Mark Reads ‘Lady Knight’: Chapter 14

In the fourteenth chapter of Lady Knight, I CAN’T BELIEVE THIS IS ALL HAPPENING. OH MY GODS. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Lady Night.

Chapter Fourteen: Vassa Crossing


  • Seriously, this is all so brutal, and while I appreciate the story that Pierce has created, it’s really hard to read. I mean, the first moment in this chapter is viciously heartbreaking, and it also works to heighten the sense of dread for the future. Kel knows that every moment that she’s not getting her people back, more of them may die and be cast away like garbage.
  • “Place him with her, please,” she replied. “We – we haven’t time to bury them, but at least they can be together.” I am but one man, and this intense heartbreak is too much for me.
  • It’s so interesting to me that we have a character like Kel react to the Stormwings the way she does after The Immortals quartet. It’s Neal who acts to remind Kel that the Stormwings cannot control what they were made to do, you know?
  • You know what I forgot? That Kel and her friends have to avoid their own people, too. They’d be obligated to arrest half of the party!
  • It’s really fun to see Neal take center stage for the bulk of chapter fourteen because it allows Pierce to provide character growth for him, too. His time spent with Alanna pays off in a huge way once he’s able to provide a solution for the group to cross the Vassa. Of course, I thought he was going to use magic, but then he made that comment about the illegality of his idea, and I was real confused.
  • “By the time they had ridden three miles, fording the Brown River in the process, she knew they had technically crossed the border into Scanra.”
  • They’re in Scanra, they’re in Scanra.
  • And then Neal takes them to a small village that’s probably full of smugglers? And Neal wants them to show themselves and not hide? WHAT IS THIS PLAN? THIS SEEMS LIKE A BAD IDEA.
  • “You meet the most interesting people, riding with the Lioness,” he replied. “They’re usually friends with her husband.” BAHAHAHA THIS IS THE BEST. Oh my god, smuggler friends. Oh, I couldn’t wait to see what this would bring.
  • This is such a fascinating part of this book, not just because it’s so unexpected (THEY ARE IN SCANRA, Y’ALL), but because it gives Tamora Pierce a chance to explore how war affects different groups of people. This town of smugglers have a different stake in the Scanra/Tortall war than anyone else, and it was a delight to get their perspective.
  • Okay, so, the Whisper Man. George Cooper, right? Yes? Probably? It would make sense if that were the case.
  • Peachblossom will forever be my hero. I will always adore the endless number of sassy horses that these Tortall books have given me.
  • HOW GREAT IS THE MOMENT WHERE KEL JUST CALLS THE MAGE OUT? Ugh, bless. And she doesn’t do it in a malicious way, either. She even gifts her one of her griffin feathers!
  • “The hand of fate is on them. On her.” Wait, WHAT. Can she somehow tell that Kel was sent on a mission by a god????
  • Except no, not really. Instead, the old woman explains that it was the fact that Kel had a pack of animals at her call, and she was in charge of such a bizarre group of soldiers who were on their way to retrieve a group of people 20 times their size at LEAST. Clearly she’s special.
  • (My heart my heart.)
  • You know, I’d honestly forgotten that Kel hadn’t told everyone about the task she’d gotten from the Chamber of the Ordeal. Unsurprisingly, people don’t really believe her because why would you? Well, you would because Kel isn’t one to just make things up, first of all, but I recognize that her experience is literally unique. As far as we know, no one ever visited the Chamber of the Ordeal twice, so I get why people balk at her story.
  • I loved that the old woman mage offered a token of respect to Kel and her people after Kel had offered her something. (The griffin feather.) However, I do hope that none of these people have cause to use it because… no. Just no. PLEASE NO.
  • (Of course we can y’all are the best.)
  • “You’re not looking at this the right way,” Owen told him sternly as he accepted the cup. “Here we are on an adventure. It’s glory and fame, and all those people the Scanrans too. It’s not counting troops or finding ways to bury the dead so they won’t rot the drinking water. And if we die in battle, Mithros will speak for us in the Black God’s court. You ought to be more grateful.”
  • THIS IS SIMULTANEOUSLY SUPER ADORABLE AND REALLY MATURE OF OWEN. I ADORE HIM, Y’ALL. Oh gods, I just realized that Kel got her wish: She’s going straight for the battle. I mean, yeah, this happened IN THE WORST WAY IMAGINABLE, but it’s still happening.
  • Y’all. They. Are. In. Scanra. The end of chapter fourteen is eerie because of the images that Tamora Pierce gives us. There’s an honor and nobility to the idea that these people are breaking the law to save people that the rest of society would probably leave behind. And yet, it’s deeply disquieting to know that they’re in another country, that they’re getting farther and farther from home, and that there’s a Stormwing scout silently following them. Is that a portent of what is to come? Or is it a reminder of the death that lay behind them?

Please note that the words “mad,” “deranged,” and “out of our minds” all appear in the original text and the videos below.

Part 1

Part 2

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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