Not entirely convinced

originally posted by Auna

This to me was more a character development journey rather than an external world advancement. Many characters got fleshed out in interesting and sometimes unexpected ways.

I do think this book was almost self contained and was certainly an easier read than earlier works - when characters had their revelations, I was there with them instead of left wondering what I missed or how stupid could I be for not getting it even after multiple reads.

originally posted by Annette

See, my interpretation is that the storyline has progressed quite a bit actually. Sulfin Evend has figured out that Lysaer is not the all-mighty god that he thought and is, perhaps, even wrong. Or if not wrong, per se, then at least he is taking Lysaer's words with a very large grain of salt. His speaking to Assandir was very illuminating for himself as well as for us - the readers. Then there is the Kralovir. We don't know where these guys are going to go but they were fleshed out considerably in this book and I am sure that we haven't seen the last of them. Then there is the fact that Kevor and his mother are together and who knows what that is going to mean for Lysaer and his "religion." We got more insight into Davien and his motives and plans. Then there is the break up of the alliance between Arithon and Alestron and we are left to wonder if the Duke will destroy his citadel in order to keep up good relations with Arithon. Plus we found out about Jeynsa and her feelings for Arithon and the fact that she is trying to find him, possibly to kill him. Then there is the children of Feylind and Fiark, you know that if they are in there they are going to come into play somehow. Then there is the waystone/iyat combination that is going to cause some serious problems for the Koriani I am sure. And as for Arithon himself, we now see how his power has grown and how he has accepted his link to the land - as shown not once but twice - in this book. The fact that he did something that the F7 did not expect is VERY telling to me. This could lead to the resolution of the prophecy and the reunification of the F7. And last but not least we can, hopefully, expect the meeting of Sulfin and Arithon in the next book. And I probably didn't even hit all the examples. All in all I would say that quite a bit happened to push the storyline along. But that is just my two cents worth.

originally posted by skeoke

Hellcat ~

Humbly, I totally agree with you.

I also totally agree with Annette.

(I've lost every single debate I've ever been in. Not hard to figure out why.)

The further I get from the first, rush through, read it now, ohmygoshwhatwillhappennextwhereisfillintheblankwhatwillthismeanwhattheheckisDavi enupto…
the more I appreciate the book.

as a stand alone
as a crucial point of the series
as a book splintered from its originally conceived placement
as a deepening of heretofore unsuspected meanings

And I can't wait to read it again. I wish my husband would hurry up and finish it!

originally posted by Alan

Finished reading a few days ago now. After waiting a few long years, It was nice to finally get to read the book. It sat on my bookshelf for a week before I could bring myself to read it. Afraid of being disapointed maybe? Like a long lost friend you think you remember what they were like, but you're worried they might have changed. I wasn't disapointed but a few things always stick in your mind(well mine anyway)

Yes, That scene, brings new meaning to the phrase
"did the earth move for you"
And who would like to be in Dakar's shoes at that point. Some things could be taking friendship a bit too far!

Is This going to happen every time?

originally posted by Greebo

I very much enjoyed the book and was left making untypeable noises of frustration at the predictably cliffhanger ending. I say predictably because we all knew there'd be one, so I hope that doesn't count as a spoiler. :wink:

The character developments were great and I'm going to have to reread for everything to sink in. As for the Jordanesque comments, well I gave up on that series many books ago out of deathly boredom. As some of the above posts have noted, its a matter of trust that the author knows what they're doing. I'm still trusting Janny, and I don't feel this book has shown me any reasons not to - quite the contrary in fact.

Keep up the good work Janny. Pleasewritefasterpleasewritefaster…


originally posted by Hannah

It's funny because I didn't have anything close to a reaction of frustration at the end. I didn't feel like it was a cliffhanger at all. It always surprises me when people say the felt it cut left them hanging. I was completely satisfied with the point at which the book ended.

originally posted by Blue

My only problem was, and I'm sure Janny is shaking her head at this:

"ONLY 500 pages?"


originally posted by Tankred Bras-de-Fer


I could not wait for the MM version, which I will probally get just for the artwork, so I got the UK version from Galaxybooks.

I also feel like it was a "lower gear" than what Janny usually writes; it seemed a little more reserved to me. The book was just as engageing (sp?) as all of the others in the series mind you, but it seemed a little reserved.

My only beef was there was not as much "magic" in this book than in the others. Take for example the artistic way that Janny describes what Asandir did to stabilize the planet after Moriell possessed Sedileie (sp again). Also the homing spell to call Karadamon home from his excursion to the Mistbound planet; Marak. That to me is what endeared me to Janny's prose. It actually made me almost see and feel what Asandir was doing!

There is still some magic going on as this is a magicical world after all! Take for instance Asandir confounding the free wraiths with a "black hole" tied to the original homing spell and what Arithon did during his uneventful tryst with Eliara and what Arithon did and learned to do with the iyats.

I just wish there was more and I wait with breath baited for SF to see what else Janny can pull out for her hat!


originally posted by R’is’n


Emphatically do NOT agree with the label ‘jordanesque’. I stopped reading his books after the fourth - they were so predictable.

Previously it has been said that the series is multi-layered, which I find after one reading, (which I rushed through like a starved animal) I find myself unable to comment with any depth until I’ve read it at LEAST twice more. These are just first impressions.

The plots are cyclical - lessons were learned - I’m enjoying seeing if the characters can apply those lessons. Arithon was directly challenged with that in Kewar - and I thoroughly enjoyed reading his changed approaches - I laughed joyously most of the way through, in fact, celebrating his successes. :smiley: And yet he STILL hasn’t reached his peak!!!
(This was the opposite of my experience when I read Peril’s Gate - I suffered through that book!)

I liked Elaira’s speech to Dakar on interference and letting them tackle the challenges for themselves. The scene where Dakar had to ‘attend’ to Arithon was both really sad (at the interuption) and hilarious… quite a feat in writing. :smiley:

Bravo! Round two… :wink:

originally posted by Jenna

I'm not sure whether I'm registered since it's been so long since I've posted here… I (belatedly) got the UK version to read while I wait for the MM version. Finished it up last night. I think it's my favorite since SoM. I agree with Annette's 12-16-04 post about things that moved the overall plot along.


One thing I noticed was the similarity between the souls in the mistwraith and the souls bound to the necromancers. Could that be kinda-sorta how the mistwraith was formed?

At this point in the series, I expect Arithon to pull victory out of what looks like a sure defeat. So, I was expecting him to be able to readily dispatch the Kralovir. That he didn't have such an easy time was a surprise.

I really liked Sulfin Evend's story, and his presence kept me from (my usual) total hatred of all (sadly requisite) scenes Lysaer. I'm very, very happy that the seeds were sown to discredit Lysaer's religion. That's a major step forward in my book.

originally posted by Epilogue

Hi Janny and everyone here!

Could someone kindly explain what the powers behind the crown of Rathain are?



originally posted by Ellydee

I kinda got the feeling - I think this was mentioned in CotM - that the wraiths resulted from an attempt to fuse human minds with machines. I know some friends who are already discussing this concept today. Some scientists and philosophers are theorizing that implanting computer chips in human brains will make information more accessible, and make thinking and processing more "efficient." Everyone would be linked in a global internet under this plan as well, like the Mistwraith is linked.
If you've ever read Brian Cooney's Posthumanity, the fourth chapter is all about the future technology that will allow us to live in a completely virtual world inside a machine. Despite the initial horror of such a possibility, it does seem beneficial - after all, we would never contract illnesses, or have to deal with the physical limitations of our bodies, including eating, sleeping, etc.
And I'm rambling.
So I suppose the Mistwraith's machines were flawed? Received a virus, perhaps? I must dwell more on this Frankensteinian business.

originally posted by Angora

Ooh- very Matrix-esque. I'm wondering if there is a way for something as complex as a machine to be 'tuned' to be in perfect resonance with the human mind. If so, would failure to align machine with mind result in some sort of clash that results in something as twisted as the wraiths seem to be?
Wow, I sure didn't explain that very well. Will have to go off and ponder this line of thought for a little bit…

originally posted by Jenna

Maybe quasi-spoiler, but only just.

Yeah, the Mistwraith was a fusing of machine and spirit. But what if the spirit side was related to necromancy? Or maybe just unraveling necromancy is practice for unraveling the Mistwraith, given a similarity in their binding of souls. I just don't buy the necromancy as a side trip without future plot importance.

originally posted by Selene


Well, I just finished reading Traitor's Knot so now I've plunged into this section :smiley: Generally, I agree with Hellcat. Although I thoroughly enjoyed some parts of this book, overall it came across as slow and it seemed to me that it didn't actually accomplish much. As someone said above, it felt as if it took longer to actually get somewhere than it did in most of the previous books.

Overall, I enjoyed the chapters with Lysaer's faction infinitely more than Arithon's. Like many of you have said, Sulfin Evend's development was very interesting, and I liked how he fought the necromancers. When Arithon's involved, I feel like I know he'll always end up thinking about some very clever solution that we'll find out about just at the end (didn't stop me from thoroughly enjoying the final section though, which was one of my favorites :smiley:). Sulfin Evend and Lysaer have to struggle more, if that makes sense, and can't count on the same power that Arithon has at his disposal. I also liked the Kevor/Ellaine/Lysaer reunion. In short, there was no section about Lysaer's gang that I didn't thoroughly enjoy.

On Arithon's part, yes he changed, and we get to see how his friends discover that, but it felt like much of the same. Fionn had seemed to come around a bit in the last book (at least, that's how I interpreted it), so his step back was a bit irritating. The whole iyat sequence didn't particularly interest me either, and that took up lots of time. I had looked forward to the encounter with Jeynsa, so that was nice, although it left off in the middle.

The main plot lines seem to remain where they are, to make space for this necromancer subplot, which, I have to say, I didn't enjoy all that much. We didn't really get to see any POV of the "bad guys", which made them pretty much… well, the "bad guys" :smiley: And the whole "destroying-the-evil"-concept is always low on my list of what's interesting. So far, the necromancer plot seems mostly an unnecessarily long side-track (albeit with a nice finish). But perhaps this will be tied in more closely in the next installment.

The s'Brydion plot line felt cut-off before it managed to get interesting. I liked Arithon's idea and I think it opened up fascinating possibilities. I'm hoping the s'Brydion will reconsider but the title of the next book doesn't promise well there, and another siege/drawn out war doesn't appeal to me very much. But, this all remains to be seen.

And speaking of plots that seemed cut off before they bloomed, I'd say the same of Elaira and Arithon having a child. Now that would have been an interesting twist!

Well, I think I've rambled enough now, so I'll stop here :smiley:


originally posted by Trys



necromancer subplot

And yet this "subplot" goes all the way back to when Jeriayish first took blood from Lysaer to use in a scrying, and even further back than that when it was foreshadowed by references to a necromancer's stick and a scar on Asandir's (I think it was him) arm.


originally posted by Hunter


Sethvir has the scar on his body I think…

The necromancer subplot in isolation would be an unnecessary distraction. What gives this subplot the context and necessity in this narrative is the pivotal discourse between Davien and Sethvir where Davien is critical of Sethvir for bringing the necromancers along with the rest of the human refugees at the start of the Third Age. We've never really known Davien's full intentions - only the Fellowship's views which are necessarily only one view point. One of Davien's key issues with the entirety of the Compact was that he viewed it as superceding their original drake charge by putting humans as more important than the Paravians - although the rest of the Fellowship wouldn't admit that.

This then goes back to the original weapon, the destroyer of worlds created by Calum Kincaid and the back history of who the Fellowship were and what they were doing.

If this was a character only story of where Arithon and Lysaer are going to go, then the necromancer subplot is probably an unnecessary diversion. But this narrative is about more than that, Lysaer and Arithon are but two of the lead characters in the sprawling canvas that Janny is using to make her points.

originally posted by Neil


Sethvir's scar is referred to in TK (by Davien?). I'd like to know if it is referred to elsewhere :smiley: Foreshadowing I guess also includes the meeting in the tower in FP.

I suppose that Arithon/F7 have only recently dealt with the Grey Kralovir(?) necromancers. There are others…? Grey Kralovir appears to have been completely eradicated(?) but could be reestablished again if someone starts up all over again? There are other less nasty factions and it seems the F7 "deal" with necromancy where it affects the compact but other necromancy continues (free will)?

Hence Davien's frustration? A recurring threat to man's survival on Athera.

originally posted by Selene


Note that I referred to the necromancy plot line as "unnecessarily long" not as "unnecessary" :smiley:

Yes, I remember reading the references to necromancy earlier in the series, and I always expected them to be there for a purpose.

Hunter–I agree with you that the narrative is about more than what Arithon and Lysaer are going to do.


originally posted by Neil

At the risk of overposting in one day…I disagree. I feel that Arithon and Lysaer are the 2 key parts of the story.

They are the only 2 characters mentionned in the prologue + "War of light and shadows" :smiley:

The necromancy plot line length is perhaps a surprising diversion if in fact it is a temporary diversion…Logically "the light" would be obliged to sort out necromancy too no?

Again are the public really unaware of necromancy - presumably it exists only in the towns and no human group has had the time + ability to root it out during 5000 years?

Slavery is forbidden by the compact but isn't any act of necromancy a kind of slavery? I guess the F7 just can't deal with every single necromancy case and really are in trouble since the mistwraith arrived / paravians left…maybe necromancy bashing is a hobby of the desert people in Shand?

Curious that the only "drake-binding enforced" action lately has been Kharadmon's in TK + Asandir's…perhaps there have been others earlier in the story…and we didn't have the depth to appreciate them. Necromancy in general doesn't seem "serious"…?!?

If the kraloir is not the last/only major necromancy cult around I guess the others are sure gonna steer well clear of Arithon or preemptively attack him in an attempt to avoid future problems?