As a reminder, anyone who comments and answers the questions at the bottom of this post will be entered to win a free copy of My Kingdom for a Quest, and for a second chance to win, you can check out this post.
And don't forget that anyone who has reviewed Sew and Take (or at least Take, since it's the one in more desperate need of them) has the opportunity of Beta reading Kingdom in December.
And here we have another one of those Interruption things. If you've read "Woodcutter Quince" (Which may or may not now be available in print! I've got it all set up ... I just need to wait until I can press the button.) you might recognize what's going on ... but since I only know of four people (myself, my mom, my Grandma, and Miss Melody) who have read it ...
We have a young woodchopper (that was before I discovered the proper term, I apologize) who is faced by a disappearing dragon and then is declared a prince by a princess.
Hum ... even more confusing than the last interruption.
But before I move on, I'd like to point out that in the original draft, this interruption actually came sooner in the book - it was actually the first one. I'll tell you why I moved it in the next chapter though ...
We start off the chapter talking about the fairies again. Rosamond expresses curiosity over the appearance of the fairy that had told Sir Hugh that the twins would have to do the search themselves. And, once again, she's able to finish one of Robin's incomplete memories of the conversation, and then tell who it was. Lufawna, the green fairy.
And then when Robin finally thinks to ask about why she happens to know so much about the fairies, she admits that they had been frequent visitors at her father's court - and then she confirms that there are seven good fairies.
The specification of good sounds significant. Better file that away for later.
Since this girl is such a goldmine when it comes to information about the fairies, Robin decides to risk a different sort of knowledge. She asks about the mystery aunt that Aunt Talia had asked about.
Apparently she does ... but when Robin starts prying for answers, she closes in and indicates that her disappearance had something to do with the mysterious Change.
And then the conversation turned to sewing, much to Robin's annoyance.
They stay the night at an inn, then resume their journey. Rosamond immediately turns the conversation to the twins' plans after their quest has been completed. However, I think it's significant that Robin immediately jumps to the short term. I wonder if the answer would have been different had Robert made it, but it's clear that Robin doesn't have any plans for her life beyond attending Eric's wedding.
However, there are a few more significant bits to be found here as well.
1. Eric was the one whose sword is in their ceiling, meaning he was the one who inadvertently revealed the mixup of the twins' gifts.
2. Rosamond is clearly upset by the mention of him, and especially by the Princess Beauty.
3. Robert mentions that Robin's just jealous that he isn't marrying her. She denies it ... but you have to wonder ...
I find that last one especially considering a scene I was just editing the other night in Kingdom.
And then they stop in another village ... but one with a a Barn dance. Robin doesn't seem very thrilled, but Rosamond is ecstatic. Apparently she really enjoys dancing.
She can't go without escort though, so Robert offers to take her. Robin immediately insists that she goes with them to "keep them out of trouble," though I think that fact that she doesn't like to be left out of things would be a more accurate reason.
One more thing before we move on from this bit. Rosamond's shoes, the dancing slippers that she produces from a pocket, which match her dress perfectly. They aren't just slippers, and though I never talked about them again, I meant to, and neither have they come up in any of the sequels (though I have a short story planned that I could work them in ...).
Well, in short, they aren't just any shoes. The fact that they match her dress exactly is not an accident. Readers of Take may remember one character mentioning that one of the fairies likes to give a physical accompaniment to her gifts? Well, I'll go into further explanation in chapter 12. Just note that these are special slippers.
Push au Kim.
While Rosamond enjoys herself, Robin and Robert strike up a conversation with the other person sitting out. A small man whose description focuses on three things - his hairdo (which is the Traditional Chinese, I'd just read The Good Earth when I wrote this book), the fact that his clothing is made predominately of cat-skins, and his fancy red boots. He calls himself Push au Kim.
Readers of "The Prior Quest" probably know that he's the Puss in Boots, and he was actually one of the first fairy tales which I worked into this world. He was in the original No Longer a Dream draft, though in a slightly different setting. He happens to be one of my favorites. I don't know what it is about Chinese characters, but they just steal my heart.
Apparently he's here helping some poor prince try to recover his lost bride. Which prince? Why, Eric of course? What other prince do I ever talk about in this book (other than Robert)? I can imagine Robin's amusement to learn this, though she chooses to question the man's wording.
Very interesting. The term means little to Robin, but I'm sure the readers who are familiar with the fairy tale perked up a bit here. I love how Push tells the story. He has a very ... interesting style, much better than the last storyteller I pulled in for the Mountain Princess.
The story even catches Rosamond's attention. I find the question she asks interesting - how will he know when he has found her?
And then she dances off and the chapter comes to a close. But I find Robert so adorable right here - wishing so earnestly that he could dance, and therefore dance with her. It makes my shipping-obsessed author's heart grow warm with pride.
Or something like that. Moving on!
“Just wondering,” said Robin. “Since no one else we’ve asked seems to know anything about her either. She appears to have come from nowhere. I bet she's an absolute priss!”
“She's just jealous because Eric isn't marrying her,” said Robert.
Robin shot her brother a glare. “Why would I want to marry him? I didn't put his sword in our ceiling without a reason, you know.”
“Prince Eric of Winthrop,” said Push. “Somehow, he has lost his Sleeping Beauty.”
“Sleeping Beauty?” repeated Robin. “Why is she called that?”
“Maybe because she sleep a lot?” suggested Push, then laughed. “No, no,” he continued. “Here her story. You see, Prince Eric hear of Beautiful, Enchanted Princess who sleep in middle of thick forest. She sleep a hundred years. Prince Eric think, ‘I want to see this Beautiful, Enchanted Princess,’ so off he go. After long and hard battle, he get through thick wood. Then he find Beautiful, Enchanted Princess, and he wake her up with a kiss. They fell in love at first sight, for, isn’t that how stories like this always work? He ask her to marry him, and she say yes.”
There was a cough behind them, and Robin turned to see Rosamond standing there. She noticed their gaze and gave an embarrassed smile and wave of her hand. “Pray,” she said. “Let not my cough disturb thy story, for I find it most interesting.”
1. Rosamond seems to be hiding quite a bit. What were your suspicions at this point?
2. What do you think induced Robert's comment about Robin being jealous?
3. Isn't Push a great character?