Mark Reads ‘Melting Stones’- Chapter 4

In the fourth chapter of Melting Stones, Evvy arrives at the place she’s staying in Moharrin and learns more of the village. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Melting Stones.

Trigger Warning: For mention of slavery, poverty.

AHHH SO MANY EXCITING THINGS REVEALED HERE. Let’s start first with Evvy’s conversation with Jayat about the nature of people. I think it’s brilliant of Pierce to include so much of Evvy’s background and development in Street Magic here because it gives this story depth and meaning. Without that book, I don’t know what we would understand her point as well as we do. We got to watch how the culture in Chammur chews up and spits out those in the lower classes, especially if they’re slaves. We saw first-hand what kind of life Evvy was living prior to Briar showing up. And when Evvy started telling Jayat about entitlement and obedience, we knew that she was referring to events in both Chammur and Gyongxe. Granted, there was not a book devoted to that, but still. These things matter.

Look, it’s not that Evvy believes that all people everywhere are assholes. This is metonymy at work. She’s referring to the majority of people who have mistreated her over the years. Obviously, that doesn’t include Briar or Rosethorn or Lark. It doesn’t include Jayat or Oswin, at least not yet. And after this conversation, Jayat understands that. He gets that Evvy’s experience in slavery, poverty, and a war gives her a different outlook on life than his. AND HE ACCEPTS THIS. He doesn’t try to argue and say that her perception and experience is wrong. That’s a good sign that he’s willing to empathize with others, you know? And I’m hoping that means it’ll make him a good friend to Evvy.

I actually think Oswin is pretty damn cool for a lot of the same reasons. His role within Moharrin is described as sort of a do-it-all handyman, and he’s paid in food. Why food?

“A lot of kids were orphaned or left behind when the pirates were cleaned out. Oswin found homes for plenty of them all around this island, but not all of them. The rest live with him.”

SO BASICALLY, HE’S A FOSTER PARENT. OH, I LOVE THIS SO DEARLY. Yes? YES. I want to know more! Who else lives with him? Will Evvy make friends with them? Do any of them have magic in them as well? SO MANY QUESTIONS THAT I HAVE.

But let me back up, since I skipped over the introduction of Azaze. Initially, I interpreted her entrance in a lot more festive manner. It sounded like she was being festive, feigning shock at Oswin and Jayat for not immediately ferrying Evvy down to a meal. But Oswin describes her as “prickly as a thornberry bush” later in the same chapter. Well… how prickly? Y’all, I just came out of The Will of the Empress, so understand that I’m a bit frightened of how prickly a person can be. She’s not going to have anyone killed or exiled for offending her, is she? THIS IS WHAT THESE BOOKS HAVE DONE TO ME, FOR THE RECORD. I now have to consider these a legitimate possibility. I will immediately shift the blame for this on to all of you.

Well, at least Azaze doesn’t let anyone bother Rosethorn during dinner, but how long will that last? Surely someone will come to her with a problem that has nothing to do with the dying plants, you know? What if someone discovers Evvy’s power and tries to exploit it to help with the tremors? I know that Evvy can’t actually do anything about them, but I worry that someone won’t care about that. Basically, I view any and all things as a danger to everyone else, and this is the life I live now. JUST DEAL WITH IT.

The original text contains use of the word “idiot.”

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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