Questions after reading

originally posted by Jo

I know i put the above question to Janny but does anyone else have any thoughts as to whether Arithons mother could have seen his future?

originally posted by Neil

I think it was mentionnd that his grandfather named Arithon (Feliron seemed to know this in FP).

I do wonder whether we'll see more of the splinter worlds…?

originally posted by Blue

Now there's a good unanswered question - when did Arithon ever get chummy enough with Felirin prior to that point to let him know that Mak s'Ahelas had named him? Or was that just an assumption, perhaps as part of a Shandian royal tradition that the family patriarch or matriarch names the grandkids?

originally posted by Jo

I wonder why Mak named him forger of fate then Maybe he knew something or it could be nothing . Didn't realise that Ferlin had said anything but haven't read FP in a while.

originally posted by Elizabeth Cordts

Just wanted to comment on a few statements posted by other members:

Matthew said: "Justice for one person may not be the same for another person, it seems that having a virtue is no guarantee that it will change events for the better on its strength alone."

In my opinion, I think this is what makes the concept of "justice" so inherently corruptible. "Compassion" is something that you would feel towards anyone, but "justice" in and of itself requires that some sort of judgment or determination be made for either one side or the other. Plain and simple, you can't mete out justice until you decide which side is "right." Based upon one's personality and prejudices, then, "justice" could easily go one way or the other, and we see that clearly with Lysaer. It's obvious that he believes his cause to be "just," but that is because the curse has twisted his perception of truth and backed it with an unreasoning hatred against Arithon.

It makes sense then that the tower for justice was the first to fall in Ithamon. No other trait associated with the other four towers (Honor, Wisdom, Compassion, Grace) is as easily twisted as Justice inherently is.

And now for something completely different:

Blue said: "In later books of WoLaS, in fact, as early as SoM, we saw Lysaer literally put his own life on the line to make a point - such as when he allowed himself to be chained to protest the enslavement of those clansmen captured by the Mayor and sent as convict labor while he was rebuilding Avenor. There were a LOT of townsmen guarding those prisoners, and they could easily have chosen to gut him for his "softness" towards the clansmen. But in that case, Lysaer could easily have called upon his own town loyalists, such as Lord Diegan, who outnumbered the mayor's guard, to save him.

So, he could put his own neck on the line for strangers, but not his own half brother?"

I'd just like to point out that he never really "put his neck on the line" for the clansmen enslaved there. Yes, he ran out there and was chained up, even with the group of townsmen surrounding him. He also had an army practicing only a short distance away, along with Diegan riding up even as he was talking.

I've just started rereading the series after a few years' break (I have to prepare for the imminent arrival of Stormed Fortress :D), and that whole incident of him being chained up to protest enslavement was something I'd completely forgotten about. Rereading it, I was uplifted to see that Lysaer still held some good and proper feelings… until barely two pages later.

What's so chilling about this event is that he turned right around and remarked that the clansmen he'd so graciously freed were weak and tired, and had been released basically for headhunter sport. Sure, he let them go, but in their physical condition and with headhunters right on their trail, it was no act of mercy. He deliberately set them free to be slaughtered. And he goes on to explain that his act of protestation over the slavery was done more out of concern that allowing clan slaves into Avenor would be giving the enemy an opening than because he was concerned about their ill treatment.

Honestly, Lysaer is such a frustrating character. He's such a tragic figure, but a tragic figure who's plummeting straight into outright evil. I was mourning the entire time while rereading CotM, just because I knew what was coming and I hated seeing his wonderful character development on the verge of being fatally undone by the curse. So on that sense, I pity him for being a tool of the Mistwraith. But first and foremost, I can't help but hate him for his blind actions. Maybe he's just a tool, but he's a willing tool who spurns all reason and all attempt to help him to see the truth.

I honestly don't think he can be redeemed. Maybe someday the curse will be lifted somehow and he'll see the error of his ways. But how can anyone who's committed such terrible acts be redeemed? This is different from Arithon's guilt over the deaths of his clansmen. The ones who died for Arithon did it out of free will and with perfect knowledge of why they fought. The ones that died under Lysaer's banner did so because they were misled into it. Their fear was twisted and used in support of the Light's cause, and as a result thousands and tens of thousands died where none needed to die at all.

If Lysaer ever realized that and saw the truth without the Mistwraith's interference, would he ever be able to reconcile with it? I sincerely doubt it, because if he hadn't gone all curse-driven homicidal maniac on us, he would have been decent guy and a good king.

Hmmm… I'd just like to add that this series is the only one with characters for which I feel so strongly.

Hi Elizabeth Cordts - welcome here, I don't think, at least, I've seen you post before?

The chat's pretty quiet, I'm not sure why - usually a post such as your provokes an intelligent discussion.

I know why I've been quiet :smiley: - the next book has me quite immersed. (Run on brain brings to mind that song jingle, "Just you wait, Henry Higgins, just you WAIT…!) You have yet to see Stormed Fortress - stay away from the spoilers, there. :smiley:

originally posted by dheu

Thanks for the welcome! :smiley:

I used to come here a long time ago (a long, LONG time ago), but I completely forgot my screen name. So after a dozen tries or so, I gave up and re-registered, ha ha. (I'll be posting under "dheu" from now on.)

And don't worry about the lack of discussion… that's what I get for thread zombification, mwa ha.

I can't wait to read Stormed Fortress, and I wouldn't dare spoil myself. That'd take all the fun out of it! :D!

Thanks so much for continuing to provide us this truly fascinating story.


Another comment on the discussion above:

Blue said: "Aside from his prejudices, I personally think he was jealous of Arithon - not only because Arithon is so multi-talented, but also because HE was getting a crown and Lysaer was not."

That's a good point. Throughout CotM we get constant hints that Lysaer is frequently jealous when the attention is focused on Arithon's kingdom, especially when his own ascension to the throne in Tysan is placed on the backburner. He's just not comfortable without a crown, which is understandable, considering his entire life he's been groomed to become a king to the exclusion of everything else. So, under the Mistwraith's curse, he's got a purpose now. He's able to use the talents he's been honing since birth: statesmanship and command.

Maybe this is another subconscious reason why he refuses to consider the possibility that he's been cursed. If he has been, and he accepts help from the Fellowship, then his purpose will be once again stripped away, because obviously his misled army would be disbanded and his crown would be withheld until they could figure out a way to free him from the curse.

originally posted by Clansman

Welcome, dheu. I'm also known as Angus (changed my screen name after signing up) in the posts up above.

You are waiting for Stormed Fortress? Have you ordered it? You can get it from the UK right now in mass market paperback, or wait until next spring when it will be released with the rest of the series in North America.

Personally, I don't know how you could wait that long, but…

originally posted by Sundancer

Hi dheu

I'm surprised DarthJazy hasn't chimed in, he is usually Lysaer's champion.

I have to admit that I felt much the same way as you about Lysaer, but on re-reading the books for the fourth or so time I gradually changed how I viewed Lysaer. There's an undercurrent which makes you empathise - you see his weakness from his character faults (which you have spelt out so well) and you see him choosing - almost against his will and desire - to do what he thinks is right (to destroy Arithon). You have to catch him in private moments, in public you will only see his public face. Lysaer being confronted/cast out from the compact by the Fellowship is a good example, it took me ages to understand what was going on for Lysaer (probably still don't), but it is not a simple response. He's shattered, and then pulls himself together, and is it just because he can't face the terrible things he's done and admit them publicly, or because he can't risk letting himself believe the Fellowship?

And get hold of Stormed Fortress if you can! You see lots more Lysaer.

originally posted by dheu

Sundancer: "… and you see him choosing - almost against his will and desire - to do what he thinks is right (to destroy Arithon)."

But that's just what I can't decide. Is it really against his own will and desire to destroy Arithon? I find it hard to believe that he's really struggling with some of the decisions he's making, because all of the choices he makes feed into his vision of himself as a self-righteous leader struggling against evil. He can get cast out of the compact, because now he's martyred himself for his cause. He can make hard choices about killing innocents like women and children, for the same reason.

The more I see of his character and the farther along I get in re-reading these books, the more I come to believe that he's in love with being a martyr. Not consciously, of course; he doesn't actively realize it or act on it. But maybe somewhere inside of him it makes him feel good to be worshipped as the person who will save everyone from evil. It gives him purpose, and maybe he doesn't mind sacrificing himself to attain that. So when he makes a choice and takes a hard path to "save" everyone from Arithon, maybe in reality all that's happening is that he's just seeking more adulation.

This is at least the fourth or fifth time I've re-read CotM and SoM/WoV (the other volumes I've read less frequently), and I'm rather surprised at how much I dislike Lysaer now. I'd always been a little sympathetic to him, but when I read through the books this time, I was shocked at how much my opinion had changed in the years since I last read them. So I sort of went the opposite direction as you, Sundancer… ha!

And yes! I finally got Stormed Fortress in (you're right, Angus, I couldn't wait for it to come in, so I had to order it from the UK)! Now I just need to finish catching back up with the previous volumes, so I'm once again on top of all the events when I get into SF. Awesome!

originally posted by Sundancer

Hi dheu

I think I was a little imprecise in my words - I don't think it is against Lysaer's will to destroy Arithon, I think that it is why he does these things. I do think that some of the things he has done in order to achieve this goal (and not just condemning Talith) are done with a clear sight of how terrible they are.

I agree that Lysaer is very hard to read, because we don't see inside him so much, and I often find him abhorrent (but then Arithon's destruction at the Havens is abhorrent, we find it easier to forgive because we know his motivation and self-hatred - he can't forgive himself). But re-read Lysaer at the end of WoV.

I used to agree with you he has (had?) great dependency on being adored - that comes through in the first books - but I think by the end of Vastmark he is consciously choosing the adoration as a weapon against Arithon, knowing it will be harmful but believing that it is better than the greater evil of Arithon. He becomes in the next few books an incredibly lonely figure, which for me goes against the need for adoration - it becomes theatre/chess for some 'greater' end.

His greatest flaw is to have given in to the mistwraith and not fought it - because at least initially it gave him what he needed.

For me it is this difference between the two which is one of Janny's themes: compassion drives Arithon - he would see the whole world burn for an individual, remember for example how he was willing to let his honor be impugned because he 'owed' Glendien for her father's death, while Lysaer is driven by justice, and for him the end justifies the means (e.g. destroying the ship and sailors that were suborned by Lirenda).

There are parallels here for me between the Fellowship (compassion - if the Fellowship were not bound by the dragons) and the Koriathain (end justifies the means).

(I can see the tailspinner having private chuckles over how far we're off the mark)

Enjoy SF when you get there! I'd love to hear your view of Lysaer after you've finished it.

I think I can feel a re-read of the series coming on …

originally posted by Clansman


I must quote Sundancer:

"Enjoy SF when you get there! I'd love to hear your view of Lysaer after you've finished it."

Also, I would recommend that you pay particularly close attention to Arithon's trial in Davien's Maze in Peril's Gate. You get some real insight into the nature of the Curse, and how it impacted Arithon, who was not hit with its full impact as Lysaer was. In fact, the F7, after the victory at Ithamon (CotMW), when they examined what had happened, realized that they had protected the wrong Prince (Arithon), as Lysaer had no ability to resist the Mistwraith, whereas Arithon could have defended himself with his mage training. Had Arithon been exposed at Ithamon instead of Lysaer, the Curse may have been averted, or at least much better managed (good thing it wasn't, otherwise we wouldn't have this great story to talk about!).

Just a few thoughts. I still believe that Lysaer's redemption from the Curse is key to the resolution of the story line. I suspect though, that it will not be a happy redemption, but rather very, very messy.

originally posted by dheu

Don't get me wrong. I'd love to see Lysaer redeemed. Like I said awhile back, the greatest tragedy and the hardest part of re-reading CotM was in knowing how it would all end up, and then reading those small events that revealed that while Lysaer wasn't perfect, he was a good man who was constantly trying to improve himself. It was so sad to see him come under the curse, after seeing his potential. And it's only more tragic to know going into it that the curse could have been averted if the F7 had protected Lysaer instead at the critical moment.

But of course Lysaer's actions since being cursed can't be fully blamed on the curse, so while on the one hand I want to see him redeemed, on the other I really despise him. Either way, as you said, Clansman, his redemption is going to be pretty messy.

But, then, it's been awhile since I've read some of the later books, so my memory is… imprecise, shall we say. And after reading SF my opinion might change again!

And I have to say I love these characters, even while I hate a certain few of them and badmouth them, lol.

originally posted by Annabelle Ang-Bok

I’m just wondering ’ I recall a line somewhere that says it’s when mankind abandons a particular quality that the corresponding tower at Ithamon will fail. Is the King’s Tower/Justice tower included in this? If so, wouldn’t that mean that in essence, justice has already failed and is corrupted/abandoned as far as humanity is concerned, and there can be no real justice to be expected from mortal humans?

This thread is really old so I don’t know if anyone is going to respond… Janny, would you care to shed a little light if you see this? Thank you!

originally posted by Annette

"When civilization has abandoned any of these qualities, its respective tower will fail,
for the power that binds their structure is the force of each virtue, renewed."

Asandir said it in CotM, when they first arrived at Ithamon.

Paravians built Ithamon in the first age, the kings tower first cracked in the second age when a Paravian king was assassinated, before humanity even arrived on Athera. The tower finished crumbling during the rebellion. It is when civilization abandons that virtue the corresponding tower fails, not necessarily human civilization. The current civilization is human, and they seem to be abandoning a lot of things. A few more towers might fall yet.

Annabelle Ang-Bok - you asked (I only respond if people ask directly because many discussions prefer to explore the speculative debate of what's happening as the books unfold, rather than know the definitive answer from my perspective.

I'd say Annette's response IN THIS CASE is on the mark; I would not regard other posts by this reader (or any other) to carry Any such stamp of authority… :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: - in this particular case, Annette's interpretation is in line with Athera's actual history…elsewhere, it's anybody's guess, and sometimes - hers, or anybody's guess, can be wildly, remarkably wrong!!! (evile authorial grin, here! The books have a lot of stuff right in PLAIN sight, but 'twisted' by unreliable narrators, or the limitations of ignorance of particular characters, OR, (heh!) the readers' own ingrained presumptions.)

Part of the fun and the challenge is trying to figure out WHICH way things will fall. Annette's a brave player, indeed.

There are viewpoints within the books that CAN be trusted more than others; its figuring out which that's the rub.

Enjoy the ride! The people here are respectful enough not to spoil your first trip through the volumes, BUT, I would caution: be careful, careful!!! about reading general threads or posts ahead of where you are reading as you may majorly spoil the impact of certain reversals and unveilings.

There are also discussions that constrain spoilers (one vol by vol, each book, and a second set, done one chapter by chapter) archived at a few GoodReads groups: The Fantasy Book Club, The Fantasy Book Club Series, and Beyond Reality. You would have to look into the backlog folders to locate them.

Also, new readers, feel free to start your own thread discussing ANY point, but requesting no spoilers from your current position in the series.

Often I figure the threads are quiet simply because it is difficult not to unveil stuff openly when a new reader ventures in.

Have fun!

originally posted by Annabelle Ang-Bok

Thanks so much Annette and Janny! Sorry I tend to get historical dates mixed up if I don't write them down… keeping the current storyline chronology is usually all I can do while in the middle of the actual read (I like to get through once for the overall storyline and feel before going back to check things). :stuck_out_tongue: I'm now trying to get up to speed on the FAQ page and then I'll get back to the actual book. :smiley:

originally posted by Annette

I would continue reading through the books and then go and study the FAQ, otherwise you could spoil all those little things you never noticed the first time, or have forgotten. Easier to read through the books again and then see if you can pick up any extra info or clues.

originally posted by Annabelle Ang-Bok

True that. Heh.