Richard watches the four horses approach. The person riding the middle one is…. Chase! Here to provide our heroes with a method of transportation in the nick of time.
“No,” Richard admitted with a sigh. He saw little arms clutching at Chase’s sides. A little face peeked around the black cloak. “Rachel? Is that you?”
Her face came farther out, a grin spreading on it. “Richard! I’m so happy to see you again. Isn’t Chase wonderful? He fought a gar and saved me from being eaten.”
I was going to make some quip about Chase being deus ex machina personified a minute ago with the horses, but this takes the cake.
“Didn’t fight him,” Chase grumbled. “Just put a bolt through his head, that’s all.”
“But you would have. You’re the bravest man I ever saw.”
Rachel stop praising all of the terrible male characters in this book.
Rachel learns about Kahlan’s liberation of Siddin and presumably warms up to her so yay, everyone is going to be friends now I guess.
“Don’t you dare hurt that wolf,” Zedd warned. “He’s a friend of the Mother Confessor.”
Oh yeah, Browolf. I forgot about him.
He shifted his robes and sat down, waiting with a grin on his wrinkled face for someone with a knife to carve dinner. Siddin, with a grin frozen on his face, too
STOP GRINNING AAAAAAAAAARRRGGGHHHH
Richard had stopped carving, frozen in astonishment. “Really? My brother said that? He came to help? And with an army?”
Chase nodded. “He said if you’re in this, then he is too.”
I still say this is a ruse of some sort. Also check out this excellently written dialogue:
Rachel hugged an arm around Brophy’s neck. “Giller’s a nice man. He gave me Sara.” She gave a fearful look to Kahlan. “You want to hurt him. You’re the Queen’s friend. You’re mean.” She pushed against Brophy for protection.
Brophy gave her face a long lick. “You’re wrong, Rachel. Kahlan is my friend. She is one of the nicest people in the world.”
Chase leaned toward Richard. “You pulled a sword on a Princess? Do you know that’s a capital
Richard gave him a cool look. “If I had had the time, I would have put her over my knee and spanked her too.”
Anyway Rachel tells them she has the box so thank God we won’t have to stretch out that particular contrivance any more.
“Rachel, you are the bravest, smartest, prettiest girl I have ever known!” When he set her down, she ran to Chase and crawled into his lap. He mussed her hair and put his big arms around her as she smiled and hugged him
“The Seeker found it,” Zedd smiled. “The Seeker should open it [the bread loaf].”
The Seeker didn’t find jack shit, Richard only has the box due to a string of improbable coincidences.
Anyway they all have a fantastic dinner and gush about how wonderful everything is and hey look at that still quite a lot of book to go, I bet everything will work out exactly like they expect. Take a look at these incredibly creepy interactions between Chase and Rachel:
Rachel cuddled in Chase’s lap while she ate and he talked. Richard thought it was interesting that she chose the most fearsome among them for comfort. When at last he finished his story, she looked up and asked, “Chase, where should I go, to hide until winter?”
He regarded her with a glower. “You’re too ugly to be left to wander about. A gar would eat you sure.” That made her laugh. “I have other children, they’re all ugly too. You’ll fit right in. I guess I’ll take you to live at my house.”
“Really, Chase?” Richard asked.
“I’ve come home enough times and had my wife present me with a new child. I think it’s about time I turned affairs about on her.” He looked down at Rachel, who clung to him as if he might float away. “But I have rules, you know. You have to follow my rules.”
“I’ll do anything you say, Chase.”
“Well, there you go, that’s the first rule. I don’t allow any of my children to call me Chase. If you want to be a member of my family, you have to call me Father. And about your hair, it’s too short. My children all have long hair and I like it that way. You’ll have to let your hair grow out some. And you’ll have a mother. You’ll have to mind her. And you’ll have to play with your new brothers and sisters. Do you think you can do all that?”
She nodded against him, unable to talk as she hugged him, tears glistening in her eyes.
Okay, good on him to take her in, but he doesn’t seem to be aware that she’s obviously got some lingering issues over her treatment at the castle, ie fanatically throwing herself at the first adult that shows her any positive attention. That’s kind of a fucked up situation.
They had done the hard part, they had found the box before Rahl. Now they had only to keep it from him until winter.
I’m sure that will go super well.
Chase’s plan is for them to skeddadle across the border to join Michael’s army which I guess confirms that yep, Michael is bad news. I’m still not convinced that Chase isn’t in on it as well.
The next day they’re riding across a bridge when Richard suddenly slams into an invisible wall and gets knocked off his horse. Have you ever been riding a bike really fast downhill or something and imagined what would happen if you hit an invisible wall at full speed? That would be really scary. Anyway the artist guy from the Queen’s castle put a “keeper” spell around Richard. Every time he touches the barrier it will shrink until he’s immobilized, at which point the corrupting effect of the spell will poison him.
There’s some more pointless back and forth with Kahlan wanting to turn back with Richard and erase the spell and Richard insisting that they have to secure the box and he’ll go alone. Meanwhile I groan at the appearance of what seems very much like a pointless diversion designed to pad out the book.
Zedd hands Richard a magic stick and sends him off to the “sacred caves” where evil artist dude does his evil art, but not before Kahlan kisses him liek zee ohh emm gee. I am so totally invested in this epic romance.
After a mercifully short time Richard reaches the cave to find that it’s completely covered in drawings. He reluctantly uses the night stone as a light source. He manages to find his drawing just as the shadows are closing around him and puts the night stone away. Just as he’s about to try and disable the spell James the evil artist shows up.
“I thought I might find you here. I came to watch. Anything I can do to help?”
By his laugh, Richard knew James wasn’t about to help him
Yeah, we got that, thanks.
Richard and James have a draw-off and Richard manages to transfer the keeper spell to him just in the nick of time.
“Who had you do this spell on me?”
James gave a wicked little smile. “The Mord-Sith,” he whispered.
Oh Jesus, are we doing that in this book? I thought that wasn’t until the next one.
Richard heard the breath being squeezed from him, bones snapping. James was dead. Richard couldn’t say he was sorry
This feels like we’re reading a rough first draft.
At their lead, facing the cave, facing him, was someone different, a woman, with long auburn hair pulled back into a loose braid. She was sheathed in leather from neck to ground, cut to fit like a glove.
Obviously this is a completely practical outfit.
Hey who do we know who also wears red leather?
Richard hulks out and violently dispatches the Mord-Sith’s (pfffft) henchmen, but before he can kill her she somehow takes control of his the sword of truth’s The Magic and disables him. The Mord-Sith woman is all sexy and dominatrix-like, because fantasy, and uses her The Magic to torture Richard.
Her smile widened. “I am Denna. Mistress Denna to you, my pet
I really wonder how two fantasy authors working decades apart managed to come up with exactly the same made up character name.
Hey this chapter is running long so: Evil-Denna dominatrixes at Richard some more and tries to make him beg for mercy. But he’s too much of a MAN for that.
With all his mental strength, Richard focused his hunger to kill her, and envisioned the sword exploding through her head. “Die, bitch.”
This really isn’t making me side with Richard as much as I think it’s supposed to be.
So I guess our hero is in trouble now! If only, during all those weeks of meandering travel, someone had warned him about this order of sexy dominatrix-ninjas who can specifically use his own powers against him. That sure would have been a sensible idea.