This is the end, my only friend. And other friends. Asking the questions is Lisa of Dear Geek Place.
Week 4: Chapter 19 through to the end
LET’S TALK ABOUT THE REVEAL OF AINSEL’S IDENTITY! DID THIS SURPRISE YOU?
I, uh, had completely forgotten about the Ainsel thing. So, I guess, yeah. Surprised me a lot.
I feel like I would have got it if I’d sat down and thought about it, because I like little bits of UK dialect and will occasionally throw things like thysel into what I write. But I didn’t. Not how I read. Plus, you know, kind of just missed that whole thing.
REGARDING HAZEL’S PLOT TO OUTWIT THE ALDERKING: DO YOU THINK THIS MAKES SENSE NOW THAT WE HAVE THE FULL PICTURE?
It makes emotional sense and that’s the type of sense that makes most sense to me. I can totally see Hazel doing this; it fits her mindset, her ingenuity, and everything else. And it’s a very satisfying way for things to end.
I’m not sure it makes logical sense, because I don’t fully understand the rules of Hazel’s split self. I don’t know whether that’s something I missed, or something Black glossed over. I’d guess the former but as I crib my layout from Mayri at Bookforager and she’s looking confused too, maybe that’s something that’s not really in the book.
TEAM JACK CAN REST EASY! HOW DID YOU FEEL ABOUT HIS DECISION TO STAY IN FAIRFOLD (AND DEFY HIS FAE MOTHER)?
He must really love his family because I’ve seen the fae, and I’ve seen Fairfold, and I know which I prefer. However, as he himself points out, Fairfold and his family there won’t be there for ever. He’s not picking Fairfold forever, just for now. And if he’s picking heartbreak, then it’s just a matter of when. What’s going to hurt less – seeing your loved ones entire lives and knowing you gave everything you could to those relationships, or walking away at a young age and wondering ‘if’ for a very long time? That’s barely even a choice to me.
So it seems to me that Jack just picked the natural path. Lot of drama to it but only one outcome. And it gives him plenty of time with Hazel. Huzzah! Very well matched together.
BEN GETS THE HAPPY ENDING HE ALWAYS WANTED, AND HAZEL BECOMES A TRUE HERO AT LAST. THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS?
Must get my mind out of the gutter. Must get my mind out of the gutter. Must get my mind out of the gutter. Must…
It’s a nice ending. Everything is neatly resolved, everyone gets to go where they wanted to go, there’s a good future ahead of them. It’s what I wanted. I don’t think I should look too closely at some of the logic, but it feels right.
Which of course means I have little to say about it. Well done Holly Black, I’ll have the same again.
(BONUS QUESTION) OVERALL, HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT THE ENDING, AND ABOUT THE PACING OF THESE FINAL CHAPTERS COMPARED TO THE REST OF THE BOOK?
*blinks and stares suspiciously at Lisa* Why? What’s everyone else saying?
I thought the pacing was really good throughout, ending and all. When I pick up YA, which I do semi-regularly, it’s because I expect the author to absolutely nail the pacing and characterisation. Maybe it’s stereotyping, but it feels like the expectation is authors aiming to hit it big in that category have to get those things right.
Which it did.
And that’s me! Time to check out everyone else’s answers.