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Wurts - Wars of L&S & More > Q&A with Janny Wurts!! [Fugitive Prince BR]

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message 1: by Chris (new)

Chris  (haughtc) | 1769 comments By Janny's request, here is the Q&A thread for the next book in the series, Fugitive Prince


message 2: by Janny (last edited May 14, 2018 07:37AM) (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 271 comments The Buddy Read for Fugitive Prince begins tomorrow, May 15th. Here is an introduction to that title, followed by a list of resource links.

This title kicks off Book One of the THIRD ARC of the Wars of Light and Shadow - subtitled the Alliance of Light. Some older editions list the sub arc title (Book 1) rather prominently, however: BE WARNED - this is Volume FOUR of the series, entire.

It is NOT recommended that you start the series here, because it takes ALL of what has gone before and begins 'lifting' the readers' vantage to world view - what are all these factions the characters have interacted with, or smacked headlong into, REALLY about - what is the 'moral high ground' of these groups, truly? And how high or how low will they reach for for 'due cause' or 'convenience' or 'expediency.'

OF NOTE: Warhost ended on an extremely high pitch of intensity and action - this book is an ARC START and it will gear back in pace to stage for the next round(s) of yet higher pitch feels and major action. It will not end on a cliff hanger, it will have a strong finish, but as you get there, bear in mind: there are immense subtleties either unknown to the view point characters in the first three volumes - or glossed over by reader assumption OR unreliable narrators - and beware, in Arc III, those blinders will be destroyed. For those revelations to hit hard, the characters must experience them - so expect that you cannot skim and that EVERYTHING matters. Once again, you have to sink between the lines: it's ALL about who is saying it, what do they know and how do they interpret it, who is listening, and what do they know/ what do they THINK they are hearing, and in fact, what actually DID occur, until you as reader gain the breadth of view to understand it - when you discover why, that kick in the teeth will unfold in due time. I've often called Fugitive Prince the 'lost volume' because of how deeply the events and ramifications and little details tend to be overlooked or underestimated. All of this stuff will orchestrate - and pay off - as the arc builds steam and hits closure at Stormed Fortress. The story will not sprawl, here, it will vastly deepen. Wait for it.

There are no cliffhangers in any of the books in the third arc; each one of them will have the typical midpoint punch and a finale - but each volume in the Arc will pick up the pace/the entire arc's one punch (and series! one punch) will occur in Peril's Gate - with Traitor's Knot the hard convergency and Stormed Fortress pure finale. ALL the books pick up pace after Peril's Gate because that is also series tipping point, and all that follows spins into the start of the entire series' convergency.

If you are starting this book 'cold' without the other volumes - you can; but bear in mind: NOTHING you see happened as it truly 'was' - you will be seeing it via the view point of biased characters who don't know the whole picture. Be prepared to 'swim' in deep currents you don't know are there until it comes together. Use the glossary and a megadose of patience. For the full impact of this book, the true start at The Curse of the Mistwraith is recommended.

RESOURCE LIST:

Kicking the tires, first:
EXCERPTS available in downloadable e formats OR on screen print:
http://www.paravia.com/JannyWurts/web...
AUDIO: scroll down this page till you find it: http://www.paravia.com/JannyWurts/web...

INTERACTIVE MAP: Note: read directions to avoid spoilers, this map has layers of info and artwork/has been spoiler tagged by volume. You can also enlarge features if your e book or paperbook has crap resolution.
http://www.paravia.com/JannyWurts/web...

SUMMARIES of the first three volumes, if you need a 'refresher' for what has gone before:

CURSE OF THE MISTWRAITH: http://www.paravia.com/JannyWurts/web...

SHIPS OF MERIOR: http://www.paravia.com/JannyWurts/web...

WARHOST OF VASTMARK: http://www.paravia.com/JannyWurts/web...

NOTE: the glossaries of each volume are all updated to reflect the ending of the book prior, so they won't spoil the volume they are printed in. Sometimes there is 'bonus' information in the definitions.

PARAVIA WIKI - there is a Paravia Wikipidia created by one of the readers - it is broken up by volume to avoid spoilers and Brian sure would welcome help if anyone wishes to help build it. I will try to add the link, later.

TITLE LIST OF THE THIRD ARC,
Wars of Light and Shadows: ALLIANCE OF LIGHT

Fugitive Prince
Grand Conspiracy
Peril's Gate
Traitor's Knot
Stormed Fortress

(followed by the two volumes of Arc IV/Sword of the Canon)

Happy reading - ask any question you want, or discuss whatever you wish here if you want my angle of insight or participation. All spoilers will be marked.


message 3: by Laura (last edited May 15, 2018 08:15PM) (new)

Laura (lauradragonchild) | 6217 comments Thank you so much for the introduction Janny.

We are discussing the symbolism of the covers and I have just posted all the covers I found on Paravia.com. They are absolutely gorgeous!!!

If you don't mind, could you please have a look and let us know if there are any covers in particular we should concentrate on? Or let me know if I have forgotten one of them?


message 4: by Olivia (new)

Olivia (vinjii) | 1085 comments Thank you for your comments :) Will start reading this weekend.


message 5: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 271 comments Laura wrote: "Thank you so much for the introduction Janny.

We are discussing the symbolism of the covers and I have just posted all the covers I found on Paravia.com. They are absolutely gorgeous!!!

If you do..."


The only symbolism I could answer for would be in the covers that are mine: I did the artwork for the US and UK covers/excepting the earlier UK one, done by my husband, Don Maitz (which has the stone bridge over the ravine with nasty critters and a banner on it). The French, Polish and Czech covers are not my art....

Here are some clues: symbols can be embedded in details of clothing, dress, stonework - and the numbers upon which the geometrics are based are significant. Colors count, numbers of objects may count, the various animals included in landscapes or icons count, whether the ribbons are tangled/are other things knotted up? What are the characters in portrait shots DOING, how are they dressed, and where are they facing/are they looking directly or indirectly at the viewer? What might this mean? Also look closely at the vegetation/weather/ and also, there are significant geometrics designed into the placement and the arranged composition - and on and on it goes....plenty of fodder for speculation! as some of the stuff has ramifications that may be historical or as a harbinger.


message 6: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 271 comments Olivia wrote: "Thank you for your comments :) Will start reading this weekend."

You're welcome!


message 7: by Laura (new)

Laura (lauradragonchild) | 6217 comments Thank you so much for the reply. I have edited my comment and removed those covers. Would you mind if I asked you to check again and see if I have set the remaining ones correct? Hope it's ok to ask.

There are 2 covers for Ships of Merior there - one with Arithon holding the lyranthe and the other with scenery. Should we use only the one with Arithon or both?

For the Warhost of Vastmark there are also 2. Should we use the one with Arithon holding the bow? Or both?


message 8: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 271 comments Laura wrote: "Thank you so much for the reply. I have edited my comment and removed those covers. Would you mind if I asked you to check again and see if I have set the remaining ones correct? Hope it's ok to as..."

Nice job, thanks! Yes, all the covers you have posted are appropriate - the landscape one for Fugitive Prince (only) was done by my husband, Don Maitz, but he followed through in the same vein.

If you check on the Gallery section of the Paravia site, or in the print catalog, you will find the entire picture for the British landscape covers without type (my art, and also the one by Don) - lots more to see in those images since they wrapped around to the back side of the books.

Both the landscapes, the portrait style, and the icon style - all my art.

And of course it is fine to ask!


message 9: by Daniel (new)

Daniel | 1536 comments Will be fun to start this new adventure. The last BR was very enjoyable especially with your commentary, answers, and side notes!


message 10: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 271 comments Daniel wrote: "Will be fun to start this new adventure. The last BR was very enjoyable especially with your commentary, answers, and side notes!"

I'm champing at the bit! This book has so much packed into the detail, you have no idea (but you will, even up to the last arc, there are significant seeds revealed here.) Skimmers will miss everything, but this group is a treasure for patient attention and carefully thought insight! It's a double dip blast and an honor to be asked to participate!


message 11: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 271 comments Oh, what a blast, you're digging into the images!

A few things to think about that are concrete: If you look at the landscape picture for the UK cover of Curse of the Mistwraith, it depicts the Light and the Shadows driving the Mistwraith from the ruin of Ithamon....the view is 'taken' from a crumbled structure (low wall) in the outer ruin, facing the inner ring with one of the gates (the white wall) - if you notice the design of that intact arch, you will pick up that the broken arch in the portrait US cover is from that same ring of fortifications. So the background structure in both cover is taken from Ithamon (so is the view behind Arithon's posed portrait, titled Exile Returned, that was used as one of the German covers/can be found in the print shop).

The low wall with the gargoyles in portrait cover IS sculpture - an old Paravian wall -- so the gargoyles are statuary. Carved stone, to be precise....now, look at the critters lurking on the arch in the landscape cover Don did for Fugitive Prince.....they've been mentioned, once, Ships of Merior for certain.

The tri-axial (three) pattern on the wall is ALSO the chapter head graphic for Curse of the Mistwraith.

Check out the knotted patterns between the pillars with the tri-axial patterns - there is stuff hidden in the geometry...

You are all getting very warm regarding the placement of the sword and the lyranthe in that portrait cover....NOTE: their composition forms an X - significating the upcoming division/setting the characters at cross purposes....In that picture, what is EACH character reaching for/protecting? Huge harbinger, here....and you got it: one faces the audience directly in the eye, and the other has his back turned, chin up....facing away from us/not looking us in the eye, but looking slightly above things....

The coils of the Mist are in that shot, too - how is the MISTWRAITH reacting to each of the characters?

I will leave you all to speculate away on the rest of it....but will flag this: the Rose is not Lysaer....it relates precisely to the sword, and that will unfold in due time: read on.

Thanks for giving these tweaks (there are many more!) some long overlooked attention! I set everything down with utmost thought and precision, expecting we'd have a huge following who dug into the depths as some series have acquired at this stage. There are some mysteries in there that have been but lightly discussed, and no one's unlocked them as yet. (Watch the raven....)

You in this group are warming the cockles of my heart - it's exciting that perhaps a spark may be lit in the course of this discussion. The books had a very sporadic in-print record with periods of blackout - (since corrected -, so now is a great moment for this discussion to happen. Tips hat off to you!


message 12: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 271 comments After note: I just checked, and noticed you don't have the UK landscape cover posted for Curse of the Mistwraith....so you couldn't have caught the architectural congruence between the US portrait cover, and that one, sited in the same place. That cover is the blue and black one with the massive light bolt bisecting the image/with the towers of Ithamon on the raised knoll where the conflict that confined Desh-thiere occurred.


message 13: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 271 comments There is a whole lot of symbolism attached to the raven - and I probably used it ALL. Every bit. So check mythology, many cultures - what did raven stand for.

Then there is the specific mystery surrounding the raven in THIS SERIES....levels and layers more to untangle here.

I wasn't kidding when I said there are Malazan styled layers of reveals...but not in breadth and sprawl, it's all concentrated in height and depth, due to the circumstance surrounding human presence on Athera - and - not at all least, the world herself - what you are seeing here will VASTLY deepen, many many many layers - all in sight, but you don't (yet) have the vantage to unlock it. When you do, this story will have an entirely different thrust and heft - and a whole different vector of suspense(s) that you can't pick up in one take/nor will, because the story also will grow in levels and depth for every decade you add on to your personal life experience. The story you may read in your twenties will shift emphasis and meaning every decade after - and carry other impacts as you grow your perspective with age.

Have fun!


message 14: by Laura (new)

Laura (lauradragonchild) | 6217 comments Oh. Thank you for the clues! Dead wrong on the rose but I don't mind. 😁 Now I really really want to know what both that and the raven stand for.

I'll search for the UK cover in a few minutes and add it to the comment so we can compare it.


message 15: by Olivia (new)

Olivia (vinjii) | 1085 comments Thank you for all the hints and clues and comments. Very much appreciated :)


message 16: by Laura (new)

Laura (lauradragonchild) | 6217 comments I am sorry Janny. I am troubling you again.

Could you please let me know if the photo I added for the UK version is the correct one?

Thank you again.


message 17: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 271 comments Laura wrote: "I am sorry Janny. I am troubling you again.

Could you please let me know if the photo I added for the UK version is the correct one?

Thank you again."


Hi Laura - yes, but you may want to fish a bit further as that is only a partial view - the cover image is a full wraparound (like the other landscape views). I checked my site and catalog for prints and wow - are those listings ever woefully behind (too much writing/too little attention to updating stuff).

My web guy has had life events, so that's been part of it...the UK wrap cover for Mistwraith ought to be part of the revolving 'slide show' for the book's page...not sure if it shows the back side of the cover, though, which has some intriguing stuff. If we hit a wall with it let me know.

I did find that the image for Exile Returned (another Arithon portrait/there is a story behind how this painting came to be done) - is listed in the print catalog on this page: http://www.paravia.com/catalog/index....


message 18: by Laura (new)

Laura (lauradragonchild) | 6217 comments I am trully sorry but we did hit a wall with that cover. The pic there is the only one I could find. And that too on google not Paravia. Perhaps I don't know where to look? :(

And thank you for the link. I'll update that photo to my comment also.

You are very kind to take time for us this way. We really appreciate it.


message 19: by Daniel (new)

Daniel | 1536 comments Ditto what Laura said we are indeed trying.


message 20: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 271 comments Ping me on e mail (it's on my website/use mine not the admin) and I will see what I can do to get you that image.


message 21: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 271 comments Now that things are revving up and some of you are into the first chapter, here's a side note involving the research/all tied into Chapter 1/spoilers marked.

I wanted to pull off a (view spoiler)

Before coming up with that juicy bit of plotting, I read TONS of books on the subject of (view spoiler)


message 22: by Laura (last edited May 22, 2018 11:44AM) (new)

Laura (lauradragonchild) | 6217 comments Thank you so much for the extra info. It is amazing!

And regarding the scene you mentioned I just have to say it: I was expecting (view spoiler)


message 23: by Daniel (new)

Daniel | 1536 comments Well for whatever it is worth, research really pays off as far as a scene seeming completely real. When all the facts are correct the fiction is better:D!


message 24: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 271 comments Laura wrote: "Thank you so much for the extra info. It is amazing!

And regarding the scene you mentioned I just have to say it: I was expecting the baby to be in the wrong position. That is the difficulty I re..."


Well, cool beans, it worked! I try very hard (it is an obsession sometimes) to research things that are in context with our human experience to make them seamlessly real. Never actually had much feedback from this particular scene....so thanks for the acknowledgment the hard work paid off! and confirming: yes, this condition is real and still treated the same way....


message 25: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 271 comments Daniel wrote: "Well for whatever it is worth, research really pays off as far as a scene seeming completely real. When all the facts are correct the fiction is better:D!"

Dead on right - I feel this is true...first and best is the author having the real experience themselves (I have gone out of my way to do this where I could - sailing, riding, wilderness scenes are directly experienced/I used the highlights and made you feel, if I could, how it IS to be there. Where I could not do it, I went out of my way to research AND consult those who had; if I did my job, the interface is seamless - you hopefully can't tell where I did it, or where I researched it. Those small 'real' details used well can really ramp up tension and make a read memorable - for some, anyway. It's a difference of wanting just to know what happens, or to experience what happens. I like the latter/driven on by the former, every time.


message 26: by Daniel (new)

Daniel | 1536 comments It really does show. I am more of a scientist than anything else, such that the little real details make or break most fiction for me. Thank you for all your hard work lol. Did this series truly spring from something to do with the Battle of Culloden Moor?


message 27: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 271 comments Daniel wrote: "It really does show. I am more of a scientist than anything else, such that the little real details make or break most fiction for me. Thank you for all your hard work lol. Did this series truly sp..."

Yes. Do you want the long version?


message 28: by Daniel (new)

Daniel | 1536 comments Lmao words don’t scare me. It is up to you, whatever you wish to share Ma’am.


message 29: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 271 comments Daniel wrote: "Lmao words don’t scare me. It is up to you, whatever you wish to share Ma’am."

All right, then (this presumes you are current with the series up to this volume - no outright spoilers, but some mild peeks in generic terms, that would have unfolded, naturally in earliervolumes):

The 'seed' idea of the main thread of conflict (that originally aimed to turn certain endemic cliches on their head) - and that would come to impact the 'world order' of Athera....which was still in active, building development - this was in 1972! Not much was 'out there' yet, for post Tolkien epic fantasy. We had LeGuin's Earthsea, Donaldson, Tanith Lee, CJ Cherryh, the whole range of pulp sword and sorcery, Lieber, Howard, CL Moore, DeCamp et al...Vance's work/Oz/Narnia, CS Lewis/Islandia by Austin Tappan Wright - and the Ballantine Fantasy series that was just getting underway to lend impetus to what we now have as a massive, expanded genre. Wheel of Time was not created yet, Eddings, Brooks , Feist were not yet published either. The avalanche of Tolkien legacy clones were still gleams in the minds of their creators.

So this was the 'backdrop' scene to the formative start of Athera's creation - just to lend a bit of perspective.....

I knew from the get go there would be No Elves, No Dwarves, No copycat scripts -- what I took from Tolkien was the liberating concept that a work could be written INDEPENDENT of Earth's mythos, far far beyond reach of a 'folk tale' - a world could be OTHER and its story reach past the prejudices and preconceptions of our cultural history. (And there IS a one line tribute to Tolkien's work/just a wee flourish to the monument he left us as a break through - buried in the pages of Curse of the Mistwraith if you can find it./just as there are other TINY things that honor other authors who went before - small, there, very personal. You may encounter them!)

Of course, epic fantasy had to have sweeping battles. Being the research fiend that I am, and a stickler for 'accuracy' with period tech, I plunged into nonfiction reference and accounts/also re-enactment/major time at museum collections ACTUALLY handling period armor and weapons (busted that myth quick, that such things are 'heavy' - nope - they are light, superbly balanced, easy to wield, or fatigue would have foundered the field warrior stat).

I knew the framework of Athera had certain restrictions - you'll have encountered some of them in Ships and will, more of them, in this book. So I could not, no way, use any 'period' from earth history...the timescale of development was not uniform at all.

Sailing ships - would have progressed WAY past weoponry. The massive shifts created by gun powder and then rifling would not have happened....watermill tech would be well developed - up to the POINT where it crashed into mass production.....so everything had to be researched UP TO the point where Athera's development allowed, and, even, maybe got altered by peculiarities of the world itself.

This required a massive study of centuries worth of war, tactics, weoponry, then an overview reorganization to 'make it fit together' into the seamless evolution of Athera's middle Third Age.

Much of this work was done in my first years of college, when I had massive access to university libraries, and plenty of friends doing re-enactment. Book after book, huge all night discussions with gamers (DnD was not here, yet, not quite, but the serious hobby war gamers were very active playing the fields of REAL historical campaigns - they had a lot of knowledge!) I tapped out every source I could, from roughly Rome all the way to the Renaissance, when gunpowder seriously began to sweep change across the board.

With my head stuffed with all this knowledge of tactics and particulars, I stepped into the college theater one sunny afternoon to watch the docudrama Culloden. I thought I 'knew' this story - I'd been a musician for years, huge into ballads, bigger into reading historical fiction (the library, all of it) - I'd read every lavish, romanticized account of Bonnie Prince Charlie, and being a bagpiper, also was immersed in the musical tradition of the Jacobite rebellion. Hell, I'd even had Robertson ancestors who fought, and their families pressed into work gangs, clearing the peat bogs near Stirling.

I thought I 'knew' what it was all about - I'd read the epic poetry, the fantasy, and watched all the movies.

Well - the person who stepped into that dark theater was not the same one who came out.

The docudrama was shot in stark black and white. It peeled off the heroic justifications, and in merciless, unvarnished, blood, mud and horror - recreated EXACTLY the brutal massacre that occurred on Culloden Field - when incompetent leadership, failure to give orders, cowardice, confusion, and stupidity created the slaughter of miserable, starving rabble FORCED to stand on that line by their lords in the sleet and mud - they faced UPHILL, against a battery of cannon, in an insane position of stacked odds, while their pampered prince drank tea from a silver service....when the guns started shredding them, NO ONE gave the order to charge, retreat or - anything - so they just died, raked to shreds in a horror that I can only say had to have been indescribable. The only part of their line that closed at all was the uphill section, on drier ground, somewhat sheltered from the main battery - and if I recall - they charged anyhow. The upshot of this: their culture was destroyed. The MASSIVE fortification that the English built after wards to keep the repression stuns the mind....how great the fear of a recurrence.

I sat there watching, for the first time, the utter, annihilating brutality of war/and mapped in my head EVERY single campaign I'd just studied - all of them were the same. Just might, or luck, or overwhelming numbers, or sharp tactics turned to the 'cause' of obliteration.

And I slammed hard into how sorrowfully we've been duped: by 'news/propoganda' - by stories, by myth, by every sort of MAD justification that sugar coats causes and glorifies slaughter....might does not make right....might only makes bloodshed, and bloodshed so often happens when EVERY OTHER OPTION before that has been neglected or abandoned or run over roughshod. History as written by the victor - war as fodder for entertainment - is the biggest lie humanity has ever swallowed.

And epic fantasy is one of the worst offenders.

That one film recast everything, ripped the gauze off the bloody lie, and I went out of there so fuming ENRAGED I could not speak. Nor could I write the 'story' that repeated this tradition....not. No. WAY!

Out of the crucible, my course changed: and what you have is the Wars of Light and Shadows that will not gild the lie or perpetuate the notion of mass murder as a 'solution'.

I can never read books, watch the news, or regard history the same way, ever again. This series (one facet of it) is my shout of protest. The first of many more/keep on reading.


message 30: by Olivia (new)

Olivia (vinjii) | 1085 comments Thank you for your detailed reply. I love the idea of a protest shout against what you've described above. It just gave me a new perspective while reading these books!

I too was expecting that situation discussed earlier with the baby to be the one we always see in books and films and was surprised and horrified reading the actual scene.

Thank you for elaborating on your research :)


message 31: by Daniel (last edited May 23, 2018 08:13AM) (new)

Daniel | 1536 comments “Epic fantasy is one of the worst offenders”. A bit of confusion on my part with this statement. In general, I would have said the “good side” in epic fantasy was always the massive underdog, and only through fortuitous chance ever prevails. Although perhaps what you meant is that there is no “good” side in any war.
It is without any doubt that might is NOT right, the majority is rarely right(intelligence is additive, wisdom is not), etc. etc.
Thank you for the insight.


message 32: by Laura (new)

Laura (lauradragonchild) | 6217 comments Thank you for the insight. The amount of research you have put into your work is staggering. And I too love the idea of "shout of protest".

Is that the same reason you chose to focus on ethics and morality? Almost all the characters seem to dance on an extremely fine-drawn line between right and wrong, good and bad, etc. They all make me think about human nature, about what humans as a race are capable of doing to each other or to themselves. They seem to make us question our every-day values. They make you love them and then hate them and then feel sorry because you have been hasty in judgement and question your good sense. Or sorry that you've judged them in the first place. At least that's just about how I feel about several of them.

What made you write the characters this way? What made you focus on that line?


message 33: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 271 comments Daniel wrote: "“Epic fantasy is one of the worst offenders”. A bit of confusion on my part with this statement. In general, I would have said the “good side” in epic fantasy was always the massive underdog, and o..."

By Epic fantasy being among the 'worst offenders' - glorifying war as any sort of solution. That war, period, 'fixes' all ills - it's not a matter of 'underdog' wins, it's the ennobilization of mass slaughter - the killer as hero - when who writes history, when the dust clears? Cultures are SO complicated!!

One misunderstood set of beliefs can start wars - our human foundations/mores and customs, not our humanity, but the trappings of what we 'believe' are SO varied and contrary!

A few stark examples: Western cultures think the number 13 is a jinx - oriental cultures don't, they have ANOTHER number that's superstitiously charged.

In some cultures, merely handing someone a thing using your LEFT hand, (or even right hand alone, rather than offering with BOTH hands) is anything from a slight to a vicious insult....the jokes played on Westerners at treaty signings - wow - there are so many angles of view!

I went to Korea to visit a very close friend working in animation. He wanted a fellow artist to SEE the cultural gap he was experiencing and also, he had a married a Korean and hoped a visit would improve her English. While I was there, and during our efforts to communicate, John pulled me aside and asked me to decipher a problem between them that was galling him, and getting worse. He said, "She accepts my gifts. Admires this piece of jewelry, and if I give it to her for her birthday, she puts it in a draw/never wears it/doesn't even take it out of the wrapping! Is she playing me? Can you find out?"

It took days. First, we did not have the shared lexicon, nor did EITHER of us have the cultural awareness we need to achieve understanding. Finally, with nowhere to turn, I confronted her straight up and explained: when an American man gives you a gift, jewelry, clothes, whatever, because he LOVES you, if you do not wear it or display it or use it, it is considered an [insult] - not having that word, I mimed slapping myself in the face - HARD.

Her eyes got huge. After a pregnant pause, she said, REEEEEAAAALY? in sheer disbelief.

I nodded, yes. Slapped my cheek again.

THEN she explained: in her culture, if a gift is given and you wear it all the time, or in fact ever, in public - THAT shows how little you regard it....but if you put it away, only wear it once - or even BETTER - if you put it away, NEVER wear it EVER, and revere it by keeping it in its original wrapping - THAT shows how deeply and personally you VALUE the love of the person who gave it. It was all about extreme respect.

Wars have started for less......so much less.

And repeatedly, inequities that could have been redressed, through education, compromise, sharing, understanding - are ignored until they reach the point of explosion.

Anger IS the presence of love, disappointed. Rage happens because love is denied in some way. Aggression happens when no one listens or responds. And knowing their story - listening - there are so many barriers based on assumptions.

How easy to oversimplify into 'two sides' of a conflict.


message 34: by Janny (last edited May 23, 2018 09:41AM) (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 271 comments Laura wrote: "Thank you for the insight. The amount of research you have put into your work is staggering. And I too love the idea of "shout of protest".

Is that the same reason you chose to focus on ethics and..."


YES! These stories are meant to spark thought, make you stumble over assumptions, discover (even belatedly) insights. To look beneath the surface. To realize NOBODY holds the full picture. Oversimplification can cost terribly. And what is moral - what IS 'right' - this changes with perspective, doesn't it? Or does it? Does the more informed perspective also expose a fallacy, and does any hard and fast 'line' answer reliably under all circumstances?

Questioning our everyday values - THIS is the heart and soul of the discussion I hoped to provoke - along with some fun, some wit, some intensity of impact to shake things up and alter perspective. Not once, but again and again.

Be most careful where you stand your ground, in this story. :) The prologue in Vol I gave due warning right in plain sight.


message 35: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 271 comments Side note: For my own sanity, (and yours) I do not write nehilism or play games with pointless emotional damage. :)


message 36: by Laura (new)

Laura (lauradragonchild) | 6217 comments Thank you for the reply. :) And for the photo you provided for us. I have included it into the comment.

I'd like to ask one more question, a little more on the fun side this time. How on Earth did you come up with Dakar's repertoire of curses? :)

'I'm a grandmother goat's arse' or 'Turd-stupid string-plucking goose' to name just a few. They always make me smile and even laugh out loud. And the way you write them down I can practically see Dakar fuming while muttering them. They are great! Original and great!


message 37: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 271 comments Laura wrote: "Thank you for the reply. :) And for the photo you provided for us. I have included it into the comment.

I'd like to ask one more question, a little more on the fun side this time. How on Earth did..."


Thanks for posting the image - I have totally NO idea how you do that on this site....(hair pull, so much on my plate).

Curses - we have lost SO much color from language with the information age/TV/the decisions made to print most news in third grade level reading aptitude. If you read OLD books, or better, letter archives from earlier times, you quickly realize how much more creative folks were with things like insults - the stuff politicians and writers called each other, at the time of the revolution - Mark Twain's opinions and descriptions of his peer authors - brilliantly nasty and stunningly original....we've lost so much, in that regard - the average grunt soldier's letters home or to his sweetheart in the Civil War will quickly demonstrate how bland language has become - we've dumbed the juice out of it so to speak, in more modern times.

Hang out on the waterfront - or with old salt fishermen, sailhands, people from other cultures - there's a distinct flavor to the ratty language. And Scots - they are masters at it!!! I've played with pipe bands since college/gone all over competing in bands and solos - those crusty old guys who emigrated/the rounds of the folk singers from that background - do they EVER know how to insult, it's grand altogether.

Add that plus a healthy dose of imagination and some experience with life in the country - and on a search and rescue team - and away ye go....it's very much an art form and a blast to play with on the page.


message 38: by Timelord Iain, Tech Support (new)

Timelord Iain | 17973 comments Mod
I was asked to pop in and give a little image posting tutorial:

To post images on goodreads, you just need to type

< img src = "LINK" >

without the spaces... in place of the LINK you need the location of an image... you can get this by right clicking an image online and clicking "Copy Image Location"

If you want to link a personal image from your computer, you need to upload it somewhere like in your profile photos, or on photobucket, Imgur, prnt.sc or any other image hosting website...

Example: < img src = "https://images.gr-assets.com/users/14..." >

Result:

Note: "img src" is just html shorthand for "image source"


message 39: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 271 comments Iain wrote: "I was asked to pop in and give a little image posting tutorial:

To post images on goodreads, you just need to type



without the spaces... in place of the LINK you need the location of an image...."


Iain, thank you! I'd put the image up on my website and link it, rather than use a photo sharing site...since I like to keep things tidy with the art - though I am very very grateful for your taking the time to post this in case I ever need it.

To all in the USA - hope you are having a relaxed long weekend, and that your parades, picnics, Memorial Day ceremonies have not been rained out.

I have had a bit of a course load on my plate (completed, whew!) - prevented me being around; lots to add when the discussion perks up/whenever.

If the readership wishes a more in depth look at the meaning behind the meanings of the images on the covers, shout, you all deserve it for the care taken in getting the images collected and posted up.


message 40: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 271 comments Side note on the symbolism: to unlock what is there, you will certainly need to dig a LOT deeper than Western 'theology' and 'historical' reference - Raven is mythic in many, many cultures, and the meaning goes far deeper -- and a lot more mystical.

Rose has 'qualities' that relate to much more than myth, too....I don't want to say too much or risk unveiling what is to come, but what is to be found lies deeper than a fast glance.

There are whole layers of depth in this series that you have not accessed, as yet, at the opening volume of Arc III - don't fret over it, it IS COMING! :X - authorial duct tape on the mouth.


message 41: by Laura (new)

Laura (lauradragonchild) | 6217 comments Janny wrote: "Side note on the symbolism: to unlock what is there, you will certainly need to dig a LOT deeper than Western 'theology' and 'historical' reference - Raven is mythic in many, many cultures, and the..."

Thank you for the tip Janny. :)
We'll dig deeper. :D

I for one am enjoying this hunt for clues and symbols. There's a lot of new stuff I'm learning this way also.


message 42: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 271 comments Laura wrote: "Janny wrote: "Side note on the symbolism: to unlock what is there, you will certainly need to dig a LOT deeper than Western 'theology' and 'historical' reference - Raven is mythic in many, many cul..."

Side note two: you all keep trying to tie this to Earth based stuff - it DOES NOT relate to any religion established from here, period....some things like the raven appear in MANY MANY mythos, and they converge around one or two meanings - so there is something 'univsersal' at the root of it - and the rose relates directly to the sword.

There is more: remember the origins of mankind ON Athera - the Paravian mythos supplanted everything under Charter Law, as laid down by the Fellowship. For a reason...it's coming.... :)


message 43: by Laura (new)

Laura (lauradragonchild) | 6217 comments Hi Janny.

We need a little help. We seem to keep going around in circles with the symbols so I'd like to ask if you could also take part in our game.

I'd like to post here a few of the answers we got and ask you to either tell us if we got it right or absolutely wrong; if we're getting warmer as we're digging on the right path or colder as we're loosing our way. That would be a great help for us I think, if you don't mind playing with us. :)

I'll start with these:

1. the Raven - a. stands for the fellowship?
- b. stands for the force of nature?
- c. is the harbringer of bad luck, or the curse?

2. The gilded circles - are gates to other worlds?

3. The gargoyles - a. stand for the princes?
- b. are just statues and nothing more?

4. The red ribbons - a. are the ones on the arrows Arithon shot for signals to begin shooting etc. as in at the Havens?
- b. represent the path of Arithon?

5. The chapter heading symbol in Curse of the Mistwraith - stands for the Paravian races?

6. The chapter heading symbol in Warhost of Wastmark - represents the Khadrim?

7.The Chapter heading in Fugitive Prince - represents The Alliance of Light?


message 44: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 271 comments Sure thing!

The raven does not stand for the Fellowship, but something much, much bigger....Note this: Traithe's Raven is flesh and bone, and spelled with lower case....this matters. You are needing to look at much more primitive symbology because there are no cultural connections to Earth 'as we know it' - the fine points of this discussion will open right up in late third arc, but mostly forth arc. It's coming. Traithe's raven forges a connection to assist what he's lost since the event where he closed South Gate's access to stem the Mistwraith's invasion. Watch for the puzzle as it unfolds...and MAYBE if you are impatient, peek ahead at the UK landscape cover for Peril's Gate.

The gilded circles are not gates to other worlds...do you mean the color covers? The scene Don painted for Fugitive Prince - you have to read on and then we'll discuss it. The softer light shown in the Mistwraith/landscape cover - sometimes I have painted in the 'energy' - this happens more than once, in fact....so what you are seeing on that cover is an interaction OUTSIDE Of human sight, but well within range of mage-sighted talent, or Fellowship access. So yes, there are wards visible in that scene - you recall the protections on the Paravian towers, and you may recall Kharadmon laying down wards, too, in the run up to the Mistwraith's confinement. Remember that Athera's magic runs on physics/the electromagnetic spectrum, which has wavelength and frequency and harmonics....so it follows that there will be 'hotspots' where the power focuses into standing waves, or crosses a point of harmonic resonance.

The chapter head graphics -the ones in the earlier books - are pretty simple. You guess correctly for the Sunwheel in Fugitive Prince. Ships, was a Compass Rose - not just for the nautical bits, but ALSO because in this volume/arc, the characters also 'choose their directions'. The Wyvern for Warhost is obvious - and it is the LEAST of the 'drake spawn'...Khadrim being the greater, and both are offshoots, and NOT nearly the same class of being as a Great Drake or Dragon. More on that coming...

The chapter head for Curse of the Mistwraith is a TRIAXIAL pattern - based on thirds/and you will note - spirals that don't just radiate but EXPAND as they center....so you were not wrong to guess the three Paravian Races, which EACH have a different function/and also, more and bigger, the triad/spirals relate directly to Athera's Mysteries - that expansive spiral, that triad - has several levels to it....so you can keep coming back to it. This symbol is MUCH greater than the characters and relates to the planet/which is a lot more than you know yet.

The red ribbons on the arrows on the portrait cover of Ships are the colors of the signals fired from the cliff to orchestrate the action at the Havens. Red - the killing/Yellow - the fire/White the cease fire and for healing. But the red ribbons elsewhere don't relate to that scene - the streamer on the sword and on the lyranthe both signify the entanglement with the Mistwraith's Curse and the bloodshed that mires the characters' actions. The raven perched on the sword with the red ribbons - ravens have strong connotations with the aftermath of battlefields, so you weren't far wrong to note that - it's a smaller reflection of the mythos - and doesn't just signify War, but the crossing over between life and death. The greater meaning - and there is one, relates but is a whole lot bigger than what happens on a battlefield.

The gargoyles are statues of a vicious predator that lived on Athera in the First Age, and was rendered extinct in the Second Age, under Fellowship assistance...they have been mentioned by Asandir in Ships of Merior - and you will encounter them also in this volume. They were the 'scourge' of Paravian survival - and the 'gateway' formed between the facing statues signifies the ancient historical conflicts, giving way to the new.

Sometimes what is painted is very direct - the coils of the Mistwraith shown in the portrait view of the first book - which character is 'centered' in the coils and which, to one side?


message 45: by Laura (new)

Laura (lauradragonchild) | 6217 comments Thank you so much Janny

This helps a lot. :)

Now I'd like to ask about the sword/sword pointing - What we were thinking is along these lines:

In Curse - Lysaer has the advantage, Arithon is in retreat, which is why the sword is pointed to Lysaer's side.

Then Airthon is all "screw it" and becomes a musician's apprentice and hides, so the sword is replaced by the instrument.

Then he has to pick up the sword and fight, which is why the decoration from the instrument moves over to the sword and the sword is now pointing in his direction because he's got the advantage. And by sword pointing, I mean the handle. The handle is leaning towards the one who's got an advantage and the pointy end towards the one in retreat.

or put in a different way:

In Curse Lysaer has the sword

Then in Ships it is replaced by the Lyranthe that Arithon holds = the stalemate caused by Arithon pursuing the path of the masterbard. It is straight on the background of a ship = Arithon's escape plan causes the stalemate?

In Warhost the sword points the other way around = Arithon fights back.

Are we on the right path?

And regarding the rose - can it mean something like the first blood shed?

or is it something connected to Dakar’s Black Rose prophecy?

Then posture of the brothers:

In that first Mistwraith image, Lysaer is standing, ready to fight, ready to be king, ready to do what is asked of him, standing for justice, regal man, whilst Arithon is crouching and clinging to his instrument because he doesn't want to be king and take on the role he's supposed to take on.
Straight-backed with the hand on his sword - all confidence and royalty and determined to stand his ground. He won't run away.

The way Arithon is clutching the lyranthe - as if his life would depend on it = his choice: apprentice for the masterbard, not warrior king. That's what he wants most. And his facial expression - a hunted man getting ready to run for his life but also determined to defend what's his.

But he's with his back to us = turning away from humanity and embracing the curse?
While Arithon is getting ready to run towards us = running away from the curse?

The Sword - is exactly positioned in between the 2 princes if you see both covers. (as if cutting between them) - does it mean the conflict, the battle begun.
Then
The background is the mountain where the Mistwraith is imprisoned? Sword on top of it = conflict caused by the Mistwraith?

Are we on the right path with this also?

With the raven, after your suggestion, we'll slowly gather the clues and submit them to you for confirmation so we can have the right full answer at the right time.


message 46: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 271 comments Laura wrote: "Thank you so much Janny

This helps a lot. :)

Now I'd like to ask about the sword/sword pointing - What we were thinking is along these lines:

In Curse - Lysaer has the advantage, Arithon is in r..."


Laura - very good, yes, you are starting to dig into it.

The Seardluin were very scary and very very real and lethal to Paravians...the fact they were destroyed in the Second Age is very significant....Asandir mentions them in Ships of Merior in that scene with the s'Brydion in the tower, when he was very lightly recounting a teensy bit of Atheran history.

Lysaer is facing AWAY from the viewer/you are following HIS lead/Arithon is facing the viewer - his priority IS that one on one compassion that he cannot turn from by nature.

You may want to look at the footing the characters are standing on - the rocks, the thorns....

The sword, the rose, and the raven - keep them in mind as they will develop A LOT in the course of the third arc.

If you look at the skull on the cover picture Don painted and USE A MAGNIFYING GLASS - what do you see in front of it, and between the incisors??? There is stuff there!!

The sword facing left or right - you are doing very well, indeed. ALSO look at Left and Right - there is symbolism there, also!! And not just heraldic meaning, either - left side and right side have defined attributes.

The picture of the mountain when the Mistwraith was imprisoned - is Rockfell Peak, yes, and what you are seeing 'in the energy' is the Fellowship's working in progress - including the 'interaction' with the clouds. If you look in the Gallery section of my website under Paravia Sketchbook - you may be able to find the early black and white drawing of Rockfell, same image, but in pencil - it will be bigger and have a lot more detail. The color version has a water mark on it under Covers in Progress - mostly because when it was posted, it was unpublished as yet. My then web master wanted to ensure it wasn't swiped before the book even came out.

It's on my mind that I may need to drastically update the website with all of the cover images..long overdue maintenance.


message 47: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 271 comments Side note: Lysaer is making you angry...good!! The comment raised today about how but for the grace (of knowing the other side/alternate view) people MIGHT fall for his 'ideals' - watch this, but also in particular - (hard to do with a character who makes you furious) WATCH his scenes very closely and watch also the reactions of the people around him....easy to miss the subtleties, I know it! and not rush past without paying close attention. :)

Grand Conspiracy will pick up the story straight on/and it will start to (also) pick up the pace, a bit. Arc III is really one story, complete, but it is broken into non-cliffhanging segments.


message 48: by Laura (new)

Laura (lauradragonchild) | 6217 comments Janny wrote: "Side note: Lysaer is making you angry...good!! The comment raised today about how but for the grace (of knowing the other side/alternate view) people MIGHT fall for his 'ideals' - watch this, but a..."

Thank you for the feedback. :)

I will try to watch for his character's inner struggle also, but as you said it's pretty difficult to do.
Because every time his thoughts go towards the betrayal or pain he feels and every time he tries to justify smth or another I get a sort of knee-jerk reaction like "oh! Shut up!" or "Give me a break!" because I simply of don't want to hear it. I don't want to allow him any excuse anymore.

I won't rush though. And I'll pay attention. :)


A small question unrelated to the series. Or perhaps related in a different way. I picked up the info in another group and wanted to confirm.

Are there bookmarks specifically made for this series? Wars of Light and Shadows Bookmarks we can buy?


message 49: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 271 comments Laura wrote: "Janny wrote: "Side note: Lysaer is making you angry...good!! The comment raised today about how but for the grace (of knowing the other side/alternate view) people MIGHT fall for his 'ideals' - wat..."

There certainly are bookmarks!! They are in full color, laminated so you can spill coffee on them, unscathed. There are quite a few different designs to choose from. Some will list all the titles of the series (in order). Some are 'commemoratives' that mimick the cover art on the various books to go with your current volume. Some have more picture than art with only a little type and the website at the bottom. They are done with archival ink/shouldn't fade, and are sturdy enough to last - I've been using some of them for well over a decade and they look brand new. They come with a signed book plate, too.

You will find them in the Paravia print shop: www.paravia.com/catalog

Just select my name/I share the site with Don Maitz, my husband. The book marks are listed in there, with all the images to choose from. Also available: enlarged maps for framing, and full color prints of the covers. If any image is not in there, JUST ASK. We create them, here, color matched precisely to the original oil paintings, and they come signed. One note: if you are ordering MULTIPLE prints, definitely contact us for a custom order because the software was very inflexible, and we had NO way to adjust postage for sending more than one print in a tube. You'll save on a multiple order if we can tailor the postage charge to your location, based on several prints sent in one package.

The prints can also be done custom sized OR print on canvas.


message 50: by jess (new)

jess (nu6586) | 1723 comments Hi Janny,

Thanks for sitting down with us! I havent read any of your books yet, but I recently had a friend from this group write a review of the first book, Curse of the Mistwraith. So I read the synopsis and totally want to read it! Is this your Magnum Opus?

Also, who do you love to read???
Thanks!


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