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The Sentinel > The Sentinel - Chapters 15-17

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message 1: by Chad (new)

Chad Peek (mordrim) | 255 comments Mod
I am still a little bit behind on reading so I don't have much of an introduction for this section. All I know is that the party has handled the orcs with relative ease to this point and I am hoping that they encounter some more difficult obstacles in this section.

Enjoy the next section....which I believe is the penultimate section of the book for our group.

message 2: by David (new)

David Schwarm (davidschwarm) | 94 comments Mod
The book really dipped for me in this section--and I think it may have started to fall apart for me a little bit in the last section. Things are just moving to quickly through areas of extreme danger with no real sense of consequence or risk.

The scene's are painted very well--lots of very good environments, location, and terrain. But the characters do not seem to be doing anything--there is no development going on...For example, we have a hero having his dreams taken over & not sleeping for days and I get no sense of the impact and change that this is causing in him. It is a great chance for character exploration and development that just gets rushed past...

The great play of having the Orcs fight the Shadovar is only slightly reasonable--if we knew anything about the villain's motivations at all I am sure that this device would not have worked.

But, my real problem is not with the lack of sophistication the Chosen are displaying [which is a problem--I mean at the beginning of the book half our Heroes seemed a lot more wise].

My real issue is the entire 'look we are lesbians' part--maybe I am just kind of over it, but this seemed really unnecessary and gratuitous. The playful flirtation was more the stuff of school boy fantasy then in keeping with EITHER of the characters--at all.

I would think royalty would take it in stride rather than be all blush y. I would also think that a chosen of Sune would be much more respectful or something of the experience...

I have a feeling that I may be over reacting on this, but if we are going to introduce mature themes into WotC approved "Forgotten Realm Shaking Events", I would like to see them more in keeping with the acceptance traditional in the Realms rather than this
salacious relationship...

This theme came up in the Pathfinder comics under very similar circumstances and was handled so much better is it almost laughable.

message 3: by John (new)

John Hayes (jhayes27) | 159 comments I guess this is a prime example of how the same book can be completely different for different readers. To me the "lesbian" part was showing the desperation to find a willing person to fall in love with her for the sacrifice. I seen a few areas were not sleeping for a few days affected him a lot and thats why they had to force him to sleep on the raft. But that is what I got from it.

message 4: by Jonathan (last edited May 10, 2014 08:37PM) (new)

Jonathan | 12 comments "My real issue is the entire 'look we are lesbians' part--maybe I am just kind of over it, but this seemed really unnecessary and gratuitous. The playful flirtation was more the stuff of school boy fantasy then in keeping with EITHER of the characters--at all."
I agree completely. For me this kind of ruined the book for me. If it was better developed and felt more in keeping with the plot and the characters, I would have been fine with it. But, as David pointed out, it comes across as adolescent fantasy both in terms of how it is delivered and in terms of how it fits or, rather, doesn't fit into the plot or how the character development.
I usually like Troy's work but in this case, it felt like he got to a point where he realized he wrote himself into a corner and clung to the lesbian relationship between Arietta and Joelle as a way to get himself back out of that corner.
In addition to feeling rather desperate, I felt the lesbian relationship caused some plot holes. For one thing, Arietta is a Chosen of Siamorphe the deity of noble propriety and duty. Throughout the whole first section of the book I got the sense that she and Kleef had a strong interest in each other (despite Joelle trying to charm him)but kept things fairly platonic, in large part because of the difference of stations made it improper. But suddenly, its okay for Arietta to go into a full blown lesbian relationship with Joelle who is a former commoner and a thief and former prostitute at that. It seemed implied that Siamorph would not approve of Arietta having a sexual relationship with a member of someone on the edge of lower nobility, like Kleef, so I think having sexual relationship with a commoner would be possibly enough for Arietta to lose Siamorphe's favor and possibly even Arietta's status as a Chosen. And if this was the case, I think it really do not think that Arietta would still be able to keep her abilities.
And if Joelle was intentionally charming Arietta, I don't think Kleef could have just sat back and watched and remained a chosen of Helm.
Because of these issues and the fact that it just felt so gratuitous, the entire Joelle/Arietta thing and everything that builds upon it later just felt like a cascading train wreck to me.
Troy has written books in at least three universes/series that I have followed but this is the first time I have really felt this disappointed with one of his books.

edited to expand on thoughts edited again to add the following apology:
I'm sorry I wiated till now to jump into the discussion of this book. I actually finished the book a few days after it was released but work, health issues, and a death in the family have made it hard to find time to get on and share my thoughts.

message 5: by Justin (new)

Justin (berliad) | 106 comments I get these objections to Arietta and Joelle, but I was actually ok with this. My read on it: with the sudden insight that she is not a chosen (we think?), she's basically lost at this point in the book and is pretty much just here for her companion's sake now. The relationship with Joelle seems more physical than anything else to me, and that seems like a natural outlet for her. She's also backing away from some of the formal trappings of "duty" at this point, e.g. apologizing to Kleef.

What I didn't get was how this was possible when there's a gigantic horde of orcs pursuing them. "Teehee, let's just slip away to fool around while we rest from exhaustion and live in fear of being butchered when we're captured!"

Similarly, the whole chase over the bridge also seemed to lack a lot of tension or danger. It could be an awesome scene, but we have statements like "the orcs were just two arrow flights away" followed in almost the next line by Arietta stopping to take a peek over the side of the bridge, marvel at how deep/dark it is, and then leisurely waltz further along the bridge with her companions and the freaking goat(!!). I know they were trying to let the orcs catch up, but it just lacked the tension the situation really required.

message 6: by David (new)

David Schwarm (davidschwarm) | 94 comments Mod

message 7: by Scott (new)

Scott (scott_mosher) | 11 comments Is it possible that the whole Joelle / Arietta thing was an aberration? A plot twist to conceal the tension between Arietta and Kleef. There was something there from the first time Arietta saw Kleef fighting on the bridge outside of her family's estate. I mean if you reduce it to block diagram simplicity, at the beginning, Joelle is beautiful and in distress, enter the hero - Kleef. Arietta sees the fight and joins the fray - an upstart. Spot light on Joelle - the auspicious, side light on Arietta - the inauspicious. Contrasting with the ending, Kleef having earlier forsaken Joelle, offers himself as sacrifice for Arietta. Joelle in turn sacrifices herself to save Arietta. Spotlight on Arietta - the steadfast and confident, side light on Joelle - the diminished.

message 8: by Scott (new)

Scott (scott_mosher) | 11 comments I was hoping for some big reveal about the goat! Like some great wizard brought low or even a deity thought lost but really trapped. I guess R. L. Bayer beat Denning to the punch with Nobanion on that one.

message 9: by Justin (new)

Justin (berliad) | 106 comments I'm going to comment on this in the next thread, because I want to avoid any spoilers. But yeah, I was hoping for a grand reveal on the goat too.

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