Here is another brilliant essay on The Starthorn Tree by Eli Cole, a Year 8 student at Marist Brothers Ashgrove, in Queensland. I think it's incredible that these three boys - Hayden Sullivan, Callum Williams and today's essay writer, Eli Cole - are only 13 years old. I am so glad that their teacher, Ms Rebecca Taylor, chose my novel for her students to read and examine, and that is has inspired them all to such brilliant academic heights.
Here is Eli's essay:
Lady Lisandre ziv Estaria from The Starthorn Tree, written by Kate Forsyth, is a snobby brat who cares for no one who doesn’t live in Castle Estelliana. She annoys Lord Zavion for fun, orders her servants to do things for her (that she could easily do herself) and cares naught for races other than her own. Lady Lisandre is quite independent (for her race) and she cares for her mother (Lady Ginerva) and her brother (Count Zygmunt) more than anyone else in the whole of Ziva, and anyone else (to her) is just there to be her slaves and to do her and her race’s bidding for them. Her strongest relationship with anyone of non-starkin blood (even though this relationship isn’t strong) is with the seamstress, Briony. Briony cares for Lady Lisandre more than any other servant, but they still aren’t considered “friends” (as yet). But, even though Briony is very important to Lisandre as this story commences, many other relationships change her as a person.
As this story goes on, and as Lisandre makes more friends, she begins to change as a person. When all six of the main characters finally all know each other (Pedrin Goatherd, Durrik Bell-Crier, Sedgely, Maglen/Mags and of course Briony), an unbreakable bond is formed. With everyone, that is, but Lady Lisandre. She is very repulsed by the hearthkin and wildkin and does not like them even looking at her! It isn’t uncommon for anyone of starkin blood to be so repulsed by those inferior to themselves, and Lisandre is no exception. She refuses to let the other five forget that she is ‘better’ than the rest of them, constantly saying, “Do you not know I am one of the Ziv?”
But there is one moment in this adventure, when Lady Lisandre feels disgusted by what the starkin have done and is disgusted to be called one of them. That moment is when she sees Durrik’s injured back, which was injured whilst making (or helping to make) the glass tower. She is so shocked to see how cruel her race is and this is the first time she has seen what the starkin have done first-hand. She doesn’t even think the starkin could’ve done it; she has to be told that it was “a gibgoblin in human form.” This moment contributes greatly to how Lisandre changes by the end of this adventure.
Lady Lisandre changes probably the most out of anyone in this story. At the start of this story, she was snobby, stuck up, repulsed by other races other than her own, quite annoying to read about (because she was such a brat) and disliked by almost everyone who goes on this adventure. But at the end of the story, almost everything has changed. She is quite selfless, willing to do pretty much anything to make the others’ trip easier, all the differences in race within the group are all put aside and she doesn’t care anymore if they are different to herself.
The others are willing to give their lives for her, and she is willing to give hers for not only the rest of the group, but for the greater good of Estelliana. Pedrin risks his life to save her when she falls in a lake and the rest are afraid of the thought of losing her when they see that she will cut herself on the starthorn tree. She is very independent (for anyone of any race) and by the end she doesn’t tell Briony what to do; in fact, she even tries to make the load on Briony easier. The night after she sees Durrik’s back, she helps Briony by carrying some things, and everyone is very surprised because she hardly lifted a finger before this. So by the end of this adventure, Lady Lisandre Ziv Estaria is a very hard-working, caring person who will make an excellent ruler of Estelliana and someone that will make everyone in the land happy.
Well done, Eli!