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The Illearth War: Ch 24
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Cord Hurn
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 29, 2015 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dlbpharmd wrote:
Cord Hurn wrote:
Infelice wrote:
Could it be that Elena was put on her ultimately disastrous path from this very moment in time? Could she have somehow, by participating in this ritual, actually formed her own kind of Vow?



Yesyesyesyes, YES! Soap Box Reluctant as I am to blame the Ranyhyn for anything, Elena may have been doomed from that moment on! Sad


Spoiler:
The events of ROTE, specifically Linden's Horse-rite, confirmed this.



Indeed! Good Post
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2018 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've just been re-reading the Blood of the Earth section of TIW again, and as always I find it both a magical and sad and essential part of the overall story - Infelice's chapter dissection in the OP is very much worthy of the chapter itself.

'Descent to Earthroot' contains many indelible moments, with Donaldson creating an atmosphere of awe as Amok guides the small group to the Blood of the Earth.

Donaldson is deft in contriving ways of ratcheting up the tension of Covenant and Elena's quest by combining the surreal (!) environment of the sunless lake with some clever, just-vague-enough ominous foreshadowing...

The idea of a mysterious Lake-within-a-Mountain, Donaldson's description of the rocklight/Staff of Law's flame, the unrippling water and ambiguously-described 'pillars' all serve to create absolute wonder. The silent waterfall a perfect final touch to the scene.

Amok provides 'the way' to traverse the lake in order to reach the Blood of the Earth - a small, magical boat that travels on the sound of echoing voices.

And here is where Donaldson shows his facility for layered yet economical story-telling.

Elena is more than happy to provide the verbal impetus for the boat to move, and chooses to tell a very specific story.

The story ultimately serves two purposes for the greater narrative; firstly, its direct relationship to Covenant's initial attempt at bargaining with the Land is a looming portent that his current, equally disingenuous bargain is similarly doomed - and in fact, the two bargains will conspire to bring about the same dead-end result.
- Elena chooses now to talk about the results of that first bargain, which Covenant himself intuitively knows was folly, even 'cruel'..? Bad omen!

Elena's tale of her childhood experiences with the Ranyhyn also point to the direction her own choices will take.
Her affinity with the Ranyhyn, and their fear and abhorrence of Foul is perhaps betrayed by her tendency of referring to the Despiser as 'Fangthane'.

Her eventual decision upon drinking the Blood of the Earth is supported by her rage and sorrow at the injustice of Khelenbhrabanal's murder most Foul.
Her choice of Kevin over Khelenbhrabanal himself is foreshadowed and justified earlier in the book.

If the foreshadowing seems heavy-handed at all here then its not at all to the first-time reader. Elena's story is interesting, but we're so taken with the mystical environment that her story can slip by without truly registering as the dire warning that it is.

It may also be worth noting that Elena's eventual Choice is not dissimilar to that of her own cynical father - each believe that installing a proxy 'hero' is preferable to testing their own inadequacies in confronting Foul.
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Cord Hurn
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SleeplessOne wrote:
Elena is more than happy to provide the verbal impetus for the boat to move, and chooses to tell a very specific story.

The story ultimately serves two purposes for the greater narrative; firstly, its direct relationship to Covenant's initial attempt at bargaining with the Land is a looming portent that his current, equally disingenuous bargain is similarly doomed - and in fact, the two bargains will conspire to bring about the same dead-end result.
- Elena chooses now to talk about the results of that first bargain, which Covenant himself intuitively knows was folly, even 'cruel'..? Bad omen!



It manages to be subtle for the first-time reader and ominous for the re-reader, as I see it.
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