The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic question

Aruendiel's past (Spoilers)
Sara Haasis Sara Aug 29, 2013 10:34AM
I did really enjoy the book but one thing that didn't sit right with me is Aruendiel's apparent lack of remorse over murdering his wife (and for all he knew at the time, her unborn baby.) Furthermore, Nora is pretty unconcerned about it and there was one passage where she even seems to be making excuses for him to herself, imagining that the wife must have been pretty sucky. I kept expecting some kind of revelation to show Aruendiel didn't actually do it or the circumstances were such that was it necessary or understandable somehow. No luck but it seems like this is #1 in a series so I'm hoping that will get resolved. I don't think I can totally buy into a romance between Nora and Aruendiel until it's cleared up.

Just curious if other people had problems with the way the murder was treated and if Nora's way of dealing with it affected the way they looked at her.

This is one of the things I hated about this book. After all of her illogical, vaguely feminist temper tantrums, Nora basically ignores the fact that he murders his wife. She ignores the notion that his wife is property to him, the disgusting double standard (he was cheating too!), and seems to take the concept of domestic violence VERY lightly.

Terrible characterization, IMO. And it makes Nora even less likable.

Liked the book , didn't love it thought. Feels that book two can improve the story

I loved this book. THIS was the ONE issue I had with it. Seriously. I disagree with most of the negative comments in reviews and can't wait for the sequel- but this ONE thing still gets to me.

Trouble is... the way it read, I strongly felt that we were MISSING something. I kept getting the impression that Nora herself felt that something was missing- some key tidbit of information.

I kept thinking, there's more to the story. Maybe he didn't actually murder his wife, or maybe he DID, but while enchanted or while she was made to look like someone else, etc etc.

I was really thrown for a loop when time and again it seemed like the characters confirmed that he really did just blatantly murder the woman.

He was definitely painted to be the curmudgeonly old man, but whenever the author had the chance she was tossing in dialogue and situations that suggested he was actually very feeling and very honorable. It never really fit with me, that he would murder his wife for a crime no greater than responding to the romantic advances of someone more her age and suitable for her.

I'm still guessing/hoping that there will be some huge reveal or another that will show us that we are getting a false story in the first book.

Because I have to admit... glossing over a murder in a love story does not sit well with me at all.

I feel in the sequel we may get more to this story. I kept thinking that the wife was somehow going to be Illisa in disguise. Also to deal with this part of his character (since I liked him) I kept telling myself it wasn't a big deal since murder seemed to be a part of their world.

Molly I agree that they'll likely follow up in the sequel and have a more satisfying explanation, I hope. I still think it's inconsistant of Nora though, be ...more
Dec 12, 2013 10:22AM · flag

Given the times and the setting, it seemed to be the right of the husband to avenge himself upon an unfaithful wife. Double standard - yes, just like in the real world when wives were (and by some countries' standards,still are) their husband's property. Aruendiel didn't take the murder lightly, nor did Nora. I also like that the characters in the book are true to their time, and flawed. Makes things more realistic and interesting.

I agree - I don't think that Nora's reaction to Aruendiel's murder was sound, but I think that maybe the author was trying to create a Stockholm Syndrome effect in Nora. After all, she was stuck with him - it was constantly stated that, as a woman, she couldn't leave him without the risk of physical harm or death. However, I did think that the author nailed Aruendiel's cavalier attitude.

Maybe in book two, Nora will have regained her moral compass.

Nora keeps circling back to the murder, so it obviously troubled her. She finally got an explanation, and it wasn't all right. Aruendiel's reluctance to wed again tells us that he is remorseful, and I think Nora sees how this weight has changed the course of his life. Loved this story possibly because the characters are so flawed.

I didn't really see this as a problem. I kinda saw it as Nora getting used to the times. In that world, it was okay what Aruendiel did. Nora says at the end that she belongs in that world, so maybe she understands in some way what he did. Now, I'm not saying what he did was right, I'm just saying that it was accepted. But like you said, this is only the first in the series and they have a long way to go in order to be together romantically, so maybe it will get cleared up.

The fact that Aruendiel murdered his wife is the biggest obstacle to Nora and Aruendiel's romance, plus the fact he is right on the edge of suicidal and an overall jackass most of the time. But I have a theory on how the author plans to resolve it. Follow me on this...
A lot of times on shows and in movies, if the character does something the audience can't forgive, the writer will make it so it just never happened. This usually annoys me because why put the characters and audience through a plot line that you're just going to erase? But that's a different conversation...
Anyway, the first book already talked about the possibility of time travel. So I wonder if at some point in the series, the author plans on sending Nora and/or Aruendiel back in time to stop him from murdering his wife.
Of course, I also like the idea of the whole thing being just an illusion by Illisa. It sort of reminds me of Once Upon A Time, when everybody thought Regina killed Katharine to frame Mary Margaret. But it turned out she hired Mr. Gold to kill Katharine who actually just held her hostage to let her go to inconvenience Regina

I think that fact that after he murders his wife, he almost directly goes to war and gets himself killed says something about his feelings at the time...

I loved the book but I had a lot of problems with Nora and her reactions to things, so--?

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