Have I mentioned to you that I hate winter? I hate it with a passion. A few days ago we received a massive amount of snowfall that has dressed our lawns and sidewalk curbs. Yesterday I pulled up to a friend’s house and opened my car door to a gray, hardened mass of frozen water that I had to climb over to reach untainted sidewalk. Yes, winter is the bane of my existence.
Apparently for our protagonist Simon Snow, Baz used to be the bane of his existence. Now he is not so sure. The two young men have formed a binding truce (Half-Blood Prince-in it up!) to help one another on this mission to discover who killed Baz’s mom and not harm each other during the process. There is a really fine detail that I appreciate when the two took hands that Simon could feel Baz’s magic. Each person’s magic feels different in this world because it works different for everybody. That is really cool.
Simon is the equivalent of Harry Potter and so of course he doesn’t have parents, because no hero should have it that easy! Duh! However, unlike Harry, Simon doesn’t even know who his parents are let alone if they are dead. Could this mean that they are still alive? I’m still holding on to the idea that the Mage is Simon’s biological father.
We also get a really nice story from Simon about a time during sixth year when Baz tricked him to spend the night outside Watford grounds. Not being able to get back inside with the school drawbridge down, Simon sat outside in the snow trying and failing to perform a heating spell, all the while getting hit with objects thrown by some creatures called the snow devils. Unfortunately Simon can not do anything to harm these creatures as they are a protected species due to Global Warming. Again, such a nice detail. It gives the world more realism and depth. I won’t call it an official Sin of the Uncle but it sort of is. There are creatures in Potter that seem to exist primarily for comic relief or shock. This adds a layer of complexity.
And then there is yet again another fine detail that I appreciate. Simon tells us that spells evolve with language. As language evolves from Old English to Modernity, the spells must evolve with it. So even though “Wherefore art thou Romeo?” may once have been a powerful spell, it would hold more power today if the spell-caster simply said, “Why Romeo?” As if I needed an excuse to include Shakespeare in these blogs.
Baz reflects on the night he was bitten by vampires, the same night his mother was killed. As a child, Baz spent his days at the Watford nursery. The vampires attacked but he was the only one bitten, a fact that doesn’t seem to add up in the long run. He begins to question if there were multiple vampires there, for if there were then more children would have been bitten. The only other option he can think of is that someone sent the vampires on purpose. I’m gonna say yeah, Baz, that seems like a good conclusion considering the plot of this book revolves around who plotted to kill your mother.
Being that Baz’s mom was the headmistress of Watford, there is an account of her death and apparently Baz has never seen it. It says a vampire bit her and afterwards she produced a powerful fire spell that killed both her and the vampire. Apparently she would rather die than be tainted with a thirst for blood.
Then, alas, a dragon appears!
Believing it has been sent by the Humdrum, Simon and Penny collaborate to kill the beast. But then, what is this? Baz comes to help and tells Simon not to hurt the dragon, saying it is not a dark creature. He then says a nursery rhyme (apparently these are the most powerful spells as they are ingrained in a person since childhood and carry a lot of weight) and Simon, sensing Baz’s energy fading, puts a hand on Baz and pushes some of his own energy into him, something that we later learn is rarely done and Simon has never done before. The dragon flies away.
Simon then asks why Baz helped with the dragon and Baz says, truce.
Then Baz adds that he wasn’t doing it to help Simon. He was doing it to help the dragon. The dragon didn’t choose to attack the school but was forced. Hmmm….
We have a new trio now. Agatha has been kicked and Baz has taken her place. The new trio try to figure out what Simon did out there with Baz. Penny reveals she has the minutes for Baz’s parents wedding and she reads it out loud. Baz notes that it sounds beautiful and Simon is terrified by this statement.
YES SIMON, BAZ IS A HUMAN BEING…WELL, HE IS A VAMPIRE, WITH HUMAN EMOTIONS! HE CAN FEEL TOO!
Despite the romantic and YA cliches that exist in this book, I’m finding it to be a delightful read and very engaging. The amount of detail we got in these four chapters is striking and I really appreciate it. It is once again an attempt to repair the Sins of the Uncle.
Now, I am off to eat normal food because my 21 day detox is over. I wish I could see you for lunch, friend. But being that you live miles and miles away, it is highly improbable. Perhaps I will just write you more letters today because I miss you terribly.
Until next time, friend. Danielle.