In the epilogue of Wild Magic, Daine completes one final task at Pirate’s Swoop. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to finish Wild Magic.
I adore that Daine’s final act at the end of this book is one that represents exactly what kind of person she’s grown to be. I thought about what she was like when I first met her a few weeks ago. She was shy, but eager for work and companionship. She was so concerned about rejection from those around her because of her past, and yet she still did whatever she could to be good. And that’s what I find so striking about Daine. Whatever flaws she does have don’t negate the fact that she’s got this empathetic moral core to her. Throughout this book, she has put herself at great emotional and physical risk to help other people and creatures out. Even when she was deeply concerned about Onua and Numair finding out what happened in Snowsdale, she didn’t let that stop her from being a good friend to these people. She puts others before herself.
That’s what I see here. Despite that she has never been more exhausted and drained in her whole life, she still knows that she has to help the dragonlet left behind by the mother who sacrificed her own life to save the people of Pirate’s Swoop. Daine is so beautifully nonchalant about this, too. She expects nothing less of herself, and she won’t hear any protestations to stay behind.
I’m interested to see what becomes of Daine in the wake of the siege on Pirate’s Swoop, though. What she did there has to become legendary. FOR REAL, SHE CALLED A KRAKEN TO BATTLE, who apparently left in a huff after Alanna and Numair spoke to it. LOL WHAT DID THEY SAY. But there’s also this:
Here, shading her eyes from the sun, the girl saw the first repercussions of what she had done. The stable hands had liked to talk to her, before the enemy invasion. Now they avoided her glance and kept well away from her.
It’s kind of an interesting parallel to Alanna becoming the Woman Who Rides Like a Man. Will Daine gain a reputation as well? How will this affect how she sees herself as part of a community? The stable hands, short of being violent, are acting somewhat similar to the people of Snowsdale. Will Daine interpret it as such?
Plus, okay, DAINE IS GOING TO RAISE A DRAGON. Like, y’all. That’s going to obviously draw attention to her, and I’m sure there will be people who will insist it’s unnatural and evil. (To them, I’m sure Skysong will respond with a nice burst of fire breath, right?) That being said, I got the sense that Wild Magic ended on a note of hope deliberately. Daine is strange, different, and solitary by nature of who she is, and yet all these people she’s come to know all openly accept her. Hell, they fight over her. To me, that says that despite the pushback or negativity Daine might get, she’ll always have these people in her life. They accept her for who she is, and that’s the journey Wild Magic was always about. Daine went from a life without a family or friends, and now she can’t get enough of them.
I think it’s obvious at this point that I had a hell of a time with Wild Magic. But let’s say you strip away the endless torture of all the cute animals. This book is still fantastic. I think I enjoyed it more than anything in Song of the Lioness, and I know that’s partly because I could see how Tamora Pierce’s writing had improved after that quarter. Here, given the space to craft a narrative how she wanted, the narrative is paced better, it’s less choppy, and it doesn’t end in a place where it feels like it was cut short. It’s a complete book in and of itself, but it also leads brilliantly into the next part.
Oh god, I can’t wait to start Wolf-Speaker.
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