2 Refuge: By Eyes Unseen

  1. How is the theme of “refuge” reflected throughout the novel? Where do various characters seek and find refuge?
  1. When Refuge opens, the point-of-view is Varrick Slone’s. Throughout the novel it shifts between Varrick, Pearl, and Paxton. How does a shifting point-of-view affect your experience as a reader?
  1. Early in the novel, Paxton realizes he has romantic feelings for Pearl. How does this complicate his role as the “castle-born lad” who cannot return to the castle once he leaves it?
  1. One of Pearl’s constant struggles is her lack of courage. Describe a time in your life when you were asked to do something which required more courage than you believed you had. How did you get through it?  Did you rely upon others to help you?
  1. Why doesn’t the king just give the lamp to the outriders? What purpose is served by having them travel to Ungott?
  1. The king’s retreat beneath the desert has two rules: “Truth is required. Answers are not.”  How do those rules affect the behavior of Pearl, Varrick, and Carys?  Would you want to spend time in such a place?  How might it affect your behavior?
  1. Near the end of Refuge, West tells Pearl the story of how he found the castle. Did his willingness to forgive Varrick surprise you? What acts, if any, are too terrible to be forgiven?
  1. Is Varrick a heroic character? If so, how? If not, what keeps him from being a hero?