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SERIES—List & Discussions > Wars of Light & Shadow--Ships of Merior, finale Ch XIII, XIV - Spoilers!

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message 1: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 1003 comments Thursday again, and here's the topic for chapter sets XIII and XIV - which covers War Host and Valleygap to Werepoint.

This is the finale (or the one-punch plot crescendo, if Ships and Warhost are taken together as one story). It is the twist and the reckoning that will set the course for the huge convergency set in motion for Warhost, and yet, still be a climactic moment in its own right.

THIS TOPIC PRESUMES YOU HAVE FINISHED THE ENTIRE BOOK, so spoilers for the whole of The Ships of Merior are fair game! Do uncheck your update feed box if your comment has spoilers, as a kindness to those still reading.

Have at it!


message 2: by Kerry (new)

Kerry (rocalisa) | 487 comments I've finished! Hooray! I loved it and I can already see that this is a series I'm likely to read again.

I hope to post something more useful than that later today. Right now we're in the middle of the morning school prep and that doesn't leave time for thoughtful posts.


message 3: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (sleo) | 1141 comments I still can't get over the way Lysaer burned up his own ships and blamed it on Arithon.


message 4: by Charles (new)

Charles (charliewhip) | 141 comments Sandra aka Sleo wrote: "I still can't get over the way Lysaer burned up his own ships and blamed it on Arithon."

In earth's history, such disasters often follow in the wake of black/white -- good/evil thinking by leaders. This kind of narrow-minded outlook shorts out the rational decision making process.


message 5: by Kerry (new)

Kerry (rocalisa) | 487 comments See, I didn't find that strange - frustrating and annoying maybe - but Lysaer's current world view is that pretty much everything is Arithon's fault. Something as big as this, that's got to be.

I'm finding Lysaer kind of weird at the moment. There's this great big, stinking blind spot where he's totally illogical and can convince himself that Arithon's responsible for every terrible thing. But at the same time, if he can get away from that, he's actually a very good leader. His actions after the disaster, where he was everywhere raising morale and helping people, were those of a good leader.

If he really was fighting some monolithic and terribly evil force (like he believes he is) and if there was no alternative but to fight this evil or it would destory the world (like he believes) then he'd be a damn good leader and I'd want him protecting me and fighting for my future.

The problem is that he isn't.


message 6: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (sleo) | 1141 comments Well of course you're both right, but it outrages me, nevertheless. Just like I get outraged at flagrant contradictions of fact in the political process in our own world today.

Kerry, as usual, you reason things out well. And Lysaer is a good leader, always conscious of his image and himself as a symbol, and his damnable power of light to put on a showy and sometimes deadly display. His total blindness to the falsity of his mission is just frustrating to the extreme.


message 7: by Kerry (new)

Kerry (rocalisa) | 487 comments Sandra, I totally agree it's frustrating. If he was hopeless we could just dismiss him, but he's got so much potential being misdirected that it drives me nuts.


message 8: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (sleo) | 1141 comments Kerry wrote: "Sandra, I totally agree it's frustrating. If he was hopeless we could just dismiss him, but he's got so much potential being misdirected that it drives me nuts."

Me, too. And he's not a bad guy underneath the image and the role.


message 9: by Kerry (new)

Kerry (rocalisa) | 487 comments Exactly.

Making a HUGE assumption here, considering I've only read 2 books out of 11, but if part of the end goal is to get Lysaer and Arithon to work together to properly defeat the Mistwraith, well the two of them, together in harmony instead of emnity, should be something astounding to behold.


message 10: by Jeff (new)

Jeff Watson | 55 comments Is there not another major influence on Lysaer that might be affecting how he sees events when related to Arithon?


message 11: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (sleo) | 1141 comments Are you talking of something besides the curse and the centuries long feud between the s'Ffalen and s'Ilessid?


message 12: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (sleo) | 1141 comments And there's also his envy of Arithon for being a sorcerer and being able to develop his 'talent', which Lysaer wasn't permitted to do by the man who was Arithon's grandfather. I think it all plays in to his obsession.


message 13: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 1003 comments Diegan's Etarran background - and his last choice, in this volume - he is a significant influence and the major player closest to Lysaer - do you think his support helpful or destructive?


message 14: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (sleo) | 1141 comments Janny wrote: "Diegan's Etarran background - and his last choice, in this volume - he is a significant influence and the major player closest to Lysaer - do you think his support helpful or destructive?"

I have mostly negative feelings about Diegan, and his support is destructive in that it encourages Lysaer's single minded obsession. On the other hand, he is a good friend to Lysaer, who badly needs one. He and Talith, after all, are the ones that triggered Lysaer's first attack on Arithon and his smashing of Arithon's Lyranthe -- an abominable act.


message 15: by Jeff (new)

Jeff Watson | 55 comments Sandra, yes, all of those things. How much is Lysaer a victim of his upbringing, how much a victim of the curse and how much of what he does is of his own creation and choosing? All within the context of the first two books of course. :)


message 16: by Kerry (new)

Kerry (rocalisa) | 487 comments Let me see what I can pull out of my post it notes to offer for these chapters...

(Update on the state of the post-it notes is here.)

Reading Lysaer's stirring speech at Etarra made me wonder if I'll find such rally calls annoying in other books from now on, even when the "bad guy" really is a bad guy.

I thought this was a telling description of Arithon, given when he meets the clansmen of Shand:
"This prince was s'Ffalenn, and touched bitter by is past, and above any other thing, dangerous."

I find it much easier to be frustrated by Lysaer's issues (maybe because they are so flamboyant and in the open) than I am by Arithon's (much quieter and darker and hidden, but no less significant because of that). But both princes have things to overcome and deal with before they can properly take up their birthrights.

Interesting to finally (she says with 9 more books to go) be given an indication of the original intentions of the Koriani: "...an order founded on the principle of merciful intervention..."

Is that how they function now? The leaders don't seem to, but after seeing the hedge witch who met Lysaer come before Morriel, I'd like to see more of how the rank and file treat their calling.

I'd just like to clarify - is this section saying/implying that Lirenda has a bit of a thing for Arithon? Where did this develop? Am I reading it wrong or did I miss something as I was reading?

I've never been quite so eager to have a character die than I was with Pesquil. I feel rather bad for being so happy he's dead.

When Jieret asks Arithon if such a little place as Merior is worth the risk and hurt he's undertaking, Arithon's answer is simple. Yes it is. That's who he is and what he does. But he takes it to such extremes and is so hard on himself, something that a first glance seems to be a good thing, could actually be a flaw. Is this part of why he refuses to let anyone in. Because once he does, he's taken responsibility for them to this degree.

Taking responsibility for others is good, especially if you're a prince, but Arithon needs to learn to ease back a bit. I think he also needs to learn to delegate.

In the aftermath, I think Lysaer is too hard on himself over his loss of control, as the curse was part of the reason for it. But Lysaer doesn't seem to understand the curse, or even really want to acknowledge it, in the same way that Arithon does. Part of that has to be due to the mage training Arithon has and Lysaer doesn't, but I found it interesting throughout the book (and it was made explicit at the end) that while pretty much everyone on Arithon's "side" seems to know about the curse and understand what it is to some degree, Lysaer and Diegan are making an active effort to keep it a secret.

It's interesting in a kind of disturbing way, that we readers can actually see the legend of the Lord of Light referred to in the prologue of CotMW growing as the city people conclude that Lysaer has saved them and their city.

It does rather make one wonder how much of what we believe to be history might be totally wrong. Which is a VERY disturbing thought that makes the whole foundation of one's world shaky. So while I'll happily agree that may be the case, I'm going to refuse to look at it too closely for now.

So yay, Pesquil is dead, but it doesn't look like Skant is going to be much better:
"Skant took his leave with a disdainful smile, the spark of the fantatic masked under lazy, half-lidded lashes."

After hearing what the ship captain Arithon kidnapped has to say, Lysaer is still twisting it to hear what he wants to hear. Is it that he WON'T listen, that he CAN'T listen, or some weird combination of the two?

What are the parallels between Lysaer and Diegan and Arithon and Jieret? Will we see more compare and contrast between these two pairs? I'm guessing so. It will be interesting to see how both relationships develop.

I don't get who fired the ships at Merior. Was it Arithon? Dakar? Someone else entirely? I guess the answer may be in the next book, but I'm confused at this point.

So there we go, those are some of the things I marked in these chapters. If I'm feeling up to it in the next few days, I'll try to go back and do this for the topics where I didn't comment.


message 17: by Shel, Moderator (new)

Shel (shel99) | 2354 comments Mod
Well, I just finished, and you all have already stated many of my thoughts. I actually finally have some sympathy for Lysaer, where I had none before; like you all said, he actually is an admirable leader, just terribly misguided. Now that he knows of the curse, it will be very interesting to see how things progress and how he continues to justify his war to himself.

I caught that about the origins of the Koriani too, Kerry, and it really makes me wonder what their true goals are and how they're fitting into the big picture. Very curious to see how they're going to handle the Fellowship in trying to get their Waystone back.

Off to go order my copy of book 3... :)


message 18: by Sandra (last edited Sep 26, 2010 07:43AM) (new)

Sandra  (sleo) | 1141 comments Kerry, the guy who burned the ships was the guard at the armory that the s'Gannley brothers whipped for letting Arithon in.

And I disagree Lysaer was too hard on himself. His fit of anger, after all, caused many deaths and burned his own ships.


message 19: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 1003 comments Kerry - as always - grin - your picture is worth a thousand words! I am pleased you felt good enough to put this long post up...here's hoping your energy picks up, I know your points in the other chapter sets would be relevant.

Sandra's answer to your question is correct, it was Tharrick, the captain that the s'Brydion punished (wrongly) for letting Arithon into the armory. If anyone missed that point, no worries, Warhost will make that quite clear as the story continues.

I will be posting up trivia questions for both volumes very shortly - I've been just a wee bit overwhelmed with stuff to do; rest assured, I have not forgotten.

Shel - if the Order of the Koriathain have drifted, how and why do you think they might have shifted away from their founding purpose? Or what does anyone think?


message 20: by Kerry (new)

Kerry (rocalisa) | 487 comments Thanks Sandra and Janny for clarifying about Tharrick. Yes, that makes perfect sense.


message 21: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (sleo) | 1141 comments Gah! I meant s'Brydion, not s'Gannley.


message 22: by Sandra (last edited Sep 26, 2010 12:51PM) (new)

Sandra  (sleo) | 1141 comments Kerry said: In the aftermath, I think Lysaer is too hard on himself over his loss of control, as the curse was part of the reason for it. But Lysaer doesn't seem to understand the curse, or even really want to acknowledge it, in the same way that Arithon does. Part of that has to be due to the mage training Arithon has and Lysaer doesn't, but I found it interesting throughout the book (and it was made explicit at the end) that while pretty much everyone on Arithon's "side" seems to know about the curse and understand what it is to some degree, Lysaer and Diegan are making an active effort to keep it a secret.

Lysaer not only doesn't know about the curse, he refuses to know, as you'll see as the series progresses. And Lysaer and Diegan want to keep it secret because who would follow someone who operates under the influence of a curse? And I think Lysaer operates under a very complex set of influences besides the curse: his upbringing to be royal and lead, his envy of Arithon because sorcerer's training was denied to him while his half brother got it, and the centuries long feud between the two families. And there was a spot early on in CotMW, shortly after the curse takes hold where he admits to himself in his internal dialogue that it's much easier to believe the lie than to dig into the difficulties that would be required to face the truth.


message 23: by orannia (new)

orannia Diegan's Etarran background - and his last choice, in this volume - he is a significant influence and the major player closest to Lysaer - do you think his support helpful or destructive?

I think it's misguided. It's so frustrating because both Lysaer and Diegan are making assumptions based on some of the facts...and Lysaer's...viewpoint is in a way twisted. I thought of something interesting...the Mistwraith's curse has tapped directly into Lysaer's geas gift of justice...has the same thing happened to Arithon? I can't see (yet) how his gift of compassion is misaligned.

OT - I know you mentioned short stories in another post Janny. I would love one on the founding of Eldir's reign in Havish. I think that would be a very interesting time period. And it's a building, which I like, rather than destruction. (Although to be fair, Lysaer is re-building Avenor, just not in harmony as it should be).

Oh, and normally I try and see both sides of a character, but there was a little dance when Pesquil met up with Jiret...


message 24: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 1003 comments orannia wrote: "Diegan's Etarran background - and his last choice, in this volume - he is a significant influence and the major player closest to Lysaer - do you think his support helpful or destructive?

I thin..."


What a great job you all are making with delving into the depths of this story! Definitely - you'll see what you are questioning unfold, and vividly.

On that idea of showing the building of Eldir's restoration of crown rule in Havish - that could indeed be an interesting moment....there ARE building moments in Atheran history - I do have a snapshot of one as a short piece in bits and scraps, in an 'ideas' folder. I know where it needs to go - but TIME!!! - the immediate work on the desk comes first.

I will file this one away in the idea cooker, Orannia...let's see what pops.


message 25: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (sleo) | 1141 comments @orannia - I think the curse has affected Arithon's compassion, perhaps feeding his curse rebuffs of the people who are fond of him or want to be loyal.


message 26: by orannia (new)

orannia @Janny - YAH! Fingers crossed for the idea cooker. And I am looking forward to the building scenes :)

@Sandra - interesting thought. Will keep that in mind as I read Warhost.

If the Order of the Koriathain have drifted, how and why do you think they might have shifted away from their founding purpose? Or what does anyone think?

I think part of the problem is that the Koriani are trying to regain their past status & influence, and that has clouded their judgement. And...it feels like their aid is more about making themselves look and feel good than making a difference. It feels like image...a reflected image if that makes sense?


message 27: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 1003 comments orannia wrote: "@Janny - YAH! Fingers crossed for the idea cooker. And I am looking forward to the building scenes :)

@Sandra - interesting thought. Will keep that in mind as I read Warhost.

If the Order of ..."


Koriani motivation - that could be the surface presumption...quite a bit more at stake, here, as you'll soon find out...


message 28: by Mawgojzeta (new)

Mawgojzeta | 178 comments Janny wrote: "Diegan's Etarran background - and his last choice, in this volume - he is a significant influence and the major player closest to Lysaer - do you think his support helpful or destructive?"

I would agree with Sandra in both opinions that his influence currently is destructive and yet he is a good friend for Lysaer. I also think, or, maybe a more accurate word, hope, that Diegan will eventually be a part of trying to help Lysaer overcome the curse. Regardless of his apparent devotion to Lysaer, I believe he is a smart man who will begin to see that Lysaer's actions are often influenced by something irrational (from his point of view). Now, will he stay true as a friend and try to help Lysaer, even if Lysaer fights him? Not sure. But, I think he will begin to be aware that all is not as it seems.


message 29: by Mawgojzeta (last edited Sep 29, 2010 12:33PM) (new)

Mawgojzeta | 178 comments Kerry wrote: "I'd just like to clarify - is this section saying/implying that Lirenda has a bit of a thing for Arithon? Where did this develop? Am I reading it wrong or did I miss something as I was reading? ..."

I believe Lirenda does have "a bit of a thing for Arithon" that stems from either when Elaira was used to help spy (scrying through her love for Arithon) during the battle with the Mistwraith in "Curse of the Mistwraith" or when she was later required to be scanned about her knowledge of him. Cannot recall exactly (haha).


message 30: by Kathi, Moderator & Book Lover (last edited Jan 27, 2011 07:29PM) (new)

Kathi | 3315 comments Mod
I finished this evening. Through no fault of the book or its author, it took me almost 4 months to read this book, and I have only a couple things to add.

Lysaer definitely does not know he's cursed and the curse plays right into his existing antipathy for Arithon. But having the truth at least pointed out to him, maybe it will take root in his or Diegan's mind.

I think the plans the Koriani are making for regaining the Waystone will have big repercussions for them, the Fellowship of Seven, and the people of Athera.

No one has commented on the disappearance of Kharadmon. While I don't understand the role of the Fellowship of 7, their ever-dwindling number is a cause of concern for me. They seem benevolent and watchful for the good of Athera, but I don't know what their intentions truly are. The Koriani seem embittered and absorbed in the fact that they and their powers have been eclipsed, but they contrast themselves with the Fellowship by noting they (the Koriani) care about the people more than the rocks and blades of grass. I'm not sure we've seen a lot of evidence of that yet.


message 31: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 1003 comments Kathi wrote: "I finished this evening. Through no fault of the book or its author, it took me almost 4 months to read this book, and I have only a couple things to add.

Lysaer definitely does not know he's cur..."


Yup, on your query in the other topic: it's definitely a :X moment.

If there are any lurkers who are with you at this stage of the story - be welcome to chime in!


message 32: by Bill (last edited Feb 06, 2011 08:59AM) (new)

Bill (kernos) | 334 comments Mawgojzeta wrote: "I believe Lirenda does have "a bit of a thing for Arithon" that stems from either when Elaira was used to help spy (scrying through her love for Arithon) during the battle with the Mistwraith in "Curse of the Mistwraith" or when she was later required to be scanned about her knowledge of him. Cannot recall exactly (haha). "

It is hard going back as other's have mentioned. I recently finished the Ships HC which includes Warhost, so get confused what happened in which book. But there are significant happenings which I don't want to spoil.

Don't read this if you've only completed the PB version of Ships until Janny clears it or helps me edit it:

Potential Spoiler (view spoiler)

@Kathi - Kharadmon - Where did Kharadmon go? I agree the F7 seem to becoming overworked and under-manned. Are the F7 human? I think the Koriani are human.

I feel I know more about the F7 and their rôle on Athera that about that of the Koriani. If they ever find the Great Waystone and can come to full power, perhaps we will know more about them. I do get the send that The Koriani are more human involved and that the F7 are more Athera and Paravian involved. Why this should be, if true, and how it came about are unknown to me.

One possible difference. The Koriani are called enchantress which implies they act through other people by enchanting them. The F7, OTOH, take direct action in the events and people of Athera.


message 33: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (sleo) | 1141 comments Kernos wrote: "Mawgojzeta wrote: "I believe Lirenda does have "a bit of a thing for Arithon" that stems from either when Elaira was used to help spy (scrying through her love for Arithon) during the battle with t..."

There's a lengthy passage in the 2nd half (Warhost) of the book where Asandir explains to the s'Brydion some of the history. I believe the F7 are human, hints of which are in the short story Sundering Star.


message 34: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 1003 comments Kernos wrote: "Mawgojzeta wrote: "I believe Lirenda does have "a bit of a thing for Arithon" that stems from either when Elaira was used to help spy (scrying through her love for Arithon) during the battle with t..."

No need to 'help edit' - your thought under the spoiler tag is a reasonable stance to take, at this stage. Where the story will take you a layer deeper (or two layers or...) :X falls entirely in the realm of extrapolative speculation at this stage. As Sandra pointed out, there is a scene coming; and much MUCH more in-depth revelations, going into the third arc.

Which is as should be: each arc takes back another set of layers and evolves the perspective to a new stance.


message 35: by Alissa (last edited Jan 13, 2015 05:46AM) (new)

Alissa | 171 comments Thank you all for the useful posts! I've recently finished with Merior (already some way up to Vastmark, actually, because the book stops after a climax but there are too many threads still to follow). I'm really in love with all the nuances of this story, the levity of the first part has given way to a lot of serious moments and grave events, I think it's getting more and more complex as all the involved parties make their moves and the cast of characters is becoming larger. The scene of Minderl bay was very intense, I'm still anyway not sure what to make of Lysaer, he looks like he totally acts in good faith and very resolved in his mission to purge a plague from the world. But what makes me most curious is, among all the coups and twists of plans, reading about the reactions of the various characters to the half-brothers actions. Apart from Dakar, which I pity since he has the means of discerning facts from fears, all the others lend a significant insight, in my opinion, to both Arithon's and Lysaer's mind. I particularly loved the role of Jinesse and the development in her life after meeting with Arithon. This latter is still quite a riddle, but anyway his obsession for privacy and provocative attitude wins him some allies too, maybe not so many as Lysaer stalwart leader manners, but still. Compared to Mistwraith, this one had more humorous scenes, I loved the Faery-Toes mayhem at the gate of Jaelot, but the chase in the s'Brydion armory was absolutely precious.

@Janny, I'll never tire to repeat, you managed to make me feel sorry for Pesquil.

I'm still not sure about the Koriani enchantresses, and Morriel's chosen course of action, what do you think? Also, I'm very very intrigued by all the background revealed by Asandir in the s'Brydion solar, I hope I'll get to know more about the lives of the F7 before coming to Athera.


message 36: by Alissa (new)

Alissa | 171 comments I was wondering about Dakar, in Jaelot the people are against magic and wont to burn any sorcerer they see, but even if Dakar was recognized as the Mad Prophet, why didn't they perceive him as a threat? Is his liason with the F7 and his own magic unknown to them?


message 37: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (sleo) | 1141 comments Well they did put him in jail. Did they recognize him as a magician? I don't remember.


message 38: by Alissa (new)

Alissa | 171 comments No, they called it the Mad Prophet, and I was thinking if they realized the connection with the Fellowship ('this no secret). Not that he showed magic in Jaelot. Maybe he was just so much of a sluggard and iyat beacon that they overlooked him totally. But since there's so much hate for magic in the cities I was wondering.


message 39: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (sleo) | 1141 comments I think at that point that most townies regarded the F7 as a myth. They hadn't shown themselves much for a long, long time, so they may not have recognized the connection. I'd have to reread (again :)) to make sure.


message 40: by Alissa (new)

Alissa | 171 comments Ahaha, well, Sandra, I've finished Vastmark. And as you forewarned, I've revised some opinions, a little (not saying more in this thread). I thought anyway the F7 eat babes....


message 41: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (sleo) | 1141 comments Alissa wrote: "Ahaha, well, Sandra, I've finished Vastmark. And as you forewarned, I've revised some opinions, a little (not saying more in this thread). I thought anyway the F7 eat babes...."

Ah, Vastmark tore me up emotionally.


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