I’ve been a fan of Tamora Pierce’s Emelan series for what seems like most of my life—I started reading the first quartet in elementary school after zooming through Pierce’s Tortall series, and I’ve always loved how Pierce is able to weave political and social allegories into her fantastical worldbuilding with enough subtlety that it doesn’t seem like it’s beating you over the head. The one thing I don’t like about the series? The next book is taking ages to come out. Seriously, Tris has supposedly been “on her way to Lightsbridge” for years now. But sometimes writing takes longer than you’d expect it to, and I don’t want Ms. Pierce to rush what’s sure to be a good story just because I’m impatient. So in the meantime, there’s fanfic.
Would You Like Some Lightning With Your Soup? is set right after the latest chronological book in the series, when our foster siblings are back in Emelan after their trip to Namorn in The Will of the Empress. Life settles back into its normal routines, and because for once there’s nothing life-threatening happening, the gang is free to figure out personal issues that have been left by the wayside. With the help of their siblings, Daja deals with the aftermath of her breakup with Rizu, Briar is talked into seeing a mind-healer for his PTSD, Sandry learns to deal with both Emelan government and family issues, and Tris struggles to convince everyone that she wants to go to Lightsbridge to learn academic magic.
“Tris,” Sandry began, in her calmest, let’s-be-reasonable voice,” “about Lightsbridge…”
“No,” snapped Tris, “I know what you’re going to say, and I don’t want to hear it.”
“If you’d just listen for a minute—”
“Listen to what? Listen to you lecture me on how you want me to live my life? Forget it, I’m not interested.”
“Tris, can’t we just talk—”
“No, we can’t!” Tris shouted, braids beginning to sparkle. “I am going to Lightsbridge, and that’s final! If you three don’t understand, it’s your problem, not mine. I’ve made up my mind, and maybe you should work on trying to accept it, instead of trying to convince me because it’s not going to work.”
Daja, Briar and Sandry sat in silence as Tris stormed out, slamming the door behind her.
“So that went well,” Briar said finally. None of the three was new to Tris’s temper, but that didn’t make it enjoyable to be on the receiving end when she got into one of her rages. He looked at the other two. “Want me to go talk to her?”
“Give her time to calm down,” Sandry said tiredly, sitting back in her chair.
“We’ll just have to try another time.”
“No, I’ll talk to her,” Daja said. If Sandry and Briar were surprised at the offer, neither of them said anything. “Maybe she’ll be more reasonable if she doesn’t feel like we’re ganging up on her.”
“It’s worth a shot,” Sandy sighed.
“Mind you don’t get singed,” Briar grinned.
“I’ve handled forest fires; I think I can take a bit of lightning!”
We’ve been waiting for Tris’s new book in the Emelan series to come out for so many years, it hadn’t occurred to me that Tris’s foster siblings might be opposed to her decision. This fic was a great insight into everyone’s point of view and neatly tied up loose ends from the last book. Plus, it was a telling study of the most important thing about these books—the bond between the foster siblings. As four of the most powerful mages in the realm, Sandry, Tris, Briar, and Daja are always going to need people who can both stand up to them and stand beside them, and this fic perfectly encapsulates how the siblings guide each other in the right direction.
You can read Would You Like Some Lightning With That Soup? here at the AO3. At a short 7k words, it won’t quite tide you over until the next book, but it’s a delightful little domestic fic nevertheless!