How are the six children and their temporary guardian Michael faring in Seven Poets and the Assassin’s Secret? Get caught up with a recap of week two of this exciting series.
Week two of Seven Poets continued as Michael smuggles the children into France with the help of his friends Roger and Sandrine Bennet who lend him a van so he can take the children Edmund Jordan. Though Michael learns of the hostage executions from Roger, he keeps it from the children, and he and Edmund agree to tell them once all of their parents have been executed, though both men wish the task could be avoided.
We learn little more about the mysterious Edmund. Jessica asks Michael if he’s met Edmund and he replies, cryptically, “Not many people have, but he’s the best sort of man for a situation like this.”
Michael succeeds in delivering the children to Edmund at his gated home in suburban Marolles en Brie, and when we as readers do encounter Edmund, he remains enigmatic, but he grasps the enormity of children’s situation and the idea that Hand of Peace is not what they claim to be immediately. Also, he owns no TV or computer — just an iPad!
He tells the children, “you’re safe because most of the world thinks you’re dead.” At Julian’s suggestion, Edmund gives the children paper and pens to recount what they’ve experienced.
During their time at Edmund’s we learn a bit more about the children. Eli is an impressive cook for such a young boy. Five has chosen Leo as his human security blanket.
After a dream where she sees Henry Jordan, Jessica remembers Henry’s letter at the bottom of her satchel and delivers it to Edmund in the middle of the night. Michael departs early the next morning, leaving Edmund only with the dread of telling the children of their parents’ fate.
The Broadside informed readers of Henry’s death, a report that Edmund sees as well, since he is aware of Henry’s murder when Jessica gives him the letter. More interesting is the report in the paper that it lists Edmund as deceased.
As Eli dreams of running to his extended family in Paris, we learn that his younger sister died suddenly after a seizure less than a year ago. Edmund reveals to the children that it’s only 3 km to the nearest busstop, then introduces the children to the barn with its seven horses (foreshadowing perhaps?), the most engaging of which is a Percheron stallion named Six. Five speaks the first words he’s uttered since the attack to Six, but remains mute to the children and Edmund.
The children grow restless with little news of their parents and press Edmund for answers, but Edmund resists knowing that he has only one more day to wait until all of the hostages have been executed.
We close week two inside Julian’s thoughts. As he stares out his window, unable to sleep, he spies a flash of light from the deserted cottage near Henry’s barn.
The Broadside answers some questions and raises others. We learn Hand of Peace is controlled by Iranian Ahmed Izz-Al-Din, and that the group has a long, though silent, history of association with other terrorist acts. But what is the point of killing 10 people and asking nothing in return?
To borrow a line of reasoning from MI-5’s Harry Pearce, perhaps the Hand of Peace hoped the executions would spur the gridlock, riots, and religious intolerance that ensue following the attack on Olympic Stadim. It’s uncertain what kind of world the children will return to when and if they do escape.
Readers, are you still following this story closely? Do you read each chapter as it is released or do you catch up on several at once? Are you completing the challenges?