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Reave the Just
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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2004 7:05 pm    Post subject: Reave the Just Reply with quote

who has read this story? what did you think of it?
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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2004 7:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have but I'd like to know the impressions of the person who started the thread first. This almost seems like one of Darth's threads! Razz
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PostPosted: Thu May 06, 2004 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I liked it. Jillet was quite a funny charicter, and Kelvin Divestulata was definitely a good bad guy.

The way SRD described (or rather, didn't) Reave and his motives, his internal workings left an air of mystery and invulnerability about him. I was suprised when he got beaten up by kelvin, but then that was fixed when, despite his apperance, Reave did not show any pain or damage in the way he acted after Kelvin had been killed.

I also like SRD's usage of the "power of ideas".

But saying this, I felt it lacked a certain depth that SRD's work usually contains.

Overall, good story.
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PostPosted: Fri May 14, 2004 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reave the Just is one of the short stories I liked best, along with Daughter of Regals.

The character of Reave the Just is interesting, more like a holy man than an actual hero and he delivers som incredibly cool lines.
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PostPosted: Sun May 16, 2004 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I enjoy SRD's unsparing summing-up. He knows what's important to his characters better than they do.
Spoiler:
Jillet himself, who probably believed that he would love the widow Huchette to the end of his days, found he did not miss her. Nor, in all candor, did he miss Reave. After all, he had nothing in common with them: she was too wealthy; he was too stringent.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2004 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reave the Just himself is an unusually potent character. His reputation in the story seemed over blown and exaggerated but it turns out the guy is the genuine article. Human yet capable and inspiring. One of my favorite SRD short stories. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2004 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the things I find so compelling about "Reave the Just" is what SRD says about it in the intro:
Quote:
"The Kings of Tarshish Shall Bring Gifts" came to me while I was skidding down into a catastrophic divorce; "Reave the Just" played a crucial role in my recovery afterward.

Without trying to overanalyze things I know nothing about, I'd say that after a "catastrophic divorce" the idea of an absolute justice must be--I don't want to say comforting--some kind of relief. (Though "relief" is also not quite what I mean.)

SRD seems to be saying that when people cry out for justice, they generally don't know what they're asking for. What they really want is to be held blameless, or they want their lives to be made better with little or no expense to them. The absolute justice shown by Reave when he Spoiler:
leaves Jillet chained up in Divistulata's dungeon, and tells Widow Huchette to quit whining and try to defend herself for a change
is not comforting. He's not kind, because people who see justice as an either/or proprosition can't be kind. It's not their job to be kind. And yet, the outcome is also absolutely just, because Spoiler:
Jillet and the Widow are made to free themselves--not only from the traps Divistulata had them in, but from their own weaknesses.


This idea of absolutes crops up elsewhere, too--in Mordant's Need, Geraden and his brothers are described as being intolerant of middle ground. In the Chrons, Thomas Covenant is also described as a man who requires absolute answers. I think that while there are no absolute answers to the question of absolutism (Wink) here, "Reave the Just" is one of the clearest statements SRD makes on the subject. What you think that statement is, is up to you. Smile
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 16, 2004 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just spotted 'Reave the Just and other tales' in Borders, and had to get it. I'll tell you what I think of this story when I'm done.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 12:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hmm... I don't remember it being that long, Murrin. Razz
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 17, 2006 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, I wrote up a little summary of what I thought of the full first half of the book straight after I read them. Not my fault you didn't see it. Wink
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 06, 2006 4:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was interesting...and I like what it has to say about how ignorance of other's hardships and self centerredness in your own hardships is a good recipe for one to continue to experience their personal hardships, and for others to continue to be caught in theirs.

It reminds me of that corinthians verse you hear at weddings, about pitying the lone man out in the field who has no one to pick him up when he falls, but with two the work can be shared...

Reave kind of extends that thought to strangers caught in adjacent circumstances, and how they can help each other and be free of their hardships, if they'll only stop and think of something beyond themselves.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2006 12:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Has it occurred to you as well how the main force of the story is the same in Reave the Just and in that other (the title eludes me now) where the not overly intelligent merchant's identity is robbed by the evil wizard and an unknown man exacts justice in his name?
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2006 8:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The unknown man is also Reave the Just. It's mentioned somewhere in the GI.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 29, 2006 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh is he? Thanks...

(Maybe one day we can read a Reave the Just mega-novel?)
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2007 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nathan said:
Quote:
The unknown man is also Reave the Just. It's mentioned somewhere in the GI.


you know, I figured that at frist, but then talked myself out of it. The reasons were that Reave the Just was a well known figure in the story, and seemed to have some place within society, even if he was mysterious as hell. the motivations and MO of the benefactor in By Any Other Name were different -- he directly influenced the people around him so that they saw him and Umbrey the merchant and also to those looking at Umbrey to see a beggar.

Also, Reave really didnt suffer harm from Kevin, but the benefeactor in the later story did have wounds, although he was able to heal those quickly, as well as Umbreys.

I loved both stories, actually loved the whole book. each story was a gem... just read it last week.
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2007 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reave the Just Reply with quote

The story "Reave the Just"--in fact, the entire collection--has always had a weird drawing power for me.

I just picked it up again (the Fatal Revenant wind-down requires me to read more Donaldson), and I'm shocked at what I've noticed.

First off--did anyone else see the resemblance (or at least parallel) between Reave and the man Sher Urmeny finds in the river in "By Any Other Name"? Or the contradictory views on faith and choice in "Penance" and "The Killing Stroke"?

All the stories seem unified in some way. I also got hit pretty hard by "The Woman Who Loved Pigs" and "The Kings of Tarshish Shall Bring Gifts". . .

This short story collection--much more than "Daughter of Regals"--is so interweaved and connected, by what Donaldson calls "the power of ideas", that it has the strength of several novels pummeling you at once.

I love these stories Smile

Hm. Maybe "Daughter of Regals" next. . .
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very true. In my opinion a lot of the stories in the book would make a very strong basis for a good movie (much easier to pull off than the many-thousand-page TC or Gap novels). Imagine Penance for instance, with Johnny Depp as the protagonist... or Reave the Just as a movie.
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 24, 2007 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"The Woman Who Loved Pigs" is one of my favorites, but it's in the writing. (Fabulous Smile)

Ack!! I can't find my copy of REAVE!!!!
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2008 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
It reminds me of that corinthians verse you hear at weddings, about pitying the lone man out in the field who has no one to pick him up when he falls, but with two the work can be shared...
Umm... actually that verse is in Ecclesiastes. Smile

Anyway I happened across Reave the Just in a collection called "After the King", a Tolkien spin-off which has some great and not-so-great stories in it. (I am at the mercy of whatever is in the little school library here- there's no Barnes and Noble in Nigeria!).

I thought it was courageous of SRD to write a story so unflinching about the victimization mentality, where it concerned a rape victim (actually two rape victims, you can hardly call what happened between Huchette and Jillet consensual).

And I'm glad Reave shows up in other stories. Too strong a character to leave behind.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 11, 2013 11:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reave the Just is certainly not amiable, as the story itself acknowledges.

Reave's words to Jillet seem rather harsh, for instance (though not inaccurate).
Quote:
You are imprisoned here by your own folly. You must rescue yourself.

Not the sort of words I'd expect from someone with the reputation of a legendary hero.

But Reave's words to the widow Huchette seem even harsher.
Quote:
"I do not beg succor. Why have you not helped yourself?"
"Because I am a woman!" she protested, not in scorn, but piteously. "I am helpless. I have no strength of arms, no skill with weapons, no knowledge of the world, no friends. He [Kelven Divestulata, the villain] has made himself master of everything which might once have aided me. It would be a simpler matter for me to tear apart these walls than to defend myself against him."
Again, Reave shrugged. "Still he is a rapist--and likely a murderer. And I see that you are not bruised. Madam, why do you not resist him? Why do you not cut his throat while he sleeps? Why do you not cut your own, if his touch is so loathsome to you?"
The look of horror which she now turned on him was unquestionably personal, caused by his questions, but he was not deterred by it. Instead, he took a step closer to her.
"I offend you, madam. But I am Reave the Just, and I do not regard who is offended. I will search you further." His eyes replied to her horror with a flame which she had not seen in them before, a burning of clear rage. "Why have you done nothing to help Jillet? He came to you in innocence and ignorance as great as your own. His torment is as terrible as yours. Yet you crouch there on your soft bed and beg for rescue from an oppressor you do not oppose, and you care nothing what becomes of him."
The widow may have feared that he would step closer to her still and strike her, but he did not. Instead, he turned away.
At the door, he paused to remark, "As I have said, there are many kinds of help. Which do you merit, madam?"
He departed her bedchamber as silently as he had entered it, leaving her alone.


Again, Reave certainly doesn't seem like a typical epic hero, not someone offering assistance without reservation.

As others here have noted, his message seems to be all about people realizing that they can empower themselves. He seems to know when the widow Huchette has released Jillet from captivity and when the two of them are sneaking up on Kelven Divestulata's study room, for THEN is the moment when he chooses to confront Kelven.

How Reave can move about so freely in the manor run by the Divestulata. and how he can survive being so brutally beaten by Kelven, and recover as if it had never happened, is never explained. I suppose this adds a lot to Reave's legendary aura, but I would have liked at least a little explanation.

Spoiler:
I'm glad that Jillet got to enjoy a satisfying life as the hero who killed Kelven and was allowed by Reave to enjoy the reputation of being his kinsman. No doubt from that point on, people granted him all the satisfaction he ever wanted out of life. It was sad the widow Huchette never wanted a love life with a man again (considering she's straight), but after Kelven that is certainly understandable. At least she got her property back and used her regained resources to help other abused women.

Obviously, this story has a point (points?) to make about self-empowerment. But I'm not sure I got a lot of emotional satisfaction from having read it. Because of that, I'm not sure if I like it or not.

Myste said:
Quote:
SRD seems to be saying that when people cry out for justice, they generally don't know what they're asking for. What they really want is to be held blameless, or they want their lives to be made better with little or no expense to them.


I hadn't considered that, but it certainly makes me appreciate this story more.

I found Tjol's insight useful, as well:
Quote:
It was interesting...and I like what it has to say about how ignorance of other's hardships and self centerredness in your own hardships is a good recipe for one to continue to experience their personal hardships, and for others to continue to be caught in theirs... Reave kind of extends that thought to strangers caught in adjacent circumstances, and how they can help each other and be free of their hardships, if they'll only stop and think of something beyond themselves.


All right, I'm convinced. I like this story, after all.

However, I must admit that I never made the connection that the unnamed stranger who helps Sher Urmeny in the story "By Any Other Name" was Reave the Just, for reasons that iQuestor has done a fine job stating.
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