Hello, again! Lunchtime is reading time...
It was interesting to see Rowena behaving so differently from how I've always imagined her. She is the founder of the house built on reason and intellect. I guess it's only human to have a very sizable gap in our ability to be objective where our children are concerned. It's certainly consistent with the era for her to see having an unmarried daughter as a terrible shame. But seeing her weep so loudly as to be heard throughout the castle really drove the point home.
The effect it has on Helena is obviously quite profound. I'm thinking ahead to the end of Rowena's days, when she's dying "from a broken heart" as the story goes, and I think she really must have spent a lot of time thinking back to that tearful conversation with her husband. It's sad and very poignant and I love the way you wrote it.
Wow, just when I thought that I couldn't like Salazar any less... He's quite a mean piece of work, isn't he? I've finally settled upon the belief that he wants Venn to be married -- and soon -- so that Venn can fully inherit his father's throne and then Salazar will control the barony by way of his influence over Venn. I like that Venn finally stood up for himself, at least this once. I only hope it doesn't come back to bite him. Salazar is clearly a dangerous man to cross.
So Helena goes from regretting her decision to run away from Venn to... attending a wedding. Sigh. I understand her thoughts on the prospects for finding young, single men, but good grief, girl, this is not the way to console yourself! I suppose ice cream hadn't been invented yet...
Venn never fails to surprise me. There is a bit of humility inside that thick skull of his. Granted, it's motivated by desire, but he actually descends from his high horse to admit that he made the wrong choices when he tried to win her heart at the tournament. Still, poor Helena allows herself to look past the obvious problems with their relationship and make what most would call the easy choice.
Another terrific chapter. I can feel Venn and Helena and everyone around them spiraling toward their inevitable fate. It's sad, but very gripping.
Just so I can say that I gave you one bit of useful criticism, here's a typo that I noticed: "She wore a dress of deep, regal blue, which was lined with a forest green fabric, and a crowd made of emeralds sat upon her light hair." - crown made of emeralds.
Until I read again...
Author's Response: Hi Dan! Thanks for the review :)
I really wanted to make Rowena's desperation plain by showing this deviation from her normal portrayal of being logical, cool, and collected. She's clearly hurting a lot, and you're right that the bit of tension between mother and daughter will continue to play a huge role in the story from here on out.
You're right, Salazar is a nasty piece of work. He's sort of gone off the rails in his own way, as will become ever clearer in future chapters. A lot of the conflict in coming chapters is between Salazar and Rowena's competing interests, which will hopefully be interesting.
Yeah, Venn and Helena continue to make alternatively wise and poor choices. I wanted to humanize Venn a little here and show that he does care about Helena, even if it's in an immature way. Helena, as you mentioned, is still chasing a girlish, romantic dream, and the wedding was the perfect setting for her to want to give her fiance another chance.
Thanks for pointing out the typo! Hardly anyone points them out to me, and I know that there have got to be plenty scattered through my chapters. I'll go back and edit that when I find some time to do so.
Thanks again for your wonderful review :)