Young Adult Book Reading Challenges discussion

Fire Study (Study, #3)
This topic is about Fire Study
109 views
Poison Study > Comander Ambrose (spoilers for PS & FS)

Comments Showing 1-50 of 63 (63 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1

Heather (heatherjoy) What did you think of the Commander? Were you surprised when his true identity was revealed, or did you feel as though it was a plot device?

Did you find him an admirable leader, or an oppresice tyrant? What were your thoughts on the Commander's policies? Were they just, or too restrictive?

What about Yelena's punishment and the punishment of magic users?


Lady Salford (salford) Commander Ambrose as a person had great leadership qualities. I thought that in all his dealings with the other characters in the book, he was admirable. Nothing in him led me to think of him as an oppressive ruler.

Although I understand how he stuck to the Code of Behaviour at the end of the book, I hope that later on he reviews his policies regarding magic users and listen to Valek's advice. They do need a trusted magic user on their side.

The thing that felt weird about Ambrose is his true identity. I just cannot get my head around the fact that he is a woman. Was he born as a woman and thought of himself as a man trapped in a woman's body and thinking of it as a curse? As in transgenders. Is he fully a man now or is that woman still in his subconscious?

I wonder if this aspect of his character will be explored in depth later on in the series.


message 3: by Tatiana (new)

Tatiana (tatiana_g) Salford, not to give anything away, but Ambrose's dual personality will be explored more in "Magic Study" (I haven't read "Fire Study" yet)


Lady Salford (salford) Oh! That's promising. I wish I had Magic Study...


Heather (heatherjoy) I have read both Magic Study and Fire Study, and while Snyder explores the Commander's dual personality a bit more in Magic Study, it goes nowhere.


Heather (heatherjoy) How did you feel about the fact that The Commander forbade others from learning beyond their training to perform their job when he was only able to become Commander through years of study in multiple aptitudes? Did you find that hypocritical?


Lady Salford (salford) His dual personality confuses me. Was he born a female or a male? If he was a woman, how did he turn into a man? (Even my pronouns are all over the place hehe)

You raise a good point, Ms. Heather! It is a bit hypocritical of him to do that but I wonder what his reasons are behind that decision. Was he trying to keep the people focused on their job in the hopes that they excel in it? What do you think?


message 8: by Tatiana (new)

Tatiana (tatiana_g) The way I understood it, Ambrose was a man in a woman's body.


Heather (heatherjoy) Salford wrote: "His dual personality confuses me. Was he born a female or a male? If he was a woman, how did he turn into a man? (Even my pronouns are all over the place hehe)

You raise a good point, Ms. Heathe..."


I think, given his strict no magic policy, that the Commander's reasoning for not allowing Ixians to study beyond their scope was due to his fears, no matter how potentially rational, that someone would obtain enough knowledge to "dethrown" him/her.


Lady Salford (salford) A man in a woman's body? Hmm. I wish there was a short story about his transformation or beginnings.

Is it a curse by a magician or just "I feel like a man trapped in a woman's body" .. Like a feeling rather than something magical.

Heather: that seems rather like a good explanation. Never thought of it.


message 11: by Tatiana (new)

Tatiana (tatiana_g) It was more of Ambrose being a transgender person. I didn't think it had anything to do with magic.


Lady Salford (salford) Sigh. That was what I had originally thought but hoped it was a magical curse instead of him being a transgender.


Paige It does say later that it kind of does have to do with magic and why his duel personality was so severe. I think it tells you in Fire Study.


Lady Salford (salford) Thanks Paige! At least having it as something magical makes it less weird.


Paige Ya i was glad it was more magical too. The commander is too much of a man in my mind to be a transgender.


message 16: by Tatiana (new)

Tatiana (tatiana_g) Hm, I guess I'll have to read "Fire Study" to get to this twist.


message 17: by K. M. R. (new)

K. M. R. (moisoha) | 9 comments Personally I still don't get it. But that's just me, and I think I need to read the books again.


Heather (heatherjoy) It was sort of magically related. Apparently, the Commander's mom was a magician, and she died giving birth to him and a bit of her soul imprinted on his body, making him duel gendered. It was very odd and rather unexplained.


message 19: by Tatiana (new)

Tatiana (tatiana_g) No wonder Commander wants to stay away from magic. It can do some crazy stuff to people:o)


Heather (heatherjoy) Hey now T, this is an anti commader thread, don't go bringing logic and understanding into the convo, lol.


Lady Salford (salford) Paige wrote: "Ya i was glad it was more magical too. The commander is too much of a man in my mind to be a transgender."

Paaaige! Yes! Exactly! As you said, he is too much of a man to be a transgender.

Kayla, I wonder if I'll ever get it because it's all a bit vague.

Heather, hmm yes. It is rather odd. So the dual gender is just in the mind? He was born a male but has dual personalities?

LOL Tatiana, so true. ;)


Heather (heatherjoy) Yup, that's right. His mother's soul also resides within him. But how that made him look like a woman is beyond me.


message 23: by Tatiana (new)

Tatiana (tatiana_g) I don't get it. So he has a male or female body? I thought it was female but he/she dressed and behaved like male


Lady Salford (salford) Tatiana wrote: "I don't get it. So he has a male or female body? I thought it was female but he/she dressed and behaved like male"

That is the thing that is confusing me. I read the passage in Poison Study a few times and still wasn't quite sure. And it seems like it's never really explained. :/


Heather (heatherjoy) He has the body of a woman, but he is a man on the inside. The way it was explained in FS was that he was birthed a boy, the nurse saw his ding a ling, his mother died as soon as she pushed him out and her soul somehow lodged itself into his body. Next thing the nurse knows, his ding a ling was gone and he was now a she. So the nurse just thought she had imagine his package.


Lady Salford (salford) And as commander Ambrose, he still has the body of a woman or is his body that of a male?


Heather (heatherjoy) He still has the body of a woman, but he dresses it like a man. So he is transgendered.


message 28: by Tatiana (new)

Tatiana (tatiana_g) So he was born a boy, then his mom's soul made his body change to female? Is his mom's soul still in his body? Does she ever take a possession of the body?

That seems a little convoluted.


Heather (heatherjoy) His mom's soul is still in his body, but there is no mention as to whether or not she takes over. The Commander had no idea that his mother soul was in his body. But Yelena finally figured out why she saw two souls in his body, and that was the explaination provided in FS.


message 30: by Tatiana (last edited Mar 03, 2010 04:53AM) (new)

Tatiana (tatiana_g) I wonder why Yelena didn't banish his mom's soul out of his body. Maybe once she was gone he'd have his male body back.


Heather (heatherjoy) I don't know. I wondered the same thing. But that possibility is not addressed.


message 32: by Lady Salford (last edited Mar 02, 2010 02:25PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lady Salford (salford) I cannot imagine how the commander is able to pass off being a man in a woman's body and without anyone knowing. I guess he still retains his manly voice, heh.


Paige My guess is that he never takes his shirt off and no one asks him to. Its not like the men in that time period randomly took off their shirts :/ And he's an amazing fighter so he probably doesn't get hurt bad enough to go see a doctor.


message 34: by Kate (new)

Kate | 45 comments Ok..... Wierd. I was a little grossed out when it revealed at the end that he was a woman. It's just not... natural. And I think he was a little hypocritical. He helped to overthrow the other king that was "oppressive", but he himself bans magic.


Lady Salford (salford) But even without their shirts off, they do wear sleeveless shirts when they train. Or maybe he trains by himself... It's all rather confusing.

This discussion really made me feel like I'm not alone in how weird I find it all. Heh.

Yes Kate, it isn't natural. :/


Paige I totaly agree with you Salford. i was way weirded out and i didn't really want to say anything but this helps :)


message 37: by Tatiana (new)

Tatiana (tatiana_g) Maria Snyder discussed Commander and its dual personality with another GR group. It might give us some insight. Here is a link:

http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1...


message 38: by Lady Salford (last edited Mar 03, 2010 01:18PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Lady Salford (salford) "The mother dominated, and the female body is a magical illusion - but since the magic is part of the soul, it's very hard for any other magicians to pick up on it. The Commander wrestled control of his mind when he grew up, and now he either needs to take control of his body or have his mother evicted :) "

I feel more confused. A magical illusion? So if I see the commander, I see a female body but if I look past this illusion, I see both souls...?

Thanks Tatiana for the link. :)


message 39: by Tatiana (new)

Tatiana (tatiana_g) I know, I am a bit confused too:)


message 40: by K. M. R. (last edited Mar 03, 2010 01:41PM) (new)

K. M. R. (moisoha) | 9 comments Oookay... bit to much philosophy for me. (Hah, what am I saying, I read philosophy constantly :P ) How I see it is that his mother wanted to continue living so it's kind of a version of parent control on a child... maybe? I dunno. It is a bit confusing.


Lady Salford (salford) Haha Kayla! :p
I myself don't usually delve too much into any character unless they seem interesting but the commander is just plain weird! I had to discuss him with someone and it just seems we are still as confused as ever. ;p

I think I will just ignore his origins for the remainder of the series and try not to dwell so much. :p


Paige Salford- thats what i ended up doing. Its easier to read the books if you think of the commander as a man than as a woman in disguise


message 43: by K. M. R. (new)

K. M. R. (moisoha) | 9 comments Much agreement to that statement, Paige.


message 44: by Alicia (last edited Mar 05, 2010 09:18PM) (new)

Alicia (aliciaftw) Jillian wrote: "My only gripe with Ms. Snyder's handling of the Commander is that it wouldn't seem so "odd" to us if the treatment of the Commander's true state hadn't been handled so mysteriously. Personally, as..."


I agree with this. I would've like some type of foreshadowing. It seemed to come out of no where, although it was an interesting scene.


Paige There was some foreshadowing at the meeting with all the Generals and their alcohol when Yelena has that "dream" about the commander a woman killing the snow cat


message 46: by Alicia (new)

Alicia (aliciaftw) I wouldn't consider that foreshadowing.... That was the part that spilled the beans, as they say.


message 47: by Kate (new)

Kate | 45 comments I would have liked a longer explanation as to why he is a woman. Like if he was a hermaphrodite, etc. The way it is in the book just leaves you confused.


Alethea A (frootjoos) | 46 comments Here's how I kind of see it. And I could be totally wrong but this is what I think whenever I read about the Commander. You know how in Buffy, Ben & Glory were sharing 1 body (Ben's, technically) but whenever Glory took over you would see *her* body where his had just been. I don't think of Commander Ambrose and his female alter-ego as 1 body and he dresses one way or the other--he sort of magically can appear as one or the other at will, thanks to whatever accidental magic his mom left in him (her? how confusing) when she died, and could not let Ambrose go.

I do think the explanation at the end of Fire Study supports what I already think. Of course, I could be totally wrong--and there may be no right answer!


message 49: by Angie, YA lovin mod!! (new) - added it

Angie | 2686 comments Mod
Heather wrote: "How did you feel about the fact that The Commander forbade others from learning beyond their training to perform their job when he was only able to become Commander through years of study in multip..."

This part really bothered me... I don't know if it's explored later in the series but I thought that it was kinda sad that the library was so empty. I think it was interesting though that different districts did give an education... or did Barsell (was that the General's name) just educate the kids in the orphanage?


message 50: by Angie, YA lovin mod!! (new) - added it

Angie | 2686 comments Mod
Heather wrote: "Yup, that's right. His mother's soul also resides within him. But how that made him look like a woman is beyond me."

Based off this book alone I was thinking he was just a trans-gender!


« previous 1
back to top

unread topics | mark unread


Books mentioned in this topic

Sea Glass (other topics)