A Discovery of Witches (All Souls, #1) A Discovery of Witches discussion


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Baldwin (possible spoilers)

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Shopgirl320 I really want to read what people thought about him. I think I have a crush on him, but at the same time feel like he is a bad guy just waiting to make his move. Anyone else have any thoughts on him?


Angie Isn't he dead?


Jean Baldwin is alive and well and was checking in at Sept Tour over the course of Shadow of Night. Baldwin is a favorite of mine because he is a take charge, type A personality. I love Masters of the Universe and he's certainly one of them. He is loyal to his family and is the one who steps up and "does the dirty work" and makes the uncomfortable decisions. He is Phillipe's favorite son and the one most like him. He is a man of honor and I believe he will surprise everyone in a wonderful positive way in Book 3.


Emma I've only read the first book so far, but my feeling on Baldwin is he is not to be trusted, there's something not right with this character so far, unless Harkness is just trying to trick people into believing that and he really turns out to be good?? Either way I'm sure there will be a much bigger role for Baldwin somewhere along the line


Jean Something not right with the character? What do you mean by that, Emma? And on what do you base your conclusion that he's not trustworthy? Just curious.


Emma Well, just exactly what I say to be frank, he comes across as an untrustworthy character, there seems to be secrecy between him and the other characters and he is not to be trusted. Most definitely a passive aggresive vampire. His 'fly off the handle' manner leaves the impression that his anger will somewhere come back to bite him on the butt.


Jean Actually, Matthew is the one with anger control issues. Baldwin was the one keeping a cool head when they were conducting the search. And despite his prior quarrels with his brother - he helped him - he could have shoved Matthew in the oubliette and left him for the Congregation to deal with.


Emma I'm sure people have different opinions but that is mine and I'm sticking to it. And if I remember rightly, when Baldwin first arrived at Sept Tours he most definitely did not have a cool head. Which was the reason I believe he does have anger control issues as this is not normally how people tend to greet each other! lol!


message 9: by Angela (last edited Feb 26, 2013 07:46AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Angela Baldwin is one of my favorite characters, and I hope he factors into the Book 3 in large measure. He and Matthew haven't liked each other for 1500+ years. In all fairness, Baldwin was called to Sept Tours to help Matthew clean up a mess that invovled a witch - the very type of creature that captured his father and utimately lead to his death so it's no surprise the way he greeted Matthew. (It may not be acceptable human behavior but par for the course with vampires if not the family iteself.) Baldwin is no nonsense and cut from the same cloth as Philippe. Some may not agree with his assertive methods, but he's the head of the family and does the deeds no one else can stomach all in the best interest of the de Clermont family. Being Philippe's favorite son speaks volumes to me.


message 10: by Emma (new) - rated it 5 stars

Emma I don't think Baldwin was called by Matthew though, wasn't it Ysabeau who sought after Baldwin? I've yet to read the second book, so maybe others are seeing a different side to Baldwin which I have not seen yet? this is part of the reason I am commenting in 'a Discovery of Witches' thread rather than a 'Shadow of Night' thread, so as to avoid risking seeing any spoilers. But yes, Angela, you are right when you say it is not normal human behaviour, but even for a vampire, the way I have read his character, it still seems up to now he is very 'rough and ready' and liable to bursts of random anger. It made me doubt him a little when Diana thought she sensed him smell her after their farewell from the oubliette. I think I would say Sarah is one of my favourite characters, I like her bluntness and dry humour. And also Hamish, he obviously knows a lot about matthew which I hope to be able to delve further into in 'Shadow of Night'!! In fact the book has literally just been delivered to my door and is being added to my currently reading as we type!! Very excited :)


message 11: by Jean (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jean Baldwin was a centurion in Caesars Legion when he was reborn. That certainly informs his character and mannerisms. Tha also tells me that he has a deeply ingrained sense of honor and loyalty to the family.There is a lot more to him than meets the eye - or a single read.


message 12: by Emma (new) - rated it 5 stars

Emma That's what I have just said above Jean ^^ I'm assuming you have read the second book. I am posting my answers on this thread as I have only read the first. I'm not saying there isn't more to him but from my read of 'A Discovery of Witches' that is how I interpreted him to be. And as someone who has studied the Romans quite extensively in a recent degree, I can honestly say centurions weren't as loyal as you may think. Loyalty and honour only went as far as their wages would stretch. But as for his need to come up with strategies and 'battlefield tactics' I can most certainly see why you think that. But for me (remembering I haven't read the second book yet) I still think something is amiss with Baldwin. Looking forward to seeing how characters develop further in the second book.


message 13: by Jean (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jean This is all gleaned from the first book. And I do have quite a background in the classics, ancient history and archeology as well. So we will just have to agree to disagree.


message 14: by Jean (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jean Angela, nice to meet another Baldwin supporter.


message 15: by Emma (new) - rated it 5 stars

Emma My entire dissertation was on the Roman armies and tactics, etc, so I think I am well aware of the ins and outs of it all. But that's not the point, we are losing track and are supposed to be commenting on a thread about Baldwin. I am just stating my opinion but you seem to have taken a dislike to it, despite me seeing reason with your perception of the character/book. But thats the fun in these threads, people are entitled to different opinions :) The world would be boring if we all thought the same!


Angela Jean wrote: "Angela, nice to meet another Baldwin supporter."

Thanks, Jean. Likewise. Baldwin is very much an acquired taste. (Maybe not so true in my case since I liked him straight away.) I realize he's not for everyone, but he is for me. Can't wait for Book 3.


message 17: by Jean (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jean Angela wrote: "Jean wrote: "Angela, nice to meet another Baldwin supporter."

Thanks, Jean. Likewise. Baldwin is very much an acquired taste. (Maybe not so true in my case since I liked him straight away.) I ..."


I was attracted to his strength and decisiveness right away as well.


message 18: by Jean (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jean Emma wrote: "My entire dissertation was on the Roman armies and tactics, etc, so I think I am well aware of the ins and outs of it all. But that's not the point, we are losing track and are supposed to be comme..."

I don't dislike your opinion Emma - I just disagree with it. You certainly have a far more extensive background in Roman tactics, but you really shouldn't assume that others are uninformed and don't have some thing to add to the debate. But as you said, the world would be a boring place if everyone agreed.


message 19: by Jayne (new) - added it

Jayne I dont want to stir any fires here. But, I think that Baldwin; as Shopgirl320 originally wrote, is a bad guy waiting to make his move.

Whether or not he is a bad guy remains to be seen. To be quite honest his role in the books is not particularly central. Yet is an underlying charcacter to be used if needs must. I can't say he has appealing qualities to me. He may be strong and can take charge but that can be more of a curse than a blessing. A strong female character like Diana, actually negates these qualities in a man. I now await the third book to see if he becomes a more central character and shows his true persona.


message 20: by Jean (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jean Research some of his prior lives - you may change your mind. And I would totally disagree that a strong woman negates those qualities in a man. I am a very strong woman in a field where I deal with type A's like Baldwin and I find that the strength and gender perspective of each enhances the other.


message 21: by Jayne (new) - added it

Jayne I did not say woman. I referred specifically to Diana. Either way this is not really the kind of person you would ever meet in real life as he is a vampire...The character is explained so little, that many of the opinions formed are merely speculation.

I do not feel the need to refer to my own life in this discussion. I was just commenting on the original topic for this thread, which has no relevance to real life.


message 22: by Jean (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jean Everyone brings their personal experiences and perspectives when they read and interpret fiction. Well written characters have a ring of truth when they have some grounding in reality - even fantasy characters. It helps the reader suspend their disbelief and become invested in the characters. The beauty of Deb's vampires is that she has attempted to humanize them in many ways.


message 23: by Jayne (new) - added it

Jayne I am glad you see it like this. Everyone's opinion is different as this thread has already shown.
I agree that she does bring human elements to the characters, but she also keeps some of the animalistic traits too. As for Baldwin...only time will tell.


Angela Those are very good points, and I think that is precisely why I enjoy Baldwin's character...because of personal experiences and perspectives I use as a filter while reading fiction. And because Deb tries to humanize all of her characters, I have to say, it's been quite some time since I've been on such an emotional roller coaster.


message 25: by Jean (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jean There is no black and white with Deb's characterizations - everyone is shades of gray.


message 26: by Emma (new) - rated it 5 stars

Emma That's what I enjoy about all the characters in this book, good and bad, I like how Harkness has written them all with a past and 'skeletons in the closet'. Plus they are all described in such great detail it's hard not to attach yourself to favourite characters :)


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