Here we are in chapter 9 already! Don’t worry if you’ve fallen behind a bit or are just getting started, because tomorrow is the weekend (huzzah!) and that means no posts in the read-along until Monday. We’ll slow down even more when we get to February, since the read-along will be sharing time with the February is Fantasy Month Blog Tour Extravaganza! I’ve got 20 authors signed up to participate and I think it’s going to be an absolute blast!
Anyway, diving back into Second Son, here we have a couple of important notes.
1. Timelines… the last time we saw a clear “this much time has passed” was on page 87 when Sheyardin said to Rhoyan, “This is your thirtieth year, is it not? Your birthday is arriving soon, I believe.” — Meaning Rhoyan was about to turn 31 (again, 15/16 years old by the way we measure maturity) and that they had been traveling together for 3-almost 4-years. Now, we find out that in their travels to the Nameless Isles, and Rhoyan’s subsequent attempts to reach home and the time he has spent in captivity all add together to equal approximately another year, give or take several months. I skipped over much of Rhoyan’s wandering back westward (and more south than he intended) and towards home as it was uninteresting and did not add to the story much. But take my word for it, he found abandoned islands with fresh water and didn’t die of thirst.
2. “Queen Fiora grieved more deeply than any the deepest of all.” Yup. That’s a typo. If you found it all by yourself, give yourself a pat on the back. (And yeah, I’ve been noticing the paragraphs that didn’t indent properly and agh! It’s so aggravating, because I know for a fact that I’ve been over this book multiple times fixing that very issue, so finding them in this latest version is the pinnacle of aggravation. Looks like another round of revisions is in order.
Anyway, diving in:
Seamas was in his element
Seamas has taken on more and more responsibility since his Rite of Passage, and he is exceeding everyone’s expectations. His parents are proud of him, he is serving his country well, and all is as it should be. Sure, his little brother appears to have perished out there on the high seas, but while this event saddens his father and has devastated his mother, please note that Seamas barely bats an eye and spends little to no time at all thinking about it or missing Rhoyan. (For those of my readers who think I still owe Ky/Seamas an apology… okay… you might have a point… but he does bring SOME of it on himself).
Female warriors are not uncommon in Llycaelon, exactly the opposite, in fact. Practically every child born in Llycaelon experiences some sort of warrior training. They are a grim, determined, strong people… fiercely proud of their nation and their skills in the arts of war.
However… there have been no wars for a very, very long time.
And while peace has not made this people soft in any way… it has allowed the people to focus on other things. Which is why Seamas is surprised when he learns that Llewana has actually gone through the Corridor and passed the final tests to get her warrior-ranking, because that is uncommon in this time of peace. But Llewana is the daughter of a warrior, a great captain of men, and as an only child, she has a driving need to prove herself skilled that is every bit as passionate as Seamas’ own, though for different reasons.
At the other end of the world, Rhoyan has also encountered an interesting young woman. Calla, a member of the Rambler tribe that has taken him prisoner, finds Rhoyan fascinating, and she returns often to speak with him and Dru. Despite the fact that Rhoyan pretends the only language he can speak is Gryphonese (a language he picked because he was fairly certain it was a safe bet nobody else would know it), these three become a trio of unlikely friends.
Then Calla confides in Rhoyan that she is a sort of prisoner, as well, about to be married off to a man not of her own choosing. Together, Rhoyan and Dru decide to offer to take Calla with them when they make their bid for freedom… Rhoyan falls asleep wondering what it will be like to return home. He has always been content with the idea of being the “perpetual prince” and supporting his brother once he comes to the throne. But his journeys have awakened a wanderlust within him, and he no longer believes he could be content to merely stay in one place. It’s a good thing he’s not destined to take the throne, or anything… (remember, he still doesn’t know the contents of the prophecy)!
The King’s Helm
We return to Llycaelon where Seamas and his elite group of soldiers are tracking a group of brigands to bring them to justice.
We also get to see a glimmer of romance budding between him and his newest addition to the company.
But most importantly of all… note Seamas’ desire to prove himself. To earn glory and fame and come up against a worthy challenge for himself and his warriors: “What they really needed, Seamas decided, was a real war.”
Discussion Questions:1. This chapter introduces two new characters. What are your impressions of them so far? 2. We are now approximately 1/3rd of the way through the book. What has been your favorite part/line/character so far? 3. Do you have any questions for me?