Fifth Season Ch 16 & 17
Antimony the stone eater carried Syenite and alabaster to the island of Meov, to escape the destruction of Allia. Alabaster speculates about factions of Guardians, describes the ways Guardians kill, and mentions that orogeny is more flexible than rock moving (as if we didn't know). They meet the inhabitants of Meov and learn the comm is several Seasons old, the people make a living through piracy, and no-one on the mainland knows the island is inhabited.
Damaya settles in to life in the Fulcrum, and seems to be a model and capable student, spending her spare time exploring the Fulcurm complex. Binof Leadership Yumenes appears one day and entices Damaya to find the hidden something; hidden at the centre of the Fulcrum, and hidden at the start of the Sanzed empire. Damaya uses orogeny to find doors. They find the socket in the centre of Fulcrum, and Timay Guardian finds them. Damaya's mind is somehow affected by the socket. Timay starts ranting about someone being angry and wanting communion. Schaffa kills her; Timay's episode seems to be not unheard of among Guardians.
Finally, Damaya is "offered" the chance to take her first Ring test. Do you think she passes?
A lot happened in these chapters.
- Who or what triggered the eruption that destroyed Allia? If a who, why?
- Alabaster has to unlearn what the Fulcrum taught him, but he's not the first high-ringer. Why does Fulcrum / the Guardian order suppress knowledge of what orogeny can do? Do they know all it can do?
- Is the Guardian ability to reflect orogeny, and turn flesh to stone, the same as Hoa's?
- Castrima and now Meov: these are two communities where orogenes are welcomed, if not leading. How do you think these communities will be different from the Sanzed norm we've seen until now?
- Grit life seems cheap. Why doesn't Schaffa (or someone else) kill Damaya?
- What are Schaffa's true feelings towards Damaya?
- Did anyone spot the connection between Damaya and Syenite?
About the text
- The interlude prompted thoughts of missing islands, and now the characters are on one. Was the technique successful? What else have we been primed to expect?
- What is Jemisin trying to say about Alabaster, by making his mother tongue that of the islanders' rather than Sanze-mat?
- Binof seems to have no idea of the danger she's in, or what life is like for grits and orogenes. What do people make of her privilege?
- Jemisin often uses the technique where a character works out some puzzle and just tells us that the character has solved it, without telling us the solution. (Us readers are expected to work it out, perhaps with heavy-handed clues just after). Does this technique work?
- We've not paid attention to the chapter endnotes. Have people been reading them? Do they add to the story?
- Wild speculation time: What are the needles in the socket? What formed the socket? What was Timay ranting about? What was in Timay's skull?