|I really ought to take out the "This February" ...|
It’s hard to believe, but I’ve now been working at a “real job” for six months now – an interesting experience, that, had you told me two years ago I would have one, I would have scoffed. But it’s been good for me, and not only for financial reasons. I’ve been able to do a LOT of people watching (once a coworker accused me of eavesdropping, but truth is, I wasn’t even listening to what they were saying, I was just observing how men have conversations) and I’ve picked up sales skills which can only help in my chosen profession.
But anyway, on to the commentary.
My Grandma tried really hard to get me to call these “Interludes” but I was stubborn and called them interruptions. They just didn't feel like interludes to me.
This first one (which was, interestingly enough, wasn’t the first that I had written) involved a girl running through the woods at knight and talking to the trees. This was, basically, a truncated form of the original first chapter of the book, just as the prologue was a truncated form of the original prologue.
Another Rude Awakening for Robin
Robin is not a morning person, and here she is, receiving another rude awakening from her brother. This time, however, he gets faster results.
Their horses have been stolen.
Now I didn’t know this at the time of writing, but Robin’s actually very close to her horse. As it is implied later in the book, she trained Snow herself, and they’re quite close. (I can thoroughly see her singing “horses are better than peoples,” except for the fact that she doesn’t sing.) Hearing that someone stole her horse does not make this the best day of her life.
Well, there’s nothing for it but to follow the thieves, and Robin and Robert volunteer to search in the direction their headed. The likelihood of them actually finding them is low, but they really don’t have any other options.
Pretty soon it is apparent that they are at least on what is very likely the trail of the thieves, and soon after that, they hear voices, and soon after that, they see their horses. Robin goes into attack mode.
This is one of the fuzzy scenes where I wasn’t actually sure what was going on. Robin “dispatches” a few of the thieves, and I think that, when I wrote this, this wording was supposed to be an euphemism for her killing them … but since latter character development of Robin has revealed that killing isn’t her style, and she hasn’t actually physically harmed anyone since her training, so … as I said, it’s a bit fuzzy. And since, thanks to events at the end of the book, Robin probably doesn’t remember this anymore, I’m not sure I’ll ever figure out what really happened here.
Anyway, she manages to get all but one of the thieves out of the picture, but when she starts looking for that one, he’s nowhere to be found. She asks her brother where he is and her brother doesn’t look like he believes what he just saw.
And he’s lived with Robin his whole life, he knows how good she is with a sword. So unless she was going out of character and actually killing those thieves (which I honestly don’t think she did) this isn’t something he should be staring out in stunned surprise.
Enter a Girl
While he’s stumbling over an explanation for his astonishment, a girl – the mysterious girl from the prologue? – walks onto the scene and provides it. They “blew away.” Robin instantly assumes that she’s a fairy, but she shakes her head and says that “anyone can ask the wind to blow for them.”
This part was not in the original No Longer. I wanted to set up some worldbuilding for one of my favorite fairy tales, “The Goosegirl,” which, at the time, I wasn’t sure what I was doing with it. (I have since mostly figured it out. Heads up – book 8.) However, she never asks the wind to blow, or the trees to do anything else in the rest of the book, it just didn’t work in. I have since done more worldbuilding and know that she was actually asking Forest Guardians, which are something like dryads, and one of the Cloud Sprites for this help.
That aside, Robert finally recovers from the man blowing away and the entry of this beautiful girl and asks her name. It’s Rosamond. Which Robin immediately attaches to one of their great-aunts. Robert asks if she’s the Mountain Princess – she’s not. Robin wants to know what she’s doing here.
And she pulls the melodramatic card. Which, as you continue reading, is out of character for her. Sigh, it was supposed to be one of her character traits, but she lost it somewhere along the line.
The most consistent complaint I have heard on this book is that the Shakespearean speech isn’t authentic. Honestly, I agree. But I thought I was being a clever little KJV purist, and I thought I knew everything.
Eh … but as I read back over this, I completely agree. If I ever do another edit of this book (which may or may not happen, and possibly in the near future), I will make sure I read through and improve all of the old speech. I have Learned things since then that would have made this book much better.
She Joins Them
After Robin pulls some sarcasm that Rosamond doesn’t understand (a character trait that did remain consistent) Robert invites her to join them. After all, Robin might curtail her “talent” and a girl who can ask the wind to blow might be helpful on their quest for fairies. Also, I think he might be a bit smitten with her.
And then she asks why Robin has a sword and Robert doesn’t. The twins are a bit hesitant – their gifts not being one of those things that they like to talk about.
“Forgive my sister for being rude,” Robert suddenly put in. “We are Prince Robert and Princess Robin of Locksley.” Something flashed ever so briefly across the girl’s face, too quickly for Robin to figure out what it was.
“I am Princess Rosamond,” the girl replied.
“We had a great-aunt by that name,” commented Robin.
Something flashed across Rosamond’s face again, this time, even swifter. “Yes,” she said, “It is a very popular name.”
“No,” said Robin. “I mean it’s a rather, you know, old name.”
Rosamond laughed. “I have been told that,” she said.
“Really?” asked Robin. “So you’re lucky I came along?”
“Aye, for I wast not sure how much longer the trees wouldst be able to hide me,” said Rosamond. “But I ran away from another group yesterday.”
“You run from one danger just to be caught by another?” said Robin. “Girl, you’ve got talent.”
A puzzled look crossed Rosamond’s face. “I knew not that that wast a talent,” she admitted.
Robin rolled her eyes. “Well,” she said. “We need to get these horses back to where they came from.”
“Would you care to join us?” Robert asked. “Perhaps Robin will be able to curtail your ‘talent’.”
“That wouldst be nice,” said Rosamond.
1. Did you connect Rosamond to the girl in the interruption?
2. Do you think Robert is smitten with her?
3. Any favorite lines?