In the eighth chapter of Melting Stones, I could not have possibly guessed that this is where this book would take me. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Melting Stones.
What the hell is this???
I realize now that it makes sense that if this is set in a world where ambient magic is a thing, then there has to some sort of magical or spiritual force below the earth. I think that means that Melting Stones is shaping up to be a book where the antagonist isn’t a person or even a villain. What if Flare and Carnelian are antagonistic forces? What if their need to escape their home comes to fruition? Then what???
But I’m getting ahead of myself. (UNDERSTANDABLY SO, THERE’S SO MUCH THAT MIGHT HAPPEN BECAUSE OF THIS.) Evvy’s trip down into the magma chamber down in Mount Grace is one of the most surreal things I’ve read in the Circle of Magic books, though in a way, it reminds me of Sandry’s Book. Deep below the earth, Evvy meets a force she didn’t know existed, and it changes her life forever. Here, though, she’s utterly alone when she faces Flare and Carnelian, the young and rambunctious spirits who live in the pool of magma beneath Mount Grace. THERE ARE SO MANY THINGS I HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT, Y’ALL.
Can’t you feel it? The other one had a prettier voice, more like a girl’s. Her core fire was a darker, cooler orange, like carnelian. I thought it would make a good name for her. How important it is to go up, and out?
So, I’m curious. Do these spirits feel a compulsion to break out of the mountain? Is that their sole purpose? I mean, that’s how I see it, but what a strange existence! Being confined to chambers far beneath where they want to be, having to spend years and decades and maybe even centuries waiting for release. As far as I can tell, that’s what some of these spirits want. Not all of them, though:
They aren’t even like the others, the ones who are old and never want to do anything. Carnelian pointed to the lava pool.
The others. Flare sounded impatient. Like us, only boring and sludgy. They’re everywhere. He pointed like Carnelian had.
And that’s the existence we see here. Some of these spirits wait for others to break through the cracks in the wall that separates them from the surface. Which meansâ€¦ that’s a lot of waiting. A LOT OF WAITING. And that explains the atmosphere of this place, which in turn explains why Flare and Carnelian are such eager spirits. They’ve got one-track minds, and I imagine that’s related to the heat-fever that Luvo later talks about. It consumes these spirits’ every second of existence, and it became very clear that Evvy was ill-suited to keep up with them, not just because her power is being drained, but because this is not a place she should be. I actually started getting nervous about how much time she was spending down there.
I should have been worrying for another reason.
“She said to come back with a coffin, because that’s hwos he’s going to ship you to Winding Circle. She was very convincing. Should I believe her?”
Believe nothing else in this world, Jayat, except for the supreme power of Rosethorn’s anger. Believe in nothing else.
How is Evvy going to explain this to Rosethorn? I imagine Luvo could help a little bit by describing the whole “heat fever” thing, but is that enough? The “excitement of magma and the earth’s strength” certainly pulled Evvy in, but is that something that Rosethorn will understand? Based on what Luvo and Jayat reveal here, Evvy’s lost all favor with practically everyone because of her behavior. Granted, I don’t think it’s fair to discount the affect that the heat fever had on her. But I don’t see any way out of this. She’s going to be entranced by that place and the experience, and it’s also impossible to ignore the fact that Mount Grace might become an active volcano sooner rather than later. This is now part of the conflict, and perhaps it’s even the explanation for all the dead spots aboveground.
Of course, Evvy has to deal with Rosethorn first, and that’s almost worse than a literal volcano. ALMOST.
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