I just reread this whole book in, like, 3 hours. It’s SO GOOD! And I just can’t put it down because stuff keeps happening. Also, we have MUCH to discuss.
Matt: Good father or bad father?
On the one hand, he is very involved and loving and understands what his daughter needs (freedom, encouragement, pinecones to play with when she is a baby). But on the other hand, he kind of makes his daughter the protector of his emotions, which is the opposite of how things should be.
Ronia and Birk: Realistic relationship at their age?
I say, YES!!!! They have a really strong bond, but kids can have really strong bonds like that. And there is no romance nonsense, they say “I love you”, but they never talk about kissing or marriage or any of that yuchy stuff. The book hints about the adults seeing a possible romance later on, but the kids aren’t thinking about stuff like that at all at their age.
Lovis: The Best or Not the Best?
I like the way she knows what her daughter wants and sensibly gives it to her without fussing. I like the way she doesn’t let her emotions get the best of her. But I am going to say not quite “The Best” just because she could do more to put her daughter’s needs above her husband’s needs.
Birk’s Parents: What’s Up With Them?
Birk says he just needs Ronia, that he is always hers and does not miss his parents. Is that posturing? Or is it that he doesn’t have the kind of relationship with his parents that Ronia has with Matt? And is that a good thing maybe, that he can pull away? Or a bad thing, that he doesn’t feel as loved?
Scariest Creature in the Forest: The Unearthly Ones, The Harpy’s, the Trolls, or Gnomes?
I think the gnomes. They are just so DUMB. They could ruin your life without even knowing they are ruining it. Ronia comes closest to death when her foot goes into a gnome hole and they don’t realize she is freezing to death.
Best Hell’s Gap Leap: First or Second?
The visual of this moment is so amazing! Ronia and Birk leaping back and forth without stopping, driven by a crazed frenzy. And then later, Ronia leaping from one side to the other, leaving Matt’s gang to join Borka’s. It’s the thing that most makes me want to see the anime or live movie version. But if I had to pick, I think I like the first one the most. The weird emotional journey of being happy to meet another kid, then hating the enemy, then this chase, and then the immediate switch to saving Birk’s life when she has to.
Okay, what did you think?