The Sundered Book Club discussion

The Godborn > The Godborn - Chapters 9-11

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message 1: by Chad (new)

Chad Peek (mordrim) | 255 comments Mod
Good morning everyone. I apologize for being a day late getting this thread started.

So it's time to dig in to the next section of the book and see what adventures Paul will drop us into. Will Vasen, Orsin, and Garek be able to save Elle? If they do reach the Abbey, what will they find? Will the pilgrims ever catch a break or will they eventually be hunted down by the Shadovar? What about Rivalen and Brennus? Did Mags run away and elope with The Source? Has Mephistopheles figured out that no matter how hard he tries he is never going to get to the bottom of that cairn? Will anyone ever locate Riven's safe room that he has locked himself away in?

So many questions and the answers are right there in front of us. I think we are going to really enjoy these next three chapters, and as always, I look forward to everyone's thoughts and opinions.

message 2: by David (new)

David Schwarm (davidschwarm) | 94 comments Mod
Man--this section ends right in the middle of a massive fight scene!

The chase to the Abby is great, the Abby fight set up is tense and fun, but once the fight starts it is ON!

message 3: by Justin (new)

Justin (berliad) | 106 comments I really enjoyed most of this portion of the book, and the battle scene near the end was thrilling. I thought Kemp was extraordinarily visual in his combat descriptions, which contrasts with Salvadore's frenetic, chaotic, high-energy I-barely-know-what-is-happening style. I prefer Kemp here.

I did find the entire affair with Elle to be a bit too transparently manipulative. The moment they appear in the story, you can just tell that bad things are going to happen to them (red shirt syndrome). It serves to move a lot of important plot elements forward, and works to communicate the horror of Mephistopheles' agents andthedarkness of the setting. But it still just felt like Elle, in particular, was created merely make us like her and then to die. That's kind of frustrating when (aside from Vasen's mom...and Shar, I guess) she's the only strong female character in the entire novel. But, it does provide Garek with strong motivation to get involved in whatever is to come!

message 4: by John (new)

John Hayes (jhayes27) | 159 comments The crazy thing is is when Kemp was writing this book his wife was pregnant and said on his Facebook page he was having nightmares about stuff happening to his wife an unborn child. I guess his is the section he was writing at that time.

message 5: by Jonn (new)

Jonn (sleypy) | 48 comments I agree with Berliand on both his points. I really enjoyed the fight scenes.

I also felt like the story up to this point was like the last paragraph of these characters background story as the band was come together.

I might be giving it a free pass, but Garek has one of the most common character background in D&D so I don't have a issue with it being transparent. I did think the death & posthumous tale of Lanni was somewhat blatant.

message 6: by David (new)

David Schwarm (davidschwarm) | 94 comments Mod
> That's kind of frustrating when ... she's the only
> strong female character in the entire novel.

thanks for bringing this up!

I think that Fantasy, more than any other genre, has the potential to do amazing things with gender related issues.

I do not think that this novel addresses Female issues in any significant way, but I don't think it is designed to--I like the idea that Kemp was working on the issues that having a pregnant wife can bring up in a man--issues of his own mortality, need to take responsibility, even stuff about fatherhood. We should ping him & see if he can respond to John's point. I would love to read the Facebook post if anyone has a link or better google-fu than I have...

In any event, from the pregnant women sent through time to die during labor, the tone is set for the female roll in this book--basically, to support the more prominent male themes...The theme of various sides of Fatherhood--The New Father, The Adoptive Father, The Surrogate Father, The Father without a Wife--archetypes are introduced and dealt with in some ways--not really major themes, but we have examples of them throughout the book. And lots of examples of Brothers--Cain/Able brothers, "buddy" brothers, brothers in Arms, etc.

The female characters seem to only exist to interact with these archetypes [the young wife, the young mother, the dead mom, & etc.].

I do not have the sense frustration that Berliad finds in these themes--I think that they need to be dealt with as well & to place the Sundering in a decidedly male context is likely part of the grand plan for the reader to experience it from all angels. If this newly discovered theory of mine is correct, I have a feeling our next novel will be the Female side of the Sundering [if you know what I mean (and I know that you do)].

message 7: by Justin (new)

Justin (berliad) | 106 comments Yeah, I certainly was not looking for this book to single-handedly right all the wrongs of sexism in the fantasy genre. But for whatever reason, the entire arc from introducing Elle and Gerak (you knew at least one of them wasn't going to make it) to Elle's death graded on me. Maybe I just didn't want the inevitable to happen and was hoping for a nat-20 saving throw or something.

I will say that the scene in which Gerak cut his hair and appeared to be going insane before finally killing her was amazing. Very powerful and well-done, and really gets at the anguish he was feeling (and, probably, that the reader was feeling).

message 8: by John (new)

John Hayes (jhayes27) | 159 comments David Paul Kemp accepts pretty much every friend request he gets on facebook.

message 9: by Chad (new)

Chad Peek (mordrim) | 255 comments Mod
You both bring up some really great points.

I was a little disappointed with Elle, because I thought she was going to turn into a strong character who would somehow help out Vasen and Orsin. When Sayeed and Zeeahd enter the town, she comes out and stands up to them, and it got me thinking that she was going to be a character with a surprise background. Perhaps she was a monk of some sort or a priestess who had decided to leave her church and search for a simpler life. Then a few pages later she is dying and I felt like it was a missed opportunity for another intriguing character. Perhaps that would have been a bit too cliche, but I felt like she had potential that got snuffed out a little too quickly.

I would be curious to hear from Paul as to how much of what we are discussing was intentional on his part, part of the plan that "Sundering Six" came up with together, or was unintentional and may have been influenced by things going on in his own life during the time.

I know that if we need to get our fill of female protagonists that kick ass, we will get it in spades in The Adversary.

Great discussion so far. I hope others hop in with their thoughts. I am curious to see what others thought of Elle's role in the story, or just the role of the female characters in general.

message 10: by John (new)

John Hayes (jhayes27) | 159 comments I thought Elles role was extremely critical in getting Gerak motivated to fight the war again, but this time on the good side. I had that she died with his unborn baby but without that Gerak would not have joined and I feel he was a very big part of the team

message 11: by Chad (new)

Chad Peek (mordrim) | 255 comments Mod
That is true. Without her death, Gerak packs his family up and they leave Sembia, which probably means that Orsin and Vasen never even head back to the Abbey. So you are right, her role is absolutely critical to the story, even if she doesn't actively take part in the conflict. Thanks for that point of view.

message 12: by David (new)

David Schwarm (davidschwarm) | 94 comments Mod
Right, but that is kind of the point that I think Berliad is pointing towards.

When I think of strong female characters, I do not think of women whose death's inspired greatness.

The idea that men turn the suffering of women into feats of glory is part of the cultural tradition a lot of Fantasy strives challenge or distance it self from or see in a new way or explore or whatever.

Again, I do not think Kemp is telling a tale that specifically deals with a lot of this--but I think Fantasy can in a way that many other genres seem unable to.

message 13: by John (new)

John Hayes (jhayes27) | 159 comments The Adversary has great demale lead characters

message 14: by John (new)

John Hayes (jhayes27) | 159 comments Female. my phone don't know how to spell

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