This week we read chapters 18-22 of On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness. Not for the first time or the last, Janner’s heart suggests a way out of danger that goes against what he knows is right.
But their way was barred. Standing in the doorway from which they had come was the dim shape of a horned hound. The only sound in the room was the creature’s panting. Its hungry eyes glistened in the dark, and a low growl filled the room. The hound stepped forward and two more of the horned beasts appeared in the doorway behind it. …
Janner thought about his duty as the eldest. Only days ago, Leeli nearly died at the hands of a Fang because he hadn’t paid attention. Now this. Why can’t I be like our father, he wondered. He died in the Great War, trying to protect those he loved. For one shameful moment Janner felt a flash of anger at Tink for talking him into coming to Anklejelly Manor in the first place. Why should I be the one to risk my life for my little brother when it’s his fault we’re here in the first place? Janner was tired of bearing the responsibility for his brother’s folly, and he wanted to forget Tink and run for his life. Maybe he could push his way past the hounds and find a better place to hide in the mansion. Maybe—
The idea to flee was only a brief thought. Janner knew he wouldn’t—couldn’t—leave his little brother behind. He could hear Podo’s raspy voice in his mind. “Part of being a man is taking much care of those you love.”
The first hound in the doorway twitched.
Discussion: If protecting those you love is part of being a grownup, what are the other parts? What are good examples of the kind of adult you want to be? How do you get there?
There are a lot of secrets in this book, and it’s not always easy to tell what to do when you’re faced with one. When are secrets helpful? When are they hurtful? Come to the forum and discuss with us.
What do you think is behind the door?
Do you have a favorite excerpt from this week’s reading? I’d love to hear it—leave it in the comments!