Following a scathing rebuke by Detozi of the complaining bird-keeper, Kim, “Among Dragons” opens with Sedric seething at Alise’s conduct and actions. He plots their return, expecting that Alise will soon tire of the expedition, and his thoughts turn to Hest and to maudlin longing for him.
Sedric is interrupted by Alise’s part of the conversation with Sintara and her request that he take notes of their conversation. He retrieves his writing implements, which are detailed, as well as specimen bottles he means to use in pursuit of his more clandestine mission. Sedric balks as he follows Alise out into the muck to confer with the dragons, and he feels the ire of the Tarman directed at him.
Sedric’s discomfort continues as he observes the dragons’ attendants working with them, and Alise becomes aware that he cannot hear the dragon’s speech as speech; he confirms as much with disdainful words. Thymara joins in rebuke of Sedric, and Alise dismisses him back to the Tarman, and she finds herself jealous of Alise, whom she sees as “Skymaw’s” preferred choice of keeper.
Thymara’s thoughts turn to Tats and rehearses the shape of her trip with the dragons so far. Disgusted on several fronts, she stalks off to hunt and fish. She spears one fish but almost falls, caught by Tats coming to assist her unexpectedly. As she regains her footing, she asks Tats after his intent, and he notes Sedric’s presence out away from the rest of the group, and Sedric explains his presence as having followed Thymara to confer with her. Introductions are made, and Sedric expresses surprise at the continued talk of conversation between the keepers and their dragons. He flatters her as he asks her to translate for “Skymaw” to him, and she begins to make arrangements to that end.
I’m not entirely sure what to write about the present chapter. I have to wonder, once again, about the tropes being deployed in it; for one, Sedric certainly does not come off well, and he fails to come off well in ways that ring of stereotypes that, although historically attested, are better left behind. Again, though, I feel as if I am coming up against the shrinking limits of my familiarity with the relevant critical theories and practices, being long removed from academe; I do not know that I have the language anymore, if I ever had it, to be able to speak to the matter in the way it really ought to be addressed. And it’s a frustration to come up against my own limits, knowing that they used to be further out, and not have the resources anymore to address the growing lack…