Chapter Thirty-Nine – Part One
Before the festivities for the night begin, Elspeth is washed, dressed, styled all at the command of Jakoby. Elspeth finds it all a bit boring, but her solace is that Kaman explains about the fish that for some strange reason beach themselves every single year, which provide a plentiful source of food for the Sadorians, which without, they wouldn’t survive. Maybe these fish have a mating process which requires this, otherwise you’d have to rely on the Sadorian explanation which is that it is a promise that the world will heal one day, and the whole night is used as a thanks to the sea. But it is slightly strange that the fish, even if you throw them back out to sea, will beach themselves.
Just before Elspeth actually finds where she is supposed to be going, now that she is ready for the festivities, Elspeth finds that Gahltha is trying to ‘woo’ a Sadorian mare. Um, I don’t know the equine ‘rules of dating’ but he has a foal to Avra. Do male horses just have as many mares as they want? Not really sure what to think of that, but, anyway, not really important.
And tonight Jak is going to be gifting (as is the Sadorian tradition on this night) his taint eating bugs to the tribes, who of course have been looking to this day since they built the Earthtemple. It will finally give them a way of healing the earth. And he will have to do all of this in front of nearly all of Sador, who have gathered for this feast. He spoke first, explaining the history of these bugs, before offering them to the tribes, as well as his skill with them. This is a huge moment for Sador, as the prophecy has been fulfilled, and now, no woman will have to bathe in the isis pools. But I guess this has more meaning than we can conceive, as that means there will be no more mutated Sadorians and thus no more Earthtemple guardians. That is a huge change for the Sadorian people, and a lot will have to be discussed. I also think it is fitting that soon enough, Elspeth will be getting the final sign from the overguardian, and then, I guess, the ultimate job of the Earthtemple, which is to give this sign to the Seeker, will be fulfilled. Obviously they have a much larger role than that, but Kasanda would have created the temple with the aim in mind to get this sign to Elspeth. Now you have to wonder what will happen next, will there be no more Misfit Sadorians? Is that the end of the Earthtemple? An interesting time awaits Sador.
Already there is some consternation, as some other tribes people accuse Jakoby of misinterpreting the prophecy to suit her opposition to the practise. There is some argument, but Jakoby is not going to back down, and even answers a question I had. She thinks that there will continue to be an Earthtemple because shouldn’t there be plenty of Sadorians who are willing to devote their time at the Earthtemple, and not just those who are deformed. But since this has been going on for so long, people don’t like to imagine the Earthtemple served by ‘regular’ people, traditions are something that people hold to dearly. At least Bram puts an end to the debate, and leaves it for another time, and it is definitely a debate that will rear its head again. And they have some time to work it all out, it will take two months for Jak and Seely to set up a colony, and the isis pools will remain tainted for quite some time yet.
Bruna arrives to stay with Elspeth and Seely for a while, giving her insights into the cuisine, but before long she leaves, quite possibly because of the arrival of Dardelan. The trouble between those two is worse than what it was between Elspeth and Rushton (okay apart from the fact Rushton was made to hate Elspeth and want her dead). I don’t know if they were ‘meant to be’ or if it was just one relationship before both of them find someone who they can be together. So I’m not sure if I want them to get back together. But it seems that it is Dardelan who needs to hurry up and make a move if he wants to, Bruna has done all she can, now it is up to him, if it wants it. Bruna is set to spend a year working in the spice groves, and in all honesty, Dardelan did not seem likely to stop her.
However, this is all part of Jakoby’s plan, and she is hoping that she has given Dardelan the push he needs to once and for all show his love for Bruna, by doing what in Sador is ‘hunting for a mate’. It sounds archaic, but a man may put down on a stone the name of any single, woman, and she will be given an hour’s head start before the men are set off to catch their women. Of course, catching a Sadorian is no easy feat, and if Dardelan is able to, that will be impressive. Bruna has even made some of her tribespeople tell Dardelan about this process, and has even put up the image of a competitor, nothing like jealousy to spur on a man! Bruna probably won’t be caught, unless she wants to be, so I guess this will be a true test of their relationship if it still exists. Very meddling of Jakoby, but sometimes people need a push, and who better?
Jakoby leads Elspeth to the Earthtemple, she has been summoned! We get another glimpse into the life of Jakoby for she reveals that her sister is actually a twin, Seresh, and both of them could have been guardians for the temple, since their mother had gone into the isis pools. Indeed Seresh, was slightly ‘deformed’ and their mother left their father and refused to hand over Seresh to the temple. Jakoby grew up not knowing that Seresh was actually deformed, and that really, REALLY says something about our perception of beauty. Just because something/someone is not like everyone else doesn’t make them ugly! Eventually though Seresh was handed over to the guardians. Jakoby was not able to see her for many years, and once she saw her again, and saw her face, it was completely different, Jakoby saw the face as others saw it, ghastly. Seresh, quite rightly, became hurt at Jakoby’s reaction, and questioned why she was given such a face, and Jakoby was spared. And that is a question that is asked all too often. And there is no answer. Who is to say why anything happens?
Seresh eventually ran away from the Temple because she hated it there, surrounded by ‘monsters’. Jakoby was told that she drowned herself, but later it was revealed that she did not, and she escaped on a ship. Where she went, nobody knows. And so that is why Jakoby is so opposed to the pools, and she even lost her bondmate because he thought it was ‘unwomanly’ for her to refuse to go into the pool. Almost ‘randomly’ Seresh tells us that she loved ‘pretty things’ like silk, and she hated that the guardians only wore plain clothes. Since this is included it must be important, but right now Elspeth is summoned into the Temple! And that will be covered tomorrow.
Okay now I just want to mention a theory that I have seen mentioned and I think really fits, and either this is a huge red-herring put there by Isobelle Carmody to throw us off, or it must be true. So I want to give a clear warning, there is a possibility that what comes next will spoil things for you because you won’t have a moment where you could be shocked (if it turns out to be true) or you might be a person who just wants to figure things out for themselves, and that’s fine. But DO NOT READ ON IF THIS IS YOU! There is nothing more this review after this, so don’t even scroll past, just stop here, but if you want to hear a theory, and that is all it is (and it is something I have seen at Obernewtyn.net, which is an awesome place to discuss Isobelle Carmody and is a fantastic community!) continue reading on. (I’ll leave a bit of a gap to make sure those who don’t want to see it don’t). Any comments on this theory MUST be in rot13!If you aren’t sure if you want to hear the theory, but might be interested depending on what it is on, go to rot13.com and decypher this: Gur gurbel vf nobhg Fnynznaqre naq jub ur zvtug or!
Ok, for those of you interested in this theory, it concerns Salamander and who he (or she) really is. And after we just saw a possibility that Salamander is a woman, in the form of fancy clothes and silks at Ariel’s residence (unless it is just someone else), and now we are given a hint from Jakoby. About someone else who liked fancy clothes, Seresh. Now why else would Jakoby mention this unless it was to hint us towards these fancy clothes that we found? I mean of course there is the possibility that Seresh is just working with Salamander or something. But it makes a lot of sense, because since she is ‘deformed’ that gives her reason to hide her face. Of course this would mean that the beautiful woman who spoke for Salamander is not her, but maybe that is just a red-herring. Plus Seresh would probably be a brilliant sailor just like all Sadorians, though I don’t know if she went to learn how to sail or not. And she might have found things in the Earthtemple that detailed a route to the Red Queen’s Land, or at least hinted at it? Who knows. But as for why on earth Seresh would become a slaver, after the strong opposition to such things in Sador, I’m not sure. Was it just a rebellion against all the things that Sador believed in? And how on earth did she become Salamander? I guess that is still the big part of the mystery, yeah it is one thing to know that she might be Salamander, but what are her motives, and how did it happen? This is what we still need to figure out or wait to be told. Because we must surely be given more information about Salamander eventually. Anyway, hope this has give you something to think about, and if you want to comment about it, put it in rot13 in the comments to make sure others don’t really get spoiled if indeed this is something that might be a possibility. See you tomorrow