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The following chapter, “Tintaglia’s Flight,” opens with the titular dragon on the wing, hunting and exulting in her own importance and beauty. She kills a doe and eats it greedily, exulting in the sensation of it, before recalling the nagging feeling of debt to the puny humans that freed her; she returns to the air to begin to discharge it.
Selden huddles against Reyn, who considers their ongoing dilemma. He resigns himself to death before Tintaglia returns, taking the two up as they marvel at her, and she flies them to Trehaug. There is tumult in the city as the dragon descends into it, depositing Reyn and Selden upon the ground; Keffria runs to her son’s side, assuring herself of his safety, and calls for Malta. Tintaglia affirms that Malta lives and makes to depart in annoyance; Reyn bids her by her name help Malta. She reluctantly agrees, but she cites the wrongs done her kind by the Khuprus family as she takes him aloft in haste and power. They spot Malta, who remains in a boat on the caustic Rain Wild River, and the dragon rebukes Reyn for his presumption as she takes him back to Trehaug to see to her rescue. Jani tends to her son after the dragon leaves and he calls for the liveship Kendry to be put to sail in search of Malta; some take heart that the Satrap yet lives, and Reyn bids himself be taken aboard the liveship to join in the rescue.
The chapter is a brief one, serving as more of a bridge than as a discreet narrative chunk; it seems meant to bring characters where they need to be rather than to develop them or to unfold more of the story, as such. With one exception: Reyn notes a peculiar extravagance in Selden’s speech as he speaks of and to Tintaglia, words that read to me as not apt to come from the mouth of even a precocious child. (I have one such, after all, and she is fierce, indeed, but I doubt she would be quite so sanguine faced with a dragon in the flesh. Not that I would, either.) From the perspective of a reread, I can say that it is foreshadowing; what it foreshadows will, of course, have to wait until I get to that point in the rereading–assuming, of course, that I remember to note it. I am not so young or deft of mind as I used to be, and things crowd against one another and show each other out of my too-swollen head anymore…
2 thoughts on “A Robin Hobb Rereading Series: Entry 183: Ship of Destiny, Chapter 4”
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