Mark Reads ‘Untold’: Chapter 23

In the twenty-third chapter of Untold, THE CHAPTER TITLE EVEN TOLD ME THE TWIST AT THE END AND I STILL DIDN’T GET OUT. OH GOD. If you’re intrigued, then it’s time for Mark to read Untold.

Chapter Twenty-Three: The New Sorcerer

Singular. Singular.

I’ll get back to that at the end. I think it’s important to note that this chapter starts out with hope. There’s hope that Kami’s plan will actually work, and hope that Kami and Jared can continue to explore a romantic relationship with one another. Both of these are key plots in this story, and the way that Brennan weaves them together is hypnotic.

Initially, it was very comforting to know that the plan to steal objects from all the known sorcerers in town was actually going to work. IT WORKS. IT PREVENTS THE SORCERER’S FROM HARMING THEM. Holy shit, excellence. I’m interested to see it’s greater application, obviously. What are the rules of it? Is it any type of harm or just magical harm?

Wait, before I get into that, let me talk about another soul-destroying couple of sentences in this book:

“Kami,” he said, and she realized he looked happy for a change.


“So. Think I can hurt you?” Kami asked, grinning.

He crossed his arms over his chest and regarded her sidelong. “I know you can.”


All right, back to magic! The group heads to the woods just by Sorrier River to test out the use of the magical shield… bags. Whatever you want to call them! It’s exciting as hell, y’all, and then Kami discovers another trick: They can break the sorcerer’s focus on their source to negatively affect said sorcerer’s magic. In Jared’s case, hitting his head on a tree caused him to lose concentration, and his magic fizzled out. So, even in the case that the trinket magic doesn’t work, there’s a physical approach they can use. (Which actually works out well, since Rusty has been training them in defense.)

And then Brennan drops one hell of a romantic scene between Jared and Kami into the chapter. I picked up on something here that I hadn’t commented on in chapter twenty-one: the importance of physical touch for Kami. There was that whole bit where she talked about how Claud had touched her versus Jared and why it was important to her that Jared knew her better than Claud ever had. It’s a subtle way of directing our attention to the fact that for many years, these two loved each other without physical contact. I don’t know that I’d qualify that love as a romantic thing, though, at least not until these last few chapters. Like I said before, Brennan is exploring a genuine romantic relationship between these few characters now, and it’s done in a way that doesn’t rely on their previous magical connection. So I think it’s important that a lot of this journey is physical now. They had already grown close to each other emotionally, and physical touch is what’s new to them. So the two of them lay there on the forest floor, and it really does feel like an exploration. I think it’s handle well because Brennan appreciates how serious it is, and she doesn’t do a single thing to shame them for wanting them to explore this sort of thing.

Of course, they’re interrupted just before the kiss because UNFAIR FOREVER. Well, Ash was bleeding from the ear, so that seems like a good reason to interrupt adorable time. There are a few more adorable things here, like Kami’s willingness to show Ash some sympathy for getting hurt, and this:

Rusty was plaintively talking about dinnertime.

HELLO BEST FRIEND. Rusty has his priorities straight, y’all. However, then the rollercoaster of emotions hits, and in just a few pages, everything is NOPE:

“He doesn’t bother me,” said Ash, easily enough so she thought it might almost be true. “Give me a little time and I’ll be fine.”

Ash looked sorry as soon as he had said it, and the rest of them went quiet. They had so little time left.

WOW. RUDE. THANKS FOR THE REMINDER SARAH REES BRENNAN. But it is necessary to bring this up because we still don’t know how they’re going to beat Rob Lynburn and his sorcerers. I don’t have a single theory, y’all! So I was – momentarily, at least – excited when HENRY THORNTON was revealed to be the new sorcerer in town! Oh shit, HE MADE IT. It really is an awesome moment because he didn’t have to come, but here he is. It’s certainly a bizarre meeting, too, since the last time Kami saw him was REALLY AWKWARD. I’m sure it must be weird for Henry, too, since he’s being invited to Aurimere by the Lynburn boys. God, what did Rob do to him???

However, Brennan had a card up her sleeve, and that card was UTTER DEVASTATION:

He did not have to say a word. They all stood there on the path to Aurimere, silent and huddled together against the cold realization that Henry had come alone: that Rob was coming tomorrow, and there would be nobody to help them.

Goddamn it, how are they going to do this? They got one new sorcerer and that’s it??? I’m worried, y’all. And what does Lillian have planned? We still don’t know that either. GAH, I’M UNPREPARED AND I DON’T LIKE IT.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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