E. Aster Bunnymund and the Warrior Eggs at the Earth’s Core!

The Guardians: Book Two

by William Joyce

“This was a new way of thinking for her, and she loved it–needed to do it. These stories had become a mysterious new force in her, a way of healing and understanding the wonders and sorrows of her new wild life.” (Joyce, 245).
Chapter Twenty-Nine – Chapter Thirty-Three 

Having grown tired of all his strenuous work at recreating a false library to take to Pitch, Ombric sinks exhausted into a chair. He reminisces about all the knowledge he has learned in his long life, and how

“[h]e felt as though he had relived the entire arc of his life. He remembered learning each and every bit of magic: where he’d been, who he’d been with at the time. He realized he had achieved a rich, wild, vivid life. He had lived as he had believed. He had seen and known more wonder than almost any mortal ever had” (212).

To live the kind of life Ombric describes would be, to me, a life well-lived. To live as one believes with a life filled with wonder – it sounds like a perfect way to have lived.

This also gives us a glimmer of what Ombric’s life has been: a journey of learning, of having an open mind, of experiences with others who may not even still be alive. It just strikes me as such a marvelous, engaging enterprise to imagine the full life Ombric must have lived. Just kinda blows my mind and warms my heart.

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E. Aster Bunnymund and the Warrior Eggs at the Earth’s Core!

The Guardians: Book Two

by William Joyce

“Katherine put an arm around Kailash’s slender neck. ‘Well, her egg was  large and silvery, with swirls of pebble-sized bumps that glistened like diamonds and opals,’ she said” (Joyce, 178).
Chapter Twenty-One – Chapter Twenty-Eight

Back in Bunnymund’s tunnel, North decides they should look for the relic they need on their own if the Pooka won’t help. Him and Katherine wander through the tunnels, letting North’s relic guide them. One room they pass through contains hundreds of eggs and their labels, and one label in particular caught my attention: “the green speckled egg of a MESOPOTAMIAN DRAGON” (165). Like Tiamat?

The pair find the relic – a long staff topped by an egg-shaped orb – but Bunnymund stops them from taking it. North accuses him of misusing the relic — it’s supposed to be used for good not kept in a museum display. And Bunnymund’s response is quite…interesting.

He tells North that he knows exactly what the relics are and furthermore that he helped create them. This particular relic holds “the purest light in all creation. Light from the exact beginning of time” (169). This detail is vitally important since the new armor Pitch is creating for him and his Fearlings is impervious and absorbs light. It may be the exact weapon the Guardians will need to defeat Pitch.

In fact, Bunnymund explains that “‘[I]t is the light that all Pookas are sworn to wield and protect.  But men, people, cannot be trusted with it. We tried, once, during the Golden Age'” (169). This indicates just what Pooka do and how old Bunnymund must be. Furthermore, it explains where the Constellations got all their magical technology.

Bunnymund continues that Pitch was once a man (so Constellations were just a type of human?) and reveals that

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E. Aster Bunnymund and the Warrior Eggs at the Earth’s Core!

The Guardians: Book Two

by William Joyce

“’I am E. Aster Bunnymund,’ he said in a deep, melodious voice. ‘I’ve been expecting you'”  (Joyce, 128).
Chapter Sixteen – Chapter Twenty

Katherine and North fly to Easter Island in the Lamadary rocket. She reflects on the situation and her feelings. In particular, I want to point out this little thought:

“Still, she had been brave for so long, and truth be told, she was a little weary of having to be such a grown-up. She wanted Ombric near. He was like a father to her” (121).

Yes. This is exactly the aspect of her relationship to Ombric I find fascinating, and I would love to see how this develops. Because Katherine, after discovering Pitch used to be a father, ruminates on how she never knew her father and the lack that creates in her life.

But what I love about those two sentences is that it acknowledges that Ombric, while not her biological father, did raise her. And consequently, he feels the way Katherine thinks a father should feel.

What I would love to see in the final book is an acknowledgement that Ombric is Katherine’s father in all but birth. While she won’t ever know her own parents/father since they’re dead, that doesn’t make Ombric less of a parent. Just thinking about the possibility gives me so many feelings.

The two, plus Kailash, land on Easter Island. No one is about except for massive stone heads. If the story is supposed to take place in the 1700s, I expect the island conflicts would have decimated most of the population by the time North and Katherine arrive. Which makes the emptiness of the island not as terrible as it could be. (Maybe).

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E. Aster Bunnymund and the Warrior Eggs at the Earth’s Core!

The Guardians: Book Two

by William Joyce

“Try as she might, Katherine couldn’t keep the tears back” (Joyce, 97).
Chapter Eleven – Chapter Fifteen 

Upon hearing of Nightlight’s absence, the three realize that Pitch must have attacked Santoff Claussen. So they (along with Kailash as a stowaway) use the Lamadary rocket to fly to the village.

On their way, Ombric tells them about Pitch and his daughter. Katherine is particularly struck by the news. She finds the idea of Pitch as a father baffling.

At the same time, due to her own absence of a father, she begins to feel a sense of pity for him and what he’s lost. For now “mixed with that feeling of dread was now a sadness that twined with her own sense of loss and longing” (92-3). This is because she can understand what it’s like to lack one half of a parent-child relationship. She begins to relate to Pitch in an inverse empathy due to her lack of a father.

They arrive at Santoff Claussen and survey the damage. And it’s incredibly ominous:

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E. Aster Bunnymund and the Warrior Eggs at the Earth’s Core!

The Guardians: Book Two

by William Joyce

“Suddenly his face grew wild with panic. He reached for the door. The locket fell from his neck” (Joyce, 79).
Chapter Six – Chapter Ten

Meanwhile, while Katherine’s telling the children about what they’ve missed (and what a reader’s who skipped Book One wouldn’t know), North is trying to understand his new sword, the first Lunar relic and how it works.

He learns that it’s alive, in some way, and works for him. Or to be precise, it has a life separate from him. It’s not a tool he can use like his previous blades. And this frustrates him, since

“The sword had a mind of its own. It would leap from its sheath into North’s hand whenever there was danger… It seemed to guide him to block an opponent’s every thrust.

This piqued North’s pride. The sounds of him yelling, ‘Quit that! I’m the best swordsman who ever breathed air!’ and ‘Do what I say, you ancient pile of stardust!’ could often be heard echoing through the Lamadary during sword practice” (55).

Though it frustrates him, this quality of the relic turns out to be more a help than a hindrance. Especially when North accidentally drops the sword and almost skewers two mediating Lunar lamas.

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E. Aster Bunnymund and the Warrior Eggs at the Earth’s Core!

The Guardians: Book Two

by William Joyce

“it was no surprise to the children that Katherine’s heart went out to the little orphaned gosling” (Joyce, 45).
Chapter One – Chapter Five

Who doesn’t love a title with an exclamation!? (In this case, I think it makes it more exciting. Not that every title should have one because then it would lose its snap!)

Where to begin with this one?

Reading this one was a little more muddled than Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King. Meaning, as I read it I didn’t break it into equally divided chapter hunks. But I was able to break it down into four major parts:

  1. the prep with the children and explanation of what’s happened and has happened since Book One
  2. Pitch’s daughter + everyone with news but Nightlight is missing!
  3. the return to Santoff Claussen to see the damage and find the last relic/get help on Easter Island
  4. Bunnymund and the battle with Pitch

(#3 and #4 are broken into two posts)

Let’s start with the first part!

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