Sorry with the delay, this is an important chapter and I didn’t want to rush it, it’s the last of this section!
Elspeth returns to her room tired from her illness and rapid of emotions over the last day. The best thing for her to do now is sleep, and Ceirwan seems to agree too, and wants her to sleep for the rest of the day and night! She doesn’t have very long left at Obernewtyn, if she is to be going on the Red Land’s expedition, which I’m still not convinced will happen. If she is, she will be leaving the day after moonfair, at dawn! Elspeth has the rest of her gift from the futuretellers, a bow and quiver, plus two bottles and new trews. Everything that comes from a futureteller, you have to wonder if they are giving it to you, just because, or if they have foreseen a need for it. As for why Elspeth has a bow, we’ll find out eventually, she’ll obviously have some need of them.
Falling asleep, Elspeth ensures she goes down to the mindstream, she can still feel her dark power in her, and I wonder will it not go away unless she ‘puts it back’? And is it a bad thing that she has this power? Curious, Elspeth gets into her spirit form and everything looks normal, for now she wants to deal with the twins, before seeking Atthis. Her golden cord to Rushton is still there, and it seems that he might be able to feel her presence because of it, as she goes to look at him through a vision. Seeing the twins, it is unusual, their spirits aren’t inside their bodies, they are floating above them, maybe an indication of their closeness to death. It also explains why Kella had been unsuccessful. The only thing keeping Angina here, is his link to Miky, and that is what is draining the life from her.
Darius enters the room, and it is clear that he can see their spirit links, but I wonder can he see Elspeth? He seems to be able to give some sort of spirit energy of his own to the twins, just like the ship fish! But no matter how much energy Darius puts into Miky, Angina is not going to get better, her spirit is not changing, and it is just their spirit link which is strengthening. Angina’s spirit is still badly wounded from the White Valley, it hasn’t healed at all. But this is pretty unusual, since the physical injury has healed, this is more common in beasts. Humans don’t seem to be as in tune with their spirit, so physical doesn’t represent spiritual. But why and how has this happened to Angina?
Darius can’t last forever, but will he realise what is going on? And is this skill unique to him, or is this something that most Gypsies can do, and why can they do it? Has Darius realised it is too late for Angina, and dipping into the wound, Elspeth sees it happening. We hear what the disgusting man said to Angina, “Not dead yet, Freak? I will kill you just as I dashed out the brains of the Misfit whelp my bondmate bore”. So Angina wasn’t the first Misfit this waste of space tried to kill, and it was his own baby! Having touched his spirit, Angina is now able to communicate with Elspeth, he doesn’t want to live in a world where people do this sort of thing. That man’s strong hate, has somehow poisoned Angina, and now he yearns death, but can’t go since Miky will be taken as well. Again he says to use the black sword, but it is now obvious that their link must be severed. He has seen her do it, and its now or never, Angina is fading, and that means Miky is too.
Elspeth has to do it, and eventually has the black sword in her hands, and at this point it seems Darius can see her! And not only that, he is using fingerspeech to communicate, which is genius! Of course Elspeth can’t respond, she hardly knows fingerspeech, but Darius tells her to save Miky, if possible. Angina’s own spirit cord to his body, has disappeared, and it’s only the bond to Miky remaining, and that is quickly sucking her life out as well. The enormity of this situation isn’t lost with Elspeth, she knows this will kill Angina, and who knows what Miky will be like after this. Bringing down the sword makes a huge explosion of energy, knocking Elspeth away, concerned that maybe her own spirit link had been severed.
She finds herself on the dreamtrails. She was woken up by a swore wing, which here, means she feels this pain, as if it were real. Elspeth remembers Atthis’ warning about avoiding the dreamtrails, especially without Maruman or Gahltha, and these thoughts seem to cause something to stir. Quickly Elspeth tries to imagine herself in the Agyllian eyrie. But nothing seems to happen, not like last time. Hearing of the ‘rules’ of the Dreamtrails reminds me that since she came to see the doors once, she has altered the dreamtrails, and now, she can’t find them again, her and Maruman tried, but were unsuccessful. That’s why she couldn’t go and get the map of it, but I think I was wondering why she didn’t go into her own memory.
Elspeth wonders about this moment, and whether Atthis is opposing her, because for once, she is doing something of her own volition, and not what someone else has told her to do. Elspeth has never gone to see Atthis before, and it has only been Atthis beginning the conversations in the past. Puzzlingly with her is the black sword, the sword was part of her, and I wonder if that is holding her back? Elspeth thinks of Straaka and his spirit, which has to be connected to Miryum, if it is to stay an entity. Elspeth wonders where she will find him, maybe in the place above the dreamtrails, where she met spirits before? She tries to fly up, but gets distracted by some piece of red, and tries to catch it. But then the monster thing arrives, and Elspeth takes no chances, she coercers herself awake. So no Straaka, and no Atthis!
Elspeth wakes up sore, and with Rushton in front of her. He’s still concerned that he hurt her, even though right now, it is her dreamtrails adventure that is hurting her the most, her illness has been cured. Rushton still isn’t convinced, given Elspeth’s expression when she remembers what she just did with Miky and Angina, how is Miky? Rushton has brought up some food, but has to leave to sort out some more disputes, leaving Elspeth to possibly return to sleep. Just like Rushton I can’t believe that the ships are leaving in less than a week! Rushton doesn’t quite leave yet, but Elspeth feels utterly exhausted, using her dark power always does that to her, and I wonder why. Does it hurt her, or is it the fact so much energy is being used? Using the black sword has made her finally accept her power.
Rushton gives her the bad news that Angina died several hours ago, and Miky is still very weak. As we know Darius was there, and is requesting Rasial and Hannay to save her, as well as Gavyn an the owl that used to be Kella’s. I wonder why Rasial is needed. The complete irony that Rushton says there was nothing Elspeth could do, isn’t lost on Elspeth, but she is still very concerned that breaking the spirit bond for no reason, if Miky dies, will be heartbreaking. Hopefully she can pull through, if anyone can help her it is Darius. But Elspeth won’t stop wondering if it was the right thing to do. If Miky survives, it will have been worth it.
Elspeth falls again into sleep, but she doesn’t dream or go into the dreamtrails, she just wakes up later, to darkness. Elspeth finds that her pain from the dreamtrails has gone, but there is a bigger surprise, Maruman is here! Their reunion makes me smile, and Maruman doesn’t even turn to scratching or biting her for such a display of emotion! I love the fact that he calls her tears, rain. He is here to tell her some important news, she must travel to the high mountains with great haste. Maruman goes to the window, and soon it becomes clear. DARGA IS HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s time for Elspeth to leave Obernewtyn! I knew she wasn’t going to go on the boat, but how on earth is she going to the Red Land? What is going on? Where is she going to go? What’s Ahmedri going to do? Is he going to follow her, because Straaka’s bones haven’t been found? So many questions! ISOBELLE CARMODY WHAT A CLIFFHANGER! Does that mean we won’t even be able to say goodbye to DAMEON, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!