Study Guide

The Paladin Prophecy Family

By Mark Frost


It's part of the young adult code that our protagonist must come from a broken family. We've noticed a trend: it's pretty much required in get-under-your-skin YA fiction that parents must be a) terrible, b) dead already, or c) dead within a few chapters.

Will's parents fall into category C, more or less. They're pretty awesome and supportive. Mom likes to give hugs. Dad has his dad jokes and TEXTS IN ALL CAPS. So of course they must die. Or at least have horrible, terrible, really bad things happen to them.

Will's mom is possessed by some weird creature, which, according to Dave, is fatal. And Will's Dad is captured by the bad guys, with certain death imminent. This is a fantasy novel, so there is always the possibility that Mom might still be alive. Speaking of that possibility, Will finds out that Dad is alive on the very last page. But for the other 400 pages or so, Will attempts to cope with the loss of parents, and, for even more plot-twisty goodness, he even learns that they may not be who they said they were. Who knew a nice family could be this crazy?

Questions About Family

  1. How does Will deal with the death and kidnapping of his parents? Does he grieve? Is he still in shock?
  2. Why does Will's dad have a secret identity? Will this revelation affect Will's trust in his father?
  3. What are other characters' relationships with their parents like? How do these relationships compare to Will's relationship with his parents?

Chew on This

Will never seems all that concerned about his mother. Either he isn't affected by her apparent death, or he holds out hope that he will be able to rescue her.

Will grieves the loss of his family at the end, but he seems to be more upset that he's alone, not that they died horrible deaths.