In which there is some excitement at dinner.
I notice that when Val Con and Miri are rendering Korval’s judgement, the placement of the quotation marks indicates that they are speaking alternate sentences, but there’s a lack of dialogue tags indicating who is speaking which sentence. In a way, of course, that’s only appropriate because it doesn’t matter — either way, it’s Delm Korval speaking — but I’d be interested to know whether the judgement itself is spoken by the half of the delm whose idea it was or the half who had to be convinced that it would work.
(I was never in doubt what the judgement would be, by the way, only uncertain how that conclusion would be reached in the face of the obstacles.)
Val Con has expressed willingness to let Theo find out what has become of her father, but it remains to be seen what they plan to tell Kamele.
Miri’s hideaway gun gets the use for which the authors have been reminding us of its existence.
I might have guessed it would be in this context, too, if I’d thought. Only, to be honest, I haven’t been thinking much at all about Ren Zel’s subplot, which has been completely failing to engage me. Well, the bits involving the human emotion of Ren Zel and Anthora knowing that Ren Zel faces a task that may cost him his life, okay, yes. But the task itself feels completely divorced from the rest of the story. A mystical danger to the entire universe is a whole different level from what anybody else in the story is dealing with, and it doesn’t appear to connect at all to anything that anybody else in the story is dealing with. (It doesn’t help that we don’t get a lot of concrete detail about this Shadow that’s apparently threatening the universe. What is it? Where does it come from? We’re not told. Is it affecting the universe in any way visible to anyone who isn’t Ren Zel? Not so as you’d notice.) It ends up feeling like the whole thing is an irrelevant make-work task and the plot wouldn’t be noticeably altered if Ren Zel and Anthora had just spent the book sitting quietly in their room — which is a pretty serious failure of dramatic weight for a threat to the entire universe.
I had thought at one point that it might be connected to the Tinsori Light situation, that the damage to the universe threatened by the Light’s breakdown might be causing or enabling the Shadow that Ren Zel perceived. If there is a connection, though, it has not made itself apparent, and if there were a connection I would expect Ren Zel’s battle against the Shadow to tie in somehow with the mentors’ success at their own task.
(But perhaps there is a tie-in and we just haven’t got to it yet. After all, the last word from Tolly at Tinsori Light was “And the universe went away”, which might not be entirely metaphorical.)