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SERIES—List & Discussions > Wars of Light & Shadow--Traitor's Knot - Ch. IV, V, VI = SPOILERS!

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message 1: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 1003 comments SPOILERS!

Davien's testing of Arithon - care to guess why?

Ellaine's decisive next move, Sulfin Evend's visit to Althain Tower, the sword's secrets, and the Koriani strike - good luck at pausing, with this arc stepping very rapidly into convergence.

Just tell me if we need a 'relief spoiler' for this volume.


message 2: by Jon (new)

Jon (jonmoss) | 626 comments My guess on why Davien is testing Arithon:

* To see if Arithon's really mastered the Curse
* Because Arithon will eventually need to venture forth from the caverns
* Ultimately, Arithon will need or be forced to face Lysaer


message 3: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (sleo) | 1141 comments Jon wrote: "My guess on why Davien is testing Arithon:

* To see if Arithon's really mastered the Curse
* Because Arithon will eventually need to venture forth from the caverns
* Ultimately, Arithon will n..."


And to deal with necromancy.


message 4: by orannia (new)

orannia And to deal with necromancy.

*nods*

And...I think there's something else. I think the reason why Davien instigated the rebellion that overthrew the High Kings/Queens (his own Havens) still stands. I think he sees Arithon as...having the potential to succeed where his version of the Havens failed.

Just my two cents' worth :)


message 5: by Charles (new)

Charles (charliewhip) | 141 comments My guess -- in addition to the other excellent reasons, I speculate that he is also being tested for

whether he can work with F7 at top levels of magic

whether he has the juju to manifest the prophecy that he holds the key to the Paravians' return


message 6: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 1003 comments What about the sword's secret?


message 7: by Charles (new)

Charles (charliewhip) | 141 comments Janny wrote: "What about the sword's secret?"

That would be a spoiler for Fortress, wouldn't it?


message 8: by Jon (new)

Jon (jonmoss) | 626 comments [image error]

I just finished the chapter set that included the 'Sword' subchapter over lunch. (view spoiler)


message 9: by orannia (new)

orannia The sword's secret was very interesting...you may be on to something Jon. Or...wasn't Alithel forged from the metal from a star? What's to stop the star's presence from inhabiting the sword?

The most interesting character (for me) in this chapter set was Dakar. I'm probably going to be shot for saying this, but...I find him far more interesting than Arithon. Arithon's 'flaws' are linked to his heritage. Yes, he has choices (one huge underlying theme in this series is the freedom of choice - something the Fellowship hold sacrosanct and the Koriani take away [very interesting IMHO]), but...his gift of compassion, his mage-gift, his gift of far-sight...Kewar actually gave him the opportunity to find a balance betwen them all. (I'm not saying that balance is completely stable, but he is finding it.) Now he just has the fate of everyone resting on his shoulders.

Dakar on the other hand, is full of flaws. And I find his journey to face each flaw, to chose to accept it or overcome it, far more interesting. For example, in this chapter set, Dakar realized the consequences of his drunken binge. I'm really interested to know where he goes from here with that realization.


message 10: by orannia (new)

orannia All that snow! I'm sitting here thinking it's hot (but then I am on the other side of the world :)


message 11: by Charles (new)

Charles (charliewhip) | 141 comments orannia wrote: "All that snow! I'm sitting here thinking it's hot (but then I am on the other side of the world :)"

Where I live it was 78 yesterday and 41 last night. We got both.


message 12: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (sleo) | 1141 comments Charles wrote: "orannia wrote: "All that snow! I'm sitting here thinking it's hot (but then I am on the other side of the world :)"

Where I live it was 78 yesterday and 41 last night. We got both."


Aach! Disgusting. Our HIGH was 41 and pouring rain yesterday, but at least it's melting the mountains of snow. Right now it's 32.


message 13: by Charles (new)

Charles (charliewhip) | 141 comments Certainly some interesting weather this winter. Has the Master of Shadow been hiding up there or what?


message 14: by orannia (new)

orannia Where I live it was 78 yesterday and 41 last night. We got both.

OK, I had to plug that into the converter to work out what the temperature was in degrees Celsius and...that's quite a range!


message 15: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 1003 comments orannia wrote: "The sword's secret was very interesting...you may be on to something Jon. Or...wasn't Alithel forged from the metal from a star? What's to stop the star's presence from inhabiting the sword?

The..."


Oh you will get more of that, coming...:)

For Jon: no sacrifice involved.

And Charles: the sword's secret is in this set. Though I can see why a longtime reader would blur the last two volumes in this arc together, the pacing picks up so much as the threads converge.


message 16: by Charles (new)

Charles (charliewhip) | 141 comments Yes, and it's been 2 years since I read Knot and Fortress. Sorry.


message 17: by Michelle (new)

 Michelle (varmint3) | 34 comments Janny wrote: "What about the sword's secret?"

I am still reading the "Sword" subchapter & don't quite any any insight yet - but I'm curious about something: your description of the echoes of those killed by the sword during its cleansing reminds me of Michael Moorcock's descriptions of the sword Stormbringer in the Elric stories and novels (there is a difference - thirst for souls to kill vs. sorrow for souls killed - but the sentience of each sword and its awareness of its purpose rings very similarly), even though Elric and Arithon are such different characters (or maybe flipsides of the same coin...) - I'm wondering if there is some inspiration there? I never quite felt Moorcock might be one of your influences before this, so it surprised me a little that it was the first thing to come to mind as I was reading this passage!


message 18: by orannia (new)

orannia Janny - I'm a little curious as to exactly what the Fellowship instilled in the five individuals who were the first High Kings/Queens. What I mean is, was anything else other than the particular trait (e.g. compassion) augmented? (I'm assuming that the Fellowship worked with the traits each individual inately had.)

The reason I ask it that I was counting up all the skills Arithon had while driving to work (as you do :) and...he's way beyond exceptionally talented. He's an initiate mage, a master swordsman, a Masterbard, a master sailor (and master shipbuilder), an expert in subterfuge and walks in the wilds like one of the clans. Have I missed anything? I can't get my head around one person being that brilliant. I haven't seen enough of Lysaer or Eldir to know whether they too have such aptitude (and thus this is something inherent in the five families) or if it's just Arithon? Thank you!


message 19: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 1003 comments Michelle wrote: "Janny wrote: "What about the sword's secret?"

I am still reading the "Sword" subchapter & don't quite any any insight yet - but I'm curious about something: your description of the echoes of those..."


Hi Michelle - I am quite aware of Moorcock and Elric and the sword that drank souls - though I've never read Moorcock, my husband surely did, and his work and ideas have become iconic in the field.

I did not have that influence consciously in mind when my story evolved Alithiel. There are so many common elements of myth - I'd also be startled if Moorcock's sword or something like it would have an earlier counterpart in a mythos somewhere.

Celtic myth and the Mabinogion are filled with magical items - shields and swords and cauldrons.

The symbolic underpinning of the Sword and what it's Peaceful nature stand for - that was the guts of the matter that inspired this scene. A sword crafted to heal and inspire - to cut through the old and clear the path for the new to arise. A sword to cut free, and not enslave. An end that makes the new beginning, consciously, alive, and not through 'death' of the body, not death in form, but the death of old INFORMATION.


message 20: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 1003 comments orannia wrote: "Janny - I'm a little curious as to exactly what the Fellowship instilled in the five individuals who were the first High Kings/Queens. What I mean is, was anything else other than the particular tr..."

You are correct in that the Fellowship worked with the traits already inherent in the one individual chosen for the founder of the lineage.

Two things are at play here: and both are explained in the appendix material regarding ROYAL succession. The trait in the bloodline will vary in concentration given the number of individuals who carry that lineage. Many in the lineage will diffuse the gift. Few will tend to amplify it.

Arithon is ONE, therefore sole and full bearer of the s'Ffalenn gift of compassion.

He carries also (as Lysaer does) the royal lineage of Shand - and there are few of those.

More: Shand's lineage crossed (through Dari) ANOTHER gifted lineage - which makes that bloodline a bit unpredictably precocious.

Added: Arithon's extreme upbringing by mages - he began training at a VERY early age, and was held to high standards without compromise.

Yes, he is the exceptional hero. (So is Lysaer, as you'll see). There are people who have gifts in more than one area in our world - in general, if you talk to them, what they will tell you is they hold an unshaken belief in two things: one, that they are capable of accomplishing what they focus on, and two, that they have the WILL to practice long enough to develop such a fluency of skill.

'Talent' is not natural born, in my experience. It occurs when there is an intense focus of INTEREST that causes an individual to work and develop that area of expertise. The brain is proven to mold itself to the way it is used, every day. It will GROW the neuronal connections to create reflex skills and deepen self awareness - IF - that area of focus is practiced over time. I have SEEN people with little balance or athletic skill stick at it and learn to ride well, watched people who were totally clueless at writing or drawing develop those skills through determination and practice over years. It does take years. Few people realize that - most don't have the will to hold out and work long and hard enough to shift and develop the brain.

Nobody says it is EASY.

I personally believe that they myth that 'talent' is natural born destroys far more individuals than it creates.

Gifts are always developed. The original gift - the seed that makes such things grow into genius - is ENGAGED INTEREST.

Not everybody has or wants that quality. It requires taking risks. It requires single-mindedness and a refusal to give up that power to the push and shove of daily life and others' opinions.

Arithon has that single-mindedness (as does Lysaer).

It is too easily discouraged in most individuals, and too often given away to external pressure.

I recommend, highly, Julia Cameron's book The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity and its sequel The Vein of Gold as (one of many) methodical ways of recovering the lost sense of self-guidance, and finding the light of your individual interest.

Many people are told, very YOUNG, not to pursue their natural interests, or at least not to aspire.

Arithon's teachers did not make that error.


message 21: by Charles (new)

Charles (charliewhip) | 141 comments Yes. What Paravia needs most is not more human deaths, but the death of old information, old hatreds and resentments, and the old solution (violence) to disagreements in lifestyle and government.

Those Paravian races were some very, very kind, cool beings, to have created a "healing sword." Very nice irony.


message 22: by Charles (new)

Charles (charliewhip) | 141 comments You meet so many people who say, "I don't have any talent at all." Probably were told that their whole young life, and bought into it. Yes, parents often discourage creative pursuits, wanting their children to pursue more "practical" careers. I totally agree about talent springing from focused interest. Like you, I doubt that "talent" (beyond requiring imagination and interest) is actually inborn at all, but rather is totally a developed trait.


message 23: by orannia (new)

orannia Thank you Janny. That was very enlightening! I'll have a look for The Artist's Way in my local library. (I'm already on a journey of self.)

I think rather than natural born talent you can have a natural born aptitude; however, without focus and determination (and time) that aptitude will never be realized.

The trait in the bloodline will vary in concentration given the number of individuals who carry that lineage. Many in the lineage will diffuse the gift. Few will tend to amplify it.

That is very interesting! I think the first thing I do when I pick up Stormed Fortress will be to read the appendix!

@Charles - one thing I've been learning lately is how open people, especially children, are, and how easily their sense of self can be...warped. It's a long journey to find one's true self when it has been locked away, protected. But...a journey well worth it and not just for the end result but for what is learnt upon the way.


message 24: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 1003 comments orannia wrote: "Thank you Janny. That was very enlightening! I'll have a look for The Artist's Way in my local library. (I'm already on a journey of self.)

I think rather than natural born talent you can have a..."


Interests are natural, from birth. It takes conditioning to quash them. And adults whose interests were also quashed are very good at pouring cold water, or even abuse, over childhood inclinations.

Yes, the younger started the better, but older people can do this too. It's just not 'popular' to think this way - so many use self pity as an excuse or let the trauma rule them, utterly. Few are taught to question. Talent and genius always begin with the spark of that interest, and the will to pursue it, totally.

I do a live lecture on 5 things to 'unlearn' about creativity - it busts a lot of bubbles.

And yes - typical - the readers who take to this series do tend to be people pushing for other answers, inner and outer. You are all a great bunch!


message 25: by orannia (new)

orannia And yes - typical - the readers who take to this series do tend to be people pushing for other answers, inner and outer.

I would have said I was that type of person as a young child. Then...I wasn't. I haven't been that type of person for a very, very long time. Conditioning takes...a lot of determination to break. It's a slow process and you can't start on the path until...you're ready to start on that path. (If that makes sense). Sorry, I'm going OT.

And still OT I'm about to (after Easter) learn something new, something I've always wanted to learn. I know some people think I'm mad, but...apart from reading this was the only thing that let me just...be (without my brain racing around at the speed of light). So I don't care what they think. And if you really want to know what it is I'm going to learn I'd be happy to say :) Just figured I was OT enough already *grin*


message 26: by Michelle (new)

 Michelle (varmint3) | 34 comments Janny wrote: " Michelle wrote: "Janny wrote: "What about the sword's secret?"

I am still reading the "Sword" subchapter & don't quite any any insight yet - but I'm curious about something: your description of t..."


That makes a lot of sense - the swords and stories around them are so different, but there were echoes of something similar that just immediately resonated for me, and a basis in common mythos would explain that - I do believe Moorcock also has an interest in Celtic mythology, though Stormbringer is more directly influenced by the Morrigan's literally bloodthirsty personality, whereas Althiel is derived from the mythos with a definite "twist" =)


message 27: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 1003 comments orannia wrote: "And yes - typical - the readers who take to this series do tend to be people pushing for other answers, inner and outer.

I would have said I was that type of person as a young child. Then...I wa..."


Orannia, I see no reason why you shouldn't let us know about your new endeavor - I think it's ON topic, people searching for answers and fulfilling dreams, since that is at the heart and soul of what this series explores with the characters as a vehicle.


message 28: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 1003 comments Michelle wrote: "Janny wrote: " Michelle wrote: "Janny wrote: "What about the sword's secret?"

I am still reading the "Sword" subchapter & don't quite any any insight yet - but I'm curious about something: your de..."


The nature of Alithiel as a bringer of peace and healing has been in each volume all along, but this set pulls it into yet tighter focus.

One of those things that seems the 'traditional take' on the surface, but with that presumption upended later.


message 29: by orannia (new)

orannia ... people searching for answers and fulfilling dreams, since that is at the heart and soul of what this series explores with the characters as a vehicle.

And that's what I love about it :)

And I'm going to learn ballet. I've always danced, but I could never learn ballet... I've been learning jazz the last 5 years, but...ballet is what I've always wanted. And I don't mind if I'm in with a group of children young enough to be my sons or daughters. It's about doing something that inspires you :)


message 30: by Sandra (new)

Sandra  (sleo) | 1141 comments You go, girl!


message 31: by orannia (new)

orannia Thank you :)


message 32: by Charles (new)

Charles (charliewhip) | 141 comments orannia wrote: "... people searching for answers and fulfilling dreams, since that is at the heart and soul of what this series explores with the characters as a vehicle.

And that's what I love about it :)

A..."

I must echo Sandra: You Go Girl. Follow your vliss.


message 33: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 1003 comments orannia wrote: "... people searching for answers and fulfilling dreams, since that is at the heart and soul of what this series explores with the characters as a vehicle.

And that's what I love about it :)

A..."


That is outrageously cool! Good for you. If more people had your courage to pursue what they loved at ANY age, we'd have a happier world, and no question!


message 34: by Michelle (new)

 Michelle (varmint3) | 34 comments orannia wrote: "... people searching for answers and fulfilling dreams, since that is at the heart and soul of what this series explores with the characters as a vehicle.

And that's what I love about it :)

A..."


Awesome! I took ballet in college (you could take dance to fulfill PE requirements), but that was with a bunch of other college students. It was fun, but very hard to learn at such an "advanced age" (in ballet terms, anyhow1) - since you have dance background though it might be easier =)


message 35: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (new)

Stefan (sraets) | 1667 comments Mod
Just hopping in to say I finally finished chapter 6 today - reading time's been limited due to a few members of the family having minor illnesses (including me). I loved the scene where Asandir goes discorporate to help ward off the wraiths. Any look at Athera from "outer space" gives this series an additional dimension that I haven't seen in many other fantasies.

On to chapter 7 - I'm trying to catch up with the group!


message 36: by orannia (new)

orannia Thank you all :)

@Stefan - I hope you and your family are feeling better soon and happy reading! I'm finding that I'm reading this book much faster than previous books, so hopefully you'll be caught up in no time :)


message 37: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 1003 comments orannia wrote: "Thank you all :)

@Stefan - I hope you and your family are feeling better soon and happy reading! I'm finding that I'm reading this book much faster than previous books, so hopefully you'll be ca..."


The pacing hereforward definitely does not relent; you are so warned.


message 38: by orannia (new)

orannia Warning acknowledged :)


message 39: by Kathi, Moderator & Book Lover (new)

Kathi | 3221 comments Mod
A belated thumbs up of encouragement to orannia, our budding ballet dancer!

I have friends who, in middle age, chose to learn violin or piano or tennis or a new language. Often interests that were long deferred.

Musings:
I cannot, at this point, see a good outcome for Evenstar and its captain, crew, and passengers. There may be one, but I don't see it yet.

Why did Asandir need leave his construct meant to contain the wraiths of Marak to return to his body and stop the woman adept from helping him? I know it somehow would have diminished her, but I didn't understand that scene.

I'd say Sulfin Evend's eyes have surely been opened now, although it sounded like he knew or suspected that Lysaer was acting out of curse-driving compulsion of hatred rather than believing the pretense of saving Athera's people from Shadow. Yet Lysaer seems to still believe it, at least some of the time.

I'm still hoping Lirenda finds a way to unmask Morriel's possession of Selidie, although the focus of her hatred is still Arithon.

What is the connection, if any, between Morriel and the Koriani and the necromancers?


message 40: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 1003 comments Kathi wrote: "A belated thumbs up of encouragement to orannia, our budding ballet dancer!

I have friends who, in middle age, chose to learn violin or piano or tennis or a new language. Often interests that wer..."


If you are asking about the meaning behind Asandir's handling of the woman adept, and the crisis of the wraiths, I will certainly fill in, as you wish. Let me know. (best to be careful, here, and ask you, as sometimes it's easy to mistake reader musings with a direct request for clarification).


message 41: by Kathi, Moderator & Book Lover (last edited Jun 01, 2011 07:12PM) (new)

Kathi | 3221 comments Mod
Janny wrote: "If you are asking about the meaning behind Asandir's handling of the woman adept, and the crisis of the wraiths, I will certainly fill in, as you wish. Let me know. (best to be careful, here, and ask you, as sometimes it's easy to mistake reader musings with a direct request for clarification). "

Yes, clarification please. And thanks!

I know I often post my musings as questions, so I can see how it may have been impossible to tell that, this one time, I actually was asking a question. Especially since I see I have all those thoughts under the heading of "Musings".


message 42: by Janny (last edited Jun 02, 2011 06:55AM) (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 1003 comments OK Kathi, here's your answer in a nutshell.

The Dragons charged the Fellowship Sorcerers to safeguard Paravian survival.

Paravian survival requires the mysteries LIVING on Athera...which is a 'high resonance' planet - making it POSSIBLE for an existence to achieve a state that permits life to evolve in an upward spiral, without entropy.

Mankind (for the most part) has not reached this stage of evolution (yet) -- and the actions permitted under the compact are designed to HOLD the resonance of the planet; prevent it from falling INTO a frequency where entropy is inevitable.

Ath's adepts have LEARNED from the Paravians to break past an entropic consciousness. (This is demonstrated in Peril's Gate, with Kevor's healing, and hinted at numerous other places - Lysaer's encounter in the hostel in Warhost, for another)

With the Paravians gone from the continent, Ath's adepts (like the Fellowship) "hold" the higher resonance - and when a high resonance and a low resonance are present, the frequency range is a blend of both.

Therefore: in the absence of the Paravians, Ath's adepts are helping to sustain the resonance of the planet (read, enable the Paravian's viability). Without that mainstay to COUNTERBALANCE mankind's other activities, the frequency of the planet COULD drop. The threshold could be crossed. The mysteries and access to true magic would perish and be replaced by a downward spiral: entropy.

Asandir's choice: allow the adept to fall from her state of exaltation to loan him the boost he needed to finish his warding - and lose her contribution to the Brotherhood's high frequency anchor - and in consequence, risk the viability of the Paravians (which would then call for eliminating a LOW frequency anchor to restabilize Athera at the correct range to break free of entropy) - his choice might have called for the destruction of mankind's presence, or a drastic culling of humanity's presence.

He chose to abide by the drake's directive: hold the planet's frequency by sparing the adept from her sacrifice AND to abide by his moral ethic, not to choose the risk of murder to maintain the Drake's charge to keep the planet's energetic balance.

(A LOT of what you see the Fellowship do: upshifting and downshifting in and out of the frequency of matter - is only possible in a high resonance environment.)

If you have further questions, say on.


message 43: by Kathi, Moderator & Book Lover (new)

Kathi | 3221 comments Mod
Thank you. That gives me a clearer lens with which to view both the Fellowship and Ath's Brotherhood, which I appreciate.


message 44: by Kerry (new)

Kerry (rocalisa) | 487 comments Wow, thanks for that explanation, Janny. It adds further to the understanding I'd gained from the book itself.

I've just finished this set of chapters and for once, I don't know that I have anything to say. Everything just fits together and I'm looking forward to more.

Yes, he is the exceptional hero. (So is Lysaer, as you'll see).

I'm glad to see this. The more I read, the more I want Lysaer to find his chance for redemption, regain his self-determination (which he hasn't had in a long time) and have the chance to be a hero too.

His actions still often annoy the heck out of me, but I want him to rise above things rather than see him defeated.

Morriel and Lirenda on the other hand, right now I still just want to see crushed.


message 45: by orannia (new)

orannia Thank you Janny!

Morriel and Lirenda on the other hand, right now I still just want to see crushed.

LOL. My thoughts exactly :) Interesting how so many characters in these books evoke such a strong emotional response...and sometimes I pan across the emotional spectrum for the same character!


message 46: by Shel, Moderator (new)

Shel (shel99) | 2241 comments Mod
Plugging along, and predictably, having a hard time putting the book down! I was very moved by the scene with Asandir and the adept; I find it interesting that Janny has chosen to leave her nameless - is it meant to imply that the role is more important than the person in this case? I noticed it also in the scene when Braggen returns to the clan - "the wife" etc.

Let's see, what else. I'm glad to see that Fionn has started to think for himself - I wonder how his relationship with Arithon and Dakar will play out when the current crisis is past? (though I'm having a hard time imagining how they are ever going to get out of this one...)

It's so good to see Arithon with his mage sight returned to him, and fascinating to see how he combines it with his musical talents.

Onward!!

(orannia, how goes ballet?)


message 47: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 1003 comments Shel wrote: "Plugging along, and predictably, having a hard time putting the book down! I was very moved by the scene with Asandir and the adept; I find it interesting that Janny has chosen to leave her nameles..."

Here for you as promised, Shel - not every character is named if only to let the reader flag only the spear carriers that are necessary to the story. (NO! cast of 2000 for this series, in fact, the total number of character names is well below 100, EVEN adding in ones that only make one appearance and are named for the purpose of dialogue). The minor secondary characters run to only about 25, TOPS; and the major core group is smaller still...how fun you observed this, yes, it is to let the reader place their attention with better accuracy.

Have fun!


message 48: by Alissa (new)

Alissa | 171 comments Janny wrote: "OK Kathi, here's your answer in a nutshell.

The Dragons charged the Fellowship Sorcerers to safeguard Paravian survival.

Paravian survival requires the mysteries LIVING on Athera...which is a 'hi..."


Woah! Thank you for your reply, I felt the gravitas of the scene, but this new angle lends lots of rounding for my thoughts :)


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