Mark Reads ‘Deep Secret’: Chapter 3

In the third chapter of Deep Secret, Rupert finds out why he’s needed at the Iforion Palace. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Deep Secret.

Chapter Three

  • I’M IN
  • I mean, in just one chapter, Jones reveals a ton more about her world, BLOWS UP AN EMPIRE, introduces what I’m guessing is the main plot of this book, and draws me in immediately. Fuck yes, this is going to be great.
  • There’s just so much I like here, so let’s start off with the setting. This chapter takes place in a seat of power that’s been literally blown to bits, and by doing this, Jones creates a terrifying sense of claustrophobia in the narrative. It’s made even worse when we discover that one mage – Jeffros – was the only one keeping the place standing.
  • The whole thing is surreal because so many important figures and much of the staff/military were also murdered in the bomb blast, and the Empire is left in the hands of three people who never in a million years ever thought that they’d have power at all. And they’re weary. Tired. Coughing up the red dust of the brickwork of the palace. It really does signify the end of the Empire, doesn’t it? It’s not lost on me that all three of those running things – Dakros, Alexandra, and Jeffros – want little to do with being in charge themselves. In fact, that’s the reason that Rupert has been called to the remains of the palace: they need help in finding Timos IX’s heir.
  • That seems absurd enough on the surface until you remember that Timos IX had a statute that made it illegal for his heirs to ever know they were heirs or for anyone to help an heir discovery their legacy. Timos IX essentially guaranteed that only he (and his magical computer) would have have knowledge of who was to succeed him. DUDE. WHAT. But Jeffros thankfully explains that it was due to the man’s paraonia. Timos IX knew of the shifty basis for the Empire’s power, and thus created this complex system for himself so that no heirs could ever try to take his seat from him. So… who killed him?
  • Oh, Lady Alexandra. Survived by going to the bathroom, doomed to forever repeat why she survived. Hey, at least she’s alive!
  • I just realized that there’s no obvious clues about who planted the bomb and set it off, aside from Rupert realizing that magic was used. Is that part even going to be addressed in the narrative, or will it mostly focus on finding an heir?
  • I simply adore the computer sequence because it’s so unexpected. He LITERALLY STORED THE SECRET IN A COMPUTER. It’s such a purposeful divergence from the fantasy trope here (regarding inheritance) that I can’t help but giggle. Oh god, there’s an actual password guessing sequence, too. I LOVE IT.
  • But it’s also an interesting way to build tension, not only because of the threat it poses. It’s clear that Rupert just got involved in something extremely complicated, and he might be in over his head. I just realized I didn’t really comment on Stan’s warning about the Empire, and now I’m thinking that this is part of that. Rupert decides to help Dakros out of pity and kindness (and probably a bit of curiosity, too). But is he going to regret ignoring Stan’s warning? I’m interested to see what Stan says in the next chapter.
  • I don’t know what’s going to become of the Empire. The palace is destroyed after three failed password attempts! That’s as much symbolic as it is literal, so what are the three “leaders” going to do in the meantime? They’re homeless now, too! I don’t doubt that Rupert has the power or expertise to crack the magic on one of the disks he managed to copy, but is he really just going to hand over the name of the heirs and wash his hands of the whole affair?

Part 1

Part 2

Mark Links Stuff

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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