As you can see the menu above has now changed, to provide links to archives of Bookish Topic Tuesday, Single-review books and the previously reviewed books, note that the Obernewtyn Chronicles goes to a single page showing all the reviews with links (still in progress), just in case you were wondering why it was different.
Chapter Thirty – Part Two
So we just left the group having a nice long chat. And they are going to keep chatting for a while! Right now they are just on the stone sword and who might possibly own it, and Ahmedri is confirming that it was indeed Cassy who ordered Elspeth do it. Swallow can’t get over the fact that Cassandra ended up in Sador. But what is interesting is that according to Ahmedri, she didn’t die there, which is news to everyone but Dameon, who spent a year there. Apparently even in Sador, she vanished, and nobody knew what happened to her. Some say that she ‘gave herself to the sea’, but what really happened? So yet another unresolved narrative thread has been created, what happened to Cassandra?
But Analivia wants to know what on earth is the point of the sword for Elspeth’s quest. Good question, but it’s not for her quest, something else. And what that something else is, we don’t know, I’d say it’s for Dragon, or maybe it has something to do with the efari? That’s my guess. It doesn’t help that Ahmedri cannot read gadi, so we can’t get a translation, which means Cassy did not learn how to write gadi in Sador. Still Swallow cannot get over the fact that Cassy just handed herself over to the salvers, but she knew that she needed to do that to get everything in the right place. If she didn’t let herself be taken, and just went to Sador, nobody would have let her create the Earthtemple, which was vital to everything.
And then Dameon drops a bombshell, by saying ‘it’s not a proper sword’. Swallow tries to rebuff that remark saying, of course it isn’t, it’s stone! But apparently it’s the wrong shape, and if anyone would know about that, it would be Dameon. He says that one side is shaped like a sword with grooves, but the other is rounded. But, all that does, is make it more confusing and mysterious! Elspeth goes off to ‘relieve herself’ (seriously IC you mention this so often!) and finds Darga nearby at the place where the spring comes up. Elspeth decides she might as well wash herself, since she has the time. I don’t know when the next time they’ll be able to sit around, and bathe will be, so might as well take the chance they’ve got. They try to speculate the origin of this weird white ‘plain’, but really they have no clue. They even get Dragon, and clean her too.
For just a moment (a short one) Elspeth is content. Of course it doesn’t last long, as she starts to worry about their next stage of their journey, through the white dunes. Where there won’t be water or fodder, so what are they going to do? It’s a few days till they reach the city, and they still have to find these stone trees, which will lead the way. But with Ahmedri around, they should be able to make it through the desert, after all Rheagor’s ancestor made the journey once, so it’s survivable.
Dameon and Elspeth discuss Obernewtyn, and even Oldhaven for a moment, longing to be home. Oldhaven shocked Dameon, it was so massive, and being able to have a forest under the ground, is I think scary to them, it’s just inconceivable. I really like it when IC works in a bit of a message, and makes Elspeth wonder why the Beforetimers made shelters like Oldhaven, instead of stopping the possibility of nuclear war. Dameon, always the optimist, wonders if those who built the shelters weren’t working with the same people who built the weapons, but a facility that large, must be a government one, and the government was linked with the weapons manufacturers.
And it’s at this moment, that I finally believe it is clear that Dameon loves Elspeth, in more than a friend way. I’ve seen other people suggest it, and there’s been hints along the way (Rushton saying it’s best for him to stay in Sador, the way the two men parted way), but now it’s pretty clear. Elspeth said she was glad he was here, and she tried to touch him, but he didn’t really like that. And he just quickly changes the topic to dreamtravelling. Elspeth is frank with him, since she isn’t concerned about any of them ever trying to go onto the deadly dreamtrails, since they lack the ability to (or do they?).
Then it gets exciting again, as Swallow pulls Dragon out of the water, but slips causing Dragon to almost drown in the water, only being saved by Elspeth. But at that moment Dragon opens her eyes! And she says “Elspeth!” So she remembers! Sadly she also remembers what Moss did to her, and how he tied her up, but this is good, she doesn’t hate Elspeth any more. Whatever Maruman was doing worked, so now he should be better too. Though right now he is still asleep, so hopefully that isn’t worrying. Dragon is still in a bit of shock, but considering everything she’s been through, it’s no wonder. Plus she is around new people she has never seen before, one of whom has the same eyes as Moss (Analivia), so that can’t quite help. And she is so weak, I’m guessing she’ll need to ride the rest of the way to the city, she can’t walk there.
Dragon even apologises to Swallow for lying to him about returning to the Healing Centre, and not telling him she was going to run away. Dragon is quite confused as to why she would fear Elspeth, given that she is her friend, but it’s just good to hear that she actually remembers everything. She was also helped by Straaka in the dreamtrails, he told her to return down, for she was needed, both Maruman and Rasial/Gavyn were trying to help her, but she was scared. The story she tells of her time with Moss is harrowing, he was truly terrible and on the brink of insanity, and then it got worse as he got ill. Sometimes Moss thought that she was Analivia, and he needed to punish her for running away. He was certainly a bad man. Dameon makes sure she goes back into a normal sleep, for she needs to start to recover. Elspeth can ask questions later.
Elspeth believes that it was Atthis that controlled Moss, and brought Dragon here, which is what I thought too. But figuring out the timeline of when Atthis did all this before she died, is challenging. Did she talk to Dragon after she died? Anything is possible. All we can hope is Dragon remembers what she needs to for the quest!
Rasial and Gavyn return with fire nuts, and news that Maruman is now seliga, hence his continuing sleep. Let’s hope that isn’t bad news. What is worrying is the wolves didn’t come at dusk or even dawn, so where are they?