In the eighteenth part of Terrier, two new clues point Beka in a disturbing direction. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Terrier.
I basically read most of this with a terrible pit in my stomach. THIS IS ALL YOUR FAULT.
Well, now I know why that necklace triggered an epiphany, but I CANNOT FIGURE OUT WHAT THE SECOND CLUE IS. What’s the other thing that Mistress Noll said or did that made Beka feel like her instinct go off? I don’t like being teased, THIS IS MEAN.
But lord, the whole situation is a mess. Mistress Noll wants to protect her family as best as she can, and I’m sure she’s struggling with the thought that her son may have done something truly, truly terrible, a crime so bad that she can’t save him from it this time. On top of this, with the Rogue set to rain his own brand of hellfire down on the city, she’s taking no chances. But THERE’S CLEARLY SOMETHING HERE. And I don’t understand it quite yet. The idea that Yates is the Shadow Snake makes too much sense to ignore, but I also can’t stop thinking about how that’s going to DESTROY Mistress Noll. She’s wearing a gift from her son that he acquired by KIDNAPPING A CHILD. Her son may be the one murdering children, and may have done it for YEARS.
The only things that worries me and is preventing me from making any definitive statements identifying the Shadow Snake is the fact that Pierce avoids actually confirming that Yates is behind this. There’s something more, isn’t there? I’M SCARED. I don’t think Beka’s theory about why Crookshank went after Kayfer is wrong; it’s probably the best explanation for why Crookshank is so insistent about Kayfer’s guilt. But Crookshank has set in motion a dangerous and unstoppable beast, one that’s going to have damning implications for a lot of people.
We can see some of those issues manifest at breakfast the next morning. Beka’s dreams help her realize where she’d seen the lily necklace, yes, but it’s the pigeons and the newcomers to breakfast who give us a new direction to the story that HURTS EVERYTHING FOREVER. Beka is overwhelmed by the pigeons awaiting her, and who can blame her? They are a constant reminder to her that she failed to save their lives, and we know that Beka takes this case extremely personal. It’s her style; it’s how she’s able to empathize so easily with other people. That means it’s also detrimental to her own well-being at times, and so I understand why she pushes these pigeons away from her. She needs a break. She needs a chance to think of anything else other than what she couldn’t do.
(OH GOD SHE HAD NO IDEA WHAT THEY KNEW.)
During breakfast, Kora and Rosto reveal many of the details of the disastrous raid on the Court. Just… y’all, everything about this is such a bad idea. Kora’s experience was awful. She and the other mages were locked in a spell-proof room all night, and she was only let out THAT VERY MORNING. Crookshank’s men turned the place upside down, and I can only imagine what secrets they found in there. It’s not surprising, then, that Kayfer orders all of the hired men to be killed; this was a serious act of disrespect to him. Of course, Rosto is quick to point out that if Kayfer was actually an intimidating Rogue, this wouldn’t have happened in the first place. I mean… yeah, he’s right, but is Rosto trying to set himself up as the next Rogue? That was a possibility earlier in the book, and with his rash behavior from the night before, it stands to reason that he’s openly shit-talking Kayfer for a reason. He knows it’ll get back to the Rogue, so I assume this is all deliberate.
Matters are further complicated by Beka’s growing fear that Crookshank isn’t going to pay the Shadow Snake. There’s a conversation at the start of this section (after they speak with Mistress Noll) where Beka suggests that they share what information they have on the Snake with Crookshank, all in the hopes that he’ll actually pay up this time. It’s not the worst idea, and Aniki’s insight during breakfast highlights Crookshank’s violent flaws. The man believes that no one is more powerful than he is, and when someone demonstrates that they are, he lashes out. In this case, it’s more likely that he’ll refuse to pay for Herun, and Herun will show up dead.
So, with Kayfer’s orders and Crookshank’s stubbornness, the Dogs are probably going to be incredibly busy in the next few days. GREAT.
Anyway, I’ll come right out and say it: I AM SO CONFUSED BY POUNCE. Pounce brings in literal kitties to Aniki and Kora and what???? It’s definitely the cutest thing in the world, but why? Why does this happen? I suppose it doesn’t matter because KITTIES but the whole thing happens without any sort of explanation from Pounce. Perhaps he doesn’t want them to play with him anymore, so he got kitties to distract Aniki and Kora, which is the funniest idea ever, and I’m adopting this as my headcanon.
OH, RIGHT, GUNNAR WAS MURDERED IN THE CAGES. This is bad THIS IS SO BAD. There is a 0% chance that this was a coincidence, y’all. It lends even more credence to the theory that Yates is the Shadow Snake because Gunnar was killed because HE WAS A RISK. Oh god, that’s what happened, wasn’t it?
I’m thankful that Kora is such a good friend to Beka in this chapter, though, especially since I’m not even in this book AND I’M STRESSED OUT BY DEFAULT. Also, all the scenes with Ersken and Kora are undeniably adorable. At least one nice thing is happening! I love that she’s in that final scene to give Beka comfort and to ensure her that she’s doing her best, despite how overwhelming this whole experience is. She even puts her own desire to be with Ersken aside so that she can help out Beka:
Kora stared at me. “But you have that map, and the Birdies. You’re putting it all together, Beka!” She kissed my cheek. “You really are a terrier.”
WHY DO I LOVE WHEN BOOKS REFERENCE THEIR OWN TITLE IT’S ONE OF MY FAVORITE THINGS EVER.
I’ll let that joy sit there for a second, because then I have to get to the uncomfortable clue that Beka gets at the very end of this after she finally opens her shutters to let the pigeons in. The pigeons who aren’t going to repeat themselves because THEY ARE INSTEAD GOING TO REVEAL THAT THE PERSON WHO POISONED THE DIGGERS HAD BLACK TEARS ON HER FACE JUST LIKE VRINDAY KAYU DOES.
The original text contains the words “mad,” “idiotic,” and uses of the word “cracked” to describe someone’s mental state.
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