Mark Reads ‘Lifeboats’: Chapter 6, Part II

In the second part of the sixth chapter of Lifeboats, Kit makes significant progress with a new friend. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Young Wizards.

Look, y’all know you can just put a live animal in front of me and I will lose my shit, so this part of chapter six is FAR TOO MUCH FOR ONE MARK TO HANDLE. Let’s put aside my own obsession with animals (especially cute ones that are able to communicate with humans!!!) for the moment, though. Why? Because even if I wasn’t totally obsessed with scenes like this one, I believe this would still have been well-written. I know I’m biased, but Kit’s interaction with this nameless sibik reveals a whole lot about the world and about Kit’s character.

I was reminded of the way Kit talks to machinery and gadgets most of the time, since he treats them in a similar manner. If I’m not wrong in that interpretation, I wonder if it’s possible that Kit’s speciality as a wizard is actually life. What if he can communicate with other species well, even those that do not normally communicate as they do here? At this point, we’ve not seen an example of a sibik talking to a Tevaralti on the page, and the text suggests that it’s pretty rare that the converse like this one does with Kit. So, Kit must have some special connection, right?

Well, not necessarily. Kit has a prolonged interaction with this sibik, and we come to find out—after Kit teaches the sibik how to say “please,” perhaps the most adorable sequence in any Young Wizards novel—that sibiks often depend on Teveralti for food. I think there is a distinction between wild sibiks and those who are domesticated, and this one is definitely a pet. Which means that it’s always looked to its Tevaralti companion for food! Thus, it seeks out Kit and his crackers because it doesn’t find food on its own.

Now, as to how that sibik knew Kit had crackers and what they were called, that’s a much bigger mystery. They do use scent to track things, but there’s hints here that this is only part of how symbiosis works for these creatures and their Tevaralti counterparts. The sibiks are aware of those who are sad and remaining behind on Tevaral, and that affects them, too… so can they provide us with a deeper understanding of these Tevaralti??? Maybe??? I’m still clinging to this idea! Also: I want all sibik protected forever, I deeply love them, I would own ten of them and treat them like my children.

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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since ’09.

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