Mark Reads ‘Squire’: Chapter 10

In the tenth chapter of Squire, Kel experiences her first Great Progress. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Squire.

Chapter Ten: The Great Progress

  • I’m still really into the way Tamora Pierce passes time in the narrative by telling the reader about all the things Kel has to do as a squire. The way it’s done implies a sense of duty and routine to it. Not everything a knight and squire does is heart-stopping adventure! They have to work for the realm, and sometimes that involves escorting ambassadors, attending KINGDOM-WIDE PARADES, or just appearing with the monarchs.
  • GEORGE COOPER. GEORGE COOPER. Oh my god, just the appearance of his name was enough to do me in.
  • Still my favorite sentence in the book: “Nice eyes hardly seemed to Kel like grounds for marriage.” I dare you to find something funnier in Squire because IT’S NOT POSSIBLE.
  • I really think that by the end of Protector of the Small, Kel is going to do something to challenge the existence of executions in Tortall. It’s mentioned too much for it to be a mere coincidence.
  • This chapter also made me miss being with the Bazhir.
  • I’m fascinated by Raoul’s open display of distaste for the more artificial elements of his knighthood. We know that Kel has some of the same thoughts about her role as a knight in service to Jonathan, but I imagine that witnessing Raoul openly defy and mock the king must be a strange experience. Like Kel, I feel like I’m missing a part of the puzzle here. Is there some other reason why Raoul hates being part of the grandeur of the monarchs? I don’t need another reason, mind you, because I totally understand why he hates the spectacle.
  • Plus, I don’t want to forget that he’s not the only person here who is annoyed or bored by the Great Progress. Buri, Prince Eiotaro, and Glaisdan don’t hide their frustration or boredom either.
  • Also, apparently Lerant is still going to act annoyed by Kel? Shut up, dude.
  • Poor Owen! Stuck with Master Oakbridge because the knights are taking their sweet time in choosing new squires. 🙁
  • I know at least three people who live their lives just like Oakbridge: They “thrive on disaster.” I also don’t know how they haven’t just keeled over from the distress.
  • Okay, can we just count all of Cleon’s actions in this chapter as absolute proof that he’s nursing a confusing and all-encompassing crush on Kel? It’s so obvious to me that he likes her!
  • I also want to eat some subtleties.
  • I also want everything all the time. This series is so unfair.
  • KEL’S FIRST TOURNAMENT IS SO GREAT, especially since Pierce surprises us by not having Kel compete. Instead, she’s more than content to assist Raoul. I love that Kel knows she doesn’t have to prove herself to her knightmaster. Y’all, they have the best relationship, and I love it so much.
  • “Haven’t you ever noticed that people who win say it’s because the gods know they are in the right, but if they lose, it wasn’t the gods who declared them wrong? Their opponent cheated, or their equipment was bad.” I just love this book so much.
  • I didn’t think I’d get a bit of a history lesson regarding why these competitions were now necessary, but once again, Pierce uses the canon of the past quartet to inform the world in this one. Tournaments are relevant in a post-Immortals War world!
  • Oh, how fantastic is the fan toss scene? The idea of weaponized femininity is amazing enough in itself, but I was intrigued by this game of beauty and grace being inherently dangerous to those who don’t know what it is or how to play it. Case in point: Neal. You know, this is a perfect example of ignorant white people trying to butt their way in on other cultures’ customs without learning anything about it. IT IS SUCH A PERFECT EXAMPLE. (And before people start yelling me about reverse racism, I did say “ignorant” white people. Clearly, Kel understands and respects this culture, despite being white, since she was raised in it. She treats this game with the proper attention and devotion.)
  • Queen Thayet wants a shukusen. Which means that all I want from this series is a scene where Thayet defends herself with her deadly fan. Thank you.

Part 1

Part 2

Mark Links Stuff

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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