In the third chapter of Melting Stones, Evvy and Rosethorn get a taste of what they’ll be dealing with. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Melting Stones.
Oh gods, SO MUCH LEARNED IN SO LITTLE SPACE. Let’s do this!
I like Jayat! But I also love the idea of Evvy making friends, especially with people closer to her age. Granted, Jayat is older, but up to this point, the only “young” person she’s made friends with is Briar. Jayat represents a chance for her to have someone else on her side here in Moharrin, one who isn’t an adult either:
It looked like I had a new friend who wasn’t all serious and temperamental, like the grown-ups I traveled with. Rosethorn is fun in her crackly way, but dealing with strangers makes her cross. And I knew Myrrhtide was a fusspot before we weighed anchor. Meeting Jayat was a big relief.
I think part of that comes from the fact that he doesn’t treat her or her ambient magic powers as alien and weird. He’s fascinated by her, but that sense of wonder felt flattering more than anything else. The same goes for Oswin, though, particularly after Evvy warns them all about a tremor. He’s amazed by Evvy, but it’s all genuine interest, not condescension. He just has a million questions that need answering!
He might have asked a dozen more, except Myrrhtide interrupted. “We would like to reach our destination before next week.”
SHUT UP, MYRRHTIDE.
It’s so awesome to see Evvy’s magic and how it works through her own eyes instead of through Briar’s. Granted, there were sections of Street Magic through her POV, but it feels different to me here. It’s more personal, so I appreciate that after sticking to third person for nine books, Pierce was willing to try something different with Melting Stones. Evvy’s magic reminds me of Briar’s and Rosethorn’s in one sense, since rocks are everywhere and Evvy can often spend hours just walking around and enjoying how the world reacts to her. Plus, she’s a BIG FUCKING NERD, and it’s adorable. Y’all, she gets excited over mica. AND OBSIDIAN.
And then it all reminds her of Briar, AND I AM DESTROYED:
It was a mistake to think of Briar just then. I started missing him, and brooding as I walked along. Briar was my first true friend. He saw the stone magic in me. He taught me how to use it. I learned other things from him, too, like reading and writing and table manners. We saved each other’s lives constantly, from our meeting in Chammur through our time in Yanjing and Gyongxe.
But this chapter confirms that the events in this book are occurring at the same time as those in The Will of the Empress, so it’s highly unlikely that any of the foster-siblings will show up in Melting Stones. I think this lends a sense of loneliness to this book. Evvy does have Rosethorn with her, but she’s otherwise on an adventure by herself, you know? In Chammur and Gyongxe, Briar was by her side. How will she deal with the events here without Briar? And how will she deal with Rosethorn, too? That’s an important aspect of this as well. Evvy promised Briar that she’d take care of Rosethorn. Not that Evvy wouldn’t have done anything at all! As she says:
Rosethorn was mine, too, after Yanjing and Gyongxe. If the emperor and all his armies hadn’t made trouble between Rosethorn and me, then this sleepy island in its sleeping ocean would never do it.
The problem is that Rosethorn often exhausts herself through her work. We’ve seen that before, but the events in Gyongxe also took a toll on her body. There’s a really lovely moment late in the chapter where Evvy sneaks over to Rosethorn to put a coat on her. Luvo urges Evvy to do it because they all know that Rosethorn will ignore how cold she is when she’s working, and this island has presented her with a hell of a mystery. We get a glimpse of that, too. The plants turn dead and white here, and it’s up to Rosethorn to figure out why.
And she’s got Evvy by her side to help her. I think they’ll be fine.
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