Second Son Read-Along: Chapter 2

Second Son Read Along

How are we doing? It might feel like we’re going a bit fast here, but remember that the weekend is coming and you’ll get a chance to catch up, then. (I learned my lesson back when I tried this with King’s Warrior… gotta take those weekends off!)

The Riding Lesson

In this chapter we meet Uncle Ramius. Yeah, okay, I kind of named him after the captain in Hunt for Red October. Since this riding lesson appears as a flashback in King’s Warrior, I felt that I needed to include it here. Of course, the flashback is somewhat different, to show how memory can warp and change with time. Not that seeing the actual events lets Ramius completely off the hook.

I don’t recommend learning to ride this way (or teaching someone to ride this way).

But this event is important because it is a turning point in Ky’s life. It’s the first time he feels anger to such extreme depths, and it’s the first time he allows that anger to control him.

In previous drafts, I kind of gave Ky and Rhoyan somewhat terrible parents. In this, the final draft, I tried to soften them a little. As angry as King Stiorne is at his son’s behavior, he is livid with his brother-in-law for the debacle that the riding lesson turned into, and I wanted Ky to catch a glimpse of that truth, here.

The unquenchable nature of a little brother

Once again, we get to see the exuberance of Rhoyan, particularly with regards to the way he idolizes Ky. He is nothing but impressed that Ky taught himself to ride, and instantly escalates him not only to “master horseman,” but also “best riding instructor in the world” and is completely oblivious to Ky’s grim demeanor. In his eyes, Ky can do no wrong, can lose no contest. He is on a pedestal…. which is a precarious place to keep your loved ones.

Discussion Questions:

1. Did you notice Fiora’s musings about which of her sons was slated to be the actual heir to the throne? (Hard to miss, actually) But I mostly point it out for those of you who have read all the way through Minstrel’s Call, there’s a tiny Easter Egg hiding there for you!
2. What do you think of the “riding lesson?” Can you see the progression of Ky’s thoughts/mood/behavior? 
3. Have you ever learned to ride a horse? (I have, and my experience was somewhat similar to Ky’s… except without the awful riding instructor… I was allowed to hop on a horse and just ride him around a pasture whenever I wanted, and basically had to teach myself… it was awesome! Of course, I had been on horses a few times before, and unlike Ky, I wasn’t at all afraid of the horse or the prospect of riding one)

Don’t forget to ask me any questions that might occur to you as we go through, and I’ll answer them in the next day’s post as best I can.


~ jenelle


Sarah Pennington

1. I haven’t read Minstrel’s Call, but I have a suspicion that the Minstrel they’re referring to is the Keirnan Kane fellow I’ve heard so much about.
2. Can I see the progression? Yes. But my main thought is that Ramius is a jerk, even if he hides it under the facade of the cool uncle.
3. I have ridden a horse maybe, like, twice? Neither time went as well as I hoped it would.


1. Yes, that is one of the Easter eggs. :)
2. Yes. Ramius is a jerk. He likes to be the “cool uncle” but he isn’t, really.
3. Aww, that’s sad that it didn’t go as well as you hoped. I love horseback riding.

Jill Stengl

I’m enjoying this story very much! I love the dynamic between the brothers but, having read book 1 a few years ago, I know what is coming :-(
The riding scene was vividly written and “real” to me. I loved horses in theory but found them terrifying in reality as a child! I got my own horse when I was in college (not the best timing . . .) and learned a lot the hard way. I loved her dearly, but we had some conflicts of interest. :-D Not until riding lessons in England did I really have a clue what I was doing. Wish I could have owned a horse AFTER learning to handle one properly.


Yay! I’m glad it comes across as vivid and real, that’s very encouraging it hear.

Owning horses is a dream of mine. Maybe someday!


I love hearing from you, dear Reader!