I wanted to talk a little about Hwyn’s rebirth at the end of the book after Jereth called her out of the sea. At first glance, their romance could be considered a “Beauty and the Beast” story in reverse, where at the end Hwyn becomes beautiful. Jereth loved her as she was and if that was all there was to the story, it would have felt like a cheat’s ending.
But, as I said on Ann’s blog, this is not about a “happy ending” in the fairy tale style. Hwyn is not necessarily rewarded; she is reborn. She didn’t just survive, she had a completely new beginning, the first of the Sea Born. If she had simply survived, I would have been very annoyed if she’d suddenly been turned out beautiful. But she was reborn. And after all she had been through, if she was going to reborn she deserved to be able to see, to stand straight and to live a life without pain and limitation. Sure, Jereth didn’t need those things to happen to her, but if getting a new beginning, why should Hwyn be limited all over again. This is about Hywn, not Jereth.
I have CFS/ME and it significantly limits my life. If I was going to get a chance to be reborn, I would really rather not have it again as there are so many things I can’t do. Sure, my husband and son would love me anyway, but shouldn’t starting over mean without those pains and limits.
Hwyn earned her rebirth and she earned a chance to live that new life pain-free and unlimited.
One other small thing I loved was the idea that one mortal body wasn’t enough to hold the Hidden Goddess and so she needed two – both Trenara and the Eye of Night. It was also nice the way she explained a lot to Jereth as they sailed to the world’s end, but not everything. She explained enough to make the story make sense, but she remained enigmatic to the end and lots was still not completely clear.