Mark Reads ‘Melting Stones’- Chapter 5

In the fifth chapter of Melting Stones, I’m pretty sure Dedicate Myrrhtide is going to need medical attention for that SICK BURN. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Melting Stones.

I was really tempted to just post a thousand GIFs in response to the end of this chapter, but there’s too much here that should be addressed aside from that. BUT GOD, IT’S SO SATISFYING. It’s hard to like Myrrhtide at all, but I appreciated this detail at the opening of the chapter:

“The water’s shivering, isn’t it? Making ripple circles?”

“Yes. Last night, my tea did the same. Myrrhtide didn’t mention it, but I saw him try to make his stop moving. He failed.” She looked at me. A water mage of his degree couldn’t get a cup of water to stop quivering, Evvy. That’s… interesting.”

Well, “interesting” is an understatement. This recurring phenomenon is eerie as hell, and as Rosethorn, Myrrhtide, Evvy and the others set out on their first trip into Moharrin, it hangs over the entire story. It’s part of the unsettling nature of what we see here as the group investigates the death of the land. Oswin’s land is the first place they visit, and I cherished the opportunity to see more of this makeshift orphanage of sorts. I don’t know what else to call it, but given Pierce’s experience in social work and with foster homes, it’s easy to see why this is here. It’s an element of the story that lends depth to Oswin’s life. But I also want to see if any of these characters – like Nory or Meryem – will play a part in the story, too!

Anyway, let’s talk about the dead spots in Moharrin. As Jayat points out to Evvy, a majority of them are appearing on “places where this island’s lines of power lie.” So, the Battle Islands are criss-crossed by these lines, and they’re an integral part of this culture’s magic and energy usage. Thus, it makes sense that they’d be disturbed by these dead patches showing up in such specific place. But how can that happen? It seems like it must be human-made, you know? Perhaps someone is exploiting these power lines, and they’re leaving them dead in the wake of their usage. I don’t know, it’s a terrible theory because I don’t have much information to go off. All I know is that the life is drained out of all the plantlife, and all water sources are turned into acid.


I was about to argue when she pointed at the water.

Dead fish floated there. Dead animals lay at the water’s edge. The skin of the fishes was eaten away.

ACTUAL ACID. WHAT THE HELL COULD CAUSE SOMETHING LIKE THIS? And why would the power lines seemingly close themselves off to access at around the same time as the dead life? Why would other spots be so powerful that they almost killed Tahar Catwalker? IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE.

But you know what does make sense? Dedicate Fusspot is the fucking worst. He’s an arrogant, haughty, and inconsiderate asshole. I’m just five chapters into Melting Stones and I already cannot deal with him for a single second. From his whining to his miniature temper tantrums, he exhibits the kind of maturity you might expect from a teenager who had never once been taught discipline or tact. He huffs and puffs when Rosethorn insists that they put a dead tree out of its misery because apparently he can’t wait five goddamn minutes. Y’all. Y’ALL.

“There are more important things in the world than this village and lake.” Myrrhtide was definitely cranky. Maybe he was as touchy about sick water as Rosethorn was about sick plants. “Even a half-trained bumpkin like you should understand that.”

What does he expect when he spouts nonsense like this? It’s not like Jayat has been needlessly arrogant about his or Moharrin’s needs. It seems as if Myrrhtide is projecting his own elevated sense of self-importance on someone else. So Luvo delivers the most horrific and necessary smackdown of LITERALLY ALL TIME to this piece of shit:

“Respect a mage in his lands, human. You know nothing of those things that Jayatin has put into this place. You do not know the dedication and sacrifice that he and his masters have given this lake, this village, this mountain. You preen yourself on your learning. Take shame instead for the fear that bars you from true work true devotion. You have not the heart for it. You have not the soul to understand those whose measure will always be greater than yours.”

I can’t. I CAN’T. I feel shame on behalf of Myrhhtide, but then I don’t care because HE DESERVED IT. It’s actually surprising to me that this was addressed so early in the book. Will he change? Or will this verbal smackdown go unheeded?

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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