Today, we are a stop on Moira Young’s Rule of Three Blog Tour, celebrating the release of Rebel Heart. I loved Blood Red Road (in fact, it was on my top 10 favorite reads of 2011 list) so was thrilled when we were asked to host a stop on the blog tour for this most highly anticipated second novel.
Here to talk about Rebel Heart and Saba’s heartstone, please give a warm welcome to Moira Young!
At the start of many a hero’s journey, the hero is given a gift; a talisman or amulet for protection and guidance. It may be imbued with special powers or somehow representative of the collected wisdom of the tribe. The giver is generally an older, mentor figure. In Star Wars, for example, Obi Wan Kenobi gives Luke Skywalker the light sabre that belonged to his father and teaches him how to use it.
As Saba’s journey begins in Blood Red Road, she seeks out Mercy, a strong, solitary woman who was a friend of her late mother.
I got somethin to give you, says Mercy.
It’s a rosy pink stone. Smooth, shaped like a bird’s egg, about the length of my thumb. It feels cool. Cold even. It’s threaded on a leather thong to wear around the neck. I hold it up an the light gleams through it, milky an dull.
It’s a heartstone, says Mercy. She lifts it over my head. Your mother gave it to me an now I’m givin it to you.
I touch it. A gift from my mother. I ain’t never had nuthin that belonged to her.
It lets you know when you’ve found your heart’s desire, says Mercy. A normal stone ‘ud warm up next to your body. Not this one. It stays cold until you get close to your heart’s desire. Then the stone becomes warm. The closer you get to your heart’s desire, the hotter the stone burns. An that’s how you know.
The Dust Lands are not a magical place and Mercy is no mystic. She’s a wise, earthbound woman, so Saba is puzzled.
I didn’t think you’d believe in that kinda thing, I says.
I don’t, says Mercy, not really, but your mother did. She said it showed her the way to Willem, to your father. So she gave it to me. Said she hoped it would show me my own heart’s desire.
An did it? I says.
Well, says Mercy, I found this valley. I guess you could say it’s my heart’s desire.
But did the heartstone turn warm? I says.
Mercy don’t answer fer a moment. Then she says, It’s a long time ago now. I don’t remember.
I look at her. I cain’t tell it she’s lyin or not. I already know what my heart’s desire is, I says. It’s to find Lugh an git him back.
Unconvinced by Mercy, Saba pockets the heartstone and starts her journey to rescue her kidnapped brother. But it takes her by surprise at Hopetown, the first time she encounters Jack in the prisoners’ exercise yard.
Our eyes meet.
Like what you see, Angel? he says.
You ain’t my type, I says.
I turn on my heel an walk away.
Heat burns into me. Crawls over my skin. A trickle of sweat runs down my chest. I pull out the heartstone, tucked safe inside my vest. It’s warm. No. Hot.
That’s strange. The sun’s dyin in the west. The day should be coolin down.
But it feels like high noon. White hot.
Even when the heartstone helps Saba find and rescue Jack from a burning cellblock, she dismisses its powers.
Why’d you come after me? he says. Back at Hopetown. That cellblock was on fire. You’d hafta be crazy to go in there. But you did. You risked yer life to save mine an you didn’t even know me.
The heartstone’s almost burnin a hole right through my skin. I sure ain’t gonna tell him that sorry yarn Mercy spun me, about it turnin warm when you stand in front of yer heart’s desire. You wouldn’t think a grown woman could be so silly.
There’s no doubt that Saba experiences the heartstone’s heat as a real, physical sensation. Others do too: Jack, for instance, when he touches it by accident. Saba offers him no explanation until they reach the dry lakebed in the Black Mountains and prepare to do nighttime battle with the hellwurms. As the tense moments tick by, she finally acknowledges the heartstone’s power. She tells Jack that it only heats when he’s nearby and that’s how she rescued him, back at Hopetown.
So, Mercy’s gift does indeed lead Saba to her heart’s desire. But, as Saba’s journey continues in Rebel Heart and she follows the heartstone, it draws her into a twisted web of danger, passion and betrayal.
Where is it leading her?
Can she trust it?
The Rule of Three Blog Tour: Each Monday for three weeks, three sites will go live with unique content including guest posts from Moira, reviews/giveaways, and blogger-created fan features. Make sure to check out Moira’s other stops at Presenting Lenore and Books Complete Me.
About Rebel Heart:
Nothing is certain and no one is safe in the second book in the highly praised Dust Lands trilogy, which MTV’s Hollywood Crush blog called “better than The Hunger Games.”
It seemed so simple: Defeat the Tonton, rescue her kidnapped brother, Lugh, and then order would be restored to Saba’s world. Simplicity, however, has proved to be elusive. Now, Saba and her family travel west, headed for a better life and a longed-for reunion with Jack. But the fight for Lugh’s freedom has unleashed a new power in the dust lands, and a formidable new enemy is on the rise.
What is the truth about Jack? And how far will Saba go to get what she wants? In this much-anticipated follow-up to the riveting Blood Red Road, a fierce heroine finds herself at the crossroads of danger and destiny, betrayal and passion.
For more about the book, check out the official website HERE. And make sure to stick around later today as we review Rebel Heart.
Could you survive the Dust Lands? One lucky winner will receive the following Dust Lands prize pack: custom t-shirt, custom water bottle, and a copy of Blood Red Road and Rebel Heart. The contest is open to addresses in the US only, and will run until Sunday, November 18 at 12:01am EST. In order to enter, use the form below!