The Pearl of the Soul of the World


Ah, yes, the ending of this book. There are so many fine details of plot that stood out to me and that I still don’t know what to think of.

Irrylath’s feelings for Aeriel. Based on his protestations, he seems to feel he loved her.

Then there’s the allusion that Aeriel keeps claiming he’s hers. This is comparable to what the Water Witch kept saying. But in the end, Aeriel had to let him go. Set him free.

And then there’s Aeriel and Erin’s friendship. Why does Erin love her so much? We don’t see them spending much time together. Or is that the point? Erin loves her so quickly and is so loyal even after knowing her such a short time, so why doesn’t Irrylath?

But doesn’t he have his own internal demons to wrestle with?

Why is it all right for Erin to accompany Aeriel and not Irrylath? Well, he can’t because of his promise to the Avacorlon, but why won’t Erin’s company distract her? Can only romance distract someone?

Oriencer’s goals, her talks with Aeriel. The subtly, the language. Sympathy for the Witch.

Who has power. Does Aeriel have a say in what happens to her. Does she even want to become Ravenna’s heir? Well, she wouldn’t want the world to die. That was her motivation in book one. Where do the creatures created on the moon stand in terms of autonomy.

Gratified to see everyone fighting against the witch after the first two books.

What is humanity. What is life. The soul can be put in new bodies. Science plus magic. Mentions of science, such as water, but described differently. Beads of color correlate to molecules? I misremembered her chain. I thought it was a sign she was a golem not that the chain from the pearl was fused to her.

Her situation at the end is the inverse of Irrylath’s. He wanted to avoid her because he felt she saw everything that made him wrong, all his mistakes, all his inhuman crimes. Aeriel feels just as inhuman, since she can no longer die.

What does Irrylath think of all this? Is his interest in Aeriel simply the result of having her heart? Does he have more of a hero-worship complex for her? (Quote). She tries to tell him he is brave but he doesn’t seem to want to listen. Why is Sabr so desirous of claiming Irrylath? I assume she loves him but we don’t see it. I can believe by the end that Aeriel does still love Irrylath. In a way, she takes the final step in freeing him. How did sharing hearts a/effect their relationship?

Irrylath seems very…emotionally reckless. He’s passionate and sporadic. I wonder if some of it has to do with how he was raised and how, when he became human, he still seemed to be a six year old. His growth into an adult is complicated. He has a lot of stuff (the witch’s torture, mistrued interpretations of love, stunted maturity, manipulated memories, abandonment, guilt over crimes he did not realize he committed or would not have wished to such as killing the Avacorlon and drinking the blood and hearts of thirteen maidens) to deal with. I’m not entirely sure I can see Sabr helping with that. She might sincerely care but I don’t know anything about her so I can’t say if she would help heal him.

And what of Erin? I always remembered that her friend came with her. Why is she so loyal and in love with Aeriel? Because she saved her? Because she relates to her, since neither of them have homes? And why does Aeriel care about her?

Time that could have been spend on them was spent on Aeriel being drugged in Pirs and them being connectedthrough the   sword and pearl. Is it because she never gave up anything for Erin? Because Erin is her shadow, the part of her she cannot leave behind. Even while she learns Ravenna’s secrets and mends the world, Erin will not compromise her attention. She will not be alone. Doesn’t this implicate that romance takes more concentration away from other duties than friendship? Do I think that’s true? I’m not sure.

I definitely see some influence here. The renunciation of romance in exchange for friendship. Not precisely for friendship, but that relationship survives the change in the protagonist as they move into a new awareness or sense of self (Anthy*, Aladdin).

After the Witch’s defeat there is strong sense of a renewed world. There is rain. The world has changed. There is a strong change of the environment. The story shows the changes that have resulted from the Witch’s defeat. It feels like the world now belongs to those who were made there. Which is kind of what the remnant of Ravenna tells Aeriel. It is a new world but it still needs work.
*although I’m hesitant to use her as an example as its been taught to me that their relationship is not friendly, or if it is, it is also romantic in potential. (This kind of makes me wonder why very powerful friendships can lend to romantic interpretation. Not that that’s bad, but why can’t two people love each other so much, with the same devotion, constancy, and passion of what people consign to romantic and sexual relationships, and have it be neither romantic or sexual? I guess I’d just like more relationships like that.)


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