Yeah, I guess he could have gotten it from any of their minds. Just seemed interesting that he mentioned Jes at all...
I'm up to the part where the note about Rushton has arrived, and they're trying to determine if the rebels took him. I can't quite remember if it's ever revealed what exactly went down in Sutrium but I'm insanely curious as to how *exactly* Ariel got hold of both Rushton and Domick. I'm thinking more is revealed in TSK in the Domick parts but I'm trying to remember if we're properly told or just have theorised what must have happened, on the theories board here years ago.
Also was thinking about Gavyn, and Ariel's story/upbringing. I remember Isobelle telling us that Selmar was like a warning, of what Elspeth could have become. Perhaps Ariel is what Gavyn could have become, if Gavyn wasn't at Obernewtyn at the right time. We have to assume Ariel was once a little boy who had abilities he didn't understand. Kids aren't *born* evil.
I am going somewhere with this, I promise.
What I wondered is if perhaps, there's always been a Seeker, a Moonwatcher, Daywatcher, Destroyer, etc. We know Rushton's grandmother was called the Moonwatcher. Perhaps Selmar was a Seeker, but had no Moonwatcher appear in time. Maybe Cassy leaving the keys vaguely as she did was because Hannah's prophecies couldn't determine which of the Seekers would be successful and which of the Destroyers would be a true threat.
Don't know if there's any point to this being a possibility, and was only really a trace thought after noticing the similarities between Gavyn's enthralling and the talent Ariel must have (it would take something like enthralling for him to charm his way into so many institutions, and would be the reason those at Obernewtyn didn't know he had talent really - because Gavyn's enthralling is similarly unrecognizable, as in the beasts he enthralls don't realise he's doing anything to them).
We are told how the capture happened at the end of TSK Min but I won't spoil it for you - rediscovering things is nice :) It's not actually that interesting though :( Interesting theory about the multiple roles, though Cassy does leave a fair few things that make it clear she was thinking of Elspeth specifically (the statue, the 'beware dragon' line on the doors, her personalised messages in the crystal room in TSK), but maybe she left others that if different Seekers had got that far, they would have found as well. Seems very complicated though, even for Cassy.
Thanks Kella - I have an idea of what happened but I remember it being such a hot topic of conversation I'm hoping I've not substituted what actually happened with one of the theories we had before TSK came out!
I'm up to the section where Misfits are leaving for the rebellion, but since the meeting in Sawlney I've been all argh-no-stahp...I can't bear what's about to happen!
That's exactly how I felt. Especially when they make Malak swear to not hurt soldiers. Ugh!
I have just finished my re-read and am so emotional...really surprised by how many details I had somehow forgotten. I should really study before starting my Stone Key re-read, but whether I will or not...
Kelda, re-reading this book makes me emotional too. I think it’s just too close to The Red Queen coming out and the end of The Obernewtyn Chronicles!!! But that also makes me super excited :D
I think this may very well be my favourite book so far in this re-read! And I think it has something to do with all the lovely little interactions between Elspeth and Dameon. I have a rather funny, nostalgic memory of when I first read this (back in 2010 – not quite as long ago as some others here I realise ;)). I had just got off the plane on a family trip to NZ and was feeling terribly sick so I was confined to bed for the day. I was reading The Keeping place at the time and was up to the part where Dameon looks after an exhausted and emotionally-drained Elspeth and I just pretended he was actually looking after me. Yep, I know, one should not obsess over imaginary characters… but I think it might be love !shy
Spoilers and more below…
I appreciated that a good half of the book was dedicated to Obernewtyn, giving us a look into how each guild is run and the different concerns and talents of each. I loved the details of the Council, the Herder faction, the rebels. I really appreciated this outline of the way the Land worked and was governed. I mourned more this time for Malik’s act of treachery and the dead misfits and horses and I loved the flame memorial that Swallow and the twenty-families constructed for them. The Miryum and Straaka saga was just so funny and endearing and Annalivia is simply awesome.
I loved every scene and encounter with Dameon (of course :p ). The clearing of the Sutrium Cloister and Elspeth leading the prisoner out to see the sky actually made me cry a little. I enjoyed reading about the dive down into the city under Tor and the description of the awe-inspiring glass statue of Elspeth made in the Beforetime. I loved all the Beforetime visions of Cassy – her story is absolutely fascinating – to think that she lived in the Beforetime, was friends with the first Red Queen Hannah Seraphim (is this fact or speculation?), was an important figure for Gypsies and Sadorians just blows the mind. The only thing I was unsure about was what happened to her in the end? Did she just die in Sador? My absolute favourite part was the dream-trail travelling. I loved this insight into Dragon’s past and I loved that Rushton’s spirit form is a bear.
Observations and insights…
- Can Dameon see in dreams or on the dream-trails perhaps? Did anyone ever solve the discrepancy between Dameon apparently ‘seeing’ Matthew in a dream and his later words to Elspeth that he can’t see in dreams? In a letter to Elspeth he says about Matthew: “he stood naked… there was anger in his eyes… I saw whip scars on his back… there was a bald man with sly calculating eyes. He wore a red robe and a gold brow circlet set with jewels” (p.228). But later he tells Elspeth: “’I do not see anything… ‘I dream as I live; I dream of words spoken, of smells and of feeling things…” (p.672). Error or meaningful insight into Dameon’s character or the nature of dreaming?
- Elspeth has her reoccurring dream about the familiar cave and sees a stuffed Agyllian, not Atthis but the smaller Beforetime flame bird and hears a voice: “’you are the promise…’ a voice whispered into my mind. ‘You are the end of all promises’” (p.710). I wonder if this could in fact have a deeper, cryptic meaning than Elspeth realises. Maybe something to do with the twenty families promises?
- Elspeth loses control over her dark power – I know there has been much speculation about the nature of Elspeth’s killing power and its origins but I wonder if it will in fact have some terrible repercussions for Elspeth herself in the last book. In The Keeping Place, it suggests a few times that her dark power has a will of its own: “… incredibly, the probe bucked and writhed, refusing to obey my will” (p.561) and when Gahltha tries to reassure her that she didn’t mean to kill the soldier guard she answers in horror that part of her did. Elspeth also muses that she could break free from Dragon’s dream world if she really wanted to by using her dark power and her dark power speaks with a voice of its own: “‘I could break you free, and surely one girl and a mindless man are a small price to pay for the saving of a world, a voice whispered, silky and insidious…” (p. 739). I wonder if this will lead to some potential disaster in Red Queen, a darker turning point for Elspeth, a loss of control of her dark power, possibly even a death, her own or the death of a friend. There was also a reference, although I can’t remember where to Elspeth wondering what it would be like to let her mind fly around with such power – which to me, was such a ‘Destroyer-like image.’ Her nemesis surely has this power too.
- The moon – reference to people travelling to the moon/ living on the moon and Maruman’s cryptic – “the moon waits…” or just a metaphor for impending doom?
- Cassandra and Hannah still alive? I don’t remember there being any reference to Kasanda’s death or the place where she was buried. I would actually be stoked if Elspeth did actually get to meet either women or even Jacob Obernewtyn in the mysterious city.
- BOT and Sentinel – I have this faint sense of unease with the fact that Elspeth must rush to destroy the machines, knowing that the Destroyer will only follow her. Ariel could not find the weaponmachines without Elspeth. Also, Atthis says in The Farseekers that she had foreseen that someone was destined to resurrect/ activate the weaponmachines, but why would Ariel want to cause mass destruction to a world that he has to live in, potentially harming himself in the process? Surely, he’d only want access to the machines for total power, not to actually use it? (Unless he has ulterior/ hidden motives that lie beyond the current timeline – future or past). If so, whoever actually has the motivation to potentially destroy the entire earth must be someone with single-minded, cold purpose, someone thinking that what they’re doing is for ‘the greater good’ – a purist in a sense. Otherwise it has to be an accident.
- I love the ways in which words have changed over the years, due to time, lost information, misunderstanding, dialect/ accents e.g Sentinel/ Entina, Director/ D’rekta (such an aussie abbreviation), maruman/ merrimyn and countless other things.
Ok I have to ask because I'm not sure if I misread but didn't they guild merge vote that Elspeth should not be part of th decoy group? I thought this happened so I am confused now as to why Elspeth is now riding with Miriyum etc away from the soldier guards....?
Makes me sad to see what will happen next 😞 Manipulative Malik!
Jossie, my remembering is that...
maybe spoilers maybe
...they voted against her going to Guanette as one of the three misfits sent to Malik, but that they didn't think of the decoy plan as being dangerous at all, and I think at one point they even say it was a chance for older/weaker people from the Obernewtyn community to contribute (I remember that part because of all of the emotions it threw up knowing what was going to happen)
Ah that makes sense! Thank you, Kelda!
I have just finished this one! I'm scared I won't be finished the next two mammoth ones before The Red Queen
Plenty of time! I read too fast and now have to wait. :(
Song of dawn, I think from the way the sentinel /guardian systems are described,if it is turned on, it will see that there has been attacks and automatically launch counter attacks.
If Ariel or whoever just think they're just taking control of the weapons for the power over the rest of the world, their intentions make more sense.
Thanks for that bit of insight Special-Me. Having now re-read a little more than half of 'The Stone Key,' I recall Dell speaking to Elspeth about the potential of a computer 'left on' to go mad (which people have speculated is the Beast in the pit/ the Entina). I can imagine that Ariel would think that he could control the weaponmachines but he's probably in for a nasty shock! Te he :) I now understand that if the weaponmachines are activated they will destroy the whole earth, which makes sense that Elspeth needs to destroy them. I wonder if Ariel would be able to find the weaponmachines if Elspeth failed - needing the Seeker to accomplish his own destiny - or maybe he would never find them and the machine would awaken of its own accord or perhaps be activated by accident?
I think Ariel's not the Destroyer because he's foreseen that whoever wakens the weaponmachines will be in danger, and the title goes to the one who will physically be there wakening them if Elspeth's not. Ariel's never been one to do something dangerous when he can enthral others to do it for him. The Destroyer will then have to be someone that Ariel can control; he mustn't be able to control Elspeth (without a machine to open up her mind).
I have to wonder why Ariel believes he can control the Sentinal, though - surely if he's seen so much in dreams or on his dreamtrail travels, he would know that waking the Sentinal will result in another Great White? Maybe he does know it, and plans to...I dunno, go into cryo before it happens (not that it'll do any good, because apparently the second Great White will be permanent)? He has no love for people in general (unleashing the plague seed on the West Coast, despite later seeing that Elspeth would stop the plague from spreading) but killing everybody and leaving the Earth destroyed defeats the purpose of gaining the power to begin with. Has he seen a possible future where he has the power of the Sentinal and it doesn't result in the second great white?
Damnit, what's motivating that lunatic? It feels like he's playing a very complicated and purposeful long game with a goal that doesn't result in the destruction of all, not flying by the seat of his pants chanting "kill all humans".
Ariel's motivations are interesting because even if he could control the Sentinel then what? Like sure he could use the weapons selectively perhaps, but still, so what? It's not like if he attacked one place, another one would then surrender because they heard of his doings, there is no connection there.
Maybe he plans to hop on a ship and be taken to the Moon, or Mars (The Journey hinted at this), but then that seems unlikely to be possible perhaps, and still, then what?
So I just think it's one of those scenarios where they think they can wield this power but they really can't, and end up reaping the consequences.
We're definitely missing the bigger picture when it comes to Ariel.
You know what would be great, after the OC has finished? Isobelle's said she's planning on writing a Matthew short story, to fill in some gaps. What I'd love is an Ariel short story, as much as writing as that psycho would be difficult. But it would be very interesting to read something from his perspective.
Oh I'd be down for that, that would be very insightful!
Perhaps in 3rd person though--y'know, so poor IC wouldn't actually have to step in that creature's mind.
I feel like if we knew more of Ariel's beginnings we might be more empathetic towards him.