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Bakker's The Prince of Nothing series
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Zarathustra
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 2:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool, I was wondering what happened to the ciphrangs.
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Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2017 2:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Happy to help. ;^)
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spoiler:
That was just awful. One of the worst endings to a series I've ever read. Did anyone enjoy reading that?

I've been reading through the links provided on the last page. In one discussion, Bakker said this:

Bakker wrote:
Interpretative indeterminacy, or what I call 'Crash Space' in my philosophical work, is what this series is ALL about, so if you were expecting a traditional discharging of narrative mysteries, you were bound to be disappointed: the idea is to cue our meaning-making instincts in the absence of any definitive interpretation. Right. Wrong. Hero. Villain. Hope. Fear. Love. Hate. Life. Afterlife. Heaven. Hell. Violence. Healing. Golgotterath is the point where all these things collapse into uncertainty.

So for me, there were only a handful of basic things I had hoped would be clear enough to frame the intelligibility of what comes after. Frustration on the part of a good number of readers--we all have varying tolerances for uncertainty--is something I take as a sign of achieving my narrative and thematic goals. I would have been bummed if some hadn't reacted negatively. Blame the books, or (as seems to be the dominant reflex) blame me, the fact remains you have just had an up close and personal experience with your own tolerances. You have felt Golgotterath more viscerally than most!
I think he's confusing obscurity with cleverness. 'Interpretive indeterminacy" seems like nothing more than a trick to play upon readers, keeping them ignorant for the sake of seeming mysterious. He claims this was the point, but it's just a technique. A ploy. A cheap trick.

Is there really any indeterminacy here? Spoiler:
Khellus was a good guy who failed. What is ambiguous about that? He tried to save the world, and was beaten by a kid. Everything didn't collapse into uncertainty (as he claims above), everything collapsed into shit. Certain shit. It's not clever, it's childish, to take pleasure in frustrating readers.


Is there anything in the appendix worth reading?
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Meaning is created internally by each individual in each specific life: any attempt at *meaning* which relies on some kind of external superstructure (God, Satan, the Creator, the Worm, whatever) for its substance misses the point (I mean the point of my story). -SRD

Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lol...Guess who Nil Sertrax is, the gentleman who wrote the question that prompted this response?!?!?!
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That was you?!? I've been skimming the questions, looking mainly for his responses. I missed your question. I'll have to go back and look for it. Which page was it on?

Bakker wrote:
Those things I am asked that belong to the signal I hoped would transmit will get a direct answer, as in the case of the hologram for instance. If that minimal signal doesn't come through for certain readers, then I failed those readers
Yeah, he failed me in that regard. I didn't realize it was a hologram. Probably because it was so damn useless. Spoiler:
What purpose did it serve to have a hologram of Khellus? Why trick the Ordealmen when you're going to slaughter them in a few minutes?
That hologram wasn't for their benefit, it was just a way to trick the readers. Yet another fake-out. The "signal" he mentions above didn't get through because he was purposely deceiving us! Why did all the sranc run away? No explanation in terms of the story, it's only there to give the illusion of victory for the readers, so we'll get our hopes up and think a happy ending is in store. Pointless deception, for no other reason than manipulating us. God, I hate that in writers.

Bakker wrote:
But I will still insist that those who do feel betrayed by the ending actually 'get' the book in a way more profound than they know.
These self-serving, ego-protecting quotes are just hilarious. He has a way to explain how hating the ending is actually a good thing. We're just not smart enough to know that we actually "get it." Rolling Eyes

I think everyone was expecting the unexpected. We don't feel betrayed because the ending wasn't expected, we feel betrayed because the reader manipulation is so damn blatant ... that, and the fact that this was such a chore to read, no fun at all. I'm not a skimmer. I always read every sentence. But for the first time in my life, I wanted to skip over entire scenes.

I've read some reviews on Amazon that are spot-on. Others have made some of the same complaints I've raised. The battle scenes would have been much more engaging if they weren't told from the omniscient perspective, but instead viewed through individual characters. I don't know why he couldn't just put a main character in each crucial point and let their POV inform us of the action.

Spoiler:
What was the point of having the Judging Eye? Mimara informs us of the No-God just seconds before it's obvious to everyone. This is another "for the readers" effect, entirely pointless to the story. It's a way to give the moment more drama, and utterly useless otherwise.

_________________
Meaning is created internally by each individual in each specific life: any attempt at *meaning* which relies on some kind of external superstructure (God, Satan, the Creator, the Worm, whatever) for its substance misses the point (I mean the point of my story). -SRD

Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Page 2, second post. I also was less than pleased with ending. Spoiler:
This could have been the finale to the best, most unique fantasy series ever conceived and written and I can't help but feel like it's a tremendous disappointment. Almost like he lost his nerve at the last moment or just couldn't figure out how to bring it all together into a fulfilling climax. He is so fucking talented and has such an amazing imagination. I can't believe that this post-modern BS was his vision.

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PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2017 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spoiler:
I think this was his ending all along, something he conceived as a teenager with teenager motivations: hey, this will REALLY shock them! No one writes fantasy where the epic heroes all die and their epic quest is for nothing! And then, in the intervening decades, he developed a philosophical rationale for that juvenile motivation, convincing himself that it was smart because "it's what this series is about." But I think that's just BS. He talked himself into thinking this was good, and he can't even consider that it was a mistake even now. No, the fault lies with people who can't get it ... or people who get it without even knowing that they do.
Laughing

Bakker wrote:
Hiro wrote:


A lot of the questions have been put forward and even answered already. Something I was wondering about, what was the ultimate point of the Serwa vs the Dragon scene? The Ordeal's fight to enter the Ark seemed futile, considering the context of the Golden Room, and I don't quite see what the Serwa scene does for the narrative. Serwa's feats had been legendary already, I did not feel or understand the necessity of this setpiece.




I'm not sure I get the question, even if it were the case that the battle lacked downstream consequences. To the extent that war is generally pointless, all war stories are mountains of futility with peaks of 'closure' here and there. I can't tell a realistic story without including dead ends. The Glossary is literally packed with them!
Holy shit, he thinks he's writing a realistic story??

He doesn't get the question? Seriously? The question is pretty damn clear: why did you include a fight scene that went on and on that ended up being pointless? And the answer? Spoiler:
"I included a fight scene with a dragon and a preternaturally agile/perceptive witch who is stoned on Nonman ashes and impossibly successful against her foe and yet still fails in the end and achieves nothing ... to be realistic."
Laughing

The answer is obvious. He wrote that scene for pure spectacle. He thought it would be badass, and didn't care whether or not it would affect the plot. why can't he just be honest and admit it, instead of pretending that he doesn't understand the question??
_________________
Meaning is created internally by each individual in each specific life: any attempt at *meaning* which relies on some kind of external superstructure (God, Satan, the Creator, the Worm, whatever) for its substance misses the point (I mean the point of my story). -SRD

Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spoiler:
I don't mind the dark ending
. It's classic Bakker, a subversion of standard fantasy tropes.

Spoiler:
I think I was expecting the No God to walk again all along. It's truly ballsy when looking at it from a commercial standpoint.


That said, it's the execution that was lacking. It was all build up and then the ending was rushed, opaque and anti-climactic. The prose became too dense and the narrative was lost in the imagery.

Spoiler:
There were no resolutions for Mimara, Achamian and Cnaiur.


Spoiler:
Might as well have said that Kellhus tripped on a root and broke his neck while approaching the upright horn and then the No-God walked!

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 5:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOL

Spoiler:
Yeah, I was pretty disappointed. Like Brinn, not so much with the outcome itself as with how it was reached, and how it was conveyed.


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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Later on I will respond and join the TUC discussion. Might I encourage you to put some spoiler tags in these posts...?
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry Hiro. Think I fixed the most egregious ones.

Zarathustra wrote:
Is there anything in the appendix worth reading?


Not really.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avatar wrote:
Sorry Hiro. Think I fixed the most egregious ones.

Zarathustra wrote:
Is there anything in the appendix worth reading?


Not really.

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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good call Hiro. Forgot about not spoiling things for others.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Crap! So sorry Hiro! I thought I was the last one here to finish.
Spoiler:

Yeah, I expected the No God to walk again. I suppose I expected it to happen as a final weapon which Khellus would then defeat. And then when the Mutilated suggested that it *had* to happen, I thought for a second that Khellus would agree, and then it would be interpreted as some kind of salvation, rather than defeat.


A few things I don't get:

Spoiler:
How did Kelmomas get all the way to the top of miles-high tower? He didn't go in through the door, because he can't fly. And he couldn't have gone through the gate, because it was guarded by the dragon. But even if he found some other way in, how did he physically get to the top that fast?

Given that the Dunyain had taken over the Consult, why was there any need for a battle at all? Why didn't they try to contact Khellus prior to the fighting and convince him to join? If that was their plan all along, why make it so hard for Khellus to get to the Golden Room so they could make their sales pitch? This feels like yet another fake-out by Bakker, all the build-up meant to trick the readers, and having no point in the plot. Bakker wanted to surprise *us* by the Dunyain taking over the Consult. Khellus wasn't even surprised.

If they can make holograms that require the Judging Eye to see through, why didn't they just hide the sarcophagus from Khellus and trick him into getting into it?

Why did Kelmomas kill his father in the middle of a bunch of enemies who were only held at bay by his father? What the hell did he expect to happen after his father was gone? Who did he think would protect him after that?


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Meaning is created internally by each individual in each specific life: any attempt at *meaning* which relies on some kind of external superstructure (God, Satan, the Creator, the Worm, whatever) for its substance misses the point (I mean the point of my story). -SRD

Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Z, love to respond more in detail. I've trouble posting an extensive response though, I get:


Not Acceptable

An appropriate representation of the requested resource /phpBB2/posting.php could not be found on this server.

Additionally, a 404 Not Found error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hiro, follow the link, enter your text in the box and click "remove diacritics." Copy and paste it here.

http://utils.paranoiaworks.org/diacriticsremover/

Spoiler:
So am I missing something, or did the ciphrang plotline go nowhere? What was the point of the Blind Slaver and Vile Angel?

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Meaning is created internally by each individual in each specific life: any attempt at *meaning* which relies on some kind of external superstructure (God, Satan, the Creator, the Worm, whatever) for its substance misses the point (I mean the point of my story). -SRD

Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 3:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:
Spoiler:
That was just awful. One of the worst endings to a series I've ever read. Did anyone enjoy reading that?

I've been reading through the links provided on the last page. In one discussion, Bakker said this:

Bakker wrote:
Interpretative indeterminacy, or what I call 'Crash Space' in my philosophical work, is what this series is ALL about, so if you were expecting a traditional discharging of narrative mysteries, you were bound to be disappointed: the idea is to cue our meaning-making instincts in the absence of any definitive interpretation. Right. Wrong. Hero. Villain. Hope. Fear. Love. Hate. Life. Afterlife. Heaven. Hell. Violence. Healing. Golgotterath is the point where all these things collapse into uncertainty.

So for me, there were only a handful of basic things I had hoped would be clear enough to frame the intelligibility of what comes after. Frustration on the part of a good number of readers--we all have varying tolerances for uncertainty--is something I take as a sign of achieving my narrative and thematic goals. I would have been bummed if some hadn't reacted negatively. Blame the books, or (as seems to be the dominant reflex) blame me, the fact remains you have just had an up close and personal experience with your own tolerances. You have felt Golgotterath more viscerally than most!
I think he's confusing obscurity with cleverness. 'Interpretive indeterminacy" seems like nothing more than a trick to play upon readers, keeping them ignorant for the sake of seeming mysterious. He claims this was the point, but it's just a technique. A ploy. A cheap trick.

Is there really any indeterminacy here? Spoiler:
Khellus was a good guy who failed. What is ambiguous about that? He tried to save the world, and was beaten by a kid. Everything didn't collapse into uncertainty (as he claims above), everything collapsed into shit. Certain shit. It's not clever, it's childish, to take pleasure in frustrating readers.


Is there anything in the appendix worth reading?



Z, there is so much to unpack in TUC and much to respond to. I need to qualify that I have little time for extensive discussion this week. However, I will briefly offer my two Kellics.

Spoiler:
On other fora there is *extensive* discussion about TUC. That's the understatement of the month. At the very least, TUC is a discussion-generating machine, even more so than the previous volumes, on its own strength and tying the entire series together. Reactions have been passionate, both pro and a lot of con, as well as to Bakker's own comments. I do think it is interesting that Bakker, in these comments, on the one hand, in what you cited, seems to have aimed towards this uncertainty, however, on the other hand, as soon as Bakker offers clear answers to some of these uncertainties, a lot of people balk. You are certainly not the only one disappointed by TUC. Some of the extensive discussion surprises me a bit, as some people go on and on and on how much they dislike this book and Bakker. At some point, reading those discussions became pointless to me. You can always read something else, instead of spending your time on a book that you dislike so much. And, at some criticism of the writing I react with the instinctive 'I am curious what *you* yourself would write, since you claim to understand so much about writing.'

This does not reflect my impression of your words, Z.

This is the SRD forum, so the failing quest, in particular in TOT primed me, and I presume others as well, for this type of narrative.

I am convinced that seeds and setups are present in the text, well hidden for sure, at times frustratingly so, yet I admire this aspect as well. The hologram is one example. It was subtly setup in the scene with holo-Shauriatas, so I assumed Kellhus sans Mark was a hologram. Bakker confirmed this with some of the reasons for this choice. Briefly, the Consult, or Dunsult, needed some time to power up the Carapace. Besides that, the power of that scene, what I refer to as the 'our salvation' scene, derives from its unreality. We just glimpsed some of the true players and their machinations in the Golden Room, so no way that this happy ending could be real. The Sranc retreating I also read as a precursor to doom. Also, there has been no reality in which a Mark would have been removed, so that underlined the unreality of that scene. The fragility and danger of faith, the illusory nature of the Ordeal's faith in Kellhus climaxed here.

Also, thematically, as I see it, this series turns around the meaning of faith and ignorance.

To take away Kellhus from the Benjuka plate, in particular to reveal the extent of their misguided faith to the remaining players, was something I anticipated, to further develop this theme. At the same time, that Kellhus is not omnipotent but vulnerable as well to the darkness that comes before, to the invisible ignorance, fits in as well. To even think of Kellhus as just 'a good guy who failed' is suspect to me. The question whether Kellhus was evil or good, and or mad, was clarified as TUC progressed. Or was it? I mean, it was getting pretty clear, to me, that Kellhus was up to no good. Although was it really Kellhus? It seems Ajokli had possessed him for quite some time. Perhaps and probably since the Circumfix. So I understand that Moenghus in TTT was right, Kellhus was mad. Kellhus was not just Dunyain-powered, but God-powered / -vehicled as well. I like the ambiguity here, where the darkness begins and the possession ends, with Kellhus thinking or struggling to be in control. The ambiguity that he might think to have been certain about his purpose of taking down the Consult. While he may have served to bring back the No-God to this world. Kelmomas is after all his son.

On a side-note, Moenghus set up the Dunyain overtaking the Consult as well, a very early seed of the climax.

This is but one example of why I do not share your view on the ending and this book.

Yes, I enjoyed it. I was surprised by the intensity of TUC, especially in the last 250 pages. Except for the Serwa vs Dragon scene, which I indeed experienced as pointless. Removing it would not have hurt anything, improved it even, for me at least.

I had some difficulty with the first half though, the lengthy trek to Golgotterath. More so than you.

I am also impressed by Bakker's trick of sustained ambiguity so many novels in, no mean feat. I'd rather read something challenging and ambitious, perhaps imperfect or not fully realized, than middle-of-the-road and predictable. While the 3rd Chrons were ambitious as well, I confess that they have left me profoundly unsatisfied. Waiting book after book for things to improve. The ending of TLD, that left a sour taste in my mouth. The TUC ending and this whole series has been much more satisfying for me than the 3rd Chrons.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:
Crap! So sorry Hiro! I thought I was the last one here to finish.
Spoiler:

Yeah, I expected the No God to walk again. I suppose I expected it to happen as a final weapon which Khellus would then defeat. And then when the Mutilated suggested that it *had* to happen, I thought for a second that Khellus would agree, and then it would be interpreted as some kind of salvation, rather than defeat.


A few things I don't get:

Spoiler:
How did Kelmomas get all the way to the top of miles-high tower? He didn't go in through the door, because he can't fly. And he couldn't have gone through the gate, because it was guarded by the dragon. But even if he found some other way in, how did he physically get to the top that fast?

Given that the Dunyain had taken over the Consult, why was there any need for a battle at all? Why didn't they try to contact Khellus prior to the fighting and convince him to join? If that was their plan all along, why make it so hard for Khellus to get to the Golden Room so they could make their sales pitch? This feels like yet another fake-out by Bakker, all the build-up meant to trick the readers, and having no point in the plot. Bakker wanted to surprise *us* by the Dunyain taking over the Consult. Khellus wasn't even surprised.

If they can make holograms that require the Judging Eye to see through, why didn't they just hide the sarcophagus from Khellus and trick him into getting into it?

Why did Kelmomas kill his father in the middle of a bunch of enemies who were only held at bay by his father? What the hell did he expect to happen after his father was gone? Who did he think would protect him after that?



Spoiler:
Regarding Kelmomas: he was brought to the Golden Room by a Skin-spy. I assume they used tunnels underneath the Occlusion to get there, - hinted at elsewhere, boy does Bakker require ultra-close reading -, within the Ark, who knows, but I buy it.

The Dunsult surprise: Bakker mentioned that Kellhus got suspicious that Dunyain might have taken over the Consult after the nuke at Dagliash. And as I stated earlier, the thought of Dunyain taking over was already seeded by Moenghus. The Ishual siege was another, albeit vaguer, ingredient. Whether the Dunsult could have contacted Kellhus earlier, I don't know. Maybe. Although they are in fuller control, or at least they think they are, in the Ark, with their armies, Sranc, Skin-spies, Choraes, i.e. conditioned ground.

Kellhus is not quite Kellhus in the Golden Room, at that point Ajokli has taken over. It takes the appearance of Kelmomas - the No-God to shift the balance of power.

Didn't Kellhus himself saw through the hologram illusion of Shauriatas? So trying to fool Kellhus with a hologram already failed.

Kelmomas himself did not kill Kellhus. He startled Kellhus and one of the Skin-spies in the Golden Room, momentarily free from Ajokli's power, Chorae'd Kellhus at that moment.
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Hiro
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:
Hiro, follow the link, enter your text in the box and click "remove diacritics." Copy and paste it here.

http://utils.paranoiaworks.org/diacriticsremover/

Spoiler:
So am I missing something, or did the ciphrang plotline go nowhere? What was the point of the Blind Slaver and Vile Angel?


Thanks for that link, it helped!

Spoiler:
The Ciphrang, as I see them, were a first salvo to soften up Golgotterath's defenses and do as much damage as they can. On another level, they setup Golgotterath as a powerful Topos, with the Ciphrang being able to free himself from Iyokus power and drag the sorceror with him to hell. It foreshadows Ajokli being able to enter the arena.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hiro, thanks for the lengthy response! You make some excellent points. I encourage opposing points of view. I want to like this book. I want to be shown how I'm wrong.

The comparison to TLD was interesting. Like you, I thought TLD was a failure, and my complaints mirror my problems with TUC--which is ironic, given how the two books are almost exact opposite in their conclusions.

Spoiler:
Your explanations for the problems I had seem mostly plausible. I still think that the Dunyain could have met Kellhus prior to the battle and said, "Let's talk," especially since there was a parley, of sorts, before the fighting began. If they wanted to talk to him, I'm not sure why he had to fight his way to the Golden Room.

You're right about the hologram, I suppose, although we're not given any info on why Kellhus has a power that's the equivalent of the Judging Eye, in that regard. Also, his ability to see is a bit arbitrary. If he can see through holograms, see through faces, and has the power of a God, why can't he tell that Sorweel was an assassin (especially when Kelmo could)?

You're right about Kelmo not killing Kellhus. I forgot that. However, it makes his role even more questionable. Kellhus can be startled? Is that the only reason why Kelmo was there? To be a distraction? How did they know that would work or would be needed? If this was a Dunsult plan, it's one of the most implausible aspects of the entire series--that they'd know about Kelmo, know his mother would free him, know that Kellhus would be distracted by him, know that this distraction would be necessary, know that Kellhus wouldn't see him until it was too late, etc. It seems to come out of nowhere.

Whether or not Kellhus was good/evil, mad/sane, doesn't seem so ambiguous to me. Is there any evidence in his actions that he was crazy? All his plotting and mastery of events seem to argue otherwise, a very rational and effective strategy (until the end). Likewise, the only "evidence" we have that he might be evil comes in the form of suspicions of the characters, mainly Akka and Cnaiur. And those suspicions come only from the fact that they know Kellhus is Dunyain--i.e. that they know Kellhus isn't exactly what he pretends to be. But what is it about being Dunyain or pretending to be Holy that makes one evil? If you don't buy into religion (like me), this isn't problematic. I just don't see any evidence to support the claim of ambiguity, except for manufactured effect of the author. Even Kel's treatment of Proyus in TGO makes sense in the context of his goals. And the fact that there is a Thousandfold Thought undermines the possibility that Kellhus can be evil or mad, because we automatically assume that every outrageous thing he does is merely part of a deeper plot.

With that said, I do agree that this series was successful right up until the final volume, and I enjoyed it more than the Last Chronicles.
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Remain faithful to the earth, my brothers, with the power of your virtue. Let your gift-giving love and your knowledge serve the meaning of the earth ... Do not let them fly away from earthly things and beat with their wings against eternal walls. Alas, there has always been so much virtue that has flown away. Lead back to the earth the virtue that flew away, as I do-back to the body, back to life, that it may give the earth a meaning, a human meaning. -Nietzsche
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