In Amara’s storyline, anyway. Let’s see what Nolan is up to.
The person pressing X to Nolan is Pat, who freaks out because she thinks he’s having a mega-seizure. This isn’t helped by the fact that he’s extremely disoriented and initially tries to communicate with sign language. Looks like controlling Amara’s body might have some unpleasant after-effects.
It’s another short Nolan chapter this time, as he manages to fend Pat off despite the fact that she can clearly tell something is up. I’ve noticed an unfortunate side effect of the story’s format, in that Nolan occasionally doesn’t have that much to actually do when all the action’s taking place in the Dunelands.
Speaking of which, Amara clambers onto the ship and Cilla is all “hey the captain is giving us new clothes and stuff isn’t that awesome oh by the way are you okay grrl”. This books does a good job of making Cilla completely clueless and self-absorbed, but also likeable.
Amara surveys the room and spots a map, and we get a little spiel on the geography of the world.
And the south—Eligon— was farther still. The maps always colored it white, for the snow.
I wonder why the south has permanent snow and ice but not the north. Even mars has ice caps at both poles so you’d expect Amaraland to have one too. Maybe the planet is angled in some way so that the north pole gets more sunlight.
Amara heads up on deck at Cilla’s beckoning to see a bunch of “diggers” (which are like things) scurrying around a nearby beach.
“Apparently morning is the time to go digger-watching.” Cilla beamed.
“You knew I liked them,” Amara said.
Well isn’t that nice.
The conversation turns more serious as Cilla asks Amara if she actually wanted to come with her (and doesn’t get much of a reply) and says that she still cared about Jorn on some level for protecting her, despite all the horrible things he did. Man I hope that guy is totally getting eaten by wolves right now.
“Maybe I was wrong before,” she signed. “I don’t think I hate you. I hate what you are; I hate what I am, too. We can’t change either of those.”
“I can. When I’m in power, you’ll get everything you want. I’ll remove your tattoo. You’ll live where you want to. You’ll get however much silver you need.”
I bet that’s exactly what’s going to happen. Absolutely nothing will go wrong with this plan.
“I didn’t realize a lot of the things you’ve told me,” Amara said. “Like that you had no choice but to spend time with Jorn. Like that we played games together because you weren’t allowed to play with anyone else. I grew up thinking I wasn’t allowed to play with anyone else.” She hesitated. “Like that I’m all you have.”
“Of course you’re all I have.” Cilla’s hand touched Amara’s, sending a jolt through her.
These two better make with the romance soon or I swear to God we’re turning this ship around.
They end up having to stop at a town instead of heading straight to the capital due to a sudden storm that Amara assumes the ministers probably conjured up. The captain invites Cilla and Amara to stay at a farm she own an hour inland. Once there it’s made abundantly clear that Cilla’s stated goal of reclaiming her throne is probably just a pipe dream.
Sometimes ministers lent servants to help out farmers in
need. That kept the farms running, the food production going,
and the ministers earned a decent cut. Amara shouldn’t have
been surprised that Captain Olym had servants. She and her
father alone could never handle a farm this size.
LOOKS LIKE THINGS ARE GETTING AWKWARD ON THIS INLAND FARM
Amara realizes that the servants are from Bedam, the same city she was abducted from, and she wonders if they know anything about her parents. But first! An intriguing possibility:
She turned just as Cilla was gingerly feeling her cut lip
again. Cilla would need protection once they parted ways.
Finding other healing mages to help, trustworthy ones, seemed
impossible. What Cilla needed was someone like Nolan, someone
to heal her before the curse even took hold.
Was that an option? Those pills of Nolan’s had changed so
much. If he could travel to another world to possess Amara,
couldn’t he possess someone else, too?
I wonder how Nolan would react to the choice of either doing this or being NOT OTHERBOUND completely.
Speaking of which, just then Nolan rolls in to settle Amara’s angst:
“Amara needs to know you’ll be safe,” he told Cilla. “How much risk are you willing to take?”
You’re being an ass
Anyway Nolan lays out the “switch bodies” plan and Cilla is totally gung ho for it, even though Nolan emphasizes that he has no idea if he even can and they don’t know how Amara’s healing powers will interact with the curse. The following conversation then takes place (paraphrased slightly):
Amara: “No wait this is stupid”
Cilla: “Did u know ur hot”
Amara: “Seriously you could die”
Cilla: “I think ur hot”
Amara: “Can we please talk about how you’re going to die”
Cilla: “Let’s maek out”
I reiterate what I said earlier about Cilla being completely self-absorbed. She wants Nolan to take over her body mostly so Amara will be free, without stopping to consider Amara’s (extremely complicated) feelings on the subject.
Anyway they make out until the boat captain interrupts, and Amara finally admits to herself that she’s totally into Cilla. Enjoy your doomed romance, kids!