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A Positive Thread About TLD
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:19 am    Post subject: A Positive Thread About TLD Reply with quote

There are plenty of threads in this forum that point out ways TLD fell short of the expectations of various readers. I would appreciate this not becoming one of those; that it be left for appreciative discussion, or at least that criticism and disputes not be featured here.

What prompted this?

Wayfriend appeared in this forum today and made a few posts, then concluded that the prevailing tone of the forum was coloring his recent completion of the book and that he wanted to digest what he had read without having all that negativity influence his assessment.
wayfriend wrote:
Sadly, I think I am going to stop reading this forum for a while. All the hate, and my inclination to counter it, feels like it could ruin what was for me a good and important experience. I want to contemplate it enjoyably for a while. There's a place for people to share their disappointment here, and that's all good, but I want to share my enjoyment with someone.

Elsewhere, dlb asked Menolly why she was avoiding this forum, since she read the ARC back in July. Her response:
Menolly wrote:
I want to give TLD a chance to grow on me. I raced through the ARC so quickly so SD could send it on that maybe I just didn't give it the attention it deserves. Until then, I don't want to spoil it for myself from insights other have posted.

Let's make this one thread that draws such posters in, rather than pushing them away.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I loved the defeat of ..." You will not"..Fouls last words..
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 1:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now that I'm digging deeper into the symbolism, I'm enjoying that aspect as my understanding grows. I think we can separate comments about execution or narrative from the author's intentions, which were clearly admirable and interesting.

I don't understand being pushed away by negative opinions. Positive opinions certainly don't push any of us away. Heck, even our own negative opinions don't push us away. It's still interesting to talk about.

Covenant didn't let his own negativity push him away from these very issues. In fact, he found a way to embrace it! Literally! (And even symbolically.) I can't understand reading this story and not being able to look negativity in the eye, as part of all of us. Wasn't that part of the point?
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 1:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I loved that Martiir became the new forrestal for the whole world, and that there were ample guardians to watch over the new forests. I see this as a way for the world to return to what it was before men came to the Land.

I loved that the Waynhim and urviles got a new Wierd, which gave them hope, redemption, purpose and a valid place in the new world.

I loved that the the lore of wood and stone would find a new beginning

also that the Haruchai were able to begin anew, hopefully rising above their old roles as Master and finding a new role somewhat like the old lords.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 2:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Z,",negativety", criticism, demands getting at least one thing right...that you are comparing an apple to an apple. ..that the standard being applied in critique,, applies to that being criticized..

Its okay to keep thoughts confined to ones own experiences and perceptions. But when " negativity" reaches into some one elses expressed views..Sorry, that don't work for me.

TC asked Jeremiah for his help. He needed Jerry's help. Slowly Jerry distanced himself from the.".whats the point,we're all gonna die anyway"..to..hey, excuse me but I have an idea."..Same thing here. Instead tho, there is ,,whad a load of crap!...Thats not criticism. Thats just belligerent self defeatism.

C'mon you and I have been thru this before. I've been thru this at the Lost boards and before that it was Twin Peaks and ED,,etc etc. Nothing new except SD wish and knowledge that when things stay even keeled and positive, the sailing gets really good and you reach destinations not seen nor necessarily planned. You don't have fun and gain knowledge by closing yourself to it.

Nobody is saying you can't be critical. But if thats what you want to do..be sure one isn't criticizing an orange for not being an apple.

on being critical..I think the Waynhim would have been much appreciating if Linden had furnished them with a Operators Manual for the Gifts she gave them.....

Well what are these for?..OOoooOOOhhh so thats what they are for,,how very nice!..and whats this..OOO HOO Hoo HAA...yes indeedy!! Linden, all these eons, where have you Been!!! AAAaaaAAH OMG OMG OMG...
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 3:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

lurch wrote:

Its okay to keep thoughts confined to ones own experiences and perceptions. But when " negativity" reaches into some one elses expressed views..Sorry, that don't work for me.
It's a fair point, and gets even fairer when applied equally, including to oneself. It's true that you and I have been through this before, and I enjoyed many aspects of those enlightening conversations. (I've decided to be less confrontational this time around ... I hope it shows.) But telling others that they they don't "get it" seemed to have been the first instance of negativity reaching into someone's expressed views that I noted in all of this. Until that point, the rest of us just seemed to talking about the book. But maybe I missed something, another starting point you noticed prior to that.
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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: Tue Nov 12, 2013 3:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, yea just as Mahritir had the exact right kind of attitude to be a Forestal...i suppose attitude is as much at play here as anything. I do not recall rubbing anyones nose in it. I put it out there as a choice. The pitiful ad hominem attacks on me elsewhere is hilarious but the under lying attitude doesn't work for me;.Been there done that. I kno where this is going and I'd rather not....I kno what can come forth when a few of us get it going having fun. That I would rather do.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 1:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't made a secret of my opinion on TLD, and will continue to discuss it elsewhere, but not in this thread.

Wayfriend , SavorDam and others don't want their contemplation period of the book muddled by the negativity that is here regarding TLD; They want to relax in the wake of finishing a series and come to their own conclusions.
I understand, respect and applaud that. Very Happy

Therefore my only comments here in this thread will be positive.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Each book in the Last Chronicles has had supporters and detractors. I'm don't know why some believe TLD would be any different.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just got through my second read of this. Although there were things I would have liked to have seen that werent there, I did enjoy the books and here are some of the things from TLD that were well done.

The growth of the Humbled during the last book. They finally figured out that the Masters had been wrong all along. When Branl shared his thoughts with the Masters, they didnt know what to do that that at first.

The destruction of the second Raver and the sacrifice to make that happen.

The change in the Forestal (Caerroil) from the time Linden first ran into him in the past to a time later in the past. How dark he had become by then. The answer they came up with was similiar to much of the Second Chrons. He gave up the last of himself to ensure that 'Beauty and Truth would not pass Utterly" and so that Forestals would exist in the new future.

The way Elena was redeemed from SWMNBN.

How Jeremiah tricked Moksha into giving him all the information he needed to defeat him and to learn how to make forbiddings and Word of Wardings.. Also the bits of information that were revealed on where Kevens Wards were.

The way Foul was defeated was AWESOME! Having SWMNBN just smack him down and bring him to the realization that he was not going to make it out of the arch (again) thus enabling him to accept merging with TC so that both could survive.

After the Worm was made slumbered again and the quick trip around to see the Elohim, Stave, Giants, etc.... Branl going back to get the Krill.. similar to Cail going back to the Merewives.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dlbpharmd wrote:
Each book in the Last Chronicles has had supporters and detractors. I'm don't know why some believe TLD would be any different.


Dlb I agree; but, you have to admit the criticism of TLD seems to be far beyond any criticism of earlier books. It's worse because its the final word on the series, there is no more. I think a lot of the criticism of the first 3 TLC books were muted because there was always another book coming, so perhaps something would tie it all in together.
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, as I've just pointed out in my "Entropy and Despite" thread, I've finally found a way to make peace with the ending. In my view, the epilogue was absolutely the worst part ... not that I'm against a happy ending, but I wanted it to be more than a miracle or magic. The miracle/magic had to be a symbol of something real in our lives, or we can't relate to it. I wanted to know the real world counterpart to this symbol, but I couldn't figure it out until now.

So, the positive thing I have to say about this book is that I can finally make peace with its symbolic structure. It can finally speak to me, instead of being just wishful thinking.
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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: Tue Nov 12, 2013 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SD, thank you for starting this thread. I tried to do the same thing, but chose a thread title that was provocative and didnít exactly give the impression I wanted to give. As usual I went round the houses instead of being direct, but I was feeling so frustrated with the negative, almost at times vitriolic, posts that it seemed appropriate at the time.

Maybe there were some parts of the book that could have been cut, and some more explanation of certain happenings such as the sudden appearance of the giants from the ship and the Haruchai in Mount Thunder, and I would have loved to have heard more about what Pahni and Bhapa did in Revelstone, but that isnít the book we have, and we do have imaginations to fill those gaps.

I have thoroughly enjoyed all four of the Last Chronicles, and have now read TLD twice. The theme running through the books that remains foremost in my memory is the changing relationship between Stave and Linden, and the change in Stave himself throughout the series. He did love Linden in the end, but I donít believe he was ďin loveĒ with her. Likewise I was so glad that Mahrtiir found his place in the land as a forestal, at his own request.

Other resolutions that I particularly enjoyed:
Lindenís confrontation with SWMNBN and redemption of the women the bane had consumed.
Linked to that, the final transformation of the Urviles and Waynhim.
Jeremiahís use and subsequent rejection of the raver.
Covenantís acceptance of Foul into himself.

There is more, much more, but I have to read the book again and absorb more of what happened. Also, this is getting rather long!
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 12:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The foundational goal of the Surreal is for a Man to be Whole,,to live a Life where the interior psychological realms of a Man are unified with the exterior realities of his immediate surroundings. Not conflicted by the two realms of existence but unified and approached as a Whole. Fascinating to me and perceived correct for the author to have done , is by end, make Linden and Thomas married , with son,,and Unified., heading off to work with an Acolyte Insequent .in the Land. As long as there is even the slitest bit of Hope,,Mankind as well as a man, has a chance of surviving himself. ,,as SRD has put it.

At some point,,how the author defines Love needs to be addressed in this thread of Positive. Seems to me there is plenty to draw from in the text. Consider the first few paragraphs of TLD with just,,what is he saying about Love here?,,for an example. Wow, from that, all the way to the Epilogue..lots of water under the bridge but a comparison between the two( beginning and end) starts fleshing out, filling in,,how he defines Love..
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For all my issues with the LCs at the narrative level, there were several high points - only to be expected from a writer of SRD's erstwhile proven capability.

The depiction and development of Stave as a character was masterful - no pun intended.

Mahrtiir's transcendence was well-conceived, credible and appreciable.

Esmer and his conflicted nature and motivations held my interest throughout - I suspect that he's meant as an archetypal symbol as to the personal torment and capacity for ruin in store if one does not resolve one's internal personal paradoxes.

I liked the ending for the ur-viles and waynhim. It felt a fitting "reward" for their races' seemingly endless self-sacrifices for the sake of the Land, a condign interpretation of their WŁrd... though I'm not entirely sure quite why they needed to ingest the souls of countless scorned women in order to be transfigured. Perhaps such ingestion meant that they were no longer artificial and constructed beings...
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 6:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd also like to contribute my positive reponses to TLD to counter-balance what may often seem like an overly negative response to a writer I admire greatly Laughing

Two scenes in TLD stand out in my mind and maybe it is no surprise that both involve the Worm. The first is the very cinematic and striking scene when the Lurker rises up, clothed in Demondim-spawn to 'forbid' the Worm. I think that this would make a magnificent scene in a movie.

The second is the scene where the newly minted Forestal, Caerwood ur-Mahrtiir, stands in the path of the Worm defending the fane of the Elohim. The tiny figure shines like a beacon as the vastness of the Worm approaches. I found this the most moving image of the whole of the Last Chrons, maybe because it is a person from the Land who has risen to greatness, and who stands fearless in the face of the immensity of the predicament that the Creator has placed them in. (The two other people who come to mind as similar exemplars are Hollian and Mhoram.)

A related high point of TLD was the transformation of Marhtiir into a Forestal. This genuinely caught me by surprise (I know, I know, it was signalled on the cover. So I'm a bit slow! In my defence the European version cover is different Razz ) and I found it very satisfying that a character who had been built up for great things more than fulfilled the level of expectation created.

To end on a vaguely humorous note, I found that the image of TC being reverse-tarzanned through the Sarangrave tickled my funny bone. I think it was the combination of the seriousness of the situation (the end of the world), TC's habitual seriousness, the location (a huge swamp), the reversal of the former antipathy of the Lurker and the vehicle (a tentacle). Gave me a chuckle at any rate Big Grin

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I, too, was tickled by the use of tentacle transport in TLD. A large part of why this stuck a chord with me was that the tentacles of the Lurker also figured so prominently in the final round of Survivor: Sarangrave that was played early this year.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Prior to TLD, I thought the Lurker was no more than an apparition. Seeing a solid body Lurker was a bit of a shock to me.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 7:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The tentacles that took Shetra and her Bloodguard, Cerrin, were no apparition.

~ edited for typography
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Last edited by Savor Dam on Thu Nov 14, 2013 8:25 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 14, 2013 8:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Esmer was one of the best characters of all three Chronicles.

The image of ur-Mahrtiir holding back the Worm was indeed epic. It could stand for everything these books are--all 10 of them.

The Fane was certainly well-earned, both narratively and by the characters (maybe that's the same thing).

I'm glad they got married.
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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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