Archive through March 07, 2012

Janny Wurts Chat Area: Arc 4: Sword of the Canon: Initiate's Trial: Spoiler Topics: Thoughts on completion of Initiate's Trial. DO NOT READ UNTIL YOU FINISH!!: Archive through March 07, 2012
   By Sleo on Wednesday, October 26, 2011 - 06:32 am: Edit Post

POSSIBLE SPOILERS- My review on Goodreads:

5 stars

The tour de force of Stormed Fortress is a hard act to follow, but, as usual, Janny Wurts is up to the job. It's 250 +/- years in the future, Arithon is a prisoner of the Koriani, betrayed by a clansman who was one of the Companions - which event is foreshadowed in Stormed Fortress. Prime Selidie is determined to break the compact the F7 made with the dragons in the Second Age and will go to any lengths to do so. Elaira is now a rebel and travels to visit the Biedar in a bid to help her best beloved. Lysaer has gotten better at fighting the curse, but is having a mighty struggle of it. Asandir enlists the help of Daliana, a descendent of Sulfin Evend, to try to shelter him.

New characters abound, and the shades of old ones emerge. Dakar is grown up, now a skilled mage in his own right, but still funny as hell.

A rousing good read, the opening of a new Arc to be finished in the next book, as things gradually build to the ultimate climax... Wurts' plotting is superb and there is no guessing what she will pull out of the hat next.

I was moved to tears several times, laughed out loud a few times, and my heart stopped once or twice!

   By Paige Madison on Thursday, October 27, 2011 - 09:18 am: Edit Post

I really like the new Dakar and loved Daliana. She has quickly taken a beloved spot in my heart. I loved the scene where Dakar and Lysaer crash Daliana's trial. It gives me hope that all is not for Lysaer even though he is still cursed. I'm kinda hoping that Janny will surprise us all and do away with the Curse and the Mistwraith early and shock us with some unexpected problems that arise that are dealt with in the last book.

   By Paige Christie on Friday, October 28, 2011 - 07:09 am: Edit Post

Oops! Think I posted in the wrong place before so I am re-posting here.

Hi all - new to the chat area and happy to be here.

I just devoured the book and feel the need to go back and re-read stormed fortress before I do a re-read on Initiate's Trial.


Biggest Revelation: The Beidar arriving on Athera before the Fellowship and having their own 'treaty' with the Paravians. That's got to make things interesting as we go forward.

Glad to have read the short stories prior to this or parts of this book would have had me scratching my head.

This book felt different than the others...I think because less time was spent deep within the POV of characters we already know and more time in an ethereal realm of characters' vision and what they see and overhear through 'sight' and attachment to the mysteries. Also, we got less Arithon's POV, which makes sense because he is not in complete possession of his own POV.

Really glad to see Lysaer had a few revelations in the last 200+ years, sad to know that that was probably only possible due to the horror of Arithon's isolation in captivity. Also glad to see a woman strong enough to understand what needs to be done to try and battle the curse with him. I seriously dig Daliana.

Dakar's maturity is also pretty cool to see. I hope someday he will be able to forgive himself so he can reconnect with Arithon, because we know Arithon's compassion will not allow him to hate Dakar, even though he may never trust him completely again. Looking forward to seeing how that is worked out over the next 2 books as well.

Elaira - She is SO much stronger that she knows. I fear Morriel figuring out just HOW strong Elaira really is...And the separation of Elaira and Arithon is just killing me! Gah! Well, Davien's fountain said 500 years of suffering...We're 300 or so years through that...

Ready for the next book and for someone to finally have the power to deal with Morriel and her madness. I wonder if Janny will work more of her magic and not just 'take her out' but find a way to release her from her insanity and offer grace to her despite what she has done. And I wonder what part Lirenda will play in all this, because I know she's just going to POP if she ever gets loose. Curious to see...


   By Julie on Tuesday, November 01, 2011 - 05:52 pm: Edit Post

Just finished it!! Which is good since I could not put the book down. I agree that this book had a different feel,- perhaps because such a short period of actual time was covered. Also was it my imagination or was it fairly short? Bravo Dakar- and Lysaer. I have beeen waiting for their best qualities to emerge!

Anyway THANK YOU Janny-

now back to studying pathophysiology!

   By Janny Wurts on Friday, November 04, 2011 - 10:57 am: Edit Post

Um - grin - shorter it wasn't. The page count proves that out, though truly, I had HOPED it would be shorter...;) The book had other things in mind.

   By Julie on Friday, November 04, 2011 - 12:29 pm: Edit Post

Hi Janny:

I could not wait for a physical copy so purchased for my Kindle. Did not have the weight of the book or a visual page count. Maybe I just was so hungry I did not notice the length!

   By Annette on Friday, November 04, 2011 - 06:14 pm: Edit Post

I do not have a real book either, but according to Sleo Initiate's Trial is 554 pages, so I am glad Janny did not manage to make it shorter.

   By Sleo on Friday, November 04, 2011 - 06:22 pm: Edit Post

That 554 pgs doesn't include the glossary.

   By Joy on Tuesday, November 08, 2011 - 07:33 am: Edit Post

Either way, fantastic achievement, and so rewarding after the wait for it. IMHO there is no other series on a remotely similar scale or depth that stays so "tight" and maintains such magnificently high quality. A true pleasure to read, WoLaS never disappoints :-)

Many thanks, Janny!

   By Janny Wurts on Tuesday, November 08, 2011 - 09:29 am: Edit Post

All of you, Thanks So Much for the Feedback! You have no idea of how uplifting it is after all that hard work, to see how readers are receiving the story.

Joy: wow, thanks, can I quote that, or better still, mind posting that encapsulation yourself as a 'review' on some online sites? - if you can, it truly helps new readers understand that this particular series doesn't flag or dissipate (at least in your opinion, grin). You'd be surprised how many readers report being disillusioned with long, thick fantasy series books - helps to show that not all BFFs (big fat fantasies) run to flab....(and if you are too shy, no worries, I respect you, and however you feel is totally OK).

If word like this could get out and be seen elsewhere, it would be very very helpful. (Paravia folks already get it.) :-)

On another note: part of the great FUN an author has after years of intensive, solo labor is seeing the story reach you guys, and sharing in your fun with it. It's better than opening a gift to hear a crow of joy, or catch a bit of speculation that says the book lives and touched another heart.

So thanks to all of you who are joining in the release celebration - may it continue to unfold.
:-) :-) :-)

   By Joy on Tuesday, November 08, 2011 - 09:52 am: Edit Post

Janny, you may absolutely quote any or all of anything I post if it is useful to you. I'm not one for online commenting generally (hence my rare appearances on the threads) but I'm happy to post some reviews as I can appreciate the benefits of letting others know they don't know what they're missing!

Where to post? Perhaps one of you who is more familiar with the sites that reviews are posted on might provide me with options other than Amazon (pretty much the only one I know of off the top of my head:-)).

   By Trys on Tuesday, November 08, 2011 - 11:14 am: Edit Post and Another US bookseller - ( 07362127&itm=1&usri=initiate27s%252btrial)

Also a search for UK online bookstores found

Blackwell's (

There may be more. :-)

   By Aria on Tuesday, November 08, 2011 - 02:30 pm: Edit Post

Places like, and the Book Depository (although I can't remember their link off hand) are good as well. The first being a highstreet retailer in the UK. ;)

I'm not posting anything yet though as I'm still going. ;) Half way through!

   By Sleo on Saturday, November 12, 2011 - 10:16 am: Edit Post

Well, let us know when you finish!

   By Trys on Saturday, November 12, 2011 - 01:34 pm: Edit Post

FYI, Waterstones appears to require that you have an account. Barnes & Noble website seems to have problems. Using Internet Explorer, it doesn't display correctly. Using Firefox, it will NOT accept my review... it just loops back to the same page. Anyone have better luck?

I did however post on, and Book Depository (for the last the link is CLEAR at the bottom of the page).

   By Lisa on Monday, November 14, 2011 - 05:44 am: Edit Post

LOVED IT!!!!!!!! Although I was caught very unawares, and absolutely devastated when it finished, as i was reading it on my iphone and could not feel it coming to an end (the paper version was taking way too long to arrive in sydney!). Can not wait to have the paperback in my hands to be able to see the maps clearer.
Once again a most riveting read Janny. I fear the next few years wait are going to be as agonising as the last have been :-)

   By Janny Wurts on Monday, November 14, 2011 - 01:32 pm: Edit Post

Lisa - grin - did my job, then. :-)

   By Nikki Hayes on Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - 06:31 am: Edit Post

I did enjoy Initiates Trial but:

Good points - Tarens is a great new character, as are the three clan youngsters who set off with Alithiel to find Arithon. The news about the Biedar and the Paravians was a nice surprise and the coup by Arithon's daughter in freeing him was a nice twist, if something of a waste of what could have been a promising story tangent about Arithon and Glendien's daughter. Lysaer appears to have kept hold of his minor ability to keep a grip on the curse (rather like Arithon did in the early days of the series) and it was good to hear that he had been putting justice over geas during the 250 blank period and he still knows that he is cursed. Dakar has matured and has gained mastery, and is now far better equipped to help both the brothers and we have new clanblood, more talented due to the purges back during the Alliance of Light's campaigns.

Bad Points - I was less than happy with the fact that we took a 250 year jump into the future and that it is rather unclear exactly what happened after Arithon and Elaira left Athir at the end of Stormed Fortess. A prologue to Initiates Trial would have solved this problem with a brief recollection of exactly how Arithon came to be betrayed (yes I know who betrayed him) and how exactly Dakar, the Fellowship and Elaira were involved. Without this information the idea of the Fellowship allowing Arithon to be held in captivity for 250 years does not wash, it would be against the Major Balance for them to condone this and I recall very well that Dakar swore debt for the Crown of Rathain, not for Arithon Teir s'Falen. I started enjoying the book about 100 pages in, but I'm still annoyed about having waited 4 years and not being clear why there was such a massive jump in time or what happened during that time. The True Sect and their actions does not gel with Lysaer's newfound geas-free sense of justice (whilst Arithon was captive), surely he would have acted against the faith he created much earlier? I also do not think the idea of Seshrochziel not caring what happened to Davien when she hibernates holds up, it was obvious from Stormed Fortress that she had a bond with him. I would have liked to have seen more of this pair than we did, not a complaint, more of a wish.

For me, the highlight of the series was Stormed Fortress. It still is. Sorry to sound disappointed but I hate unanswered questions and the snippets of information we were given about what happened with Eriegal just did not add up to a decent account of events, I didn't mind the book ending somewhat up in the air with regards to Arithon as its the first book in a new arc but the lack of information about what went down in the 250 years since the end of Stormed Fortress does not sit well with me.

   By Janny Wurts on Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - 11:39 am: Edit Post

(a minor aside, with regard to Apparently Unfinished Threads, ;), subtle cough) the fourth arc is NOT completed, yet, far from it).

(grinning author, ducking flung knives, because YOU WILL HAVE TO SUFFER THE WAIT FOR DESTINY'S CONFLICT!!!!)

   By Janny Wurts on Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - 12:17 pm: Edit Post

And of course - even wider grin - you are SUPPOSED to be on edge and ticked - it's rightfully called suspense.

I wish, and truly, ALL the arcs could be issued as 'one volume' as they are designed to be one story, peaks and pause points leading to the finale point for that sequence of action.

Then the markers get moved at the arc starts; lots of readers didn't see Stormed Fortress coming, at the close of Fugitive Prince. Part and parcel of reading one volume, as they are issued.

I hope (by now) readers have learned to trust the narrative flow of this series - and the handling of ALL prior books under my name.

Not to say I can't goof, but :-) - certainly don't plan to, at this stage. Proof, as it were, will be in the pudding. Back to getting the next installment properly baked.

   By Annette on Wednesday, November 16, 2011 - 02:31 pm: Edit Post

And although I also also might have been a bit miffed we never caught up on all the past events, neither has Arithon yet. I would rather wait and uncover some of the more interesting/painful memories as he does, and see how that changes things, than have some uninvolved character just give us all the details and spoil the discovery. For a two book ark near the end of the series I suppose we should have expected Janny to set the second one up with all the explosive events, past and present likely to leave us gasping. I also did not mind leaving the more traumatic memories till the second half, since it made Initiate's Trial more fun to read and less like a trial of tears requiring a box of tissues handy. I love Peril's Gate, but one of them per arc is enough for me.

And speaking of Stormed Fortress, when I went back and read through the past topics (I am only a recent convert) I seem to recall originally we were not going to get Stormed Fortress, but Janny could not fit everything into Traitor's Knot. I would have liked to have read what was added and changed and had a chance to be explored more, because I also really liked Stormed Fortress, and thought it was a great end to the third arc. I am expected the end of arc four to be even better, so not fussed about waiting for it.

   By Raelene Monahan on Tuesday, November 22, 2011 - 10:09 am: Edit Post

Hi all!

I absolutely loved it, could not stop reading it - literally did not sleep until I finished it. An intriguing journey from start to finish. And I agree with everyone, my anticipation (i.e. suspense) is whetted to a fine sharp edge of impatience for the next volume, so well done on that score Janny! (though I do admit to feeling that throwing a few knives -dull for safety- for that accomplishment would relieve some of the burning tension :-) )

Some of my favourite moments, for a variety of reasons - uplifting, tear-jerking or in uproarious laughter - include the rediscover of Arithon's identity in Caithwood by Tysan's clansmen, the defense of Daliana by Traithe, Dakar and Lysander, the grace of Elaira's escape from Koriathain intrigue through her healers heart, and especially the sorrowful threads guiding Gestry's fate, though tear-jerking it was incredibly uplifting and humbling.

   By Kam on Saturday, November 26, 2011 - 11:04 am: Edit Post


I'm delighted you've released your novels on Kindle. I've heard that switching to electronic format isn't always favourable for the author - mainly because of the pricing (to give you guys some idea: new release physical copy for me is ~AUD$50-60 compared to digital $17.)

Of course, this was a different author talking about why she was initially keen for electronic and then got disheartened when she heard her life's work would have to be sold at such a discounted rate to be attractive.

I know this is a little off tangent and isn't strictly about the novels (I have plently of thoughts about that too!) but what were your thoughts on releasing for digital, Janny? Was it something you got to decide or the publishers just went ahead with it? I saw all your books are available for digital now which is just awesome for portability's sake.

Although the bibliophile in me would probably still end up trying to get a physical copy; they just look so good on the bookshelf.

Since this is a thread about the novels, I should probably write something more relevant as well: Lysaer is quite awesome now. He's de-throned Arithon as my number one character of interest. I find myself cheering for Daliana and telling her to just kiss him already! So much tension in this room!

I don't really understand is why Tarens would murder that diviner in cold blood. I mean, they need him and his brother around to keep the farm, right? That was why they got Arithon to come in and save his brother... but then he runs off and stabs that guy in daylight with witnesses all around? I don't see how he thought he could get away with that. And without him, they'd lose the farm anyway. It seems a bit strange. I can usually understand a character's motives, but this just didn't make any sense to me. Not to mention that actually murdering someone is a huge step for a farm boy.

I can't help but think if the last arc ended with Seldie in her moment of triumph, the Fellowship brought to heel, Arithon betrayed and imprisoned, free wraiths EVERYWHERE, my mind would have blown. It would be like George Martin's Red Wedding. As it stands, I haven't seen Morriel/Seldie succeed with any of her attempts to capture Arithon on screen, so I find myself waiting for the Deus Ex Paravia. I can't quite take Seldie seriously, even though her machinations are inhuman and her methods can halt the breath in my lungs for sheer cruelty.

Also, Teylia reminded me of this poem: What a tragic character; the forgotten martyr! I'm sure she'll come back into play again though. Her role in this seems too great to be brushed aside so easily.

   By Janny Wurts on Saturday, November 26, 2011 - 11:25 am: Edit Post

Kam, to answer your direct question about specifically about digital rights. I had to part with them to get the import deal to return the books to the USA. This was an OK trade - first, because HarperCollins did pay me an extra fee to BUY digital rights for the few early volumes that explicitly said rights were mine. (when such things were negotiable) and because I am focused solely on writing, trying to do digital rights myself for such a huge project would be distraction itself.

I believe it is import to reach readers, period - and if they want the books in portable format, this is all to the good. I hope that the paper books will STILL be supported, too, because having the works only appear in an ephemeral format makes them less visible (and subjects them to the phases and trends of electronic devices - I'd HATE to see the works lost as such trends and devices change format!!!)

I do get a royalty for digital sales, and they count as numbers, when legitimately bought, never fear. The fact that digital readers have search functions should make it quite Easy to access the nuances in this series - past scenes can be looked up quicker, or notes taken, or bits highlighted. So in some ways, the digital world opens a new avenue of access never before available to readers who don't have time for many indepth re-reads.

Also, some devices allow other readers to access such highlights and footnotes, which may make some of the more obscure angles of this series a common body of knowledge - this development could be interesting, and might make the series more widely appealing, who knows???

Keep your thoughts coming, I'm sure other readers here will enjoy discussing your points.

There are discussion boards, too, open to digital readers - I can hope that creates yet another avenue to expose newcomers to the books.

There are plans in the works, now, to (very soon) allow folks to buy digital copies of the satellite short stories sited in the Athera universe digitally from THIS website. Stay tuned.

Eventually I'd like to see all of my backlist books digitally available - I do have my eyes on several options, just waiting to be sure they'll pan out.

   By Annette on Saturday, November 26, 2011 - 07:27 pm: Edit Post


Would that be new satellite stories Janny, or the ones already published? I have Under Cover of Darkness (The Sundering Star) in epub format from the Kobo bookshop. But would love digital versions of all of them, would like new short stories set in the Athera universe even more. :-)

Kam, Tarens never thought he would get away with killing the diviner, he was trying to get himself killed to protect the footloose herbalist, Efflin and Kerelie. The diviner would have gone after the foot loose herbalist next, so Tarens was trying to help him get away by choosing the Diviner. The croft was lost the moment the True Sect turned up on the doorstep looking to arrest someone. Tarens knew they would have found him guilty of consorting with a sorcerer, he did not want his confession condemning anyone else. And apparently the True Sects methods of extracting confessions is pretty horrific, so that might also have had some effect on Tarens's decision.

If you read through the start of Chapter III again looking for Tarens's motives you will find them there.

   By Annette on Saturday, November 26, 2011 - 10:56 pm: Edit Post


That was start of the first subchapter Man-hunt actually, rather than main chapter III.

   By Kam on Sunday, November 27, 2011 - 06:49 am: Edit Post

Thank you for the time to talk about this, Janny! I'm surprised that you had to give up your digital rights - I'll admit I've been a bit out of touch here but did I read you correctly: you had to give up digital rights to get the books at all released for USA???

I'm very curious as to what might be the possible ramifications of such a thing; I had no idea that the publishers valued digital rights so highly that it's a valid bargaining chip or that they could even be dealt with separately (although it makes sense in retrospective). And it seems like this has changed now, so the publishers own more than before? Mind boggling. Naturally I don't know anything about this mysterious world of copyright and publishers versus authors, but it's pretty fascinating to hear about it.

As an advocate of digital formats, I still don't believe that books will ever get completely replaced. This is something deeper than just convenience and price - despite the identical subject matter, print and digital are actually different mediums altogether and how we process that information is completely different. I'm sure you've noticed that reading large chunks of text on your screen is "painful" and yet we do it frequently on print without trouble. I don't really know the psychological reasons but people tend to skim text on screens, so there's all these extra useability variables when it comes to digital. Sure, I'm applying web design versus print design rules, but it's the same between Kindle/iPhone screens and books.

For myself, I've read the book on my Kindle app on my ipad (which is about the same size for a book page) but I don't feel like I've processed it. It's hard to explain, but I feel like I've basically skimmed over the whole novel and haven't properly digested it as I would have if I sat down with a physical copy. I'm hoping that publishers (or whoever decides these kind of things) still keep in mind that despite the seemingly simple issue, it's really not and they won't just reduce it to a matter of cost and convenience to rule one out.

As for the researching and rereading part, I actually think having a physical book is better for that - nothing quites beats being able to flip between the index or map with ease. Despite the convenience of being able to slip the entire tomb into my jean pocket, I just don't think any fan could go past having the book on their desk.

Anyway, that's just my 5c. I am extremely pleased to hear that you'll be releasing the short stories as well! Pleased is a bit of an understatement because I was gibbering in joy.

And thank you, Annette for explaining that! I went back to read it and it makes a lot more sense if Tarens already knew the farm was lost regardless.

   By Annette on Sunday, November 27, 2011 - 07:39 am: Edit Post

Personally I think nothing can compare to curling up to enjoy a real book. I have not gone in for any of the little hand held devices, mainly for cost reasons, but I do not think it would ever be the same. Definitely cannot curl up with my PC and it makes too much noise anyway. Now I have never actually been bothered to look for a passage in a book before the WoLaS books, but for so many clues I might want to hunt up, no matter how many notes I take I can never find what I am looking for in the real books, the digital ones I can just search and the PC does all the hard work for me. Even if I am not sure what exactly I am looking for I have a fair chance of finding it in a digital version. Now if one of the popular digital formats would just let us put all the books in one folder and search the lot at the same time it would be perfect.

   By bradly wyn on Friday, December 02, 2011 - 07:24 pm: Edit Post


The biggest disconnect I had to start the book was that characters kept talking about Arithon being betrayed at the same time they were making references to Athir, and making it seem like what happened with his daughter lead directly to the betrayal.

I finally felt better when the small mention about the wedding was made so I didn't feel like I was completely insane, but it wasn't very clear to me why people were so pissed about Athir. (Some of this is likely that I didn't end up rereading Stormed Fortress like I try to do before a new book comes out, it's probably been 2 years since I have).

I also was annoyed by the conflict that characters seem to have between each other and wanting to punch each other out. I know it's been there in the books previously but for some reason I just couldn't get past it this book.

Not to be completely negative, I did enjoy that Asandir now has an immortal mount, Dakar as usual, Havish playing a pivotal role in Athera for a change, Tarens channeling Jieret, and Seshkrozchiel completely destroying that inn and Davien's conversation with Dakar.

Can't wait for Morriel to finally bite it next book. The evil witch.

   By Annette on Saturday, December 03, 2011 - 01:32 am: Edit Post


I think what happened to Teylia was a direct consequence of the oath of debt rather than the other way around. Without the oath of debt to the Koriathain Teylia could have still freed Arithon, but perhaps she would not have joined the order, or died in Arithons place. Not absolutely sure about the hostage situation, but without the oath of debt what grounds would Selidie/Morriel have had to ask for a hostage?

I thought the consequences of Athir were important, the price of that oath of debt was after all the Fellowships vow of noninterference that resulted in Teylia's death, could still result in Arithon's death and seems to have given Selidie/Morriel enough freedom to break the compact the way she is going. Considering it was the Sorcerer's who apparently arranged such a horrific imprisonment in order to save Athera, it did seem a bit of a betrayal that they would then allow Selidie to kill Arithon. But the oath of debt had to be paid, so the Fellowship cannot help Arithon.

It will be interesting to see in Destiny's Conflict just how Selidie/Morriel managed to get her hands on Arithon in the first place. I find it hard to believe Eriegal would have handed him over to the Koriathain. Now I could believe Bransian s’Brydion would fall for yet another Koriani plot. Maybe Eriegal betrayed Arithon thinking he was handing him over to the s’Brydion.

   By Nurgle on Monday, December 05, 2011 - 07:58 am: Edit Post

after lurking for many years time to post :-)

Thoroughly enjoyed this volume having sat out in the glorious sun downunder tanning and reading!

Poor Arithon when he gets to reflect on his life one day is sure going to be sick of all the running he has had to do. The new Dakar was fun to read about.. his effort to thwart Seldie at the end was most amusing, but we need more boozing and whoring from him, hopefully he hasnt lost all the fun that is Dakar!

A re read is a must on this one to pick up snippets im sure i missed on the first read, and hopefully we arent left waiting too long for the next book.

In a time where fantasy authors with vision and story telling skills are sorely lacking, its great to see Jannys works still hold true.

   By Kam on Tuesday, December 06, 2011 - 11:48 pm: Edit Post

Boozing and whoring Dakar? @_@ I hope not; not because I have anything against how he was but I felt that Dakar's vices was a result of his irresponsibility and cowardice. The joy of reading this series is watching how the characters grow and Dakar is my absolute favorite character because of this. How far he has come from the bumbling selfish man in /Curse/!

There's a quote by Davien to this line, something about even though it may need 500 years to shape Dakar, he'll achieve the stability and endurance of diamond - which is my favourite quote in this book, despite it being of seeming non-importance. We are in the process of watching a raw gem be transformed!

Dakar tackle the Koriathan straight on did my heart no end of joy; can you imagine this silly fat prophet doing such a thing 250 years ago? 500 years ago?

I do not think Dakar will ever go back to that boozing, whoring child that he used to be - at least, I hope not - his shifting away from that aspect of himself and growing up, becoming wise, that change is too valuable and beautiful. I'd be more upset to see all his hard earned experience wiped away.

Although I note that Dakar in /Fortress/ is very different from the Dakar in /Curse/, but not much different from the Dakar in /Trial/ - which makes me wonder what has he been doing in the last 250 years... it seems Arithon is the catalyst for Dakar's change, so without him, Dakar's progression just halts.

   By Annette on Wednesday, December 07, 2011 - 02:39 am: Edit Post


Dakar's personality and habits might not have changed much from Stormed Fortress, but his knowledge, power and confidence sure took a big leap forward. Davien's prediction was a thousand years to mold him, till he achieved the stability of diamond. Dakar has so far taken 850 years, so presumably there is a bit more polishing before he really shines.

I think Lysaer might get a chance to add something to that polishing next. Lysaer certainly has lots of polish, finesse and tact to spare, and a silver tongue to go with it, Dakar could do with a bit of that rubbing of on him. Dakar's head on approach in the inn when he was trying to keep Lysaer from doing anything stupid certainly went wrong. Much like his attempt to save Arithon from falling to the curse at Riverton, barges in and says the wrong thing. Some things Dakar has not learned yet.

Lysaer's comment "My trials won’t stand your mage-sighted conscience stumbling about underfoot" got a chuckle from me. Lysaer seems to have summed up the problem of having Dakar tagging along trying to save him.

   By Maggie on Tuesday, December 13, 2011 - 10:14 pm: Edit Post

I have a question about people's names. So Janny, if you would be so kind, I'm Asking. For townborn, is there a traditional way that names get passed down from generation to generation? I couldn't see many links, but names in the same family tend to sound and/or look similar to me. Some families more than others... Which is leading me to some conclusions that are probably wildly out in left field.


   By Annette on Wednesday, December 14, 2011 - 04:18 pm: Edit Post

Maybe we need to narrow the question down a bit for Janny to reply.

Which town born names did you think looked or sounded similar Maggie? I have noticed some similar looking names amongst the clan families usually a male and female, cannot think of a similar thing amongst the few town names we have though. Closest I remember was Jinesse's twins Fiark and Feylind.

   By Janny Wurts on Thursday, December 15, 2011 - 10:19 am: Edit Post

Maggie, You Asked.

The townborn names differ from the Paravian names for many reasons, and there will be differences within the town 'system' - for these reasons.

Originally, at the time of settlement, there would have been many names, from many people of MANY backgrounds and cultures - a grab bag of groups that fled the great war (interstellar empire).

When the Fellowship gave surety and swore them into the compact, they would have 'dropped out' all extra names/surnames/anything that connected them to their prior setting - and settled on ONE name for each individual/tagged to a family name 'sen' to delineate a family grouping.

This system loosely stuck - with 'sen' and a parent's name taken to denote a family group - and with time, all the various other names would have evolved or morphed - as names do, over centuries.

The clanborn took Paravian names because they had to deal with Paravians and became fluent in that language. The townborn Sen was not used - s' - became the Paravian version, and it was usually only applied to families of PROVEN lineage to interact with the Paravian races.

Some townborn names may have had origins with Earth based languages...evolved over time to an Atheran derivative.

I hope this explains your question.

   By Maggie on Monday, December 19, 2011 - 08:36 pm: Edit Post

Yes, I think it does... Now to go back and look carefully... Thanks!

   By Annette on Tuesday, December 20, 2011 - 07:16 pm: Edit Post

Janny I have a question about the clanborn Names. If before the rebellion the clans tested their offspring's birth gifts by exposing them to a Paravian presence, should not most of the clanborn have a family name? We meet many characters in the books without ever knowing their Names, is it for the story we only learn some Names and clan lineages, or is there another reason why there seems so few Named lineages in the clans. There could not be that many new lineages since the rebellion, cannot imagine too many townborn wanting to join the clans, even if they did have talent.

   By Jeff on Sunday, December 25, 2011 - 10:39 am: Edit Post

Merry Christmas, Janny and fellow readers!

I received Initiate's Trial the week after Thanksgiving and enjoyed it.

I've read this book slower than I usually do for a first read to avoid missing details. Of course, I'm sure I've only skimmed the surface.

I'll contribute to the discussion once the holiday rush has slowed and I've caught up on the spoiler topics.

   By Dorothy on Sunday, December 25, 2011 - 03:29 pm: Edit Post

Merry Christmas to all! Best wishes for a Happy New Year.

   By Sleo on Sunday, December 25, 2011 - 03:30 pm: Edit Post

Merry Christmas to all from Connecticut, USA!

   By Chana on Saturday, January 07, 2012 - 11:15 pm: Edit Post

I have a question about Elaira and the Biedar:
Why did Elaira refuse to be freed from her oath to the order when it was offered?
I figured she would jump at such an opportunity.
And what is going on with her crystal?

   By David Gardner on Monday, January 09, 2012 - 12:58 am: Edit Post

I'm not Janny, and sometimes my recollection is a bit fuzzy, but I'll answer anyway:
It's not that she doesn't want to be freed, it's that because her crystal chooses of its own free will to serve the Order Elaira doesn't want it to suffer the "consequences" that the freeing would result in.

   By Janny Wurts on Monday, January 09, 2012 - 10:38 am: Edit Post

Chana - you asked.


The reason Elaira did not accept was because her personal crystal WOULD HAVE BECOME DESTROYED.

It chose to serve HER, and chose to return to the Koriani Order - there is an UNKNOWN reason for this - that not even Sethvir can fathom.

Elaira chose to honor its BEING and its free choice - not to betray that loyalty, that was given to her in trust, even though this is a mineral being, she has become advanced enough in awareness (from her time with Ath's Adepts) to honor its living consciousness. If the crystal that houses that INDIVIDUAL consciousness shatters, it could express in Athera, and no one knows what untold consequence that might have.

   By Chana on Monday, January 09, 2012 - 10:54 pm: Edit Post

Thank you for answering my question. It's much clearer to me now.

Okay, since I think I understand the story a little better I feel (somewhat) qualified to voice an opinion: I think Elaira's priorities are a little mixed up - Arithon's safety versus a mineral's existance? Yes, I know the crystal is supposedly loyal to her, but if she were freed from her oath it could only have a positive effect, regardless of a mineral's wellbeing. And what difference does it make if Selidie acts outside of the compact anyway?
I don't know - maybe i'm not open minded enough to get the whole concept of inanimate objects having free will.

I just want Elaira out from under the prime's will - this heartache thing is getting old (250 years old to be precise).
Anyways thanks again! My heartstrings are definitely getting a workout :-)

   By Annette on Tuesday, January 10, 2012 - 05:31 am: Edit Post


Since the crystal would have had some reason for it's decision, probably betraying that trust would not have a positive effect. Also having studied under Ath's adepts and learnt the importance of the Law of the Major Balance and how all forms of consciousness are equally as important, it would seem Elaira would be the last person to sacrifice one loyal to her in order to gain her freedom from her Koriani oath. Being free of her oath would not guarantee Arithon's safety anyway, she would still not be able to help him.

When Elaira was undergoing crystal resonance realignment for her longevity (before it was erased by Luhaine) Elaira seemed to be both reliving her past, and living through future events, which she could not remember on waking. Perhaps the crystal knows Elaira's future and that she needs to remain Koriani in order to get what she wants. Elaira seems to be more capable of standing up for her rights now anyway, so might start giving Selidie a bit more competition.

Better get those heartstrings toughened up a bit Chana, Janny will be really playing the heartstrings with Destiny's Conflict.

   By tony on Sunday, January 22, 2012 - 08:44 pm: Edit Post

Okay, one comment, one question.

Comment - Long time reader, obsolutely love this series, and have been with it from nearly the beginning. The story is great, and Janny, your writing is fantastic.

Question - sorry for this, but I seem to be the only one lost. I've read through all the spoiler threads, and have seen maybe 2 other people question this, but with no clear answer.

What happened to result in Arithon's captivity, and what does it have to do with Athir? (okay, call it a 2-part question).

Characters refer to the events at Athir, and Dakar swearing oath of debt on behalf of the Crown at that time. I did not see this in my copy of Stormed Fortress, or I completely missed it.

Also, Arithon was seemingly remanded into Korathain custody at Jeynsa's wedding. Do we have any idea how or why? And how does that implicate the Oath of Debt Dakar apparently swore, and how does that result in the F7 not assisting the sanctioned Crown Prince of Rathain, either during his captivity or after?

Loved the book. Thoroughly enjoyed reading it. However, having some serious problems with this issue - kept looking for an explanation, and can't find one.


   By Nikki Hayes on Sunday, January 22, 2012 - 10:54 pm: Edit Post

@tony - I can answer one of those questions for you, the events at Athir took place at the very end of Stormed Fortress. After Elaira, Dakar, Glendien and Parrien escaped with Arithon by boat following the siege at Alestron, they landed at Athir and that is where Elaira spirit walked and put her consciousness into Glendien's body to try and bring Arithon back from where his consciousness was drifting, she asked Dakar to swear oath of debt to the CROWN of Rathain rather than Arithon personally as she had to use some of her order's knowledge in the process. At the crux, she was helped by the Biedar tribes to recall Arithon and their lovemaking resulted in Glendien being pregnant, Arithon knew nothing about this and still doesn't. Stormed Fortress ended when Arithon and Elaira sailed on his ship and Dakar returned to Asandir's service.

The captivity of Arithon is something that happened some time after the end of Stormed Fortress, in that huge period of around 250 years that is completely missing from Initiate's trial, Janny said previously that there will not be any further information about what happened until the next novel.

The 250 year gap annoyed me as well, for the first time it felt unsatisfying to read one of Janny's books. There have been time skips previously in the series, ranging from weeks to a few years, but we knew what (if anything) happened during those periods and it didn't involve almost all the old characters having been killed off by a massive time jump. The book is good in itself but I would have far preferred it to continue in a linear fashion rather than the snippets of information recalled by various people such as Dakar and Elaira about how Arithon came to be captured. Just a prologue explaining the events leading to his capture would have sufficed.

   By tony on Sunday, January 22, 2012 - 11:29 pm: Edit Post

@Nikki - thanks for answering. Since my post, I'd been scouring the end of SF (quite a bit, since it's a good read). With your prompting to the right spot, I did find that section. So perhaps my memory is going.

However, I don't see how that leads to what we got in Initiate's Trial. I suppose, if Janny says we won't get more until the next book, I'll remain completely confused until the next book is released. It doesn't help that the references to Athir seem to imply (to me, anyway) that people think it's Dakar's fault. He did what was requested by Elaira - he even specifically told her he couldn't tell if there would be problems.

But, again, thanks for answering. I appreciate it.

If anyone else has something else that can perhaps help straighten me out, I'd be grateful.

   By Annette on Monday, January 23, 2012 - 01:07 am: Edit Post

I believe Dakar got the blame for the oath of debt, because if he had not rashly made that sly deal with Glendien, Elaira would not have reacted as she did. Dakar did not act as Arithon's friend making that deal. I also did not really see how that could have worked differently though, since Elaira would have still needed to use Koriani knowledge, maybe it was that the debt was against Rathain that made the difference and involved the Fellowship, rather than a personal debt. It would seem if Dakar had not sworn oath of debt Teylia would have still become Koriani, but would not have had to die in order to save Arithon.

As to the big jump in time, Arithon and Elaira were sort of on hold, Dakar was being a good apprentice and we can work out what Lysaer was doing so better to jump forward to where something significant happened with the main characters. And leave us hanging in suspense for the revelation of how Arithon finally got caught in the next book, we find out when Arithon does. Presumably we get to read about the past event before Janny puts Arithon through the wringer again in the present. From what we got in the previous books, I am curious to see if Sevrand survived to lead a happy life with Jeynsa, there was a hint in Stormed Fortress he might not, which could explain why all the current s'Valerient's we know of come from Barach's lineage.

   By Chana on Monday, January 23, 2012 - 12:37 pm: Edit Post

Re the time jump:
I feel obligated to acknowledge the brilliance of this arc's setup: we the readers got to experience exactly what Arithon was going through - memory loss. Neither of us had any idea what was going on. One of the many things I appreciate in Janny's writing is her ability to make me feel -physically- what her characters feel. Did anyone else get dizzy or nauseous the last time Dakar was completely drunk?And how about during that iyat storm in Traiter's Knot? Who took a nap after reading about Arithon's exhaustion?
Nikki - if you're annoyed because you don't know exactly what happened between books....imagine how Arithon must feel! He doesn't know anything and people are still trying to kill him. I think we'll all find out exactly what happened as Arithon does.
Janny - Initiate's Trial was an amazing read!! Kudos on a brilliant plot and unbelievably vivid characters.

   By tony on Monday, January 23, 2012 - 07:55 pm: Edit Post

@ Annette - thank you for responding.

I think Dakar got a bad rap, personally. I mean, they had limited options there - sit, wait and do nothing; let Glendian act on her own; do what they did - which was at Elaira's suggestion; do something else. Nobody had any others ideas for the "anything else", so I don't think that's an option.

I guess what's really confusing me is how an oath of Debt owed to the Koriani by the Crown can come to infringe on Arithon's PERSONAL freedom - his freedom from imprisonment, and his freedom to live. Seems somewhat counter to the LotMB, to me.

Re the time jump - I don't mind the jump, per se. I understand this series spans at least 500 years, and we're not going to see every day of that time (that would obviously be unworkable). And I might have been okay with, as Chana suggests, learning as Arithon does, in essence. Except for that fact that we spend time with Asandir, and Sethvir, Elaira, and with the clans of Rathain, etc., and we learn information that Arithon doesn't know. But what we learn is just enough to tell us something significant - and at odds with how SF ended and with (my personal) understanding of the LotMB - occurred, but not what it was, barely when, and certainly not how or why.

It just - leaves me wanting.

   By Annette on Tuesday, January 24, 2012 - 12:14 am: Edit Post

But the oath to the crown never had any effect on Arithon's freedom, Selidie used it to prevent the Fellowship from interfering and protecting him, since she maintained she had the right to kill him. She was only interested in keeping Arithon alive if she could use his life as the leverage to get the Koriani released from the compact. Arithon was imprisoned the usual way, betrayal, brute force and Selidie seems to have used his love for Elaira against him, by threatening her life. What else happened remains to be seen. Arithon I would think had to agree to something there, or since Elaira had his permission to act on his behalf, maybe she did to save him. I think it likely Arithon was willing to die though, and Dakar and the Fellowship sold him out. Arithon had sworn oath to survive no matter the cost though, so Dakar would have been in the right acting on behalf of the Fellowship there. Arithon was needed to deal with Marak's wraiths, and at least while he was alive there was hope of getting him back once he had finished the job. Although it seems strange it only took 250 odd years to redeem 2 planets worth of wraiths. It is mentioned in IT that there were millions of them, so Arithon must have been very busy.

   By tony on Tuesday, January 24, 2012 - 08:06 pm: Edit Post

But part of my problem is, we don't know how he was imprisoned. Sure, it seems like there was a betrayal, but by whom we don't know, although the suspects seem to be Dakar and/or Eriegal (sp?).

And here's my problem . .even if captured, Arithon would have the right to request Fellowship assistance - any clansman would, if I understand correctly, and Arithon, as Crown Prince, moreso. As you point our, Dakar should have had the right to do so on his behalf, and Elaira as well, along with - probably - the Cathdein of Rathain.

I fail to see how Selidie could use an Oath of Debt against the Crown to prevent assistance to a Crown Prince.

"We have him, we're going to kill him"
"F7, assist me/him in getting free"
"You can't do that, the Crown owes me!"
"Oh, okay, since the Crown owes you, we'll let you kill this individual in direct contravention of his personal will and freedom"

I don't see it.

Yes, some deal was struck where the Koriani wouldn't kill him until the wraiths were dealt with, but unless Arithon agreed to captivity - and death - I don't see how the Oath owed by the Crown would prevent assistance.

And I don't think Arithon COULD have agreed to be killed under any circumstances - the blood oath he swore to Asandir would prevent it, no?

   By Sleo on Tuesday, January 24, 2012 - 08:57 pm: Edit Post

Tony - if you read the scene at Athir very carefully, you can see where Dakar left out important bits in the guards set around Elaira, Glendein, and Arithon while the awakening went on. Thus, Dakar was at fault. While we are not yet privy to the whole thing, there are bits and pieces to piece together:

Dakar is the fall guy because the F7 need him to interfere with the Koriani to protect Arithon and to protect Athera. They cannot interfere at all because of Asandir's oath to Selidie. The whole thing is a sham to allow Arithon to get free of the imprisonment before Selidie finds out what's going on. He falls into the role because of his own guilt. Eriegal was the betrayer at Jeynsa's wedding - if you recall way back in Peril's Gate, he was the one 'Companion' who couldn't forgive Arithon for the loss of his family at Tal Quorin. A bit of the wedding scene is revealed to us in IT - Dakar whispers, 'He wouldn't let me interfere' referring to Arithon, who apparently went willingly into captivity to save Elaira. He also gave her all memories to hold of their relationship (rather unchivalrously IMO).

While I felt some frustration at not being given all of the intervening events, enough was dribbled out in clues, like bread crumbs, to satisfy me and be content that it will all be given to us in good time.

I don't understand Dakar's fear of facing Arithon, however, because a)Arithon has never been overly angry with him even when he might have been, like after Dakar's betrayal at the armory at Alestron back in Ships of Merior. Also because Arithon wouldn't LET Dakar interfere or do anything to keep him from being taken.

I'm not sure I understand your question about his captivity being in violation of the LotMB. Since when has Selidie ever been concerned about that or even obeyed it? She is only interested in breaking the compact with the Paravians and doesn't give two hoots about Athera.

I'm not sure Arithon agreed to be killed; only to be held in captivity. But you have a point there, if he did agree.

At any rate, I'm sure it will all come out in the wash. :-)

   By David Cornelson on Wednesday, January 25, 2012 - 03:12 pm: Edit Post

So I finished the second, slow read of Initiate's Trial. As is almost always the case with a well-written book, I enjoyed it much more the second time. There are really tightly written parts of the book where Janny sneaks in interesting tidbits that are almost entirely out of context. Such as, when Arithon is kind to the stallion, what does this restore and why?

There are several little one sentence statements like that which are easily missed on a fast read.

But more than anything, you just get a broader vision of the story the second time around. I was able to see the land, the people, and the action much more clearly this time.

Great book....Stormed Fortress is still the best of the series, but Initiate's Trial is excellent in its own right.

Looking forward to the next book...

David C.

   By Janny Wurts on Thursday, January 26, 2012 - 09:58 am: Edit Post

There are days :-) when I pull my hair - so many layers. Readers have not discovered them all, not yet....;)

   By Annette on Friday, January 27, 2012 - 07:23 am: Edit Post


I suppose Arithon was originally kind to the stallion and left oats for him because he likes horses and naturally wants to help anyone suffering. That kindness ended up restoring Alithiel into Arithon's possession, as well as giving the stallion some much needed attention and love after he had been abandoned and left to fend for himself. Janny was distracting me though, I might have missed something. I kept wondering what the connection was between Arithon and the stallion, and wondering if Arithon will be getting similar attention when he is free to put Alithiel aside. The vision we saw of his heart's desire did seem to indicate he would.

Earlier when Khadrien had been watching over Esfand we saw three different visions showing horses. Lysaer whipping his flagging horse, the stallion who had willingly sacrificed himself for Asandir, and the exhausted chariot team that Arithon was determined would not be run to their deaths. There was no doubt a point to showing the three different angles, but if Lysaer gets reincarnated as a horse in his next life it will only be fair.

The passage with the horses also had the comment "Chariot horses are schooled in matched teams", which might crop up later with a different angle and meaning. Dharkaron's is a team of five though, and Arithon changing the colour of the team to black hinted at that. Ithamon has five towers when restored, Paravia has five kingdoms, and there are 4 sets of linked worlds and Athera. Might be a connection in there somewhere.

Also I was suspicious Janny might be hinting that a human lineage that had agreed to be in service to fellowship needs might have the last of its line meet a similar fate to the stallions. But then I have been suspicious of Arithon and his destiny for some time. And certainly Janny aided and abetted my suspicions in Initiate's Trial, but still I am in the dark. The light will no doubt dawn in Song of the Mysteries, where hopefully the mysteries of Ath, An, Alt and creation get explained, along with those mysterious Paravians.

   By HJ on Tuesday, January 31, 2012 - 04:45 pm: Edit Post

Just finished the book. Haven't read anyone else's comments, though I will try to find time to very soon. These thoughts are purely mine.

You said it would deliver, Janny, and it does! Fantastic new characters; a new slant on Arithon's plight - knowing that he's fighting for survival but not yet sure why; new challenges for old characters; the ongoing set of rules for the lives of ordinary folk, now more severely enforced than ever. The bit I've enjoyed most is the re-emergence of Lysaer's character; how hard he's tried to leave the past in the past and simply be a just ruler. The tantalising view you get of him had he not been abandoned as a child and cursed in his formative, first adult years.

I never thought I'd type this but I have loved reading about the real, mature, human Lysaer and it goves me much hope that somehow he will achieve redemption and be rid of the curse, finally.

Of course, I've adored reading about Arithon too. Loved the last passage with the hint of the hand taking hold of the sword carried by the black stallion. Here we go - come on!!!

Wow, Janny. Quick as you like with the next one!!

x x x HJ x x x

   By Janny Wurts on Wednesday, February 08, 2012 - 09:50 am: Edit Post

Hi HJ - great to see you here, and thanks for the snippets of feedback. First books in an arc can be FRUSTRATING, mostly because they are set up for the really juicy stuff that converges into the finale. It really is nice to see so many patient readers here who are looking at the nuance that will ignite the explosion to come.

Posts like these reward the sustained effort in ways perhaps you may never know. Thanks! :-)

   By HJ on Thursday, February 09, 2012 - 04:26 pm: Edit Post

Awww Janny, keep at it, what you do is unbelievable. I soak it all up! Can't see where the story is going but loving the ride. I've been loving these books for 15 years; the joy of having a brand new one in my hands is indescribable.

New arc, new twists and turns and things I didn't expect but... pure magic!

Thank you back for your kind words. Will try not to leave it so long before I post again. I haven't forgotten about that print - I will ask you about it in earnest one day when I've got a spare few £££

Love H x

   By Walt on Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - 04:00 pm: Edit Post

SPOILERS POSSIBLE as I ramble along...

I couldn't wait for the local stores here in Salt Lake City to get the book, so I checked it out of the Library (as an aside, there was a 10-person que to read Initiat's Trial). Of course, as soon as it shows up at the local Barnes & Noble, I'm getting my copy to start marking and tagging.

As to the 250 year leap, I found that I liked how the bits and pieces were revealed even as Arithon had his own memory revealed - in fits and starts with a whole lot left to go!

Terans wins hands-down as my favorite new character, with the Light's dedicate Commander my new love-to-hate irksome target.

Now I'm chomping at the bit in anticipation for what will happen in Havish after the tragic sacrifice of the king. Will Arithon remove his carcass fast enough for the Fellowship to adequately step in and salvage the Havish/Tyson border? Will Luhaine's sacrifice be the spark to turn Davien around? We still have a rampant unicorn on an unnamed beach trying to disembowel our favorite Masterbard... Oh the agony!

   By Julie on Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - 05:48 pm: Edit Post

Hi Walt:

I'm with you- Tarens is my favorite new character although Daliana runs a close second. Would love to see her and Elaira team up! Davien will not be able to help Arithon directly but it could get interesting if he hangs out with Lysaer!

   By Annette on Tuesday, February 14, 2012 - 06:55 pm: Edit Post

Davien has not precisely been a team player so far, are we even sure he would honour the Oath of Debt that binds the other Fellowship Sorcerers? He is free of Seshkrozchiel for a while, so if he does not fall in line with what the other Fellowship members have agreed to, he would have free reign to meddle as he saw fit.

I would suspect like with the Grey Kralovir, Davien will be in on whatever Arithon schemes up to free Lysaer. So either Davien does not consider himself part of the Fellowship, someone does away with Selidie, Selide gets her chance to kill Arithon before the True Sect have their go at it (ladies first) or something else is going to happen that frees the Fellowship from the agreement not to interfere with Selidie being free to determine Arithon's fate. Not that Arithon is likely to ask for the Fellowship's help anyway. Like with the necromancer problem, I would think Arithon is more likely to let the Fellowship worry thinking they lost him.

I would suspect Davien will not be getting in contact with Lysaer, he is more likely going to be conspiring with the Biedar or keeping an eye on Selidie and her plots. Since Luhaine took Davien's place with Seshkrozchiel, would only be fair Davien kept an eye on the Koriathain for Luhaine.

   By Janny Wurts on Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - 10:35 am: Edit Post

Walt: please don't wait to see when B&N will shelve the book on their own. I had been so alarmed that no one had reported a sighting, I stopped by B&N on Friday - the NEW book was not on the shelf, but only listed in the warehouse....the customer service told me B&N has gotten - erm - stingy? - about shelving books now that they are shifting their emphasis toward the Nook.

I inquired very politely - how would readers and collectors who shop in stores even know the book existed? And the customer rep changed the setting to bring in some copies.

PLEASE don't wait for the book to arrive - go in and get them to order it. They WILL drop ship it to your home, and if you make a purchase over 25 bucks, the shipping is FREE. I do this all the time with pre orders and books not being on the shelf - it helps bring those authors to attention of the chain.

Meantime thanks for using your local library and how heartening that there is a waiting list!

   By Chana on Thursday, February 16, 2012 - 06:17 pm: Edit Post

I finally convinced my friends to start reading. One is in the middle of CoTM. Another is already up to Fugitive Prince! It is fascinating to watch them read and to remember the story's development from the earlier books. One of them said to me today, "Yes, Lysaer is cursed and doing cruel things, but he really was all right....until he smashed Arithon's Lyranthe." ;) I told her that she's hopelessly behind the times. 250 years behind, to be precise.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE Daliana!!! She is so human. She is by far my favorite new character. Can't wait to read more of her. I'm also really curious to find out how Lysaer got to be so reasonable and aware. He seems to have really changed in the last 200 years... Was it simply Arithon's confinement that lessened the curse's hold on him? or did something happen to him? Maybe Sulfin Evend somehow got through to him before he died. Any Ideas?

   By Janny Wurts on Thursday, February 16, 2012 - 07:28 pm: Edit Post

Chana - your first post? Welcome here!

   By Walt on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - 03:21 pm: Edit Post

I'm rather dissapointed in B&N for NOT having the Initiate's Trial on the shelf. They did have HoV and FP... I think this is a symptom of the closure of national competitors (Borders) and stores like B&N focussing more on their online/Kindle/Nook/whatever rather than good, solid, real bound paper! The good news: I pick up my hard cover copy of IT tonight (if I can beat the snow storm)!

   By Janny Wurts on Wednesday, February 29, 2012 - 03:25 pm: Edit Post

Thank you, Walt!

My B&N has the whole set of books in paperback on the shelf, just not the new one. Perhaps the showing of two books is just a restock issue? Hopefully!

May the snow treat you kindly!

   By Tamas on Thursday, March 01, 2012 - 05:25 pm: Edit Post

As with others, wanted to say thank you and that I really enjoyed it! Although, also as with others, I really wish I knew precisely why happened 250 years ago!

   By Janny Wurts on Friday, March 02, 2012 - 10:39 am: Edit Post

Hi Tamas, thanks for the nice for the structure, grin - heh - I had my reasons. You will find out all in due time, at the moment when it packs the most punch.

Of course.

Meantime, :-) - there is a lot of wailing over this time gap and this 'apparent' hanging thread....keep wailing, ye chorus.

It's Amusing to the author, who realizes you are all forced to take this step by step, where I know where all the pieces landed, will land, and how it's gonna play.

The next book should put lots of you agonized folks out of your misery; and set you up (wicked laugh) to wail some more over Other Stuff.

(While the author: takes aim at the silence that is surely destined fall after Song of the Mysteries). Oh, except for the wailing chorus of those who Don't want the series to End....;)

   By Annette on Friday, March 02, 2012 - 06:55 pm: Edit Post

No silence after the end, we will be wailing probably about those clues you left scattered all over the place that we never saw. And there is still all the artwork you could not fully explain till after we knew everyone's fate. And probably a few small grumbles for the interesting characters and events we never got to see more of, and are still hoping might turn up one day in a short story. :-)

   By Auna on Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - 06:06 am: Edit Post

Well, been a long while since I posted here or even looked at it - the wait became too much and I dove into other things for a while.

My feedback:

Janny, you are a wicked wicked woman to torture us so - I feel you are like a contented cat sitting with that smirkish grin, tail twitching, while batting the poor reader mouse from side to side. :-)

I want to rip my hair in frustration at what the heck went wrong exactly with Dakar's oath since nobody seemed to bat an eye at the time. Now suddenly he's the fall guy? And we go from entire story arcs of Arithon escaping capture and then BAM! when we blink our eyes he's in captivity and dire straights without even a paragraph, let alone a long chase.

I realize this will be revealed likely when Arithon recovers his memory but the feeling of 'did I miss something?' kind of spoiled the enjoyment of the story in some ways. It might have helped if I reread the last book first because I swore the last book ended victoriously and then this book says nope, hence the confusion.

I love the new characters, especially Dalianna. I knew Lysaer would be moving forward from what happened last book but it was so awesome to see the possibility that he might be able to truly love someone again and forgive himself for his past. Gah I want people to talk about how he can get rid of the curse and lets go for it!

Poor Arithon took a step backwards which was sad but how else do you handle such a powerful creature when he's at full capacity? It's a shame because I enjoy him most when he is whole, though I appreciate the PTSD he has about imprisonment. It will of course be interesting to see how he regains his memory and what effects losing it has on his wholeness he had after Kewar.

Things I cannot wait to see - Davian! Oh I love this guy, he's so unpredictable... will he step in and help or will the Fellowship be one less sorcerer in doing their tasks? The drake might just spit Luhain out too haha!

I also can't wait to see the conversation when Lysaer awakes and faces Dalianna :-)

I'm also curious about the horse of all things.

Finally, I can't wait to see what Elaira does next and if she speaks to Sethvir or absorbs even more knowledge to add to her collection of annoy Seledie tools.

Overall a very good read. I'll definitely have to reread it again as usual to catch things missed. Can't wait for part 2.

   By Sleo on Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - 08:08 am: Edit Post

@Auna - If you read the scene at Athir VERY CAREFULLY, you will find the flaw.

   By tony on Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - 09:26 pm: Edit Post

@Sleo - please, PLEASE . . .give a hint here???

   By Sleo on Tuesday, March 06, 2012 - 11:43 pm: Edit Post

Read the way they set up the wards. Dakar in particular was so anxious to set things up so that the Koriani didn't get the child that he left out Arithon.

   By Annette on Wednesday, March 07, 2012 - 05:21 am: Edit Post

I thought the mistake was swearing the Oath of Debt against Rathain's Crown, which would involve the Fellowship if Selidie tried anything. Without the Oath of Debt the Fellowship could have intervened once Arithon was free, and Teylia would not have had to die in order to save Arithon. If anyone's free will seemed to have been compromised maybe it was the Fellowship's. Dakar seemed to have overstepped his authority to act on their behalf a bit, I doubt they would have agreed to be compromised like that. So maybe Dakar did forget to ask permission from everyone.

Dakar got Elaira's back up in the first place with his secretive deal with Glendien, which was not in Arithon's best interests. Dakar was not doing that in order to save Arithon, he was doing it to gain the Fellowship a heir for Rathain, which Arithon had mentioned he did not want to give the Fellowship. In the end Arithon's free will did not seem compromised, Elaira had Arithon's permission to act on his behalf, and the topic of Oath's of Debt to her order had come up before. He had already said he would agree to it if it became necessary. And the Biedar made sure the Fellowship gave up their claim on the child before she was even conceived.

Elaira specifically asked for the Oath of Debt to be sworn against Rathain's crown, Dakar was not to use Arithon's Name. I did not see what else he could have done to avoid it. If Dakar had not made the deal to sell Arithon out in the first place, and had not pressured Elaira to make a decision maybe Elaira would have worded things differently, maybe not. Elaira seemed to think it was necessary to involve the Fellowship.