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A Little Hatred Spolier Thread (The world of the "First Law" is back)

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8 hours ago, Corvinus said:

Regarding a possible Logen return, I have a crackpot theory: Jezal ain't dead, that's just Sulfur pretending to be a corpse, and later his body will mysteriously disappear. In truth, Bayaz is reuniting Jezal with Logen and Ferro for one last secret mission. :P

That is a fun, even if crackpot, theory

 

10 hours ago, Zorral said:

OK, if you say so. But --- how does this make the incest not a sudden revelation? And still, a lot of the portraits of the women don't ring very true in certain ways -- they are what they are because the author made them that way, rather than them rising organically out of the context.  At least that's how it reads to me.

But then I keep seeing Orso as a Prince Hal, and Leo as a Hotspur, and of course Stour as any one of historical sociopaths of the general era.

Savine is the child of the most feared man in the union so given that context it's no surprise she is confident and has a successful career.

Finree did prove herself in "the heroes" and i assume was co running Angland. I'm not surprised she is a general. Even then she's undermined and swept aside so her son can lead.

Isern is the daughter of a famed hillperson and lover of the moon. She was confident (and crummock's favoured child) back when she could barely carry his weapons. It doesn't feel conjured up that she is where she is now.

Rikke has a special power so i guess we could say that's contrived. But she'd still be in a position of power as the chieftain's daughter and characters like wonderful have demonstrated the north allows female warriors.

Vick's history makes it entirely plausible she'd work in the inquisition. Her entire childhood probably required betrayal and subterfuge just to survive.

You could level the accusation that these characters only get where they are because of their fathers but I'd argue that's intentional. A big part of the series is how society makes it easier for those born in power to maintain or increase it and is just as valid a criticism for the male characters eg orso, leo and stour. In this series and in reality it's rare that people go from zero to hero entirely off the back of their own had work.

If i was going to accuse any character of being conveniently created I'd say it was clover who magically was in the background throughout several books without ever being mentioned but is now apparently a key figure in the North.

The incest thing is unfortunate but i guess it was impossible to avoid it while maintaining the secrecy of Savine's father. They could have told the kids to stay away from one another but that usually has a tendency to draw them towards each other. Although i guess telling Orso at a young age the truth would have helped as he couldn't exactly bleat the truth to everyone without creating a potential rival to his crown. And glokta really should have been more on the ball ensuring this never happened if he wasn't willing to tell savine the truth

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On 10/5/2019 at 11:45 PM, A True Kaniggit said:

Hey, it’s not like I have to be realistic about these things. 

Well Logen would say you have to be realistic when  it comes to writing Fanfic lol. 

Honestly, I don’t know about Logen killing Stour being a gratifying concept in principle.

Its just an evil man killing another evil man.

At this point in Life Stour is no worse than Logen at that age. 

I mean in Sharp ends Logen’s introduction has him having probably raped a woman, and torturing and savagely butchering his prisoner just so he could cause a war to which he could kill and torture more people with impunity.

 

Edited by Varysblackfyre321

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I dunno ... how many female characters are over the borderline nuts? like the Judge? Isern isn't exactly balanced and neither is Rikki.  Then that cluster of female handmaids, whether they wear masculine gear or not like Hildi. Vic whose past is so hideous it's amazing she can walk, and then, poor Wonderful.  It's as though women have to be insane and sociopaths, or else so above everyone else they are barely animated cut-outs.

Now they all may have been different in previous books, but a new reader, coming to this one as their first book, or having read the previous books quite long ago and never as impressed as Abercombie tru fans, is either going to be rather lost or skeptical.

Or perhaps that's just me. I am a very skeptical reader of fiction after a lifetime of thousands of novels read, and quite a portion of them re-read very frequently -- though not any longer.

Many friends who are not readers, back in the day when I still went to theaters to watch films, always got kick out of how I always knew what was coming next and even could speak the words coming up next -- that was in the days when films weren't even quite as predictable and formulaic as generally they are now.

I really am not trying to rain on the Little Hatred parade love here; it's just maybe  I've got a different set of criteria.  Or something. :dunno:

 

Edited by Zorral

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Loved this and can't wait for more. 

Only major issue I had was blinking and suddenly Vick was a Breakers leader...I have no idea how I missed that happening...

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2 hours ago, Jaxom 1974 said:

Loved this and can't wait for more. 

Only major issue I had was blinking and suddenly Vick was a Breakers leader...I have no idea how I missed that happening...

It's basically off screen - Risinau recognised her from the description from the guy she betrayed in Asia who had talked her up a lot. Because the Breakers were over confident and about to launch their revolution they weren't doing due diligence on recruits and apparently accepted+promoted her on that alone.

Zorral - I often see where you're coming from but on this one I don't, but I do think this book doesn't really work as a standalone/first entry. It's not even the plot or character continuity like would normally be the case, it's the readers relationship with the narrative reliability of the characters. Everyone in this book reads as a meta foil for what we've seen in the earlier books.

That said I simply didn't judge most of these characters as anything like you did. Isern isn't remotely unhinged, she's got belief in the spiritual beliefs of her people and that's it. Rikke is young and horny for the most part and listening to Stout threatening her while hiding in the river left some pretty serious trauma. Vick and Savine are callous but thats a function of the world and true of a ton of male characters as well and I think anyone judging Glokta from the original trilogy in a better light than them is forgetting how bad he is and how distorted our view of it is by his point of view.

And all the handmaidens seemed fine to me, I feel very bad for the face maid though.

Separate from these more focused on characters we also have several mothers being seen though the very distorted lens of their children that I think seem fine if we account for that lens.

Finree is probably the most solid character in the book in terms of stability and competence - she sees the bigger picture, shuts down the young male egos as long as she's able and gives them the best chance to win when they get the news that reinforcements aren't coming. Her son thinks she's a coward and keeping him from his glory but it's pretty easy to see how wrong he is, and every third party qualified to judge rates her as the unions best leader.

Ardee is a mess to be fair, and she's probably the character that most requires knowledge of why she's a mess to justify it. Savine thinks of her as cold and a drunkard and while this is pretty reasonable from her daughter, this misses that same context so your criticism is absolutely valid if this is functionally your first entry in this world. I think I'd probably have turned to substance use to dull the pain in her shoes though.

Terez is more like Finree but without the acknowledgement from other characters. She's lived with her political marriage for decades at this point despite hating it, and she's focused on making its not for naught by attempting to get Orso to take at least some of his duties seriously. She's widely loathed in the Union simply due to her background and then even more for her sexuality, which is apparently known but we don't know why it's known by others. Orso has a very negative view of her, but my interpretation of that is that its mostly unfair - Jezal has never liked doing what's hard and left it to Terez to try and get Orso to do anything, so that's who got blamed for everything. There's also an element of judging her for her sexuality from Orso and I read that as including how it impacts on his Dad as being seen - because again his Dad never plays bad cop in the parenting. Again though it needs context from prior books for some of it so there's that.

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Did anyone else catch Broad running into Logen in the line waiting for work at the brewery?

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2 hours ago, Stubby said:

Did anyone else catch Broad running into Logen in the line waiting for work at the brewery?

He did?? Totally missed it. My reading style is bad for details like that though.

What was Orso's appearance described as? The checked out rich drug haze hedonism covering deeper issues had me picturing the actor that plays Elliot in The Magicians series, I'm wondering just how far off it was. Is he blond?

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2 minutes ago, karaddin said:

He did?? Totally missed it. My reading style is bad for details like that though.

What was Orso's appearance described as? The checked out rich drug haze hedonism covering deeper issues had me picturing the actor that plays Elliot in The Magicians series, I'm wondering just how far off it was. Is he blond?

Broad was listening to some old bloke ramble, and another (bigger) bloke growled at the old bloke to shut up.  Broad noticed that the older, bigger, growling guy had "a star shaped scar on his cheek and a notched ear".  That guy (Logen IMO) backed off when he saw Broad's ladderman tattoos.

I saw Orso as much the same.  That actor would be OK.

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I don't even remember Logen having those particular scars haha. Been too long since I read the other books, you have to be realistic about your memory

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9 minutes ago, karaddin said:

I don't even remember Logen having those particular scars haha. Been too long since I read the other books, you have to be realistic about your memory

LOL. Perfect comment.

I only remembered it because I did a full re-read before ALH.

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7 hours ago, Stubby said:

Broad was listening to some old bloke ramble, and another (bigger) bloke growled at the old bloke to shut up.  Broad noticed that the older, bigger, growling guy had "a star shaped scar on his cheek and a notched ear".  That guy (Logen IMO) backed off when he saw Broad's ladderman tattoos.

I saw Orso as much the same.  That actor would be OK.

That's extremely well spotted.

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5 minutes ago, Gaston de Foix said:

I concur.  But Stubby, why would Logen be intimidated by Broad's ladderman tattoos?

Indeed, that makes very little sense.  For that matter, Logen yelling at the old man to shut up is kind of out of character too. 

I think this is meant to be sort of like a Roschach test Easter Egg, where it is always going to be ambiguous whether this was Logen or not, and you just have to decide for yourself.  A big guy with a scar on his cheek and a notched ear is clearly intentional on Ambercrombie's part, but he could just be teasing us, since it is hardly impossible there there would be a big guy with similar scars. 

Remember that Logen would be almost 70 by now.  Given the amount of very hard living Logen has been doing, it isn't even particularly likely he'd still be alive (unless you think that the B9 is some kind of spirit which extends his life, which would be a theory based on virtually nothing).

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1 minute ago, Maithanet said:

 Given the amount of very hard living Logen has been doing, it isn't even particularly likely he'd still be alive (unless you think that the B9 is some kind of spirit which extends his life, which would be a theory based on virtually nothing).

Near immortality isn't unknown in the First Law world though. Juvens, Kanedias, Bedesh, Glustrode seemed to have been functionally immortal, as do the Magi. 

The image of Logen cursed to wander the earth forever bearing the Bloody Nine does have a certain ghoulish appeal...

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16 minutes ago, Gaston de Foix said:

Near immortality isn't unknown in the First Law world though. Juvens, Kanedias, Bedesh, Glustrode seemed to have been functionally immortal, as do the Magi. 

The image of Logen cursed to wander the earth forever bearing the Bloody Nine does have a certain ghoulish appeal...

Logen is undeniably getting older.  He thinks about his body aging in the First Law trilogy (when he's in his mid/late thirties), and many people in Red Country comment that he looks like an old man (when he's in his early 50s).  So IMO it's virtually impossible that Logen is truly ageless. 

Now it could be possible that the B9 makes him age more slowly.  His strength and fighting prowess in RC seem borderline impossible for someone in his 50s.  It's not like Logen has been able to have a protein rich diet to maintain muscle mass or access to any medical care to help with his battle ruined body.  But then, Logen regularly does things that seem borderline impossible, and usually this is laid at the feet of the B9.  In RC it seems like he's able to turn the B9 on at will, unlike in the trilogy when it only comes out when he's particularly angry.  He was nearly killed in a couple of battles in the trilogy without a peep from B9.  Regardless, you can make the argument that Logen is aging more slowly, but there isn't a ton to support it.  It feels like motivated reasoning to get the result you want (namely that Logen is still alive and still physically threatening in spite of his very advanced age). 

Edited by Maithanet

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1 minute ago, Maithanet said:

  Regardless, you can make the argument that Logen is aging more slowly, but there isn't a ton to support it.  It feels like motivated reasoning to get the result you want (namely the Logen is still alive and still physically threatening in spite of his very advanced age). 

Sure, it's an inconclusive argument at best. The thought inspired by your reflections is - is the B9 taking him over? Or is he able to control it better?

I personally would be fine never seeing Logen again. 

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3 minutes ago, Gaston de Foix said:

Sure, it's an inconclusive argument at best. The thought inspired by your reflections is - is the B9 taking him over? Or is he able to control it better?

I personally would be fine never seeing Logen again. 

I had hoped that Logen would not appear again after TFL and definitely hope so after RC. 

As for speculations on the B9 taking over, that is something we discussed back in the RC thread, but overall I don't subscribe to that theory.  He said that in his younger years that he would be B9 for months on end, and we don't see anything like that in RC. 

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43 minutes ago, Gaston de Foix said:

I concur.  But Stubby, why would Logen be intimidated by Broad's ladderman tattoos?

I just figured = as has been mentioned already - that he is getting old and sees a bit of himself in Broad.

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31 minutes ago, Maithanet said:

Indeed, that makes very little sense.  For that matter, Logen yelling at the old man to shut up is kind of out of character too. 

I think this is meant to be sort of like a Roschach test Easter Egg, where it is always going to be ambiguous whether this was Logen or not, and you just have to decide for yourself.  A big guy with a scar on his cheek and a notched ear is clearly intentional on Ambercrombie's part, but he could just be teasing us, since it is hardly impossible there there would be a big guy with similar scars. 

Remember that Logen would be almost 70 by now.  Given the amount of very hard living Logen has been doing, it isn't even particularly likely he'd still be alive (unless you think that the B9 is some kind of spirit which extends his life, which would be a theory based on virtually nothing).

It could just be that. But I even speculated that it might be deliberate misdirection - as in is this "the lamb" that ate the lion?

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