Archive through March 22, 2005

Janny Wurts Chat Area: Arc 3: Alliance of Light: Fugitive Prince, Grand Conspiracy; Peril's Gate & Traitor's Knot: Traitors Knot Discussions: Spoiler Topics: Not entirely convinced: Archive through March 22, 2005
   By Selene on Monday, March 21, 2005 - 10:48 am: Edit Post


Well, I just finished reading Traitor's Knot so now I've plunged into this section :-) Generally, I agree with Hellcat. Although I thoroughly enjoyed some parts of this book, overall it came across as slow and it seemed to me that it didn't actually accomplish much. As someone said above, it felt as if it took longer to actually get somewhere than it did in most of the previous books.

Overall, I enjoyed the chapters with Lysaer's faction infinitely more than Arithon's. Like many of you have said, Sulfin Evend's development was very interesting, and I liked how he fought the necromancers. When Arithon's involved, I feel like I know he'll always end up thinking about some very clever solution that we'll find out about just at the end (didn't stop me from thoroughly enjoying the final section though, which was one of my favorites :-)). Sulfin Evend and Lysaer have to struggle more, if that makes sense, and can't count on the same power that Arithon has at his disposal. I also liked the Kevor/Ellaine/Lysaer reunion. In short, there was no section about Lysaer's gang that I didn't thoroughly enjoy.

On Arithon's part, yes he changed, and we get to see how his friends discover that, but it felt like much of the same. Fionn had seemed to come around a bit in the last book (at least, that's how I interpreted it), so his step back was a bit irritating. The whole iyat sequence didn't particularly interest me either, and that took up lots of time. I had looked forward to the encounter with Jeynsa, so that was nice, although it left off in the middle.

The main plot lines seem to remain where they are, to make space for this necromancer subplot, which, I have to say, I didn't enjoy all that much. We didn't really get to see any POV of the "bad guys", which made them pretty much... well, the "bad guys" :-) And the whole "destroying-the-evil"-concept is always low on my list of what's interesting. So far, the necromancer plot seems mostly an unnecessarily long side-track (albeit with a nice finish). But perhaps this will be tied in more closely in the next installment.

The s'Brydion plot line felt cut-off before it managed to get interesting. I liked Arithon's idea and I think it opened up fascinating possibilities. I'm hoping the s'Brydion will reconsider but the title of the next book doesn't promise well there, and another siege/drawn out war doesn't appeal to me very much. But, this all remains to be seen.

And speaking of plots that seemed cut off before they bloomed, I'd say the same of Elaira and Arithon having a child. Now that would have been an interesting twist!

Well, I think I've rambled enough now, so I'll stop here :-)


   By Trys on Monday, March 21, 2005 - 06:36 pm: Edit Post



necromancer subplot

And yet this "subplot" goes all the way back to when Jeriayish first took blood from Lysaer to use in a scrying, and even further back than that when it was foreshadowed by references to a necromancer's stick and a scar on Asandir's (I think it was him) arm.


   By Hunter on Monday, March 21, 2005 - 10:18 pm: Edit Post


Sethvir has the scar on his body I think..

The necromancer subplot in isolation would be an unnecessary distraction. What gives this subplot the context and necessity in this narrative is the pivotal discourse between Davien and Sethvir where Davien is critical of Sethvir for bringing the necromancers along with the rest of the human refugees at the start of the Third Age. We've never really known Davien's full intentions - only the Fellowship's views which are necessarily only one view point. One of Davien's key issues with the entirety of the Compact was that he viewed it as superceding their original drake charge by putting humans as more important than the Paravians - although the rest of the Fellowship wouldn't admit that.

This then goes back to the original weapon, the destroyer of worlds created by Calum Kincaid and the back history of who the Fellowship were and what they were doing.

If this was a character only story of where Arithon and Lysaer are going to go, then the necromancer subplot is probably an unnecessary diversion. But this narrative is about more than that, Lysaer and Arithon are but two of the lead characters in the sprawling canvas that Janny is using to make her points.

   By Neil on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 03:17 am: Edit Post


Sethvir's scar is referred to in TK (by Davien?). I'd like to know if it is referred to elsewhere :-) Foreshadowing I guess also includes the meeting in the tower in FP.

I suppose that Arithon/F7 have only recently dealt with the Grey Kralovir(?) necromancers. There are others...? Grey Kralovir appears to have been completely eradicated(?) but could be reestablished again if someone starts up all over again? There are other less nasty factions and it seems the F7 "deal" with necromancy where it affects the compact but other necromancy continues (free will)?

Hence Davien's frustration? A recurring threat to man's survival on Athera.

   By Selene on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 03:54 am: Edit Post


Note that I referred to the necromancy plot line as "unnecessarily long" not as "unnecessary" :-)

Yes, I remember reading the references to necromancy earlier in the series, and I always expected them to be there for a purpose.

Hunter--I agree with you that the narrative is about more than what Arithon and Lysaer are going to do.


   By Neil on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 05:02 am: Edit Post

At the risk of overposting in one day...I disagree. I feel that Arithon and Lysaer are the 2 key parts of the story.

They are the only 2 characters mentionned in the prologue + "War of light and shadows" :-)

The necromancy plot line length is perhaps a surprising diversion if in fact it is a temporary diversion...Logically "the light" would be obliged to sort out necromancy too no?

Again are the public really unaware of necromancy - presumably it exists only in the towns and no human group has had the time + ability to root it out during 5000 years?

Slavery is forbidden by the compact but isn't any act of necromancy a kind of slavery? I guess the F7 just can't deal with every single necromancy case and really are in trouble since the mistwraith arrived / paravians left...maybe necromancy bashing is a hobby of the desert people in Shand?

Curious that the only "drake-binding enforced" action lately has been Kharadmon's in TK + Asandir's...perhaps there have been others earlier in the story...and we didn't have the depth to appreciate them. Necromancy in general doesn't seem "serious"...?!?

If the kraloir is not the last/only major necromancy cult around I guess the others are sure gonna steer well clear of Arithon or preemptively attack him in an attempt to avoid future problems?

   By Hunter on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 07:34 am: Edit Post


Neil - I'm surprised that Arithon rates a mention in the Prologue. For me, the prologue is Janny showing that history is written by the victors (and those who came later) and is interpreted and re-interpreted according to the views, biases and ignorances as the years pass. The Prologue states that "if the canons of the religion founded during that time are reliable" - so the history was written by Lysaer's Religion. Given their current views and understanding of the world, I'm not at all surprised that drakes, Paravians, the Fellowship or the clans get a mention.

I think Lysaer only views the necromancers as an impediment to his plans, so any action against them is for his expedience, not any higher moral purpose.

Who would root out necromancy? It is a shadowy underworld cult hiding away from the view and understanding of the general populace. Much like the Religion of Light really, that's why it was able to prosper so easily basically in plain sight. And would your average Atheran burgher really want to deal with necromancy?

My take on the "point" of the entire necromancy plot is that Arithon's experience during his possession by the Kralovir necromancers will play a critical role in the future when he has to deal with the Mistwraith. My thoughts are that the Kralovir necromancy is somewhat parallel to Desh-thiere's possession of people.

Early on the Fellowship Sorcerors said that Arithon's Bardic skills might allow the individual spirits of the Mistwraith to be drawn on across the veil if they could be separated. Clearly Desh-thiere wouldn't allow this to happen and will attack en masse, with the grace of Paravian blessing backed by the elements, Arithon has potentially the power, and now the skill, to perhaps defang Desh-thiere and give all of the insane entities passage across the veil.

The other purpose is brought up by Davien's upbraiding of Dakar in Etarra when Davien asks Dakar " would you deny him the tempering experience he needs to achieve his heart's desire?". We don't know Arithon's heart's desire in so many words but the escape from possession is a key element to the future story path.

   By Trys on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 11:43 am: Edit Post


And might not Arithon's ability to shadowlock iyats possibly be enhanced/developed to deal with wraiths?


   By Andrew Ginever on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 01:19 pm: Edit Post


For myself, like Trys, I'm still pondering possible similarities between the shadowlocked iyats and the wraiths.

The key point here is the comparison between Elaira's grove encounter (before the unicorn) when she describes something very similar to Arithon's shadowlocked iyats. It can't be the iyats because they don't have individual consciousness, so could it be something similar with the free wraiths? (The other possibility is that he will give the iyats consciousness somehow, fully redeeming the works of the great drakes and freeing the F7 from their slavery).

As for the rest of this thread, I _strongly_ disagree that _anything_ in TK is a waste of time.

To me, the true story posed by the initial prologue is just beginning to unfold in this volume - Lysaer's religion is just starting to become entrenched, for example (and that we ain't seen nothing yet - we haven't really been prepared to withstand Paravian presence in numbers ourselves yet). Just look how far Dakar, Arithon and Elaira have come since the start of the series (they're hardly their initial selves).

On other points, I don't believe that Arithon's dealing with the Kralovir is a diversion. I think it's going to be central to dealing with a number of other problems: the free wraiths, Lysaer, the Koriani, drake spawn -- all of these want to impose their will over others somehow, and the solution he used against one could work successfully against the others (at least it seems to have for the F7 throughout the Second Age, incidents causing discorporation aside).


   By Ellydee on Tuesday, March 22, 2005 - 03:57 pm: Edit Post

I think that Lysaer and Arithon's roles in this series are akin to Tom Sawyer's and Huckleberry Finn's in Twain's books. :-) Just a thought on their relative importance.