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Sightwitch (The Witchlands, #2.5)
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Young Adult Fiction Buddy Reads > Sightwitch BR Starting March 16th 2018

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LB (raceforthepuck) | 160 comments Mod
Join us for a buddy read of Sightwitch, A Tale of the Witchlands

Sightwitch (The Witchlands, #0.5) by Susan Dennard

Before Safi and Iseult battled a Bloodwitch...

Before Merik returned from the dead…

Ryber Fortiza was a Sightwitch Sister at a secluded convent, waiting to be called by her goddess into the depths of the mountain. There she would receive the gift of foretelling. But when that call never comes, Ryber finds herself the only Sister without the Sight.

Years pass and Ryber’s misfit pain becomes a dull ache, until one day, Sisters who already possess the Sight are summoned into the mountain, never to return. Soon enough, Ryber is the only Sister left. Now, it is up to her to save her Sisters, though she does not have the Sight—and though she does not know what might await her inside the mountain.

On her journey underground, she encounters a young captain named Kullen Ikray, who has no memory of who he is or how he got there. Together, the two journey ever deeper in search of answers, their road filled with horrors, and what they find at the end of that road will alter the fate of the Witchlands forever.

Set a year before Truthwitch, Sightwitch is a companion novella that also serves as a set up to Bloodwitch, as well as an expansion of the Witchlands world.

Emily (emilythebooknerd) | 127 comments Up to “3 days since Tanzi was summoned” (9%)

I’m struggling to remember what the status of Ryber was at the end of Windwitch. I remember she disappears at the end of the first book and is gone for most of the second, but I don’t remember if it’s revealed what she was doing during that time. It says in the little note to Kullen at the very beginning of this story that “My eyes were brown then. Not silver.” So did she gain the sight during her absence?
I don’t even remember the exact state of Kullen as things are left after the second book. He’s cleaved and evil, but I don’t remember if he has gone evil himself or if the puppet master girl has control of him. Nor do I remember where Kullen is or what he’s doing after his confrontation with Merik. I assume Merik and Ryber (and Cam) are going to try to save him, but have no idea how they’re planning on doing that.
I’m definitely going to have to reread at least Windwitch before I read Bloodwitch (since a ton happened in that book with the three different storylines), but hopefully with this being a prequel I won’t be too confused, even if I might miss the significance of some things.

I’m not sure how much I’m liking the diary format. I don’t really feel like the little drawings are adding a ton so far, nor the first person narrative, but maybe that will change. What do you think?

I really like some of the unique aspects of the magic in these books, particularly the threads and threadwitches, but also some of the other types of witches, like Safi and Aeduan. These Sightwitches seem to be another interesting type particularly because they are “summoned”and gain their powers. All of the other characters in this series had their powers innately, right?
It is a bit of a tricky area world-building-wise to get into because the ones who gain their powers have to be “chosen” somehow, which gets into religion and fate, etc. I like that Dennard has developed religions in her books’ world and a sense of a greater purpose, etc. for her characters without really relating any of it to the real world, so it isn’t preachy at all. That’s a pet peeve of mine, so hopefully that will remain the case as Ryber learns more about the truth of the Sightwitch order.

Otherwise, not super engaging so far. I expected to jump into the action faster because it’s not very long. I also feel like the descriptions are somewhat lacking. I’m not picturing much of it very clearly, despite the drawings included. We have a pretty good idea what Ryber looks like from the other books, but we don’t have too much to go on regarding what Tanzi looks like- was one of the drawings of the various types of sisters of her?
And I seem to remember Ryber having far more personality than she does here- part of that is I’m sure what Kullen brings out in her and how she was changed due to the adventures in this book, but I would think part of it would have to be there already. I’ve noticed that authors often give their characters too little personality when writing prequel stories/books, especially if they are children in those stories. Like the authors can’t really imagine them before they started writing them and make them very generic as a result. Have you noticed that? Maybe it’s just me.

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LB (raceforthepuck) | 160 comments Mod
Up to “3 days since Tanzi was summoned” (9%)

I am ashamed to confess that I don't remember any of these characters at all. I probably should go back and reread the first two again as well before the next installment comes out. I don't think it's going to hinder us for this novel though. Thankfully. Fingers crossed =D

The diary format is weird, especially since it is written in more than one POV. I don't mind first person diary narratives, but I'm not sure how I think about multiple ones telling the same story. I guess we'll see. I read an article this weekend about how the publication date had to be pushed back for some reason because of the structure and narrative. And how the publisher waited years for her to write this, with delays because of the style. So I'm hoping it's worth it and makes a difference to the story. But I agree so far that it hasn't really added anything for me yet.

Yeah, that's what I thought about the powers. That they naturally came to be within a person. So I'm wondering if maybe someone else's power is to gift otherwise nonmagical people with the vision of Sight? Again, I'm embarrassed to say I don't remember enough of the world building from the other novels to recall.

I also agree, not super engaging so far. Sometimes I think that's a downside of diary narratives, because it's hard to jump start into action and maintain it while also making it feel authentic.

I haven't read too many novellas that are prequels/additions that bridge gaps or tell the story from a different perspective. I kind of want to say I almost tend to shy away from them, but I don't know why exactly. I agree that the few that I've read have tended to go that way with characterization. With the limited word count, it takes a good writer to be able to fit an entire story into a novella. I've never had any luck, and I know my short stories have probably suffered the same problem.

message 4: by Emily (last edited Mar 18, 2018 01:28PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Emily (emilythebooknerd) | 127 comments Basic rundown on Ryber from what I remember for you (if you want it): When we meet her she is like the ship girl on Prince Merik's ship. She is the "heart thread" of Kullen, the super powerful mage who is Merik's best friend. I seem to remember Ryber being somewhat an ally to Safi in the first book when Safi is on Merik's ship, standing up for her a bit and giving her some advice. But she was a fairly minor character. I remember her having some spunk, though.
At the end of the first book, Kullen "cleaves"- his magic sort of implodes/explodes and he goes bad... Merik at least assumes that Kullen is dead. Ryber disappears from the ship leaving some kind of cryptic note.
In the second book, it turns out Kullen isn't dead and is now a bad guy, but as I said, I don't remember much more than that. Ryber reappears at the end of Windwitch and she and Merik head off on some mission, but I wish I remembered more.

Interesting. I wonder if the delays partially had to do with the drawings- getting those properly placed with the text in all the different formats would certainly be somewhat tricky.
Yeah, the different format is a cool idea... IF it adds to the story. If it's just for show, I'd rather have a better crafted, traditionally written story.

Oooh- that's a great theory (that it's a person who has the power to gift others with the sight)! I hadn't considered that! There would have to have been more than one, since apparently the sightwitches have been around for generations, but definitely a possibility.

That's a great insight about diary narratives. They don't tend to be my favorite to read partially because they do tend to start off so slowly. And making them feel authentic without overdoing it is a fine line.
Although one of my most extensive writing projects ever was an imagined diary of Burmese activist Aung San Suu Kyi (a really amazing and fascinating woman) in middle school. I got quite into it, although I'm sure I would cringe to read it now. ;)

Since I love character development, I tend to find short stories kind of a waste. Don't really get them. But I really enjoy well done novellas- they can be a great way for an author of a series to explore a side character or issue. But you're right, it is still a limiting format and it would take skill to get all the necessary parts in. I would be awful at it, brevity not being my forte ;)
I just read a whole 400+ page book, though- the first in a prequel trilogy- based on the childhood/teenage years of a major adult character from some of that author's other books, where that character was still completely generic in the prequel. (That was the Tamora Pierce book I mentioned- I'm going to have to go back and reread the original books to see if they are as good as I remember.) If I'm remembering correctly, that character had a strong personality as an adult, so it's surprising the child version was so washed out. It felt like the author was so scared to portray the child version wrong, she just left him very bland. Which is a little bit how Ryber feels so far here as well.

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LB (raceforthepuck) | 160 comments Mod
Up to 22 days since Tanzi was summoned (page 46)

Wow, I still don't remember any of that lol. I will definitely have to reread them before the next installment.

I like the idea that they never die, they just go into an eternal sleep and the power is returned to Sirmaya. Though I can't imagine stumbling upon a mountain full of bodies "eternally asleep". That would scar me for the rest of my life.

I think the problem with this novella so far is that it takes place in the Witchlands in the world of the trilogy, but it explores a completely different aspect of the magic than we've seen so far. Thus a lot of the narrative has been spent on world building instead of character development or conflict. It feels like Ryber should be a little more developed for us to truly understand the conflict of not being chosen to have the Sight. And I just haven't gotten that sense yet for the development of the backstory behind the Sightwitches.

Is it just me, or is this book still kind of slow? I feel like there would be a bit of suspense wondering what is happening with all the summonings - and so quickly - expect the jacket sleeve mentions in the synopsis that Ryber ends up the only Sister left after everyone is summoned. I still want to know what the heck is going on, I just feel for a short novel the development is coming along slowly.

message 6: by Emily (last edited Mar 26, 2018 03:59PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Emily (emilythebooknerd) | 127 comments Sorry, was an awful week for me.

Up to "22 days since Tanzi was summoned" (13%)

Yeah, that is a nice idea- no pain of dying, no body decaying, just joining with all the other sightwitches throughout time and returning your energy to that of the world (this last being pretty much how I view death in the real world as well). But it’s also a bit creepy in that if they are just asleep, could Sirmaya wake them up? Are they like the legendary sleeping knight, waiting for some epic, final battle between good and evil where they will be needed? I hope not because old, zombie sightwitches awakening would creep me out even more than coming across them all “sleeping” somewhere (definitely scared-for-life material!).

With all that we are learning about the sightwitches and the convent, there is something rather big I’m not getting. What is their purpose? The convent must have been founded with a mission of some sort in mind, and I assume the sisters believe there is some reason why Sirmaya grants them the sight (beyond just because or She feels like it). I’d think possibly their supposed purpose was simply to be witnesses to the world and major events, given their perfect recall and their recording of their memories and dreams, but it sounds like at no point after coming to the convent and gaining the sight do the sisters ever leave. Bit hard to have any purpose, any impact on the world, including chronicling history, hidden away in the mountains. Unless they see enough using their sight to chronicle history that way, but then who are they chronicling it for? They also “vow to protect the future that is shown” in their “Vow of a Future Dreamed”, but I don’t understand how they are to go about doing that (and protect it from what?), especially stuck at the convent.

I agree that things continue to move quite slow. Part of that is the fault of the blurb giving so much away, but not all. The author has totally failed to develop tension or get me invested in the mystery, IMO.
I feel like part of the reason I’m not that curious or concerned about what has happened to the summoned is that I haven’t really felt the threadsister bond between Ryber and Tanzi. I know they are supposedly close, but I’m not convinced. I don’t feel Ryber’s worry. Her original fear of not being summoned to gain the sight and her fear of being the last one left, yes, a little, but not really her fear for the individuals involved. Not that Ryber’s been that developed in any way, with some parts from Tanzi’s POV and just little snippet entries from Ryber.
What little we’ve learned about Tanzi, she isn’t real sympathetic to me. She’s at the convent, but she isn’t invested at all, especially when compared with Ryber. She doesn’t want to study or learn. And the book starts off with her getting exactly what Ryber wants so badly and has worked so hard for, despite not really wanting it herself (even if we don’t know how that’s going to turn out, ultimately). There’s probably perfectly good reasons for Tanzi’s lack of commitment, but I have no reason to like her so far, so that’s counting against her for me.
Basically, I’m just not connecting.

I feel like the language is not the most clear all the time- for example, what did she mean when saying “the sight overpowers [Rose] most days”. Overpower how? I guess I don’t fully understand everything the sight entails. Or what was with The Rook “purring”?

I seem to very vaguely remember one of the characters in the previous books being able to turn into an animal- and I think it was a bird. (Although I definitely could be wrong, and I think it was still rather a mystery at the end of Windwitch.) So I’m wondering if The Rook is really a bird.

I would have liked some more details about the Paladins- which ones turned on which, which Paladin of what magic type was left at the end of the rhyme? What happened to him? How do the Carawen fit into the Paladin myth?

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LB (raceforthepuck) | 160 comments Mod
Up to 35 days since I became the last Sightwitch Sister (pg 56)

Oh man, now I'm thinking about a bunch of zombie witches. Yeah, that would be a terrifying horror story.

I hadn't stopped to think about it, but that's an excellent question. They do seem rather limited in their function. What is the purpose of the gift of foresight if you don't do anything? It hasn't really been said that they leave the covenant at all, right? Although I feel like some would have to since it's mentioned that men have come to the covenant before and that they were used to the customs. So they have somehow worked in the larger world and interacted with others in order for the men to get past the veil protecting the Sisterhood. But still. There are a lot of details missing. And a lot of purpose.

I agree with the comment about the bond between Ryber and Tanzi. I am wondering if it will be explained more in depth later in the novel through Tanzi's POV since it's a year behind Ryber's, but I feel that's kind of fundamental to the emotional aspect of the story and should have had more emphasis earlier on. The details we have gotten from their past haven't been very telling. They seem to focus more on Ryber's insistence on following the rules and her obsession with the puzzle (which I think will have a large significance to the plot). They don't really have many bonding moments so far.

I wanted to make the same comment about Ryber that you made about Tanzi. She's still not my favorite character so far. She is the only Sightwitch left and yet instead of being terrified about what's happening to her threadsister and the rest of her Sisters (I love this term because I am currently writing a novel about a Brotherhood of Brothers hehehe), all she focuses on is how she's alone. Seems very self-absorbed to me. When she comments she thinks about just leaving the covenant because she's normal and will be fine on her own, she makes no mention of seeking out help for all the missing sisters.

Interesting insight about The Rook. I love that idea, especially since on the cover Ryber is entering the mountain with the bird on her arm, when they are only supposed to enter in pairs of two. Coincidence? Hmmmm.....

Emily (emilythebooknerd) | 127 comments Up to “35 Days Since I Became the Last Sightwitch Sister” (17%)

Yeah, in fact it specifically says that “...Sisters remain at the Convent their whole lives. It is too hard to live in the outside world with the Sight.” (not far into Tanzi’s second chapter) From Tanzi’s account of the strange men coming, obviously there is some contact with the outside world (and girls are brought as children to start as Serving Sisters, apparently), but Tanzi’s surprise also makes it clear this was not a super regular occurrence either.
There’s also a mention of “protecting” Sirmaya in this section... Part of their purpose could be just worshiping Her, I suppose, but they wouldn’t need the sight to do that. I just don’t get it.

I’m guessing at least one of the men who comes is a player in the other books- the leader could be Safi’s uncle or Caden or even Merik’s father, or one of the younger men could be Prince Leopold- I don’t remember enough about secondary characters’ appearances or backgrounds to know.

The nine star puzzle is actually something one of my teachers had us do around fourth or fifth grade I think- probably in a “Gifted and Talented” class. I think one of the other students who was smarter than I figured it out before I could work it out myself. I looked back up the solution (there is one- no magic or anything required) after thinking about it for a bit when it was introduced in this book. The author is definitely using it as at least a major metaphor here; we’ll see what other significance it ends up having.

A memory of Tanzi and Ryber bonding early on would definitely have helped give an emotional level to the story. And maybe also given more insights into positive elements of both girls’ personalities.
The hints here that Tanzi was kind of left by her grandmother at the convent makes her apathy more understandable, but there still isn’t much to connect to. With either main character. I agree that Ryber isn’t very endearing either. And she was a very likable character from what I remember in the first book.
Although, TBH, I don’t totally blame Ryber for considering leaving. There isn’t really anything obvious for her to do- she should follow them in, and I’m sure she’s going to, but so far convention and rules are holding her back. Plus there’s the whole question of if doing anything is going against/ interfering with the will of Sirmaya. Not that her bitterness and jealousy aren’t part of why she would consider just walking away- I’m sure they are, but there are other factors as well.
As for fetching help- the convent seems to be largely a secret and outsiders aren’t really let in, so fetching others to interfere would be against her instincts. Plus, she hasn’t left the convent since she was 4- who would she ask for help?
Hopefully Ryber will find some spine soon though and do SOMETHING- the “I am lost” act is getting a little old.

There just aren’t enough words or details. We’re flipping pages, yes, but a lot of that is just the number of diary entries, each on a new page- basically formatting, not actually word count. I feel like everything that’s happened and all the character development so far could have been condensed into 10 pages of a short story without losing much. Plus another 10 for the world building regarding the Sightsisters, which has some major gaps. What we’ve read doesn’t have enough depth almost 20% of a novella.

I definitely think The Rook is going to be key- after all, he was what the Sisters saw in that vision Ryber was allowed to watch. He will probably spur Ryber to act and help her feel not completely alone (plus get over that “you can only enter in pairs” rule, as you pointed out)- although I bet he ultimately plays an even bigger role.

Emily (emilythebooknerd) | 127 comments Up to “Eridysi Gochienka: Y2786 D132” (18%)

What? Now we’re jumping to some other character’s POV, who has barely, barely been mentioned, like a thousand years ago? This is totally scattered all over the place.

I am hopeful that we will at least get more understanding about how the Sight actually works from the POV of a Sister with it and answers about the purpose of the convent. But this is so confusing. Very little of this first entry of Eridysi’s made much sense.
From what I remember, Eridysi’s Lament is very important in the other books- both historically and as a prophecy regarding current and future events. But very, very little is known about that far back in the history of the Witchlands. I feel like it would take a whole novella, maybe a whole book, just to tell Eridysi’s story, to tell the origins of the magic, to include some differences in society, language, culture, government, etc. between the current world and that of a 1,000 years in the past. Not to mention develop another character in any way.
This is kind of a train wreck so far.

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LB (raceforthepuck) | 160 comments Mod
Up to “Eridysi Gochienka: Y2786 D132” (18%)

Yeah, I really don't know what to think now. I'm already having a hard time connecting to the characters, and now we have THREE narrators for a novella. It just seems a bit much, especially with the time lapse. It feels near impossible that she'll be able to link the three narratives together in a way that will satisfy character development like we've been talking about.

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LB (raceforthepuck) | 160 comments Mod
I almost forgot this quote I really liked:

"I will even go so far as to assert that what set Eridysi apart from other Sightwitches in the scrolls of history is that her final writings are the only ones of which we still have record." (pg 57)

An interesting thought that I link to the idea of history being written by the winners. History isn't always subjective, but I think our understanding of it definitely can be and almost always is. We've been watching a lot of WWII documentaries and David mentioned something the other week about how German students don't even learn about that era in their history. It reminds me also about how in different countries the map of the globe is positioned with different axes.

I'm rambling a bit because I haven't slept all week, but I did really like this quote. Probably the most memorable part of the book so far.

I also found this one entertaining, although this one was a little more humorous:

"The Rule of Specificity: Specificity of language is holy, for in vagueness lies a path to misunderstanding. Be specific in all areas where words are used." (pg 70)

Preach sister! The truth in these words is always underestimated.

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LB (raceforthepuck) | 160 comments Mod
Up to Y2786 D354 (pg 128)

Hmmmm. I have a theory about why we added the third POV long in the past. It feels a little off the wall, but I don't think it's entirely crazy. After the suggestion of (view spoiler)

message 13: by Emily (last edited Apr 05, 2018 12:56AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Emily (emilythebooknerd) | 127 comments Not quite as far as you, so haven’t read your last post. Here are my thoughts now, and I’ll catch up tomorrow.

I didn’t really pay much attention to that quote about Eridysi’s writings when I read it, so I’m glad you brought my attention to it. I’m sure you’re right that there are parts of history that we’ve gotten all wrong or at least a skewed version of. Sometimes because of what records survived or who even bothered (or were able) to write them in the first place. Sometimes because of how popular culture ends up portraying something or what books the general public reads, etc. Sometimes because of what facts get put in students’ history textbooks and what is left out. And sometimes because we stick our heads in the sand or are deliberately misled.
It does relate to longitude and latitude- the Equator is a constant, based on the poles and rotation of the Earth, but you could place the Prime Meridian through anywhere. All based on your view of the world.
(Sorry you’re not sleeping enough, hope you can catch up soon!)
My mom went to visit the site of a concentration camp in Germany on a college study-abroad trip in the very early 1980s. Her group stopped for a meal at a nearby town and told the waitperson why they were in the area. The person, who was about the same age as my mom, told them the camp was fake- the Americans had built it, had built all of them, as justification for why they had invaded. There had never been any concentration camps. That’s just appalling, to my mind. I understand, as a German, how it would be hard to reconcile yourself to that part of your country’s history (it’s hard for me sometimes as a HUMAN), but it’s necessary to face it to ensure no one goes down that path again.
Although a woman at one of my bookclubs was implying the other day that to face it and remember it properly, a person should read books that go into a lot of detail about the atrocities of the Nazis and suffering of their victims. (We read Code Name Verity last month.) She likes to read lots of WWII nonfiction. I have read PLENTY of WWII historical fiction, but anymore I struggle with ones that go into details about the concentration camps. I feel like I know enough to be well informed, but don’t feel the need to wallow in the suffering. Maybe her reading about it honors the victims... but there is ultimately only so much sadness one person can want to take. I don’t think I have to know every single detail to honor the victims or be on the lookout for parallels in today’s society and events (which unfortunately I find, especially recently).

I’m all about specificity! A big part of the reason why no matter what I’m writing or why (from texts to essays), I end up writing too much. Also why I find word choice important and love authors who do as well. I use a thesaurus all the time (not that I don’t fall into using lazy word choices, but if I were writing a book I would be more diligent).

Up to “Tanzi Lamanaya Y14 D27” (28%)

Turns out Eridysi doesn’t have the sight either. Although it appears she has some other kind of magical ability, being able to harness the power of Sirmaya to objects and, she hopes, the doors. This leads to some parallels to and questions regarding Ryber, but obviously isn’t going to give me the answers I wanted about what the sight is like, etc. it just raises more questions for me, like why wasn’t she given the sight? and how is she able to harness this power, especially when all magical gifts except the sight are supposed to still be limited to the Paladins? and where does the power come from- why is this mountain the source of it?
I suspect the doors Eridysi is trying to create will turn out to lead to the Origin Wells and give them their power. Not sure how this in turn allows ordinary people to develop gifts (maybe by seeping into the drinking water? Except I don’t think one type of gift is limited to one area, maybe concentrated there, but I think anyone can theoretically be born with any gift). Maybe the root of the problems with the Origin Wells is due to their source in the convent’s mountain, and in turn, has to do with why all the Sightwitches have been summoned?
Clearly Eridysi’s story is essential to the history of the Witchlands, magic there, and the Sightwitches, and probably answers to Ryber’s story and the current mystery at the convent. Maybe it’s actually Tanzi’s POV that should have been eliminated... Unless we later get an entry on what’s happening inside the mountain from her or she ends up having a crucial clue about the summonings of which Ryber needs to have been unaware- I bet one of those will turn out to make her POV necessary. Given the three POVs, the lack of character development, and all the world building and information trying to be crammed into this story, I definitely feel this should have been a full book in order to have been done thoroughly and well. I have so many questions; there is no way they are all going to be answered. So many things are just barely touched on. And everything in the Eridysi chapters is so cryptic!
At the same time, I feel like there are some parts that don’t add much. Like what’s the point of the entry where Ryber first goes to the crypts (first part of Ryber- 41 days since I became the last Sightwitch sister)? I guess it sets up how the library works and the ghosts, for future visits, but... Maybe it’s just that I still find Ryber’s writing, well all three POVs, really, but Ryber’s most and Eridysi’s least, so bland and lacking in personality.

Some of the things I’m curious about: Who’s the Rook King mentioned by Lisbet and Cora’s father? How does he connect to The Rook? Because I think it would be a big coincidence if he didn’t. And what’s with the war going on in Eridysi’s time- who’s fighting who and how does it connect to the Paladins? (Although my curiosity about the Paladins from earlier is, at least, being rewarded somewhat.) So the Nomatsi/No’Amatsi originate from east beyond the Witchlands? What’s with the difference in the spelling of the name? I love the Nomatsi part of this world and would love to learn more about them, their tribes and customs, Threadwitches, and their history in general, but realize that’s a bit outside the purview of this novella. I think I can guess what Rule 37- the rule of the accidental guest- entails (and think it’s a bit callous of Ryber to be wishing that fate on someone just so she can have a bit of company, even if she is extremely lonely). But what is Rule 12 about the acceptance of new children and why would she have been breaking it to accept Dirdra?

I predict that Lisbet and Cora’s father is going to turn out to have some important role, though I have no idea what, since Eridysi specifically made an exception in allowing him to return to visit his daughters.

The arrival of the Nubrevnans in the vicinity adds a new variable. What are they building and why? I’m thinking Kullen has to be with them, since he ends up entering the picture. He might be the Airwitch captain Ryber mentions, though that could also be Merik... or neither of them. The only characters I remember being described as super pale are Aeduan (the Bloodwitch) and Iseult (and Nomatsis in general, I think). But really, I don’t remember enough about any of the characters to know.

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LB (raceforthepuck) | 160 comments Mod
Up to 5 hours left (pg 135).

Well, I was wrong about (view spoiler) it seems. Still curious as to the importance of that character. Their presence is too central for there not to be some reason in the appearance in (view spoiler). Ho hum.

Wow. The story of your mom's trip to Germany is almost unbelievable, and yet I believe it completely. So sad. I agree with your point there. If we do not educate ourselves in history, we are doomed to repeat it. And there have been many, many sections of history I would rather never revisit. I'm not sure full submersion into all the gore and detail is necessary though, as you pointed out. I think humans as a species have enough capacity for empathy and moral obligation to understand what is right and wrong (certainly in less grayscale areas) than to have to be forced to almost relive those moments just to understand them. I don't have to relive slavery to know that, as Condoleezza Rice stated, it is the terrible birthmark of our country. In fact, her memoir I think is an excellent example of this point. Alabama was definitely the Deep South, and she has a lot of mentions of the way life was growing up in segregation (and the fear for their safety and lives she felt at a young age), but her family wasn't on the front lines of the resistance and violence (though she does mention her father did not march with Dr, King as he believe violence was an acceptable retaliation to violence in those times). I didn't have to read detailed descriptions of those times to gain an appreciation for the struggles so many Americans faced in that time. Just as I don't have to watch live recordings of all these shootings happening around our country recently to understand the complex severities that plague current times.

Specificity, specificity, specificity, amen. I have been working a lot on communication the last year and am just now beginning to realize the importance of not just saying how you feel and what you mean, but ensuring you say it in such a way that it is clear to those you wish you communicate with what you mean. Many a times I get frustrated when I feel like I have been ignored or that someone important to me did not listen to my concerns, only to realize when I dissected it later that I had been expecting them to read my mind and have never effectively communicated what I had meant to say. And as a writer, it is just as hard. So many times I struggle to find the perfect work to convey a setting or an action or emotion. I fall down the rabbit hole of the thesaurus only to resurface tens of minutes later, still groping for that elusive word lol.

I am definitely starting to see the similarities between Dysi and Ryber, though I have to admit I'm more interested in this juncture in the two young girls than in Eridysi herself. And, of course, I am still wondering about the importance of The Rook. I feel like there could be better transitions in blending the two stories together. I think the last couple of shifts between Ryber and Dysi have killed the story pacing some, which is vital in shorter novels/novellas.

I agree that Tanzi's POV has done little to contribute to the story thus far. Still waiting to see why it was introduced.

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LB (raceforthepuck) | 160 comments Mod
Up to 2(?) hours left to find Tanzi (pg 163)

So I think I am starting to see how the two timelines sync up, but I'm still having a hard time getting into the plot. I've been dragging my feet reading this because it just hasn't been that exciting. Maybe I'm in the wrong mindset. It feels like (view spoiler) should have a lot of tension and suspense, but it's just fell flat on me.

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LB (raceforthepuck) | 160 comments Mod

So I haven't posted much because I haven't really had much to say, but wanted to give props to this quote:

"We value things more when when we know they won't last forever." (pg 220)

I was told recently to write my memoir, to include the successes in my life and what sticks out from my past. And what comes to mind the most is the people. And while I wouldn't go back and change things, not really, there are so many more things I would have liked to do with the people who are no longer in my life. Had I known they would depart this world when they did, I was have spent so much more time and effort to be with them, to value the time we did spend together.

As for the story.... hmmm. I feel like though Ryber's character arc ended, I didn't get a whole heck of a lot out of this story. Though, again, it could be because I don't remember much about the series since it's been so long since I read the other installments.

Tanzi's storyline didn't seem to add anything to the novella, except maybe a hail Mary at forced character development, which was still lacking overall.

And I feel like many of the questions I had toward the beginning I still have now. The biggest one being (view spoiler) I thought the two story lines came together nicely, though the ability to see the future and thus foreshadow through the characters felt a bit like cheating.

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