Mark Reads ‘The Realms of the Gods’: Chapter 3

In the third chapter of The Realms of the Gods, Daine gets a better picture of the chaos that surrounds her in both realms. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read The Realms of the Gods.

Chapter Three: Dreams

Well, this is a hot mess, isn’t it? What do these people do? It’s not lost on me that while the gods complain of the war the mortals are waging, they’re fighting a war of their own. No matter where Daine goes, she’s not free from dread and terror, not even in the Divine Realms.

So let’s address the many things I need to talk about here.

Visions of Home

Liquid, flame, and mirrors are provide a glimpse into the mortal realms, which is how the gods watch the mortals from the Divine Realms. In these visions, both Numair and Daine can see that the attacks on their friends are getting worse. We have to remember that these two have essentially disappeared from Tortall for over a week now. They possess no means to communicate with anyone in the mortal realms, so I imagine everyone thinks they were killed by the Skinners. Lord, that’s awful.

Again, these visions serve a purpose. They remind us of the conflict that Daine and Numair face. Do they return home or do they stay in the Divine Realms? Numair has no qualms about going home. There’s nothing for him in the world of immortals and gods. But he seems to think it would be best for Daine to stay with her parents. Each vision is more horrible than the last one, so Numair believes that the only way for Daine to survive is to remain with her ma and da. And I get that Numair is concerned, and I also don’t doubt Broad Foot’s theory that Numair loves her. Of course he does! They’re best friends who’ve been through countless ordeals with one another. But Daine has survived those ordeals, demonstrating her ability to persevere under impossible odds.

Dreams of Gods

In her dreams, Daine is summoned by Rattail to first overhear and then observe how the gods of the Divine Realms fight againts Uusoae. HOLY SHIT IT’S SO WEIRD AND CREEPY. They literally stand in a circle around a chaos vent, trying to stop Uusoae from getting past them. AND HOLY SHIT, SHE IS SUCH A CREEPY BEING. It’s brilliant, though, that Pierce’s conception of her takes into account her nature. Uusoae is chaos, and her physical form represents that. She constantly changes shape, and she never quite makes visual sense at any given second. The scene also gives us a fascinating juxtaposition with how the mortals fight. Here, you see how the fight between the gods, while physical at times, is far more conceptual than what the people in Tortall are facing.

I LOVE THIS.

REALLY WEIRD DINNERS

Let’s just start off with this lovely paragraph:

As utensils clattered and plates were handed around, there was no way to avoid noticing that the company included a duck-beaver creature; a man crowned with antlers; and a lanky, pallid man who seemed to fade into the growing shadows even while his face shone under witchlights. More than anything Daine had observed since she and Numair were yanked out of that orchard, that dinner table said that Sarra Beneksri was not the Ma she had lived with in Galla.

Everything here is surreal all the time. It’s also my personal headcanon that Gainel is the Sandman, and I’m sticking to it.

Anyway, not only do all these scenes continue to grow Sarra’s characterization and give us a better sense of what the Divine Realms are like, they also serve to drive home a very important plot twist: Numair and Daine can’t go back home. Yet. The gods can’t just ferry them through to the mortal realms; Gainel can’t take them back, as he’s not allowed in the mortal realms; and no one can open a portal or door, either. GREAT.

Black Blots and Strange Swims

I am SO CONFUSED as to what the darking is. I don’t get it. In and of itself, it doesn’t seem to be evil. Daine feeds it cheese under the table during the first dinner she has with her family and new friends. It seems to appreciate Daine and seek out her presence! It’s always following her around.

But then, when Daine goes for a swim with Broad Foot, it appears underwater, where we’re given confirmation that it is the same black substance that allowed Ozorne to follow Daine in the first chapter. I DON’T UNDERSTAND IT! I DON’T GET IT! It makes even less sense that it would help Daine and Numair out by suggesting they go to the Dragonlands. Perhaps the nature of this creature isn’t immoral, but Ozorne is simply using it for his own ends.

And those ends? They’re fucking horrifying. After Daine glimpses Ozorne in the black goo, Ozorne sends a tauros after Daine, a bull-man creature whose singular desire is to rape women. I admit that the tauros’s appearance shocked me and disturbed me. And yet, Tamora Pierce finds a way bring about character development amidst one of the most suspenseful scenes in The Immortals so far:

“No one cared enough to give them mates of their own kind. All they know to do is grab two-legger females. They either kill them or get killed themselves. It’s wrong!”

Even when faced with a tauros, Daine just sympathized with an immortal. This is not the same Daine I met in Wild Magic at all! (Which falls in line with this book’s exploration of shifting identities, once you think about it. Daine is concerned that her mother is not the same person she once was, but the truth is just the same for her, too. Daine is not the same person either.

RIKASH!!!

And as a sign that I’m changing, I was ecstatic that Rikash was making an appearance in this novel! Unfortunately, he comes bearing awful news: Ozorne pulled the majority of the Stormwings to his side, sending Rikash, Barzha, Hebakh, and sixty-odd supporters into voluntary exile in the Divine Realms. Where they’re still attacked by random Ozorne supporters, by the way. I suppose I should have seen this coming. It does explain how Ozorne is still alive, though!

FUCKING DRAGONS OH MY GOD

I don’t know what the Sea of Sand is. (Shut up, obviously it’s a sea of sand, but you know what I mean.) I don’t know why the Divine Realms are “perilous.” All I know is that Daine and Numair are going to travel to meet Skysong’s kin and try to get some help. I am so into this, y’all.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Mark Links Stuff

– Mark Reads Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is now published and available for purchase! It’s available in ebook AND physical book format, and you can also get a discount for buying the ENTIRE SET of digital books: $25 for 7 BOOKS!!!
– Commissions are still open while I am on tour! There may be a day or two delay to get them done, but I am accepting them graciously to help fund my tour!

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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