Have you forgiven me yet?
Fair enough. But we’ve still got half a book to get through, and I promise, there are… um… even sadder things coming. But some happy ones, too.
King Stiorne and Jhasen
As the chapter opens, the king has regained a little strength, but he fears that he will never make a full recovery. As such, he knows he must officially name an heir. Rumors that Rhoyan is alive have reached his ears (brought to him, interestingly enough, by Lords Nills and Bors….) and he turns to Jhasen, his oldest friend and confidant to advise him on what to do.
Did Jhasen’s response surprise you?
He counsels the king to ignore the prophecy. Seamas is a worthy successor, he has the good of his people at heart, and the rumors about Rhoyan are as yet unsubstantiated.
“You have been betrayed, Sire, but not by me.”
Seamas recognizes his error and instantly regrets it… but in this case, his repentance comes too little, too late. This moment of rash reaction will weigh heavily on Seamas’ heart for the rest of his life. Especially when he finds out a few days later that Jhasen was telling the truth about urging the king to name his elder son as heir, and not Rhoyan.
“I, too, have carried the dead.”
Rhoyan and Dru make it back to the little cottage where they bury their friend and discover that Captain Murry has already departed without them. However, it is not all bad news, for another ship is due to arrive shortly… and when he does, Rhoyan is startled to discover that it is none other than Captain Delmar, the captain with whom he began this voyage!
Delmar is only too happy to give Rhoyan a ride on the last leg of his journey home, especially when he discovers that the young man is also the prince of Llycaelon!
However… home is not waiting for Rhoyan with the open arms he anticipates.
Within moments of stepping on the soil of Llycaelon, Rhoyan is attacked!
Two figures appear to help, revealing themselves to be Tobias, captain of the King’s Helm, and Llewana, Seamas’ betrothed. They quickly catch Rhoyan up on all that has transpired in his absence, including (finally!) the words of the prophecy and why they pertain to him, leaving him reeling a bit at how much everything has changed.
“I am here to make sure no blood stains Seamas’ soul.”
I love Llewana. Her loyalty is a beautiful thing. That is all.
“I name myself Brant…. Rhoyan is dead, and Brant is born of his ashes”
And here we reach the end of the first part of this story, a story that has been building to this moment since page one. Rhoyan has come home… but he cannot stay. In an effort to protect his family from any further pain he might bring them, Rhoyan chooses to leave and allow everyone to believe that he died at sea. But first, in order to truly lay his past to rest, in the tradition of his people, he takes his adult name: Brant.
Once again, we catch a glimpse of the elusive minstrel, Kiernan Kane. Apparently, the story you have been reading is the one he has been regaling the King of Yochathain with… but as he says, so far, it lacks an ending. So next week, we’ll dive into the second part of the book and find out what happens to Rhoyan/Brant next!
1. I honestly can’t think of any questions to ask right now… it’s been a long week. So… what things do you want to talk about from this chapter?