Mark Reads ‘The Broken Kingdoms’: Chapter 10

In the tenth chapter of The Broken Kingdoms, Oree is interrogated more, but it leads to a surprising revelation about how she might be able to escape her imprisonment. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read The Broken Kingdoms.

Chapter Ten: “Indoctrination” (charcoal study) 

THESE PEOPLE ARE THE WORST. This is so relentlessly creepy, y’all, and getting an inside look at a cult like this is unnerving. This chapter provides the first chance for us to get a glimpse at the other initiates. It’s a brief look, but oh my god. Who are these people? Where did they come from? What happened to them that brought them to this place? Why aren’t they in control of anything? Do the New Lights replicate the same social order within this place as what once existed in the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms? I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS ABOUT THIS PLACE.

Oree is put on work duty for the first time to help clean the larger dining hall, and seriously, y’all, this feels like prison. How is this supposed to make Oree feel better about what’s happened to her??? It’s belittling and gross, but she does find some way to comfort herself in the routine of the place. I mean, what else does she have? She’s alone. She was violently torn from her home. So I totally understood why she wanted to mop and why she’d appreciate the soak in the tubs to calm her mind.

But then Hado is back to ruin everything, and he brings someone named Erad with her, and EVERYTHING IS AWFUL FOR A BIT. I thought I knew how these people were going to get to Oree, but now I think that this is still going to be a lot harder than they’ve expected. Hado starts asking Oree about her relationship with Madding, and he attempts to parallel her experience with that of Shahar Arameri, whose hatred of the other two gods of the Three is what led her to help Itempas to overthrow/murder his siblings. But… this isn’t the same! I mean, that’s the point of this. When questioned, Oree realizes that she does care about Madding, and that even if he has done horrible things in the thousands of years he’s been alive, that doesn’t change her feelings for him. Sure, she’ll want to find out more about him if they get out of this, but her immediate reaction isn’t hatred for the gods. It’s admiration and respect.

And then Erad speaks up, calling Oree a “whore.” I suppose in hindsight, this isn’t as surprising as it was to me initially. These people truly despise the gods, and it makes sense that Erad would immediately go for a slur that would paint Oree as immoral. I admit that since I’m a dude, I don’t have much experience with this word outside of a homophobic concept, so I don’t use it myself. It’s not as common as the misogynistic use of the slur, but very early on in my babygay years, I was frequently called a “whore” or a “slut” for dating men or having sex with them by a bunch of concern trolls disguised as “friends,” and I had no idea that this was a thing that happened to other queer folks. Still, I’m not going to reclaim it or anything, and I would defer to folks who are more often than not the brunt of this word in terms of defining its power rather than defining it myself. But I noticed that Erad was impatient here, that she just wanted Oree’s blood and not conversation with her, so she went straight to one of the more demeaning terms to insult Oree’s sexual desire.

It’s also not lost on me how Nypri’s desire to “study” Oree is just as gross as the rest of the New Lights’ behavior. Of course he doesn’t care if Oree offers up her blood. Apparently, she already belongs to these people. UGH UGH UGH I HATE THEM ALL SO MUCH.

But y’all. Y’all. The violent way in which Oree’s blood is drawn gives her an epiphany – albeit a SUPER FUCKED UP ONE – regarding how she’ll be able to get out of this place: she can paint with her own blood. HAHAHAHA HOLY SHIT, I CAN’T EVEN DEAL WITH THIS IDEA. My god, it’s going to happen in the next chapter, isn’t it? Oree said she’s only going to wait until the next day. Are they surveilling her, too? Will they interrupt her before she can finish? WHY AM I ONLY READING TWO CHAPTERS THIS WEEK? SO UNFAIR.

Please note that the word “whore” appears in the original text and the video.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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