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Ser Scot A Ellison

Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn/The Heart of what was Lost/The Last King of Osten Ard

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1 hour ago, Jiriki said:

It's not the answer Sulis wanted, but Hakatri gave him an answer: I don't think so.

I remembered that answer but what's weird there is whether Hakatri actually could have any knowledge of Usires in any case. Didn't he leave Osten Ard long before the Nabban empire was even founded? Or at least before the Aedonite religion was established? How could he then know anything about Usires if the man was, say, a Sitha using a different name or some half-blood like Geloe that was only born after he left?

Quote

The point of the spell was to wind back time to a period before Ineluki had been banished from Hayholt, before prayers and spells ("if there is a difference") had been said over each handspan of the castle, wrapping Asu'a in protections preventing Ineluki from returning "until Time itself ends, when it will not matter." (Aditu, TGAT).

That is actually another plot hole there. The impressions we get are that the Sithi and Norn are this great sorcerers. Men aren't. How could they have even created spells preventing Ineluki from returning to Asu'a in the first place, and why on earth would they have barred him, specially. He was killed in the fighting and nothing indicates that anybody realized that he had survived somehow in spiritual form.

Nisses is rumored to have helped King Fingil with spells in the destruction of Asu'a, and if that's true he certainly could also have come up with spells preventing Ineluki's spirit from returning. But if that's the case then his motivation is completely incoherent. If he has special spell knowledge against the Sithi then this would have come from the Norns and once Ineluki had become Utuk'ku's tool there would have been no reason for her to prevent Ineluki from returning to Asu'a.

And Nisses himself wrote the book containing the prophecy of the three swords, indicating that he remained Utuk'ku's (and later Ineluki's) man until the end. Perhaps he and Hjeldin realized that they had been used and betrayed by the Norns and were killed because of that.

If I recall correctly Tad is writing about the fall of Asu'a in the other novel. I really urge you guys to point those discrepancies and problematic motivations out to him. He can explain (or explain away) those things in that story. Or at least give some hints.

But that has nothing to do with the question what Ineluki actually wanted to do after he had taken over Elias' body. Back in the time the castle was burning around him and his people were slaughtered. Did he think having a new body at that particular time at that particular place was going to change anything? If so, how exactly? He could not exactly repeat the spell that killed a lot of Rimmersmen and also destroyed his original body in the process, or could he?

We know he was twisted and hated humans but there are no indications that he intended to enact some sort of evil terror regime or destroy the world. His mother and the other Sithi resist him for rather aloof metaphysical reasons, because he is twisted unnatural creature now, but nobody ever tells us anything what that creature actually wants.

If he had just intended to kill every living creature (or every human-being) with some powerful spell it would have been more understandable, but as far as we know that's not what he wanted to do.

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re: Utuk'ku's motivation

My pet theory is that she longs for death, Unbeing, however you call it.  Easy to accomplish, right? Yet she is the oldest being in the known world and she would neverever yield this title to anybody else. So the world has to perish with her. Apocalypse is her aim now and prolly has been all along.

As for the rest: some valid points, Lord Varys. I'll show Tad.

Edited by ylvs
better phrasing

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46 minutes ago, ylvs said:

re: Utuk'ku's motivation

My pet theory is that she longs for death, Unbeing, however you call it.  Easy to accomplish, right? Yet she is the oldest being in the known world and she would neverever yield this title to anybody else. So the world has to perish with her. Apocalypse is her aim now and prolly has been all along.

Hm, that is the motivation given to her back in the actual books, is it not? That she wants to die and take everybody with her? There are few short paragraphs from her POV in To Green Angel Tower. I guess you would not better whether that can also be her motivation in the next book. It would depend on what she does, and with the Norns actually suddenly being characters now she might not necessarily be in a condition to all that easily get her people to do suicidal things if they figured out that she doesn't really care whether her people survived or not.

But I guess you would have a somewhat more complete picture there.

However, I'm under the impression that this Unbeing thing is somewhat more or different from mundane death.

46 minutes ago, ylvs said:

As for the rest: some valid points, Lord Varys. I'll show Tad.

Thank you. Hope it is worth something. The question what the hell happened in the tower when Nisses killed himself and King Hjeldin ended up dead is certainly a mystery that would be worthy to be addressed, either in that novella or later on in the new trilogy. The past seems to play a pretty important role there.

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23 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I remembered that answer but what's weird there is whether Hakatri actually could have any knowledge of Usires in any case. Didn't he leave Osten Ard long before the Nabban empire was even founded? Or at least before the Aedonite religion was established? How could he then know anything about Usires if the man was, say, a Sitha using a different name or some half-blood like Geloe that was only born after he left?

It wouldn't have taken centuries for the people of Ijsgard to migrate into Osten Ard. The Rimmersmen reached Hayholt by 666 AF. Usires already died long before that. Hakatri clearly left before 666 AF. But that's plenty of time for Hakatri to have learned of Usires.

 

23 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

That is actually another plot hole there. The impressions we get are that the Sithi and Norn are this great sorcerers. Men aren't. How could they have even created spells preventing Ineluki from returning to Asu'a in the first place, and why on earth would they have barred him, specially. He was killed in the fighting and nothing indicates that anybody realized that he had survived somehow in spiritual form.

The scenes of Pryrates, Dinivan, Morgenes and Cadrach indicate that men have powers, too. In fact, Father Dinivan's final scene in the series shows the power of faith.

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27 minutes ago, Jiriki said:

It wouldn't have taken centuries for the people of Ijsgard to migrate into Osten Ard. The Rimmersmen reached Hayholt by 666 AF. Usires already died long before that. Hakatri clearly left before 666 AF. But that's plenty of time for Hakatri to have learned of Usires.

But wasn't he injured killing Hidohebhi, the mother of Shurakai and Igjarjuk? This could have very well taken place in a rather distant past.

27 minutes ago, Jiriki said:

The scenes of Pryrates, Dinivan, Morgenes and Cadrach indicate that men have powers, too. In fact, Father Dinivan's final scene in the series shows the power of faith.

Oh, it is clear that they can learn magic - and I'm pretty sure what Dinivan did was magic, too, not Usires being with him (else we would have to conclude that Pryrates was stronger than a god) - but what they learn seems to be mostly go back to the Gardenborn. I don't recall any magics that have nothing to do with them. And what they can do is much weaker than anything the Sithi or Norns can pull off.

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5 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

But wasn't he injured killing Hidohebhi, the mother of Shurakai and Igjarjuk? This could have very well taken place in a rather distant past.

Yes, he was injured killing Hidohebhi (Drochnathair). But it can't have been too far in the distant past. The timeline shows the Gardenborn arriving in Osten Ard in circa 4850 BF. Amerasu was born on one of the ships; her sons, Hakatri and Ineluki, apparently were not. This sets the earliest he could be fighting dragons at sometime after 4830 BF, and likely much later, based on the number of generations in the House of Year-dancing. Amerasu->Ineluki/Hakatri->Likimeya->Jiriki/Aditu.

Jiriki and Aditu are less than 500 years old (born after the Fall of Asu'a in 666 AF), but older than 100. Jiriki might then be 300-ish. During the ~5,712 years between Amerasu and Jiriki there are four generations: that's roughly 1,904 years between each birth. That places Likimeya's birth at 1042 BF, so Hakatri was still around then, and apparently still whole. And Hakatri was still in Osten Ard to see the first of the ships from Ijsgard arrive. The Northmen invaded in the 600s AF.

 

5 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Oh, it is clear that they can learn magic - and I'm pretty sure what Dinivan did was magic, too, not Usires being with him (else we would have to conclude that Pryrates was stronger than a god) - but what they learn seems to be mostly go back to the Gardenborn. I don't recall any magics that have nothing to do with them. And what they can do is much weaker than anything the Sithi or Norns can pull off.

I think Pryrates' faith/skill in the dark powers was stronger than Dinivan's faith/skill, not that Aedon is weaker than Pryrates. Father Dinivan's faith-magic (which includes a glowing Holy Tree) seems to have nothing to do with the magic of the Gardenborn. In fact, the Norns mock the "little man-on-a-stick". Aditu seems to regard prayers as nothing more than spells.

 

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33 minutes ago, Jiriki said:

Yes, he was injured killing Hidohebhi (Drochnathair). But it can't have been too far in the distant past. The timeline shows the Gardenborn arriving in Osten Ard in circa 4850 BF. Amerasu was born on one of the ships; her sons, Hakatri and Ineluki, apparently were not. This sets the earliest he could be fighting dragons at sometime after 4830 BF, and likely much later, based on the number of generations in the House of Year-dancing. Amerasu->Ineluki/Hakatri->Likimeya->Jiriki/Aditu.

Jiriki and Aditu are less than 500 years old (born after the Fall of Asu'a in 666 AF), but older than 100. Jiriki might then be 300-ish. During the ~5,712 years between Amerasu and Jiriki there are four generations: that's roughly 1,904 years between each birth. That places Likimeya's birth at 1042 BF, so Hakatri was still around then, and apparently still whole. And Hakatri was still in Osten Ard to see the first of the ships from Ijsgard arrive. The Northmen invaded in the 600s AF.

I'm not expert on the time line but do you know when Usires was killed? That would be the important date here. It it makes sense to assume Hakatri was still in Osten Ard by then it also makes sense to assume he may have known something about Usires.

By the way, wasn't Hakatri the elder brother? The the time line you linked claims Ineluki is the elder. I think I read something like that in one of those wikis. Didn't double-check it with the books, though.

33 minutes ago, Jiriki said:

I think Pryrates' faith/skill in the dark powers was stronger than Dinivan's faith/skill, not that Aedon is weaker than Pryrates. Father Dinivan's faith-magic (which includes a glowing Holy Tree) seems to have nothing to do with the magic of the Gardenborn. In fact, the Norns mock the "little man-on-a-stick". Aditu seems to regard prayers as nothing more than spells.

Well, I'm no expert on that either but I usually don't buy divine interventions in fantasy unless they are very obvious. For all I know the tree there could just have been some sort of a totem through which Dinivan was channeling whatever magical skill he had, and the prayers he spoke may have been his way to concentrate whatever magical powers he had. Or he may have thought Usires would strengthen the power of his magic and prayed for that reason. 

Pryrates own magics seem to have been a craft he learned. He comes from very humble backgrounds and was always obsessed with knowledge but nothing indicates that he had anything special besides his hunger for knowledge. Ineluki's servant introduced/revealed to him the power of the Words of Changing (whatever that means) and he used that art to defeat Dinivan and later tried the same art on Ineluki himself.

The other human sorceress I recall is the girl who worships Utuk'ku and the Storm King and cannibalizes people. She was born with sort of a special ability, wasn't she? Tad is really great with this kind of detours.

But the core problem/plot hole I see there is the problem of anybody barring Ineluki specifically entrance to Asu'a. Who would have done that and why? The Rimmersmen around Fingil, Hjeldin, and Nisses certainly would have hated the Sithi, collectively, and done everything in their power to get rid of them. But why would they concentrate any spells (assuming they could work powerful spells) on an enemy they actually knew/thought was dead.

If I remember correctly people only found out later on that Ineluki had survived and become the Storm King when the scroll bearers were founded, no? But we don't know any details about that.And while this was cause for concern for some people there is little reason to assume that those people would have thought about protecting the Hayholt from him rather than other important centers of human civilization. The Hayholt only really became an important castle again when Prester John made it his royal seat.

From a storytelling point of view it may have worked better if Tad would have gone with the 'invitation of evil' trope. Pryrates and Elias contacted Ineluki and Utuk'ku and thereafter they could come whenever they wanted. Early on in the first book Simon also hears the voice of the Sithi/Ineluki who annouce that they will take everything back that was taken from them - that is the powerful idea of the entire story, that those elves do not meekly accept that they have to fade, etc. However, later on that idea is sort of overtaking but the rather weird notion that Ineluki has to conduct his weirdo spell in the past of the Hayholt because of the spell barring him entrance, etc. Wouldn't it have been better if his plan actually had been to rewind time to restore and take back what was taken from him and destroyed? Perhaps even to resurrect/save his own father and brother in the process of the entire thing? Instead the time thing just seems to be necessary for him to come to the tower and take possession of Elias. And that's why I'm asking the question what on earth he intended to afterwards that he had taken over his vessel? What would have been the next step? The novel never seems to bring up that question, most likely because Tad knew it would never happen and thus there was not necessarily a reason to discuss it. But good villains need a good master plan. And we only have part of Ineluki's plan there.

By the way: Wasn't the control of all those Gardenborn magical wells/places necessary to pull off the time spell? If so, then this also was a huge waste of power and resources. If the ultimate goal was just to get Ineluki into Elias' body why didn't the Norns just take him and fetch him to Nakkiga? All they would have needed for that was Elias himself, right? Even the three swords were only necessary for the huge time spell, no? There was not necessarily a good reason why they had to do at Asu'a.

Choosing the king of the mortals to be his vessel also indicates that Ineluki may have planned to destroy humanity from the top, by turning them against each by using Elias' armies as a means to an end. They sort of did that anyway through Pryrates, etc. But that would only make sense if Elias-Ineluki would have returned into the present after taking possession of Elias' body. And there is no indication for that, or is there?

Perhaps I've to reread the whole thing again. What do you say in the wake of TWC? Is a very good memory of the first trilogy helpful in reading the new book or is it enough to remember the general outline? And, hell, I realize that I'm pissed that Maegwin is dead. She could have been very interesting in the new story if she had been healed from her madness.

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When I read your posts, Lord Varys, I don't get the impression you need to reread MST.

Btw I really would like to continue this on Tad's mb as there will be many more to contribute on this dicussion than here to discuss all this. Feel heartily invited.

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1 hour ago, ylvs said:

When I read your posts, Lord Varys, I don't get the impression you need to reread MST.

Btw I really would like to continue this on Tad's mb as there will be many more to contribute on this dicussion than here to discuss all this. Feel heartily invited.

Going to bed now. But I'll join you there tomorrow. Already tried to do it once but was too lazy to go through the registration process ;-).

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On 05/04/2017 at 10:07 AM, ylvs said:

Imho it has the most gripping and exciting showdown since Storm of Swords. And a few nods to that finest Ice and Fire novel as well.

Just finished the book. . . Fuck me, it was even worse than I thought it could possibly be?

Ylvs, is it possible the the final edit has changed dramatically from the manuscript you have read last year? Because there is no showdown whatsoever. None. Nothing special. Nothing. :(

Gripping and exciting? I kept hoping, turning those pages, slogging through more and more lackluster scenes that go nowhere, waiting for that big payoff at the end. Only to reach the final sentence and shake my head in wonder and disappointment.

I was expecting TWC to rank among this year's very best speculative fiction titles. In the end, it's the biggest disappointment of 2017. Expectations were high, no question. A Storm of Swords is one of the very best fantasy novels ever written. Maybe the best. The only other book I've read that offers the same kind of awesome showdown at the end would be Erikson's Memories of Ice. The Witchwood Crown can't even be mentioned in the same sentence. :(

Definitely Tad Williams' Crossroads of Twilight. And the Jordan may have been better. . . :(

Holy shit. . . :(

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6 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

I'm not expert on the time line but do you know when Usires was killed? That would be the important date here. It it makes sense to assume Hakatri was still in Osten Ard by then it also makes sense to assume he may have known something about Usires.

Usires was killed circa 166 AF. We know this because it was after the founding of Nabban, and was a year that the Conqueror Star blazed in the sky. The only year that qualifies is 166 AF, as the CS appears every 500 years. I've added that info to the timeline.

As you say, since he knew of Usires in TBM, Hakatri had to have been burned after 166 AF.

 

6 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

By the way, wasn't Hakatri the elder brother? The the time line you linked claims Ineluki is the elder.

Yup. Fixed now in the timeline.

 

6 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

The other human sorceress I recall is the girl who worships Utuk'ku and the Storm King and cannibalizes people. She was born with sort of a special ability, wasn't she?

Yes; the people in her village named her a witch and drove her away from there.

6 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

But the core problem/plot hole I see there is the problem of anybody barring Ineluki specifically entrance to Asu'a. Who would have done that and why? The Rimmersmen around Fingil, Hjeldin, and Nisses certainly would have hated the Sithi, collectively, and done everything in their power to get rid of them. But why would they concentrate any spells (assuming they could work powerful spells) on an enemy they actually knew/thought was dead.

Quote

"It is an irony, but you can thank the usurper Fingil and the other mortal kings who have held Asu'a for that," Aditu said. "When they saw what Ineluki had done in his final moments of life, they were terrified. They had not dreamed that anyone, even the Sithi, could wield such power. So prayers and spells -- if there is a difference between the two -- were said over each handspan of what remained of our home before the mortals made it their own. As it was rebuilt, the same was done over and over again, until Asu'a was so wrapped in protections that Ineluki can never come there until Time itself ends, when it will not matter."

6 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

By the way: Wasn't the control of all those Gardenborn magical wells/places necessary to pull off the time spell?

I don't believe it was. I think the A-genay'asu were linked to bring back Ineluki's five followers: the Red Hand.

6 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Perhaps I've to reread the whole thing again. What do you say in the wake of TWC? Is a very good memory of the first trilogy helpful in reading the new book or is it enough to remember the general outline?

I agree with Ylvs: you definitely remember enough not to need a refresher.

6 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

And, hell, I realize that I'm pissed that Maegwin is dead. She could have been very interesting in the new story if she had been healed from her madness.

I'm not a big fan of Maegwin; if there is a character I lament the death of, it is Geloe. Or Morgenes. And Amerasu, of course.

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17 hours ago, Lord Patrek said:

Just finished the book. . . Fuck me, it was even worse than I thought it could possibly be?

Ylvs, is it possible the the final edit has changed dramatically from the manuscript you have read last year? Because there is no showdown whatsoever. None. Nothing special. Nothing. :(

Gripping and exciting? I kept hoping, turning those pages, slogging through more and more lackluster scenes that go nowhere, waiting for that big payoff at the end. Only to reach the final sentence and shake my head in wonder and disappointment.

 

This is all getting rather strange. One person says this book has a superb final 200 pages or so with an ending on the level of Storm of Swords. The other says nothing happens at all. I guess we need more reviews (before we can read it ourselves).

Edited by Calibandar

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Sometimes there can be drastic changes between a manuscript and the final edit of a book. That's why I was asking her, for perhaps some of the good stuff has been pushed back to the second volume.

Nothing special really takes place in the ARC that I have, which makes the ending rather boring and nothing to write home about.

I so wanted to love this book. Wasn't meant to be. . . :(

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Maybe they sent you a bad copy on purpose? As a joke!

(kung pow reference)

I'm certainly going to have to do a re read, I have no idea what you people are talking about.

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13 hours ago, Lord Patrek said:

Sometimes there can be drastic changes between a manuscript and the final edit of a book. That's why I was asking her, for perhaps some of the good stuff has been pushed back to the second volume.

Nothing special really takes place in the ARC that I have, which makes the ending rather boring and nothing to write home about.

I so wanted to love this book. Wasn't meant to be. . . :(

Well, you must at least know what Jiriki and ylvs are referring to if you read the book. In broad strokes at least.

I must say I don't like spoilers of the type 'stuff like ASoS' because they give much more away than actual (mild) content spoilers. I'm pretty sure I will figure out or see the big twist coming if I know the book is compared to ASoS. Presumably it will be something like the Red Wedding (Joffrey's, Tywin's, or Lysa's murders are also possible, but less likely) and something like that usually doesn't come out of nowhere.

Edited by Lord Varys

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2 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Well, you must at least know what Jiriki and ylvs are referring to if you read the book. In broad strokes at least.

Honestly, I don't have a clue. :/

It's almost as though we have read different books. . .

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2 hours ago, Lord Patrek said:

Honestly, I don't have a clue. :/

It's almost as though we have read different books. . .

Are you going to review the book, or let it slip gracelessly into the night?

The other review was so, so fan-oriented squee--along with the comparison to Storm of Swords (which worked so well because it had 2.5 books building it up) -- that I'm generally more inclined to trust Pat's impressions, at this point. Williams also lost me with Otherland, so it's pretty easy to assume the flaws of that series informing this one. 

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6 hours ago, Lord Varys said:

Well, you must at least know what Jiriki and ylvs are referring to if you read the book. In broad strokes at least.

 

Spoiler

 

For me, it was the brutality of TWC that reminded me most of ASOIAF. I could recommend MS&T to my Christian aunt, despite some dark scenes and violence. I can't recommend TWC to my aunt. The brutal parts are just too much. MS&T could be read by YA; there are several scenes in TWC that are in no way YA.

There are, of course, many other scenes that remind me of ASOIAF, as Tad has said he wanted the conversation between him and GRRM to continue: some plot twists, several situations, and of course the amount of boobage, which was hardly seen in MS&T.

 

 

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