Firebolt Chapter 3

I honestly almost didn’t end up writing this in time. I spent the last couple weeks working on finishing a novella I’ve been writing called Sunlight, and I just finished it. I like to queue up content so I have a bit of a buffer, but I rose out the buffer to finish up that novella. The good news, I finished it, the bad news, I’m writing this the day before it gets uploaded, which I just… it makes me anxious so I hope to avoid that in the future.

I think I’m only going to go til the chapter that made me want to do this particular TLC, and then call it quits for this. Then maybe pick it up if people would like that. I have a lot more stuff I could be doing, and overall, I do like this series.

When we last left our intrepid hero she was sleeping. Now…

I pressed the green button near my head and warm, soft pink water came splashing from the metal nozzle. It smelled like roses, and a sense of calm washed over me.

I had never been in a shower quite like this one, until a few days ago. Grecian marble seats lined the walls with mosaic tiles placed in delicate and intricate patterns on the floor.

Bitch I want that shower.

At the moment, these showers were the highlight of every day.

Yeah. I bet it is. It would be mine too. Someone please get me this shower. Please.

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Okay but seriously, it’s like one of my favorite things about this series? Is that weird I feel super serious about that? It’s a book series about dragon riders and one of my favorite things is the fucking shower???

So, while recovering Elena thinks more about her dad and we learn more about this magical world. It’s kind of like she remembers more as time goes on, but it feels more like withholding exposition.

I’d always wondered about Dad’s stories and if Paegeia was really located inside the Bermuda Triangle. A part of me always felt that it could be real. I just never imagined it was. I still couldn’t remember the details, just that he used to tell them to me. The only thing I could recall was that Paegeia was a realm hidden from the human world behind an enchanted wall, a realm where dragons and magic existed.

We also get the exposition from Constance.

She also explained that the people of Paegeia had had to conjure the Wall nine hundred years ago to protect magic from other people—dark, selfish ones who wanted to harness and abuse the magic for themselves. Only after the Wall was erected had they realized that just the dragons could cross it. Once a human entered Paegeia, they could never leave. I looked at it like buying a one-way ticket to Neverland.

So, is she excited to be there? It’s hard to tell since she’s depressed after the whole, my dad was just killed by dragons. That last line confuses me hardcore.

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Me trying to figure that shit out.

Finally we get some kind of idea of where we are, and who exactly Master Longwei is.

He was the headmaster of Dragonia, where this infirmary was located.

Sweet. Awesome. We finally know where we are. Let’s get out there and go! Apparently Master Longwei wants to advance the plot too.

His number one piece of advice: if I wanted to keep my sanity, I had to face whatever was out there. Today, I reluctantly decided to take that step. I didn’t want to end up in the loony bin just because I couldn’t accept what was real, even though magic and dragons belonged only in fairy tales.

I don’t know, I highly doubt that would drive people insane. This seems like something people would adjust to. It’s like when we learn about a new animal or plant or something. I seriously don’t think I’d have any issues adjusting, but that’s because I want that kind of magic in the world. So, yeah. I do have a problem with that.

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Me getting my ass to Paegeia.

We are still in the shower. So Elena thinks about the “mark” they mentioned in the last chapter. We learn that these are birthmarks.

My version was an ugly, dark splat above my knee that kept me from wearing shorts even during the height of summer. In Paegeia, it was something significant. The people saw it as an honor and, according to Julia, most humans would kill for one as dark as mine. I still hadn’t figured out what it really meant, but it was my ticket straight into Dragonia Academy.

I have a couple things to say.

  1. Have you never heard of shorts that go down to you knees? Those are a thing. I used to only wear knee length shorts because I was self conscious.
  2. No one knows you Elena. No one cares about your over the knee birthmark. The only person you’re hiding the mark from is your dad.
  3. Julia is the nurse helping constance, I don’t think I’ve mentioned her, because she’s honestly not that important, even though I like her.

So Elena keeps pondering, because that’s the best way to get through all this exposition, I guess.

What if I was already crazy and stuck in the loony bin they warned me of if I didn’t accept this? What if this was my mind’s way of dealing with Dad’s death? What if all of this was made up and I was really sitting in some white room, eating Checker chips and drooling on everything?

This just… really? Is that what you think people with mental illnesses do? For real? I honestly can’t muster the energy to rant, not after the rage fest that was Delirium.

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Also what are Checker Chips? I have not been able to figure that out. Is this a South Africa thing? For the record, Woods is from South Africa. And yes, that will become relevant later. And yes, it is for the reason you think.

Elena finally, FINALLY, gets out of the shower and gets dressed.

The shower had felt great and the clothes Master Longwei had given me fit perfectly.

How. How did he know what size to get? That’s super fucking creepy.

How had he known what size to get?

Thank you Elena. This is kind of an important question. How did the old dude know what size clothes you need? I don’t think you know what size you need, as illustrated by the paragraph after.

Dad had never bought me the things I really wanted. It was always in and out of stores with him, too quickly to try anything on, so my clothes always ended up being too small or too large.

So how the fuck did you know what to buy her Master Longwei?? This is never answered and if you can’t tell it bugs the crap out of me.

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For real. How did he know?

Constance pulled me into a tight hug, crushing me against her stethoscope. “If you need anything, I’m right here,” she whispered softly into my ear. “Please don’t be a stranger.”

And with that we finally leave the infirmary. Sure, we’ve only been there for one and a half chapters, but I stand my ground.

I turned back and waved to the two women as I tried to process my surroundings.

Me too bitch. I literally have no idea where I am in this castle. Okay, that’s not entirely true, I just have no idea where anything is, or how you get there. I don’t know if this is a problem of my ADHD causing me to forget and/or be distracted, but I don’t know. I would love a map of this place.

I mean, I can’t be too frustrated about that, I’m not entirely clear on the layout of Seneal University, but unlike Firebolt, we don’t spend all that much time on campus.

This paragraph is just another example of why I get so confused.

We turned off the main path and took one of the smaller trails that led toward the entrance of the castle.

Why is it the smaller paths that go towards the castle? Wouldn’t there be a large path that takes you to a castle/school? Again, seriously confused about this.

I’m purposely leaving out parts to encourage you to check it out for yourself, because like I said, I do like this book, I just think it needs a bit of a pick me up. Elena gets up to the school and starts walking up the stairs to the fourth floor of one of the castle’s towers.

We enter a room and are greeted by….

“Good morning, Master Longwei,” a girl said in a chirpy tone, her toothbrush still in her hand. Her cropped black hair and big brown eyes lit up when she saw me.

“Good morning, Becky, may we come in?” he asked politely.

And now we meet becky. You see that description we got there? I’m pretty sure we don’t get it again. By the third book I had no idea what anyone but Elena and the dudes looked like. She gets extensions at one point and I literally had no idea why, because I couldn’t remember her hair was short enough to need them. I could have put it together with context clues, but I didn’t know it was that short until I read it again.

Master Longwei asks Becky to show Elena around the school.

“Master Longwei,” Becky intoned. “You always do this to me.”

When. When has he ever done this to you? It is never indicated that he has done this. Ever. Other than this one piece of dialogue. She never has to do it again. She never indicates anyone she’s shown around before.

What year is Becky in?

Spoiler alert, you don’t find out the actual answer until the end of the book.

She led me toward the empty bed. “Here’s your bed. I will help you with the linen.” She gave me a soft smile. “I know they’re huge, but there’s a reason for that.”

What’s the reason Becky?

Again, another question that’s literally never answered.

Also, why are you making the bed now?? Isn’t this the beginning of a school day? Why are we making the bed?

Is it for more exposition?

She nodded, and her smile went all the way up to her eyes. “So, your dad was really a Copper-Horn?”

I think it’s for more exposition!!!

So in Wood’s world every dragon, almost every dragon, has a special name for the kind that it is. I honestly can’t tell you how many actual kinds of dragons here are because… well, Woods never really gives a real answer.

Sure, we learn that there are 10 common kinds, with one special kind making 11. Except… we encounter one that’s never identified, and then another special kind in book 2. So I guess there’s like 13?

I honestly have no idea.

So mentioning her dad makes Elena understandably upset.

Tears formed in my eyes, and I wiped them away quickly before she could see. “Did you know my dad?”

“No, he must have left when King Albert died. Many dragons left when he died,” she explained sadly.

“King Albert… he’s the guy who built this school, right?” I tucked one of the corners of the linen underneath the heavy mattress.

“Yes, he was also the true ruler of Paegeia, and the greatest king that ever lived. He was betrayed by his best friend but nobody likes to talk about it.”

Yes. Please. Give us more. I want to learn more about the history of this place.

But of course… we don’t it’s only chapter three.

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“We are so late. Master Longwei is going to kill me,” she said, panting with exertion.

Okay, so then why did you make the bed? Seriously. What’s the point of making the bed here other than some minor exposition that could be done on the way to class?

The two head out.

We managed to open it wide enough for both of us to squeeze through. More buildings appeared on the other side, which made the castle begin to look more like a school.

I mean… If that’s what you think a school looks like. It sounds more like the Forks High School. Unless you mean a university, at which point… yeah. I can see that.

So after much exposition here we go. Here are some answers to the questions. I feel like this is an exposition chapter, which isn’t bad, I just think some of it was a bit… forced? But whatever, I actually like the next chapter a lot, and it too is exposition heavy, but in a more reasonable way, I think.

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