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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 1:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:
[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.
I was just happy he showed up. Did I want a white-magic kung-fu fight? You bet. At least he was drawn to the structure... you know, because he is still principally an Elohim! Maybe we'll get something with Roger... or maybe he'll cry, "Daddy!" as he embraces Covenant. "There, there..." Covenant will sooth his sobbing child, "You know, you remind me an awful lot of your mother". Roger will pull away from Covenant's shoulder, sniffle and direct a question gaze at his father as Covenant plunges the krill into his chest.
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 1:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Orlion...uh, RAFO!
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There was more dirty humour earlier on, when they talk about moaning. Jeremiah didn't get it that time, either. Wink
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, thank you Z, and Murrin. Must be a man thing, not the interpretation I thought of. Rolling Eyes
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I think I've been conditioned by Game of Thrones to interpret "sword" as "male genitalia." It's not the first thing that leaps to my mind, either.

Anyway [Chapter: After Too Long spoilers]

They got married. They had a chapel and everything. I'm happy for them. It did indeed happen after too long. However, it kind of lost its impact being done over the smoking corpse of the giant who was trying to kill Linden. Not what I imagined for this moment at all. The poignancy of their first coupling on the giantship felt more authentic and appropriate than this. But I'm glad Covenant got himself some action before the end. Oh, and Linden, too, I suppose. Laughing You go, you horny heroes!

Why did the Chronicles get all sexual here at the end? Well, I suppose that's what I'd be doing, too, at the End of All Things. Why not? I just hope the end of the world has good beer.
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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 24, 2013 12:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The poignancy of their first coupling on the giantship felt more authentic and appropriate than this.


Agree 100%.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 1:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since TC's leprosy is back with a vengeance, to borrow the words of Rowan Atkinson, it may be a day for happy couples, but it's really not going to be a night for happy coupling.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 2:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In the after-scene Linden mentions being tempted to to ask him to make love "again", so I'm pretty sure that wasn't an issue.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wonder why not? We've already been told how numb all his extremities have become again.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He lost his impotence - while still suffering the full extent of his leprosy - after The Power That Preserves. Pretty sure we were told that during the 2nd Chrons. It may even have been psychological.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 3:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm Murrin wrote:
He lost his impotence - while still suffering the full extent of his leprosy - after The Power That Preserves. Pretty sure we were told that during the 2nd Chrons. It may even have been psychological.

Fairly sure that this was the case. It wasn't the effects of the leprosy itself that caused him to be impotent, nor was it the effect of hurtloam curing his leprosy that caused him to become potent again. In both cases it was the psychological effect that was involved.

I've finished part one. I'm still enjoying it far more than AATE and it's occurring to me more and more that the whole of the Last Chronicles would have benefitted from being in a trilogy or *whisper it* even two books. Once the pacing picked up the story and writing have, IMO, improved significantly.

The whole growing of the bower and the marriage scene seemed a bit staged and artificial to me, although still affecting.

The Forestal's facing up to the Worm was fairly impressive though and I think some of SRD's best writing in this book so far is his description of the approach of the Worm towards the fane (a new word to me. SRD can still turn that trick! Laughing )

One thing that has begun to annoy me a bit, which I hadn't noticed in previous books is things that were important in the 1st and 2nd Chronicles but seem to take on a significance that is unjustified in my eyes. An example of this is Covenent's refusal to ride the Ranyhyn. At times it becomes an almighty inconvenience for no particular obvious reason. Similarly, the Haruchai's use of weapons.

For me these were always symbolic things rather than practical considerations. In the past, IIRC, the Haruchai have used the discarded or appropriated weapons at need. It was never some quasi-sacred thing that could not be contravened under any circumstance. My difficulty with this slippage is that the symbols do not comfortably bear the heightened significance that is being placed in them.

u.


[EDIT: to fix typo.]
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
An example of this is Covenent's refusal to ride the Ranyhyn.


An excellent point. I think it would've been entirely appropriate for a Ranyhyn to offer to serve Covenant. After, all he'd saved the Land twice. They should have no reason to fear him, as they did in LFB. At the least, I would've loved to see the Ranyhyn rear to Covenant.
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dlbpharmd wrote:
Quote:
An example of this is Covenent's refusal to ride the Ranyhyn.


An excellent point. I think it would've been entirely appropriate for a Ranyhyn to offer to serve Covenant. After, all he'd saved the Land twice. They should have no reason to fear him, as they did in LFB...

This is how I feel about it as well. Their fear in the first Chrons seemed to stem from the insuperable power of wild magic. Yet there seems to have been none of that in the Last Chrons. Linden has been in possession of the ring all through.

Unless they fear Covenant himself, which would interesting.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 24, 2013 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe they did fear Covenant himself, because of his capacity for Despite.
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 25, 2013 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So I've finished the first half. It's not bad. I liked it a lot better than the slow parts of AATE, and most of Runes. FR was far better, in my opinion.

I was a little bored with building the Fane, but SRD managed to squeeze some drama out of it with their labor and injuries.

I would have liked to have seen the death of Wildwood. Linden's short recap makes it seem like it would have been awesome. But maybe SRD thought that would be too much like Caer-caveral's death.

I'm starting to get that mid-sixth season of Lost feeling ... this seems to be drowning in details of stuff I don't care about, when the final pages of the entire Chronicles are about to give up their last secrets. I don't feel like we're dealing with the bigger issues at all. The Fane seems like it was only invented to give Jeremiah this one thing to do. I don't care about it. There was WAY too much space given to the Lurker--in two books. The payoff was a minor diversion of the Worm? So what?

I don't feel like the big issues of the characters are being addressed, not like they were in TPTP or WGW. There's not sense of leading up to something BIG. Even though I suspect Sandgorgens and skurj, I don't really look forward to that battle. I dread the Roger confrontation. At this point, I just want to see what the hell She Who had to do with the story. Maybe She and Foul can get married, too?

Minor physics gripe: Linden wouldn't have needed to slow or reverse time in order not to be crushed underneath the rubble of Kevin's Watch. They were at the top of the tower. They wouldn't have fallen faster than the rocks beneath them. All objects fall at the same speed. They still would have died, but not by somehow beating the rocks to the bottom and then being crushed by them.
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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 25, 2013 12:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

... and another thing. If the Elohim thought J's purpose was so aweful, why didn't they stop him from building the fane? That seems much less problematic than letting the boy free himself from his mental prison, and yet Infelice tried to stop that. They could have easily stopped him from building.

Also, why couldn't Elohim see that his purpose was beneficial? I realize they make mistakes sometimes, but they couldn't even tell after the fane was built! Infelice had to look inside ...?
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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 25, 2013 8:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as the entire chronicles have gone.

I shall proclaim it as a Giant.

It took 35 years to tell this tale and I am content and joy
has been reading it over these years!


I was in my midtwenties when the first book came out.
Now close to sixty it was a tale worth telling.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Zarathustra wrote:
... and another thing. If the Elohim thought J's purpose was so aweful, why didn't they stop him from building the fane? That seems much less problematic than letting the boy free himself from his mental prison, and yet Infelice tried to stop that. They could have easily stopped him from building.

Also, why couldn't Elohim see that his purpose was beneficial? I realize they make mistakes sometimes, but they couldn't even tell after the fane was built! Infelice had to look inside ...?


Sharp catch. It pains me to see how in the TLD forum the plot is so easily exposed for all of it's inconsistencies.

It is partly a matter of having too many all-powerful beings in the mix, and the rules seem to shift according to the story's need.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a major issue with the entire Last Chronicles - things that happen because of plot convenience rather than because they fit. They enter a caesure and come out right next to Revelstone so they don't have to have a long journey. Not!Covenant can travel miles at a time with unexplained magic, so that Linden's journey in the past won't take weeks. The Harrow destroys all of the demondim without any effort as soon as they're no longer needed to keep everyone in Revelstone. Covenant works out how to travel in jumps so he can cross all the way from the Shattered Hills to Sarangrave in a day.
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 26, 2013 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Every plot has to have contrivances to help it along. I'm actually pleased with Covenant's mode of travel, how he inferred it from the Insequent (with a hint from Esmer in AATE). It speeds things up, and that's cool with me. I don't need to see them trudging for days. Ditto with the caesure putting Linden down near Revelstone. I assumed the ranyhyn had helped with that, steering her where she needed to be. Or maybe that was the ranyhyn following Stave's guidance ... after all, they allowed both Linden and Stave into the horserite, so we can't just assume Linden's wishes/needs were the only ones they were heeding.

Now, destroying the Demondim made sense, according to the Harrow's particular knowledge/skills, but it was definintely poor story-telling, becasue it was anticlimactic. It resolved that tension too esaily, and thus exposed how the Demondim were merely a plot device. Plot devices are okay--you need them--but you shouldn't call attention to them by casting them aside as soon as you don't need them ... as Murrin pointed out.

Ur Dead, I'm still enjoying the story. But I'm also engaging it as a craft, as a construction which represents innumerable author choices. Some of those choices I find questionable. But I do like the overall story, and the characters. I should emphasize that: the characters are really coming alive in this last installment. The giants are a lot more relatable and interesting, now that they're not merely mounts for the main characters. Stave has always been cool, but now he's one of the "greats," standing equal with Cail and Bannor. Even Mahrtiir has finally found something to do (to say the least!)

Actually, Mahrtiir started getting interesting in FR as soon as he lost his eyes, and started giving commands as a tactician ... hmm I never noticed that particular parallel to Hile Troy until now. The blindness was an obvious parallel, but the tactical prowess didn't really register as part of that. But that skill definitely kicked in once he lost his sight, and it became part of the story in how he related to the giants, earning their respect.
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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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