Second Son Read Along: Chapter 21

Second Son Read Along

Good afternoon and happy Wednesday! Do you have any plans for Valentine’s Day? We don’t usually, because hiring a babysitter and finding a place where you don’t have to wait for 2 hours just to sit down to eat isn’t exactly our idea of fun. Of course, I’m a little weird, because my idea of somebody saying, “I love you” has nothing to do with jewelry or chocolate or flowers… but rather being given a new book… thankfully, my husband understand this about me!

Anyway, we left Arnaud unconscious, so let’s go see if he’s okay…

“I guess this means my vacation is ended?”

How like Arnaud! Everyone’s been worried that he’s going to die, and he’s just kind of bummed to find out that he’s still king.

Brant mentions that Arnaud has now saved his life twice. Because of Brant’s bravado, Arnaud has no idea how close to giving up Brant was when he found him on the edge of the Harshlands and so he is puzzled by this comment. But he forgets his puzzlement when Brant announces that he is not returning to the palace with him.

A chapter full of good-byes

Saying farewell seems to be a theme in this book. I didn’t do that intentionally, but at the same time, reading through the story and thinking about things in hindsight, it actually makes sense. I wrote this book during a time when I felt like I was saying a lot of painful good-byes — many of them to friends I believed I would never see again. In some cases, I did not see them again, and in others I had to say good-bye more than once… and it never got any easier.

Calyssia is also leaving, taking up her full-time post as Gatekeeper (we’ll learn more about that shortly). And we get another glimpse into the lives of these four sisters. We also get to see Dylanna, the pragmatic and ever-practical one, stepping forward to fill her older sister’s shoes as the responsible one who takes care of everybody else.

Scelwhyn takes his leave of Arnaud, as well. And while we do not get to see his farewell to his daughters, rest assured, he does say good-bye to each of them, but his passing from the world is not one that needed to be featured in this particular story.

Discussion Questions:

1. Have you ever had to say good-bye to someone and not know if you would ever see them again? (Not because they were dying, but because of a move or graduation, etc)?

2. How did you feel about Brant leaving Arnaud’s side at this point?


~ jenelle


Nancy Jean Walker

1. Just last August–as I was visiting my 93-year old aunt, I had a feeling it could be the last time I’d get to see her because 1) we live on opposite sides of the country 2) and well, she was getting up there in years and her mind was not as sharp as it once was. Turned out that it was my last time to see her as she passed away a week after Thanksgiving. :(
2. I think Brant should’ve stuck around to help Arnaud a little longer. :)

Jill Stengl

1. As a military wife, I have said goodbye to many people with the knowledge that I was unlikely to see them again–I especially think of our dear neighbors in England who were like three sets of grandparents to our children while we lived there. Also, I live across the country from most of my family (siblings, aunts & uncles, cousins, and two of our four kids) so every time I say goodbye, I wonder if I will see them again.
2. I was surprised at Brant’s decision–suddenly leaving Arnaud without an advisor after he had volunteered to take the position when Scelwhyn left? That seemed harsh. I understand why he did it, but in future he needs to think before he commits! I think (hope) Arnaud will do well. I’m interested to see if some of the pitfalls I’m suspecting are real.

Sarah Pennington

1. A couple summers ago, we visited my grandmother who’d recently had some fairly serious health issues. She lived a significant distance away (far enough that we have to fly to get there), so when we left, we knew there was a chance we wouldn’t make it down there again before she died. We were correct; she died just last November. (In all honesty, though, I’m glad that my last memories of her are from that time, when she was still doing reasonably well and still at least a little like who I remember her being when I was little and lived near her, instead of at the end, when, as I understand it, she was really in bad shape and pretty confused.

2. TBH, I’m kind of annoyed with him for leaving. I understand his logic to some degree, but I think he could’ve stayed longer — it still feels like Arnaud hasn’t quite found his feet, and I wanted Brant to stay around at least that long.


I love hearing from you, dear Reader!