In the tenth chapter of Wolf-Speaker, GOOD LORD, WHAT AN ENDING. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Wolf-Speaker.
Chapter Ten: The Fall of Tristan and Yolane
- I enjoyed the fact that despite being spoiled for the ending by the very chapter title, I was still not spoiled. I still didn’t know how this was going to come about!
- This chapter is also the next in a long line of final chapters in Tamora Pierce books that are all spectacular. God, she is so great at narrative climaxes and resolutions! I AM SO SATISFIED!
- I did have a moment of panic in the opening scene because I thought that I’d gotten the whole “Don’t look a Coldfang in the eyes” thing wrong in my last review, and then this chapter proves that I was right, and then I wish I wasn’t right because this is terrifying.
- I’m fascinated that this chapter explicitly addresses physical stature and fighting. Daine, while strong, cannot just pick up any ol’ weapon and heave it in the Coldfang’s direction. Because of this, she nearly gets eaten by the creature because she grabs that hefty axe. I dunno, I just don’t see this sort of thing in fantasy books! Everyone everywhere can just use any weapon interchangeably, and… well, that’s not how this works, you know?
- Oh god, Daine’s fury at Scrap’s death gives me life. I admit I’m still confused by the machinations of her magic. She did bring some animals back from the dead in Wild Magic, but it’s not explained why she can’t do this here. In the video, I surmise that it would drain her of her energy too much, so she offered up a rather demanding prayer instead. I think that could explain this, but I wasn’t sure. HELP?
- You would think you’d hide the second opal somewhere that wasn’t anywhere near the first one, but OH WELL. I jest, I jest! I’m sure that was for a reason related to keeping the magic on the model working. Still, it made me chuckle.
- “For the wolves,” she whispered, and slammed the stone again.
- I DON’T GIVE A SHIT IF YOU THINK THAT LINE IS CHEESY, IT IS EVERYTHING I COULD HAVE ASKED FOR FROM THIS BOOK.
- Okay, the whole “…and the room blew up” line caused me a moment of serious confusion because I took this so literally that for a fraction of a second, I entertained the notion that everyone in the room had also blown up. Shush. I can’t help what happens to my brain.
- Oh, Numair. You have such a flair for dramatics. I can’t help but enjoy you!
- I’d really like to know where Numair sent that pot of bloodrain. What is “not a place as you would think of one”? WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?
- I was a little worried that I’d be let down by this ending because… well, once Numair showed up and it was clear that Alanna and Raoul were successful, what else was there left to do? I should have realized that there were twenty more pages. I was so unprepared.
- Bless Tamora Pierce for contrasting the battles between Tristan/Numair and Daine/Rikash. It shows us Daine’s growth, it’s entertaining, and it’s fucking weird. Like, what the hell kind of magic are these two mages using??? I LOVE IT. But mostly, I’m so satisfied that Daine finally found it in her heart to accept that the Stormwings, while they may be vile to her, don’t exist to be evil. I am predicting that this will work in her favor in the future. IT MUST.
- That being said, I acknowledge that she still killed two Stormwings. Granted, though, it was in self-defense! I wonder, then, if Daine will face another immortal in the coming two books that’ll force her to continue examining her ideas of evil.
- So, okay, I refuse to believe that this is the last we’ll hear of the word of power. Like, first of all, I was so shocked Numair used on at all, especially since it happens in the matter of three sentences. Now there’s a tree who is a human, and I WANT TO MEET THIS TREE. I also don’t think this is the last word of power we’ll see in the series.
- “I think it’s fair rude to make him a tree and not know what kind he is.” I will cherish this goddamn joke until my body is dust, I swear.
- I wasn’t surprised that Belden committed suicide once I thought about it. What was happening in Dunlath didn’t have much to do with him, and I never got the sense that he was necessarily behind the treason. Still… whoa.
- So, I mentioned it in the video for chapter nine, but it never made it into the review, but Y’ALL, DAINE CAN BECOME ANY ANIMAL SHE WANTS NOW. In chapter nine, I totally missed the couple times where Daine had changed a body part to help the animals until the last instance, and then it hit me all at once. But here, we get a full transformation that is easily one of the most exciting and satisfying sequences in all of Wolf-Speaker. Using water (HELLO, CONTINUITY FROM WILD MAGIC, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL), Daine is able to boost her magic in a way that gives her the power to turn herself into a wolf completely. She is no longer a two-legger who walks with her pack or enters their minds. This is also far beyond what happened to her in Snowsdale, too.
- It’s also important because Daine largely must take a subdued role with the pack. Brokefang is in charge, and he makes sure to assert his alpha status regularly. It’s like Daine is a puppy, and this dynamic is so fascinating to me. It’s not just a matter of pack dynamics, either. The pads on her paws are still tender, too! SHE IS LITERALLY A NEW WOLF. Oh my god, I love this book so much.
- And yet at the end of this, Daine chooses to use her wild magic to bring Yolane’s mare to her side, and then faces Yolane as a human, too. As much as Daine enjoyed being an animal, I found it significant that once again, she chose to deal with Yolane in the most human way possible. Plus, we get to see how she is able to bridge the world between these various kindred forms, too.
- There’s just an epilogue left. I suppose I’m not sad because I know there are two more books, but I also have had a fantastic experience reading this book. I don’t want it to end!
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