The Guardians: Book Three
by William Joyce
“Katherine’s strength had been greater than there’s” (Joyce, 226).
Chapter Fourteen – Chapter Thirty
Well, originally when I re-read The Guardians of Childhood back in 2012, my aim was to go through each book, and use my close reading notes and responses to the text to create the posts. I made it through Book 1 and Book 2 and a third way through Book 3 (even though I posted them much later), when I ran out of steam.
This occurrence — having an goal and running out of inertia for it — is pretty common for me. Maintenance of anything that requires interactive expectation can be difficult. Or, you know, keeping my interest on a subject that isn’t one of my major interests is hard. Or, in this case, maintaining a regular pattern for writing about books can only hold my attention for so long (or if I feel mentally dynamic enough to write about them).
(This is likely why this blog has floundered; it began with a lot of book responses and I only have so much time to care about writing about books I read, let alone having the time to cartmentalize my thoughts into a coherent readable structure.)
Basically, I won’t be finishing Book 3 the way I intended. The thought of having to write (and edit) four more posts makes me want to throw this whole project against the wall. But I don’t want to just throw it away. So, I’m going to summarize why I do like Book 3, but without all the little details. So…
Chapter Fourteen to Chapter Sixteen would have covered: The plot to get the tooth and along with it Katherine’s memory of her parents. Nightlight and Katherine meet Toothiana.
Chapter Seventeen to Chapter Twenty would have covered: Katherine is captured. The guardians meet Toothiana. Katherine is going to become a Darkling Princess. Toothiana’s wing is broken
Chapter Twenty-One to Chapter Thirty would have covered: The Guardians plot their rescue of Katherine. The appearance of Mother Nature. And little details and thoughts, as well as the climax and conclusion.
I really like Toothiana and Nightlight’s relationship. There’s a silent understanding between them. Prior to Book 3, they have seen one another and know about each other (Toothiana also knows about Katherine), and there’s a mutual understanding between them. I like that.
After taking Katherine’s tooth, Toothiana realizes Katherine is like her: she has lost her parents but has no memory of them. She is about to give Katherine that memory when the Monkey King attacks.
Toothiana captures him, but the other monkeys’ capture and carry away Katherine. The rest of the Guardians arrive and some bickering ensues. Although there’s a nice little piece of backstory for North; he sees in Toothiana the same wild, survivalist look that he had as a boy. They learn that Pitch wants to make Katherine into a Darkling Princess. Also, Toothiana’s wing is broken.
Simultaneously, Katherine realizes that she’s being carried to Pitch. More frighteningly, Katherine tries to reach them, but the “dark highway was blocking her thoughts” (137). She is taken to Punjam Hy Lo where Pitch is waiting for her. She tries to get him to talk about his plans, but instead he destroys her baby tooth and accuses her parents of being cruel for leaving her. (Which I strongly protested when I read it.)
The next relic, which is Toothiana’s, is revealed to be the Man in the Moon’s tooth. I wondered how she got it (or how her parents got it). And whether it was the Man in the Moon’s last baby tooth. Toothiana can use it to “see the memories within the teeth” (167).
Let’s talk about how pretty Toothiana’s description is:
“The queen was even grander than the children had imagined. Her wings — they were magnificent — the most beautiful shades of blues and greens. Her eyes were bright as a bird’s, and her headdress was glorious as any peacock’s. And she was covered in a layer of tiny green and blue feathers that caught the light like prisms and filled the room with tiny reflected rainbows” (168).
I want to get this done quickly. But there’s many things I want to say — about the despair that happens when Katherine is with Pitch, what he says about her parents; about how Pitch wants to remove the remnants of his humanity, how Mother Nature appears and turns out to be Pitch’s daughter, and how Mother Nature takes both Katherine and Pitch away; about the themes of growing up and anger, of memory, of parents, of what being good means; about how the plot revolving around Katherine gets more concise and how that connects to everything in Toothiana’s story as well as Nightlight’s and Pitch’s — parents, memories, growing up. And just how it’s so nicely constructed. The tension rises well. I feel invested, and it feels as if the connected and well put together.
To quote my own notes: Loved the set up of Mother Nature, her connection to Pitch as his daughter and how that ties into Katherine’s desires and despair, and Toothiana’s story. Themes of family, fathers, memories, humanity, goodness, growing up, and wickedness. (growing up and Monkey King)
I suppose that’s all. Thank you for putting up with my inconsistency.
“It was a shimmer — flickering sparks of iridescent blues and greens” (121).
“Katherine caught a glimpse of solid surface below — a road made of shadows. She gasped. It was like Nightlight’s road of light, but inky and frightening” (136).
“Toothiana, this queen with a mother’s heart and a warrior’s ways”(162).
Joyce, William. Toothiana Queen of the Tooth Fairy Armies. New York: Atheneum Books, 2012. Print.