What, you really think she's escaping?
Oh she is definitely really escaping. Because only Wanda will know she has escaped. And everything has been set up by Wanda to secretly "invite" Jillian to return (with the casters) and destroy Wanda's adoptive side. Sound familiar?
Wanda just doesn't care to admit it. Like Ace, who hated to work "plush", and considered Dolls and Molls to be perverted. Wanda could cast a "Rain of Twoads" over a large area, or "Sonic Croak" a building over, if needed, she just never really needed to (or Parson never asked her to).
Why she didn't use "super tongue" to retrieve the Arkenpliers after Ansom dropped it in Book 1, we'll never know.
Actually it's quite obvious. She kept her tongue in cheek.
I suspect that Croakamancy is indeed much like other disciplines in that it has "flavors" depending on the personal inclinations of the individual casters. Like for Dollamancy a caster could specialze in "plush" (golems) like the late Miss Shortcake, "accessories" (items) like our friend Ace, "fabrication/raiment" like a MK caster trying to scrape by their upkeep. We've seen the uncroaking (single or en masse) part of Croakamancy, but there's so much more potential that just hasn't been covered in the story yet. Consider a snippet from earlier in Wanda's story combined with what we know of Jillan's experience in the box:
"She had senses that she did not yet understand were unique to Croakamancers, and she used them on the fallen scout. His bones she could feel without touching him. She knew which ribs and teeth and vertebrae were broken. There would be some craft to this uncroaking, as not all of the original muscles and sinew could be counted on to perform their original functions...Where a knee would no longer bend, where a bicep no longer existed to flex an arm, the Croakamancer made magical Motion to move the Matter."
It's possible that a Croakmancer can apply their craft to a living body - i.e. cause a headache or pain anywhere in the body, simulate sensory depraviation, paralyzation, etc. Maybe even one-shot kill a unit with something like a "Word of Death" spell. Hello! Your organs no longer work. No Motion. Have fun with that. Truly scary things can be done with just a little application by someone who knows their anatomy, and I shudder to think how that extrapolates when magical Croakamancy senses and juice to cast are available options. We just haven't seen more than uncroaking out of Wanda so far.
Wanda's a terrible example for learning what croakamancy does really. She's opposed to using the full range of her magic, and anything that isn't explicitly croakamancy could fall under shockamancy, rhyme-o-mancy, dollamancy, dirtamancy, hat-magic or thinkamancy. And those are just the things we know she can do. Indeed from Maggie's comment it sounds like she is indeed an official novice thinkamancer.
There's been some talk about "what happened to Wanda being a poison pill"...who says she hasn't been? Even with the sprawl/upkeep conundrum, it's hard to believe that Haffaton would naturally let itself become that much of a paper tiger. As they've become more dependent on her uncroaked as part of their core strategy, who's to say she hasn't taken steps to not only encourage this but other subtle things that undermine Haffaton's ability to survive as a side? If all you have defending the majority of your smaller cities are uncroaked and plant units, what happend if the Croakamancer controlling all the uncroaked throughout your kingdom TURNED to another side?
I believe Wanda has put herself in the position of being the "good little soldier" and the epidemy of loyalty in a turned unit in order to act as a trusted advisor to Haffaton. But is ready at any moment to Turn and use all the uncroaked she controls throughout the kingdom to coup as much of Haffaton as possible. She just needs someone to Turn to. There's no guarantee that a Heir's status continues if they have Turned to another side after becoming Barbarian, so she may need a side to Turn to simply to exist. The stone garden interrogation thing could just be her way of vetting out likely candidates for sides.
I mentioned Dollamancers to my 17-YO brother, and before I could finish the sentence "And they make..." he interrupts "it rain!"
It could be, but it's also very close in pronunciation to a well-known Irish town, county and surname.
Yes indeed. Been a long time since I've had a Kilkenny...
I figured when I read it that it was a play on Kilkenny.
Never forget Wanda has a headache spell! Seriously, I do think Croakamancy might have some spells we haven't seen. Either Wanda didn't catch them all (starting spells especially sound semi-random), or she's focused on what she's best at.
It's hard to say if that's Croakamancy or not, however. We know from Book 1 that Wanda is adept with several disciplines of magic other than her own.