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Tigana
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2012 Reads > TIG: The Riselka *Do Not Read Until Finished*

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Katrina | 32 comments My thought ran the same way yours did, but I don't think that is as important as the fact that we are thinking about it at all. I like the idea of leaving us with that image because of its ambiguity. The plot of the book is presented to us so seriously, as if this thing they are doing is the single most important thing ever, anywhere. Ever. Most fantasy is like that. I like that little scene at the end that gives the characters a future. It gives them a continuity and a realness. I guess the best way I can describe it is "Hey, remember those guys? I wonder what they are up to these days?"


Nimrod God (nimrodgod) | 273 comments I touched on this one a while back on another thread, but...

I thought Sandre was death, as since not only is he older, but he would be allowed death this time around or as another user put it, he had already died.

Devin was fork as a marriage with Alais could be a fork in the road of life.

That would leave Baerd with Blessed as you mentioned because of his new ventures, and finally gets to be his own person, as opposed to fighting his elder's battle.


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Starstorm | 15 comments I stated my views on this in another thread but I'll summarize them here.

Devein: I agree with you, he's the one marked for death because in my opinion because he's talking about doing a lot of things that are risky. I also don't get the impression that Alais wants to settle down so I think even if they do wed, they'll be doing a lot of perilous traveling.

Baerd: I think he's one of those characters that are just not going to lead an "ordinary life" no matter how much he may want to. Everything's falling into place for him to start a family and carry on his father's work. I just think there's a fork up ahead for him.

Sandre: It could be that death would be a blessing for him given all he's lost but I think he gets a chance to be at the forefront of developing and teaching magic in the Palm. He's already "died" once and he took a fork in the road when he cut off his two fingers after refusing to for so long. I don't know how long he lives but I think he is blessed both in what he achieves and how he is remembered.

oh and I agree that the main point is we are al thinking and speculating about their fates.


Karly (karlycay) | 79 comments I was gutted when they saw the riselka. Kay had one final twist.
I could make an argument for any of them but who knows? I like the ambiguity as well.


Chris Palmer | 61 comments As I wrote in the other thread, my opinion is that since Devin has just listed 10+ semi-contradictory things he wants to do with his life, he is headed for a fork. Of course, if he is headed for death, it would be rather tragic/poignant. It might also echo back to the prologue where on the eve of battle, Valentin was saying that they were going to die, but they would be remembered and that Tigana would live on.

As for "blessed", I'm not sure. Baerd is blessed in a way because he can move on with his life without the baggage of knowing what Dianora did. He can also act on his secret desire to be a builder and raise a family.

Sandre is older, is definitely heading down a dangerous path of open wizardry, has not a single family member left, and has no romantic goals. All of that could give him opportunities for a near future blessing, but it doesn't seem likely and has no foreshadowing within the story.

It's probably a topic for another thread, but I kept expecting Devin to be something other than an observer/coming of age character. He was important to the story, sure, but not crucial to its outcome. You can't even really say that the story was shown through his eyes, because he wasn't there for the Dianora/Brandin scenes, or the Alberico scenes, or the night walker affair with Baerd, or... He had no real epiphanies or crucial testing moments, no hidden destiny.

As the "everyman" character who is poised on the edge of so many possibilities after the events of the book, thinking he is going to die soon seems random and fatalistic in light of the optimistic possibilities within the free Palm.


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Starstorm | 15 comments I think Dein's epiphany is that he can play a part in the events that shape his world. Before getting swept up in this venture, I think he saw himself as small and insignificant,

I think the reason he spouts off so many different, often contradictory, plans for his future is that for the first time in his life, he sees a myriad of possibilities for himself. The tragedy would be that someone so young who is in many ways really discovering who is and what he can do would be cut down just after gaining that revelation.


Chris Palmer | 61 comments But would that kind of tragedy be dramatically justified within the theme and context of the story? Sure, in real life, people slip and die in the tub, but nothing in this story seems to happen without a reason within the narrative context.

I'm not arguing a specific viewpoint, necessarily. I think the shocking ambiguity of the ending was brilliant.


Scott | 45 comments To be brief, my conjecture is that...

The one blessed will be Devin. Among the things he mentioned was learning to sail a ship (being coy as he said he didn't know why). He will marry Alais and together, they will carry on Rovigo's business. Alais wanted nothing more than to do this, but Rovigo sadly said she could not due to her gender. However, Rovigo observed that it was in her blood to do it. Marrying Devin and doing it together would make her dreams come true. Rovigo's family were, to me, the most thoroughgoing "good guys" in the tale. They were loving and decent. I want the best for them. So in my own little private version of things, Devin joins them together they are all blessed.

The one headed for the "fork," it seems to me by his own words, is Baerd. He will lay down the bow and the sword, and embrace the life of a builder. This of course will be a blessing all its own.

The own destined for death would be Sandre due to his age and the heartache of his snuffed-out family.


Chris Palmer | 61 comments A case in point (and this probably should be another thread as well), Dianora's tragedy and her vision from the Riselka was dramatically justified because all of her painful, tragic decisions all led to the ultimate outcome of the story. If she hadn't maneuvered to be near Brandin to kill him, he wouldn't have fallen for her. If the riselka hadn't given her the vision of drowning, she wouldn't have done the ring dive. If she'd died as she planned in the ring dive, the balance would have shifted and it would have been impossible to drive both Brandin and Alberico out. If she had survived after the battle, Baerd (and possibly Alesson) would have been undone (or at least tragically compromised) by grief. It's the classic tragic prophesy arc.

I don't see an imminent death of Devin fitting with the context of the story, but the death part of the riselka prophesy in the end is reminder that "all men must die".

Then again, depending on the immediacy of the outcome, the riselka prophecy is potentially useless - everyone dies, everyone is blessed from time to time in varying degrees, and people's lives fork with every decision they make.


Dazerla | 234 comments As I said on another thread I think Sandre is the one who dies. I said Devin is the one who forks, and Baerd the one who is blessed. But I could see how Devin and Baerd could be reversed.


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Sky Corbelli | 352 comments I predict that Baerd, Sandre, and Devin will all die... eventually.

I predict that Baerd, Sandre, and Devin are all blessed... with the name of their homeland restored.

I predict that Baerd, Sandre, and Devin will all find their paths forking... since they are no longer embroiled in a struggle to free the Palm.

I predict that other people put more stock in vague prophesies that lack specific timelines than I do. Enjoy your conjectures.


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JC Richardson (macaholic) | 3 comments I think Scott hit the nail on the head... the first thing I thought when Devin said learn to sail a ship, was to be in the "family business" with Alais.

And Sandre's death since he wanted to be bold about showing he was a wizard and not cloak his missing fingers.


Richard | 221 comments There seems to be a strong gender bias in the prophecy, but what I really want to know is what happens if 1 woman & 1 man see the thing together, or 2 men & 1 woman, or 2 women & 1 man?


Dazerla | 234 comments Richard wrote: "There seems to be a strong gender bias in the prophecy, but what I really want to know is what happens if 1 woman & 1 man see the thing together, or 2 men & 1 woman, or 2 women & 1 man?"

While there is definitely a gender bias I felt that it fits with the world and culture presented in the books.

However, if you look at them there are some intesting parallels. First has to do with paths, the man's path forks and the woman's path becomes clear to her. Second is the duality of birth and death, men one shall die and women one shall bear a child, the third has for both of them the previous two and, the final member being blessed for both women and men.


Richard | 221 comments But the portent does change based on the # of people seeing it, so if 2 people see it in mixed company & we apply the stated rules, shouldn't one die & one give birth? Presumably it is a shy creature rarely seen & would never appear to more than 3 people at once, perhaps it never appears in mixed company?


Charles (candrews) | 60 comments Personally, I think Kay put the Riselka in at the end as a piece of meta-comedy. I read it and went: "Oh, that's cruel; very cruel!". I'm not convinced he thought too much about which aspect of the prophesy applied to whom, other than a simple statement of "life goes on".

Interestingly, though, most of the time the prophesy is portrayed in the book, it is simply self-fulfilling. The men who saw it chose a different path because they saw it rather than the Riselka's presence being an indication that their paths fork at that point. Also interestingly, Dianora's path was not made clear by seeing the Riselka, other than the fact that she knew she should drown herself at some point!


Richard | 221 comments And what happens if a man, a horse, 3 cats, and an owl see it? The prophesy is incomplete, it needs more verses!


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Chad Kohalyk (chadkoh) | 13 comments Remember, the riselka is only seen when she wants to be, regardless of the number of cats, horses, Pegasi etc.


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Sam Erwin | 26 comments From what I've seen discussed, the main point of the last Riselka sighting is to say that this story is over but there are many more on this world. Life goes on, even if Kay doesn't write it.


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Meowmiau | 6 comments Sam wrote: "From what I've seen discussed, the main point of the last Riselka sighting is to say that this story is over but there are many more on this world. Life goes on, even if Kay doesn't write it."

I really like that idea!! I was mulling over it the past two days after finishing and felt competely unsatisfied. Finally, I reached a similar conclusion. A feeling that life continues and therefore, so does the story...


Meowmiau | 6 comments Chad wrote: "Remember, the riselka is only seen when she wants to be, regardless of the number of cats, horses, Pegasi etc."

*LOL* Pegasi. ;)


Dazerla | 234 comments Meowmiau wrote: "Sam wrote: "From what I've seen discussed, the main point of the last Riselka sighting is to say that this story is over but there are many more on this world. Life goes on, even if Kay doesn't wri..."

Nice point, but it's still fun to speculate.


Meowmiau | 6 comments Julia wrote: "Meowmiau wrote: "Sam wrote: "From what I've seen discussed, the main point of the last Riselka sighting is to say that this story is over but there are many more on this world. Life goes on, even i..."

Indeed and, as it has been noted, that is probably the entire point. :) And maybe to soften the blow of finality from reaching the last page of the novel leaving us wanting to consider the future and its possibilities for the characters.


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Sam Erwin | 26 comments Julia wrote: "Nice point, but it's still fun to speculate."

No doubt, and that can be very fun.

I think there might have been some issue, though, where Kay had people ask him about it and then get mad when he didn't have an answer.


Charles (candrews) | 60 comments Sam wrote: "I think there might have been some issue, though, where Kay had people ask him about it and then get mad when he didn't have an answer."

From an interview with Kay:
http://www.brightweavings.com/ggkswor...
The end of Tigana with three men seeing a riselka suggests to some a hook for a sequel, to others merely an indication that "life goes on...". Do you have any plans to return to the Palm?

The second theory is entirely correct. To put it another way, I wanted the sense that this whole very long story is NOT the whole story of these peoples' lives. No sequel was planned or hinted at. I think most thoughtful readers picked up on the point, but there have been an awful lot who have been waiting for the next volume. This depresses me, actually.


Richard | 221 comments If a horse, a man, 2 cats & an owl see a riselka,
One will rear, one will fall, one will yowl, one will hiss, & one will soar through the night...

If 2 goats & a werewolf see a riselka,
2 will die & one will sleep well fed...

If Kristen Stewart sees a riselka,
The riselka will die of sheer boredom...


P. Aaron Potter (paaronpotter) | 585 comments Sorry, all I could picture was one of those cheesy sci-fi movies from the 50's. The space monster is defeated, and the laughing heroes ride off into the sunset and the words "The End" float up on a swell of music...but what's that mysterious light in the sky...and suddenly the music shifts to a threatening minor chord as "The End" gains a question mark:
"The End?"

Dun dun DUUUHHNNNNN....

And...fade to black


Joshua Kidd | 22 comments Katrina wrote: "...The plot of the book is presented to us so seriously, as if this thing they are doing is the single most important thing ever, anywhere. Ever. Most fantasy is like that. I like that little scene at the end that gives the characters a future..."

I didn't get the whole 'We're on a mission from God' thing. It certainly started off that way, but after they visit dying mother, and especially after Dianora's dive (when he punches the man complaining about Brandin) it becomes far more ambiguous. One of the main themes of the book was patriotism, and when it's taken to far.


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Chaz | 32 comments This last sentence felt really cheap. Its a "twist" ending to leave us wandering about the futures of these characters like a film that has one twist too many or a horror film of recent years which now must all have that last scare shot even if it makes no sense. (Yes this is long established like P. Aaron notes but only in recent years has it become the case that ALL horror films include it). I actually felt that it ruined an epilogue which was already weaker than the book it followed.

Besides all this, do we know that the Riselka cause the effects of the poem? I don't think it is ever explicit that this is the case. It seems that because people know the poem, they then let seeing a riselka change their lives. It is Baerd who chooses to leave, and Dianora who is the mover behind the Ring Dive.

I think the Riselka was one of the weakest elements of the book (besides the turgid prose).


aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) Nimrod wrote: "I touched on this one a while back on another thread, but...

I thought Sandre was death, as since not only is he older, but he would be allowed death this time around or as another user put it, he..."


I agree with this.


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Sergio (sergiob) | 11 comments I think Sandre will be the one to die. Most likely because he will try to openly practice wizardry without shielding his missing fingers. Change in the Palm won't come easy, and it will eventually cost him his life.

Baerd will have the fork. While he'll seek out to live a normal life as a builder, greater things will be in store for him.

Devin will be blessed, as he'll actually be able to do many of the things on his list, if not all, including marrying Alais.


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Sara Harvey (saraphina_marie) | 6 comments I think that ending was my favorite part of the book. It had me shouting, "Kay, you bastard!" with a HUGE grin on my face. Here we are, literally riding off into the sunset with Our Heroes, talking about their grand plans for the future and gotcha! Just because this particualr story is over, doesn't mean their lives are! So epicly awesome and evil.


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Sara Harvey (saraphina_marie) | 6 comments And I had a series of speculations about how each of them fit with each piece of the prophesy.
I only hope Baerd doesn't get Death. he has suffered and struggled so much. I hope he has the change or the blessing (and the change really would be a blessing considering his life since the last riselka encounter).


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Mike (mikespencer) | 60 comments The ending just killed me. I absolutely loved the book, but that was just so cruel. I mean, GGK writes characters so well so by the end, you absolutely love them all. And then BAM. Ambiguous death sentence. Just brutal.

I sat there and speculated and then I just tried to pretend like that part didn't happen. So for me, this time the riselka myth doesn't come to fruition...no fork, no death, all happy. That's what I choose to believe.


Chris (mrwednesday) | 23 comments Kill off Devin. Definitely. He's boring.

Baerd's path has forked. He's no longer destined to meet his sister again due to Scelto's actions, and it seems that he'll not be much involved in the shaping of the new Palm. He's decided to become a sculptor. That's where his path forked.

Sandre will be blessed by honoring his family in his new role.


Ulmer Ian (eean) | 341 comments If Baerd's path already forked, then we know for sure he's not the one who will shortly have their path forked. I mean the whole point of Riselka is to predict the immediate future, not to state present circumstances.


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Nick (bookwyrm5000) | 25 comments This has been (kinda) discussed earlier in the thread, but I can't help but wonder what exactly is the nature of the riselka? Is it a creature of omen, appearing to man as a forecaster of the future? Is it an agent of fate, appearing when the actions of man need alteration? Is it just a placebo, only effecting the events of the Palm because of the natives' superstitions? I tend to doubt that last one, Kay seems to discount that because of the manner in which the riselka effected Brandin's destiny.

As for the result of the epilogue, I accept that Kay used it to indicate that the story of the palm didn't end there. However, I prefer to believe that Devin's life will fork (it literally has to now, his life no longer has direction), Beard will be blessed in his career as a stonemason and in his family life, and Sandre will die as a martyr and force the Magic of the Palm into the open as a result. But if I'm being honest, that's wish fulfillment on my own part.


thecmancan | 9 comments Three men see a riselka.....marry, ****, kill?


aPriL does feral sometimes  (cheshirescratch) Chao wrote: "Three men see a riselka.....marry, ****, kill?"

Omg, ROTF.


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Traci Loudin (traciloudin) | 6 comments Sara wrote: "I think that ending was my favorite part of the book. It had me shouting, "Kay, you bastard!" with a HUGE grin on my face. Here we are, literally riding off into the sunset with Our Heroes, talking..."
Absolutely agree! There were many things that annoyed me about Tigana, many places where I almost lemmed the book, but that ending was perfect.


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