When last we left off, Chise had started going to the college, with Ainsworth keeping watch over her while being a teacher. We met a whole cast of colorful characters that I’ve half forgotten, but a few have stuck out. What I remember more vividly is the fact that someone from the church showed up at Simon’s house to complicate things even more. And that is exactly where this volume starts off. The situation escalates until Gabriella and Elias manage to temporarily calm things down. We then learn that the church has infighting going on. That’s no surprise in an organization that large. I wonder if this was always going to be a plot point, or if this is something the author thought up later. As someone who likes writing, I often wonder about the writing process of other works I read. Do other people do that? Let me know in the comments if you do or don’t.
And from Simon in the here and now, we immediately jump into this backstory. He’s been such an integral part of the story so far, yet we’ve learned so little about him. Turns out now is the time, and he’s had a sad past. He is cursed, and people he feeds deserts to die within a short amount of time. He was then lured into the church where he eventually ended up being sent to take watch over Elias. He admits to liking Elias’ straightforwardness, and I have to say I agree. I’m still not sure I fully trust this story though, I feel like someone put that curse on him and then happened to find him at his lowest point. Maybe I’m looking into it too much though.
We move back to Chise and Ruth who meet with Rahab, Lindel’s teacher and the time mage or self-proclaimed sea hag. Chise and Rahab have a nice heart to heart about Lindel, Elias, magic and human emotions. Stella has a more sinister one talking to her and from what we gleam it looks like she made some sort of pact with the Ashen One. I’m sure this won’t go south. After all of this, and Elias leaving Simon’s place as well, we go back to the college.
It turns out even Centaur parents pester their children about getting a girlfriend. I feel your struggle, friend.
This entire volume seems to be themed about marriage and relationships as Elias slowly asks different people around him how they chose their spouses and what not. We learn a few interesting things. Renfred isn’t grooming Alice, which is a good thing. Angie doesn’t want to share with us why she chose to marry David, which I suppose is fair enough.
I am slowly starting to learn some of the names though. Lucy is the scary roommate, Zoe is the guy who went full Medusa on us at the end of chapter 54, and Rian seems to be a nice bloke. I’m curious for this final chapter, to see what happens now that the situation is escalating at the college.
And here it is revealed Zoe is a Gorgon. His mother met his father and then one day laid an egg and voila. It’s a tale as old as time, beauty and the snake lady. All jokes and possibly copyright strikable references aside, Zoe was scared someone would find out, and at the same time noticed that both Chise and Elias weren’t fully human. They talk things over a little bit and it is hinted that Rian has some sort of motive since he keeps talking about making a pact. We’re then rudely interrupted as Ruth catches an eavesdropper; Philomela. This volume, just like the previous one, was really good! I’ve been enjoying this series more and more as time has gone on. And what you guys don’t get if you only read the chapters online through a reader, is the little extra story from the author where they talk about their process a little bit. I always love these bits and I think it’s a great motivation to buy the physical volumes. Let me know how you liked volume 11. I’ll see you all again in three weeks for the next volume. I apologize about the delay, but I’ll be very busy for a while, including a trip to the UK, and I’d rather be up front than do what I’ve been doing from time to time and delay things until the last second. I hope to see you all here again for the next one though!