Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Keeper of the Lost Cities Book #3 Everblaze Kindle Notes

These are the passages that I marked in my Kindle book.  The passages were marked either because I felt they contained significant information or because I simply found them interesting or amusing.  Seeing which passages I marked are not spoilers for later books, although they could lead readers to wonder about certain things.  The final part of this post is marked with a spoiler warning so that you can stop reading if you have not yet read the later books. 

Page 19   Or, she was until Keefe showed her the message.  Wait for instructions and stick to the plan.

Page 27   "But if you must know, I have noticed that my blue pathfinder is missing."  

Page 29   His hand barely touched her, but she still gasped and clutched her shoulder.  "I'm fine," she promised, glancing at Sophie.

Page 33   Dex's parents were known for playing by their own rules and not following social conventions.

Page 51   "What happened three days ago?" Sophie asked when Keefe turned slightly pale.  "That's when my dad had the effluxers installed."

Page 57   "You two certainly know how to give someone a heart attack," Kenric said, laughing as he nudged Alden.  "And I'm pretty sure you made this guy squeal."

Page 58   Sophie glanced at Keefe, trying to figure out how much to say.  She hadn't planned on having to tell the Council herself.  "I think I'll let you guys talk privately," Kenric jumped in, almost like he knew what she was thinking.

Page 67   "In fact, I made the same point to Kenric while he was here.  But he explained to me that that's the problem.  Fintan's easy.  With or without his mind healed, he's guilty, and had he given us the information we needed in the first place, we still would've exiled him for his crimes."

Page 68   "They've accepted that now is a time for change.  But they want to make sure it's the right change, and they need more information before they move forward—information that Fintan hopefully has."

Page 75   Things are happening, and I need your help. When and where can we meet?

Page 112   Your request is denied, for your own protection.

Page 118   "My brother said it hurt—he said he felt kind of achy all day before he manifested—and then his foot sank into the floor and he realized he was a Phaser and was like, 'oh, that's why!' "

Page 128   "You kids always need me right when I'm sitting down to lunch," he complained as he stepped aside to let Sophie pass.

Page 129   "I heard you had some excitement today," Master Leto said, checking his overly gelled hair before pressing his palm against the wall and opening the hidden doorway to the main tower.

Page 133   "I don't have a wife."  His voice had turned thick, his face twisted with emotion—though Sophie doubted even an Empath could translate it.  "I'm sorry," she said quietly.  "It's not… And I still… Not that it matters…"  She wasn't sure if he was talking to her anymore.  His gaze had turned distant, like he'd fallen deep into a memory.  And as she studied his face, she realized Master Leto was much older than he looked.  His ears weren't pointed, but he had ancient eyes.

Page 133   "You'd better go," he reminded her.  He didn't follow her as she headed up the twisting staircase.  And when she glanced down a few floors later he was still standing there, staring into space, looking even more confused than she felt.

Page 140   "Because they never asked.  And most of the reports I sent the Council seemed to vanish into some sort of void, never to be mentioned again.  I sent them all kinds of information about what I discovered of the true nature of ogre technology."

Page 155   "Well, you don't fascinate me as much as she does," Councillor Terik admitted, pointing to Sophie.  "Hers was the only reading I couldn't translate.  Everything I felt was too… divided."

Page 163   "It was probably the most talked about thing at the party—even more than how many times Councillor Kenric asked Councillor Oralie to dance."  Sophie smiled, imagining Kenric following Oralie around like a lost puppy.  She'd long suspected he had a crush on the blond-ringletted Councillor.

Page 210  "Here," Master Leto said, taking her hand and cleaning the blood off her finger with a silky handkerchief.  She waited for him to let go, but he leaned closer, squinting at Dex's ring before tracing his finger over her star-shaped scar.  "Looks like you've had an interesting few weeks."

Page 212   "My place," Kenric corrected, "is to ensure Sophie's safety—since you have proven that you will not always act with her best interests at heart."

Page 215   "I believe the first step is to identify the emotion you want to unleash," Kenric offered quietly.  "At least, that's what I remember studying."

Page 216   "Oh please, it's only been a few seconds," Kenric told him.  "You're doing great, Sophie."

Page 218   "Stay calm," Kenric told her, taking Sophie's hands and waiting for her to look at him.  "Whatever's happening, you have the power within you to fix it."  "How can you be so sure?"  "Because I've seen the wonders you work, Sophie.  You just have to believe."

Page 218   Sophie hoped he was right, taking three deep breaths before she shoved her consciousness into Bronte's mind.  His memories felt like sludge.

Page 221   "Besides, it wasn’t the anger that took him down.  That was actually how I got him out of it.  Which seems weird, doesn't it?  I mean, he was basically allergic to happiness."  "Um, you have met Bronte, right?"  "I know.  But I've been in some messed-up minds, and I've never felt anything like that sludgy darkness I felt today."

Page 221   Especially when she factored in the way Bronte's mind had blocked her from his memories.  Almost like he had something to hide…

Page 222   But what Sophie wanted to know was, How did everyone know so many classified things?  The information had to be leaking from someone in the Nobility—and a lot of the things people had heard about were things only the Councillors would know….

Page 224   He was right.  Bronte was far too grumpy and suspicious not to catch on.  But he was also hiding something—she could feel it.  There had to be a way to figure out what it was.

Page 249   "Because it was only a theory. You'd told me this Mr. Forkle—whoever he is—can slip past your mental blocking."

Page 250   "But subconsciously, I suspect your minds share a mutual trust based on years of close training.  Don't you believe that it was Mr. Forkle who planted the Black Swan's secrets carefully within your memories?"

Page 280   "Councillor Kenric's a Telepath?"  "Did I never mention?" Kenric asked with a grin.  "That's why I was part of your original committee of three.  They wanted an Empath to get a reading on who you were as a person, a Telepath to judge your capabilities, and Councillor Grumpypants because, well, he insisted."

Page 319   Alden pulled her close, his body shaking harder than hers as he told her, "I'm afraid he is.  Kenric charged Fintan when the room started raining Everblaze.  He managed to shove you, Fitz, and Oralie away, but then Fintan's body exploded with flames.  There was nothing we could do.  I—"

Page 326   "In fact… I think that's why you're here—why you grew up where you did.  So you could see our world through different eyes.  Help us find our way."

Page 343   "And I'm guessing there's no chance this could all be a mistake again?"  Fitz shook his head, twisting the piece of bark in his hands until it crumbled.  "My dad saw it happen."

Page 377   "You can implant something without the person ever really looking at it."  "Okay…," Sophie said slowly, her brain struggling to keep up.  "So is implanting bad?"  "Of course not.  It's just a super-hard skill only a few people can really pull off."

Page 390   "But he thinks I might be able to restrict someone's ability instead."

Page 397   Careful plans have now been changed;  So a meeting must be arranged.  In three days time, when the evening star ascends;  Find us where the lost have no end.

Page 399   The days ahead will be dark and dour.  You must not fear yourself or your power.

Page 400   "I don't either," Sophie admitted.  "I mean, why reach out to us now, after all these weeks of silence?"

Page 438   We meet tomorrow at sunset.  Outside my old home.  You bring the answers.  We'll rearrange the gnomes.

Page 441   Okay.

Page 447   "Because"—Mr. Forkle tapped the nose of one of the gnomes and the air shimmered around them—"I just put an impenetrable energy field around us."

Page 447   "They were many things, depending on what I needed.  Twelve years was a very long time to be separated from my world, and these ridiculous statues were all I had to remind me why I was here."

Page 447   "You are my greatest achievement, Sophie."  There was a softness to the words.  A warmth.  But the words were still wrong.  "That's all I am to you—an achievement?"  "What more would you like?"

Page 448   "Simple deduction.  You really think we would set fires in the shape of our sign, just to catch Alden's attention?"  "I guess not," she mumbled.

Page 448   "Somehow the Neverseen knew you were here.  They just didn't know precisely where.  So they lit the fires to flush you out, taunting us with our own symbol—and framing us in the process.  That's when I sent the newspaper article to Alden—the one that led him to you so he could take you away."

Page 452   But the Sencen family crest fit perfectly.  Hadn't his dad only given it to him recently?  And now that she thought about it… hadn't he given it to him after he found out Keefe was working on something with her?

Page 453   "Because their leader is a Pyrokinetic.  He left his burns on Sophie's wrists—burns that took me nearly an hour to treat."

Page 455   "Could you betray your own father?"  "I've done far worse," Mr. Forkle whispered.

Page 458   "Prentice called his the day before he was captured," he added quietly.  "I still haven't figured out how he knew it was coming."

Page 458   "Wait!" Sophie called as he pulled out a noticeably blue pathfinder.

Page 490   The rest of the Council nodded in agreement, except Terik and Oralie, and—quite surprisingly—Bronte.

Page 490   "The Council has already considered all other possibilities," Councillor Emery interrupted, emphasizing the word "Council" to make it clear that Magnate Leto was not a part of it.

Page 494   "Or, if I may," Magnate Leto jumped in, "I might not be a Councillor, but I am a Telepath, and one of my strengths is knowing if someone has invaded my mind.  If Sophie is able to get in, I'll be able to tell."

Page 496   If you can hear me, Sophie, do not let them know.

Page 500   And the last thing she saw as she stepped into the light was Magnate Leto, giving her a quick wink.

Page 503   "The Black Swan made me to do something—I don't know what, but it doesn't matter now because I'll never be able to do it and the whole thing is a waste."

Page 509   "Dude—even my dad thought it was messed up,"  Keefe jumped in.  "If that doesn't say something…"

Page 525   "Ah, I was under the impression that nothing was impossible."

Page 526   " 'It takes a special person to see darkness inside of someone and not condemn them.' "

Page 526   Now Bronte was one of the only Councillors still on her side—even if she did still think he was hiding something.

Page 526   "No, there was one other part.  He said, 'Inflicting comes from the heart, not the head.' "

Page 527   "That's not what I've seen.  I have it on good authority that nothing can stop you from being who we need you to be."

Page 533   "I still had to read between the rhyming lines, but it sounds like they want everyone to meet at Kenric's Wanderling at sunrise."

Page 569   "Green?" Mr. Forkle sighed when Sophie nodded.  "Green crystals go to the ogre cities."

Page 589   "Three!" Mr. Forkle shouted, belly flopping onto four of the dwarves closest to Fitz and Sophie, crushing them with his massive girth.

Page 594   Mr. Forkle said, limping toward them from a snowdrift Sophie was sure had been empty a second earlier.  "How did you...?" she started to ask, but Mr. Forkle waved the question away.

Page 596   "Yes, I remember," Mr. Forkle murmured.  "It took all of my mental energy to hold him back from snatching you off the street that day."

Next, I give my thoughts about what some of this might mean.  Stop reading NOW if you have not read through all of the books.  My comments include significant spoilers from later books.


The blue pathfinder is mentioned on pages 27 and 458.  Lord Cassius thinks that Keefe stole his blue pathfinder, which allows a leap to the Forbidden Cities.  Later, Mr. Forkle is in the Forbidden Cities with a blue pathfinder.

Only certain elite nobility such as the Councillors and emissaries have blue pathfinders.  The stolen pathfinder might be tied to Kenric having just died.  If Kenric is Forkle, then having faked his death might mean that he couldn't use his own pathfinder.  He might have had to steal one to that he could meet with Sophie.  It's also important to note that Sophie and Keefe called the meeting, not Forkle.  For whatever reason, Forkle had to scramble to get a blue pathfinder.

The first time I read this book, I caught onto how strange it is on page 58 that Kenric acts like he knows what Sophie is thinking.  He immediately makes an excuse and leaves when Sophie worries about having to tell what happened to a Councillor.  Kenric admits to being a Telepath on page 280.

The decision to heal Fintan instead of Prentice has never made sense to me.  I continue to wonder if someone on the Council is with the Neverseen and wanted Fintan healed.  The top suspect would be Kenric, which was one of my theories.  I still think Kenric is Forkle, which would eliminate him as the secret evil Councillor. 

The mention of Jensi's brother manifesting as a Phaser on page 118 is a possible clue to the identity of one of the members of the Collective, Blur.

Page 128 gives us another "you kids" clue about Leto being Forkle.

Leto often checks his "overly gelled hair" (page 129).  Kenric's hair is "wild" and would need to be gelled in order to lay flat like Leto's.

On page 133, Leto is quite emotional about how he has never had a wife.  This also points to Kenric, who can't be with his beloved Oralie.

On page 215, Kenric gives Sophie a suggestion on how to inflict, but then he quickly adds, "At least, that's what I remember studying," as if he needs to explain how he knows so that it won't be suspicious.  If Kenric is Forkle, then he does know about Inflicting, since he worked on genetic experimentation with Inflicting.

On page 455, Sophie asks Forkle if he could betray his own father.  Mr. Forkle says that he's done far worse.  I've been thinking about what that could mean.  Of course, it could mean anything, but I want to focus on betrayal.  If Kenric is Forkle, then he betrayed Oralie by faking his own death.  That would be a very deep and hurtful betrayal.  

Leto gives off quite a few clues that he is Forkle.  The author deliberately places an increasing number of clues in the text as the story nears a coming big reveal.  In book 4, it will be revealed that Forkle and Leto are the same elf.  This is why I believe that all the clues that are in book 9 foreshadow the forthcoming reveal about who Forkle really is as well as the identity of Sophie's other biological parent.  

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