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)!
This is the final day of this awesome read-a-long and we are discussing Crest, the third book in the Ondine Quartet…
As its title implies, Crest was a book in which many elements of the series came to a head. Based on the groundwork established in Whirl and Billow, the story ties together the threads introduced in the first two books and sets the stage for the finale.
Everything Kendra needs to face the Shadow comes to the forefront: her rise to political power, the issue of the Armicant and weapons design, the establishment of ondine combat training, and the assembling of allies.
In Whirl and Billow, Kendra’s journey was very much directed inward. Although she had to deal with the new environments of Lumiere Academy, Haverleau, and Lyondale, her life is still very contained. Much like any seventeen year old, high school and her hometown loom large for Kendra. They are her entire world.
In Crest, we see Kendra fully step into adulthood. In doing so, her world naturally expands and her journey begins to direct outward. Within the context of new settings, including New York and the Selkie Kingdom, she unearths a deeper understanding about the realities of the elemental world and the war through her interactions with other characters.
Through Renee and Catrin Bessette, Kendra not only sees a reflection of herself and how high the stakes are for her and Tristan, but also the way in which ondines remain caged. Despite their magic and political power, they are still bound by something they cannot control and as such, their lives are not fully their own.
Kendra sees the powerlessness and frustration of demillirs through the personal turmoils of Jeeves and Julian, through the disappearance of Gabe, and the broken, abusive relationship of Dylan and his father, Marquis Rosamund. Fatherhood is also examined through Jeeves, Ancelin, Marquis Rosamund, and of course, Kendra’s interactions with her own father in her dreams.
She witnesses the selkies struggle to face a possible future without war and what happens when a king stubbornly equates change to weakness.
With Lucas and Daniel, Kendra begins to understand the extraordinarily fragile position of humans and the true depth of their sacrifice in helping elementals. And through Helene and Dax, she observes the cost of war on youth and how loss robs them of a fundamental sense of security.
I’d known since my initial planning of the series that a good chunk of Crest would take place in the Selkie Kingdom and I had great fun writing it. But because I needed to bring together so many disparate elements, Crest was probably the most technically difficult book I’ve ever written.
There were also aesthetic considerations I wanted to explore. A lot of that can be seen through the mirroring and reflection motifs as well as the thematic layering employed throughout the story. The plot is one such example of. Like a nesting doll, the story was essentially a mystery contained within a mystery.
At the end of Crest, Kendra is set to embark on her final showdown with the Shadow. Breaker will pick up where book three left off. 🙂
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 review of Crest after I read it for the very first time!
The complex and rich history of the Ondines and Selkies and their enemies is explored and laid out even further and deeper in book three, and the social/cultural/political structures of this world continue to enthrall and fascinate.
When I first read Crest, I was so excited that a big chunk of the story takes place in the Selkie Kingdom, as this beautifully dangerous place is just so captivating. I’m still in complete awe of the Selkie Kingdom, but during my re-read, I paid less attention to its spellbinding physical beauty and more attention to how this Selkie world is run and how it is both alike and different from the ondine communities. I also focused a great deal more on the histories of the Shadow, Jourdain, and the Armicant explored in Crest, as they had such depth to the story and shed so much light on the bloody war being fought. And one aspect of the ondine world explored in Crest, that I don’t remember spending too much time thinking about during my first read, but that occupied my thoughts greatly during my re-read, is Renee choosing not to go through with a binding ceremony and being called back to the sea. There is something just so devastatingly heartbreaking, yet immensely powerful about her choice and how it affects Kendra.
Kendra especially has had so much thrown at her- being the sondaleur and the future Governor, being responsible for stopping the Shadow, and facing devastating losses…
There are many deaths and losses (Marcella, Ewan, Sian, Renee, the Fredriksens, and more) in Crest *sobs* and, while they made me very sad during my first read, they affected me greatly during my re-read. I suppose after re-reading the series, I’ve come to care even more for these incredible characters and their deaths are hitting so much harder *sobs even louder*. Unlike my first read through, during my re-read I found myself all snotty crying over Ewan’s death at like midnight! Plus, I’ve come to understand just how much these deaths affect Kendra and the choices she makes.
I love both guys and they are each complete, layered characters on their own, but I’ve so enjoyed their interaction with Kendra since book one. I won’t spoil anything for ya, but I will say that in Crest Kendra is finally honest with herself and with the guys, and where her heart truly lies is revealed…
Romantically speaking, things, that I’m sure most of us have been waiting for, finally happen in Crest (hello cave scene!). I remember during my initial reading of Crest, just knowing that things between Kendra and Tristan were finally going to happen, so I think I paid less attention to the interaction between Kendra and Julian, both in NYC and in the Selkie Kingdom. But during my re-read, I paid more attention to the heartbreaking, profound, and revealing things finally said and realized by these two. Kendra is finally completely honest with both herself and the guys, and I think this helps make her romantic choices that more meaningful.
FAVORITE SCENES AND QUOTES
- the scene where Renee goes back to the sea and loses who she was: I mentioned above how this scene has stayed with me long after my re-read, and for good reason. It’s just such a breathtakingly painful, yet powerful moment and choice.
- THE CAVE SCENE!!: Yeah, did ya really think this wouldn’t be one of my faves??
- the last scene between Kendra and Tristan in the Selkie Kingdom: While the cave scene is hella hot, this scene, when they are finally honest with each other, is just so beautiful and makes my heart burst!
- ”It’s not a love triangle.” Helene hopped off the swing, camera once again focused on me. “A love triangle means someone’s caught between two choices. Seems like she already made her choice.” -Helene
- After Eric, I thought this was all there was. A future of war and death. A life defined by duty and obligation. And then I met you.” He paused. “ You were a revelation.” -Tristan
- I would’ve ravaged cities, cut through mountains, and torched the heavens to save him. He would’ve scoured the oceans, slashed through ten thousand Aquidae, and gone to the ends of the earth to find me. Always. -Kendra
- What were your first thoughts the first time you read Crest? How have those thoughts changed?
- What’s your fave scene and quote in Crest?
- Which do you prefer: the Selkie Kingdom or Haverleau?
- Whose death or loss hit you the hardest in Crest?
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.**