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Initiate's Trial (Wars of Light and Shadow, #9; Arc 4 - Sword of the Canon, #1)
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Wars of Light and Shadow > Initiate’s Trial: Finished Reading - how did you like it? **SPOILERS** allowed

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Sandra  (sleo) | 1059 comments I finished it, as I said, but won't add any spoilers yet! Anyone else already read it? We've been chatting up a storm at Paravia.com.

http://www.paravia.com/cgi/discus/sho...


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Jon (jonmoss) | 706 comments My hardcover hasn't arrived yet. :( I may have to buy the ebook from Kobo before I go insane with impatience.


Sandra  (sleo) | 1059 comments :'( Awful! I wonder why?


P225 (paige225) Well - First read through - via electronic media - is complete and my UK Hardcover edition arrived yesterday. Yeah! Can I just offer Janny an huge cheer? CHEER! Now the wait for Destiny's Conflict will just be agonizing...

I am going to blast right in with spoilers and thoughts and questions so:

SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER ALERT!

1) Blown away that the Biedar are outside the compact. Though I have to say I am beginning to scratch my head as to WHY most of humanity seems to be so ignorant of why the compact exists and what it means. Granted, as a species we have a short memory even for what happened 3 months ago, especially when it comes to self-interest and greed, but I would why the fellowship has not offered more explanation about the consequences of violating the Compact. I know it has to do with free will and I suppose those with the sensibility to want to understand will find a way to do so...still it puzzles me some.

2) Really can't wait for Morriel to get her comeuppance. The crazy woman is practicing not one, but 2 forms of necromancy! Her insanity is boundless... I mean how can she have spent centuries immersed in the memories of the other primes, which I a sure would include the previous destruction of the other human worlds, and not understand what violation of the Compact would mean? There is not a wit of gentler human emotion left in her that I can see, unless it's her fear.

3) I can't wait for Elaira to really figure out how strong she is. I mean, from the outside its SO obvious.

4) I missed Arithon's fully aware brilliance in this book. Watching him struggle to figure out the smallest aspects of what he is, was gut-wrenching. I am sure I will have more to say on this once I re-read, but I am going back to Peril's Gate, Traitor's Knot and Stormed Fortress first. I think I need a refresher to pick up more details I think I did not fully appreciate in Initiate's Trial.

5) Lysaer's break from the Light seems to be due to Arithon's magical imprisonment and so the 'cutting off' of the curse? Did I get that right, Janny? And I think Daliana rocks. I love that she's tough as nails but can't ride a horse for crap. Great stuff.

6) Love that Dakar is more mature and that his natural tendency to sort of go his own way despite what the fellowship might want is finally a trait that serves. Great character development Janny!

Looking forward to discussing this more as we go.

Back to the books!


Sandra  (sleo) | 1059 comments Glad you're posting your thoughts, Paige! Thanks. Try to remember to uncheck the 'add to my update feed' box so it won't spoil it for others.

And ditto to all you've said.

Except it says in one of the earlier books that Morriel has no concern for individual planets or individuals in her long term goal of restoring the civilization that had interplanetary travel...


Sandra  (sleo) | 1059 comments Also, she's clearly insane! Megalomania grown to huge proportions!


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Janny (jannywurts) | 414 comments Paige wrote: "Well - First read through - via electronic media - is complete and my UK Hardcover edition arrived yesterday. Yeah! Can I just offer Janny an huge cheer? CHEER! Now the wait for Destiny's Confl..."

Hi Paige, You Asked.
For other readers/participants - 'ware spoilers!

Lysaer's ability to contain the curse was due to several factors: The awareness opened to him by Alithiel's Song, and Sulfin Evend's influence, begun in Stormed Fortress, allowed him to begin to stand his ground. A second emotional 'distancing' created by time - which is hinted at/begun to be unveiled in Initiate's Trial (if you are looking for it, it is stated straight out).

These shifts created his 'stand' against the religion, for reasons that will be unveiled fully in the next volume.

And yes, the other factor, and not insignificant: was the reduction of the curse's influence created by Arithon's imprisonment - which was a fragmentation of his being, and so, weakened the strength of the geas to manageable proportions - almost to quiescence.


P225 (paige225) Thanks Sandra and Janny -

Sandra - thanks especially for the note about the check box. I didn't even see it :-).

There are so many details and so many threads tied together that I have to re-read to make sure I am getting the details. Every read through I find something new. I am going back to other books now and will read straight through and see what I missed the first time.

Glad to be clearer on all the factors contributing to Lysaer's understanding of the curse and his attempts to withstand it. Thanks for the quick reply, Janny. I think I could buy you dinner and talk about these books for hours! I have never read anything like them. Simply fabulous. More thoughts as I dig in on the next read...


message 9: by Bill (last edited Nov 16, 2011 08:18AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bill (kernos) | 59 comments I just finished chapter 3 last night and had some questions which are probably due to things I have forgotten or misunderstood or missed.

A couple of centuries have passed, right? How have these humans survived so long. The major magical characters, I can understand. But how about Elaira. Does she look 2 centuries older than Arithon? I just had this image pop into my head of a wrinkled crone and a lean young stud.

A major thing I can't pull out of my brain (I feel it there, just can't find it)—If Arithon is so powerful, how was he trapped for 2 centuries by the Koriani. Why not just sing a great spell of unmaking and shatter all of their crystals and turn the Prime Bitch into dust or smoke?

And, I like Tarens and hope he lasts. It is good for Arithon to have male companionship. I have a feeling there was a Tarens in some long forgotten fantasy. The name looks familiar.


message 10: by Jon (last edited Nov 16, 2011 08:14AM) (new) - added it

Jon (jonmoss) | 706 comments Kernos wrote: "But how about Elaira. Does she look 2 centuries older than Arithon?"

Way back in The Curse of the Mistwraith, once the Prime learned Arithon and Elaira had a spark between them, she extended Elaira's life (Lirenda was furious about that in an aritocratic sort of way), just to ensure that she could use Elaira as bait for centuries to come.


message 11: by Sandra (last edited Nov 16, 2011 08:13AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Sandra  (sleo) | 1059 comments Kernos wrote: "I just finished chapter 3 last night and had some questions which are probably due to things I have forgotten or misunderstood or missed.

A couple of centuries have passed, right? How have these ..."


You're forgetting that Elaira was given longevity by Traithe, early on. He visited her when she was being given the Koriani treatments. Or maybe it was Luhaine. Can't remember. Anyway, it's not the Koriani type longevity. It's the sorcerer's.

The story of how Arithon got into captivity is yet to be revealed.


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Jon (jonmoss) | 706 comments Kernos wrote: "If Arithon is so powerful, how was he trapped for 2 centuries by the Koriani. Why not just sing a great spell of unmaking and shatter all of their crystals and turn the Prime Bitch into dust or smoke?"

I'd suggest re-reading the last chapter set of Stormed Fortress and reviewing the Glossary there. IIRC, Arithon was unconscious and Dakar fumbled the ball (so to speak).


message 13: by Janny (last edited Nov 16, 2011 09:01AM) (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 414 comments Sandra aka Sleo wrote: "Kernos wrote: "I just finished chapter 3 last night and had some questions which are probably due to things I have forgotten or misunderstood or missed.

A couple of centuries have passed, right? ..."


The scenes you are looking for (and there are two) are actually in Ships of Merior, referenced under Chapter Set IV, see the second sub-chapter titled Disruption, and its sequel, referenced under Chapter Set V, second sub-chapter Unmasking.

Not surprising to miss the wide reaching significance, here, as major plot action may have overshadowed the impacts.


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Jon (jonmoss) | 706 comments Janny wrote: "Sandra aka Sleo wrote: "Kernos wrote: "I just finished chapter 3 last night and had some questions which are probably due to things I have forgotten or misunderstood or missed.

A couple of centur..."


So I went back too far. Time to buy Ships of Merior as an ebook so I can search it like I did Curse.

I did find an interesting tidbit I missed on two reads of Curse ... the scene between Traithe and Elaira on the coast near Narms (I think that's the name of the town).


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Janny (jannywurts) | 414 comments Jon wrote: "Janny wrote: "Sandra aka Sleo wrote: "Kernos wrote: "I just finished chapter 3 last night and had some questions which are probably due to things I have forgotten or misunderstood or missed.

A co..."


Ah, that scene, yes, it's pivotal on many levels. As you are seeing, the information in subsequent volumes totally shifts the significance of what you notice, on a re-visit. This will keep happening, as each new level comes in play/even with only 2 volumes left to the series completion.


Aussie500 | 36 comments Kernos wrote: "A couple of centuries have passed, right? How have these humans survived so long. The major magical characters, I can understand. But how about Elaira. Does she look 2 centuries older than Arithon? I just had this image pop into my head of a wrinkled crone and a lean young stud. "

Sacrilege! Elaira is half of the dream team, she is definitely a major magical character. And both Morriel and the Fellowship wanted her to live as long as Arithon, so there was an abundance of life lengthening offers. Could be even further life lengthening choices later in the story.

Now funny ideas concerning old crones and young studs was Prime Selidie's one that the Fellowship could somehow extend Rathain's royal line with Teylia, who was a mere 249 years young with no longevity spells, she might have lived longer yet, but being a mum at that age?

I never bothered reading back or checking the references Janny gave, but off the top of my head Arithon could not escape Selidie Primes clutches because.



Arithon is very attached to Elaira and did not want Selidie to kill her, which would have been all that was needed to force Arithon to give in to Selidie Primes demands.


The law of the major balance is a major pain and just about covers everything, even crystals, certainly people and Arithon would even have to ask permission of air to pollute it like that.


Selidie is an innocent victim, Arithon would not harm her.

Spells of unmaking are bad and have catastrophic results.

Letting Prime power loose with no prepared host could be as bad as a spell of unmaking.

Some twit acting for the crown of Rathain went and gave the Koriathain an oath of debt.

Arithon while strong is not all powerful

While imprisoned all he had to work with was his music, and some witch went and used his own over magnified and twisted guilt and doubts to undermine what little free time he had to investigate the spells holding him prisoner. We all now, Arithon is a sucker for guilt, falls for it every time, even if there is no possible way you would think he could blame himself for it, he will find a way to feel guilty about it. Wait and see what happens when he finds out about Teylia.

There are also probably a few things missed and a few things we do not yet know that contributed to the decision. Perhaps Arithon did not decide to be imprisoned, maybe he decided to die instead and someone went and denied him even that choice.


And Tarens is the name of a ruin and a town in Melhalla which might explain why it seems a familiar name.


message 17: by Janny (new)

Janny (jannywurts) | 414 comments - Tirans is the town in Melhalla...


message 18: by Bill (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bill (kernos) | 59 comments Thanks all for reminding me or pointing out what I missed. I do have e-books of all, though read HCs, so can search for these "fragments". It is not surprising. It took 5 or 6 reads of LOTR and Dune for me to remember most of the nitty gritty. This being my 1st time thru WoLaS which is far more complex, I should read for fun and not try to remember everything (esp with this old brain).

Remind me please—Who are subject to the Law of Major Balance? I thought it just the Fellowship standing in place for all humans on Athera except we it seems the Biedar?

Also it seems a lot more went on at Athir than I remember. I though it was only Arithon's oath to not allow himself to die. But, it seems Dakar did something wrong there.

While reading, I did suspect Arithon allowed the Koriani to take him so that somebody (ies) would not die.

One more scene where I felt I had forgotten something, was that between Asandir and the Prime where he promises not to help Arithon, the oath written in stone. It's a great scene, but I'm confused about why Asandir had to do that.

I think the Tarens character I mentioned comes from a video game.

How do I get enough longevity so I can read the complete series 5 or 6 times?


Sarah (sarahj679) I couldn't take it I bought the kobo version after I finished reading Stormed Fortress. Now in Chapter X


SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS

I laughed out loud when Dakar told Daliana that she should meet Elaira. They'd get along very well I think!

Law of the major balance is for everyone I thought it was just the Compact that was everyone BUT the Biedar

I'm still a little in the dark about Athir also. What exactly did Dakar do? Or is it just because of his oath of debt to the koriathain on behalf of the fellowship? And wow did Selidie take that to the utmost extreme. You'd think that taking Teylia would satisfy the debt since it was obviously done against the fellowships and Glendien's wishes but that doesn't seem to have been enough and now Asandir's oath of non-interference and she calls it even? Woah.

Elaira's life was the one threatened when Arithon was taken. She remembers when she was hiding in the snow with his ring.

Are we gonna know what Eriagal did? I'm so curious, what was his treasonous act? And more importantly Why?

I'm seeing hope for Lysaer now - Loved his handling of Daliana's mistrial! I was surprised at how he handled the fetch that they planted on him. Much better than Arithon handled it at Riverton (no one died)

Dakar just keeps on impressing me with his depth of character, so different now from the annoying drunk he started out as. But still pretty funny at times.

I can ALMOST see the undercurrents of the separate threads coming together but I can't see why yet. The people who know aren't talking about their reasons for doing things and the others don't know why they're doing what they're doing or can't remember.

What's on the other side of the North worldsend gate?

What is Davien doing with that Dragon? (not even gonna try and spell her name) and what hold does she have over him? All the sorcerers seem to know why won't they tell me!

Love Tarens hope he gets to stay around for a long while (like wife and kids, old age, long while)

Elaira she's a little like Dakar in that before Stormed Fortress she was there, but not there, and the more we get to see her in action the more she impresses me as a character.

so, uh, when can we expect the next book? ;D (no rush or anything)

Ok I'm done sorry if it was kind of a gush - I gotta go back to work

Cheers!


Sarah (sarahj679) Finished! LOVED it!


Jeanette Teylia went to the Koriathan of her own free will when she was 3(?), so they didn't need to call in the debt. I also think that was after they captured Arithon?

About Davien and the dragon (I really won't attempt spelling her name...), he made a bargain with her to become corporate. There was probably more involved, but I'm not sure we've been told what.

I really loved the way Lysaer finally got a chance to "grow up", see the truth of his actions and the curse and got a long, long break from being haunted. Makes him much more likable and understandable and adds a complexity to his character that was really missing compared to Arithon. Although, am I the only one disappointed that in the over 200 years Arithon was imprisoned he didn't try to discredit/disband his sect? Just distancing himself and hoping they'd fall apart on their own seems like taking a very easy way out of his responsibilities and setting it up to be misused..


Jeanette Ooh, and the final trap by Morriel confused me. How would they manage to re-imprint Arithon with the curse?


message 23: by Aussie500 (last edited Nov 21, 2011 05:55AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Aussie500 | 36 comments Jeanette wrote: "Teylia went to the Koriathan of her own free will when she was 3(?), so they didn't need to call in the debt. I also think that was after they captured Arithon?"

Teylia was the hostage to ensure the Fellowship would stick to their original bargain with the Koriathain. It would seem after Arithon saved Athera by banishing all the free wraiths the Fellowship had agreed, Selidie Prime was free to continue with her original plan and execute him. Selidie thought the Fellowship would weaken and be willing to bargain to save him, turns out they did not. The debt was paid off with Asandir's oath of non-interference. Selidie thought she has so cleverly wrested Teylia away from the Fellowship by demanding her as a hostage, turns out Teylia had already indicated she wanted to join the order, before Selidie ever made her demands.

It would be interesting to know how Teylia swore oath of service to the order if every crystal she ever touched shattered. How did they get her imprint in the quartz spheres needed for her oath? Or did 3 year old Teylia, use cunning and simply ask those two to stay in one piece. Another possibility is Selidie was sick of them shattering and just accepted Teylia's oath with no imprint. Maybe Janny will tell us one day.

I like how Selidie's plotting came unstuck there. She should have remembered what she said to Lirenda all those years ago

"But if it is envy of the Fellowship's power that drives your desire to humble Asandir, beware. You will earn yourself the misstep such weakness deserves."
Morriel (Curse of the Mistraith)


message 24: by Bill (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bill (kernos) | 59 comments I finished this last night—with well worth the exhaustion. Lots to talk about. First question: To whom does the title refer? I have my idea(s), but want to hear what others say.


Aussie500 | 36 comments Might be easier to pick who the title does not refer to, just about everyone seemed to be undergoing trials, even poor Traithe.

My picks would be Arithon, Elaira, and Dakar.

Although Tarens had a pretty tough time and could be classed as an initiate, Lirenda is undergoing the trial of a living death and even Selidie had a few trials. Then there was Daliana and Lysaer but neither of them seem to be initiates, they had plenty of trials though. I was surprised Lysaer never followed up a bit more on that after his brush with necromancy. Maybe he thought elemental light was a bad enough weapon for the curse to use, and never went any further with developing his natural talents for magecraft.


message 26: by Alissa (last edited Apr 04, 2015 03:20AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Alissa | 52 comments I finished today. I really liked Lysaer in this book, and I liked him in Stormed Fortress.
"Her salvaged male burden thumped into the dust and lay still, a magnificent, loose-limbed heap of insensate majesty." :D:D:D
As usual the title is spectacular, I counted Arithon and Elaira, Dakar and Tarens, Lirenda. I don't think Daliana is an initate (don't you just love her???), but surely enough she was thoroughly -and literately- put under trial.

The time shift move was not easy to digest at first, I know Stormed Fortress closed the Alliance of Light Arc beautifully and Janny Wurts is an author who doesn't repeat herself or give filler books just to appease her readers but alas, I had become attached to many a character.
But soon I was sucked in the plot, I felt like Arithon, clueless while trying to get my bearings, and avid to know about the past, and then the book's threads exploded, and everything was absolutely unpredictable (I never thought Arithon's daughter would die so soon etc.). The final bloodbath scene was very intense, yet totally different from Deshir's or Vastmark's or the others, and with a very interesting Dakar. About him, Davien once said in Kewar "Despite his excesses, his idiot vices, and his ungovernable passions, he will achieve the stability of diamond, though a thousand years may be needful to mold him".
Seems a couple hundred already helped!
And Luhaine! The Sorcerers are really fighting tooth and nail to see their numbers restored. Of course I'm eagerly looking forward to Ciladis! I'm very curious about what happened in the past, I gathered the elements shown in the book, but I want to know more!
I was totally shocked at Selidie's first plan to reenact Desh-Thiere curse on Arithon. I'm glad he escaped but she is the queen of ploys, I wonder what the plan is in Deal.
Janny, hats off, again.

I'm very happy I read this straightaway, as usual, no cliffhanger but many things are set into motion. I've been reading the books of the series since Christmas, and I've yet to come to realize now I have to wait for Destiny's Conflict. I join the club of those waiting for it :). I just love tWoLaS, and I'm eagerly looking forward for what's going to happen next.


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