Originally posted here.
How brutal are these two chapters? Ender’s Dragon army is forced to fight more unfair battles until Ender stops caring and his army is able to win through sheer force of his apathy. Then they are disbanded. Ender is attacked in the bathroom by a much larger, much angrier boy. Ender survives. (We learn that Ender has killed Bonzo and his previous bully before he left Earth, though he has no idea.)
Then Ender goes on sabbatical. He refuses to countenance Command School or even the thought of battling ever again. His sister is brought in to persuade him to get over himself and do what’s good for humanity. Val has trouble balancing what she considers her real self with the stronger and stronger personality of Demosthenes—a personality which works against her in two ways. Demosthenes is more hawkish than Val and is her liability that Graff uses to get what he needs. She indirectly points Ender’s mind into going back into battle while acknowledging that he will become less human and more of a “monster” in both of their eyes. Ender knows his fate is inevitable but fights it with an almost agressive apathy that is only broken by his love for a Val that hardly exists anymore.
Two action-packed chapters left! See you next year!