Chapter 2 of The Proving introduces two teenaged guys as an immediate counterpoint to meeting Crown Princess Kir’Ana and her best friend Jerine in Chapter 1. But what a different scene we enter!
While Kir’Ana and Jerine were in and around an enormous castle and surrounded by armed guards and knights, our new friends Annix and Kosin are camped in the middle of an empty wood as they travel across country. But their journey is interrupted by a group of bandits anxious to rob a couple of sixteen-year-olds foolish enough to travel alone.
But the bandits are in for a rude awakening. We learn that Annix and Kosin are also hiding incredible abilities, and are also worried sick about being caught – just like Kir’Ana.
Chapter 2 – “Pithwood”
I like the conversations between Kosin and Annix. “Buddy” scenes are always fun, but these two have a rapport that makes me smile (after they finish fighting for their lives, that is). It’s clear they have very different personalities, but that they’ve known each other for quite some time. I *really* like the displays of heightened abilities both boys show and how the fight scene plays out. Good pacing, really cool action. Very cinematic.
I love the fear, basically. Here are two young men who’ve been given incredible skill and power – which one might guess would be embraced as a gift – and yet just the opposite is true. The juxtaposition is very compelling. Just as in Kir’Ana’s case, they know what being a veriant means for their futures and they are desperately seeking another path.
What’s with the weird sightings in the distance? And what, for that matter, is with Annix’ powers altogether? A lot of descriptions are offered and they’re pretty detailed, but no hint is given as to what *are* these powers really. Where do they come from? What else can both boys do? And what happens when they lose control as all veriants do? Definitely left wanting to know more about both of them.
First and foremost, why do we jump away to Annix and Kosin instead of continuing on with Kir’Ana and Jerine? It’s clear they’re not related in any way (yet), which begs the question of when and how these characters will meet. Also, why are the boys going on Venture? And for that matter, what the heck *is* Venture? There’s a clear connection to becoming knights, but the details are still vague.
That’s it for today! See you soon for chapter 3 (and getting back to Kir’Ana!).
I really enjoyed this chapter. It does play out in a very cinematic way. Great job describing the combat. I like sitting back and listening as Keri reads and forming the pictures in my head. You do a great job of forming some concepts and ideas about the world the live in. One starts to draw a bit of a map in their heads of the roads and the cities. Good stuff, Kevin. Looking forward to the next chapter.
Also–love the intrigue of the mysterious figure with the silver gauntlets.