Mark Reads ‘Wolf-Speaker’: Chapter 3

In the third chapter of Wolf-Speaker, Numair and Daine cope with the consequences of their confrontation at Dunlath. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Wolf-Speaker.

Chapter Three: Fugitives

  • It really didn’t take me long to figure out that Numair and Tristan weren’t the best of friends and that his appearance complicated matters. But lord, this did not go as I expected.
  • I’m fascinated by the way that Pierce dissects the nobility in this chapter. We haven’t had much commentary on the matter, but that’s largely because… well, for real, we just spent time in the wilderness, Pirate’s Swoop, and Corus in the last book. The noble culture in those places is either non-existent or highly irregular. It hasn’t been since Song of the Lioness that Pierce has found a method of bringing up issues with the way upper class folks treat those who they view as below them. Here, we see how Tristan, Belden, and Yolane all act as if Daine is truly something to be forgotten and ignored, and it’s grating. Yolane scoffs at Daine’s last name, she routinely pokes fun at her, and during the confrontation itself, she’d downright nasty to Daine. All of this triggers that sense of loneliness and otherness that was at the core of her identity during the first half of Wild Magic. She suddenly doesn’t feel like she can ever belong. And it’s not that there’s something inherently wrong with being noble. It’s just that these people are fucking awful. At one point, Tristan outright mocks Maura. UGH, MAURA IS AWESOME, F U TRISTAN.
  • No, seriously, can we talk about Maura? Is there seriously a way we cna steal away from the castle so she can come live in Corus or Pirate’s Swoop? The real tragedy here is that there’s this lovely young woman who is so ignored and forgotten by her terrible family that she just expects people to treat her poorly. I love what Pierce does here. She doesn’t demonize Maura for who she is or how she was raised. Instead, we sympathize her, and so does Daine. I think it’s significant that Daine opens up about her wild magic to Maura first and not anyone else. At least on a superficial level, Daine trusts Maura.
  • AHAHAHA OH GOD, MICE GET BORED BY CHEESE. Bless these books, y’all.
  • The amount of courage Daine shows by getting up in front of these royal poopheads is unreal. She’s fourteen, she’s about to tell them how she can talk to animals, and she appears to expect to be treated terribly for it. Yet she does it anyway. Bless her heart.
  • I expected some push back. I didn’t think these people would just automatically accept everything Daine said.
  • I didn’t expect the backlash to be so abrasive and so cruel. I’d forgotten that the Carthaki university does not believe in wild magic!
  • I’ll ask the same question I did in the first video: Why didn’t Daine demonstrate her wild magic?
  • I think I have an answer for that, though: because it wouldn’t have mattered. These people are stubborn. Tristan vocalizes their thoughts: They are above all animals, and all of nature should bend to the will of humans.
  • That’s why I also love that Daine spells it out in terms they can understand. She tells them that what they are doing will destroy Dunlath beyond repair, that even if you ignore the wolves, they’re still digging their own grave.
  • I am still shocked that all of this happened already. I mean, I didn’t think they’d walk right into the castle in the first place, but now Daine’s already confronted them? Shit, this book is picking up speed fast.
  • WHAT THE HELL, WHY ARE THEY LEAVING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT? This is not good. Oh god.
  • “I am a riding horse, not a god, was Spots’s answer.” SPOTS FANCLUB STARTS TODAY. Oh fuck, y’all, this horse is so great.
  • Five mages. Dunlath has five mages at their disposal, and they’re hiding something, and this is frightening. What the hell is going on in this forest that they need this much protection and magic?
  • HURROKS! WHAT THE HELL IS THIS BOOK DOING TO ME? Carnivorous flying horses??? No, y’all, this is not fair. Horses are a sign of goodness in this book! WHYYYY.
  • Numair’s simulacra spell is incredible. And for what it’s worth, I think it’s brilliant that there’s an entire conversation about what kind of magic Numair has. He has a great understanding of esoterica from his studies, but he had to spend time in the world to develop a more practical side to his magic.
  • So, it looks like my questions about Daine’s future with the wolves are going to be addressed rather directly in the near future. Daine’s magic must have spilled into some of the wolves, and that’s why some have develop human behavioral tendencies. When faced with the severity of this problem and her own guilt over causing it, SHE CHOOSES TO STAY BEHIND. Oh shit, this is going to be so entertaining. By “entertaining,” I mean, “horrifically stressful.” But I admire that Daine is willing to take responsibility for what she’s done, even though she had no idea what had happened. She may not have intended to hurt Brokefang, but that doesn’t mean she also gets to absolve herself of accountability.
  • Daine is on her own in the forest, y’all. Well, not quite. She does have the animals on her side! Okay, I’m going to make a prediction: She is going to sneak into a mine to find out what’s down there.

BRING IT ON, WOLF-SPEAKER.

A note about today’s videos! I accidentally went over 15 minutes in the first video, so it’s on Vimeo. 🙂

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Mark Links Stuff

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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