Alright, back for chapter 2! Let's see what new bits of information we can glean...
Ooh! So much suspense and intrigue in this one. A few answers and a bunch of new questions. You are a really good storyteller.
It was interesting to see Arnold change his tune in this chapter. It's as though he feels badly for Persephone. I got the feeling that he's probably not one of the higher-ranking members of the Society, and mentoring her was not a task that he relished. His final words to her certainly sounded like a warning.
I liked the introduction of the Directors. Each was menacing in his own way. Bramble came across like the aging brawler. A man whose best days are well behind him but who nobody wants to mess with because of who he used to be and the fact that he's probably forgotten more about fighting then most people will ever know. Knockturn is obviously the mastermind of the Society, the deep thinker and crafty plotter. I immediately wondered whether Knockturn Alley was named for him. Warrick seemed especially menacing. He oozed the sort of twisted genius of a man who's amoral and capable of anything. Kind of a Josef Mengle vibe.
Throughout her induction, the scene dripped antipathy and misogyny. The numerous references to her gender made it plainly clear that most of the members don't want her there. As sketchy and downright dangerous as the Society and its objectives were made to sound, there was also a surprisingly forward-looking element, at least where the Directors were concerned. Regardless of what the other members think, the Directors have made their peace with the fact that a woman is able to bring something new and powerful to the table.
The rules of the Society were as simple as they were brutal. It reminded me of the demands that Voldemort places on a prospective Death Eater before they take the Dark Mark. Persephone's thoughts make it clear that she feels very reluctant about agreeing to their demands, but she doesn't have any choice. Unfortunately for her, they cement her oath with the Unbreakable Vow. Now it seems that if she is at all disloyal to them, she will die.
And we have some new questions. Not least, who is David Weatherly and what is his role in the Society? Why does he seem to have such a strong aversion to Persephone? Is it because he dislikes her or merely the fact that he dislikes her joining the Society. There could be any number of reasons for that, not least of all his concern for her safety. It's just way too early to tell about him, but the fact that he was the recipient of her Unbreakable Vow holds open some possibilities. If he were to break his side of it, he would die, but would that also not release her from her side of the vow? Just a thought...
Once again, I can't find a thing wrong with your writing. It's a pleasure to read. I've come to the end, at least for now. I'm interested to see what you cook up next!
Author's Response: Thank you again for another awesome review!
I definitely did name the Director "Knockturn" with the intention of circling back around to Knockturn Alley sometime, hah!! I thought it would be interesting, and it makes for an ominous surname. :)
The Directors seemed forward thinking, though I tried to make them as stuffy and resistant as possible. I guess what they wanted to tell me was that they accepted Persephone's power, but not her gender. I'm not sure if my intentions were clear in the story, but I hope it translated to something at least halfway understandable.
Your questions are very compelling!! There are some things you've asked that I haven't had much time to think about, what with real life getting in the way and all that. I wrote David into the story, intending him to be the main source of Persephone's emotional turmoil once the story really picks up steam... As to whether or not there's a ship in the harbor for them, I don't know. (Haha, I'm stupidly attracted to puns.) At this point, they've got a lot of animosity and betrayal. Forgiveness doesn't seem like an option, I think.
As for David dying and releasing her from the Vow... Thanks for that question!! You definitely just gave me a lot to think about for later on in the story!!
Thanks for your wonderfully fantabulous review!!