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Steles of the Sky (Eternal Sky, #3)
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Eternal Sky > SotS: Part 1: Chapters 1-7

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Robyn | 150 comments This one is longer than the other instalments in the series, so I'm going to break it into 4 sections. Here's section one - please keep all discussion to the first seven chapters with no spoilers!

Robyn | 150 comments I don't know how many people are reading this time around but I thought I would start the discussion off anyway!

I just finished this first section and felt like it was a great intro back into the world of the Eternal Sky. It seems like some of our characters are about to converge on each other in the Steles, and that we're (obviously, since it is the third of a trilogy) moving towards the ultimate confrontation.

I'm enjoying seeing characters like Yangchen really coming into their own and redeeming past behaviour. Plus, I totally want to ride a yak.

Lindsay | 546 comments I'm in. Just started this morning.

Lindsay | 546 comments We're getting the points of view from all over the world now, from both sets of the refugees of Tsarapheth, to Temur and his band, to the twins and the al-Sepehr, to Edene and the Ghulim and even Temur's grandfather fleeing Asitaneh. I like the new view-point characters.

Samarkar and Tsering are favorites at this point; they're both fascinating characters, but it's Saadet that really captures me. Having her brother in her head and her often snarky thoughts about his thoughts is quite clever.

It's at this point that I have to comment on how much I love the way pregnancy and fertility are handled in this series. One of my main complaints about epic fantasy is that the social structures of these fantasy worlds tend to assume similar (or even idealized) gender politics to our modern western civilizations, without the reality of birth control that enables so much of that to exist.

So you often see a magical or herbal option of birth control, or some variation of women as breeding chattel/servants that is almost certainly ahistorical, or the writer ignores the issue completely.

But what Bear has done with these books is quite different. She is showing robust women in robust roles treating pregnancy as the day-to-day reality of adult life. So you get Payma and Edene doing extraordinary traveling while pregnant, Payma actually needing to stop somewhere to actually have a baby while the rest of the group moves on without her, Yangchen breast-feeding while riding a yak, Saadet being Khatan and regent by the power of her baby-bump and even the whole of Temur's group having a few days off when his horse foals. It's refreshing.

Justine (justinescholefield) | 318 comments I have to admit having already read this as I couldn't wait to find out what happened...but I will be following the discussion. I loved the book and the way the story and characters developed. I think it is a shame so many people didn't follow through after Range of Ghosts because in my opinion, this is a series that just got better and better.

Justine (justinescholefield) | 318 comments I agree with you Lindsay that it is refreshing to see pregnancy and child rearing treated as part of everyday life. That seems to me to be much more in keeping with reality - which even in a fantasy context is more than appropriate.

message 7: by Robyn (last edited May 02, 2015 11:08AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Robyn | 150 comments I too agree with you, Lindsay. I've found that very striking & unique among books I've read that weren't specifically about, well, babies. On a less radical note, but still fascinating to me is the treatment of health & medicine in general. (For instance, from the last book, I'm fairly sure that special beer they were brewing contained an antibiotic, from Bear's description of the banded teeth - that can be a side effect of taking the antibiotics in the tetracycline family.)

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