Warning: Contains Spoilers!
Strange, bright pictures flickered in his sluggish mind: a green, dappled world, a kindly old face, himself secretly entering the Silent Grove and paring slivers of bark from the Lufkin beech—a terrible feeling of shame and guilt…
Aufwader’s Thoughts: It’s absolutely the dreamy-eyed sap in me, but I was kind of hoping that Kernella’s smooch might be what would change Finnen back. It’d be both a somewhat farcical princess-and-frog moment, and also a nice role reversal of traditional fairytale, in that it would be Kernella saving Finnen with true love’s kiss. Really though, I musn’t tarnish Jarvis canon with any such vomitous cliche – after all, there’s far more at stake here than some paltry werling romance.
Matt’s Thoughts: If it wasn’t for how violent I know these books can get, a chapter like this in isolation makes me think this would be a great animated kids’ movie. Gamaliel really comes into his own, there’s a funny scene with Kernella kissing a sluglung and finally Finnen is back! I really enjoyed it. Maybe it’s because when occasionally things go right in this book, I can see some sort of end in sight and it gives me a bit of hope. (Relative to, say, Freax and Rejex, where nothing went right and everything got worse and worse.)