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Reading Along ... managed spoilers
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reading Along ... managed spoilers Reply with quote

Chapters 1-2 spoilers! (for now, more in future posts)

So I thought it would be fun to have a thread similar to our AATE thread where we could give our impressions as we go, without spoiling anything except for the particular chapter we're on. So please give your particular chapter reference at the top of each post (as I've done at the top of this post).

I'm up to chapter 4, and it hasn't sucked yet. Laughing Actually, it's pretty good. But I'll get specific about one minor gripe--the only gripe I have so far--from chapter 2.

Linden just got her son back. I mean all the way back. Why can't she just be happy? I know, it's Linden. Razz And there has to be some character conflict going on, or it's not much of a story. But she starts having doubts about Jeremiah right from the beginning, even before he has shown any evidence of trouble. The first (and only) sign comes at the end of chapter 2, when he snaps at his mom. A teenager can't get pissy with his mom without her thinking that he's ruled by Foul? If he'd done something violent, maybe I could see it. But the boy has been through a lot. Give him a damn break, Linden!

Anyway, I'm very excited to be reading along. Jeremiah is a great character. I can't believe how easy it is to like him when he has spent 3 books as a vegetable with a croyal on his back. But his exuberance and childlike wonder are a very refreshing addition to all these bleak and wordy characters. I want the best for him, and I barely know him.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 11:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

(I'm up to Chapter 8, but I'll only comment up as far as Chapter 4.)

First off I'll say that I'm definitely finding this book much easier to read than AATE. It may simply be that we've obviously reached a more focused part of the story, so that actions and consequences are more closely related. I agree with you, Z, that Linden's immediate search for some flaw in her son's return irked. For Creator's sake! Enjoy the relief and let his problems and dangers be a surprise to us when they emerge!

I'd read the 3rd chapter a while back when it was pre-released as a teaser, I was annoyed then at Brinn's tone and it bugged me as well this time round. He doesn't speak like any Haruchai ever spoke anywhere in the Chrons. I know there's a purpose to it but it could have been done equally as well while maintaining the tone. No one judges as harshly as a Haruchai the whole point is how dour and laconic it is. IMO, he should be even more stolid for having been the Guardian for so long.

The scale of some of the action sequences is definitely impressive and cinematic. The scope of what SRD is attempting is becoming much more apparent now that the Worm has entered the picture (maybe he should have introduced it a couple of books ago! It might have assisted the editing by consuming large chunks of over-rich prose Laughing).

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 11:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speaking of chapter 4 ...

I thought the lurker/raver battle was going to be silly for logistical reasons, but those very problems were made into part of the action. I was damn pleased with that. As soon as I had a, "but what about ..." moment, Donaldson answered it pretty fast. For instance, I thought it was going to be pointless to cut off a possessed tentacle, because the raver could just go to another one. But then Donaldson has TC realizing this, and doing something about it.

The more I read, the more I'm begining to trust.

Brinn's tone didn't bother me. He's had some time to think. He's undergone a personal transformation. Being a Guardian can change people, I suppose. I thought his scolding of the Masters was awesome. And it was also cool that they didn't immediately agree with their "hero." It's interesting to see how people react to someone whom they'd put on a pedestal suddenly standing right before them, scolding them. So human. Awesome.
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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: Thu Oct 17, 2013 4:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i'm not totally against the linden-is-a-whiner feeling that many have expressed over time. (i'm not totally on-board with that feeling either)

on this particular issue tho, i want to cut her some slack. specifically jeremiah is being a douche. almost like anakin in the new star wars movies. just hard to like. yah obviously there's plenty of reasons, but i at least feel like SRD could've given him a BIT more sympathetic-ness.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ch4 spoilers ... seriously. And then ch5.


Holy Crap! When I'd posted my last post (above), I didn't realize I was on the verge of Branyl pulling TC out of the water, and Clyme accepting the raver's possession in order to be sliced up and eviscerated by the krill. Dear god, that was a hell of a scene!

Now I'm back to being frustrated about logistical issues. What on earth does it matter which direction the Worm is going? It's coming for the swamp. Okay. But can't the thing change directions at literally any time?? Even after it passes Covenant? Why does Covenant have to physically watch its approach to the swamp, when the Feroce could do it for him and relay the message virtually instantaneously?

How the heck does Covenant know that the Worm wouldn't like the taste of Kastenessen? But it *would* like the taste of She? (Well ... who doesn't? Twisted Evil Razz )
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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: Thu Oct 17, 2013 2:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:

Holy Crap! When I'd posted my last post (above), I didn't realize I was on the verge of Branyl pulling TC out of the water, and Clyme accepting the raver's possession in order to be sliced up and eviscerated by the krill. Dear god, that was a hell of a scene!


Agree 100%, that was one of the best scenes (if not THE best) in the entire Last Chronicles.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree that the scene with the Ravers and the Haruchai was great. A lot of atonement there.

I've gotten used to the whole logistics of the Last Chrons (without having to like it). I didn't mind Covenant going to see the Worm because it finally gave me a sense of the scale of it. I think the scene of the Lurker and the urviles and Waynhim facing down the Worm was really visual on a grand scale. I could easily imagine it in a film.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 9:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was definitely a spectacle. And once I "saw" it for myself, I realized this is why he had to go there. Smile So we could see it. It might have worked better if TC had just said, "I've got to see this for myself." I would, too! That could have been his entire reason, and I would have been cool with it.
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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: Thu Oct 17, 2013 9:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I imagine the Feroce could not see what Covenant needed to know. They'd just gibber on about how the Worm was coming and not the direction.

I kinda like the logistics... gives an idea of the true scale of the problem.

Of course, even though I've loved and am continuing to love the Last Chronicles, I'm starting to see what may turn a lot of people off. For a story set in a magical land of fantasy that's about to get devoured or torn apart by beings of tremendous power, it is awfully mundane (not awful for me, but it is certainly not what people normally look for in a fantasy series).

Currently not saying anything else because I'm on Chapter 10.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 1:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chapter 6: Promises Old and New.

Damn, a whole lot of nothing in 21 pages. Jeremiah is a little less likable, though not disturbingly so. Just whiny.

Linden got her message from Covenant. Covenant already spoiled the Wildwood connection, though I'm still not sure how it will play out.

Lots of memory themes going on. The Feroce's power, Covenant's fragile state of "slipping through the cracks" (wait ... what happened to that?), and the memories of rocks holding the key. Also the Staff helps Linden remember who she is.
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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: Fri Oct 18, 2013 5:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't mind Jeremiah. He's acting like an actual kid! He wants to be responsible, but has never had the time to actually develope as a normal child. All he has is his talent, excitement, and his mother. How is he suppose to deal with what he's been through with possession when he has never actually dealt with it?

Which is why Linden is concerned (that and she has been working at a bloody mental hospital for ten years! If she wasn't concerned about Jeremiah's mental well-being, I'd say that Donaldson dropped the character ball!)

Anyway, I've finished Part I... so yeah, spoilers and such follow bellow, though not too specific outside of tags.

Part I is interesting because it shows in much grander scale just how...well...fucked everything is. Sure, we know the Worm will cause the end of all things, but just the varied methods it CAN cause the end of all things adds quite a bit of tension to the story.

What's really interesting are the problems presented by Jeremiah. Not only is he a potential source of doom Spoiler:
(through his anger or that wonderful trait of Anele where he can get possessed by different beings depending on where he is standing)
but his actual powers have very real limitations. I was afraid his jails would be a convenient resolution to everything, but for him to actually, say, build a prison for Foul would require much more effort then just him merely building a construct.

To tell the truth, I can't wait for them to fight skurj and Sandgorgons!
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Haruchai using the Krill to kill the Raver was so unHaruchai like. Fist and Faith as so they say. Wonder how the other masters will take that altho Clyme did fullfill a Bloodguard desire. To directly fight against corruption.
Clyme didn't fail, he took a chunk away form the Haruchai humilation.
So has Branyl. To me it was a disturbing read.

TC viewing of the worm was necessary. It ever sealed his alliance greater, he had to determined where the worm was going.He place himself in danger before the lurker. Added iceing was the viles and wayhim adding to "spoil the broth".

As for Jeremiah. His plight is he is unexperience and finding out that beating the world takes an effort that doesn't go according to the desires and whims of a teenage boy. Hard school of knocks that one is attending.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ur Dead wrote:
The Haruchai using the Krill to kill the Raver was so unHaruchai like. Fist and Faith as so they say. Wonder how the other masters will take that altho Clyme did fullfill a Bloodguard desire. To directly fight against corruption.
Clyme didn't fail, he took a chunk away form the Haruchai humilation.
So has Branyl. To me it was a disturbing read.


Stave set a precedent when he killed Esmer with the krill in AATE.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 11:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[Ch4 spoiler]

Oh, Clyme's death scene was definitely disturbing, and Branl's use of a weapon was a big part of that. By saying it was "cool," I wasn't trying to say that I liked the violence, or I thought it was macho or badass (though it was), it was heart-wrenching and disturbing. A bitter-sweet victory, full of sorrow and self-betrayals.

By the way, if anyone wants to jump ahead of me and use this thread to post thoughts for chapters I haven't reached yet, feel free ... as long as you post spoiler warnings at the top of each post. I'll get to it eventually, and I'll scroll carefully.
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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: Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[continuing same part spoilers]

Yeah, when Clyme rose up with the raver in him, that was the moment that shows you just how far the Haruchai have fallen. That they'd willingly accept a raver - even to destroy it - and the way they did it, that's how messed up the Haruchai have become over the years, brought up to the surface by their experiences being challenged by Brinn and by all of Covenant's behaviour.

And I think they realise that, because after that (I've finished trough chapter 7) Branl just goes along with whatever Covenant wants, and no longer tries to be the Humbled.

It seemed like they actually resented Covenant for making them sacrifice themselves. The Haruchai have never seemed quite so strongly resentful of their service before.

Question is: How do you teach the Haruchai this kind of lesson and not have them just exile Branl the same way they did Cail and Stave? They're not the type that's willing to learn they're wrong unless forced to extremes.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 20, 2013 10:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[chapter 9 spoilers]

Someone tell Cail we have a new purveyor of dick jokes.

Damn, I never thought I'd read a dick joke in a Donaldson book. It was actually good, too. I liked how J didn't get it, and it helped renew the ladies' stength.
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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: Mon Oct 21, 2013 1:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah that was good, I almost missed it. Laughing
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[Chapter 9 spoilers]

Man, Kastenessen turned out to be an anti-climactic plot device. We've been looking forward to a showdown with him for 3.5 books, and he showed up, gets hot, and then Covenant chases him into the "fane" with the krill. Really? That's it?

No ... don't tell me. I'll RAFO.

I did finally make the connection between his pain, his heat, and his hand when he possesses Jeremiah. Definitely a symbol of the pain Jer endured as a child when he put his hand into the bonfire.
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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: Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:
[chapter 9 spoilers]

Someone tell Cail we have a new purveyor of dick jokes.

Damn, I never thought I'd read a dick joke in a Donaldson book. It was actually good, too. I liked how J didn't get it, and it helped renew the ladies' stength.


Was that the sword bit? I didn't get it either. Confused
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Iolanthe wrote:
Zarathustra wrote:
[chapter 9 spoilers]

Someone tell Cail we have a new purveyor of dick jokes.

Damn, I never thought I'd read a dick joke in a Donaldson book. It was actually good, too. I liked how J didn't get it, and it helped renew the ladies' stength.


Was that the sword bit? I didn't get it either. Confused


A bunch of giants said, rather than wrote:
I will give my oath that I am dwindling. Hunger diminishes me. My garments hang loosely, and my cataphract has become an encumbrance, and I fear that my sword has grown too long for easy use."

You forget to whom you speak, Stonemage. All here know that in your care every sword grows too long for easy use."

Mockery is ignorance. Occasions there have been in abundance, yet none have inspired complaint."


Think of "swords" growing longer, what "care" might make them longer, and why such length might make them difficult for "easy use," and yet those instances gave no cause for complaint.

<cough>
<erections>

The story got Stave so worked up, he said lamely, "Oh, uh, it's the pleats... the pleats in the tunic. It's an optical illusion. I was just about to take them back... to the tunic store."

And then he mumbled something about now you know why Haruchai don't need weapons. A whole new meaning to "We suffice."

Or maybe I'm remembering that wrong. Razz
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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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