Tor and Noon go looking for answers, and only find more questions. Hestillion seizes the chance for more power, and finds herself making an irrevocable move. And Vintage is up to her eyes in political trouble.
Everything’s fine here, how are you?
Let’s discuss The Bitter Twins. Spoilers follow for chapters 35 through 46.
New connections: how do you feel about events aboard the Behemoth? How do you think her newly imposed alien empathy will affect Hest’s choices in future? #WhatWillHestDo
One: I do not feel good about it. To put it very, very mildly.
Two: NOT WELL. Oh, Hest.
I mean, it seems pretty much guaranteed now that any choice she tries to make from here is going to be influenced by this empathic connection with the Jure’lia. That said, I don’t think for a second that this connection isn’t going to cut both ways. I already suspect that the bond Hest formed with the queen, before she emerged from the netherdark, has somehow changed the queen. It happened while the Jure’lia were severely weakened, and however logical it seems she’s being on the surface, it’s pretty clear that how she’s behaving is not typical for her. I think her logical explanations for these changes are a front for the effect Hest has had on her.
Does that mean I don’t think she’ll kill Hest if she gets to be too inconvenient or doesn’t prove useful? Hell, no. But, and I hate to say it under the circumstances, at least now Hest might have a fighting chance of surviving her?
I can only hope. And swear a lot. Damn it, Hest.
Allies or antagonists: as the Yuron-Kai challenge Vintage’s leadership and Tyranny Munk and Okaar make themselves indispensable, what do you think is going to happen in Ebora?
This is all really interesting to me, because I’ve got a strong suspicion that the behaviour and interactions we’re seeing here are, at face value, not much of an indicator of how these newcomers to Ebora will act when things get really dire. I’m calling it now: I think when the chips are really down, the Yuron-Kai are going to pull their weight, because for all their arrogance, they came to fight the good fight. And as for Tyranny and Okaar, well. I haven’t trusted them since they first appeared, and I still don’t trust them now. There’s just something really insidious about how they come across to me. At least the Yuron-Kai are upfront about their faults, and about what they want. I think Tyranny Munk is up to no good, and Vintage had better find somebody more trustworthy to be watching her back.
Flawed mirrors: our Eboran contingent have over-indexed on arrogant self-regard recently – but this week we come face to face with their startling origins. Are we reading fantasy or scifi?
Clarke’s third law, people. Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, and this technology is pretty freakin’ magical to me. I love it when these kinds of genre lines get blurred, and I have no idea where Jen Williams is going with this but I am 100% along for the ride.
Also? Not for nothing, but I definitely enjoyed seeing Tor get a little taste of his own arrogant medicine. Don’t get me wrong, I’m just as frustrated and desperate for answers as our hero, but I won’t lie. It was just a little bit satisfying, seeing him taken down that particular peg. It was Tor’s selfish outlook that ultimately got him where he is; if he’d never left Ebora, he wouldn’t be here. But he did and he is, and I’m really curious to see if this opens his eyes to the scale of the problems he’s actually facing. You know, along with the rest of humanity.
Become a real hero, Tor. I know you can!
There’s so much going on! Any other thoughts to share about the Poisonless? The strengthening bond between Tor and Kirune? Our ship coming in? Eri’s new playmate?
I’ve always had hope that our heroes and their war-beasts can find the deeper connection they’re seeking despite not having been born with it, because I’m a sucker for that old “the power was in you all along” trope, when it’s done well and not just used as a deus ex machina. I’m hoping so hard that we’ll get that here.
ALL ABOARD THE GOOD SHIP ALDABERN. My heart. MY HEART.
… Eri, run. Run away and do not look behind you. Nope, I don’t trust this kid. Not at all. I mean, all the signs of bad news are there and they are lit up in neon. Right? Come on.
Also if she hurts my precious Eri in any way for any reason I will riot.