather, not so ordinary. There were hints along the way that he may or may not be sentient, even magical. So I liked calling him "Monster," which implied possibilities without anything being overtly stated. When I decided to bring Eanrin into that book during a later draft, he still needed a "pet" name, since neither Una nor Felix were aware of his Faerie-nature. So I kept "Monster," which worked in nicely.

Sarah wants to know: "Can I ask a quick question about Starflower? Ever since I read it, I've wondered if the prince in ChuMana's demesne was possibly Prince Gervais. Is he?"

Maybe . . . ;) But I really can't say for certain.

Allison wants to know: "Was your choice of the name Daylily at all symbolic? Daylilies, called the perfect perennials, are, despite their dazzling color, quite hardy, resistant to droughts and require little to no care. Kind of interesting."

I confess, Daylily was given her name simply because I liked the name Daylily. In fact, I almost named Rose Red "Daylily," though once the rose theme began to develop, I made the switch.

Allison also wants to know: "Also, would you say Daylily is more like Rose Red or Una?"

Well, her reactions to the dragon poison is much more like Una, since she and Una are both mortal. But her veiling of her true self is much more like Rose Red . . . Una is very open and honest about who she is, to a fault even! Having written Daylily as the protagonist of Book 6, I have trouble thinking of her as being particularly like either girls now, though. She is such a distinct character on her own, and I really love her for who she is.

Allison also wants to know: "Also also, what day is Shadow Hand released? Amazon has gone from January 28 to March 3. Bleh."

Oh, I know! I'm really not entirely certain anymore, I won't lie. I know the print copy has been pushed back until March, though the preorders will likely be going out to readers sooner than that. As for the ebook version, I really don't know! It could be much sooner . . . but it might not realize until March either. I have no control over release dates, though, so I can only feel sad when it gets changed up, not actually do anything about it.


Meredith said...

2. Perhaps the ring is a gift given by Captain Sunan to one of Una's ancestors. Maybe the ring is Faerie-made or a gift from Farthestshore. So interesting to speculate.

I'll be praying for all your endeavors. Please be careful not to wear yourself out. God bless.

Unknown said...

1. I read 'Veiled Rose' before I read 'Heartless,' so I think reading about Una in 'Heartless' came as a bit of a shock. But it almost made it more enjoyable, because I knew that she was at heart a good person, even if she didn't show her flaws easily.

2. My theory on the ring is that Una's heart is not the first it represented. It is clearly some sort of magic ring (I use the term magic loosely; rather, it is not your ordinary ring), but I'm not sure it's faerie-made. I rather like to think the Prince had something to do with its construction.

3. 'But he hated the Lady more.'

'"If I were not a Fool, do you think I could be brave?"'

'"You find yourself lost without your dream."'

Did any of Leo's reasons behind his choices-- such as why he did not take Una's ring by force-- surprise you as you wrote 'Veiled Rose'?

If any of Leo's choices did surprise you, did you have any difficulties in preserving the dialogue from 'Heartless' but still being in character for Leo's identity in 'Veiled Rose'
Thank you for doing the chapter read-through! It's really enjoyable. : )

Hannah said...

Gasp, what lovely fan art! It's quite breath-taking!

1. It was very interesting to see the difference of inner conflict.

2. Hmm, I'm delighted to hear that the ring has a hidden depth. It's so cool that it was there without you knowing. I have to wonder if Una's ring and the ring in Sunan's picture of the mysterious woman are related.

Thank you so much, Anne Elisabeth, for all the time you give us!

Molly said...

That is such a pretty ring.

1. I loved that I could recognize scenes from Heartless. In Heartless, when Una goes to the Southlands to find Lionheart, I had wondered what Lionheart's thoughts were when he saw Una in the crowd. I was so ecstatic to get things from his point of view as well.

2. I'm pretty sure the ring's past is going to be revealed in Golden Daughter (just guessing of course). I feel like it may have been through a lot more than we realize...

Unknown said...

Also, would you mind if I made a Wikipedia page for you? I know computer programming, so it won't be a problem. I just want to make sure you don't have a particular reason for not wanting it.

Sarah Pennington said...

1. I loved reading the scenes that were also in Heartless; it's interesting to get a different perspective on them and find out what we missed.
3. "You appeared so set on your path, I feared if I didn't speak up, you might walk right on into the stream and drown without noticing."
"Without noticing you or without noticing drowning."
"Both, probably."

"Don't be silly."
"Can't be helped. It's my job."

"I may be only a Fool, but even a Fool must see his duty, and when he sees it, he must follow through. What else can he do and still consider himself a man?"

"If I were not a Fool, do you think I could be brave?"

I can't help but wonder if Leonard ever realizes how close he is to the truth in those lines . . . or if he ever, after the events of Moonblood, thought back on them and realized how prophetic they were, in a way.

Also, thanks for answering my question.

Anonymous said...

1. I liked it. It was interesting seeing it from Leonard's perspective since he came so late in Heartless. The first time I read it, I think I was surprised Leonard was Prince Lionheart.

2. No.

3. "You appeared so set on your path, I feared you might walk right on into the stream and drown without noticing." "Without noticing you or without noticing drowning?" "Both, probably." He grinned. -pg. 342

And the song of "The Sorry Fate of the Beastly Lout." -pg. 348


Unknown said...

Wow, great fanart!
1. I did like reading this and seeing the different look at the things that had happened in Heartless.
2. MY only thought is perhaps it is faerie-made, perhaos with some connection to the Prince himself. I'm looking forward to finding out more about it though!

3. My favorite part:
The princess regarded him quietly. She smiled a little. “Then I think you are a very brave Fool.”
“If I were not a Fool, do you think I could be brave?”

Anonymous said...

Ah ha finaly back from holidays and able to use a proper keyboard:)

1. I definatly think it makes Heartless a little more interesting reading all this from Leo's point of view.

3. the song The Sorry Fate of the Beastly Lout.


Anonymous said...

Random question:

Will we get to read the story of the child with a white lion?


Anonymous said...

2. In Goddess Tithe, the picture on the wall depicted a young lady wearing a ring. I'm guessing it's the same ring as Una's. Which most likely means Captain Sunan, who has had Faerie encounters before, probably got it from some Faerie place. Perhaps Farthestshore? :)

Christa said...

1. It was very eye opening to see the story from Lionheart’s perspective. I really liked Leonard while reading Heartless, and I was sad that things turned out the way they did between him and Una. After what happened in Heartless, I was wondering if Lionheart ever even had any feelings for Una or if he was just using her the whole time. After reading Veiled Rose, I’m relieved to know that, despite all of his faults and mistakes, Lionheart did love Una after all.

3. Oh, my. The whole chapter is one of my favorites! But here are a few highlights:

“You appeared so set on your path, I feared if I didn’t speak up, you might walk right on into the stream and drown without noticing.”
“Without noticing you or without noticing drowning?”
“Both, probably.”

“Don’t be silly,” Una said.
“Can’t be helped. It’s my job.”

“You snicker at me, but I know that you are secretly jealous. ‘Ah!’ the lady sighs, ‘if only I could wear bells upon my elbows, then my life should be complete!’”

“Especially so great a fool as I.”

“Comparable to a half dozen at least.”

“Then I think you are a very brave Fool.”
“If I were not a Fool, do you think I could be brave?”

Kira Thomas said...

1. I did enjoy revisiting these events through Lionheart's eyes, and I learned so much more about it.

2. I wonder if maybe it has some connection to Aethelbald? (As a side note, I reread George MacDonald's "The Princess and the Goblin" a few weeks ago, and realized that, didn't Una have an opal ring, too?)

Lionheart's whole song?

He cast a glance Una’s way and saw how still she’d gone, though her younger brother was doubled up with silent laughter.