Study Guide

Zara in The Ropemaker


Zara's got it going on. She's one magical lady—the Lord Kzuva's magician (8.137), and as such a servant wizard to a noble of the Empire. She's middle-aged and has the "smooth stillness" of the Watchers' faces. She's pals with Ellion, and she notices Tilja and Meena's magical ordeal on the walls (8.138).

Zara is a bit of a know-it-all. And though she comes around and ends up being impressed by Tilja's powers—she's reluctant to do so. She says:

"That is power indeed," said Zara and for the first time Tilja could hear something like an emotion in the calm voice, a sense of awe. (8.155 )

Though Zara isn't easily impressed by Tilja, this doesn't stop her from being a solid source of information for our heroine. Zara tells Tilja just what she's up against with the Watchers, the Ropemaker, and the unknown dude who will be named Moonfist. Watch her break things down:

"When I recovered, that power was gone, but several other powers were active in the place. I counted, at first, four. Two I felt to be those of Watchers. Those were the two magicians the girl saw up on the wall. We know them as Silena and Dorn. There was another I did not know close by. Then a fourth, whom I also did not know, coming from the outer city below. But it would have been that one who sent the hand that broke the walls." (8.155)

Tilja might have been a bit overwhelmed by everything that transpired on the wall, but Zara has her fingers on the magical pulse of the situation. Pretty cool, right?

As someone who's generally more attuned to magic—both her own and others'—Zara serves as one example for Tilja for how to navigate so much power. And she's a pretty decent model for Tilja to learn from. For instance, when Tilja asks her if she wants the kind of power Moonfist has, Zara says:

"Not yet, and not for many years," she said. "A more powerful magician would take it from me almost instantly, destroying such powers as I have to do so." (8.162)

Not all magicians are so practical and level-headed.