Wednesday, August 13, 2014

[Summary] Sugar Apple Fairytale Volume 3: The Silver Sugar Master and The White Nobleman

A while back I wrote a very thorough, detailed summary of Sugar Apple Fairytale Volume 2. I have been trying to do the same for Volume 3 but I find I don't remember the order of events with enough detail. Instead, I'm going to write a somewhat less detailed overview summary of the rest of the books in the series as I have time. I might miss some important pieces of information or get some stuff out of order: please forgive me! I don't have time to go back and re-read the whole book while writing the summary. This post is FULL OF SPOILERS so please DO NOT READ it and then complain to me later that I spoiled it for you! 


To read the summary of Volume 3, click the "read more" link below!

Volume 3 - The Silver Sugar Master and The White Nobleman

There is a blight on the sugar apple trees this year, leading to a catastrophically poor harvest. Hugh meets with the acting head of each of the 3 guilds (Marcus Radcliffe from Radcliffe Guild, John Kilean, the 2nd-in-command of Mercury Guild, and Elliot Collins, 2nd-in-command of Paige Guild) and together they decide that this year all sugar craftsmen in the kingdom are forbidden from harvesting sugar apples on their own: anyone who wants silver sugar this year will have to gather at one of the Radcliffe workshops all over the kingdom, and there the sugar craftsmen of all the guilds will work together to harvest and distill the sugar apples in that area, and split the produced sugar evenly. 

A decree from Hugh was issued to every sugar craftsmen in the kingdom, but the lesser craftsmen in the Radcliffe Guild conspired against Ann and intentionally didn't deliver hers. Luckily, she happened to be in Lewiston and ran into Cat, an eccentric but exceptionally skilled silver sugar master who is childhood frien-a-mies with Hugh. After hearing all about the situation, Ann hurries over to the Radcliffe Guild's main workshop in Lewiston to join in the sugarmaking work. 

At first the guards at the door don't even want to let her in because she's a woman and she's accompanied by a "beautiful pet fairy" (they say a person bringing a 'toy' like Shall around with them must not be a serious craftsman) but Keith Powell stands up for her and makes them let her in. Keith saved Ann from Jonas and his friends bullying her at the inn at the end of the last novel, if you recall. It's later revealed that, although Keith isn't a silver sugar master yet, he is a very well-regarded craftsman in the Radcliffe Guild because 1. He's an excellent sugar craftsman and 2. His father was the previous Silver Sugar Viscount before Hugh. Keith's father was from Paige Guild but after his father died Keith decided to join the Radcliffe Guild (which was perceived by the Paige Guild as a harsh betrayal) because he didn't want to receive special treatment just because he's the son of the former Silver Sugar Viscount. 

We also meet two other new characters in this book: Elliot Collins (red-headed playboy, silver sugar master, 2nd-in-charge of the Paige Guild) and his fiancee Bridgette Paige (daughter of Paige Guild leader Glenn Paige, beautiful but a spoiled brat). 

Ann, Keith, Cat and the others get started working on the monumental task of mass-producing silver sugar in large quantities. Ann faces a lot of discrimination as the only female sugar craftsman. The wives and daughters of other craftsmen (including Bridgette) have gathered at Radcliffe Guild but they are only helping with cooking and cleaning for the large group of craftsmen gathered there. It's revealed (I'm not actually sure it's in this book but this seems like a good time to mention it) that there's actually a reason why women are historically forbidden from sugarcraft. According to the national religion, many hundreds of years ago the reason Humans originally became the slaves of fairies was because of a woman, Queen of the humans, who fell in love with the fairy king and because of her bewitchment with him led the humans down the path that ended up with them enslaved by fairies. As such, women are tainted by the idea of "original sin" in the world of SAFT just like in Christianity. In modern times this idea has faded in the general populace and women enjoy fairly equal treatment, but the vestiges of this old way of thinking still exist in the sugarcraft world, where women are unwelcome to participate in the "holy" work of sugar-making because of their "taintedness." As such, Ann has to suffer a lot of bullying from the other craftsmen due to her lack of physical power and endurance compared to the men. Cat offers to order the men to go easy on her, but Ann refuses because she wants to be respected for her own work. Also, Ann is being passive-aggressively bullied by Bridgette Paige who, although she's engaged to Elliot, has fallen in love with Shall at first sight.

Meanwhile, all of the craftsmen who want to participate in this year's Silver Sugar Festival (the competition to become a silver sugar master) are working on their sugar sculptures. Originally Ann had wanted to make a sculpture of Shall but as part of the bargain to let Ann into the Radcliffe Guild in the first place, Keith asked to use Shall as a model for his own sculpture for this year's Silver Sugar Festival (the other guild members were protesting letting a 'pet fairy' into the guild but Keith got them to agree by saying Shall was necessary as a model for his sculpture for the competition). So Ann has to think of another sculpture to create. She notices that the royal family often selects fairy-themed sculptures and she wonders why, so she decides to take a field trip to the national church's headquarters in Lewiston on her day off to research it. Shall accompanies her. When they get there Ann finds that only priests can access the church's libraries and when she asks the priest in charge to let her in he declines her request. She questions him about the royal family's connection with fairies but he refuses to comment, saying it's a taboo subject. Then Ann notices that the mural on the ceiling of the cathedral is a grand portrait of a human knigh and a fairy warrior circling eachother, swords drawn, with very peculiar expressions of regret and sadness on their faces. She asks the priest what the words written around the mural say and he said it's forbidden to speak of this, but he invites her to read it herself-- if she can-- and leaves, laughing. 

The words are written in an ancient script hundreds of years old that almost no one, even scholars, can read anymore. After the priest leaves, Shall grabs Ann by the hand and forces her to sit in one of the church pews. He leans over and whispers in her ear, reading to her the words written around the mural. It is the story of the last fairy king, Rizellba and the first human king, Cedric. Once, the human king was the slave of the fairy king, but the fairy king saw that the human king was a noble, intelligent and admirable man and he came to respect him, so he freed him. The two were dear friends, but they were both 'worked upon' by their respective races. The fairies complained to Rizellba that they must keep the humans as slaves, to avoid being overtaken by them, and the humans complained to Cedric that they must rise up against the fairies and take their freedom. Although the two deeply cared about eachother, in the end they could not overcome their natures-- they were fairy and human first, and friends second, and so they ended up fighting an epic battle to the death in which Cedric, the human king, killed his  best friend Rizellba, the fairy king. From that point on, humans enslaved the fairies and established the current society.

Ann is astounded that Shall can read the words written on the ceiling because he's only 100 years old and these words are 500 years old. Shall tells Ann that fairies have the memories and knowledge that the item from which they were born was exposed to. This is the first hint that the obsidian from which Shall was born had some kind of connection to Rizellba, the last fairy king. 

After the field trip, Ann decides to sculpt two rose bushes, entwined around eachother with each supporting the other. Furthermore, the rosebushes appear to be made out of fairy wings: they are transparent and glossy with an incredible gradation of color resembling a fairy's wing.

While Ann's working with the other sugar craftsmen during the day distilling silver sugar and working on her sugar sculpture for the competition at night, she and Keith are becoming closer and closer. Shall sees them as if watching from the outside and gets the impression that Ann is, no matter how unique she may be, a human girl and should be with humans like this. At the same time, Bridgette's obsession with Shall is getting more and more out of control and she is following him around and making thinly veiled attempts at seduction. When Ann sees them together, she's overcome with self-consciousness because Bridgette is extremely beautiful and she and Shall suit eachother in terms of attractiveness-levels. 


There is an incident one night while Ann is working in the workshop alone. A group of Radcliffe craftsmen gang up on Ann and decide that they are going to burn her hands in the firepit so she can never create sugar sculptures again. This way their idol, Keith Powell, will be assured of winning the title of Silver Sugar Master at this year's Silver Sugar Festival. The craftsmen want Jonas to be the one to maim Ann because of her publicly humiliating him last year, but Jonas can't do it and runs away. The other craftsmen grab Ann and hold her down while another forces her hands towards the fire. Luckily, when Jonas ran away he ran straight to get Shall, who comes tearing into the workshop like some kind of creature from hell. He frees Ann from her attackers, and is about to start lobbing off heads but Ann grabs him and begs him not to because the punishment for any fairy who is caught killing a human for any reason is death. The attackers flee and Ann collapses on the floor, overcome from the ordeal. Jonas comes running in with Mythrill and Keith to see if Ann is okay. A few minutes later, Marcus Radcliffe and Sammy, leader of the group of bullies who just tried to maim Ann come running into the workshop. It seems Sammy ran straight to Marcus Radcliffe and told him that JONAS was trying to maim Ann. Of course Ann and Jonas both protest, but as the only 'witnesses' to the incident are Jonas (the accused), Sammy (who Marcus reasons wouldn't have run to get help if he were the guilty party himself) and a woman and a fairy (both unreliable witnesses), Marcus Radcliffe decides that Jonas is the guilty party and banishes him from the guild on the spot.

On the day before the Silver Sugar Festival, Ann, Mythrill and Shall return to the inn where they were staying before they started working on the large-scale silver sugar distillation project, to prepare for the festival. Mythrill discovers that someone has replaced Ann's 3 barrels of silver sugar that she personally prepared for the festival with 3 barrels of the mass-produced silver sugar, which is of lower quality due to some of the guild members' lazy work (Sammy and the others who attacked Ann are among these). Mythrill tells Shall but the two agree not to tell Ann and worry her unnecessarily. Mythrill stays with Ann and Shall heads back to the Radcliffe Guild to find Ann's missing sugar. 

Shall enlists Keith, Elliot and Cat to help and they determine that the only time Ann's silver sugar could have been switched was when the barrels were being loaded into Ann's wagon the day she left. Bridgette's room overlooks the courtyard where this took place, and since she's been locking herself up in her room pouting ever since Shall rejected her, it's almost certain she witnessed the whole thing. Shall spends all night arguing with Bridgette, trying to convince her to tell him who stole Ann's sugar but she spitefully refuses. In the end Shall makes everyone leave the room except for him and Bridgette and the two strike a deal: Shall offers Bridgette his wing in exchange for the information that will save Ann's chance at fulfilling her dream and becoming a silver sugar master. 

Meanwhile at the Silver Sugar Festival, the king narrows down the competition to Ann and Keith's sculptures. He is about to select Keith's sculpture of Shall as the winner when Shall arrives silently at the back of the crowd. The queen's the one who spots Shall and points him out to the king. The two agree that although Keith's sculpture is possibly the most beautiful of all the sculptures presented today, it falls far short of it's mark when they see the real thing before their eyes. Because of this, the king selects Ann's sculpture as the winner of this year's competition. However, when Ann's 3 barrels of silver sugar are brought forward to be presented to the king, it's obvious at first sight that the sugar is of inferior quality. Earl Downing declares Ann disqualified from the competition. However, just then Bridgette comes forward and announces that Sammy (who is also participating in the Silver Sugar Festival) is the one who stole Ann's silver sugar.

There is a big uproar and accusations from both sides, but Ann finally beseeches Earl Downing and the king to let her provide proof that what she says is true. Ann asks the king to call one of his fairy slaves whom he trusts completely. When the fairy comes forward, Ann breaks off one of the rose blossoms from her sculpture and has him eat it. Then she announces that fairies are the absolute authority on Silver Sugar and that the fairy will know immediately by tasting the barrels of silver sugar labeled with Sammy's name whether or not this is the same sugar that her sculpture was made from. The fairy confirms it and Ann's name is cleared and she is pronounced winner of this year's competition and earns the title of Silver Sugar Master. After the competition, Marcus Radcliffe banishes Sammy from the Radcliffe Guild and declares Jonas innocent. However, Jonas is already gone, wandering the streets in despair and they have no way of reaching him to let him know his name is cleared.

After the Silver Sugar Festival, Ann immediately goes to Shall to simultaneously thank him for finding her silver sugar and scold him for keeping it a secret from her. He hugs her tightly and congratulates her on achieving her dreams and becoming a silver sugar master. Then Shall bids her farewell, and leaves with Bridgette, leaving an astounded Ann behind him. Cat, Elliot, and Keith gather around Ann and someone (I think Keith) breaks the news to Ann that, in order to obtain the chance for her to become a Silver Sugar Master, Shall traded his wing and his freedom to Bridgette. Ann is shocked and horrified and collapses on the spot, nearly hysterical, repeating over and over that she didn't want to win like this. 

To Be Continues in Volume 4!!!

6 comments:

  1. Just last night I was complaining to Mizu about how annoying Jonas is, and how he should be offed ASAP. With great timing, you posted this summary, and now bigger headaches have appeared - Bridgette and the Radcliffe Guild, and their actions make Jonas look relatively tame in comparison. From Drama CD 1, i was under the impression that Bridgette was just a side character as Elliot's fiance, but ohohoho noooo, she pulled a stunt like that :(.

    Thanks so much for posting this summary! Hopefully they aren't separated for too long ;___;

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    1. At this point Jonas is still annoying, but he actually redeems himself a bit more over the course of the next few volumes. Bridgette is the same. She's one of the (if not THE) most detestable character(s) in the series, but she gets better... It just takes a really long time.
      Don't worry, Shinny! Ann won't give up on Shall :D Next volume is all about "mission to get Shall back"!

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  2. Thak you so much for summary ,even if it is spoiler but acceptable and thankful for you to summarize,but it wa reallyyyyyyyyyyy bad end ing for this volume :'(

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    1. I know!! From volume 3 on, every volume ends with some kind of cliff hanger. I think volumes 1 and 2 were both written to be stand-alone stories just in case the publisher wouldn't let Mikawa-sensei write any more, but from volume 3 on she got the green light to write as many volumes as she likes :D

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  3. Shall no!!! How sad for them :(

    Thanks for the summary Ica! I can't wait to read the moment when Shall realizes that he is in love With Ann! That Will be beautiful!

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    1. Yes!! I don't even really remember when exactly Shall realizes he's in love with Ann. But I do know it's waaaay before he actually tells her. This is shoujo! It can't just be easy T__T

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