In the sixth chapter of In the Hand of the Goddess, Alanna sasses at all times, and Jonathan and Myles talk about Alanna’s secret. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read In the Hand of the Goddess.
Chapter Six: Captured!
Aside from the abrupt conclusion at the end of this chapter, I had one hell of a time reading this chapter. I’ve resolved to accept that each one of these books feels like part of a longer book, as if Song of the Lioness is the complete story, and these are just giant puzzle pieces. In that sense, it’s generally easy to excuse how quickly the plot moves.
Well, I’m mostly referring to the beginning and the end of “Captured!” We learn that Alanna has been unconscious for three days following Big Thor’s death at her hands. I liked that Pierce allowed Alanna to not only be hurt, but to be drained in a way that showed me that she was at least vulnerable to the physical affects of what she was doing. It also sets up her kidnapping by Tusaine forces because it highlights just how frustrating and useless their predicament is. Alanna isn’t the only one irritated by the fact that no one can cross the river, and this is made worse when Alanna can’t do much of anything because of the pain in her arm and the loss of the use of her Gift.
Well, she can make out with Jonathan and almost get caught by Myles. WHOOPS. Oh gosh, their relationship just gets more and more adorable to me. I mean, yes, it’s going to be a hot mess when she goes home and we have to deal with George. And we all know how much I hate love triangles. For the time being, though, I like the way Jonathan treats Alanna, and that’s particularly the case after she’s captured.
But before we get to that point, Duke Roger is really creepy. Since his true alliance is now out in the open, I wasn’t quite sure where Pierce could take his characterization. We know he’s evil. We know he wants to rule the kingdom. So what else is there to develop? I expected an inevitable fight between Alanna and Roger, and that’s it.
I definitely did not anticipate that Roger would directly address this to Alanna. I read their conversation as a warning. By openly asking Alanna whether she liked him or considered him an enemy, he was demonstrating how much power he truly has. It’s a brash and frightening act, especially since you expect such a thing to be entirely unspoken. I don’t think Duke Roger ever actually believed that Alanna would suddenly change her loyalties, so when he tells her that “Many things could be yours,” he’s merely teasing her with what he has in his possession.
Good lord, what the hell is he going to do next?
But about that rescue mission. No one in the world should be surprised that Jonathan went after Alanna. He is clearly falling in love with her, so this plot wasn’t shocking at all. This, however, was:
Myles shook his head. “Don’t.”
“You’re about to tell me why Alan of all people should not be left among enemies for very long. I would rather hear it from Alan, when he’s ready to tell me.”
WHAT THE FUCK?
“You already know,” Jonathan accused.
The older man smiled. “Let’s say I’ve formed an educated guess. I can wait to have it confirmed.”
HAHAHAHA OH MY GOD, HE TOTALLY KNOWS. Oh my god, I love you, Sir Myles. I love that he refuses to discuss it, wishing for Alanna to “come out,” so to speak, on her own.
Jonathan scowled, rising to pace again. “If Alan stays on that side of the river, you won’t have to wait much longer.”
Sir Myles, would you like a bandage for that burn?
Actually, he’s pretty sassy when Duke Roger is upset that Jonathan has crossed the river. Bless these people for constantly trolling Duke Roger, even if none of them are as suspicious of him as Alanna is. It’s such a pleasure.
Alanna’s rescue is entirely seen through her point of view. It’s obvious that she specifically was captured and that the other two prisoners, Micah and Keel, were incidental. I was initially worried that Micah and Keel would actually be killed before Jonathan’s party arrived. If the Tusaine really wanted Alanna, then they were disposable. But I admit that I’m confused as to why Alanna was so important to them aside from Jemis holding a grudge against her. Did they know about her powers? I still think the war is being orchestrated mostly by Duke Roger, so was it possible he orchestrated this, too? Honestly, this wasn’t clear. Jemis and Hilam wanted Alanna to spill her secrets, but couldn’t anyone have done that? What was so special about her?
Still, it was massively hilarious to read about her constantly insulting her captors. I think her rash fearlessness is one of my favorite elements of her personality. She’s so tough all of the time. Sure, it might be to overcompensate for her gender presentation. She’s got to appear to be as masculine as her peers, so she uses her rough demeanor when she can. But I think that even if she didn’t have to hide her identity, she’d still be tough as nails, you know? That relentless spirit of hers is what makes her Alanna. I couldn’t imagine her any other way.
I laughed in shock when Jonathan just showed up. My only complaint about this chapter is how abrupt this is. This long battle is over in a single paragraph, and here, it feels rushed for no real reason. Well, clearly there’s something more important in this book that I need to get to, but I wish Pierce had spent a little more time wrapping this up.
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