Nolan is hanging out with his sister, waiting for his anxiety medication overdose to kick in so he can have a go at controlling Amara again.
“—I am.” Pat frowned.
OTHERBOUND YOU’RE DOING SO WELL PLEASE DON’T START FROWNING AND GRINNING AT ME
Nolan only half pays attention while Amara rehearses for a play she’s in, focusing on the nail-biting shenanigans going down in the Dunelands. Amara suspects that Jorn knows she contacted the mage earlier and she’s just waiting for him to blow up and do something horrible to her. It’s like a never-ending Game of Thrones marathon every time he closes his eyes!
She sounded at once suspicious and hopeful. Did she care that much about his opinion? Why did that thought make him so damn uncomfortable?
Nolan is getting all uncomfortable because his sister looks up to him. That’s super sad you guys 😥
“Would you . . . if you saw me in a movie . . . Never mind. You don’t have to do this if you don’t care.”
“I do care,” he said immediately. That wasn’t true. But he wanted to care. He was trying to care.
😥 😥 😥
So I’ve noticed this weird trend for a lot of YA characters to be unlikable shit-heads; Nolan is also not what you’d describe as the greatest person ever, but I love how both he and the author appear to be fully aware of this.
“—when I’m queen,” Cilla was saying, “I won’t let any ministers abuse magic like this. We’ll keep the world in balance.”
“It’s repulsive how they’ve treated this country,” Jorn said in a clipped voice.
But you’re working with them, Amara thought. Was all this an
act? Or were he and Ruudde working against the other ministers?
All Nolan could think was, You know I’m here, Jorn, don’t
Guys look at how many things are happening! Remember that? Remember things happening in fantasy novels?
Nolan realizes that Pat is starting to notice something’s up, since he’s barely paying attention. He starts babbling about how to portray fear and freaks her out slightly when it becomes apparent he’s speaking from personal experience. Then it’s off to his own room to have another go at controlling Amara! Whee!
Back in the Dunelands Amara repairs some of Cilla’s clothes while surreptitiously ogling her some more. I really hope Amara just admits she’s into the princess soon. Amara broaches the topic of her blackouts and whether Cilla will tell Jorn if she has another one, but realizes she can’t actually trust her anyway.
Her legs wouldn’t stop moving. Muscles pulling, her feet wrenching back and forth. Amara held them down, but then her head shook, too, tiny tugs in all directions. Her sight faded for a second without her ever shutting her eyes. She willed her neck still.
It didn’t work.
Looks like Nolan’s interfering. The following scene is simultaneously horrifying and kind of funnty, as Nolan flips his shit and starts getting Amara to sign stuff that seems utterly nonsensical to Cilla and Maart, while Amara is basically trapped in her own body.
Eventually Nolan calms down enough to explain what’s going on. Amara is naturally incredulous at the idea that she’s been pulling a mysterious boy into her mind all her life. She tries to signal to him with her thoughts, but he can’t hear her when he’s in control.
Nolan is just just starting to explain that he’s from another world when Jorn comes in and he abruptly retreats, leaving Amara to crumple to the ground. She manages to make some excuse to placate Jorn, but he’s clearly still suspicious as hell.
Plot developments! I honestly thought Nolan wouldn’t make contact with the Dunelands characters until halfway through the book or more. As ever with Otherbound, I remain eager to read more.