The name of our female narrator is finally revealed! It is Elspeth. But it is not a very happy reunion, Elspeth seems to almost hate her brother. They are very concerned that Elspeth might be burned because of a headache, it seems that this land is not one where you can say or do anything without worrying someone might here you, which reminds me very much of The Hunger Games. Even though Jes becoming an assistant is a prestigious title and probably an honour considering he is an orphan, Elspeth thinks it as a betrayal. Elspeth is a Misfit, which from the introduction, are people who are mutations but they are hidden and found in the mind, so are hard to point out. The two siblings have a terrible relationship because Jes doesn’t seem to care for Elspeth but more for himself and what being found out might do to him, and not her. They once were really close, and Jes had vowed to fight the Council and Herders for what they did to their parents, but things changed. There is real danger in this world and you have to remain secretive, which isn’t easy.Jes wanted to get his Normalcy Certificate (a very odd sounding thing to have to get) which I assume has to do with being ‘proven’ normal and not a Misfit. They drifted apart, and Jes was fascinated with the Herders.
Things do not sound good for Elspeth because she has that headache, and it draws more attention to her, as she is given light duties, because they thought it was because of her fall. But apparently, it has nothing to do with that. She goes for a walk looking for Maruman. Elspeth is a Misfit, but she didn’t think she was some sort of monster that most of the land (I really hope a name for this place arises cause otherwise it will be henceforth known as the land) thought Misfits were.
She thinks back to the first time she visited the big city of Sutrium with her father, when the moon fair was on. It was a great time, with people from all over the land coming to celebrate. From places like Saithwold, Sawlney, Port Oran, Morganna and even Aborium and Murmroth, which from looking at the map is quite a collection of towns, some far away from Sutrium. Sutrium is home of the main Councilcourt, a fact not known until her second visit, which was not such a happy affair. Those who were looking at them in the cart, had looks of fear and hatred, something that for Elspeth will never go away.
She thinks that the time of Changing will be upon them soon, and she hopes that Jes and herself were sent to different orphanages. The Herders told them that changing orphans from home to home as regularly as possible was done to ‘prevent friendships forming that could not be continued once leaving the home’ but in reality it was done to make sure that the kids did not form ‘alliances’ and try to rebel. But it also served to make sure you could not know who to trust and where you were going, so you made sure to fly under the radar and conform.
Elspeth seems to have some sort of ‘vision’ that takes over her, and makes her feel faint. Visions were dangerous to have, as only Herders were allowed to have them, so Jes told her that she shouldn’t think she were having them. But for Elspeth she knew she did not make them up, she knew that they were premonitions of things to come and they acted as warnings. And in a few days time, the meaning of the vision and its warning would become clear.
These chapters are quite short, and I like it! They aren’t as short as Cloudstreet or The Book Thief but they aren’t as long as Mein Kampf and are, for me at least, very good length for writing posts. They are long enough to write a good amount about and provide enough information and detail for discussion, but aren’t too long that it takes a long time to get through and I end up going on forever, so the length at present is a good one. I’m not sure if the length of the chapters increases as we go further into the ‘Chronicles’ (i.e. future books) but hopefully they do not become too long!