Welcome to episode 14 of the Hot Nuance Book Club, where it’s time for Flight (parts 23-29) in The Ruins of Ambrai. We’ve got earthquake stories, a discussion about the purpose of making art, seepage from the subtext, and Aradia breaking Ali not once but twice.
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The Ruins of Ambrai, Flight parts 23 -29: The Once and Future Lentil
0:00:10 Introduction and welcome
Ali: Welcome to the Hot Nuance Book Club, a podcast in which a novelist, a screenwriter and a podcaster walk into a book, diving into its craft and impact in their mission to bring nuance back. I’m Ali and I’m a screenwriter, no longer on strike, and also the co-host of Wheel Takes podcast.
Aradia: I’m Aradia, I am one half of the Wheel of Time Spoilers podcast. No longer on Crossroads of Twilight, we finished!
Ali: We aren’t either!
Aradia: It’s so good.
Ali: We were both done at the same time.
Aradia: Ugh, so happy for us.
Bree: I’m clapping for you both. And I am Bree, also known as one half of the bestselling author Kit Rocha, and I am currently doing edits on Horny Dragon Book two, too Dragon too Horny.
Bree: Yeah. I am really excited about that. And it is fun to be in editing brain place.
Ali: Horny Dragon two, Horn Electric Boogaloo.
Bree: I love sequels. I love sequels. I know that book twos, and movie twos, are supposed to be harder. But honestly, it’s like, you’ve already done the introductory work. Now you get to like, just go this.
Ali: Currently we are nuancing our way through the Ruins of Ambrai. So if you haven’t read that yet, go do that and come back when you have. For the rest of you, let’s break it down now.
0:01:40 Bree’s Time Travel Adventures, now with more Earthquakes
Bree: But first, let’s jump into the Mostly Reliable Time Travel Machine. We are zooming back to 1994 (swooshing noise). And Aradia, do you want to do this one? Because you added this because we had to have some geology geekness. Do you want to read this one?
Aradia: Sure, sure. All right. All right. And apologies in advance to Ali and everybody else that lives in California for this one. In 1994, January 7th, 1994, at 4:31 a.m., a magnitude 6.7 earthquake occurred in Northridge, and has forevermore been known as the Northridge earthquake. It caused at least 57 fatalities, caused $20 billion in damage and $40 billion in losses, making it the costliest earthquake disaster in U.S. history. And it caused liquefaction as far away as the Port of Los Angeles, which is 30 miles away from the epicenter. And liquefaction is when the ground becomes liquid, because it’s like unconsolidated sand and sediment and stuff. And yeah, 30 miles away is like, a lot, that’s a really long distance for that phenomenon to happen at.
Ali: Fun fact, I lived in Los Angeles at the time.
Aradia: Oh, really?
Ali: Yes, I did. I was two years old.
Bree: You were two. Do you remember at all?
Ali: No, I don’t. Well, for reasons. Well, so my mom, I was, like, stumbling down the hallway while the earthquake was happening. And my dad’s job was to go turn off the gas, and my mom’s job was to go get me. And my mom’s, like, stumbling down the hallway, going like, My baby, my baby! She gets into my room – fast asleep. Slept through the entire thing. Which is true about me and earthquakes pretty much since then. I’ve only woken up during one earthquake, and it was like two months ago, and I thought it was just Gus. It was like our bed frame was rattling, and I thought it was just Gus getting out of bed really loudly. So I turned over to be like, Could you be quieter? And he’s fast asleep. And I was like, Oh my God. And for a second I was like, Ghosts?, because – I don’t know why my mind went Ghosts. And then I realized, Oh, it’s an earthquake, because there’s nothing scarier than thinking your spouse is awake, and then they’re actually asleep like that.
Bree: Oh, yes, it’s terrifying.
Ali: My heart dropped. And then I realized there was definitely an earthquake. And I was like, Oh, Jesus. But the second I realized, it was pretty much over because they’re really fast.
Ali: And then at a different time, Gus and I got an alert that an earthquake had happened and that we all needed to get under our desks and stuff. So we and the dog get under the table, and it turned out that it had already happened to a point where, like by the time we got the message, it was already over.
Aradia: So helpful.
Ali: But it was the same day as the hurricane that also didn’t really hit us.
Bree: Oh, that was the great hurricane earthquake.
Ali: Yeah, the hurriquake, during tarantula season.
Aradia: Right, right, right.
Ali: So there was a possibility we could get a tarantula flying through the air. So. But my dad was downstairs during all of this, when I was two. And we had these, like, big light fixtures in the living room, and you had to cross the living room to get to the gas. And they’re like spinning around while the earthquake is happening. And he ran across the living room. And just as he got to the other side, he said that they fell, right behind him.
Bree: Oh my gosh, that is crazy.
Ali: Yeah. So apparently it was crazy. I slept through the whole thing.
Aradia: I also slept through a much smaller earthquake in Oregon as a small child. My parents, like my dad, didn’t notice because he was from California. I didn’t notice because I was an infant, but my mom sure as hell noticed.
Bree: Oh, my God. The six months I was in California, there was like a 3, I think, maybe. And everybody around me was just like, doing nothing. And I was like, Oh my God, where do I go? Do I go into the door? Do I go under the table? And they’re like, Bree, it’s over. I’m like, Where do I go? I can stare at a tornado coming at me and be like, Huh, I one doesn’t look too bad, but like earthquakes? No. Nope. I did not grow up with earthquakes.
Ali: The best earthquake story I’ve ever heard is – my voice teacher when I was in high school told me this one. She was a student at USC or UCLA at the time, I can’t remember which one. And she was living with a couple of roommates. And the earthquake pops up while they were sleeping. She runs to the doorway. It’s like a hallway with a bunch of doorways into their rooms and all of them run to their doorways. And she’s like, And that’s how we found out that all of us sleep naked.
Bree: Yeah, that was the only thing I had in my head. I was like, Get to a doorway! So, like, you know, I was like, running around, everybody else was just sitting there, like, Bree. Bree. Bree, you need to calm down.
Ali: A lot of the time, if they’re small, by the time you feel it, it’s over.
Aradia: Yeah, yeah, a really big one will last for minutes. But yeah, most of them are just over before you can really process what’s happening.
Ali: Yeah, but Gus is freaked out by them too.
Bree: In my defense, I – and Karen might listen to this, because Karen is the roommate I had in California, who listens to Wheel Takes. So I don’t know if Karen is listening to this, too – but she is a geologist, and when I moved there, she took me across one of those bridges that had like two layers. Because we were up by San Francisco, and she was like, Oh, yeah, the bridge collapsed onto itself, like, you know, during the earthquake. And that was all I remembered.
Aradia: Oh, the Loma Prieta quake.
Bree: I did not want to go across a single bridge my entire six months in California. I was just like, No, no, I am terrified of earthquakes.
Aradia: Yeah, that is like the iconic photo.
Bree: Yeah. So she scared the crap out of me, I’m sure inadvertently. But like, to this day, you know, thunderstorms, tornadoes, I am constantly over here with like a tornado three miles north of me and a tornado, three miles south of me, much calmer than I was during that 3.2 earthquake.
Aradia: So thank you all for indulging me in that geology discussion.
Bree: Fabulous. Okay. Other things that happened in 1994, Whoopi Goldberg hosted the 66th Academy Awards, and that was the Schindler’s List year, where it won seven Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director.
Ali: I can’t bring myself to watch it.
Bree: Yeah, it’s an intense one. Woodstock 94 happened, which was the 25th anniversary of the original Woodstock.
Ali: Oh, fun!
Bree: Yeah. And civil unions between same sex couples were legalized in Sweden in 1994, proving they were quite a bit ahead of the rest of us.
Ali: Quite a bit.
Aradia: Go, Sweden!
Bree: Go Sweden. And also in 1994, Melanie Rawn said, Oh, you guys don’t like Gorynel Desse? Fine, he’s dead now. So.
Ali: Cue Lanfear voice: Finally.
Bree: Welcome to the Ruins of Ambrai. We roasted Gorynel Desse to death.
Aradia: Yeah, literally.
Bree: I should have thought about that before I let you name that last podcast.
Aradia: No, the egg on our face look is good.
Bree: We just turned the page, and he’s, like, basically dead.
Ali: There’s nothing saying that this can’t be the roast of Gorynel Desse, part two. Or it could be the roast of Gorynel Desse – Literally.
Bree: I mean, they do literally roast him in this section, so.
Aradia: You did say you like sequels, so you know, here we go.
Bree: Yeah, here we go.
Ali: This is a part two. How many slander hours of Perrin have we had in Wheel Takes?
0:09:47 Music break – Flight chapter 23
Bree: That is true. That is true. So let’s jump in. We actually jump in with Glenin and Auvry, and this is a fun little chapter here, where they mostly talk a little bit about dreams. And did anything jump out at you guys about this?
Ali: Well, yeah. Now they know about Cailet, kind of.
Aradia: Yeah. Auvry really seems to be keying in on the, Maichen as a young girl, but not quite Maichen.
Ali: Yeah, he was like, Hold on a sec. She looks weirdly like my ex-wife. I know how genetics work. And Glenin is like, Well, yeah, it’s natural for you to dream of your ex-wife while you’re asleep. And he’s like, Not this way, though. My brain didn’t just make up a whole new slight clone of her.
Aradia: Yeah, the thing that really popped out to me about this was that Glenin doesn’t dream as, like, an act of will. That she had such bad nightmares that she used, like, just compartmentalizing at first and then actual, like, magic to make it so she doesn’t really have dreams. So first of all, that’s interesting because that means Cailet kind of busted through that to make a dream happen anyway. But then also, just like, Glenin, I think you’re repressing some things, you need to go punch a pillow.
Ali: For me, that’s just the muscle relaxer I take, of no dreams.
Bree: It is sort of just dropped in there casually: “For nearly a year after arriving at Ryka Court, all her dreams had been of her mother and sister and Ambrai—not dreams but nightmares. She feared them, was shamed by them, and did not want to remember them.” That’s a lot of trauma!
Ali: You’re telling me that your father murdering your entire family leads to some wonky dreams?
Bree: Who could have known?
Aradia: Yeah. I really feel like she needs to punch a pillow.
Ali: Much therapy, much pillow punching, much journaling, shadow work, whatever else TikTok prescribed.
Aradia: Yeah. She needs TikTok therapy.
Ali: I’m getting so many shadow work journal advertisements that I’m like, I know my ADHD. I’ll never fill this out.
Aradia: I have a new journal coming in the mail.
Bree: No, I always want to get them. And then I’m like, No, you do not need another journal that you do like two pages of. That’s just going to increase your failure feelings. He’s also just, Auvry is saying that he knows – basically they looked all through the academy and they couldn’t find them anywhere at the Mage Academy. So they’ve given up being secretive, and they’re just burning all the Ladders now. And they’re like, you know, well, if they’re somewhere else here, they can just be scared that we’re coming, because there’s no other way to escape. And so they’re sitting around talking about this, and he says he can feel them somewhere in Ambrai. And he credits this dream. But he also says that he saw the girl, but he felt Gorynel Desse.
Ali: I mean, Gorynel Desse felt a lot of people.
Aradia: Yeah. And this was when I first started to get the inkling that maybe Desse was dead, because he’s like, And now I can’t feel him, he’s gone. And I’m like, There’s one very surefire way for that to be functionally true. Like, death is going to be something that even a Warding can’t like, you know, trigger – that would work.
Bree: Yeah, because it was clear that Gorynel Desse was hiding from him, but he still had the sense that it was out there somewhere, even if he couldn’t pinpoint it. But then that went away. So: “Since a little after Fourteenth. But all day long I could feel him, Glensha. Distant, not very clear, but—” So yeah, they talk about this and they talk about how they’re going to cast a net tomorrow, which is something that the Malerrisi do that the Mage Guardians don’t, because it involves subsuming one person taking sort of everybody else’s magical power. And that’s something that the Mage Guardians don’t do. They don’t put one person in charge of everybody else’s magic like that. It reminds me sort of of linking in Wheel of Time, you know.
Aradia: It’s like a weird consent thing.
Bree: But also like in a way, that’s basically one of their Mage Guardian things is, that you don’t take somebody else’s power for your own, that you’re not supposed to like, you know – which I guess is sort of like a battle between individualistic sort of stuff and working as a team, and, you know, I can see some downsides to not ever wanting to work as a team, just because somebody has to be in charge. It’s clearly not going great for them right now.
Ali: Yeah. And Auvry Feiran is kind of like, I don’t know how to do this really. I like, kind of know, I’m partially taught.
Aradia: I read the Wikipedia on it.
Ali: But in the style of my former mentor, your friend and mine, Gorynel Desse, I’m going to just say Fuck it and give it a try anyway. And Glenin’s like, I might be more qualified to do this than you, Dad. And he’s like, No, no, let me have this. I’m going to do it. It has to be me. I’ll provide no explanation as to why it has to be me, but I will do it anyway.
Bree: And he says, “You don’t know what to cast for.” And so he basically says, The reason is, I know Mage Guardians, you don’t.
Bree: I don’t know if that is true or not, but he certainly decides it is.
Ali: I mean, whose fault is that?
Bree: Yeah. So she sort of just finally gives in, and she goes to sleep, wondering if her dad’s going to find Desse again just to let him escape. So she’s still sort of wondering about her dad’s loyalties there, and maybe him deciding that he’s the one who has to cast an imperfect net is not helping that situation.
Aradia: Yeah, but you can’t kill Gorynel Desse if he’s already dead! Hahaha.
Ali: Haha! A loop hole!
0:16:05 Music break – Flight chapter 24
Bree: Oh yeah. Well, here we go into part 24, which is like – it starts off pretty grim, you guys.
Aradia: Bodies, bodies everywhere.
Ali: (chants) Let the bodies hit the floor, let the bodies hit the floor!
Bree: Ali’s like, Woo!
Ali: Being on TikTok has fucked me up, being on TikTok’s fucked me up.
Bree: Yeah, we are – Sarra’s numb with grief and Ali is singing, basically, little conflicting moods here.
Ali: This is my coping mechanism. Let me have this.
Bree: I am 100% on board. It’s sad because the first one is, they’ve basically done funeral rites for all of these people who have died, and they they’re making us list them out one by one as they closed them into rooms that have little Mage Globes over them, to sort of honor them until they trigger them, which will then burn their bodies. And so the first room is Alin and Val, and then the next one is Tamosin Wolvar, our Mage Globe expert. Then the Captal, the formal Captal, Lusath Adennos. And they say that “Elomar would have performed this rite for his kinsman, but Elomar could not be wakened. Neither could Cailet.” And that’s sort of like, I think, the first indication, we’re listing all these people, but nobody has mentioned Gorynel Desse yet.
Ali: No, it takes a minute. And to be honest, I wasn’t entirely sure -maybe I just read too fast, but I was reading it, and I was like, Did Gorynel Desse just die? They kind of mention it a little.
Bree: They slow played it.
Ali: Yeah. Yeah. It took a second for me to go, I think Gorynel Desse just died!
Aradia: I had to reread a few times to be like, – I just slowed down and go back like, Oh.
Bree: She went where – I mean, she mostly just did not mention it. And it was sort of like seeping up from the subtext until pretty late, and they confirm it.
Ali: I love a little seeping up from the subtext.
Aradia: We love a good seepage.
Ali: We love a good seep.
Bree: Oh, I’m regretting that word choice now.
Ali: No, it was very authorly of you, it was very authorly.
Bree: Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. So we get Col singing for the funeral rites, too. Any thoughts about all of this passage?
Ali: I was sad the whole time, and so I made myself feel better by imagining inappropriate sounds that Collan could be singing at this time, such as, Let the bodies hit the floor. And that was how I coped.
Bree: Can you just imagine the lute version of that? You know, so you get the rippling lutes?
Aradia: Bardcore Let the bodies hit the floor, I’m sure that’s a thing.
Ali: Yes. Oh my God.
Aradia: I thought it was interesting, the thing about Col, like, warding off all emotion with the music, much like Ali is doing it. I thought it was an interesting observation on Sarra’s part, that like – because normally it’s like, you are playing for the living, slash, to send off the dead, slash, to subsume your own grief. Like, that’s generally why the musician is playing. For Col to be doing something even more compartmentalizing and distancing, is interesting both for him and that Sarra notices it. Like Sarra’s very aware of where Col is at, in a whole other way in this section. And I mean, music is what’s bringing that insight about, which is cool. But I was a little bit like, Col, I think you also need to go punch a pillow, because there’s not the emotional catharsis for you in this music that there should be. Even though Sarra is having that experience, and presumably the other living people are having. But it’s not touching you, what’s going on there?
Bree: Mm hmm. Well, and this is something that goes all the way back to the first section of his, where he loves to perform the music for himself. But it’s a very selfish act. He performs the music to please himself. He does not perform it to give pleasure to people. And they even say that, like, when he’s so young, it’s sort of enhances this sort of aloof feeling that he is, you know, gifting them all with this. But it’s really not something he’s doing to please them. It’s all for himself. And that’s been a theme throughout this. And I think that, you know –
Aradia: It just seems inappropriate as an emotion in this moment, or as an approach in this moment.
Ali: To play music, feels inappropriate?
Aradia: No. To be playing it selfishly.
Aradia: Like that just feels odd. Like, surely, coming together in a time of grief is the appropriate way to wield your skill.
Ali: Well, yeah.
Bree: I mean, has he been a very giving person, though, for most of this book? I mean –
Aradia: Yeah. And they literally do talk in this section about how he needs to learn to give his music, and of himself, like, not to do it selfishly. So I guess I’m just rehashing what the text already told me.
Ali: Well, okay, so I feel like we could say it’s selfish in that he’s like, I don’t have to deal with the people’s feelings. I can, like, put some distance between myself and the feelings, with a little Backstreet’s Back? (sings) Everybody!
Bree: Let’s not rock these bodies, please.
Ali: I don’t know what their funeral rites are like. Ethnocentric!
Bree: I just think the rocking, you know? Okay, rock the bodies, you guys go to town.
Ali: If that is your culture.
Bree: Yes. If that is what moves you, If that’s what helps them move on. A little rockin. Yeah, well, I think it is interesting. I like it as a metaphor for Collan’s emotional arc. He is very slow to open up to other people in general, and he has only just started doing it. I mean, last chapter was the first time they didn’t have to drag him, literally kidnap him to, like, participate.
He’s slowly starting to care about these people. And so I am interested to see what happens with his music as that evolves.
Ali: So I’m sorry, really quickly. I’m shaken to my core right now, because I’m realizing – I don’t know why it took me this long to realize – that Gorynel Desse is kissing Cailet as he died?
Aradia: That happens.
Ali: Ummm… I’m processing this. I’m never going to stop screaming.
Bree: During the whole roast I was just sitting there, because, like, at the end of it, you guys are like, you know, What is the long term implications of this? And I’m like, I think he’s saying goodbye, y’all!
Ali: So you’re telling me, this motherfucker just is like, You know what I’m gonna do with my, you know, dying moments? I’ve got to kiss a 17 year old because I see no consequences for this.
Aradia: Hashtag YOLO.
Bree: Okay. Here’s the other thing. We seem to get indications later on – not to jump too far ahead – but he was also doing the same thing that, you know, the little light balls did, what Tamosin did, Tamosin Wolvar did, to Cailet when he was like throwing the little light bulbs at her. He was passing knowledge on to her, he just did it with his tongue.
Aradia: Ugh, what is this, the opening of Æon Flux? Like.
Ali: I never thought that I’d say I prefer that he tossed balls at her.
Aradia: Yeah, the whole download via tonsil boxing is sort of unnecessary.
Ali: Tonsil boxing, no!
Aradia: I just broke Ali!
Bree: Well, it was interesting, because they all passed on their knowledge in a different way. Right? The Mage Globe guy chose Mage Globes – Ali is out of the camera now. I think she’s dead, she has disappeared.
Aradia: I’m sorry!
Bree: She might be crawling in the background.
Bree: Ope, she’s back! Nope, she’s gone.
Ali: Good luck sound editing that, Aradia.
Bree: RIP, Ali.
Ali: You know what, Gorynel Desse is like, I better die now because Sarra will kill me otherwise.
Aradia: That’s the real reason he died, was because he was afraid of Sarra. I like that.
Bree: Yeah. I mean, legit, legit.
Ali: I think Sarra would be like, You didn’t have to tonsil box my sister.
Bree: Tonsil box. I’m over here trying to be serious, and you’re like, Tonsil boxing! going nuts. I mean, let’s tonsil box! No, tonsil boxing, it sort of wraps right into my very serious point, though. The guy whose expertise was Mage Globes, used Mage Globes to pass on his and his knowledge, Alin gave her his cloak, and Gorynel Desse, our infamous –
Ali: Gave her his saliva.
Bree: – man whore, who just has been slutting around this entire book – Not not judgmentally, I love slutting around, so that is nothing but a compliment. But yeah, I mean he has banged every woman over 40 in this book, and so I guess he passes his knowledge on by tonsil boxing. So it’s, you know, his expertise.
Ali: Okay, but this is knowledge that Cailet doesn’t – is it like, the knowledge of every woman over 40? Like, what is he passing her?
Bree: I hope not, but – that’s what we’re going to find out, I think later this checks in, she talks about how she doesn’t even know everything that she’s gotten. It’s like there’s so much in her head now that’s like spells and knowledge and information and so I guess we’re going to have to see what exactly he is passing her.
Ali: Is it kind of like How I Met Your Mother, where she’s like, I sat down for what I thought was a story about how my dad met my mom. But really, it’s a story of every woman he railed in New York City?
Bree: Oh, d we have time on this podcast – you had to leave at two – Do we have time to talk about the ending of How I Met Your Mother? I’m just saying that’s going to be –
Ali: No, because I’m still on strike.
Bree: Yes, thank God. Thank you, SAG.
Ali: Thank you, SAG.
Bree: Listen, I hate the ending in that show. I could, urgh. Yeah. Anyway, terrible show. And yeah, I think that this is where – she talks to her later. So let’s get back to that, because she just talks in her head later. And it’s quite a question of what he did leave behind, I guess. But, so we’re back with Sarra, Cailet and Elomar are asleep, or like unconscious, hopefully not dying. Sarra has a little thing here where she talks about Collan’s strength, where she is like, she could feel his strength, but it’s not on offer for her use, like the other men in her life. And she thinks that “ He would never give anything of himself, she thought resentfully, unless bludgeoned into it.” And that’s sort of like, well, Sarra, you guys did kidnap him. You know, he hasn’t necessarily chosen the rebel life. He sort of got co-opted into it.
Ali: But again, I ask, why did they feel that this adventure needed tunes?
Aradia: Everyone needs road trip tunes.
Bree: What adventure doesn’t need tunes. Clearly the tunes are helping.
Ali: And why is it Life is a Highway by Rascal Flatts?
Bree: Listen, listen. At the rate she’s killing people, he’s going to be playing Let the bodies hit the floor, like, a lot. So we needed this bard. However, here’s my first real clue there. He had not sung for Gorynel Desse.
Aradia: Yeah, he might be holding a very real grudge.
Ali: I would.
Bree: “The Mage’s body lay in the room next to Cailet’s.” And so this is like the first time we find out. Yeah, he’s sort of dead, and Cailet and Elamar are sort of unconscious. The Healer Mage is whimpering in his sleep, which doesn’t seem like a great sign. And basically, they’re all trapped there until Cailet wakes up. And they hope that she knows how to work the Ladder, because none of the rest of them can. And so they’re sort of like – because they got all the Mages out, right, because Cailet was going to fry their brains. And so, yeah, it’s basically all of them sort of waiting for Cailet to wake up and knowing that the Academy is on fire and people are coming for them. So, tense moment.
Ali: Could you imagine waking up and they’re like, You’re the most powerful channeler that we have. You are the most powerful magic wielder. And she goes like, no Captal? Like, no Captal?
Bree: Good job, Ali.
Ali: I have been waiting to drop that joke all episode.
Bree: I know, I am so proud of you.
Ali: I was ready.
Bree: Is there anything else you guys thought about, in this very sad chapter?
Ali: Just how much I want the best for Sarra and Cailet. I just. I want them to be so happy. And no one is letting that happen, and it’s making me mad.
Bree: Well, they’re starting to, like, talk about Cailet, like she’s the Captal. She’s going to make all these decisions. Something is switched in their brain already, and they’re like, Yeah, we’ll wait for the 17 year old to wake up and tell us what to do. Which like, holy shit.
Aradia: Okay, first of all, she’s going to sleep in, she’s going to sleep in, because she’s 17. So like, you know, the only other thing I had really to think about in this chapter, is I liked Falundir right there at the end coming in and doing the very real magic of just like being super chill and compassionate and just like – this is, it’s not magic with a capital M, but it’s still like actual magic, and this is like, you know, the power of musicians who do give of themselves properly, Collan. This is why you are not yet an ascended master and Falundir is, because even without his actual skills, he just has like, vibes. And I thought that was cool.
Ali: He’s got powerful man vibes.
Bree: He’s got powerful – I mean, I think he’s got the, the empathy of the creatives and like, I mean – here’s the thing. Ali, you can tell me how you feel about this, because I feel like there’s a divide. There’s people who say that they’re making art for themselves, and there’s people who are making art for other people. And like, I’m firmly in the – I want to make art that makes myself happy. But also, I think a lot about making art that I think will make people feel better, that will make them feel hopeful, that will make them feel inspired, that will make them feel safe for a little while in a really crappy world. So like, I am very not a Collan. So what do you feel about that, on the scale of artists?
Ali: Yeah, I mean, I think it’s a hot nuanced: both. I think you can’t make art for everyone because just that way lies madness. Like, there’s no way you can make art that’s going to speak to 8 billion people. Like what art is, is you’re trying to find – I think we talked about this last time – You’re trying to find your niche, like half a million people. But that connects with what you’re saying and doing, right? Or however many niche people you’re trying to make something for, especially, don’t make art for your parents. Like that way lies real madness. Do you know what I mean? If you’re just making art for you, you’re kind of missing part of the point, which is that the other half of it is the way that people receive it. So if you’re like, This is what I’m trying to say and this is what you will get from this, and that is the only option because I decree it, because I’m making it for me, really – it’s going to feel inaccessible and it’s going to feel, you know, like we’re not a part of a community together, which is part of what the fun of art is. I was trying to go to this book drop event, and trying to get tickets this morning. I saw that there was this book drop event happening and I was like, I’ll go to that –
Bree: Was it the Fourth Wing sequel?
Ali: It may or may not be the Fourth Wing sequel. There may or may not be a Barnes and Noble that’s not unbelievably far from me, that I – and I spoke to a lovely woman on the phone this morning, seeing if I could get tickets and she said, Ma’am, that sold out in 5 minutes. And I was like, Damn, the community that I just lost.
Bree: Yeah. It’s so exciting though, that we’re doing midnight drops of books again.
Ali: I was like, I didn’t know we were allowed to do that anymore. And this is the thing, is like, art necessitates having a community around it. And I think recently I’ve kind of fallen in love with the idea of creating art that’s really, truly hopeful. Because I think for a while I had a lot of anger and I was channeling that into my art. And now I am so exhausted by art that’s angry. Because I think I just have emotional fatigue surrounding anger art. Then I’m like, What if I made something that made me feel good, and maybe made other people feel good, too? So I think I’m in a similar place with you, Bree. Where I’m like, I want to make something that makes being alive a little easier for the people that connect with this. So yes, and no.
Bree: Though I will say, I make angry art, but I make art that says, It’s okay if you’re angry at things that are enraging. Because I feel like a lot of times especially books targeting women, they’re like, Don’t be angry. You have to find your mental balance! And like, No, if the world is enraging, if you’re living in Alabama and they’ve told you you can’t have abortions anymore, it’s okay to be enraged all the time. And, you know, so like, I’m trying to make, I like to make art, though, that sees that even in dark times, there’s hope and things worth fighting for, and love still matters and community matters. And so, that is what I make art to say, you know, that you have to find your people and cling to them, because they can help you get through dark times.
Ali: Yeah, I suppose that’s a much more eloquent way of saying what I was trying to say, which is like – Yeah, I’m looking to make stuff that’s a little more, I think, uplifting while still honoring how angry I and a lot of people around me are. But I’m like, I don’t want to end on a, And you should be angry and there’s nothing good, note, because I think that’s a really hard note.
Bree: Yes. There’s nothing to do about it. Helpless anger. Yeah. The cynicism too.
Ali: Yes, helpless anger, I think I’m steering away from.
Bree: Yeah, I love it Aradia. I do love this thing too, that he just smiles at her and it’s like he is such a performer, that even without the ability to sing any more, he has given her more of the sense of peace. Because that is, you know, that’s something that he has got inside of him. This ability to connect and to care and to basically – yeah, I think care is really it, caring about somebody else’s empathy. And it is cool. So they kind of sit down at the end of her bed. Sarra says, I promised I’d be here. And he nods. And they just sort of sit down together and wait for Cailet to wake up.
0:36:38 Music break – Flight chapter 25
Bree: Part 25 is basically, it’s pretty quick. They have done their net, and Glen’s getting annoyed with her little fantasy son here, Red Flag Tutor’s nephew. Because he barges all down like, Yeah, I felt it, you’ll never guess where! Actually, her dad said, You’ll never guess where. But then the kid comes running in all happy. And for some reason, Glenin is annoyed by this. Like, I don’t know. Does she not like boys talking, maybe?
Aradia: I mean, I could see that like the adults are talking, child, stop yammering at us.
Bree: Yeah, yeah.
Aradia: Yeah. Auvry found them, wee!
Bree: Found them in Bard Hall.
Ali: Oh, no. I guess we did not Flight fast enough.
Aradia: Yeah, the only interesting thing is that Glenin’s pregnant, again. That’s really the only interesting thing.
Ali: Dun dun dun! You hate to see the Malerrisi get something they want.
Aradia: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Ali: Yeah. I did love that. She was like, Dammit, Garon.
Aradia: Yeah, maybe don’t spell bind him to, Wants to do nothing but fuck you, and you won’t get knocked up by him. There’s a concept.
Ali: It’s called natural consequences, Glenin. Also, did you not, don’t you have that, like, 100% effective tea or whatever, that all the fantasy series seem to have?
Aradia: And he’s supposed to take it, but she could compel him to take it. So again, it’s – he is a mind thrall to you. Like this is your fault.
Ali: Yeah, I go, to a certain extent, why are we blaming him? He is mind mush.
Bree: Yeah, he’s got like a half ripe banana in there right now. So I feel like it’s sort of her responsibility to make him not impregnate her.
Aradia: Yeah I just, I don’t see how he could have said no to impregnating her, you know, like he literally doesn’t have that choice.
Bree: Yeah. Not like I’m normally on team Blame the woman for getting pregnant. It’s just this is an extremely narrow circumstance. Do not come at me, Charlie.
Aradia: If you have the ability to mind, control your husband.
Bree: Once you have turned him into your mental compulsive boy toy, you need to take some responsibility for the contraceptive situation. So, yeah, that’s just 25. She ends on a: “Once again—Damn Garon!—she was pregnant.” But I respect her right to be mad at anyone she wants, because this is Glenin. And Glenin does not take personal responsibility. It’s not in her repertoire. So we jumped to part 26.
0:39:20 Music break – Flight chapter 26
Aradia: Yeah, where Sarra and Cailet actually catch up! And, oh, there’s so much communication. I love it so much.
Bree: We are 62% of the way into this book, 512 pages, much of which has been Sarra trying to get to her sister. And this is basically the first conversation they have.
Ali: I love it.
Bree: What did you guys think about it? This long awaited meeting of sisters.
Ali: I got emotional. They’ve been through a lot and they finally get to talk and get to know each other.
Bree: Yeah. And they literally don’t, they don’t know each other. Because they have never apart from that like one time and Pinderon, and then when they met each other at the door and basically Cailet’s magic exploded, and that’s it.
Ali: Yeah. I got a little sad when Cailet was like, Are you always like this? And Sarra is like, You’re going to get to know me.
Aradia: Yeah. I also got sad at the, This is the last time I ever get to hear my actual name because I’m going to be the Captal and like, please be a human with me. Like, there’s this whole like, you’re going to actually know me for who I am, but like, I have to be Captal, and I’m not going to be Cailet Ambrai, I got to be Captal Cailet, and it’s just like – that was what was making me sad, she’s just already accepting the subsuming of herself into this larger role she didn’t ask for. And like on the one hand, Sarra will be one of the only people who knows her for who she is. But on the other hand, like, that’s not going to be enough. It’s already not enough. She doesn’t know Sarra, like she has to begin her relationship with Sarra in the context of already being Captal.
Bree: And having these other people in her head, which we learned that she sort of does. She has literally – I mean, they’re not all like just throwing a constant jamboree in there. But she has – if memories make who you are, how can the addition of multiple people’s memories not in some way change you, you know?
Aradia: And then Cailet has the like elder person wisdom of like, you know that being mad at your dad and sister doesn’t change your genetic relationship to them, right? Like Sarra’s in there like, They’re not my real family! And Cailet with, like, far more aged wisdom than her 17 years justifies is like, You know, you’re wrong, but we’ll talk about it later. It’s okay. We’ll go punch a pillow later, once we’ve saved the world.
Bree: And Sarra is like, No, we will not.
Aradia: Which I think, you know, really supports Ali’s theory that the power of sisterhood is how we get Glenin back from the edge. Like, I think that this is strongly supporting that.
Ali: I want it. I want it so bad. And if that is what happens, I will be a mess. A mess!
Bree: A mess.
Ali: Just emotionally wrecked by this. I want you to know I can see this coming and I – you know, those tweets that are like, I hate tropes! And then the book is like, It was you the whole time! And me sobbing. It was you the whole time.
Bree: Yep. I love, I love a sister redemption.
Ali: A couple friends of mine and I, and Gus, watched Lord of the Rings, the last Lord of the Rings movie in college together, like right before we graduated. And we got to the part where he was like, I can’t carry it, but I could carry you!
Ali: And I burst into tears, just burst into tears. Everyone looks at me and I just go, Friendship’s so beautiful! And then one by one, everyone else started crying and then we’re all sobbing. And then my friend’s roommate, who is an amazing person, but also a little bit of a robot, comes in, sees us all weeping and he goes, Feelings! And then he leaves the room.
Bree: Feelings detected. Thank you.
Ali: Feelings, bye. So that’s – I will be, Feelings! If this happens, this is me. Feelings.
Bree: I am ready for it.
Ali: As someone with three sisters.
Bree: I have zero sisters, so I’m very fascinated.
Ali: So a lot of psychological warfare.
Bree: So I have heard from friends who have many siblings.
Bree: One other thing I would point out is that when she wakes up, one of the first things Cailet asks is, Do I scare you?
Ali: Oh, that hurt me, too!
Aradia: Yeah, that was sad.
Ali: I’m suing Melanie for emotional damages.
Bree: And she says: “Gorsha loved me,too. But I frightened him.” Which I think is – poor Cailet, she has, she’s been through it.
Aradia: Yeah. No, it is actually emotionally damaging that he would be scared of her, given that he was her mentor. Like, you don’t want to see your mentor in fear of you. That’s like a really big, like, emotional blow. Kissing aside.
Bree: She has all of this power and they’re all terrified of it.
Ali: To be clear, I wasn’t victim blaming Cailet, I was just saying.
Bree: Yeah, Yeah.
0:44:44 Music break – Flight chapter 27
Bree: We jump to part 27, where she’s up and she is confusing all of the Mages, because the people over there at the academy are like closing in. And if they go one at a time and they sense the magic, they’ll know exactly where they are. So she’s like, Well, I’ll just make the Ladder bigger. And everyone’s like, Excuse you, what? So what do you guys think about this whole thing?
Ali: I go, Maybe we should trust the girl with all the knowledge.
Aradia: Well, that’s the thing, though, she doesn’t have all the knowledge, she missed out on part of the Captal knowledge, but she also got a Gorynel Desse’s worth of knowledge, which no Captal before has had. So she’s like a super Captal, but also like a knock off, off brand Captal. So like, I love her confidence?
Bree: Yeah. She also has, like, Alin and Tamos.
Aradia: Yeah. So I was fascinated by her being like, I can just bend the rules.
Ali: Is she the Captal we ordered on Wish?
Aradia: I don’t know what Wish is, so…
Ali: Wish is a website where you see the picture and it looks super good on the website, and you’re like, That’s what I want. And then you get it – And this has happened to me before before I was wise to Wish – You get it, and it’s like, the hemlines are weird andit’s all falling apart. And it’s clearly been made incredibly cheaply and also weirdly looks nothing like the picture you ordered from.
Ali: But like, it’s like someone did that peanut butter and J, PB and J challenge with an alien that you did in elementary school where it’s like, this is how hard it is to write instructions. Oh, yeah, Yeah. But like, yeah, So it was like you described how to make this dress to an alien. Yeah. So that’s. That’s Wish.
Bree: Yes, that’s the Wish dot com meme.
Aradia: So that, but the Captal version of that.
Ali: Yes. Yeah. Or it’s like, when you say to your mom, I want McDonald’s, and she says we have McDonald’s at home and it’s like, you know, morning star chicken nuggets.
Ali: Which are fine, but they’re not McDonald’s.
Aradia: Yeah. So I’m fascinated by her waking up and immediately being more than everyone bargained for, because she’s got extra off brand stuff going on. I was very interested by that. But then, of course, she immediately almost fumbles it and kills the party. So I’m like, maybe slow down, maybe learn to walk before you try to run. Maybe.
Ali: With these girls, with the Ambrai girls?
Aradia: I know, I know. Silly request.
Ali: Maybe. Maybe if Gorynel Desse had taught them to walk.
Aradia: Or just allowed them to remember learning to walk in the first place!
Bree: The memories, all of those memories. Pour one out for Gorynel Desse, Stealer of memories, Wrecker of childhoods.
Ali: I felt sad that – oh, going back to one thing that made me sad also, Collan was like, Cailet was saying to Collan, Oh, it’s interesting to me that you don’t have a headache around Falundir anymore. And he goes, Why would I have a headache around Falundir?
Aradia: Yeah, that line did of stab me in the heart a little bit.
Ali: That was like, his whole mentor! His whole mentor. And he goes, Oh, I guess that’s where I learned to play, he like, realizes.
Aradia: The whole relationship is gone.
Bree: Does he realize it?
Ali: I don’t know if he realizes, but he kind of goes like, Oh. So I thought maybe he was realizing.
Bree: Oh, no. The Oh, is that Gorsha made it so it doesn’t hurt anymore. He took away the pain. So that’s what Collan this realizing.
Ali: Oh! I thought he was picking up on the –
Ali: Okay, I thought he was picking up on – Okay. But still, that made me sad.
Bree: Yeah. So what happens is, after everybody’s fighting with Cailet about the Ladders, Collan comes in and she’s like, Oh, you’re the minstrel. I’m so happy. Let me talk to you. And she shoos everybody out. And they sit down and they have this sort of conversation. And honestly, I’m gonna tell you guys, I love their relationship from the very beginning. I think it’s just like the cutest big brother, little sister thing.
Aradia: I love this.
Ali: I said, Careful Collan, I might start liking you as a person.
Bree: I think that they have a cute relationship.
Aradia: Yeah, I really liked this interaction because again, we’re getting actual information communicated and like, Col is someone that – again, he doesn’t really know her from before she became Captal, but also he doesn’t have any like sense of reverence for her as a person, like as Cailet or as the Captal, like she’s a blank slate to him. And so he’s even more able to treat her as human. And he’s thinking like, Oh, she’s going to get Captal-ed enough to wanna tear her hair out, so I won’t do that to her. And then they both give each other permission to use a diminutive of their names, like, if you like me. And so that’s really cute, and just yeah, I am very glad that she’s getting someone in her orbit that’s not, like, deeply emotionally invested in her like Sarra is, but who also cares about her as a person rather than as her position as Captal.
Ali: Yeah, agreed. I also am a sucker for someone who’s nice to a little sister. You know what I mean?
Ali: Before Gus and I were dating we were friends, and he was producing a show that I was stage manager for. But my 13 year old sister – she was little at the time. She had braces and everything – came before the show started and I had to be backstage, but could see the stage from backstage. I was like three feet away. But I, you know, said to Gus, Can you just entertain her for a little bit while I run around doing things? And he, they talked the entire time. He was so sweet to her, and I was just looking at him like, I already have a crush on you –
Ali: But I have an even bigger crush on you because you’re so nice to my little sister. You didn’t really have to be THIS nice to her. Do you know what I mean? Like, he was so sweet? Anyway, and my sister gave a speech about that at our wedding. It was so cute. Oh, and now she’s 24.
Aradia: Oh, they grow up.
Bree: They grow up.
Ali: Yeah. So he’s like a big brother to her in so many ways, which is very sweet. So that’s what that reminded me of. And I’m like, Oh, no, I’m being a sucker for men who are nice to kids. I am. I’m a big sucker about that. I married one.
Aradia: Well, that’s one, it’s one level of the answer of why Collan is, because he’s a nice guy, because he’s necessary to convince you and draw you into the plot. That’s part of the reason.
Bree: I feel like at this point, I’m just going to say my theory for why he’s in this book. All books, like most fantasy books, are about three special boys and a love interest. This is about three special girls and a love interest. He’s just the love interest. That’s what I think.
Ali: Melanie. I love a flip. Yeah. Nicely done. Good work.
Aradia: He’s just eye candy. And ear candy. In this case, as a musician.
Bree: I think he’s just the love interest who gets to come along for the ride.
Ali: So you’re just saying, I’m showing you my whole ass by being, Why is he even here?
Aradia: Just overthinking it.
Ali: Okay, that’s fair.
Bree: I think it’s a great question, because we never include men just as somebody’s love interest. Like, that’s not a thing that you do, right? Men usually have to have a central casting role. Women can be included as a love interest.
Aradia: That’s true.
Bree: But yeah, I think that’s what he is. I think he’s just the love interest.
Aradia: Or are you Bree lighting us?
Bree: I might be. You never know. You never know. It is possible.
Ali: You never know.
Aradia: Technically, we will know when we get to the end of the book. Yeah.
Bree: That is true. Unless something happens later on. Listen, I warned you guys, that there is a second book that you can read with, like, next generation stuff, but there is no third book. So I could be Breelighting myself at this point. I don’t know. I mean, the third book – She’s just going to drop the third book someday to surprise us all. We’re all going to be like, Fuck! – I don’t think she’s actually going to do that.
Ali: That would be really fun.
Bree: I mean, there is lots of rumors every once in a while –
Ali: That would be fun to troll people.
Bree: – that she’s working on it. But it would be funny, if she just like dropped it randomly one day.
She tells Collan that she didn’t get the whole part of the Captal’s bequeath, is what they call it – I don’t know they call it that here, but, yeah.
Aradia: She’s trusting him with the most important secret. Oh, my goodness.
Bree: But she doesn’t tell anyone else. Even Sarra.
Aradia: No one else.
Bree: Yeah, which is interesting. Why do you think she does this?
Aradia: She’s 17 and needs someone else to bounce things off of?
Ali: Yeah, I think that’s, that’s it for me. She’s like, You seem like a nice guy. Here’s my thoughts. I don’t know. Yeah, I feel like it’s a lot to be a leader. And sometimes you need someone to just kind of run stuff by.
Bree: Yeah, I mean, I feel like she needs someone to tell who isn’t at all invested in this Captal nonsense, maybe. Because, for everybody else, this is such a huge deal and he doesn’t seem to have much respect for the Mages or the Captal or any of it. So maybe to her, he’s someone who won’t, like, immediately have a meltdown over this.
Aradia: Yeah, that makes sense.
Bree: One line I love in here is, he says, “But you’re still yourself. Still Cailet Rille.” And she says, “Mmm. Yes, I’m myself. And Cailet Rille.” And I was like, Oh, if that isn’t a metaphor for someone who has just gone through some dramatic changes.
Aradia: Heheh, yeah.
Bree: Anything else you guys think about this? She says that his Ward – she offers to take his Wards away and he doesn’t want her to.
Aradia: Oh, yeah. That was interesting.
Bree: So what did you think about that? Like, would you? He’s pretty confident in liking who he is, so I feel like that’s part of it, like, you would be somebody, right?
Ali: I suppose that’s true.
Aradia: I don’t think so. You’re still you. You just respond differently based on different information.
Bree: Are you sure? Are you sure it couldn’t make you a different person?
Aradia: Well, I mean, therapy would suggest that uncovering past memories does help make you a different person.
Ali: But see. I feel like that’s made me a better person.
Aradia: Yeah, Which is why, again, I’m like, I don’t see that because, like, you’re still you. You’re a different You. But like, I don’t know, I can’t imagine saying no to having those Wards removed.
Bree: Honestly, I can’t either.
Aradia: You mean I’ve been lied to about my entire life? And I think there’s an actual story there that I could remember if only this magic lobotomy was reversed? Like, I would want it reversed. I don’t understand his immediate recoil.
Ali: Yeah. You know, here’s my thing. I am such a curious Cathy that there is no way that I wouldn’t be like, UnWard me! I got to know everything. Because if there is something I don’t know, I won’t rest until I know it. And that’s my toxic trait. Is that I am so – And you know what’s great is then, I’ll forget it like 5 seconds later, which is why really the Wheel Takes podcast has been an exercise in restraint in a way that I can’t even begin to tell you, because it’s so it’s so people knowing things I don’t know and that’s fine. But it’s also the worst form of torture for me. But yeah, I feel like, yeah, I feel like there’s no way I wouldn’t be able to be so curious that I’d be like, Do it. Because I feel like it would bother me the rest of my life. That there were things about my life I didn’t know?
Aradia: Yeah, exactly.
Bree: So you are the person – This is how I describe it. I’m the person. If someone comes into the chat and says, Oh my God, whatever you do, don’t Google this. I immediately Google that. Are you that person?
Ali: No question.
Ali: No question. There’s something about human existence I don’t understand or know? I must see it, just to know. And then I always be like, I wish this wasn’t what I must do.
Aradia: Yeah. Curiosity.
Bree: And then that you do it and you’re like, Holy shit, why do I do this? I’m so mad at you for putting in my mind the idea that I should not have done this, because I read it when you did it.
Ali: So you have to understand now that like in our Discord, when it’s blowing up with black boxes I can’t click. I am sitting there, hands shaking. I’m like, You mustn’t.
Bree: I know, I know. I can’t – I click them without thinking. And I have to, like, run away.
Ali: Yeah, I’ve trained myself. I don’t click any of them until someone says, Ali, you can click this. But it’s the, the restraint that that forces me to have is honestly something I didn’t know I could do.
Aradia: Personal growth through podcasting.
Bree: You’ve learned something about yourself.
Ali: Yeah, but. But because I’m busy exercising restraint here, nowhere else will that be true. You’ve got one, apparently. Yeah, you got one. I will find out.
Bree: This is a question for the discord, I guess. Would you? Would you, if you think this would change who you are, would you do it or would you let them lie, I guess? So let’s hear that on the Discord.
Ali: Yeah, I think it would change who I was, but I would want to know in what way. So I wouldn’t be able to resist not knowing. Yeah.
Aradia: That’s a hard yes from all of us.
Ali: Yeah. Though, I mean, we are a neurodivergent group and statistically we’re bad at impulse control, so it might not be a good sample size.
Aradia: Collan is many things, but I don’t, I don’t feel like he would be our kind of neurodivergent.
Bree: No, I mean, I feel like he’s sort of very happy with himself and like, sort of, you know, Whatever, I’ve got this far being this way, you know, don’t Rock the boat is basically what he says, so. Can’t relate, but good for you, Collan.
Ali: I guess that’s an inner peace I’ll never know.
Aradia: Yeah, Good for you.
Bree: He basically ends this by, you know, saying, Yeah, he has to call her Captal in public, but they can, she can be Cailet to him in private. So she is, you know and his last thought is, like she says, “”But for me, for myself and my friends, I can be just Cailet?” She nodded. “I guess I can live with that.” He thought it best not to mention that she’d have to live with it.”
So this poor little 17 year old has lost – yeah, rough.
Ali: They’re just trying to break me at this point and it’s working.
1:00:40 Music break – Flight chapter 28
Bree: But we skid into part 28 where she gets to be a magical badass for the first time. Hoo! So, what do you think?
Aradia: I loved it.
Ali: I loved it.
Aradia: I love magic innovation. I love shocking everyone with breaking the rules of magic. It’s one of my favorite things in fantasy, is when the protagonist is like, But what if I broke physics? It makes me happy.
Ali: I am happy that a bunch of people told a young woman that something she wanted do was impossible and she did it anyway. That is my trope. That is my favorite thing. I’m like, when whenever someone is like, You can’t do this, little girl, I’m like, Well, I hope she fucking shows you! That is always my – Yeah, that, that’s a big one for me. So it made me very happy. No notes.
Bree: So yeah, there’s one point where one of the Mages tries to, like, disagree with her and she sighs and mentions, she says Shainkroth, which is a town and it’s a reference to a story that she should not know. And she got it from Tamos Wolvar. How he had helped them escape from a situation like this, two years ago. And so they were sort of, I guess they must realize that she has grandpa’s memories at this point. Or uncle’s memories. So, a little creepy.
Ali: Yeah. There’s a part of me that’s like, What if you tried believing her? Like she was a wizened old man?
Bree: Yeah, basically, because she’s like, four of them now or something.
Ali: Because I go, You can’t tell me that some of this resistance doesn’t have to do with the fact that she’s a 17 year old girl.
Bree: Listen, the stubbornness that makes her do it? 100%, so love this for her. And they keep arguing with her. But eventually, like, you know, Collan just is like, What the hell? You know, if it works, great. If it doesn’t, we’ll be dead. If they catch us, we’ll be dead. What’s the difference? And Sarra sort of snarks at him that the difference is that if they go into groups, half of them will be alive in Longriding. You know, they won’t all be dead. But then she backs up Cailet, too, and says, Let’s just do this. Then we get this heartbreaking thing with Taig. Taig comes in and he’s like, not looking at her. He won’t look at this little, you know, his little sister who has this, not a little foster sister who has the biggest crush on him. But now it’s like he can’t decide if she’s a little girl or if she is the Captal. But he won’t look at her either way.
Ali: Taig, I swear to God, if you don’t look at that child, I’ll lose my shit to you. All of a sudden I’m liking Collan, I’m not liking Taig. What is happening?
Aradia: Yeah, it’s an emotional rollercoaster that we are in here, near the end of Flight.
Bree: Yeah, she woke up this mythical legendary, you know, ranked person. And now everybody is just treating her so strangely. Which is like the wonderful dichotomy of them all saying, Yes, we have to do whatever the 17 year old says, but we also don’t want to agree with the 17 year old when she tells us what she can do. So it’s sort of like, you know, you guys have to pick a lane here.
Ali: Yeah, I don’t like this at all.
Bree: Eventually she does just say, Enough, and when she says Enough, they all just like, Okay, Captal says enough, which like, makes her feel worse somehow –
Ali: But it pleases me.
Bree: – than when they were arguing with her, because you know. It pleases Ali. Ali’s got this grin.
Aradia: I’m with you, Ali. I want someone to obey.
Ali: It pleases me. I want so badly to be like an older woman with enough power that I could be like – and I would never be this person because I would feel awkward. But I also yearn to be a woman who could be like, Enough! And everyone is quiet.
Bree: Yeah. It is the dream. The crone dream.
Ali: Cailet is doing it for the girlies.
Bree: Yeah. So everybody sort of smushes together as close as they can get. And she is pulling on Alin’s knowledge and saying, I miss you, but I guess a part of you is always with me, which made me sad. And then there’s a moment here where she realizes how hard this is going to be to do. And no wonder everybody was telling her not to do it, because she has to push the boundaries of the Ladder out in a perfect circle on both sides of it. So big enough that everybody is enclosed and it takes so much power. And she thinks it’s going to take more power than she has. But then this, like more magic comes up and she’s like, Holy shit, How did Gorsha hide all of this for me? Because she’s like super freakin powerful!
Aradia: Oh yeah. And then she starts having all the ghosts in her head.
Bree: Before she pulls it off, Gorynel Desse starts talking to her. In her head.
Aradia: Yeah. He isn’t actually all the way dead. He’s still fucking ghost. Which does remind me of Red Flag Tutor living rent free in Glenin’s head, just because he died that one time.
Ali: Ugh! We’ll never be free of this Fuck. I double down on hating him for you, Bree.
Bree: You should. You should. I’m continuing to love him because I can’t help it. So please double down and make it your bit.
Ali: I’ll let it happen. Yeah, it’s like a bit, to mess with you.
Bree: Do it, go with it. Go with it.
Aradia: But then the best part is, she literally roasts him. She literally roasts him for us.
Bree: So yeah, she explodes the Mage globe over Alin and Val first, after she, like, smiles at them, lying side by side, and then she does the same for the old Captal. And then she finds Gorynel Desse and he says, Do it, love. Don’t let them find me. And we have a moment here where she’s like, It’s not as hard as she dreaded because it’s just some old dude lying there in a bed. And it’s like, not how she thinks of him in her head. She thinks of him as the young hottie. So she lights him on fire and there he goes.
Aradia: And there was much rejoicing.
Bree: And then he stops talking in her head and the blinking Ward takes into effect and disappears. And then Collan is swearing at the cactus. So we know we have arrived.
Aradia: So amused, so amused. They all arrive, embraced by the cactus. There’s too many people. So the cactus is like, Raah!
Bree: Yeah, the cactus is just stabbing everybody on the outside, just gently.
Aradia: But then. But then, but then! Glenin, waah, Glenin. Glenin feels them, feels them land, like they hop like away, to get away from her specifically. And then she immediately knows that they’ve – I’m just I’m concerned, about the flight. It will not be done yet. Aah!
Bree: Yeah. Something pokes at the Ladder spell and Cailet almost reaches out to it because it feels familiar, and then she throws up a Ward, because it was Glenin. And she’s like, “It’s not time yet. One day—but not yet.As Taig helped her down, she wondered whose thought it had been.”
Aradia: Because she has not just Gorsha’s voice bouncing around in her head, but like everyone she absorbed, like she’s having, like, a hard time keeping track of who she is because like, all of them are clamoring at her. She’s going to need to, like, put up some of those interior walls again, otherwise –
Ali: She’s got as many people in her head as some folks I could mention from the Wheel of Time.
Bree: Yeah, I’m yeah, it’s definitely a dance off right now with her in her head.
Ali: And as someone who’s got one voice in their head, she’s exhausting. I can’t imagine a whole party in here.
1:08:45 Music break – Flight chapter 29
Bree: Part 29. So we’ve ended with our cactus Ladder embrace, and we switch over to Glenin’s point of view again. And she and her dad have come back triumphant with two slightly singed heads.
Aradia: Crispy around the edges.
Bree: Yeah. Slightly singed heads, and the First Councillor is not happy somehow, still.
Ali: She’s never happy. She’s just one of those.
Aradia: Yeah. Worst mother in law ever.
Bree: So they brought him Gorynel Desse’s slightly burned head.
Ali: I have a feeling personally that it’s because she – There’s, like, something about, like, her having to step down or get unalived when her grandchild was born, or something like that. Her unhappiness felt deeper than just – I don’t know because I’m like, what is this boy supposed to do? And is he supposed to do that in the next 300 pages?
Aradia: Well, she’ll be a lord of Malerris. If she has a child, that could mean things.
Ali: I had forgotten about that, Aradia.
Ali: That could be. Is that bad for her?
Bree: Glenin definitely thinks she’s being groomed to replace her. So, I mean, I guess it depends on, if having the son gives her more power within them, which we know that it does.
Aradia: It would qualify her to be more independent. But then she couldn’t do politics.
Bree: But she’s unhappy even before she finds out about the son. Remember, even before she finds out about the son, she’s unhappy.
Aradia: Yeah. She’s pissed off that Sarra got away specifically.
Ali: Oh, yeah. And she’s like, You must be unhappy about that too. And Glenin’s like, Eh, we’ll get her.
Bree: Yeah, yeah. She said she’s officially dead. She has no power. She’s not Mageborn. And Aaniyas yells, “She’s surrounded with all the Mage Guardians left in this sorry world!” And everyone’s like, Seriously, who cares? It’s like, what, a dozen of them?
Ali: Yeah, it’s fine. But I don’t think it is fine.
Bree: We find out that they have killed 500 and arrested 200 more out of the about thousand that should be out there. And so Anniyas wants her thousand, and she’s not stopping until she gets them all.
Aradia: She wants that ethnic cleansing very cleansed.
Ali: She wants to Pokémon gotta catch them all.
Bree: She wants the achievement badge.
Aradia: She wants to punch the biggest murder punch card that has ever been manufactured.
Bree: Yeah. Basically.
Ali: She’s going to get a free sub.
Aradia: It’s going to be the best free sub.
Bree: Big free sub.
Ali: It’s a foot long!.
Bree: She yells at Glenin, “You’re damned sure of yourself for a woman who just lost the most important game of her life so far!” And Glenin’s like: “I am damned sure of myself, for a woman who will deliver of a Mageborn son this autumn.” Like, boo!
Aradia: Oh, snap!
Ali: The way this she put that though, was very like, deliver of a baby, in a like, it’s a very – Like, deliver of a son, felt very like, All right Glenin, calm down.
Aradia: He is the prophesied one, through him I shall rule forever!
Bree: Drop a new track.
Ali: The prince that was promised shall be born!
Bree: Right, she’s going for high drama here. Glenin has never not been dramatic.
Aradia: I do love to see it.
Ali: She is a vibe, a bad guy, but also she gives theater kid. Much like some of the other dramatic villains of her time.
Bree: And Garon has been here the whole time.
Aradia: Garon turns into a dork. Garon, when he hears this news, fucking turns into a slobbering mess. Oh, my God. He’s like, I’m going to take such good care of you. Oh, my God, everything’s perfect. I was going to kiss your hands a whole bunch. Garon is like, Sir, you are embarrassing yourself, and everyone. Calm down.
Ali: Okay, now, here’s the thing. On the one hand, he is being, you know, being controlled and all that and that’s bad. But on the other hand, I do get a little emotional that he was this excited about being a dad?
Aradia: I mean, there is that for sure. For sure. But I just –
Ali: I was like, I know this is not real, but.
Aradia: Her mind control is so heavy handed. It’s so heavy handed.
Ali: Yeah, it’s a little too much. And then she thinks herself, Oh, I can’t do this for 20 weeks. And I’m like, You are controlling him, once again, I think you’ve forgotten that you get to turn the volume down on some of this. I did give me like the TikTok, you know, telling my husband I’m pregnant. The dad’s so excited, and then I get a little bit busy for strangers at 8 a.m., you know?
Aradia: Sure, sure.
Bree: Oh, he was very – He’s going to take care of her, get her a hot bath, take her to bed, hire a cook. Everything’s going to be awesome. He’s like, Mother, isn’t this spectacular news? And Anniyas is like, Spectacular? She’s not feeling it.
Ali: This is my thing. I’m like, something’s going to happen now that she’s got this level of power, right?
Aradia: Yeah. So especially when she looks over at her father and says, the First Lord says, you still look much too young to be a grandfather. Like, that is layers of digs at Anniyas because Anniyas is older, obviously, and vainer, obviously. But also it’s like the, by the way, the First Lord says, I get to keep this pregnancy. Also, by the way, Father, you’re going to be a grandfather. Someone else in this room isn’t getting that same comment directed at them because they’re going to be dead before I give birth. Like, so many, so many slashes.
Bree: It was like six insults on top of each other inside of a compliment. It was – honestly, Glenin, you’re terrible and you are undefeated.
Bree: Absolutely. And so like, as they’re going out, she hears Anniyas being like, You didn’t tell me you’d gone to Malerris Castle. And we find out that Glenin popped through the Ladder and summons the First Lord and didn’t tell anybody, and he just let them all believe that he was so clever when he came through and found them there. So she wanted to make sure that, you know, the First Lord knew. And so, yeah, she did a run around Anniyas there. It definitely seems like Anniyas is in her final stages of being coup-ed.
Bree: At least as far as Glenin is concerned.
Aradia: And then the chapter ends with Glenin thinking that her son is destined be the Warden and Master of the Great Loom. And I am like, that is a lot of pressure to put on a lentil. Like, your son is literally a lentil and you’re already have his entire career path mapped out and are planning to be the power behind the throne, as he quote unquote rules the world. The man, the child, the fetus, the spark is lentil sized, Glenin. It’s just like –
Bree: She is going to be the worst dance mom.
Aradia: Oh, my God. Right, right?
Ali: (wheezes laughing) That is a lot of pressure to put on a lentil!
Aradia: I broke Ali again. I broke Ali twice this episode.
Bree: You’re doing pretty good. So we’re going to call this one the once and future lentil, right?
Ali: (still wheezing) The once and future… Oh, my God. I’m leaving! That is so fucking funny! Oh, I just. The legume-iest fetus.
Bree: Can you imagine, though, like enrolling your kid in, like, a dance class with one of Glenin’s kids? She’d be out there assassinating your children, Like, you know.
Ali: Oh, my God. If they, like, did anything to them, she’d be like, Let go of my Legume!
Aradia: Yeah. So I just. I don’t think that Glenin’s ambitions to rule the world through her as of yet unquickened and son are fated to go well or smoothly.
Bree: Be gentle with my lentil.
Aradia: He won’t be lentil sized forever.
Ali: That was so funny. I can’t.
Bree: Let’s go, somebody get the chart out. So we can make appropriate jokes each episode.
Aradia: What legume is this child?
Ali: It’ll be like that, Yeah, those pregnancy websites that are like, Today your child is the size of a butternut squash.
Ali: When I was in fourth grade, every week, with my pregnant fourth grade teacher, we’d ask her, what size the is the baby this week? And she would tell us based on the email that she received.
Ali: We all got very excited about the plum sized baby.
1:18:25 Wrap-up of legumes and other things.
Bree: Yes. Okay. So we end this episode on the legume.
Ali: The legume baby.
Bree: On the lentil.
Aradia: The Once and Future lentil.
Bree: On the once and future lentil.
Ali: The Once and Future Lentil! It’s so stupid!
Bree: Yeah, so she is – Ali, It’s okay. Hold on, baby. Breathe.
Ali: I’m sorry. I’m getting through it. I’m getting through. That was just so stupid. I loved it.
Bree: So yeah, I guess the politics are getting pretty dicey here for this family.
Ali: Pretty dicey.
Bree: I guess we’ll see what happens, because the next section is called the Rising.
Aradia: New section, new section, new section!
Bree: New section, Flight is over. So I guess we are going into rebellion stage now.
Aradia: Makes sense. We’ve lost a lot of people. We’ve leveled up.
Bree: Like what do you think it is that marks the end of flight and the beginning of fighting?
Aradia: Cailet becoming Capitol. They’ve been struggling to figure out Cailet and Captal magic stuff. Now the two problems have been resolved. I think that that’s what the Rising needed in order to recover from Flight.
Ali: Or the baby.
Aradia: Or the baby, could have been the baby.
Bree: The baby.
Ali: So wait, the baby that Cailet saw was definitely Imi’s baby, right? It was not Glenin’s baby.
Aradia: No, Sela’s baby.
Bree: Sela’s baby.
Ali: Sela’s baby. Sorry.
Bree: Yes. Someone In the chat asked this and I was like, if we discussed which baby it was. And I was like, I don’t think they know there’s another baby yet, but now you know there’s another baby. So do you think. That she was reaching out to Glenin and baby or Sela’s baby?
Aradia: Sela’s baby. Because Glenin’s baby hasn’t even quickened yet.
Ali: I mean, I feel that Glenin’s baby at this stage, you’d be kind of like, what is that? Because it’s a lentil.
Ali: Yes, it’s a tiny thing, versus Sela’s baby, that might actually look like a baby. But I don’t know if it’s literal.
Bree: It was just like, what was it, a glowing orb thing? So I mean.
Aradia: Yeah, but it was calm and serene and I don’t know, that just felt to me like, blank slate human. Not dividing clump of cells. But who knows? I mean.
Ali: I don’t. I don’t know, because I feel like, she would have more – she saw her dad and she saw Glenin and she didn’t see Sela.
Ali: But it feels like it would be more connected to her.
Aradia: She does have more of a connection to her, what would that be, Cousin? Nibling.
Ali: Gorynel Desse seemed confident. It’s nibling, I think. Yeah. Yeah. So I, I think. Yeah, I kind of think it would be more likely that she would see her nephew, but – And that he would be of a power that would be interesting to her to look at, considering who his mother is.
Aradia: But also he would have been a lot farther away than Sela’s baby, because she was in the same building.
Ali: He would have been a lot farther away. True. Gorynel Desse seemed confident it was Sela’s baby.
Aradia: Also that.
Ali: Also that. So it seems like it was supposed to be Sela’s.
Bree: Yeah, it went away, I guess, when they went through the Ladder. So I feel like that’s the biggest clue. It went away when they went through the Ladder. Glenin didn’t go anywhere.
Aradia: Right, right, right, right.
Bree: So I feel like that’s the biggest clue. I mean, we don’t know, maybe that baby’s related to Gorynel Desse. He was banging a lot of women. Are we sure –
Ali: We are not sure. In fact, yeah, I feel yeah, I feel like it was Sela’s baby, but fun to speculate.
Bree: Yeah. Yeah.
Ali: All right. Shall I play us out?
Bree: Oh, let me just say next week what we’re going to be reading, which is Rising parts 1 through 4. So read that for next week and we will come back and start our revolution.
Ali: Thank you so much for listening. If you want to keep gabbing with us, our social media and contact details are in the episode description. Until next time, have a very nuanced day.
Aradia: Gorsha’s dead!
Ali: Gorsha’s dead!
Bree: All hail the once and future lentil!