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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, Cail.

Atleast nobody has shouted "Fu-sion-HA!" or "KAOIKEN TIMES 10".
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

True.

But I'm waiting for the next character (from an race that's been around forever and hasn't been mentioned in the prior 7 f-ing books) to have a black top hat, a cape, and a wand.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 06, 2007 10:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having been a long time lurker, I mostly just watched as I've never spent much time analyzing all the little details and how they did or not fit together. However, after finishing FR, I'm afraid I have to agree with some of the detractors on this book.

SRD may have spent a great deal of time working on his writing ability, but it seems that somewhere along this trip we left behind some of his storytelling ability. He seems to be getting the Steven King disease here. Why use 10 words with 100 will do!

This whole injection of Insequent into the storyline was sort of a Midiclorians and the Force revelation. We find out that the Lords were just tools of someone else's plans.

SRD has always done good action scenes, but that giant battle with Cavewrights and Sandgorgons, and Harrows and Rogers, and Esmers, and Urviles and Lions and Tigers and Bears Oh My! At the end of the day it was ultimately....'what the hell was THAT all about?' Which could very possibly be a direct quote of Lord Foul's impression of the whole sequence.

And then we have the trip to Earthroot and the only reason Roger doesn't get to drink it first is because like a comic book villain. He can't stop himself from monologuing.

Finally there's this whole cliffhanger ending thing. Yeah, thanks a lot. If your gonna write a series of cliffhanger novels, you really should tighten up the process to less than nine years.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2007 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mczet wrote:
Having been a long time lurker, I mostly just watched as I've never spent much time analyzing all the little details and how they did or not fit together. However, after finishing FR, I'm afraid I have to agree with some of the detractors on this book.

SRD may have spent a great deal of time working on his writing ability, but it seems that somewhere along this trip we left behind some of his storytelling ability. He seems to be getting the Steven King disease here. Why use 10 words with 100 will do!

This whole injection of Insequent into the storyline was sort of a Midiclorians and the Force revelation. We find out that the Lords were just tools of someone else's plans.

SRD has always done good action scenes, but that giant battle with Cavewrights and Sandgorgons, and Harrows and Rogers, and Esmers, and Urviles and Lions and Tigers and Bears Oh My! At the end of the day it was ultimately....'what the hell was THAT all about?' Which could very possibly be a direct quote of Lord Foul's impression of the whole sequence.

And then we have the trip to Earthroot and the only reason Roger doesn't get to drink it first is because like a comic book villain. He can't stop himself from monologuing.

Finally there's this whole cliffhanger ending thing. Yeah, thanks a lot. If your gonna write a series of cliffhanger novels, you really should tighten up the process to less than nine years.
Obviously, I agree with much of your post, since I'm one of those who has been piling on the criticism in a few key areas. But while I think his story construction is a bit off, and a couple decisions he makes are in the wrong direction, I do think his story-telling ability is intact. The two narrative climaxes are amazing feats of story-telling. They are so powerful that they almost make up for the short-comings on the way there. Being able to thrill other minds with letters on a page is an inexplicable and amazing gift.

And, as others have pointed out to me, we're only halfway through. So at least some of my gripes may be proved premature. However, things like the Kitchen Sink battle of First Woodhelven will probably remain irritatingly ad hoc despite further developments and explanations. After all, SRD himself agreed with this criticism.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2007 5:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Cail, welcome to FR forum! I've been waiting for you to weigh in on FR. Keep your comments coming!
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2007 9:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

malik, I agree and disagree with you. Call me Esmer. jfk!

Actually, there are a couple of things that struck me about the book. First off, I have read part, skimmed part of this thread (the more argumentative part), but I agree with a lot of things that have been said.
  • Stylistically, the overuse of certain arcane adjectives and nouns (lambent, theurgy) was a bit irritating, but not insurmountable.
  • First Woodhelvinin. I agree with most of what has already been written, here are my $.02: as soon as it was named as a possible destination, it was clear (to me) that under the circumstances (tense quiet in the plot) First Woodhelvinin was doomed. At least in LFB we got to go inside of one of these places before it was razed. The battle that happened next was clearly a fusion of nearly every cliche from the first two chronicles: I submit (hopefully) that this culminating cliche was a fairly deliberate exorcism of this plot device from future possibility, which in a way is cleansing and puts us on a novel (pun intended) path. There is no further need to abuse The Land, SRD, now it is time for The Land to fight back.
  • In certain respects the Last Chrons are starting to remind me of The Gap -- maybe it is just the relentless pacing and head-spinning number of subplots, but I'm almost getting the sense that Gap was one of the big "dos" in SRD's self-improvement-so-I-can-write-the-Last-Chrons program. I guess we'll see.
  • malik's and other's consternation with Linden's inner state being the focus of the novel seems to be missing the point to me: The Land was always intended to symbolize an inner (psychological) cosmogony -- this is why there are archetypes galore in The Land. Donaldson himself has written about this being the key aspect of fantasy. The point isn't necessarily that it is a plausible alternate reality (though that is a necessary component of the narrative), but that that reality symbolizes a psychic drama -- which is why it touches all of us. So that Linden went into the past to be transformed from a tentative ninny paralyzed by self-doubt into a resolute whirlwind of power, I think that development is likely to be as important as any other plot point in the novel. There is no way that "old Linden" could have raised TC in the end.
  • The giants seem to be a possible deus ex machina, but they could also serve as a portal to other lands if that was needed (by ship). Not that the voyage of the Starfare's Gem needs to be rehashed either. I am withholding judgment on their involvement, although as a fan it was 'good' to see them again.
  • Anele is hard to take, and I did want to see him slapped around with the staff of law and an orcrest duct taped to his forehead. Self-hatred is a particularly whiny form of self-indulgence, and it is hard to sympathize with it. As Neitzche said, "Whoever despises himself still esteems the despiser within himself." Interesting and oddly relevant quote, wouldn't you say?
  • Liand / Pahni seemed manipulative because I think SRD realized late in the game that he had effectively created an unwanted love triangle between Linden, TC, and Liand, and was seeking to defuse it (editorial intervention?). Call it damage control. I guess he thought he was being subtle. Direct confrontation would have been a better approach IMO (if it came out naturally in the story, then it needed to be in there, right?), but then again I'm not a bestselling author, am I?
  • Is it just me, or does Roger seem like an unmotivated diabolical "bad guy" stereotype?
Well, these are my thoughts, at least for the time being. Thank you for partaking in them with me.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2007 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good Post
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2007 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

exnihilo wrote:
malik's and other's consternation with Linden's inner state being the focus of the novel seems to be missing the point to me: The Land was always intended to symbolize an inner (psychological) cosmogony -- this is why there are archetypes galore in The Land. Donaldson himself has written about this being the key aspect of fantasy. The point isn't necessarily that it is a plausible alternate reality (though that is a necessary component of the narrative), but that that reality symbolizes a psychic drama -- which is why it touches all of us. So that Linden went into the past to be transformed from a tentative ninny paralyzed by self-doubt into a resolute whirlwind of power, I think that development is likely to be as important as any other plot point in the novel. There is no way that "old Linden" could have raised TC in the end.
I don't remember having any consternation with Linden's inner state being the focus of the novel. In fact, I've taken up for Linden quite a bit (though not lately), and I'm thoroughly anti-THOOLAH. It's not that her inner state is being explored, which bugs me. I LOVE that about Donaldson books. The only complaint I have with regards to her motivation is that it depends entirely upon a child whom we have had no time to care about. I really, really wish this wasn't about Jeremiah. But Linden is cool, in my eyes.
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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: Sat Dec 08, 2007 9:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In case it is not clear, I did enjoy the book tremendously, couldn't put it down, etc. etc. all the other stuff from the first two chrons. And it was good to see Caerroil Wildwood on the cover of a book again. I think the next two books are poised to be some of the best fantasy ever. I hope!
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2007 10:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Malik23 wrote:
exnihilo wrote:
malik's and other's consternation with Linden's inner state being the focus of the novel seems to be missing the point to me: The Land was always intended to symbolize an inner (psychological) cosmogony -- this is why there are archetypes galore in The Land. Donaldson himself has written about this being the key aspect of fantasy. The point isn't necessarily that it is a plausible alternate reality (though that is a necessary component of the narrative), but that that reality symbolizes a psychic drama -- which is why it touches all of us. So that Linden went into the past to be transformed from a tentative ninny paralyzed by self-doubt into a resolute whirlwind of power, I think that development is likely to be as important as any other plot point in the novel. There is no way that "old Linden" could have raised TC in the end.
I don't remember having any consternation with Linden's inner state being the focus of the novel. In fact, I've taken up for Linden quite a bit (though not lately), and I'm thoroughly anti-THOOLAH. It's not that her inner state is being explored, which bugs me. I LOVE that about Donaldson books. The only complaint I have with regards to her motivation is that it depends entirely upon a child whom we have had no time to care about. I really, really wish this wasn't about Jeremiah. But Linden is cool, in my eyes.
malik, WADR I refuse to argue with you in this forum -- I was referring to your objection to the back in time / earthblood sequence. Earthblood seems to have forced her to see what she should have known but was afraid to admit to herself. And that battle clearly changed her.

Incidentally I agree about Jeremiah, the simple fact that he is a stricken enigma does not make him sympathetic in my book. In fact it is just as plausible that he is more involved with Foul than Linden can guess.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 08, 2007 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

exnihilo: good post! (I'm talking about your long one a few up) Smile
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2007 4:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

exnihilo wrote:
malik's and other's consternation with Linden's inner state being the focus of the novel seems to be missing the point to me:

exnihilo wrote:
malik, WADR I refuse to argue with you in this forum --


So you just want to throw out reasons why I'm wrong, but don't want me to defend my position? I'm confused about you refusing to argue with me if you're willing to tell me where I'm wrong.
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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 Dec 11, 2007 1:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dlbpharmd wrote:
Hey Cail, welcome to FR forum! I've been waiting for you to weigh in on FR. Keep your comments coming!
Thanks man.

I've got about 200 pages left, and I'm totally not digging it at all. The whole story (so far) seems unbelievably contrived. The Insequent.....Dear God....This super-powerful, super-important race that has shaped all of history gets utterly no mention in the first 6 books. Time travel. Teleporting. A 3500 year-old character. Everything taking "three heartbeats" (c'mon Steve). The Last Chrons feel like an afterthought (which was my ojection 3 years ago when TRotE came out.

I'm seriously disappointed.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's my take on the EarthBlood detour:

The real purpose was to make sure that Linden got the "darkness in her heart"; the feeling of betrayal and the lust for revenge. The Harrow tells us that this will be important later on...he names it as one of the three things he wants from Linden, along with the staff and the ring.

The darkness was amplified by the situation. If Esmer had just told Linden that Jeremiah was working in the croyel jigsaw-puzzle factory, then she would have had the same reaction, but she wouldn't have had the opportunity to infuse the Staff of Law with EarthBlood at the moment of realization. And Wildwood wouldn't have had the opportunity to add his own darkness into the Staff.

Foul wants this to happen. He thinks that Linden's attitude is inherently self-destructive and that she'll wind up breaking the Arch. The Dead and the Insequent want this to happen too, because they see something that Foul has missed. (In the Second Chronicles, Foul knew that Covenant would surrender the ring, but the Dead knew that Covenant would win by surrendering.)

So here's what I think happened:

Linden knew all along that there was something wrong with "Covenant". But there was still a chance that he was on her side, and if it was a trap then she might be able to get some desperately needed information. (She knows Foul well enough to understand that he's not going to have her teleported into an active volcano or some other inescapable deathtrap.) Her only other option is to try to fight her way past the Demondim, but that's got it's own dangers, especially if Covenant is telling the truth.

Foul wouldn't have permitted Roger to drink the EarthBlood. He doesn't want one of his servants to break the Arch of Time...he wants the pleasure of doing it himself, or, even better, he wants to manipulate one of the "good guys" into doing it for him. Either Roger was lying about his intentions, or the croyel was prepared to stop him.

The croyel could have prevented Linden from drinking the EarthBlood by using the force-field power, but it chose not to...presumably because it wanted Linden to drink and learn the truth.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 7:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Could be.

But I'm not convinced that there's ever been more than one Staff of Law.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 10:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cail wrote:
Could be.

But I'm not convinced that there's ever been more than one Staff of Law.


So you think that Linden's staff and Berek's are one and the same?
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do. I don't think Berek ever made a staff of his own. The quest to the Isle of the One Tree was a bust for TC, why would it have been any different for Berek? Since we now know what the deal with the Guardian is, I'm willing to bet that he was placed there only to prevent the awakening of the Worm (and apparently, only to prevent TC's party from doing so).

Findail and Vain have always been the Staff, the EarthBlood provided requisite Earthpower, the Forestal provided the runes, and it's no mean feat to imagine how Berek received the Staff.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cail wrote:
I do. I don't think Berek ever made a staff of his own. The quest to the Isle of the One Tree was a bust for TC, why would it have been any different for Berek?
Not definitive proof, but here's evidence to the contrary:
Quote:
From one of the nearest limbs grew a long straight branch as thick as his wrist. It ended in a flat stump as if the rest of it had been cut off. "I'll take that one."



Cail wrote:
Since we now know what the deal with the Guardian is, I'm willing to bet that he was placed there only to prevent the awakening of the Worm (and apparently, only to prevent TC's party from doing so).
Which he certainly did not do. He even said he wouldn't:
Quote:
"But I must say again," Brinn went on, "that I may no longer serve you. I am ak-Haru Kenaustin Ardenol, the Guardian of the One Tree. I will not interfere."
And he didn't interfere. It was Linden who got through to Covenant and got him to stop.

Maybe the Guardian's job was to keep out the riff-raff. Anyone who could get past him was allowed to get past him. If you couldn't get past him, you weren't worthy. Brinn was worthy. And so the Guardian trusted that Brinn wasn't stupid enough to bring people with him who would destroy the Earth.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very valid points. However, I'm not terribly impressed with SRD's sense of continuity.

I'd forgotten that passage in ToT, so it's entirely possible I'm talking out of my butt due to my frustration with the way the story's gone.

But I think there are enough clues (which may well be red herrings) dropped that it's certainly possible that there's only one Staff.

As I've said, I'm not done yet, but I'm really disappointed at how the story's gone. Aside from my feeling that the story was nicely wrapped up 20 years ago, I think that TRotE and (so far) FR are pale imitations of what has gone before.

I about puked on page 478.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2007 11:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
SRD's sense of continuity.


I've complained about this also.

Remind me what happened on pg. 478.
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