Mark Reads ‘Untold’: Chapter 19

In the nineteenth chapter of Untold, JARED + ASH = OH MY GOD. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Untold.

Chapter Nineteen: Favor Fire


  • I feel fully validated about my hatred/fear of making phone calls because Ash is terrified and full of anxiety calling his own brother. Thank you for this, Sarah Rees Brennan. What a gift you have bestowed upon us.
  • Did the very idea of Ash and Jared training remind any of you of Nick and Alan Ryves sparring? Because it did for me.
  • “All Ash had ever wanted was to be at home and surrounded by his family.” Wow, heartbreak, thanks, it’s not like you haven’t been in every chapter of this frickin’ book. Plus: obligatory parallel with Kami Glass! She wants the same thing, and is also struggling with her family falling apart. ~*character parallels*~
  • You know, I don’t think I’ve ever really commented on the magic system that Brennan devised for this world. It’s pretty damn neat! Magic has a natural source, it can’t just be pulled out of nothingness, and there’s a physical cost for the sorcerer. It’s why human sources are so volatile and powerful! Plus, this magic system lies somewhere between bending the elements in Avatar: The Last Airbender and alchemy in Fullmetal Alchemist, despite that both of those systems aren’t magic at all, and I just love how different this feels.
  • Also, JARED’S MAGIC IS STILL TERRIFYING. Ash starts off slow, just in case Jared does need to learn some of the foundations of his powers, but then, Jared is quickly doing magic that’s not just highly impressive and ambitious, but it feels angry. I don’t know how much emotions play into sorcery in this world, but if it’s a big deal, Jared is gonna be ridiculous at using magic.
  • I noticed that Jared didn’t want to perform “mindless vandalism” on the bridge over the Sorrier River, but then, just minutes later, he’s setting trees on fire, risking a forest fire. Dude, you’re not very consistent about what type of wood is okay to burn. rude.
  • Y’all, that transition from “friendly family lesson about magic” to “incredibly intense introspective examination of Jared’s psyche” is JUST SO FUCKING BRUTAL. This went from whimsical to heartbreaking in like thirty seconds. Goddamn.
  • This all goes back to what I brought up in the last chapter. I think it’s entirely possible to find empowerment in this book, and I also think it’s so difficult to read because Jared’s life is so incomprehensible to us. How do you describe going from a world with someone like Kami in your head to what he has now? It’s indescribable because it’s so patently unique. And Jared does give it a good effort, and I think it’s one of my favorite little speeches of his, despite that it’s so bleak and horrifying. He has literally never felt alone in his life. He never questioned his place in the world. I think it’s safe to say that the link did mess Jared up, and it explains his sometimes-scary, sometimes-endearing dependence on Kami. He’s clearly dealing with this separation much, much worse than Kami is. She was determined to prove that she was her own person, and Jared desperately wishes he wasn’t. Oh god, this can’t end well, can it?
  • It really feels like the entire middle section of this book is about understanding. I was initially surprised that the Lynburn boys were so openly discussing their failed and awkward romantic endeavors, but it fits with what’s been happening with these characters in the last few chapters. They talk to one another. They try to understand why they act the way they do. They make attempts to become closer, even if it doesn’t necessarily work. And through this, I really do believe that they’ll become a stronger force against Rob Lynburn.
  • At the very least, I feel like Jared and Ash have made an important step towards tolerating one another, perhaps more than that. But that will come with time. These two messed up boys have a lifetime worth of disappointment, lies, and dependence issues to work through, not just with each other, but mainly with themselves. It’s not going to be easy for them to be on the same page emotionally, but, again, at least this is a start.

Please note that the original text and the videos contain uses of the words “crazy,” “insane,” and “dumb.”

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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1 Response to Mark Reads ‘Untold’: Chapter 19

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