Fire Study (Study, #3) Fire Study discussion


208 views
Commander Ambrose's "secret" (spoilers)

Comments Showing 1-22 of 22 (22 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

Alex So... what do people think about the explanation behind the Commander's gender issues?

I personally was a little disappointed he wasn't trans... that would have been something different in fantasy...


Lucy That would have definitely been an interesting idea and it wouldnt have been that massive of a deal. Usually trans or gay characters are made to be a massive deal. It'd be good to just have someone in the background to raise awareness and not make it a big issue.
LOVE THE STUDY SERIES!!!


Nichola I don't know, I quite liked the explanation given. It was a little unexpected twist to what initially looked like a straight forward situation.


Becky But he wasn't trans, was he. Not really anyway, his soul was just born into the wrong body, or did I completely misinterpret that whole section?


Nichola Becky wrote: "But he wasn't trans, was he. Not really anyway, his soul was just born into the wrong body, or did I completely misinterpret that whole section?"

I got the impression that when his mother dies, she didn't want to leave him so her soul attached to his body. He literally had (and was) two different should in one body. That's how I understood it anyway.


Brittney Nichola wrote: "Becky wrote: "But he wasn't trans, was he. Not really anyway, his soul was just born into the wrong body, or did I completely misinterpret that whole section?"

I got the impression that when his m..."


That is correct. His mother so desperately didn't want to leave him when she died, that her soul sealed itself into his body. So he literally was two different people in one body, and was able to transform between each one quite naturally. As evidenced by what's her face at the end, the Advisor or Second Hand that came to visit Sitia, who was actually the Commander. (I can't remember her name, sorry.)


Alex It's a matter of personal preference, so yeah, I'm mainly interested in what people think/whether they liked it/what else they would've liked to see/what they thought it was/etc.

I guess I got excited thinking he was trans (something I've not seen in fantasy fiction), and it would have been interesting to have a non-magic explanation for a seemingly magical problem. I've seen the "many souls/one body" trope a bit more often so I wasn't as wow-ed by it. I also got the impression (from Book 1, where I think at the end Yelena talks about how he is relatively young-looking and smooth-faced) that he had the body of a woman, so it felt like a bit of a ret-con when it was revealed he could sort of switch? Maybe I've remembered it wrong.

+1 to Nichola and Brittney's explanations; that's how I remember it too.

Just my 2c :)


Lucy I don't really remember the storyline that well but yeah I agree with Nichola and britney too


Brittney Alex wrote: "It's a matter of personal preference, so yeah, I'm mainly interested in what people think/whether they liked it/what else they would've liked to see/what they thought it was/etc.

I guess I got exc..."


I think it was probably just a plot device used so that Yelena could use her magic in a way to keep the Commander on her side. He couldn't persecute her now that shse figured out his problem and fixed it for him. I feel that was the reason it was kept magical.


message 10: by Sorrel (last edited Aug 26, 2013 02:17PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sorrel I didn't like the explanation all that much because I thought it was kind of selfish of his mother to attach herself to him and make him feel so confused. Although she may not have known it just seemed selfish to me to put him through all of the annoyance and confusion if that makes sense
It wasn't that he could switch, he was always the commander but he could dress as a woman and act like a woman or dress as a man and act as a man. It wasn't so much that he changed into a she, but what he chose to be seen as.


Brittney Sorrel wrote: "I didn't like the explanation all that much because I thought it was kind of selfish of his mother to attach herself to him and make him feel so confused. Although she may not have known it just se..."

If I remember correctly though, at the end of Fire Study when Yelena goes to visit the advisor that came to Sitia, (the one who Valek disguised himself as her assistant, I apologize I can't remember her name, and I don't have the book in front of me) it states that quite literally the advisor straight up transformed into the Commander.

Maybe I read it wrong though, so I could be wrong. But I think he could actually transform between them.

Dangit, I really need to just buy the book so I can look this up again. lol


Sorrel Oh maybe he could, I too read it a while ago


message 13: by Mr. (new) - rated it 3 stars

Mr. To the original question, I was fine with the explanation being magical in nature. It made sense and it allowed Yelena to interpose herself between the two nations.


message 14: by Alex (new) - rated it 2 stars

Alex Lucy wrote: "That would have definitely been an interesting idea and it wouldnt have been that massive of a deal. Usually trans or gay characters are made to be a massive deal. It'd be good to just have someone..."

Bleh, late reply, and my bias is showing, but I agree. Because I'm a negative person, I'll also mention the flip side: that authors need to take care they're not being tokenistic, because it shows!


message 15: by Alex (new) - rated it 2 stars

Alex Those are good reasons for having a magical explanation. I wonder if it will come into play (now that the author writing another 3 books or something)?

I can't remember the details of the Commander being able to 'switch' either; a bit confusing.


Verity Brown The explanation seemed really stupid to me. How does a mother's soul invading her baby son's body change him physically into a girl? He was born physically male. When Yelena invaded a male enemy's body with her soul, it didn't make him change gender! Nor does it make much sense that a loving mother would "possess" her child's body. Even if she did so by accident, you'd think she would exit ASAP. Especially upon realizing that she had somehow changed the kid's gender! Makes no sense at all.


Nichola Verity wrote: "The explanation seemed really stupid to me. How does a mother's soul invading her baby son's body change him physically into a girl? He was born physically male. When Yelena invaded a male enemy's ..."

I'm not sure the book suggested that he changed physically? I got the impression that his mannerisms and demeanour changed rather than his body.


Verity Brown It says specifically that Ambrose was born a male, but then, weirdly, the baby turns out to be female...and remains so.


Brittney Verity wrote: "The explanation seemed really stupid to me. How does a mother's soul invading her baby son's body change him physically into a girl? He was born physically male. When Yelena invaded a male enemy's ..."

Nichola wrote: "Verity wrote: "The explanation seemed really stupid to me. How does a mother's soul invading her baby son's body change him physically into a girl? He was born physically male. When Yelena invaded ..."

It wasn't that his entire physical being changed into a female, it was that his physical appearance did. Which he used to his advantage, being able to assess situations from a different point of view. Like when they all visited Sitia in Fire Study, it was really the Commander who was leading the group, but his face was different. It wasn't a complete change.


Nichola I may be wrong because it's been a while since I read the book but my understanding of the situation was similar to the explanation Verity has given :)


Shana Jespersen I didn't like the way it was left with him to figure out his stance on it. The 2 souls idea was fine for me, but the book said he was born male and then magically changed to a female. It was a glossed over description though that never got fully finished. Then at the end we were left to wonder how he took the news.


Becky it wasn't glossed over. the female soul is his mother's


back to top