In the ninth chapter of Page, Kel’s third year of training brings about new challenges and a new friend. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Page.
Chapter Nine: Autumn Adjustments
I’m normally not a big fan of narratives jumping ahead in time, but it’s done so well here! Tamora Pierce uses this to convey comfort: the pages become comfortable in their routine, and so Lord Wyldon changes things up. Well, initially, this is what I suspected was his motivation for this, but oh god, I was wrong. And yet, the information was all there! Wyldon gives that little speech about learning to give and take commands, and tells them all that one day, they may have to lead people entirely untrained in combat in a battle.
For the time being, though, the pages merely groan and whine about more work being added to their schedule. A few of them â€“ Kel included â€“ have the promise of new arrows in their future, and it’s one of the only positive things on the horizon for these characters. Granted, they all knew this wasn’t going to be a giant puppy party, so I don’t want this to seem like I think they’re being unreasonable. Even when Lord Wyldon picks Kel to make an example of in tilting, she has to admit that there’s a good reason why she should get better and better at hitting the target with her lance. I think that’s awesome! She recognizing what she needs to do to become the best knight, and she’s able to put aside her own personal discomfort for the sake of it.
AND THEN! THEN ANOTHER THING HAPPENS! IT’S A THING OH MY GOD.
Kel breaks her practice lance. It didn’t even occur to me that she was still using the same lance that Joren modified early in the book, but upon getting a new one, she can’t hit the target shield at all anymore. She’s so used to a heavier weight that she can’t undercompensate for a lighter one. Wyldon calls her out for this, and it’s the same situation all over again. Kel can’t the truth about being bullied because it’s viewed as weak in this culture and I REALLY HATE CULTURES THAT VALUE LYING BECAUSE PRIDE AND COMFORTABILITY ARE IMPORTANT. I understand tact, but this is not the same thing.
AND THEN THE THING! THE THING HAPPENS.
“My lord, I’d like permission to take this to the smithy,” Kel said, hefting the lance. “It’s too light.”
DID YOU JUST
DID YOU JUST ADMIT THAT YOUR LAST LANCE WAS HEAVIER???
“Surely my lord knew that Page Keladry has lead weights in all of her practice weapons,” commented Neal, who stood nearby.
OH MY GOD OH MY GOD, JUST SECONDS BEFORE I GOT TO THIS SECTION IN THE VIDEO, I WAS WHINING ABOUT KEL NOT BEING ABLE TO TELL WYLDON THIS. HELP ME.
He looked the spirit of mischief.
YOU ARE UNDER EXAGGERATING, TAMORA PIERCE. Neal, my gods, you just can’t keep quiet. But seriously, do you realize this is a HUGE thing? First of all, now Wyldon knows that Kel is training with weapons that are HEAVIER THAN ALL HER FELLOW PEERS’ ARE. He’s not a dim man. I’m sure he later put two-and-two together and realized that this was the result of hazing. I say that because of that one thing at the end of the chapter, but before we get there and I flail until the end of time, it’s time to talk about Lalasa. Oh god, I am just so into Kel’s growing friendship with Lalasa, and it keeps getting better. I’m so glad that Kel consciously chooses not to act like the nobles Lalasa is used to, and I’m certain she’ll eventually return the money she earns to Lalasa anyway. It’s a purposeful effort born of sympathy and empathy, one that shows that Kel cares about the people around her. It’s also nice that she moves closer to understanding why Lalasa loves sewing so much.
BUT RAOUL. RAOUL. THAT IS ALL THAT MATTERS FOREVER AND EVER, AND IT’S MY FAVORITE MOMENT IN PAGE THUSFAR. Like, okay, I was excited enough that Raoul showed up at all, and then he brilliantly explains why Wyldon may have suddenly made the pages’ training more difficult:
“I think Wyldon got a scare when you and your friends stumbled into that bandit camp.” Correctly guessing the reason that Kel stopped to gape at him, the big man grinned and said, “The whole court’s heard about it by now. Anyway, if seven pages had gotten slaughtered, he would have felt responsible.”
oh. OH. It makes perfect sense, actually! He’s teaching them in a way to help them deal with the reality of battle in a more effective way! I’d also like to take this moment to state that this proves there is a spark of compassion in this man’s steely heart. I can see it right there. Of course, he could be acting this way to protect is own position, but still. He wants his pages to be well prepared! GOSH, A BOY CAN DREAM, OKAY. I am going to be mortified if I’ve read Wyldon wrong, by the way.
Then it happens. The thing. The thing. It’s here.
“I hear you and your friends declared war on hazing.”
I mean, just watch the video for my reaction. I was rendered utterly fucking speechless because THERE IT WAS. SPELLED OUT. IT WAS UNDENIABLE. And knowing how popular gossip is in the palace, that means PLENTY OF OTHER PEOPLE KNOW WHAT KEL AND HER FRIENDS HAVE DONE. Oh my god. DOES THAT MEAN LORD WYLDON KNOWS, TOO? I can’t deal with this! I CANNOT DEAL WITH ANY OF THIS. RAOUL, YOU ARE MY FAVORITE FOR DOING THIS.
“So, tell me, now that the worst of them are gone, have you given up your no-hazing patrols?”
Oh my god, HE TOTALLY KNOWS WHICH SQUIRES KEL IS TALKING ABOUT. HE HAS TO. I’m just done. Done with this. Raoul is the best, and this scene is my absolute favorite. GODDESS BLESS.
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