'Lakesedge' Book Club Readalong Day 3!By: OwlCrate . Photo By: @bethiferian
Welcome back to the third day of our book club read-along for OwlCrate's September book, Lakesedge!
Just a reminder that this will be a SPOILER discussion for Chapters 9 - 12 of Lakesedge, so make sure you read are finished this section before continuing.
Discussion questions are listed below, and anyone who participates in the comments will be entered to win a free OwlCrate box!
The story continues...
In the library Clover is giving Arien alchemy lessons and he is excited to show Leta the sigils he has been learning and drawing. Clover explains that when you use a sigil it gets permanently marked into your skin. She is confident that by the time the next full moon comes Arien will have learned enough to complete the ritual that had just failed. All the shelves in the library, covered in dust cloths, are empty. Pulling them down Rowan quickly tells her to leave the one she’s tugging on alone, but it’s too late. When it falls it reveals a portrait of Rowan’s family. With a look of shame on his face, Rowan storms out of the room and Leta runs after him. She finds him in the hallway with Florence, but he pushes past her as well. When he is gone they go back into the library and Florence tells her that Rowan is no murderer and that his family’s drowning deaths were accidents. Clover reveals that when he was five years old Rowan disappeared for a day and they found him in the lake, assuming he was dead. But he opened his eyes and it was then the Corruption appeared.
It’s been two weeks and everyday Arien gets lessons from Clover in the library but he has yet to be able to successfully perform the ritual. Leta has stolen vials of the sedative draft Clover puts in their tea, determined to fall asleep so deeply that when the dream comes back she won’t wake up. After two vials it happens, and the voice tells her to follow. She finds herself on the edge of the lake, watching four bodies covered in shrouds. Pulling one back she sees five year old Rowan who sits up, black water pouring from his mouth while the other three bodies are pulled into the lake. Leta finds herself back in the house, awake but feeling a bit dream like still. She sees Rowan leave and she follows him to the edge of the lake. He tells her to go but she refuses. He needs to give the Corruption a tithe of his blood. Placing his cut arm in the mud it starts to consume him and he starts to transform into an actual monster. Not knowing what to do Leta thinks of the times she used to bring Arien back from the shadows by touching him and thinking of bright and positive things. She does this to the earth beside Rowan and feels a sort of thread between them, and whatever she does works. The Corruption recedes.
Leta helps Rowan back to the house and he explains that the Corruption lives inside him and that it is poisoning him. He makes Leta promise to keep the tithes a secret until after the next ritual and in exchange he will give her one of the tucked away books. When Leta offers to stay with him while he sleeps, he doesn’t refuse, and in his sleep he mutters Elan’s name.
Leta awakes the next afternoon alone on the couch, tucked under Rowan’s cloak. Beside her is a book, The Violet Woods. Her reward for keeping the secret. Leta looks around the room she’s in and notices an altar, but upon inspection it’s different than the type she is used to. On it is not only the Lady, but beneath her is the Lord Under. Leta becomes certain that the voice she’s been hearing in the night is the Lord Under and in a panic runs out of the house into the sunlight. She finds her brother on the lawn, clearly trying to practice the ritual but failing. He asks her to sit with him while he tries again but it’s no use, but Leta has an idea. She picks up one of the jars full of corrupted lake water and asks him to try again, with his hands over hers she tries to find the same power that she had at the lake with Rowan, and when she does it flows into Arien. Not only does it fix the corrupted water in the jar they are holding, but in all the jars around them. Leta stumbles away, trying to deny to herself that she has magic. Running upstairs the darkness again starts to encroach, like in her dreams. And she knows that behind her is the Lord Under. She has made a deal with him in the past and doesn’t want to make another, but he wants to work with her to end the Corruption. She refuses, knowing the bargaining with the Lord Under comes with a cost. She feels like she is drowning in the lake and grabbing a door handle she hears a tap, tap, tap that frees her mind from the terror. She bursts into a room and slams it shut behind her.
Leta sees that the tap, tap, tap that cleared her mind is a small bird trying to escape a closed window. Leta forces it open, freeing the bird, and finds a key with a ribbon in the window that has the same ornamentation as the front door of the house. She slips it around her neck and just as she does so Rowan touches her shoulder, making her jump. She is in his bedroom. He confronts her about having magic and she insists he doesn’t want her to use it. It was given by making a bargain with the Lord Under in the Vair Wood, but she doesn’t tell him this. She asks Rowan what bargain she made with the Lord Under to come back from drowning and figures out that he bargained his family. This enrages him and he starts to become dark and monstrous, shoving her out of his room and slamming the door. Downstairs for dinner Rowan eventually joins them, again looking normal. He gives her back The Violet Woods which she left in his cloak. Arien is frustrated that after Leta left he was no longer able to perform the ritual and he doesn’t know why. Rowan tells Leta to tell them about her magic but she refuses. He stalks out of the house.
What do you think the key that Leta found is for?
How do you think Leta came to bargain with the Lord Under? Why do you think she is seeing him now?
Do you think the bird had any significance?
Do you think Rowan truly bargained his family in exchange for his life?
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