Now that I'm not so sleep-deprived anymore, back to comment! There's a lot going on with the idea of family in this issue. We have the Big Reveal (Windkin is Teir's father) along with the Big Confirmation (Kahvi is his mother). In a matter of moments Teir gains a whole new blood family who are able and willing --unlike Kahvi -- to accept him with love and respect simply for being their relative, something he's missed all lhis life; it's no wonder he doubt his own ability to be a parent. Angrif Djun is forced to realize with his sons dead and his own inability to sire more ("...and a weapon that cannot reach its mark!". Still say Wendy's not talking about the gun there.) For the first time since the end of Shards we see Skywise treat like Yun a daughter. Sust meets his other sire, and Skot the fawn he wanted to make so he could rest. There's a lot going on with parenting, too. Kahvi abandoned Teir to go off to die, yes; and she was disappointed Teir was a son and not the "last, strong-hearted girl-fawn" she wanted for legacy. But she left him with Go-Backs able to care for him, and didn't want Teir to know of that disappointment. She watched over him, but she didn't help him because she didn't think she needed it. Even when he was injured and near death. (Now that's tough love!) Kahvi knew her limits as a mother, accepted them and worked with them. Most of them, anyway. Stags might not pine for the doe that drops them, but elves aren't stags. Different people, different tempraments. Ember's an echo of Kahvi here, in a way. She doesn't want to have a child right now. For an elf, and particularly for a Wolfrider, admitting that has got to be a big deal. Especially since there's no guarantee either she or Teir will live to have a chance to have Mender and Leetah jump-start Recognition. Her (stated) reason isn't even dealing with the trauma of her time as Angrif's captive; it's wanting to focus on her love and attention on Teir. Part of me wonders, though, if there isn't a purely selfish "I just don't want to right now" deep in her mind. In the Emerald Con panel video, Wendy said something like, "No one's safe." I think we the readers should amend that to "nothing's safe", including familiar concepts like Recognition. I had a "WTF? But - but - but-- gahhh!" reaction to Leetah and Mender's "work-around" for Teir and Ember. I'm not entirely sure I like it, but from a plot perspective, the attempt at least makes sense. Everyone involved is in a piece of the Palace; Ember has already "found the power to choose" within herself; Teir's still suffering and neither her nor Ember want to have the child. Why not try it? I wonder if this is also foreshadowing of another effect of Palace-living for elves: the closer they return to the state of the Coneheads, the less they'll need Recognition. I don't think Ember looks like Bearclaw, but that's just me. I do think she's having serious second thoughts about Khorbasi's mission to save three (he fudged and went for four, but who's counting? If the burned girl is Molli, she's the best of the bunch) after what she witnessed with Angrif. She only saw Geoki, Nonna and Adar and the rest of the Hoan G'taysho from a distance. Same with Shuna. She lived with Khorbasi, yes, but he's one human. Even if they're cubs, they're still unpredictable. I saw a suggestion that the sanctuary may be the work of Aurek, but I'm wondering if it's not Two-Edge. Or a hidey-hole of his. Because Wendy can be just that sadistic. ;) From the blurb for next issue, I think we're going to have another jump ahead in the story's timeline, at least of several months. Chopping down the forest, shipping it back to Angrif's home turf and turning it into the ships of a war fleet is going to take time. If that's the case, I wonder if the "work around" will turn out not to have worked so well, and that's the reason for the little image of Cutter and Leetah cradling Ember. Two things I really liked: Sonni's coloring of spirit! Kahvi, and Dewshine's comment about having found a grandson. That's a nice reflection back to their conversation in the Special about belonging and fitting in.