Inan watches Zélie dance with a child, thinking that she looks beautiful. He grabs her hand and pulls her away from the party, where Tzain won’t see them. There is intense chemistry between them, but when he calls her “little Zél,” she pulls away sharply. That was the name her mother called her.
Zélie’s desire for Inan conflicts with her loyalty to her family. She knows she is betraying Tzain by giving in to her desires. When Inan accidentally invokes her mother, it makes Zélie even more aware of the fact that she seems to be choosing her own desires over loyalty to her family.
Zélie is full of fear, thinking about the violence inflicted by the monarchy and the potential for violence that she now contains. Thinking of Kaea, Inan says that he, too, lost control of his magic and hurt someone he cared about. Zélie says that this kind of community of divîners is what she’s always wanted, yet now she worries about what will happen if magic falls into the wrong hands. It’s a similar fear to his own, but with her, he feels less afraid. He presses his lips to her neck and thinks that together, they don’t need to be afraid of magic.
Zélie feels trapped inside a self-perpetuating cycle of violence. She wants to stop the monarchy from being able to hurt so many people, but she worries that she is actually just introducing the potential for more pain. Both Zélie and Inan know from experience that magic can lead to more violence. At the same time, if magic was widespread, it would allow divîner communities to grow and thrive again, and it would possibly reverse Saran’s oppressive regime.