Okay, I moved past the rough part of Thorn and Shadow. Actually, I just worked my way through one of the key scenes of the novel, a pivotal and emotional moment that is vitally important to everything that comes thereafter. And, oh, sound the sacred chimes, the scene works. I mean, you never really know until the first read-through, right? You never know if a scene really works, even though you wrote it yourself, until you get some distance from it and then read it.
In this instance, the scene works. It involves a big emotional turning point, and it works. Noice! All is right with the world. I will sleep easy tonight.