Authors are the magicians of writing-they make words turn into stories that can fascinate, amaze, and change people’s lives. That is why it is so important to look beyond the words, past all the deep thoughts, and take a moment to think about author’s craft. Every word, every action, every thought has a purpose, contributing to the story that had developed in the author’s’ mind. We can learn from them, which is why I am writing about 3 parts that Diana Peterfreund placed into the story, pivotal moments, setting, and symbolism.
All books have at least one moment, where one choice or decision can alter the story forever. In ‘Across the Star Swept Sea’ by Diana Peterfreund, it occurs on page 70, when Princess Isla has her rather remarkable idea of setting up Justen Helo and Persis Blake in a fake romance. This decision affects all of them, in different ways, and here you will see why. First of all, the pivotal moment of a fake romance affects Princess Isla in a positive way. As her time as a ruler, she has to deal with constant hate from her counselors and her subjects, that doubt what she does, and all in all make her life miserable.
With this new fake romance between a famous aristo, and a reg who comes from another similar love story, it takes up all of the news stories, basically taking away most of the bad hype about Princess Isla, giving her time to relax. This is something that you barely get to do as a ruler of a country that is slowly dividing, and Princess Isla takes it to her advantage, a while without worrying about everyone mistrusting her ideas. This is shown on page 171, where Vania sees a newspaper headlining “Justen Helo, hero to the revolution, spotted getting cosy with an Albian aristo?
Oh, Helo, say it isn’t so! ” (Peterfreund), instead of complaining about Princess Isla’s decisions. In truth, for Justen Helo, this is both a blessing and an annoyance. This arrangement is a good excuse for him to stay as refuge from his mistakes in Galatea, and work to stop it, but he also has to deal with what he thinks is ‘silly Persis Blake’, who is more worried about if her outfit matches than the revolution occurring in Galatea. In contrast, for Persis Blake, this is a big problem.
Pretending to be in a fake romance means that you have to spend a lot of time together, giving less time to go on missions to Galatea to save mistreated aristos. That is why, on page 70 and 71, Persis resists as much as she can, before giving in to her princess. . This quote proves that Persis truly doesn’t want to be hindered by Justen Helo, and on page 71, where is seems almost final, “ “I find this… inconvenient,” Persis said at last. ” (Peterfreund). As we all know, Persis got overridden, and the new romance begun.
Diana Peterfreund used tone and dialogue to show that this was an important moment, by showing Persis with a tone of desperation to stop the fake romance plan from happening, where on page 70, she said “ “I’m sure we can come up with a better plan than that,” Persis said quickly” (Peterfreund). This is giving me the idea that this is a pivotal moment that can halt Persis’s actions as the Wild Poppy, just with two skills. The setting of the book is extremely important-it is where the story takes place, and without it, characters would be talking in a blank space, which one, isn’t interesting, and two, isn’t realistic at all.
The setting can help people relate to the story, or create a sense of wonder, and above all, it affects the characters in different ways, to give readers striking perspectives. In the beginning, the setting affects Isla, Persis, and the Wild Poppy in different ways. For Persis, the castle setting forces her to put on her ‘silly, rich, aristo’ persona, where she acts like she only cares about fashion, to hide the fact that she is the Wild Poppy. Her silly persona is proven on page 29, where the book states that “Everyone knows Persis Blake is foolish enough to try anything. (Peterfreund).
In other words, everyone thinks Persis Blake is stupid and harmless, not the Wild Poppy. While Persis is the Wild Poppy outside the castle in disguise, however, she is confident assertive, and aware. Confident in her plans, assertive in her actions, and careful that no one discovers who she really is. “Persis replied lightly” (Peterfreund,12) “ “Oh really? ” Persis said, tilting the barrel of the gun toward the girl’s face. (Peterfreund,12) For Isla, however, the castle setting is a stressful place where she must reside.
She has to live with a baby son, dead parents, and a populace and council against her every move. No wonder she got frustrated on page 25, everything she tries to help with gets struck down by the council, and she is constantly doubted by her subjects. The castle is also a place where she is constantly reminded that she is a Princess, like in a heated conversation between her and Persis on page 313. “ “I’m your best friend” Persis swallowed “You’re my ruler. ” ” (Peterfreund). This quote is significant because it clearly shows Isla’s restrictions as a princess, and how it can cause her stress and frustration.
Diana Peterfreund once again used the skill of creating a setting to further understand our characters, and relate to them. She painted a simple picture of a castle with words, and yet now, the castle seems a lot different than it normally would, just with how the castle setting affected the main characters. Symbolism is one thing that can be easy or hard to find, depending on the book. But symbolism isn’t limited to books, it is prominent in songs, like the song ‘Wings’ by Macklemore, and movies, like the mockingjay pin in the Hunger Games.
But once you figure the symbol out, it opens a whole new world and perspective on all of them, which is why I am going to tell you about the one in this book, ‘Across the Star Swept Sea’ by Diana Peterfreund. The hidden symbol in this book is Persis’ clothes, where they help convey the theme, that, ‘No one is exactly who they seem to be. ’ This symbol constantly shows up, and helps her get what she wants, but all in all, in the end, she doesn’t need the flashy clothes in the end, and set herself free. In the beginning and most of the book, Persis uses her clothes to hide her real and true personality from the world.
It worked for Justen, for when he first met her, he thought “Maybe she [Princess Isla] just kept Persis around for fashion advice” (Peterfreund, 63), for the girl he met was obsessed with clothes, and shallow about everything else. This continued onto page 243, where she used her outlandish outfits to hide her genetemps sickness, and tears. “Her features could not be seen clearly, as her face was obscured by a tight silver veil…” (Peterfreund) More toward the middle of the story, the Albions came across the ‘visitors’.
There, on page 363, Elliot, another women who understood Persis more than she knew, asked her why she pretended to be stupid. This part is important because it was one of the first times that someone looked past her clothes and silly persona, and saw a glimpse of what Persis Blake was truly made of. “… and she knew that the paint and the clothes and the hair were more than fashion for Persis Blake. They were armor. ” (363) This quote proves further that Elliot is realizing that Persis is not who she seems. In the end of the book, Persis didn’t need to rely on her clothes that much anymore.
At the big ball where the new ‘visitors’ would be shown of, she wore a more simple dress than the ones usually worn, like she wasn’t that afraid of hiding herself anymore. “He saw a thousand shades of green and blue and blake in the carefully ruched fabric that hugged her curves, then at her knees spread out in waves… that rippled around her as she moved… at the floor-length hem, the exploded into frothy white. ” (Peterfreund, 368) This quote describes in great detail what her more simple dress looks like, and is important to show how Persis is letting herself shine slowly through as the real, true, intelligent person that she is.
The author, Diana Peterfreund, used description as an artful skill to display the symbol of Persis’s clothes, something to hide who she sincerely is. She used description to evolve the symbol from beginning to end, which is true skill, and it helped make the story a petter one I hope that this chapter opened you eyes to the author’s craft that is exhibited in every story. The author’s have a reason for everything they write, and it makes the book even more fascinating as a reader, trying to figure this out. Thank you for reading!