Fantasy Book Club Series discussion

Peril's Gate (Wars of Light and Shadow, #6)
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Wars of Light and Shadow > Peril’s Gate: Dakar

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message 1: by John (new)

John | 138 comments He's gotten his own thread in several of the other books' discussions, so why not now? :)

It's been maybe a couple weeks since I read the passage (it's slow, uneven going here), but I was particularly struck by the scene with Dakar and Fionn Areth where Dakar is trying to do a scrying and F.A. disrupts him and then has to help.

That scene is one of the few times we've really been inside Dakar's head, and I was really moved by it. I mean, yeah, we know Dakar's kind of a f***-up. He's been an apprentice for a ridiculously long time, he's always running off to get drunk or go whoring rather than doing what he's supposed to, he followed his emotions in trying to kill Arithon when he distrusted him instead of doing what the Fellowship told him... really, he's a pretty big-time screw-up. We knew that already.

But there was something about seeing the world through Dakar's eyes here as he's forced to confront his own limitations and his own culpability for his failures... it's just a little too far back in my reading to do it justice unless I look back and find it again, but I was really struck by this passage and felt incredible sympathy for Dakar as a result of it.

Anyone else have that reaction? Or a very different reaction?

Sandra  (sleo) | 1059 comments I'm not sure which chapter you're referring to, John, but in rereading 'Rockfell Peak' I can see what you're saying. Actually, Dakar's change of heart has touched me ever since he saved Arithon from the arrow in Warhost of Vastmark. That scene left me a sobbing mess. We've been given glimpses of his inner struggles all along, but there is a poignancy in the way he sees himself in Fionn Areth and marvels at Asandir's patience with him. I've had sympathy for Dakar since his insights during the transformation of his feelings for Arithon.

His visions make him outcast in his own family since his first... wasn't it at age two? He dreads them and tries to put them off or get rid of them with drink. Because of this struggle he has avoided learning what he needs to learn as Asandir's apprentice. He's continually cursing his own carelessness as he struggles to remember spells and magecraft that Asandir has tried to teach him. Fionn Areth gives him a very uncomfortable mirror to his own difficult nature.

message 3: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 414 comments Caution -- SPOILER -- if you have not read up THROUGH Ch. XII, Rockfell Peak - this post could spoil a bit.

You saw, in Curse of the Mistwraith, the opening of the shaft and the sealing of the wards over Desh-thiere -- externally, through Dakar's eyes...the book gave you only the surface view of what Asandir and Kharadmon were doing - up to and including the shifts in the weather.

THIS BOOK, you view the same magic from Dakar's view, again, but from inside the spells - in effect, the whole sequence is unveiled - and you know why the weather was disrupted, and can 'see' into what Asandir and Kharadmon were doing in the first volume.

Expect more of this sort of thing as the series unfolds further...what may have looked like 'hand waving magic - quite isn't.

Sandra  (sleo) | 1059 comments True -- the complexity of the sigils made by the sorcerers is amazing as seen through Dakar's eyes.

message 5: by John (new)

John | 138 comments For what it's worth, I was thinking of an earlier chapter in my original post--I think it was when Dakar was still alone with Fionn and trying to work a scrying. Whenever it was, I found it to be a moving scene. So often in fantasy, we we have characters who are truly great: absolutely brilliant like Arithon, say, with rare talents not only in magecraft but in music (and superb cunning, and he's good with a sword, and...). The fantasy genre is replete with exemplars, and I think that's why it's so powerful to see things from the POV of a much more limited character sometimes, especially when he's not just living his limitations but actually confronting them.

Anyway, all that said, I'll be interested to see how he moves forward from his experience at Rockfell.

Sandra  (sleo) | 1059 comments John wrote: "For what it's worth, I was thinking of an earlier chapter in my original post--I think it was when Dakar was still alone with Fionn and trying to work a scrying. Whenever it was, I found it to be a..."


message 7: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 414 comments That's a great point, John.

The world has all walks: the great, the gifted, the ordinary, and the fool. And the fatal reverses, when the great become fools and the fools become great. Much of the richness of a story comes from the perspective views, and the tension that arises between them.

As the third arc moves into convergency, there will be many shifts and plenty to explore in this vein.

Now that you are commenting in a non-author-free zone (grin) I can say you are one book ahead, actually. The way the books are listed in this group (following the Fantasy Book Club's system) is that the 'currently reading book' is next month's discussion.

I am pleased you are here, and in no way bothered that anyone at all wishes to jump in on any discussion at any time (that is the fun, some readers are brand new, some are head, and some are re-reading and seeing an entirely new perspective).

The group's been a bit quiet, lately, it's great to see it wake up as the outdoor weather wanes. Do feel free to pop into the Grand Conspiracy discussion if you have any thoughts there.

message 8: by John (new)

John | 138 comments I hadn't really even noticed that some of the threads were author-free zones--I wa sjust going where the action was. :)

By the time I get a chance to start and finish Traitor's Knot, perhaps I'll be right on schedule with the book club! I'll see what I can do to marshall my failing mental faculties to dredge up Grand Conspiracy from neglected neurons...

message 9: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 414 comments John wrote: "I hadn't really even noticed that some of the threads were author-free zones--I wa sjust going where the action was. :)

By the time I get a chance to start and finish [book:Traitor's Knot|28658..."

Maybe we need to start a topic that's inclusive?

You'll find, when you get to Traitor's Knot, that the arc is into convergency - the pace accelerates and the threads start coming together and peaking toward the crescendo that is Stormed Fortress. (let the fun begin when you're ready).

Sandra  (sleo) | 1059 comments Feel free to start whatever thread you like, Janny.

Alissa | 52 comments Dakar's journey to self-awareness is truly moving, the Dakar of Ships of Merior would have never been able to shoulder the responsibility of ch XII, or even see his shortcomings with clarity, much less to regret them, at least that is how I perceived him.
When he travels again to the mountain, how different from the first time.
"Dakar was amazed in hindsight. A stark miracle of forbearance, that Asandir had not pitched him over the cliffside to silence his incessant whining."

And then, to answer the question which had nagged me since Mistwraith:

"Dakar is no liability. Despite his excesses, his idiot vices, and his ungovernable passions, he will achieve the stability of a diamond, though a thousand years may be needful to mold him".

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