Toohiana Queen of the Tooth Fairy Armies

The Guardians: Book Three

by William Joyce

“He was so confused by all that was happening and how close he’d come to losing Katherine” (Joyce, 66).

Chapter Nine – Chapter Ten

There’s not a lot to be said for these chapters. (Also, if this post and the last few of Book 3 seem tonally dissonance with the others, it’s because there’s a gap of a couple years between writing them.)

Last we learned, North shared his new dream, fostered from Katherine’s dream (yay!). This sets the stage: everyone is talking about it. Katherine, while pleased by their enthusiasm, wonders where Nightlight is. She hasn’t been able to feel him or his friendship as easily recently. She follows him up to “the highest tower of the Lamadary” (59).

When she finds him, she’s surprised that he looks sad. Of more interest to me is this: “In his hand he held something. She leaned forward even closer. It was a tear. A single tear” (60). He still has it. Her Dream Tear.

Unfortunately, Nightlight is startled by Katherine, who crept up beside him on the ledge as quietly as she could. Startled herself, Katherine “teetered for a moment, windmilling her arms for balance” and then “fell from the ledge” (60).

Yikes! She falls and as she does her mind whirls through a flurry of thoughts.

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Toothiana Queen of the Tooth Fairy Armies

The Guardians: Book Three

by William Joyce

“So Nightlight felt most perfectly at peace when watching over Katherine as she slept” (Joyce, 17).

Chapter Two – Chapter Four

Although Santoff Claussen is in spring and a rewarding sense of peace has descended on the characters, the Guardians have enough sense not to take it for granted that Pitch has truly been defeated. They all continue to be on the look out for Pitch:

“Nightlight…scoured the night sky for signs of Pitch’s army” and “Bunnymund kept his rabbit ears tuned for ominous signs while burrowing his system of tunnels, and Ombric cast his mind about for bits of dark magic that might be creeping into the world” (13-4).

The chapter revisits the mental/emotional connection the guardians formed in Book 2:

“Their bond of friendship was so strong that it now connected them in heart and mind. Each could often sense what the others felt, and when it felt like time to gather, they would just somehow know (15-6).

For some reason here it seems less nonsensical as it did originally. It’s sweet now. The kind of comradeship that comes from understanding and being in sync with others. Also, I’m also a sucker for friendship. In particular, it makes a point to remind us that “[Nightlight] and Katherine’s bond was the greatest” (16). After what happened at the Earth’s core, I can believe it.

The chapter expands a bit on how it feels to them and I wanted to share:

“The two never tired of the other’s company and felt a pang of sadness when apart. But even that ache was somehow exquisite, for they knew that they would never be separated for long” (17).

Unfortunately, or so Nightlight feels, the one time he cannot join her is when she is sleeping or dreaming. Since he never sleeps, the whole experience is foreign to him. But the part that worries him is that, while asleep, “Katherine was there but entirely. Her mind traveled to Dreamlands where he could not follow” (17).

This strikes me as an interesting way to interpret dreaming; it’s like being somewhere. Not necessarily a dangerous place, but being asleep is not the same as being awake. When you dream/sleep there is a part of you that isn’t quite there. It’s a different state.

Also, literal dreams — not simply dreams of what one wants or wishes — take root in the story.

While watching Katherine sleep, Nightlight spies a tear on her cheek. He can’t understanding why she would be crying. Everything  is good now; what is there to be sad about? Additionally,

“[h]e knew about the power of tears. It was from tears that his diamond dagger was forged. But those were tears from wakeful times. He had never touched a Dream Tear. But before he could think better of it, he reached down and gently plucked it up.

Dream Tears are very powerful, and when Nightlight first tried to look  into it, he was nearly knocked from the tree” (18-9).

Dream Tears are strong stuff. Which makes sense. Sleep is when we rejuvenate from our lives and dreams can be inspirational, therapeutic, frightening — so it’s easy to imagine they would pull a powerful punch. Here, they are undiluted windows into the sleeper’s self.

And what does Nightlight see in Katherine’s Dream Tear? Something that “[f]or the first time in all his strange and dazzling life,” made Nightlight feel “a deep, unsettling fear” (19)? Pitch himself, “haunting her dreams” (19).

At the guardians current meeting to discuss any news of Pitch, Nightlight remains silent on what he saw in Katherine’s Dream Tear. Every other guardian says there has still been no sign of Pitch. But “[i]t was the first time Nightlight had ever lied” (22). Will that effect him? Being a lighthearted spectral boy of laughter, will doing something that can create weight (via guilt or worry) create any changes?

This detail being unknown to others, Ombric declares that “‘It’s now been eight months since we last saw Pitch. I think before we declare a victory, it would be best to consult the Man in the Moon” (22). Which means a a visit to the Lunar Lamadary in the Himalayas.

But this time, the whole village joins the guardians. They turn it into a big pre-visit party. celebration.

Before the story gets to that, the text reminds us of the five relics and how, if Pitch really is defeated, might there no longer be a need to retrieve them. My question: When will the rest show up? And further more, how do they get or decide they need them?

I do want to say that I think (so far) Book 3 has the strongest emotional throughline of growing up vs. Nightlight and Katherine.

Now the party! It full of wonderful treats and decorates and is just ♥! To list some of the delicious and delightful parts that I loved:

“eggbots whipped up frothy confections…[f]ireflies circled their heads, making halos of green-tinged light…Bunnymund’s newest chocolates–a delectable blend of Aztec cacao and purple plum…[and] [e]ven the crickets came out into the moonlight to play a sort of insect symphony to the delight of everyone” (26-8)

It’s the best.

Afterwards when everyone has gone to bed, Katherine cannot sleep. She is worried about Nightlight. He was the “only one who had not joined the party that night. And it bothered her” (28). But aside from Nightlight’s odd behavior, Katherine has found that at quiet times, her mind will wander to Pitch.

Katherine muses on Pitch’s relationship with his daughter, and how “Ombric and North were like a father and brother to her. But that wasn’t the same as a real family, was it? (29). That’s a significant question. How will it be answered? In this book (if it will be) and in The Guardians Series at large. Where does the family line exist? How significant is blood in the definition of family?

She also decides that “[s]he would find out what” was wrong with Nightlight. In doing so, “[s]he would make him happy once more. And then maybe she’d be happy too” (30). And this right here — this is why  said this book has such a beautiful plot. Katherine is working through her own feelings: what family means, what Pitch means as a father and an enemy, and why Nightlight is unhappy. But he’s unhappy because of her preoccupation with Pitch. Their feelings are a cause and effect of each other. Katherine’s decision is motivated by what Nightlight has learned but won’t tell. Everything is stacked so beautifully to make sense. I utterly love.

Finally, Katherine drifts to sleep but if she had been awake she would have “felt uneasy, as though she were being watched by a force nearly as ancient as Pitch” (30). I won’t say anything except: It’s HER. It’s striking in a re-read since Katherine was just thinking about Pitch and his daughter. I also, as I recall, believe this detail is relevant to the plot. I will wait and see.

Words:

source

no words

Book Quote:

“Bunnymund’s ears twitched. These humans and their emotions, he thought. They are so odd. They are more interested in feelings than chocolate” (21).

Works Cited:

Joyce, William. Toothiana Queen of the Tooth Fairy Armies. New York: Atheneum Books, 2012. Print.

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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Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King

The Guardians: Book One

by William Joyce and Laura Geringer

“He was not a wizard, a thief, or a warrior, but a powerful figure of unending mirth, mystery, and magic, who lived in a city surrounded by snow” (Joyce, 189).
Chapter Nineteen – Chapter Twenty-Four

As I said last time, for the second half of Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King, I recorded my responses and thoughts in a collective whole but based on length are divided into two posts.

Here’s the second.

Pitch had just turned North and Ombric into toys. So, on the subject of Pitch, let’s talk about his goals and feelings, shall we?

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Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King

The Guardians: Book One

by William Joyce and Laura Geringer

“charcoal drawings of shadowy creatures and the black bear…and himself, guarding the children as if they were the tsar of Russia’s treasures” (Joyce, 98-9).
Chapter Ten – Chapter Twelve

Ah, yes, the frightening Pitch appeared last time.

What’s striking is that “there was a magnificence about him like that of an approaching storm” (87). This heralds back to his origin; he may have become devoured by Fearlings, but he was once one of the Constellations (I think). His appearance — somehow grander and more unfathomable than anything the children have seen — sufficiently portrays his non-human origin, which I like.

The dawn drives Pitch away, but he promises to return.

It’s here that Ombric’s first lesson about magic is put to the test, which is that “[t]here’s a little bit of wizard in everyone. That magic’s real power was in belief. That every spell began, ‘I believe, I believe, I believe'” (92-3).

Okay.

Does belief work like that?

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