Study Guide

Midwinterblood Quest

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When we think of great quests or journeys we probably picture Odysseus sailing home to Ithaca, or the hobbits trekking toward Mordor. But journeys don't have to involve physical travel. In Midwinterblood, Eric and Merle mostly stay in one place—Blessed Island—but they journey across time and space to find each other in life after life. Even when they're born in different places, fate intervenes to make their paths cross somehow. Being reborn seven times is quite the trip, but at least it's light on walking.

Questions About Quest

  1. Is it sad that Eric Seven feels like he's come home at the end of a long journey only to be killed once he gets there? Why or why not?
  2. Why do you think Eric's journeys must always end on Blessed Island?
  3. In some of the stories, Eric and Merle never leave home on Blessed Island. Can you really take a journey without physically going someplace else? Are these stories less about quests than the others?

Chew on This

When Eric and Merle die together on the stone table, the whole cycle of their long journey actually starts over again.

The Eric of 2011 sees most clearly where he is on his journey because his disability strips away any of his preconceived notions about who he is.

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