Mark Reads ‘Melting Stones’: Chapter 18

In the eighteenth chapter of Melting Stones, NOOOOO IT’S HAPPENING. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Melting Stones. 

You know, I missed out on commenting on how fantastic it is to get the kind of descriptions Pierce provides us for Evvy and her stone clothing. The physicality present in this chapter is a huge part of the storytelling, especially when you observe which spirit mimics Evvy and which doesn’t. The visual elements is part of the communication. Even if these spirits don’t have traditional “bodies,” there’s still body language. We can tell that Flare is the more hot-headed of the duo. Carnelian, on the other hand, is far more open-minded. She’s eager for some sort of validation, and I believe that’s why she’s so willing to talk about herself. About her past. About what it is that she and the other spirits want.

It’s so unexpected! I came into this chapter fully anticipating what we got from Flare: anger. Resentment. A desire for revenge. I was not ready for Evvy to have this heart-to-heart with Carnelian. And it’s a touching thing to experience because I think it helps shed light on what it’s like to live as a volcano spirit. In particular, this passage stood out to me:

Thousands of volcano people got out in that escape. They took huge amounts of cold earth and stone up into the air with them. And some remained behind to tell us newer ones the story when we came, in the great chamber below. They said it was glorious. The thousands broke into the air. They soared out in freedom from this world. It was cold, where they went. They roared. And they died, of course.

It’s very easy to imagine Carnelian speaking with reverence and wonder in her voice. And when she reaches the end of this tale, she very plainly states that her ancestors died, and they were happy to. It’s such a bold thing to hear, and it makes Evvy reconsider what it is she’s about to do, if only briefly. The life of a volcano spirit must be so bizarre! You spend ages locked up in a cage that’s nearly impossible to escape, only to finally burst free of it thousands of years later and then immediately die.

But it’s in their nature to do this. It’s who they are. And that’s not something that Evvy can change at all. At best, she can manipulate these natures to achieve her goal, even if she is guaranteeing the death of these spirits and many more. It’s a death they want. Unfortunately, getting to that point was just as difficult as I imagined it would be. As I said before, Flare had pretty much the exact reaction I anticipated, and he proves to be the most challenging obstacle thus far. His obstinance and anger makes it hard for Evvy to convince the two spirits to change their endgame. It’s bad enough that he won’t listen to her. Evvy’s temper gets the best of her, and then she pisses Flare off, and then EVERYTHING GETS SO MUCH WORSE.

Y’all, I didn’t consider that Evvy would feel any pain inflicted on her. SO YES, I WAS VERY UPSET WHEN IT HAPPENED. And when Luvo decided to “thunder” down beneath the earth to stop it happening? Shit, my first thought was that Flare and Carnelian would no longer believe Evvy. I worried that Luvo had upset the entire con! But bless Evvy. Her own experiences in Chammur and working with Briar gave her the skills to sweet talk herself out of practically any situation. I mean, this is certainly the strangest of them all. But it works! She convinces Flare and Carnelia that Luvo will talk to the “other mountains” and prevent them from breaking free. Her solution?

Leave through the crack in the earth in the ocean floor.

IT’S HAPPENING, Y’ALL. Well, wait. I shouldn’t celebrate right now because they’ve still go to get there. Plus, there’s all those other spirits to worry about, too! Regardless, I’m impressed. And I’m glad she was able to utilize what others taught her.

Mark Links Stuff

– I will be at numerous conventions in 2016! 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 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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