The succeeding chapter, “Revelations,” begins with an in-milieu discussion of body-sharing among the Witted and their animal partners. It moves thence to follow Fitz’s continued convalescence. As he recovers from his ordeals, he calls on Hap at his apprenticeship and on Jinna. The former regards him warmly, though briefly, as work calls. The latter effectively ends their friendship, unable to move past the loss of her ability to fit him into her tokenism.
Tom returns to Buckkeep and makes for the practice courts, finding himself much reduced by his injuries and recovery. He takes his time answering a summons from Lord Golden, contemplating what he has missed out upon as things have changed around him. When, at length, he does find Golden again, he is informed that Chade had been who wanted to see him. He also shows Fitz his tattoos, discussing them as Fitz notes their similarity to the Narcheska’s; the Fool relates bitter personal history and raises the specter of the Pale Woman again. The Fool also discourses on events to come, noting having had to keep Fitz from dying and that death awaits him on Aslevjal.
I find it interesting that Hobb makes the Wit a more general metaphor for minority status in the present chapter via Jinna’s tokenistic regard for Tom Badgerlock. Fitz realizes that he had been regarded as “one of the good ones” by her, a phrase I know is all too familiar for all too many people; the one the book uses is that “She had been willing to make an exception for me, but when I killed, I had proved her rule,” as if many, many others, Witted or otherwise, do not kill in the Six Duchies and in the Buckkeep Town Jinna claims as her native home. Again, it’s not to be expected that every character in a novel will be a “good” one, nor is it to be expected that even a “good” character will be uniformly positive. Indeed, I’ve noted repeatedly that it’s part of the authenticity and verisimilitude of Hobb’s writing that her characters falter and fail.