Fantasy Book Club Series discussion

Servant of the Empire (The Empire Trilogy, #2)
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Kelewan Empire Trilogy > Servant of the Empire: characters and cultural innovations

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message 1: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 414 comments What made Mara's ability to see cultural differences to advantage - different?

Was it her gender view/family orientation to bring about welfare for all, or do you think it was her desperation, to seize upon any new idea, or was it, perhaps, the very fact she was separate from the mainstream of her culture in a religious order?

Did Lashima's wisdom guide her, or innate female grit?

And which characters influenced what move? (even the inspiration of her enemies).

Watch out for spoilers if you haven't finished.

message 2: by Jim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jim (jimmaclachlan) Being a woman in a male oriented society was the huge disadvantage she turned into an advantage because it gave her the ability to think outside the normal bounds of honor. Where a man would HAVE to respond in one way, she was freer. Once she started looking outside the box, it became easier & then Kevin's influence had a foothold to work with. Success begets success, too.

Of course, she had to be tough as nails & as stubborn as a mule to start with & she was. Nothing she did was easy, some of it downright painful & awful, so she was a remarkable lady to continue to rise to the challenge.

message 3: by Jon (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jon (jonmoss) | 706 comments I saw so much growth in Mara's character in Servant. I felt her progression as a mother and a lover influenced her cultural evolution and innovation. If I knew more about Lashima's tenets and theology (beyond the few lines provided in this novel and what we witnessed at the beginning of Daughter), I might have attributed some of her ideas to her religious studies. I believe her feminine being and her growing compassion guided her.

Sandra  (sleo) | 1059 comments Mara did grow and develop in her difficult job and personally. I attribute her success at this as being due to her extraordinary discipline and her extraordinary intelligence. She really had a struggle with Kevin at first - (I agree that name doesn't fit very well) but gradually came to see his brilliance and the benefits of his 'other' point of view. Even the men admired and respected him after they saw his fighting skills.

I, too, have hopes he will come back in the next book as the cultures become more open to each other. I'm counting on it.

Like Jon, I didn't see her experience as a Lashima trainee enough to know whether they helped her, other than knowing that that kind of training and discipline usually contributes to ones' efforts down the line.

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