Number Twelve Leafydale Place
In which Theo turns fifteen.
This is one of those cases where I don’t feel inspired to talk about any of the things I might have talked about if I were reading the novel for the first time, and there weren’t many new things I noticed. Although I did notice this time Jen Sar’s fishing trip in the mountains, which I suspect was at least partly intended to lay a foundation for a tale to tell anyone who asks where the idea of the old-style Gigneri came from.
I will note that this is another novel I like more after this re-read than I thought I did after I read it the first time.
It’s not easy to establish precisely when Fledgling takes place, due to a lack of outside referents. From Theo’s age we know that it’s more than fifteen years since Jen Sar came to Delgado at the end of Mouse and Dragon — but, as Theo points out in this chapter, that’s Delgadan years, and we have no indication of whether those are longer or shorter than Standard Years, let alone by how much. All we can say with confidence is that it’s after Jen Sar’s last scene in Mouse and Dragon and before his first appearance in Plan B. (The suggested reading order by internal chronology on the authors’ web site places Fledgling after Plan B, but that’s a clear case of bending chronology for the good of the story flow and reading experience, making it in effect an entire novel-length flashback; there is no possible way Jen Sar’s scenes in Plan B happen before Fledgling.) The positions I’ve given Fledgling and Saltation in this re-read are approximations achieved by starting at the end of Saltation and counting backwards based on my memory of what occurs in them; I’m taking notes as I re-read and hopefully I’ll end up with a less approximate idea of how much time they cover. (But when I publish my own suggested reading order by internal chronology at the end of the re-read, it’s likely I’ll be adopting the strategy of bending chronology for the good of the story flow and reading experience, the good sense of which becomes more apparent to me the further the re-read progresses.)