Anniera, fabled and graceful. Even growing up a short sail away it always felt like a place out of fairytale.
Nia’s whisper woke him. “We’re almost there.”
Janner sat up and yawned as Leeli handed him a hunk of sweetbread and a handful of shadberries. The sun stared at them from low in the west, glowing orange in a field of purple and blue. Kalmar sat at the bow, resting his chin on the rail. Beyond him, Janner watched Anniera rise from the sea.
Waves spewed up from the feet of the cliffs on either side of a little bay—the same one from which they had embarked the day before. He wasn’t sure if it was his imagination, but there seemed to be less smoke, less desolation than there had been the day before. The land visible between the cliffs was still blackened, and smoke still rose in tendrils, but he was at least able to see the graceful shape of the island. It was easy to imagine how beautiful it would be if it were green and lush.
There was no shiver in his bones, no tingle in his spine as the ship floated into the bay’s still waters where the River Rysen met the sea. He didn’t feel the thrill he had always imagined when the boat thumped into the dock and he and his family set foot on the Shining Isle at last, without Gnag or his minions to defy them.
And yet, he wasn’t disappointed. Janner wasn’t interested in the feeling of being home as much as the actuality of it. He wanted to help his family build a life here. He wanted to roam the island unafraid, to see the seasons turn from year to year. Oh, how he wanted to be still. No more running, no more terror, no more anxiety or troubled dreams. Just this one place in all the world into which the word “home” would fit unlike anywhere else.
Discussion: Is there a place in your world which feels like everything-right-ness to you? The home you lived in when you were small, your grandparents’ house, a place your family talked about moving to often enough that you feel you’ve already been there? What is it about that place that feels so right?
What did you feel or think during the chapter about the Maker? (Discuss here.)
What would you want if you were a Fang?
What was your favorite passage this week?