Who Will be Trickster’s Queen?
Okay, bear with me.
Since I've read it only once, I'm probably not going to be able to pull out the
best quotations/citations, but I'll try. I
think Dovesary will be the Trickster's Queen. And my reasons for this are based
upon two literary devices: foreshadow and characterization.
Throughout my reading, I wondered if Dove would be the one--and when I read certain scenes, I became almost positive that Sarai would not be the one.
On page 311, Aly converses with Ochobu:
"Personally I think you might do well with Sarai on the throne--"
"Silence!" Ochobu interrupted, glaring at Aly. "No names!"
She proceeds to explain that she *knows* the legend, and knows that Sarai fits the prophecy--however, she will not be a "lapdog" and think what any luarin tells her to think.
Now, why should Ochobu be trusted? She's being cantankerous and merely contradicting Aly because of prejudice, right? Right. But all of a sudden it's thrown at us, as Ochodu says: "I can see for myself that a certain woman is royal in two bloodlines, and that seems to fit the prophecy." It's quite possibly Tammy's reminder to us that there are *two* who can fulfill the prophecy--it doesn't have to be just Sarai. We've got an heir and a spare, and no other options, since neither has children and there will almost certainly be a raka queen proclaimed within this duology.
Another bit, that (I believe) Caitie referenced was the Trickster God himself, on page 323, when the raka people are arriving to get glimpses of "the lady" (according to Fesgao, on p. 322). Sarai insists on greeting them, and Aly calls out to the god. "Let them see their ladies," the god replied. His voice boomed in the empty air. He goes on later to say that "they must be heralded with signs of divine favor."
My emphasis here is on the pluralization. It is Sarai, and not Dove, who initially goes to greet the raka. It is Sarai, as far as we know, who they have come to see. But the god behind this whole scenario booms out for everyone to hear that both girls are worth fealty. It is Kyprioth who brings Dove into the picture.
My final bit of "foreshadow" evidence is in the form of irony. How did their mother die? Riding. What is Sarai's favorite thing to do? "She gallops everywhere. She loves to ride." (p. 308.) Of course, one could note that her riding is said to be better than her mother's--but that's where the situational irony could come in.
I have to put my Sarai-loving heart on my sleeve and say that as they are now, she would make a better queen. Aly, in fact, makes a point of comparing her to a darn good queen (Thayet) in the way she took an interest in the raka lives (p. 322) -- and SotL readers would recognize that Jonathan did this as well, in WWRLaM, when preparing to become the voice of tribes. (sorry, no page-citation; book is upstairs)
However, I think Dove would make a better queen in the long run. Sarai is impetuous in comparison to Dove, and that does not make a good queen, necessarily.
Take, for instance, the situation with Bronau. She likes him--a lot--but then hears bad things of him every night in Aly's reports. Does she try to contain her feelings? Does she worry about the things she's hearing from Aly and her parents? No--she worries during the meetings and proceeds to meet him for kisses. She allows herself to forget everything they've learned and make rash declarations of love and intent, and momentarily turns against her own family because they tell her the truth about his infidelities--and later justifies him in order to make both sides (her parents' and his) honest and well-intended. This, to me, is not well-suited behavior for a queen.
Dove, on the other hand, has quiet, fierce intelligence, and submits to her position as second-fiddle. She knowlingly accepts that people go to Sarai first since she's prettier (as she states on p. 94) But would Dove be unwilling to take the foreground, just because she lets her sister take credit for her idea in the blood-oath situation? There's nothing to really say. The fact is, Dove--and not Sarai, was the one to save the lives of the bandits and managed to kill Bronau in order to save her kin. She's the thinker and the acter, and would be credit to any dynasty whether she's on the dais or beside it.
I'll be happy any way it turns out, but I think the kudarang will fly in Dove's honor, not Sarai's.
Originally posted at The Dancing Dove, Trickster’s Choice forum 09/27/03