Second Son Read Along: Chapter 13

Second Son Read Along

Warning: There are some spoilers in today’s post, so I highly recommend reading the chapter BEFORE continuing any further in this blog post!

Seamas Begins Plotting

Upon learning that his brother might, in fact, be alive, Seamas begins walking down a dark path. Throughout his life, Seamas has always had two paths before him. Yes, he’s had some untrustworthy counselors. Yes, it could be argued that he’s been treated unfairly, that he’s had to live up to unrealistic expectations. But along the way, he has also made choices. In the world of Tellurae Aquaous (and especially in Llycaelon) names have meaning, and names have power. (Another idea I lifted from the Earthsea books). That is why aethalons get to choose a new name when they come of age. Ky chose the name “Seamas” (which is the Gaelic form of “Jacob” and means “usurper/supplanter”) he knew what that name meant, and he knew what he was declaring when he chose it. Interestingly enough, yes, the story of Ky and Rhoyan had some of its murkiest origins in a somewhat twisted-around version of the Biblical story of Jacob and Esau.

The search for Calla

As Dru and Rhoyan search for Calla in the confines of the inhospitable forest, they are forced to leave the path only to discover that they are already too late… and their friend has been used by the malicious seheowks to lure them into a trap.

As Dru and Rhoyan determine to avenge the death of their friend, the image of her body disappears and they hear her calling to them for help! Galvanized by the thought that Calla’s death was merely a ruse, Dru and Rhoyan rush deeper into the forest and discover that Calla is still alive, but has been taken prisoner by the dark creatures.

In this section we also learn a little bit more about the politics and inner workings of Llycaelon, as seen through Dru’s eyes, and Rhoyan begins to realize just how much he doesn’t know about the responsibility of the king and the dangers that threaten his people every day that nobody knows about.

Calla’s Flight

Here we take a minute to backtrack and follow Calla along the path that led to her capture.

The rescue

As far as I know, Calla is the only person to ever actually converse (if you can call it that) with a seheowk. Or any other were-creature, for that matter. They are a race bent on destruction, but generally uncoordinated in their efforts… unless someone comes along and terrifies them into working toward a common purpose. But that is a difficult thing to do. Here, we have stumbled upon a small band of them desperately seeking a way to overcome their own weaknesses. Pretty sure their plan wouldn’t work, even if they did manage to succeed… but they don’t know that. And they’re just horrible.

The last stand

I’m sorry.

I really, truly am.

I’m an evil author. I admit it freely.

But it had to happen. It was necessary to the construction of Rhoyan’s character, and proof that he suffered tragedy every bit as much as Ky/Seamas did back home. The difference between them lies in what they chose to do with it, how they allowed their personal trials to affect them.

Our heroes are surrounded by their enemies, suffering the tragic loss of their companion, alone, outnumbered, and desperate. But Rhoyan doesn’t know the meaning of the word “surrender.” It is not in his nature to give up. If he cannot defeat this foe and live, he will use his own death to accomplish the same goal. And yet, as Rhoyan and Dru prepare to burn down the forest in revenge, making a stand that will destroy their enemies and themselves in the process… something inexplicable happens. The fire consumes the seheowks, then dies itself, leaving Dru, Rhoyan, and even Calla’s body untouched.

Weary, heart-sick, and sorrowful… Rhoyan and Dru carry their fallen friend with them as they leave the forest.

Discussion Questions

1. Open discussion on this chapter. I have no questions… but I’m pretty sure you’ll have things to say about it.

 

~ jenelle

4 Comments

Sarah Pennington

Dragons eat it, Jenelle. I am immensely annoyed with you. I thought I could trust you to do better than to kill off the love interest to motivate the lead. >.<
That said, I did like the battle in the forest. It was very well done, particularly the bit with the forest hating them, but hating the seheowks (sp?) more.
As for Seamas . . . rrrrrggghhh. He's definitely going down the wrong path, as you said, but he's doing it out of what he sees as his responsibility. And, honestly, at this point, he would be a better king than Rhoyan in many ways. He has the practical knowledge from his father and the experience leading and protecting people from his time with the King's Helm. But at the same time, he shouldn't try to claim that position by force . . . honestly, if they could work out some kind of co-ruler scheme, that would be ideal, but that's not going to happen.

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jenelle

meep.

eh… hehe. I’m sorry.

I’m glad you liked the forest battle. The Wylder Wood is… capricious, at best.

I agree. Poor Seamas! I’m somewhat evilly gleeful at how much people love him and hate me for the things I did to him in this story… tragic characters are my favorite, and so I’m delighted I managed to write one that strikes a chord with my readers.

Co-ruling would have been a good idea. I don’t know if Seamas would have gone for that, though. The biggest problem is that Rhoyan has zero desire to be king, and Seamas absolutely couldn’t believe that.

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Jill Stengl

Really enjoyed these two chapters, and since Calla did get warning of what would happen if she traveled with Rhoyan, I wasn’t surprised by her tragic end.

I do feel for Ky/Seamas. Funny–I noticed that choice of names! It fits perfectly. It is sad how many times we do unwise things because we don’t trust the motives of people we should trust. The opposite is also true–we do trust people we shouldn’t! Much of the evil done in this world, especially in politics, is accomplished with bad deeds done by people with good (or what the doer believes to be good) motives.
You’ve got some great themes going on here!

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jenelle

I’m glad that the warning helped prepare you for that! I was hoping it would.

You’re one of the first people to tell me they noticed the name/meaning choice!!! Bravo!

It is so true.

Thanks!

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