Good afternoon! Can I just quickly take a moment to let you know about a super awesome giveaway I’m participating in? It’s How to Train Your Dragon-themed and we’re giving away a TON of HTTYD swag! The original soundtrack on CD, the blu-ray of the first 2 movies, a plush nightfury AND a plush lightfury, a super cool t-shirt, the “Official Book of Dragons,” and the entire 10-book boxed set of How to Train Your Dragon books by Cressida Cowell…. I… really wish I could enter this giveaway. LOL You can read more and enter the giveaway HERE.
Okay… back to our regularly scheduled programming. Getting around to posting a bit earlier this afternoon! Everyone in my house is sick today, so that’s fun – I guess if we all have to be sick, might as well be during a week when the wind-chills are supposed to hit -50 to -65 and it’s not like there’s anything else to do, right? I hope you are well and cozy wherever you are!
Yesterday, we left Brant in the care of some good people. Today, let’s start out by meeting a new character, and a somewhat familiar one…
My time is ending…
King Jairem has ruled Aom-igh as its king for forty-three years. But he is growing old now, and feels the end of his reign and life are near at hand. And despite the peace that his country has enjoyed, he also fears for its future. He has no heir to pass the throne to, and fears for his people should he die without naming someone as his successor. It is apparent that both he and Scelwhyn have been searching for someone with a legitimate claim to the throne for some time, and Scelwhyn now informs his king that he may have found the correct person for the job.
Meanwhile, back in Llycaelon…
Seamas learns that the man he sent his people after has slipped through his grasp. Llewana and Tobias do their best to conceal the part they played in Rhoyan’s escape, and even question whether or not it really was the prince, claiming their belief that Rhoyan died on his journey with Sheyardin, as had been previously assumed.
Seamas reveals that the king died in the night, and his friends do their best to comfort him in the loss of his father, as well as his brother.
Who knows if things would have turned out differently if Seamas had been told the truth? That Rhoyan willingly abdicated all possibility of being crowned in favor of his brother and had put himself into self-appointed exile? But Tobias and Llewana, true friends of Seamas though they are, do not quite trust him or the counselors around him.
Brant grew to love this life he had stumbled into
Across the sea in Aom-igh, Brant has found a family to replace the one he lost in Llycaelon. He has found it easy to fall in love with his new home, to settle into the peaceful routine of a simple life, to leave his adventures behind.
After all the trials and heartbreak of the first half of the book, I really needed to give Brant a few moments of breathing space. I don’t torture my characters on purpose, nor do I do it gleefully, though I do acknowledge that a story without conflict is generally a boring one. I hope that these moments on the farm have given you a feeling of rest and respite, even as they have soothed Brant’s weary soul.
But Arnaud dreams of adventure. And when two strangers dine with them one evening, he voices his desire for something a little bit more exciting than what his life has held thus far.
It is a puzzle…
King Jairem is more than impressed with the young man Scelwhyn has discovered. But Scelwhyn himself is puzzled by the appearance of Brant and his obvious familiarity with this family. The wizard feels that there is something more to this young man, something he is missing, and yet he fears that his time, too, is growing short.
Jairem laughs off Scelwhyn’s concerns. “Given a few days, they probably would have adopted us, too.”
Euphie and Barr are perhaps my picture of who I would like to become. The hospitality they extend to everyone who crosses their threshold is admirable and it is a standard I strive to live up to. I hope that my home is always that welcoming to any who happen across it. It is strange, is it not, that we authors can write characters we ourselves look up to?
Discussion Questions:Okay… where did my discussion questions go? I had them earlier… I know I wrote them… at least, I think I did… Ahem. Well… let’s try this again, shall we? 1. There were quite a few sweet/deep moments in this chapter. Did any of them in particular jump out at you? Why did that scene or line strike a chord with you? 2. Are you more like Brant: you’ve had a life full of adventures and now you just want a peaceful life? Or Arnaud: you’ve had a pretty peaceful life and you think you’d like maybe just ONE good adventure?