a rending of every tether

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Meritzias

Senior Member
Turkish
Hello,

Could you please explain the meaning of underlined phrase within the sentence. Whom or what does it refer to?

It was those two words that shattered me. Shattered me in a way I didn’t know I could still be broken, a rending of every tether and leash.


Source: A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J.Maas
 
  • Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Rend means 'to tear, rip'.

    Tethers and leashes are both used to keep animals under control, and, metaphorically, they can be what ties someone to their communities, or their families, or proper behavior. In this sentence, those ties are being broken. What does the speaker do next?
     

    Meritzias

    Senior Member
    Turkish
    Hello Cagey.

    After the healer says "I'm sorry," the speaker notices that her lover is dead indeed. "I'm sorry" are those two words that shatters her. What she does next is thinking about the past, wailing, etc.

    It was those two words that shattered me. Shattered me in a way I didn’t know I could still be broken, a rending of every tether and leash.
    The thing is that, beyond the meaning of "rending", I don't understand the structure of the sentence. Especially why is it "a rending of" rather than just "rending".

    Is the long form of the sentence like, she didn't know she could be broken and be a rending of every tether and leash -which sounds odd? Or is it same if I say she didn't know she could be broken, rending every tether and leash?

    Or do I fail to see something right in front of me? :confused:
     

    chejo

    Senior Member
    Spanish (Spain)
    I think it's just a juxtaposition with the previous sentence, meaning that all ties (to her lover, and maybe something else) are broken. I think that a semicolon between the sentences would make it clearer.

    ...be broken; [it was a] rending of every tether and leash.
     

    RedwoodGrove

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    Shattered me in a way [that] I didn’t know I could still be broken, [that of] a rending of every tether and leash.

    I think the phrase refers to "way" grammatically. I don't think the average reader, including me, is aware specifically that there is or should be a referent in the sentence. The phrase is just there as a kind of appositive or addendum that increases the emotional sensation.

    cross-posted

    I will just offer my opinion that this device or style is extremely common in modern fiction, particularly romantic novels.
     
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