Monsters, assassins, horrific dreams, and … steampunk trains? And all the while, the plot thickens…
It’s time to discuss The Ninth Rain.
NOTE: Spoilers follow for chapters 11 through 23.
Vintage’s journal entries at the start of each chapter seem to be filling in more backstory for our heroine, but what do you think of this approach to providing information about her? Are these entries fascinating, or distracting?
I love these journal entries! I like how they’re being used to give us more information about Sarn’s history, the Jure’lia, and about Vintage herself without derailing the present timeline too much in order to do it. I find it really irritating when I’m immersed in a story and then an info-dump goes and yanks me out of it again. But this approach feels smoother to me.
Also, and I know I just mentioned the wisdom of not derailing the story but part of me is absolutely dying to find out if Vintage ever reconnects with her estranged lover – assuming that’s what she is? And believe me, I am assuming. I want to know what happened to her! Why didn’t they meet where they were supposed to? Is she dead?! I hope she’s not dead. I HAVE QUESTIONS.
More details emerge about what happened at the end of the Eighth Rain… What do you think happened to (or between?) the Jure’lia queen and Ygseril?
Yes, let’s take a moment to talk about the Jure’lia because just in case I wasn’t creeped out thoroughly enough last week, we get even more disturbing details about this alien race, and let’s just say I feel like maybe that should be Alien race. There may not be a strict physical resemblance but the description of how some of these creatures go about their ghastly business was definitely reminiscent of THE CREEPIEST DAMN HORROR MOVIE I’VE EVER WATCHED THANK YOU VERY MUCH JEN WILLIAMS.
As for what happened at the end of the Eighth Rain, I am definitely intrigued by what we know about that at this point. It seems like a one-on-one showdown of a sort happened between Ygseril and the queen? And evidently neither survived? BUT I HAVE A (HALF-BAKED) THEORY. I am wondering if their efforts to destroy each other nearly destroyed them both, but somehow this left them bonded in some way and so now, the queen can return but because she’s coming back, so is the god-tree? I mean there has to be balance between good and evil, right? Otherwise this is going to turn out to be way more grimdark than I’m ready for and I do not want it. So, balance. If one is able to return, the other has to be able to fight it again. Right?
And now it seems that the god-tree still lives. Or does it? What’s your take on what Hestillion is doing, and what do you think she’s going to do with her surprise guests?
Well, I think it’s a fairly safe bet that we now know who our non-alien villain of the piece is going to be. Bloody hell, Hest.
I suspect she isn’t going to let go easily of her notion that human sacrifices are going to bring her god back. I think that this evidence of it still being alive are only going to strengthen that obsessive conviction. So her guests had better watch their backs. I think Hest may appear reasonable enough to use the advantage they’re offering to do a lot of difficult PR work for her on behalf of Ebora, but it’s questionable at this point how much good that’s going to do – most of the Eborans are dead, after all. So perhaps there’s going to be some kind of One True Saviour situation, and that’s what she’s counting on?
And if that’s the case, I can’t imagine the equivalent of a dark elf standing up and saying “I am your saviour” is going to go well for anybody, whether they buy into it or not.
Now, where did I put that popcorn?
Make love, not war. Or, if you’re Tormalin the Oathless, do both. How do you feel about the particular mixture of Tor’s skills, and what do you make of his interactions with Noon so far?
First of all, Tor is clearly The Conflicted Hero in this scenario. Right? I mean, look at him.
I think the mixture of Dashing Swordsman and Trained Courtesan here is definitely interesting, though. It’s not something you see a lot of, unless I’m just not reading widely enough, which I’ll grant you is an ongoing process. I can’t even think offhand of any men who have been written in the role of courtesan, in fantasy (and yes I will accept recommendations!). So Tormalin absolutely fascinates me and I hope to all the gods big and small that he survives because apparently I’ve also become quite fond of the big grumpy bastard.
As for him and Noon, I think it’s too early to make a ‘budding romance’ call but I definitely think there’s a lot of room for bonding between them. I want more in-depth conversations please! Let that relationship grow some roots and see what happens!
I knew the dreams were important somehow! And I’m here for the idea that only those with some sort of magical affinity are having them, at least so far?
WHAT DID NOON’S NEW DREAM MEAN. I mean, the little girl Tor spoke to was Noon, right? I WANT TO KNOW WHAT SHE DID BECAUSE SHE CLEARLY DID SOMETHING AND IT WAS NOT GOOD.
I really want to see Agent Lin get what’s coming to her. I do not like her at all. At. All.
STEAMPUNK TRAIN. I mean. I’m just giddy about it. THERE’S A STEAMPUNK TRAIN.