In the seventeenth chapter of Melting Stones, NO. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Melting Stones.
You know, I get why Rosethorn reacts so strongly to Oswin and Evvy’s plan. Like Evvy, she’s dedicated to protecting the person she cares for. Obviously, there’s another level to this: Evvy is Rosethorn’s student. That means she’s required to put Evvy as her highest responsibility. At the same time, Evvy promised Briar that he would watch over Rosethorn, too. So it’s like they’re totally going to out-protect each other, isn’t it? TWO PEOPLE ENTER THE RING, BOTH OF THEM EXIT BECAUSE THEY’RE BOTH TRYING TO CARRY ONE ANOTHER.
Okay, I jest. Rosethorn knows that despite Evvy’s talents as a stone mage, she’s dealing in forces that are far greater than her. (Which makes this all a million times more tense when Luvo later states that Rosethorn doesn’t actually truly understand how power the volcano spirits are. Oh god, so it’s literally worse than she believe it is!) It is highly likely that she cannot come out of this unscathed. So what’s the cost of her actions? If Evvy tries to save Starns, is she just going to make matters worse, or will she sacrifice herself in the process?
Really, though, it’s Luvo’s stern conversation with Evvy that does me in. I trust him implicitly as a character, and there’s a different context to his advice than there is to Rosethorn’s. (Though both characters are brutally honest when they need to be!) He certainly wants Evvy to be safe, but he understands the forces at work here better than everyone. I don’t think he’s being negative just for the sake of it; everything Luvo says is deliberate. He does not speak impulsively. So when he openly criticizes her use of stones to accent her magic, I believed him. Contrast that with the emotional outburst Evvy has when she needs Meryem to leave. Luvo rarely speaks like she does. (I should point out that I’m not trying to contrast these two to try and paint Evvy as less reasonable or as irrational; it’s more that Luvo lacks the impulsiveness you see in humans.)
So what’s she supposed to do? I don’t know that there is a perfect answer to that question, and I’d even argue that it’s the wrong question to ask. Evvy does what she thinks can save the most amount of people. And in this case, she’s pursuing a solution that might save Starns, too. It’s not about what she should do. Despite that Luvo warns her repeatedly of how dangerous this is, she presses on. She believes that she can at least try to lessen the damage that she caused, you know?
That being said… lord. I’m not going into this ending believing that Evvy won’t survive. I just don’t see that as a possible conclusion. But as for everything else? The mountain can explode. Starns can be wiped off the map. Everyone can escape and be fine. Other characters might die. I DON’T KNOW, THESE ARE ALL BELIEVABLE POSSIBILITIES, AND IT MAKES MY HEART HURT.
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