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Seventh Decimate Discussion SPOILERS
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TheFallen
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 08, 2018 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, I finished it yesterday (simply hadn't gotten round to acquiring myself a copy until a couple of weeks ago)...

It was a reasonable read and I'll continue with it onto the next volume (Mar 19, I believe). However...

It's noticeably different in style and execution from SRD's other works. It just feels... less substantial? Less satisfying? Less engrossing?

Some have already commented on the much more flimsy characters - they just don't pull you in and make you empathise or identify with them - you just don't love em (or hate em). I loved Mhoram and Foamfollower, Bannor and Stave almost from the get-go. In stark contrast, 33% of the way into GGW (presumably), I just think that Prince Bifalt is (currently) a bit of a mildly irritating, prejudiced and prideful arse.

Same with the mise en place - unlike the Land, I don't really care about Belleger, Amika or the rest of the fast-widening world. Utterly unlike TCOTC, the scenery's just that - a shallow backdrop.

Which then made me ask myself the question "why?". We all know that SRD is more than wordsmith enough to create profundity, both in character and setting - if anyone can layer level upon level, he can - so this must be a deliberate choice. Maybe he doesn't feel up to the sustained creative effort of creating such complex and multi-faceted literature any more at this later stage in his authorial career?

What I think is very clear is that this is going to be a straight out and out parable - which may explain the somewhat superficial cast and scenery. This is further evidenced by the names chosen - "Belleger"... "Amika"... "Bifalt" and so on. These aren't nations and characters per se anywhere near as much as they're obvious conceptual representations, so named as to highlight SRD's chosen message(s) even more clearly.

We'll just have to see where this goes - but I'd bet 50 bucks to a wooden nickel that GGW as a whole doesn't have anywhere near the emotional involvement, depth and grandeur of TCOTC - and moreover I don't think that's a bar that SRD has even considered setting himself with this one.
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2018 8:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mmm.. I stil havent got the books yet .. but not sure I want to as it doesnt sound all that appealing. Ive nixed too many books of late for that very reason 😔
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 1:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skyweir wrote:
mmm.. I stil havent got the books yet .. but not sure I want to as it doesnt sound all that appealing. Ive nixed too many books of late for that very reason 😔


I would advise you to give it a try, unless you only like the TC/Gap level stuff and hated Mordant's Need and SRD's other "lighter" fare.

If that's true you might want to give this new series a pass, but if you didn't mind Mirror of Her Dreams I think you might enjoy Seventh Decimate as well. It's definitely SRD but not Chronicles-level complexity or meaning.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Disclaimer: I'm the guy who took "Trust SRD" as his mantra through all the whinging about the Last Chrons.
If that didn't work for you then, what I have to say now isn't going to be compelling either.


Sky, the best thing to do is to go about your other reading now, but arrange to have a copy of Seventh Decimate available to read early next year such that you finish that book about the time the next one becomes available to you. Absorb them both; following that, I expect that you will be avidly anticipating the next volume.

Since we are drawing parallels to other SRD series, consider the Gap dissection now going on and imagine yourself back in the early '90s. All you have is The Real Story and Forbidden Knowledge. You have few clues how epic the Gap story arc is or how intense the story will get. You might even (oh so mistakenly) set the series aside.

Now imagine reading those two books and immediately picking up A Dark and Hungry God Arises. When you read the last line of ADAHGA and close the book...are you not desperate to know what happens next? Do the two following books exceed the expectations you had when finishing that third volume, which really turned around the story begun in the first two?

Trust SRD. There is an amazing story about to be told.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Completely agree with the post above. I'll never forget finishing dark and hungry god. I trust SRD . The War Within will take the story in unimaginable new directions. When's it out again ?
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Expected publication date is March 21, 2019.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Savor Dam wrote:
Expected publication date is March 21, 2019.


Thank you. Really looking forward to it. Nobody like SRD. Bring it on.
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2018 4:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

renny wrote:
Savor Dam wrote:
Expected publication date is March 21, 2019.


Thank you. Really looking forward to it. Nobody like SRD. Bring it on.


Bingo! Agree 100%
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Certainly Prince Bifalt has some of that "anti-hero" quality about him, especially when his realization of their being a wider world with bigger concerns than those of Balleger just angers him rather than humbles him...it's not easy for me to like him in these moments. Nevertheless, I feel he has some redeeming qualities. Bifalt's thoughtfulness shows through after he asks the sorcerer Slack what happened when the gift of sorcery was removed by the Seventh Decimate, and gets Slack's answer about how it feels like one's personality is a series of rooms in a house, and the removal of sorcery feels like access to some of those rooms has been denied.

In Part One of Seventh Decimate was wrote:
Prince Bifalt had not contemplated the subject from Slack's perspective. He was reluctant to do so now. But he remembered that he meant to be careful, polite; that he would have to rely on this man. He tried to find common ground between them.

"Here is another crime to be laid at Amika's charge. If our foes would allow us peace, men with your gifts would not be burdened with the need to make amends."

Speaking as if to himself, Slack inquire, "Do we not have peace now, Highness?"

"It is the peace before the pounce, Slack," snapped the Prince. "The peace before the pounce. When Amika is ready to spring, we will have no peace until we are in our graves."

The older man sighed again. "As you say, Highness." Then he continued more firmly, "But you did not call me to your side to discuss my life. You have other queries, Highness?"

The Prince gathered his original thoughts. "Indeed," he answered in a more neutral tone. "I was told you know some trick or tricks to ward us on this quest. What are they? They will do little good if we are not ready to take advantage of them."

"They are not tricks, Highness.' Slack's words suggested umbrage, although he spoke them mildly. "One is a gift all former sorcerers share. If we can no longer perform theurgy, we remain sensitive to its imminence. I can forewarn you of a sorcerous attack."

Hearing this, Prince Bifalt allowed himself a moment of relief. Without question, he needed Slack. And now he knew how the first king of Belleger, Brigin, had survived his brother's betrayal. Fastule's attack on Queen Malorie had announced itself to King Brigin's Magisters.

But Slack was not done. "As for the rest"--he shrugged inside his loose shirt--"they are merely skills. I am an adept of the skillet and stewpot. You and your men will eat as well as our rations allow. Also, I am wise with the balms and unguents that mend burns. We will have burns, whether or not we suffer by fire. In the deseert, without sufficient water or any shade, our lips will crack, our skin will blister, and our strength will falter. while my balms and unguents last, they will ease us."

With every response, the older man showed himself in a new light. Prince Bifalt had not expected so much from him. Swallowing his dislike, he forced himself to say, "Then, Slack, you may be the most necessary member of our company." His quest required that admission. "Now hear my command. See to your own safety. If we are threatened, my men and I will face the danger. If there are obstacles in our path, we will deal with them. Keep to the rear. Seek shelter when you can. I do not mean to lose you."

The former sorcerer might be able to interpret Marrow's book if the Prince himself could not.

Like a man compelled, Slack stared at Prince Bifalt. In the former Magister's eyes, the Prince saw an instant of astonishment. Then the look was gone, and Slack turned his head away. With a hint of his earlier brief vehemence, he answered, "As you command, Highness."

Bowing his head, he left the Prince's side.

A man is not a man at all--If Slack were regarded as a dwelling, Prince Bifalt now wondered, how many chambers did he contain? If those that pertained to theurgy had been sealed, how many remained for his use? Could such a man be humble? Or show kindness? Was it possible?

The Prince doubted it. But he was prepared to be persuaded, if Slack helped his quest succeed. If its success relieved King Abbator's distress, and Belleger's.


As I think I've said, the Prince is not easy to like, but he has his redeeming qualities, and can be moved to reconsider his opinions, at times. I don't find him to be completely unlikeable.
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