How’s it going? I hope that the slower pace is helping and not hindering your enjoyment of the story. I am really enjoying going through this and discussing it with y’all! Thanks to everyone who has read along and left comments or answered questions. Remember, if you have any questions about anything with regards to the book please feel free to ask!
On his own again
Here we find out that Brant stayed with Euphie and Barr for a couple of seasons and now that the weather is warming up he is back on the road and on his own again. The old restlessness has him in its clutches and he is suddenly uneasy, remembering that he has enemies who wish him dead. Of course, they have no way of finding him, but that doesn’t make him any less itchy to get back out on the road.
Along the way, Brant picks up the hobby of cartography, as well as odd jobs here and there. Rumors of a sorceress attract his attention and he decides to go investigate… because this is his friend’s kingdom, after all, and if the sorceress means trouble for Arnaud, Brant will endeavor to stop her. Eventually, his travels lead him to an old forest. The forest speaks to him, much as the one on Emnolae did, though this time we are privy to both sides of the conversation, and points him on towards his goal.
I’ve always loved forests. We had one in our back yard when I was little, though eventually it got turned into a subdivision. But there was also a nice big forest in the park across the street, and I spent many happy hours as a child using dead branches to build forts with my brothers and friends. There’s just something magical about forests. So of course they had to feature in my stories. I don’t know that I had the talent to truly capture the essence of that wonder, that deep, dark magical nature of old trees and the song the wind plays through their branches, a song that… if you listen hard enough… you can ALMOST catch the words to. But I tried. I think my love of forests kind of began when my dad read me The Hobbit and I delved into Mirkwood with Bilbo and the dwarves. I know Mirkwood was a twisted and evil forest… but there was just something about it that called to me. Whenever we went hiking in the woods, we always pretended we were in Mirkwood.
But when he finds the sorceress, she is not what he expected. It is, in fact, Calyssia, and for the first time in years, Brant pours out his closely-guarded story to another living being. In return, Calyssia offers him a place in her cove and to teach him what she can… but she warns him not to get too comfortable, hinting that his restless nature will not allow him to settle down just yet.
Back at the palace…
Arnaud seems to have managed to find a fairly good balance in his daily life and is at peace with the whole business of being the king.
But of course… there’s the small matter of that girl he danced with on the night of his coronation. And I think it’s about time for him to find out her name… don’t you? On his solitary rides through the forest near the palace, he’s heard the lovely voice of a young woman singing multiple times, but he’s never managed to actually find her (probably because he never thought to look up into the trees), but today he is determined to find her, and he eventually does.
1. Do you enjoy being in a forest?
2. What did you think of the story of Rahnieal and the inclusion of the actual song lyrics here?
3. Anything you particularly enjoyed about this chapter?