Mark Reads ‘Trickster’s Queen’: Chapter 10

In the tenth chapter of Trickster’s Queen, the night of the eclipse arrives, but matters are still complicated for the rebellion. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Trickster’s Queen.

Chapter Ten: Eclipse

OKAY, SOMETHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN VERY SOON, AND THIS IS SCARY. I was nervous about a chapter titled “Eclipse” because of the prison break, but y’all, Tamora Pierce is not making this easy for any of us. This is ruthlessly complex and uncomfortable, and all the factors that Aly and the conspirators have to deal with are OVERWHELMING. Let’s discuss them:

Fear

The opening section of chapter ten deals with the relentless fear and paranoia that the people of Rajmuat feel after recent evens. They don’t know what’s going to happen if Dunevon dies. They don’t know who is going to be arrested next. The raka are afraid for the fallout that’ll come their way in the wake of any upset whatsoever. There are a lot of what ifs, and there is no answer at all. Because truthfully, Aly doesn’t know what the endgame is. She knows what she wants, what Kyprioth wants, and what the raka want, but everything before that? It’s all up in the air, and that lack of certainty scares people.

Darkings

Aly manages to FINALLY get a ton of darkings into the palace, which happens after Ochobu makes her an incredible suit that not only gets past spells, but causes people to forget that they ever saw her. She gets one into every room possible and even sends some off to the kitchens and slave/servant quarters. With the exception of Spot, Aly doesn’t even get a chance to learn what they’ve found out in this chapter. (Which is a brilliant choice on Tamora Pierce’s part, since she furthers the tension by not giving us the result of the spying. YOU ARE SO EVIL, QUEEN TAMMY, and I love it.) I’m super eager to see what Aly learns from the darkings and how she can use that against the regents.

Luarin suspicion / Sarai’s impatience

When a footman brings news of the raka revolt in Imahyn, it’s not surprising to see how the luarin nobility react to this:

Most of the women present made the star-shaped Sign against evil on their chests. Any slaves with raka blood retreated to the rear wall of the pavilion; raka and part-raka maids stepped back, wary eyes on their mistresses. All around the room noblewomen shifted, their hands and feet restless. Their eyes were unsure, their voices soft. They were frightened. Some had turned their eyes toward the raka. More were looking at the door to the Robing Pavilion.

OH, YOU’RE NOT SO CERTAIN OF YOUR SOCIAL STANDING ANYMORE, ARE YOU? This is just one giant display of clutching at pearls, and you better believe I found this intensely amusing. In the span of a minute, the luarin suddenly realize (quietly of course) that their slaveowners. They’d never admit it out loud, and the noblewomen instead start voicing all their ridiculous racism as if this sort of display is going to make the raka never want to rebel ever. I mean, seriously:

“What has gotten into the raka?” asked a noblewoman, her voice quavering with anxiety. “This is the second rising this month. Do they forget what they owe us?”

I… I cannot even begin to understand the level of entitlement and white supremacy at work here. This is just BEWILDERING in its display of grossness. So yeah, I get that what Sarai says is impractical, that it may not help the conspiracy at all, BUT I STILL ADORE HER FOR SPEAKING UP:

“Forgive me, Lady Ankoret,” began Sarai politely, addressing Nuritin’s friend, “but there are brutal owners as well as overseers. Some bitternesses come not from bad present usage. They come from seeing others profit from the lands where your ancestors are buried. Have you seen how the raka in the big rice farms and in the mines live? I don’t understand how we can treat our people so.”

I DON’T CARE, I LOVE HER SO MUCH. She’s a flawed person, and there are going to be complications when she becomes queen, but she is so 100% spot-on when it comes to her perception of how the raka are treated that I have hope she’ll do well when she’s ruling the Isles. Y’all, she’s so great!

“Forgive me if I offended, Great-aunt, Lady Ankoret,” she said proudly, her chin raised, “but I also think of the elders who work in the fields and the mines.”

I CAN’T HELP BUT LOVE HER.

Taybur Sibigat

AND I CAN’T HELP BUT LIKE HIM EITHER. Perhaps the most difficult complication exists in him and his relationship with Dunevon, the boy king who unfortunately stands in the way of the raka regaining control of the Isles. Of course, it’s just plain entertaining to have Aly interact with a spymaster who is so smart and observant, able to catch on to what Aly’s doing (for the most part). However, his attachment of Dunevon – which inspires him to return the darking Spot without having Aly arrested – is one of his more redeeming and fascinating qualities. But it’s also an uncomfortable reality because Aly only has a slim hope that they’ll be able to enact their conspiracy without killing them, you know? It’s unfortunate because he clearly respects Aly for being so good at her job, and he accepts that spying is just a part of the world they live in. It’s why he’s playful with Aly rather than being like… well, Topabaw. But I don’t see another way out of this just yet, and getting Taybur to take Dunevon out of Rajmuat (after Dunevon and Elsren sign a blood oath not to pursue the throne) seems pretty much impossible.

Kyprioth’s impatience

No wonder he’s taken a liking to Sarai; like her, he is quickly becoming impatient with the progress of the rebellion, despite that Aly and the other conspirators have done a hell of a job in just one month. So I think that Aly’s going to have to consider Kyprioth’s interference soon, since he heavily implies that he’s going to do something to give the Isles “vicious rulers.” Goddamn it, what is he going to do?

Dove’s curiosity

Sooner or later, Dove is either going to figure out the full scope of this rebellion, or she’ll demand it of Aly. She knows way more than Aly expected her to already, and I don’t think she should be discounted as a significant force in this conspiracy either. THERE ARE JUST SO MANY THINGS TO KEEP TRACK OF AT THIS POINT. Plus, this chapter ends before we find out what happened with the prison break. Goddamn it, TOO MUCH GOING ON.

The original text/videos contain uses of the words “idiots,” “crazy,” and “mad.”

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

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About Mark Reads

Vegan cyclist, Internet community nerd, atheist bookworm, high-five purveyor.
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