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Fire in the Blood > Fire in the Blood - Chapters 7-9

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message 1: by Chad (new)

Chad Peek (mordrim) | 255 comments Mod
So things got really interesting in the last section. The kidnappers made a second attempt to grab Havilar, Lorcan infected Farideh with some disease to keep her safe, the ghost of Bryseis Kakistos is ready to take her nefarious plan to the next stage, and the walls seem to be closing in on Brin. He stated that when he gets back from the mission he will make his decision.

So what does everyone expect to happen in this next section? Do you think that Brin and the group can find the Crown Prince alive? Are there demons in the Fifth Layer and does this portend the next Blood War? Will Helindra make a move on Farideh while Brin is away? Should Farideh and Havilar leave Suzail? So much to talk about.

There is no shortage of intrigue right now as there are more secret plots in play than one can easily keep track of. I think that all of this intrigue has made this book seem different than the others in the Brimstone Angels series, and for me I find it very enjoyable. What are your thoughts?


message 2: by Erin (new)

Erin Evans (erinmevans) | 184 comments Mod
So that's the end of Part I! And on to Part II: Orbyn, the Edge of Justice.

I'm very curious to hear your thoughts and ready for your questions!


message 3: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Dobbs | 31 comments Wow, lot's of stuff happening in these couple of chapters. We still get hints about what Asmodeus is up to from Lorcan but he doesn't give too many details. Lorcan gets Sariche to keep an eye on Havilar and Farideh helps out Raedra.

I love the quiet, heartfelt moments in these chapters. Specifically the short discussion Raedra has with King Foril. I get the impression he is at heart a good king and a good father/grandfather.

Haha, even when Lorcan tries to be nice (getting Farideh food) it doesn't end well. Yech! Didn't he at least test the food first?

At this moment in the book, I wondered what Dumuzi was up to. He's so mysterious.

As for as Chad's questions:

1. At this point in the book, I didn't know what they would find and I felt they were probably doing something stupid, going into places close to the battle front.

2. I am wondering if there is going to be another blood war (relatively speaking)? I know that time is measured differently in the Hells. My question is: if there is "another" blood war, is it a new one or is it really the older one? How does time effect things there? The reason why I ask is because in the War of the Spider Queen, the drow adventuring group witness Vhaeraun banging on Lolth's door and then getting into a fight with Selvetarm. This continues into a nasty battle with a bunch of spider creatures. A few weeks later, they come to the same spot but there are only remnants of what looks like an ancient battle. It was explained that time measured differently in the Hells and the Abyss than on the prime material plane.

3. As for as Farideh and Havilar leaving Suzail, at this point in the book, there really isn't any reason to. They are probably safer where they are at even though there are assassins after them


message 4: by Erin (new)

Erin Evans (erinmevans) | 184 comments Mod
What are people's opinions of the Blood War, out of curiosity? I've seen people really dig it and feel disappointed to outraged that it wasn't a part of 4E, and I've seen people glad that it was gone. I've got my own thoughts, but what do you guys think?


message 5: by Lidiya (new)

Lidiya | 12 comments I don't mind it being gone, but it does seem like such a staple of the realms, like Mystra's death serving as the transition from one edition to the next. Though, with the war being absent, it begins to reflect the nature of many wars that 'end', only to show hints of its return.

I can see value in the absence of it during 4th, only to have it return in the 5th.

Now if only I could convince an author to take up the plight of The Nameless One from Planescape: Torment and how he fared in the war.


message 6: by Chad (new)

Chad Peek (mordrim) | 255 comments Mod
Lots of things to like in this section. I certainly think that Lorcan seeking aid from Sairche is going to create a very large wrinkle in his plans. I also think that Farideh helping out Raedra could potentially create an interesting twist later on if Havi and Brin find out.

I am very curious about the newly formed party that Brin, Havi, and Mehen will be travelling with. Erin, I noticed that they basically pulled together your stereotypical adventuring party (fighter, wizard, cleric, etc etc). Was this kind of a tongue in cheek nod to Forgotten Realms as an RPG? Was it influenced at all by your roleplaying for Extra Life?

I agree with Rachel that Dumuzi is very intriguing. He is being secretive, but so far I get the feeling that he is probably harmless (as far as actually attacking anyone) but there may be quite a bit of emotional turmoil when he and Mehen meet.

Erin brought up Orbyn, the Edge of Justice. If I understand it correctly, there are four swords of state and Orbyn is one of them. It sounds like this sword is kind of a legend because it destroyed a powerful enemy of Cormyr. If I understand what I read correctly, it also killed Raedra's first husband. Is that right?


message 7: by Chad (new)

Chad Peek (mordrim) | 255 comments Mod
I am a bit ashamed to admit that I don't really recall too much about the Blood War. I may end up on the Wiki later to see what I can find out.

I am curious to hear everyone else's thoughts on it because it will probably help me get caught up.


message 8: by Jonn (last edited Nov 05, 2014 08:00AM) (new)

Jonn (sleypy) | 48 comments Oh man, this section of the book has so much going on.

Maybe I am misremembering, but the way Farideh described how her power worked here sounds a lot... creepier than it did in the Sundering Novel. To the extent that I think it is a extremely good thing she can't see her sisters or her own aura.

OMG I wanted Farideh to kick the wizard in the crown jewels when he polymorph her into a human without permission.

(Interesting point. I had someone contact me that I hadn't spoke to in about 5 years since I moved. She wanted to apologies about a comment well we all look white when we are born about my albino son. I knew she didn't mean anything by it at the time, but I thought it was odd timing considering I just finished reading this section. Sometime well meaning people say a few careless words and things just come out wrong.)

I am concerned that Farideh might become too useful to Raedra. Raedra doesn't seem too happy about Havi and Brin, but I think having access to someone who can so easily ferret out sharran agents might sweeten the deal too much.

Dahl really demonstrated he deserved to be a harper agent. I was happy to see him beaming after successfully infiltrating the castle! Going to Fari to track down Marjana killer was also a good move, but /facepalm drunk Dahl is drunk. I just.. /facepalm Is there anything worse than being friend zoned? Yes. Yes there is. Being friend zoned by a drunk person, you're helping and only marginally interested in, just after returning to your true form.

I can't help but imagine that Glasya is watching Lorcan the way people watch reality TV shows on TLC. Both saddened and shamefully entertained. Sairche seems to be suffering from a severe case of villain decay.


message 9: by Jonn (new)

Jonn (sleypy) | 48 comments To be honest. I didn't think much about the Blood War. I mean the war has been going on for forever. Stopping for 100 years isn't even equivalent to 24 hour cease fire for mortals.


message 10: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Dobbs | 31 comments I heard about the Blood War in passing (I think in one of your other novels), the War of the Spider Queen series, and on Forgotten Realms wiki. I thought it was an on again/off again kind of war. It sounds like it might be starting up again, I think or its still ongoing.


message 11: by Coffeedave (new)

Coffeedave | 17 comments As I mentioned in one of the threads, everything I know from the realms is from your books (Well, the books and the Neverwinter video games), so the Blood war to me felt like a event I missed out on.


message 12: by Erin (last edited Nov 05, 2014 04:13PM) (new)

Erin Evans (erinmevans) | 184 comments Mod
Chad wrote: "I am very curious about the newly formed party that Brin, Havi, and Mehen will be travelling with. Erin, I noticed that they basically pulled together your stereotypical adventuring party (fighter, wizard, cleric, etc etc). Was this kind of a tongue in cheek nod to Forgotten Realms as an RPG? Was it influenced at all by your roleplaying for Extra Life?"

One part tongue-in-cheek nod, one part legitimate practicality. That set of roles works because you need folks to handle those things. They don't know what they're up against, but they do know the terrain is bad and there are lots of obstacles. They need a healer and a caster for sure.

If I understand it correctly, there are four swords of state and Orbyn is one of them. It sounds like this sword is kind of a legend because it destroyed a powerful enemy of Cormyr. If I understand what I read correctly, it also killed Raedra's first husband. Is that right?

You caught that! You'll find out soon what happened to him.

Yes, there are four Swords of State, which all play different roles. Each section of the book is named for one. Symylazarr, the Font of Honor, is used to swear oaths on. Orbyn, the Edge of Justice, is carried by the king into battle.


message 13: by Erin (new)

Erin Evans (erinmevans) | 184 comments Mod
Jonn wrote: "OMG I wanted Farideh to kick the wizard in the crown jewels when he polymorph her into a human without permission.

(Interesting point. I had someone contact me that I hadn't spoke to in about 5 years since I moved. She wanted to apologies about a comment well we all look white when we are born about my albino son. I knew she didn't mean anything by it at the time, but I thought it was odd timing considering I just finished reading this section. Sometime well meaning people say a few careless words and things just come out wrong.)"


This is a big part of how I wanted to portray Cormyr. It's a pretty homogenous country. And so people will say things all the time, assuming that the person they're speaking to has the same mindset and experiences and opinions as them, not because they're the kind of cackly racists who would be like "you are less than us!" but because they have literally never thought about the fact that other people are not failed attempts at being them. The realization makes them touchy or maybe they brush it off, because they don't need to worry about this. That seems like a much more common problem than we like to talk about, and so very in line with Cormyr.

So Ilstan can't fathom why Farideh would be mad at him for changing her appearance, because why would she not want to look human? Now she's pretty! Why is she complaining?

Needless to say, Ilstan is sooo lucky he didn't get kicked in the jewels.


message 14: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Dobbs | 31 comments Yeah, I actually liked Ilstan but that was rude to change Farideh's appearance without out asking her permission. She probably should have kicked him but that would have made things worse.


message 15: by Justin (new)

Justin (berliad) | 106 comments Catching up on Goodreads! I'm actually on a two-week holiday through Paris, London, and Rome right now (sorry if that sounds like bragging...I suppose it is, but with a point!). I read this and another 10 chapters or so while in London after touring through the Tower of London, Kensington Palace, the Royal Mews near Buckingham Palace, etc, and hearing no end of stories about the schemes and luxuries of the nobles! It made me wonder if Erin enjoys keeping up with real life nobles (past or present). I've never been one to pay much attention, but it was neat to be in a country where nobility exists while reading Erin's book. It would seem a great source of inspiration.

Other thoughts: Dahl was completely awesome when delivering the message. Fast, efficient, flawless, and badass. I was honestly surprised that Raedra took the note at face value, and didn't go after Farideh instead for the accusation. Not only does she take it seriously, but she ends up seeking out more help from Fari! Raedra impresses me more every time she makes an appearance.

Another highlight for me: there's a small passage here in chapter 9 where Farideh finds herself doing housework, going to the market, etc, and finds herself taking "ownership" of the tallhouse. It is something I've experienced living in a strange apartment too, and I thought it was a beautiful way to note the passage of time. I love it when bits of domestic normalcy make their way, unexpectedly, into my fantasy reading!

Also: loved the description of the disguise spell taking place, and Farideh's subsequent bewilderment at its effects on her body. As others have noted, Ilstan's surprise at her objection was also a neat moment.


message 16: by Chad (new)

Chad Peek (mordrim) | 255 comments Mod
Ok. Officially jealous of Justin now.

I agree that Dahl was really good at delivering that note. He certainly seemed deserving of being in the Harpers. Dahl has always been one of those characters who I thought has a great deal of potential to have his own novel. Not that I don't love me some Farideh and Havilar, but I really would enjoy a good Harper adventure. Who else wants more Harpers?


message 17: by Erin (new)

Erin Evans (erinmevans) | 184 comments Mod
Chad wrote: "Ok. Officially jealous of Justin now.

I agree that Dahl was really good at delivering that note. He certainly seemed deserving of being in the Harpers. Dahl has always been one of those characters who I thought has a great deal of potential to have his own novel. Not that I don't love me some Farideh and Havilar, but I really would enjoy a good Harper adventure. Who else wants more Harpers? "


I think that would be such a fun book. It bums me out how easy it is to make secondary characters that I love, but who I really can't give a point-of-view or a full subplot to because of space constraints.

Vescaras is the best example of this--I love Vescaras. I love Vescaras and Dahl, even more. I love the idea that he's in Suzail, doing all this sneaky spywork with the nobles, trying to get stuff done while also handling his family's mercantile business and navigating the fact that--for better or worse--a half-elf is hella "exotic" to Suzailans, and a Turami half-elf even moreso.

...but then I can't really show anywhere as much as I want to, because this adventure splintered very early. By the time I realized that, damnit, I want to write about Vescaras, too, I realized I was going way, way over word count.


message 18: by Jonn (new)

Jonn (sleypy) | 48 comments Well I can't really say Harpers. I define can say I want more of Tam's Harpers.

I can't remember the year of the god catcher, but it be awesome if Tennora could be a Harper. Allowing the harpers the occasional luxury of her assistance would be cool too :)


message 19: by Erin (new)

Erin Evans (erinmevans) | 184 comments Mod
Your wish is my command: revisit Dahl's first scene in The Adversary for a touch base with Tennora!

Also, I have a scene on my blog from the version of Adversary I scrapped which stars Tennora. Www.slushlush.com


message 20: by Lidiya (new)

Lidiya | 12 comments Erin wrote: By the time I realized that, damnit, I want to write about Vescaras, too, I realized I was going way, way over word count.

That's OK. We'll just have to wait for that book :)


message 21: by Coffeedave (new)

Coffeedave | 17 comments While we're at it, we can wait for the Dahl solo-book too. Oh! what about a Havi solo book? The Adventures of Havi and Glave!


message 22: by Erin (new)

Erin Evans (erinmevans) | 184 comments Mod
REMEMBER FOLKS WHO READ AHEAD: No spoilers.


message 23: by Erin (new)

Erin Evans (erinmevans) | 184 comments Mod
Justin wrote: " It made me wonder if Erin enjoys keeping up with real life nobles (past or present). I've never been one to pay much attention, but it was neat to be in a country where nobility exists while reading Erin's book. It would seem a great source of inspiration."

I don't know! I wouldn't have said I did...but I guess I do! On an individual level, there's something fascinating to me about being in a position where you have absolute authority, but frequently you're locked into stricter rules of conduct. And so far as modern royalty, the constitutional monarchy is a really interesting form of governance.

Also, I've definitely always been interested in lines of succession (this was possibly the most interesting part of American Civics class too--who's President if the Pres, VP, and Speaker all die? THERE'S A CONTINGENCY PLAN FOR THAT). Possibly because I'm slightly obsessed with contingency plans. Possibly because there's a family legend that on my mom's side we're descended from a Danish king, and child-me always wondered if there were a King Ralph scenario that would land me in the Royal Court. :p


message 24: by Jon (new)

Jon Crofts | 76 comments For all that happens in these chapters it feels like a snatched breath, a moment of comparative calm before another plunge into the storm.

Fari and Lorcan may have been the subject of another attempt but it was, comparatively, handily foiled as Fari has regained much of her strength. The Party has been put together with some interesting characters along for the ride (Crace makes my skin crawl) and their roles, and the ubiquity of them, doesn't surprise me. My group has been experimenting with party roles/balance since the release of 4E and I have lost track of the number of times that someone has said something akin to "And *whose* bright idea was it to not bring a cleric?!".

I liked the fact that there was at least one servant who, privately, defied Helindra to come back and look after Fari (not that I worried, I suspected someone would). I found it downright amusing that Lorcan had got imps to do his cooking... and it hadn't occured to him that might go awry,

Dahl was a whole box of awesome in these chapters. From his investigation of Brin's papers to the delivery, and prompt escape after, of delivering Fari's note this is one of the few times that I have really warmed to him as a character.

Lorcan's backing off, and his freeing of Sairche because he needs help... I have yet to decide if this was wisdom, or desperation... in both cases ;).

Raedra's response to Fari's note doesn't really surprise me. The fact that she has security procedures that she is aware of suggests that she would always be open to information that might ensure her safety. Although she accepted it a little faster than I would have expected. Her request that Fari advise seems more like another aspect of her practicality than any thawing in the conditions of their relationship. She did ask for Farideh's name though, and that is not without hope.

All in all these chapters seem to be preparing for something. I can't wait to find out what that might be!

I do have a few questions though:
Dahl said Brin and Marjana both maintained their contact lists in similar fashions. Is this a Harper trait? Or something that might be common to all who have agents?

Does anyone else get a red-shirt feeling about some of the hired mercenaries?

Fari's integration of practice with her Chosen powers seems to have led to greater stability. Has it also led to an increase in the strength or bredth of those abilities? After all, Bryseis Kakistos said that she had not been granted all of those she expected. So is the gaining of those powers an incremental thing? Or are they all given in a bundle, inherent to the Chosen in question, and it is then down to them to discover/develop them?

What happened to Raedra's first husband that it was the sword, the Edge of *Justice* that should have taken his life? (for this one I guess I will just have to keep reading as Erin said the answer comes later)

Onwards and Outwards!


message 25: by Erin (new)

Erin Evans (erinmevans) | 184 comments Mod
Jon wrote: "Dahl said Brin and Marjana both maintained their contact lists in similar fashions. Is this a Harper trait? Or something that might be common to all who have agents?"

I think it's common to the Harpers under Tam Zawad. But my hope is here you see that his is not a perfect system--the previous incarnations of the Harpers had a lot of individual power at the expense of a stronger central intelligence. That's hard to shake, but it means that while individual agents would be encouraged to keep their contact lists coded but available, there's no real stopping them from choosing whatever code they fancy. Good when you're dealing with people you want to hide from/stop, bad when your handler has to come in and pick up the slack after you've been killed/run off to save your future father-in-law.

Jon wrote: "Has it also led to an increase in the strength or bredth of those abilities? After all, Bryseis Kakistos said that she had not been granted all of those she expected. So is the gaining of those powers an incremental thing? Or are they all given in a bundle, inherent to the Chosen in question, and it is then down to them to discover/develop them?"
My interpretation of the Chosen is that their powers are definitely idiosyncratic in this way--maybe they come all at once, maybe they come in drips and drabs, maybe it's a few short bursts. But what Bryseis Kakistos is talking about is colored by other factors. I'm not sure if they're guessable right now...I'll go back and check.

Jon wrote: "What happened to Raedra's first husband that it was the sword, the Edge of *Justice* that should have taken his life? (for this one I guess I will just have to keep reading as Erin said the answer comes later)"
You will find out by Chapters 16-18. :)

The storyline with the contagion is one that was so spectacularly off in the outline that I wondered what I was even thinking. I can't get into specifics of what I had planned originally yet (it will spoil what does happen), but I will say it was something I had to revise on the fly. This happens sometimes--you'd think by now I know these characters so well I couldn't mistake them, but usually at least once a book I plan for them to do something that ends up being ridiculous in practice.

In The Adversary for example, I had legitimately planned for Lorcan to be kind of side-kicky. Totally more concerned with what Sairché was doing than what Farideh had done. And halfway in, I realized I hated all of his scenes because I'd dropped everything that made him Lorcan. It made sense in the abstract--I mean, he hates Sairché, he likes/loves/"I don't know and neither does he" Farideh, and he's capable of recognizing when he can't be super selfish--but in practice, it sucked the life out of the story and it had to go.


message 26: by Jon (last edited Dec 01, 2014 04:12PM) (new)

Jon Crofts | 76 comments Erin wrote: I think it's common to the Harpers under Tam Zawad … Good when you're dealing with people you want to hide from/stop, bad when your handler has to come in and pick up the slack after you've been killed/run off to save your future father-in-law.

I think that his point was made clear enough. Previous Harpers I have seen in the novels have, primarily, either been Ed’s (Ethena Astorma, Glarasteer Rhauligan) or Elaine’s (Danilo Thann, Arilyn Moonblade,Bronwyn Caradoon) all of whom have seemed to be far more on the operational (it’s-a-shade-burn-it-with-fire) side than information gathering. It is good to see characters (Tam, Dahl etc.) that are more balanced in their approach… but then almost anyone would be more balanced than Danilo. I also liked the difficulties the personal selection of codes seems to have, as you say, for the handler stepping in. It has meant that Dahl has had to work for the network of contacts, not just have them all drop in his lap. For me this works well, it feels realistic and adds a degree of tension.

Erin wrote: My interpretation of the Chosen is that their powers are definitely idiosyncratic in this way--maybe they come all at once, maybe they come in drips and drabs, maybe it's a few short bursts. But what Bryseis Kakistos is talking about is colored by other factors. I'm not sure if they're guessable right now...I'll go back and check.

I think I would like to agree with your POV on this one. One aspect that I was concerned about with the Seven Sisters was that although their characters were fundamentally different, and sometimes opposed, to one another, many of the powers and abilities they manifested were very similar (apart from the Silver Fire which seems to have been inherent to all of Mystra’s Chosen). Fari and Havi don’t seem to be too similar in the powers that they are manifesting and this can only add to the depth of the story, in my view. How did you decide which sister should have what powers?

Erin wrote: The storyline with the contagion is one that was so spectacularly off in the outline that I wondered what I was even thinking...

I am looking forward to seeing how this one pans out, not least that the discovery of the vial has an inevitability to it that just seems like it is going to wait until the proper time and then, like a carelessly abandoned rake in the grass, will rise up and smack Lorcan squarely on the nose.


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