Mark Reads ‘Squire’: Chapter 5

In the fifth chapter of Squire, Kel discovers that her actions saving a young child have gotten her into a world of frustration. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Squire.

Chapter Five: The Griffin

Kel. Oh, Kel. I feel so bad for you!

  • Everything was already bad enough for Kel, and then she’s basically attacked by a griffin multiple times a day while being branded for death by him at the same time. And yet, I could not help but laugh at the tenacity of that tiny immortal. I COULDN’T HELP IT, EVERYONE.
  • While we don’t learn anything about Flyndan’s reaction to what Kel did, this whole chapter is a continuation of what was brought up in the previous one. First of all, Kel has to heal. The injuries she sustained from the centaur are very real, and she doesn’t get better overnight. Of course, it doesn’t help that the baby griffin gives Kel new injuries multiple times a day, but I’m guessing that Kel broke her ribs after the centaur kicked her.
  • And yet, despite that she kills the centaur Windteeth, her troubles aren’t over. For the time being, she has inherited a fussy, violent, brutal, and ENDLESSLY FUNNY griffin who wants his way all the time.
  • THE GRIFFIN THROWS FOOD AT KEL TO GET KEL TO FEED HIM.
  • STOP IT. YOU ARE TOO MUCH.
  • He practiced his aim. I swear, I will never tire of sassy animals in these books. NEVER.
  • Still, this whole situation is so painful for Kel, both literally and figuratively. Obviously, griffins aren’t domesticated like other creatures in the world, and what little I know about them from The Immortals is replicated here. I love that Pierce sticks with their characterization, even when Daine shows up to help out.
  • (I promise to freak out about Daine in a bit.)
  • I found Kel’s refusal of any gifts for what she’d done to be kind of adorable. Granted, I think she wanted to avoid responsibility for saving the young girl, despite that she did play a huge part in that. But what we’re seeing from Kel is this truly genuine desire to help others. Not only is it genuine, but Kel believes it’s her duty. In that sense, she’s already accepted this aspect of being a knight. She isn’t in this for the glory, you know? That’s fitting with Lord Raoul’s statement later in the chapter where he admits that he laughs at anyone who assumes being a knight is all glory. Nope, Kel is living proof that it’s frustration, pain, and a whole lot of thankless tasks. Seriously, it’s not like the griffin is going to thank Kel for what she’s done.
  • You know, once I got into Squire, I had hoped that Joren, Vinson, and Garvey would be gone from this book. There was no indication that they’d show up again. And then Kel has horrible dreams about them, and no. Not fair. Ugh, I hope they only stay in her dreams.
  • Well, as long as Kel doesn’t wake up from said dreams to find the griffin biting her, I mean.
  • Oh, by the way, GRIFFINS CAN RUST METAL. THAT IS ONE OF THEIR POWERS.
  • !!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Oh, and the griffin knew the precise worst moment when he could vomit and poop on Kel’s stuff. I still find this hilarious.
  • More unexpected than anything, however, was Kel’s experience with watching her first public executions. Now, I’m firmly anti-death penalty myself. I find the process to be horribly hypocritical and unnecessary, on top of being a terrible way of deterring crime. Oh, and there’s the fact that here in the U.S., we’ve probably executed quite a few prisoners who were innocent, so I don’t support the existence of such a practice if there’s even a shred of doubt that we could have executed the wrong person.
  • And then, smack dab in the middle of this chapter, we’ve got Kel feeling uncomfortable and horrified by the hangings and beheadings. Obviously, they’re upsetting, but she’s more disturbed by how joyous most of the crowd is. These people are celebrating a life being taken, even for judicial reasons.
  • I like that she asks Buri about getting used to such a thing, and Buri’s response is even better: No, and she would see something wrong in anyone get used to such a thing.
  • Oh, and this: “The law says it’s a lesser wrong than letting them go to kill again, but it sows bitterness in the surviving family and friends. Bitterness we’ll reap down the road.”
  • Amen, Buri.
  • DAINE
  • DAINE
  • DAINE!!!!
  • I missed her so much. SO MUCH!
  • I seriously thought that Daine would have taken the griffin with her, but it looks like Kel’s got to take care of him for a little while longer as Daine goes out to find the griffin’s parents. Which makes sense! I get why the griffin has grown somewhat attached to Kel and why Daine can’t take him. Still, I do feel bad for Kel. Her job as a squire is hard enough without an immortal creature in tow whose mere touch could condemn a person to death.
  • And yet, Kel perseveres. She presses on. She finds a way to survive and to thrive in her environment. This environment in particular is one I’ve come to adore precisely because these people that Kel is surrounded by are so informative and willing to share. I really enjoyed that the various members of the own swapped stories about the realities of the Immortals War. As I’ve mentioned often, it’s important that education happen in such an open, participatory way. That is what’s going to help Kel become a better knight.
  • I’m so enthralled by this book so far, y’all.

Part 1

Part 2

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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