Study Guide

The Paladin Prophecy Family

By Mark Frost


All the kids he knew ripped their parents 24/7, but Will never piled on. For good reason: Will West had won the parent lottery. They were smart, fair, and honest, not like the phonies who preached values, then slummed like delinquents when their kids weren't around. (1.27)

Unlike the protagonists of many young adult novels, Will has nice parents. So of course we're not surprised when they get knocked out of play fairly quickly. There's no drama in having nice parents, after all.

But, hey, what do you need a peer group for when your parents are your only friends? So what if that messed him up massively for the rest of his life? He might get over it, someday. After decades of therapy and a barge full of antidepressants. (1.29)

As nice as Will's parents are, they have a weird way of wanting Will not to have friends. This only breeds a sarcastic streak in their otherwise well-behaved son. But it turns out they may have been on to something…

Mom always breaks the spaghetti in half before she drops it in the water. (6.43)

Will knows his parents very well, so he suspects something is up when his mom starts making spaghetti differently from the way she used to.

"And the idea that something we did would bring pain or sorrow into your life is the worst feeling your mom and I have ever known." (6.58)

Will's dad feels like he has failed when the bad guys come after his son. Is he being hard on himself? Or is he right? Is it somehow all Dad's fault?

"We love you more than anything life." (6.62)

This explains why Will's parents are so overprotective. But maybe things wouldn't have gone down the tubes so quickly if they had allowed Will a little more flexibility with his life, instead of keeping him from making friends. Or what if they had told him the truth about himself? Did they even know the truth?

"I'll come for you. I don't know when, but I swear I'll tear down the gates of hell to find you." (6.62)

Dad is definitely Will's champion and defender. On the other hand, we'll learn at the end of the book that Dad might be responsible for all the nasty stuff that's gone down, so maybe Dad is speaking from guilt here.

"Dad. Oh my God. Oh my God." Please don't hurt him, please don't hurt him, please let him be okay. (6.65)

Will often panics about his dad, but he never seems to feel concerned that his mom might be dead. Why does he have different reactions toward his parents?

"Trying to help your pop while he's lying there all messed up in some distant city? That's awesome." (7.89)

Nando respects Will for trying to help his dad. Apparently, he doesn't need to know that Will is lying here. Plus, well, okay, Will isn't entirely lying here. He's doing all this in the hope that he will be able to rescue his dad eventually.

"That belonged to my dad," said Will. (33.94)

Will is talking about his dad's medical bag here. We haven't thought of Will's parents in a while, but hints are dropping that they might have a bigger role in the mystery than we initially anticipated.

And if you can hear me, thought Will, that's for my parents, you ugly son of a b****! (45.45)

Will becomes motivated by revenge near the end of the book, wanting to hurt the bad guys because they hurt his parents.