In the Hall of the Mountain King
In which Vertu Dysan greets the new day.
With Toragin’s solution, the authors are doing a thing they’ve done a few times before: establishing the outline of the solution, but leaving the details to be filled in later in case a later story should suggest a particular detail.
The Tree seems to be making a fairly immediate start on trying new ways to talk to its family and friends. I have questions. In the past, it’s seemed like the Tree could only verbalise by replaying the memory of words spoken by others — is that what it’s doing here, and if so, whose voice is it using? Or is this a new trick it’s picked up over the years, and just hasn’t felt a need to show off as long as the old methods still did the job? (Does it, perhaps, rely to some degree on whatever small talent Vertu has that allows her sense of the Tree’s location?)
Somewhere in the last few chapters, the cats in this story have crossed a line that my suspension of disbelief is reluctant to follow them over. I don’t know what it is, or why I should be even having trouble with sapient and communicative cats when I haven’t balked at a sapient and communicative tree, which ought surely to be much less credible. Maybe because the Tree is explicitly not like any tree I’ve encountered in real life, while the cats are accompanied by a host of familiar details that make them seem like ordinary cats. I was okay when there were vague hints about the cats being sapient but it stayed vague and any messages from the cats were indirect and approximate, but something about Toragin being able to deliver specific messages from the cats is making it solider and harder to swallow.