Mark Reads ‘The Will of the Empress’- Chapter 17

In the seventeenth chapter of The Will of the Empress, NO. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read The Will of the Empress.

I know I should be scared, so I don’t mind saying: I am fucking terrified of what’s going to happen in the next three chapters. There’s no doubt in my mind that Ladyhammer unleashed that curse on the top of the stairs, especially once the healer said this:

“It is a miracle, or, if it is a curse, as you say, then it was deliberately constructed to save the girl’s life. There is only one curse-weaver in the empire with that level of skill, and that is all I will say on that topic.”

I really don’t need anymore confirmation, do I? The nature of Tris’s injuries were designed to cause the maximum amount of pain while also delaying her journey home to Emelan. After the group discusses this, I feel safe in saying that this was the motivation behind this. Berenene and Ladyhammer knew how powerful Tris was and knew that she had to be “taken out” first, so to speak. On top of that, it’s the first time that they haven’t underestimated the closeness of the foster-siblings; I truly feel like the attack on Tris was meant to exploit the love they have for one another, at least so that they’d remain behind in Namorn to take care of her.

But in not underestimating them, THEY TOTALLY UNDERESTIMATED THEM.

Don’t you be ridiculous! Tris snapped in reply, her thought-voice as stern and forceful as pain and drugs would allow. I can catch up once I’m able to ride. I move faster alone than you will in a group. And when I go, I’ll have cooked up a shield that will retrun any ill wishes and curses to the sender, whether I see them coming or not. But the longer you put off going, the more they’ll be able to put in your way. Right now they seem to think I’m the biggest threat. They have no idea how dangerous you all are. That will help you. Take Zhegorz and Gudruny and the children and go, now.

Yes, these foster-siblings are close, but they just spent years apart, and that’s now become a strength between them. And with their mind-voices open to one another almost completely, that means they can separate and still be strong as a unit. How that’s going to manifest is unknown to me. I don’t doubt the immense power that Daja, Sandry, and Briar possess, and with Zhegorz in the party to warn them of impending danger, they have decent odds of making it home. On top of that, Pierce also addresses the world that Sandry is leaving behind. At the very least, Ambros has the legal protection to run his lands – which are now his officially – as best as he can, especially since Sandry authorized him not to have to pay her annually anymore either. Is it the most ideal situation? No, and I bet Sandry desperately wishes she had more time to get everything done. But she visited advocates and got what she could on a limited schedule, and I respect that. She’s trying to tie up all the lose ends, you know?

Unfortunately, one of those loose ends comes to visit her. Look, I knew Shan’s appearance would not go down well. It couldn’t! I suspected that he’d not told Berenene about his desire to propose marriage to Sandry, but let’s analyze this from another angle. His proposal was impulsive at best. While Ambros makes a brilliant point about wealth and power, I think it’s also important to note how sloppy this whole thing is. Did he really think he was going to sweep Sandry off her feet with a messy, last-minute marriage proposal? Did he really think his kissing was so good that she would marry him on that feature alone??? They barely know what the other person is like! And it’s not like Sandry hasn’t made her feelings on marriage clear; what made this fool think she’d suddenly be lax on her standards?

Good riddance, Pershan fer Roth.

As they rode through the city gates, Sandry straightened in the saddle. Watching her, Briar thought, It’s like having thick walls between her and the empress sets her free. Through their bond he said, She’s got a thousand tricks, and she hasn’t played one of them yet. Don’t get to feeling too comfortable.

That’s Tamora Pierce warning me, isn’t it? ISN’T IT?

The original text contains use of the words “crazy” and “mad.”

Mark Links Stuff

– I will be at Borderlands Books, Book Riot Live, and Windycon this fall! Check the full list of events on my Tour Dates / Appearances page.
– My Master Schedule is updated for the near and distant future for most projects, so please check it often. My next Double Features for Mark Watches will be Kings, season 1 of Sense8, season 1 of Agent Carter, seasons 1 & 2 of The 100, Death Note, and Neon Genesis Evangelion. On Mark Reads, Diane Duane’s Young Wizards series will replace the Emelan books.
- Mark Does Stuff is on Facebook! I’ve got a community page up that I’m running. Guaranteed shenanigans!

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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