Look, can I just talk about Ferrin and one of the many reasons the chapter “Advice” gives me feels?
Throughout the series, Ferrin gets four hugs. One in each of the first two books and two in the last.
In A World Without Heroes, Rachel hugs him and says “Safe journey” before they part ways at Trensicourt.
In Seeds of Rebellion, Ferrin hugs Jason at Aram’s house because he had literally expected never to see Jason again.
Now. The first one doesn’t count for Ferrin because Rachel doesn’t truly know who or what he is yet. She doesn’t know he’s spying or that he works for Maldor. So, even though it’s a nice gesture, he probably doesn’t think much of it.
The second doesn’t count either because Ferrin started it and Jason is obviously still hesitant to trust him.
The fourth one is a different matter and we’re not going to talk about it.
But the third one? In Chasing the Prophecy? Rachel hugs him tight for a long time and says “Thank you,” and it says he stiffens in surprise for a second. Do you know why?
Because this is Rachel after knowing who he really is, the secrets from his past, the crimes he’s committed against their side of the war, at one point even asking if he’s trying to turn her into a displacer. This is Rachel when she is completely lost and terrified that she has ruined everything. But despite all of this, Rachel not only trusts the advice Ferrin gives, but she trusts him. She tells Tark and Io not to worry that Ferrin is talking to her. She tells him that this was the best conversation she’s ever had; that not even Galloran, a man who Ferrin admires for his renowned honor and general heroism, could have helped her the way Ferrin did.
This kind of acceptance has never happened for Ferrin before now. Lester’s former fiancée left Ferrin after finding out who he was. Rachel and Jason, who had seemed like they could be Ferrin’s first real friends, were very bitter with him at Whitelake and made him leave. He earned Maldor’s hate and the hate of the rest of his people when he betrayed them (even before then), but even this act didn’t convince the others that he was on their side. Galloran doubts him. Jason still doubts him. The seedmen doubt him. Everywhere he goes, he’s unlucky, unloved, not trusted, and some of that is his fault, but still.
Then this happens. And what kills me even more is that Rachel says, “I’ve felt really… I just couldn’t…”
And what does Ferrin reply with? “I understand.”
He does. Because with all these people doubting him all his life, how could he not know what it’s like to feel lost or like he had really messed something up?
This has been a post.