SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS through TK!
New thread for convenience, hopping off of some things (thank you Janny for answers!) from another thread.
I, like many other readers here, found Sulfin Evend to be one of the most compelling and interesting characters this book. He was fascinating in Peril's Gate, but it's across the (artificial) volume break that he changes and becomes really dynamic.
One of the hallmarks of this series is that we the readers are constantly having to think "I know X, but does character Y know this too?" Without that constantly in mind, many subtle things in the POV shifts are lost completely.
Now, it becomes clearer and clearer as we go along that SE knows a lot of things that we didn't know that he knew, and that Lysaer and many others didn't know. So with him, exposition of information about Athera is also exposition about his character, and it makes for really fascinating scenes like his talk with Lysaer near the end of Peril's Gate.
There's an essential difference between some kinds of knowledge, though. It's one thing to know that the Paravians are a direct connection to the mysteries and that this is irreplacable, but to know this solely because you've been told. It's rather another to *experience* some facet of the mysteries and come to a realization that your knowledge really is true. When we the readers are riding along with one of the F7, we know that they *know* this and thus the impact is not as strong. But to see a character who 'knew' this really come to *know* this...it's riveting.
Now he's in an unenviable situation. He's the type to watch and learn and has seen some very troubling things; but he's also seen a side of Lysaer that no one else (especially now, when Lysaer is more alone than ever) gets access to. He's really needed, but now has to balance loyalty to a person with knowledge and a deeper loyalty to his caithdein's oath (and mercifully, I think he really does realize his situation and how binding and serious it is). He probably gets naked more than anyone else in the book. He's gone a long way from his beginnings--so now I'll ask some questions which are probably going to be answered down the line, but I think I'm asking the right questions.
Sulfin Evend is a s'Gannley descendant, from Diarin who was stolen from her own intended by a past Mayor of Hanshire. This begs the question--why exactly? Why would the townborn *want* the clan lineage at all, enough to steal a woman and keep her enough to get a child?
Several possibilities. One is that it's a power thing, a way of displaying dominance to the clans. Two is more intriguing. We know that Hanshire has no love for the monarchy (although I don't remember if we know exactly why). We also know that they know more about sorcery than most towns, and don't have the irrational flaming hatred of it. The Koriathain have a strong presence there, as opposed to somewhere like Erdane. SE knows Paravian and was taught it. So was the rape of Diarin s'Gannley a *deliberate* method of bringing a prodigiously gifted clanblood line into the control of the ruling family? [Mayor of Hanshire is a hereditary position, it seems.]
Morriel was, naturally, Prime at the time this occurred. We know she wanted a child of Sulfin Evend's as a potential Prime candidate. Could her plot extend back that far, the clanblood line in a place where the Koriathain could get to it if they wanted to?
Putting the pieces together, the obligation to the Koriathain was almost certainly the source of the shouting argument SE had with dear Daddy on the night that he rode out of Hanshire as an escort and into the mess of events that brings him firmly into our story. But it begs the question: what was the Mayor's son, presumably raised to statecraft (Raiett Raven makes comment about SE's acumen in this area) doing as a captain of the guard? Would this be a normal stint of service for a young nobleman to get experience in the world?
And is it possible to give us the wording of a caithdein's oath, or is that giving something away? Both Asandir and Sethvir refer to him as that, and I'm sure those powers *and* responsibilities are going to be important down the line.
Can't wait to see what happens in Sanpashir!
SPOILERS FOR TK but MINOR ones:
I was really shocked at the beginning to learn about Sulvin and the Caithdein Oath and how he had to swear it to save Lysaer. I'm still in the middle of the book but wanted to comment on Sulfin. I like his loyalty to Lysaer and how he seems to care about him. So now that he swore to be Caithdein does that mean he has to betray Lysaer? I'm sure I'll find out as I read but that really shocked me. He is the bad guy in my eyes still as far as him being against Arithon goes. I'm sympathizing more and more with him though but anyone against Arithon isn't a friend of mine. Even though I know that the curse is causing Lysaer to be this way and I feel for him more than most. Just some thoughts I've had so far while reading TK. I love this book. It's the best one but all of them are wonderful books. I'm reading it slower so I can enjoy it and make Arithon stay with me longer this time. lol Sulfin does seem to be an intriguing character in this book and I'm enjoying the chapters with him the most which surprised me.
*Grin* Cheryl - radical shifts of point of view are a hallmark of this series... the mistake is to try to keep sides - you'll just end up swinging too and fro so often - you'll get sea-sick!
Janny is exploring themes of wrong and right, bad and good, and never lets us stick to one view. - I love it.
I stick to Arithon's view though and don't get swung too far away from him though I sympathize with almost everyone's dilemna in the series. grin I know Janny is doing that in the series and it is fun. LOL I do have sympathy for Lysaer more than most and hope somehow he's freed of that curse one day and Arithon too. I liked Sulfin and Asandir's conversation early on about Lysaer.
There were extending portions of this book where I was rooting for Lysaer to succeed against those other than Arithon. You are right Roisin, the shifts of POV are nothing less than radical. And we must be careful lest we forget, Lysaer was sacrificed by the F7 to the Mistwraith. All the Alliance of Light is and will be is the cause of that. Arithon understands this in a way none other than the F7, Dakar, and Elaira do. He feels more pity than hatred, when not subject to Curse.
Yes, I agree about Arithon. He has tried 1) fighting directly, 2) avoidance, and currently trying 3) peace. He understands Lysaer's motives and problems.
Arithon may have to proactively help Lysaer in order to achieve the final goals of Paravian return / Fellowship freedom. At least, Lysear's alliance may give rise to more trained humans who can appreciate the mysteries but who are not bound to clan responsibilties. Sooner of later the priests will wise up or destroy themselves. (power whout wisdom etc. etc.)
I was really shocked at the beginning to learn about Sulvin and the Caithdein Oath and how he had to swear it to save Lysaer. I'm still in the middle of the book but wanted to comment on Sulfin. I like his loyalty to Lysaer and how he seems to care about him. So now that he swore to be Caithdein does that mean he has to betray Lysaer?
Well, he couldn't be the caithdein for Lysaer, since Lysaer isn't a sanctioned high king, and I think the caithdein is always for the land, never for the king himself. Could be wrong. I guess the rules are somewhat flexible?
Well, in TK, Sulfin made his oath to the land. The text was clear on that.
One thing to mention, I've never seen it stated there can be only one cathdein at a time, as a rule. I theink there is generally only one for expedience for the fellowship, tradition if you would. If the oath is to the land, would the land care that there was more than one link? I would think that the land would be joyous with more links.
Re-reading in Peril's Gate, it's interesting to see how SE taking up the caithdein's oath is hinted at/foreshadowed. He has the encounter with the centaur, and it's specifically mentioned that both Jieret and SE are watching Lysaer during that encounter, and understand him then. The offense to SE's honesty of Lysaer's plans (when Morriel's conspiracy breaks) and the shock of everyone killed on Daon Ramon all build up. [Note how SE has changed there; early in Grand Conspiracy, he'd be happy to leave the tree-bound men asleep for the sake of the Light. Late in Peril's Gate, he's more concerned about the men and what they're being led into than the cause of the Light.]
And given everything that happens in TK, and what he sees, I think (and hope) that Sulfin realizes just what his oath means, and what it is given too. He and Lysaer are finally, in a sense, driven to disparity by the end of the book. I wonder what his reaction to Raiett's death will be, and which loyalty he will be sacrificed? How close of tabs is the Fellowship keeping on him?