Welcome to the Ondine Quartet Read-A-Long! Aeicha (assistant extraordinaire to those who haven’t met me yet!) here to guide you along during the event.
This is the perfect chance for you to re-discover the Ondine Quartet, read tidbits about each book from Emma Raveling, and engage and discuss with other readers.
Plus, you have the chance to win a really cool prize just for participating (see below for giveaway info)!
Today, we are exploring the OQ Companion Works: Ondine, Chevalier, and Warrior Prince.
I had so much fun writing these shorts! Ondine, Chevalier, and Warrior Prince were each intended to be character portraits, vignettes providing a different glimpse of key figures in the series.
Ondine explores something we never really get a chance to see in any of the main books – Kendra’s life with her mother while Rogue. So much of Kendra’s internal journey throughout the series is connected to the difficult, tumultuous relationship she had with Naida and her struggle to come to terms with what she’s been taught and who she’d like to be. This prequel gave me the opportunity to delve a bit deeper into our heroine’s past and the kind of trouble she often found herself in within the human world.
In Chevalier, New York City provides the perfect setting for Julian and Kendra’s adventures. The fast-paced, urban landscape suits Julian’s complex and very often contradictory personality (he describes himself in Chevalier as “a paradox”). He goes through women like glamour costumes, but his heart lies with one person. He’s intuitive and jumps headlong into risky situations, but has the patience and discipline to train Kendra. He’s a total smartass, but also surprisingly poignant…a poetry lover and bloody fighter all in one.
Julian hides behind a mask (both with his Projection magic and sardonic humor). But beneath his slick demeanor and fatalistic romanticism, lies a certain fragile vulnerability. Rejected by his family, an outsider within his own society, an anomaly because of his magic, he’s spent his life searching for a reason, a purpose, and hasn’t quite found his way yet.
Writing Warrior Prince was an interesting experience. Tristan is a person of few words. Over the years, he’s built a tremendous reserve of control. He prefers to observe, consider, and think before acting and his internal thoughts / monologues are so much stronger than what he says aloud.
Like other characters in this series, he is concealed behind his own self-constructed mask (in his case, one of duty), and his personal journey often mirrors that of our heroine’s. In many ways, he is just as constrained, as bound by his role/mission, his past, his inheritance, and parental and societal expectations as Kendra is. And within each other, they find something that they can hold on to. She is to Tristan what he is to her: beauty amidst horror, an unexpected hope found within the death and devastation of war.
Aeicha here again! As I’ve re-read these books, I’ve been comparing my initial thoughts, after my first read through, with my thoughts on each book now. The following first thoughts come directly from my reviews of the Companion Works after I read it for the very first time!
I loved getting to meet a younger Kendra and seeing the life she and her mother lived while on the run from the elemental community.
The first time I read Ondine, I just loved getting such a thoughtful look at the life Kendra had with her mother and seeing why she is the way she is throughout the Ondine Quartet. During my first read through, Kendra’s adventures (and hottie hotness!) with Rui really stole my attention. But, during my re-read, I focused a great deal more on Kendra’s relationship with her mother, while trying to better understand Naida. Naida isn’t always an easy character to like, as she makes some very unlikable choices. Yet, this go round, I found myself sympathizing with her more and really understanding why she HAD to make the choices she did.
I love Julian’s POV in this novella and how we get to know him even better because of it. Julian has such a genuine and authentic charm, that I can’t help but love him.
Even when Julian is being a jerk-face, he is still such a fun character and my fondness for him hasn’t changed. I had so much fun reading this novella during my first read through. We get to see even more of Julian’s fun, savvy, yet thoughtful side. Yet, after re-reading Chevalier, I do see him a bit differently. During this read through, I paid a lot more attention to his inner dialogue and the way he sees and wants Kendra. His feelings for her are a lot more genuine and complex and, sadly, quite a bit selfish, than he lets on. And I think my re-read of Chevalier really confirmed my status as Team Kendra/Tristan…sorry Julian 🙁
Even though many of the scenes are ones I’ve read before from Kendra’s POV, they felt brand new in this novella, as they add so much complexity and so many layers to the story.
Warrior Prince was and still is my favorite OQ companion work! When I first read it, I just loved getting to see Kendra through Tristan’s eyes and exploring the depth and complexity of their relationship, from friends to something so much more. During my re-read, I tried to focus less on seeing Kendra through his eyes, and more on simply seeing Tristan. Like with Chevalier, Warrior Prince provides some wonderful inner dialogue and self-exploration. And knowing now what’s to come in Crest, particularly between Kendra and Tristan, makes the scenes in the selkie kingdom, where Tristan makes a difficult choice, that much more meaningful.
FAVORITE SCENES AND QUOTES
–the scene where Kendra and Naida fight and Naida tells her that her father would be disappointed in Kendra: This is such a heartbreaking, yet powerful scene. And the power comes, not so much from what Kendra and Naida say, but from all the things they don’t say, but desperately want to.
–the scene between Julian and Kendra in the subway station: I just love the fun easy banter between these two in this scene. Amongst all that war and heartache, it’s nice to see such a silly, warm moment in Kendra’s life.
–the scene between Tristan and his little brother Dax: through his interactions with his little brother, we really get to see a glimpse into who Tristan used to be before Eric’s death.
–”Sometimes what we need is good for us, Sometimes it’s not. But we all got something we’re addicted to, girl.” -Rui
–Passing street lights rhythmically cast her face in light and shadow. Her clothes were ripped in several places and stained with sweat and blood. Unkempt hair flew around her face in a tangled mess and an ugly purple bruised marred her cheekbone. She was the most beautiful woman I’d ever seen. -Julian
–It was only the two of us. At the cove. At the club. Wherever we were together.– Tristan
-What were your initial thoughts when reading the OQ Companion Works for the first time? How have those thoughts changed?
-What are some of your fave scenes and quotes in the OQ Companion Works?
-Which OQ Companion book is your favorite and why?
-We meet several new characters throughout the OQ Companion Works, some we see again in Crest and some we do not…which new character would you love to learn more about?
READ-A-LONG PARTICIPATION GIVEAWAY
Comment and participate in each read-a-long post for a chance to win a custom bracelet featuring the covers of the Ondine Quartet! After you leave your comment, log your entry in the Rafflecopter below.
**Giveaway is open international. Winners will be notified by e-mail and must respond within 48 hours or another winner will be selected.**