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Grand Conspiracy (Wars of Light & Shadow, #5)
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Wars of Light and Shadow > Grand Conspiracy: General book discussion (Author free) - *SPOILERS*

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Sandra  (sleo) | 1059 comments Here is a link to an excerpt from this book. Janny has not yet posted a timeline.

http://www.paravia.com/JannyWurts/web...


message 2: by Amelia (last edited Jul 30, 2010 09:21AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amelia (narknon) | 523 comments I just started this one last night. I'm about 65 pages in. Since no one has posted in here yet, I thought I'd be pretty safe saying some things. I remember Jon saying that she was 50 pages in and nothing had happened yet, but I've found very important things have happened already.

The first one that really caught my attention was wehn Asandir was on the boat heading over to the forest. Here's a quote:

"'You don't understand, still?' Asandir's remonstrance came gentle, grief and tears bound in iron that must meet the crucible unflinching. 'It's the fear we live and breathe with each waking hour since the Mistwraith breached South Gate five centuries ago. If mankind upsets the balance, if the grand mystery that quickens renewal and life here ever comes to be threatened, then the Paravians who are Ath's blessed gift to heal the dragons' transgressions will fade from Athera forever. Our Fellowship will be called to act ere that happens. We will be forced to carry out the directive the drakes set upon us, to ensure Paravian suvival no matter the cost of sacrifice.'" (pg 49 Infraction chapter)

Wow! That really struck a chord with me. It explains a lot about the motivations of the Fellowship. (I apologize if this is discussed in the Koriani and Fellowship thread. I haven't read that one yet.)

Here another part that I just read that gave me more insight into Lysaer:

"Lysaer's political choice was too evident: the wife selected to bear Tysan's royal heir was a broodmare, not a mate who could stand as an equal partner in his cause to destroy the Master of Shadow. The nuptials to come would not intervene with his formal promise. The Prince of the Light had sworn to cleanse Athera of the tyrannies perpetuated by the Fellowship's compact and to eradicate the practice of sorcery. True to sovereign integrity, after Talith's embarrassments, he had ensured that no spirited wife would swerve him from the pursuit of his chosen destiny."

Reading that was another 'wow' moment. This reminds me of other discussions where Lysaer's choise is in question. Right there it says that Lysaer has chosen his destiny.

Then if I take both quotes in context, that really, can I say, frightens me. Lysaer is bound and determined to upset the balance that the sorcerers are sworn to uphold. This is going to get very interesting.

(Sorry about the long post. I actually have my book with me today, and I thought the quotes illustrated my points better.)


message 3: by Jon (last edited Jul 29, 2010 12:14PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jon (jonmoss) | 706 comments Amelia wrote: "I rememer Jon saying that she was 50 pages in and nothing had happened yet, but I've found very important things have happened already."

I actually haven't read this yet. It's next after I finish re-reading Curse.


Amelia (narknon) | 523 comments Maybe I'm getting mixed up between Jon's. I've been following this series in three different groups and I forget what I've seen where. I hope I didn't spoil anything for you.


message 5: by Jon (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jon (jonmoss) | 706 comments No worries. Spoilers don't bother me.

Take my movie viewing habits for example: I'll re-watch National Treasure, Independence Day, Live Free and Die Hard, and several others if any cable channel plays them. My husband gets very exasperated with me. :)


Sandra  (sleo) | 1059 comments Wow! Are you already to Grand Conspiracy? I'm impressed! I'm in Indianapolis posting with my Blackberry so this won't be long. I am rereading and am just starting Warhost. I have the rest with me on my Nook so can look up your passages later when I'm not in a car. Am on vacation for a few days visiting family. Glad you liked my review!


message 7: by Amelia (last edited Jul 30, 2010 09:39AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amelia (narknon) | 523 comments Sandra AKA Sleo wrote: "Wow! Are you already to Grand Conspiracy? I'm impressed! I'm in Indianapolis posting with my Blackberry so this won't be long. I am rereading and am just starting Warhost. I have the rest with m..."

I couldn't stay away from Athera too long. I think Janny's spoiled me. I read a quick book before this was really surprised at how simple the style seemed. Enjoy your trip and family visit.

Here's another part I liked from my reading last night:

from the chapter Triangle:

"Yet the rowdy splicer interupted again before even the royal guard could intervene. 'Tell me, should I prostrate myself and press my face in the dirt? Or in the name of efficiency to your royal design, would you rather I finish this hawser?'
Silence ensued, more thunderous than the hollow boom of the caulkers' mallets which impacted the scene with the racketing crescendo of industry.
...
To Ivel the prince said, 'Bide in the grace of my tolerance and continue to place your best work into splicing new ropes for my ships.'
Ivel spat. His ejected gobbet landed just shy of the elegantly shod royal toe. 'My best work,' he said carefully, 'is saved for my leave time with wenches. And the joins in my lines will hold only as true as
the quality of the hemp you import for their making. Supply's been second-rate, and your pay could be better.'"

Ivel's appeared again. He's a great guy. I love the impertinance he shows here. He was great in Warhost too when he helps Talith "escape".


Amelia (narknon) | 523 comments I just had to add this quote once I read it.

"'No horse I know would become willing party to the backstabbing stupidities of town politics.'"

That's Dame Dawr s'Brydion in the chapter IX Discourse and Documents. I'm really liking this new, very strong female character.


Sandra  (sleo) | 1059 comments Amelia wrote: "I just had to add this quote once I read it.

"'No horse I know would become willing party to the backstabbing stupidities of town politics.'"

That's Dame Dawr s'Brydion in the chapter IX Di..."


I'm not this far in my rereading yet, but well I remember these characters! I love Ivel's contempt and Dame Dawr is fabulous! Just love her. And yes, Ivel's part in the kidnapping and 'escape' of Talith is great. How appalling when she is killed! Talith, that is, who is another character I came to like a great deal.


message 10: by Amelia (last edited Aug 05, 2010 10:29AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amelia (narknon) | 523 comments Ok, I think I'm into the crux of this book. All I can say is wow, and then wow! I did not expect this at all. Morriel has wrecked havock with this world.

If I can find them here are some quotes that really disturbed me.

"She (Morriel) had no sentimental attachment to Athera; on the contrary, the viability of any pne planet became an expendable resource. Break the compact and the covenant of Paravian preservation, and mankind could reclaim its interdicted knowledge and remanifest the technologies of star travel."
Tbis one is from the chapter Fell Signs, which is on page 439 of my book.

Here's another one about Morriel, "...and in an unprecedented change, the initiate successor still asleep on the pallet is no longer one and the same spirit consigned to drugged rest the night before . . ." (from New Day, pg 482)

Why couldn't she have just died? That's the last thing I read last night before I put my book down to get some sleep. I can't imagine the trouble this is going to cause.

Here's something I did like. I liked that we saw stirrings of Davien. I hope he helps to reestablish the balance on Athera. The Fellowship could really use his help right now.


Sandra  (sleo) | 1059 comments Amelia wrote: "Ok, I think I'm into the crux of this book. All I can say is wow, and then wow! I did not expect this at all. Morriel has wrecked havock with this world.

If I can find them here are some quot..."


Ahhh. Sooo. Why couldn't she have just died indeed? Which edition are you reading?


Amelia (narknon) | 523 comments I'm reading the new paperbacks with the new covers.


message 13: by Amelia (last edited Aug 05, 2010 12:44PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amelia (narknon) | 523 comments I had another little thought/speculation about this book. Where I am reading Fionn Areth is captured and has been appointed to be executed. Most of the people around him think that he is the Shadow Master, so they are venting all of their anger and hate on him. I haven't finished the book yet, so I don't know how it all plays out. Here's some of my thoughts. What would happen if Fionn was executed. Wouldn't it create another sort of peace period for Arithon? If people thought he was dead, would they give up on their war against the shadow or would they continue to hunt down the clans and try to exterminate them? Would Lysaer be able to tell that Fionn wasn't Arithon after he was dead? Would the curse ease up? Or would the curse driven hatred in Lysaer recognize Fionn as a look alike and keep Lysaer on the hunt?

All speculation there. I don't want Fionn to die, but it could have some positive consequences for Arithon. Of course it would only be this way if Arithon didn't intervene in any way, which seems to be highly unlikely.


Sandra  (sleo) | 1059 comments Amelia wrote: "I had another little thought/speculation about this book. Where I am reading Fionn Areth is captured and has been appointed to be executed. Most of the people around him think that he is the Shad..."

Highly unlikely, indeed. But you're probably right. However, the Koriani are counting on the fact that Arithon will show up.


message 15: by John (new) - rated it 5 stars

John | 137 comments I just finished last night. Amelia, I have to say I had the same initial reaction as you about Morriel. I felt like the desperate situation of the Koriani if Morriel died before she had a viable successor had been well established over previous books, and this almost felt like a cop-out. But as much as anything, I've grown to hate the Koriani and really just wanted to see them squirm a bit more, to be more or less de-fanged.

In the end, I decided that Janny had also done a great job setting this twist up. We've had the incongruity of Seldie even being chosen as her successor when there would seemingly be a number of women better qualified (an intuition that's backed up later in Grand Conspiracy as some of them discuss when they think Morriel is dead). The only semi-explanation we're given is that it's an insult to Lirenda to be replaced by someone so unqualified. But whatever Morriel is--spiteful, mean-hearted, authoritarian, a bit nuts--she isn't stupid. We should have known something was up. What else can you do with a semi-trained girl with a powerful talent except possess her to weld your millenia of experience to her raw power? :)

Also agreed that it was good to see the Betrayer, to find out a bit more about him and see him stirring. His old buddies could sure use him!

Just a couple other observations. In the F7, we're shown an incredibly powerful group of sorcerors, but one of the things Janny makes sure to do as a writer is to give them a lot to keep them busy so that, even aside from the constraints of their oath, they can't be used as problem-solving deus ex machina. They're too busy saving the world to go save the world, if you follow me.

Also, we're consistently shown a world where "evil" is done by people who really do think they're doing good, to the point where you can almost sympathize with even the worst of them. I hate the Koriani, but I see where they're coming from, I see what their priorities are and how they could see themselves as the good guys in this story (especially now that we've realized that as much as the F7 do care about humanity, they're also poised to be humanity's executioners if need be. I'm still falling back on my paradigm of the "good" characters being the ones with real integrity while the "evil/bad" characters are the ones who believe the ends justify the means--though there's also a sense in which the good characters tend, like the F7, to have a view that is (apparently) more "true," more nuanced, more all-encompassing of the facts.


Sandra  (sleo) | 1059 comments I just finished my reread of Fugitive Prince last night and am starting this one. Now that I know what's coming, I can definitely say this is set up much earlier in the plot. I think Morriel was very savvy about Lirenda from almost the beginning of the book. She was always aware of Lirenda's faults - her hatred, her envy, her pride. While it could be said that Morriel shares those traits, I do think she is much more aware of other issues than Lirenda, such as Elaira's worth, and Lirenda's vulnerability to Arithon's 'fatal attraction' as it were. I think she knows how dangerous hatred, jealousy and ambition can be in as much as they lure one from the main goal.

While Morriel is insane from her many centuries of holding all the backlash of the great crystals and being alone with enormous responsibilities, I don't think she's malicious from the standpoint of following personal vendettas. At the end of Fugitive Prince, she is busy taking advantage of the disruptions that her plot against Arithon has caused and the fact that F7 are busy cleaning up the mess. While they are inattentive to her business, she plans to make hay. She may be nasty, but my take is that it is only when necessary to achieve her long term goals.

For her, Lysaer is preferable precisely because he will ultimately upset the Law of Major Balance and Arithon will maintain it and help in the goal of bringing the Paravians back. This she does not want as it will interfere with the technological advancement necessary for interplanetary travel.


message 17: by Amelia (last edited Aug 06, 2010 08:03AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amelia (narknon) | 523 comments I finished last night too. I agree that it was a brilliant stroke of Morriel to transfer her spirit to her young successor. It was brilliant, but I hated it and certainly didn't expect it. I bet Lirenda will be furious when she finds out. Of course Lirenda didn't suceed in her plan to capture Arithon, so she didn't "earn" back her spot. Do you think Selidie/Morriel will take her back as First Senior now that she has more time to train her? Even though Morriel is in a new body, her spirit must be just as crazy, or I guess you could say she still has all her ulterior reasons and ideas.

It seems like there is going to be a big conflict with the Mistwraith coming in the near future with Rockfell being so compromised and all of the Fellowship sorcerers detained doing other very important things. I felt so awful about Sethvir. It was very sad to see him struggling to maintain the hold on the grimwards. Ath's initiates are back. These acolytes are important to the story. They wield some of Ath's power but don't have the same training, or maybe directive as the Fellowship sorcerers. I'm glad that they can help to lighten the burden just a little bit.

I also think it's one of the story's stong points that power can not stop free will, even of those who choose to do things that have horrendous consequeces. It makes to story so real. I also find it really compelling that Arithon, who has been mage trained, cannot access those powers. He must rely on those around him,(in this case Dakar) to help him out in that regard. I think the important thing about his mage training, is that he understands a little more about the workings of the world around him. He does get into things that are over his head sometimes though.

What did you think about the scene where Arithon heals Fionn's knee with the help of Elaira? Seeing them together again, even if it was only in spirit, was so bittersweet for me. It was great to see their love and tenderness they have for each other and to see their powers working together harmoniously to do something so beautiful, but it was hard seeing their pain and anguish knowing that they couldn't be together. I hope they can be together again somehow.

What do you think of Fionn Areth? He has seen a lot of Arithon's nature, but he has also heard all of the accusations and stories of his atrocities. Do you think he'll end up going to the Alliance like he initially wanted, or will he become Arithon's thorn? A thorn in that he stays with Arithon because he has no choice, but always waiting for that opportune moment when he can strike him down.

Another part that I thought was very interesting was when Asandir tried to go to Jealot to rescue Fionn but was thwarted by the Koriani. It was very interesting to see how he took in the wild energy by accepting it into himself, understanding it completely. The two factions really have a lot in common. It seems like both came from the same distant planet where humanity had destroyed themselves. From what I understand, the Fellowship members were instrumental in this destruction. The Koriani were from this world too and found their way to Athera much later than the Fellowship. Morriel wasn't there, but she has the memories of the former primes to show her what it was like and what happened. Both came from the same world but now have very different motives. The Fellowship met the Paravians, were forgiven of past acts and allowed to spend the rest of their lives to protecting another world from the same fate. The Koriani on the other hand, want to restore mankind to their former glory. Maybe I should say just the Prime, because the rest of the order doesn't know everything she does. Back to this moment with Asandir. He knew what Morriel was dealing with her and pitied her. He and his fellow brothers had endured the same trials, but had the Paravians help and forgiveness to overcome them. Morriel on the other hand only had bitterness, loneliness and despair to guide her. It was really a telling moment for me.

Wow, this is a really long post, so I'll stop now. It is nice, though, to be able to formally arrange my thoughts into something a little more cohesive than what runs fleetingly through my mind.


Sandra  (sleo) | 1059 comments Amelia wrote: "I finished last night too. I agree that it was a brilliant stroke of Morriel to transfer her spirit to her young successor. It was brilliant, but I hated it and certainly didn't expect it. I bet ..."

Doggone it, Amelia! I thought maybe I'd catch up to you! I seemed doomed to remain one book behind!

I don't think Fionn could possibly join Alliance forces because of his looks. I really struggled to understand his actions throughout the books, but had to keep reminding myself that he probably reacts to his nature and appearance having been forced into a pale imitation to a larger than life hero. Perhaps his distrust of Arithon is as due to that as to the falsities he's heard all his life.


Amelia (narknon) | 523 comments Sandra AKA Sleo wrote: "Amelia wrote: "I finished last night too. I agree that it was a brilliant stroke of Morriel to transfer her spirit to her young successor. It was brilliant, but I hated it and certainly didn't ex..."

You still might catch up. Peril's Gate is a long book. The beginnings of each book seem to take me a little longer to get into, but if this one starts where the last one left off, well, it might be hard to take it slow.


Sandra  (sleo) | 1059 comments Amelia wrote: "Sandra AKA Sleo wrote: "Amelia wrote: "I finished last night too. I agree that it was a brilliant stroke of Morriel to transfer her spirit to her young successor. It was brilliant, but I hated it..."

I almost always have trouble starting a new book after finishing one. I think it takes time (for me) for the energy of the climax to dissipate and free my interest for something new.


Amelia (narknon) | 523 comments I have a hard time switching to a new storyline. I can cruise through a series, picking up the next book after I finish the one before. But when the series is over sometimes I go for days without reading at all. It'a almost like I'm lamenting the end of the journey with that set of characters.


Sandra  (sleo) | 1059 comments Amelia wrote: "I have a hard time switching to a new storyline. I can cruise through a series, picking up the next book after I finish the one before. But when the series is over sometimes I go for days without..."

I know what you mean. After I finished this first time through, I was at loose ends for quite a while. Everything else I read seemed pale by comparison.


Sandra  (sleo) | 1059 comments Amelia, I never commented about your bit about Elaira and Arithon. I don't remember the incident you're talking about right off the top of my head, but one of the things I love most about this series is the love story between them. It's sooo intense and quite beautiful. I brought it up in one of the discussion threads in Ships but there were no takers. I was truly glad to read in Fugitive Prince in the scene between Karadmon and Elaira that she and Arithon have maintained an empathic link since that time. Sigh. I'm just an old fool for a touching love story, :)

I'm starting III Caithwood this morning, and am looking forward to reading it again. I just loved the way Asandir 'talked' to the trees and the way they foil Lysaer's army. It's quite hilarious.


Sandra  (sleo) | 1059 comments Very early in the book, when Asandir sets out to save Caithwood, is a wonderful sequence. The scene on the water with the fisherman, the scene where he and the clan scouts confront the Alliance soldiers and take three horses (hilarious), and then Asandir's communication with the trees - fricking brilliant!

Asandir to the soldiers: "On that hour, woe betide any two-legged creature in this forest who unsheathes cold steel or kindles a fire for harm's sake. Remember my warning. The mind of quickened wood has no heart and no conscience, and no kinship at all with the needs of hot-blooded animals."

And then when he sits beneath the beech tree: "There he reclined, with his head cradled amid the branching divide where the trunk of the beech engaged its splayed grip on the earth. He, too, shut his eyes, but not to subside into sleep. Instead, he embraced the dream of the tree, stately, slow, a step in four attenuated beats that marched to the change in the seasons....He immersed his whole being into the slipstream of life that was the joined multitude, root, trunk and bough, that comprised the forest of south Tysan....he became at one with the gnarled old beech... he was knotted root, tasting the mineral-rich darkness of earth. He was leaves, speaking the summer's endless, whispered promise of tranquility. In the grasp of winter's gates, he was bare branch and twig, drumming the untamed tempo of the elements. He was pollen, sifted under spring sunlight, and the spanging snap of bitter frosts. The old beech's memory extended like fog past the dawn of Athera's Third Age....the forest's webbed consciousness extended its reach to encompass the far borders of the wood. Asandir rode that tranquil sea of soft whispers, loomed from the speech of blown leaves in the wind, and braided amid the gosamer filaments of root hairs...



message 25: by Jeff (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jeff Watson | 46 comments Sandra AKA Sleo wrote: "Asandir's communication with the trees - fricking brilliant!"

You are so right! Janny has, to my mind, a very clear understanding of what it is like to be a tree or a mountain or a rock... etc. Reading these sequences raised the hairs on the back of my neck it seemed so eerily accurate, at least to me.


message 26: by Jeff (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jeff Watson | 46 comments BTW, I love your Calvin icon. I use a Bill the Cat icon in Messenger at work. It's the one where bill is sitting with a crosshairs centered on him. :)


Sandra  (sleo) | 1059 comments Jeff wrote: "BTW, I love your Calvin icon. I use a Bill the Cat icon in Messenger at work. It's the one where bill is sitting with a crosshairs centered on him. :)"

Thx. I love Calvin and Hobbes. Wish it was still being written. Bill the cat is adorable too.


Amelia (narknon) | 523 comments Janny's imagery really is beautiful. I keep telling my friends, and family about her, but they haven't taken her up yet. I'll won't stop trying.

I agree about Calvin and Hobbes. That was a great cartoon.


message 29: by Sandra (last edited Aug 09, 2010 12:00PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sandra  (sleo) | 1059 comments Amelia wrote: "Janny's imagery really is beautiful. I keep telling my friends, and family about her, but they haven't taken her up yet. I'll won't stop trying.

I agree about Calvin and Hobbes. That was a gr..."


Yeah. None of mine read! Books, that is. They aren't illiterate :D.


Amelia (narknon) | 523 comments I'm glad your friends aren't illiterate. I keep trying to get my niece and nephews hooked onto books too, but they haven't really taken the bite. I've decided that I'll give books to them for Christmas. That's what I always wanted. One of my cousin's boys has though. He reminds me a lot of myself, always carrying a book around.


Sandra  (sleo) | 1059 comments I just finished and have to say that I just LOVE the way this book ends. The tender and anguished love scene between Arithon and Elaira, the way he susses out Lirenda's true self and then totally disarms her, and then Elaira's saving wit, "Were you going to tell me you usually kiss your one-night trollops in private?"

Beautiful. Just beautiful!


Amelia (narknon) | 523 comments Sandra aka Sleo wrote: "I just finished and have to say that I just LOVE the way this book ends. The tender and anguished love scene between Arithon and Elaira, the way he susses out Lirenda's true self and then totally ..."

You read that fast!


Sandra  (sleo) | 1059 comments Amelia wrote: "Sandra aka Sleo wrote: "I just finished and have to say that I just LOVE the way this book ends. The tender and anguished love scene between Arithon and Elaira, the way he susses out Lirenda's tru..."

Well, I've been on vacation for two weeks and was able to read as much as I like. Total bliss.


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