Cast in Wisdom: Spoiler thread

Posted in writing.

This is the spoiler thread for discus­sion of Cast in Wisdom. Thanks for keeping spoilers to a minimum in the release post. Wisdom thumb

As for me: I am now working on yet-another-begin­ning for the next West novel (because the start point initially skips a bunch of things that, on reflec­tion, need to be on the page), and the begin­ning of the next (unti­tled) Cast novel.

 

26 Responses to Cast in Wisdom: Spoiler thread

  1. Dan Pierson says:

    Have others noticed that Michelle declares that there a small fixed numbers of impor­tant things (dragon slaying swords, sentient houses) but as of now leaves exactly one of each unde­fined? I wonder if this is allowing for future plans or just very small wiggle room.

  2. Aaliya Bishop says:

    Very true. Leaving the unknown out there does raise ques­tions! However this book made in roads in high­lighting the different tiers and their respec­tive lords.

    Anyone else think belle­duseo is going to take on the tower that was candallar?

    This book felt like a big shift in places. It’s the first time that kaylin really wasn’t the centre of action — she was the middle man and mouth piece for many but in terms of action, kaylin was almost a bystander, which was a nice change.

  3. Genna Warner says:

    I think Bellusdeo will take the tower. I am hoping this is what the next book is about. After all she was a queen, and ruling a fief would be similar in my opinion.

  4. Tyronne Lorne Hodgins says:

    It was nice learning more about the fiefs and their rulers. Still a lot to learn though and it’s now a little more convo­luted with Lanna­garos becoming Chan­cellor. One presumes that he now controls the zone between the fiefs. It will also be inter­esting to learn what his connec­tion will be to the Towers them­selves as opposed to the fief lords. I don’t see Belle­duseo becoming fief lord. That’s too easy. Although, if she gets around to mating with Emmerian, then maybe she does take the Candallar Tower cause I can’t see the Emperor being overly thrilled but then again who knows, Kaylin hasn’t been reduced to ash after all.

  5. Joanne Weckbacher says:

    It would be nice to have a list of char­ac­ters at the back of the book. Some­times it’s a while between novels and it’s hard to catch up on all the players without going back to another book and that ruins the story.

  6. Seana says:

    I agree with a lot of Aaliya’s comments, as well as Genna’s. Inter­esting how so many of the readers share similar thoughts on where things are going…

    I see Tyron­ne’s point about Bellusdeo taking the tower as maybe being an ‘easy’ plot choice, but I think it would be a really smart move for the safety of the city: Tiamaris has made so many changes with the help of Tara and the Norranir, and one has to believe that Lanna­garos will also be vigi­lant in the border zones ( I liked how they solid­i­fied after he was instated!).

    If Bellusdeo takes a tower, and the towers start commu­ni­cating and working more cohe­sively, (as was hinted at) then the Shadows are in trouble!
    I do wonder though, what would happen to the Norranir in Tiamaris? If the ‘god’ once again has her own dominion, one has to think they’d want to reside there…

    Michelle, as always, a bril­liant book! It was inter­esting to see the plot driven by various other char­ac­ters, without Kaylin being excluded. Inter­esting too, to ponder how the dynamics will change if members of the cohort do actu­ally become students of the Acad­emia.

    I have been wracking my brain as to how you will select the dragon mate for Bellusdeo. Like Tyronne, I kind of figured it’d have to be Emmerian, but you are good at the plot twists, so… maybe not? I have always been curious though why you changed the Emper­or’s name from his initial appear­ance at Kaylin’s house incog­nito, to the following book?

  7. Tyronne Lorne Hodgins says:

    Hey Seana — I didn’t know Michelle had changed his name. In which book did it change? Although, there are many pluses to Bellusdeo taking the tower, the main reason why I don’t believe she will is simple: She is the warrior queen — She has always fought the Shadow. Taking a Tower would limit her ability to fight primarily on the defen­sive only and let’s face, Bellusdeo is not defen­sive by nature. You and Aaliya are correct in that this install­ment was more driven by the other char­ac­ters as opposed to Kaylin which just goes to show how Michelle’s writing style continues to mature and evolve. I love her story­telling regard­less of what­ever series she is working on.

    I’m happy that Michelle is writing a stand a lone for Severn. I really wanna know what makes him tick as it were. I almost wish Michelle would write short stories for some of these Elantra char­ac­ters as she did for some of the char­ac­ters in the Jewel Markess story (even if they were just chap­ters that didn’t get included in the final book). These short stories always provided an insight into the char­acter that made reading the main story line that much richer and more detailed, if that’s actu­ally possible.

    Anyways, I look forward to the release of her next novel — no matter what it is since she is on my auto­mat­i­cally buy when released list!

  8. Paula Lieberman says:

    I told a friend “If you don’t like cliff hangers skip the Epilogue! ” (He likes epilogues. However, he hasn’t read the books yet – he went suffi­ciently blind that he listens to audio books, he can’t read novels’ worth of text anymore. I hooked him on the West books by reading about the winged cats aloud to him over the phone in one of the House War books.… ]

  9. Paula Lieberman says:

    GAH!!! Wrong series, wrong book! The hazards of reading books simul­ta­ne­ously and in close order… the warning above about Epilogue was for the latest Invis­ible Libary books, which has Dragons, and I got confused when I was writing the above…

  10. Seana says:

    Hey Tyrone,
    Excel­lent point about Bellusdeo being offen­sive versus defen­sive in her approach to Shadow and how taking a Tower could impact that.

    Re: Emperor’s name— it was Darian­daros (sp?) in Cast in Flame when he came incog­nito to Helen for the first time. In Cast in Flight it was Darranatos. Not sure why, though I liked the first name better.

    I’m also really looking forward to Severn’s book! I have it pre-ordered.

    Did anyone catch the cute refer­ence to Marrin’s kit? A nice homage to Rohan, I think the Leon­tinecub was called?

  11. M says:

    Hi Seana,
    Darian­daros is the Emperors actual name in the series. With Cast in Flight somehow Darranatos was put in place. Darranatos was the greatest and most deadly of the Kialli (a Duke of the Hells) in the West novels. I would have to go back and look but I believe Michelle commented on that mixup in one of the blog posts after Cast in Flight came out

  12. Seana says:

    Thank you M, for the clar­i­fi­ca­tion!
    I don’t read all the blog posts so I must have missed that comment from Michelle.

  13. DeDe says:

    Loved the book. Lanna­garos!!! Yes, that’s a lot of excla­ma­tion points. :) The Univer­sity setting was prob­ably my favorite from the entire series. The dialogue had me giggling/snorting so many times.

    Not sure who will take the Tower. Bellusdeo does seem to be an obvious choice. and Maga­rron certainly has expe­ri­ence in dealing with head­strong enti­ties.

    One of the cohort could take it. But is anyone else wondering if the cohort (Terrano esp) will be ‘taking control’ of Ravellon?

    Thanks Michelle!

  14. Julianne Single says:

    Ok, so I’m going to be different and spec­u­late that Maggaron should get the fief. He is perfect for it given his history and his famil­iarity with Dragons may help given the Tower’s sentience. He is also cast adrift and I’ve always thought a sad loose end and too big to be following Bellusdeo around like a lost puppy. Not to mention that putting Bellusdeo in charge of the tower would keep her from following Kaylin around in her chosen task as protector. Not that I don’t think Bellusdeo wouldn’t take the tower if she felt she needed to just not that it would be a good fit unless she wanted it for a hoard.

    Anyway Michelle hinted at future changes though and I can’t really guess as she’s always had a good skill will misdi­rec­tion. The book did feel some­what tran­si­tional to me though, enjoy­able though it was for the fast pace and many new relava­tions. Char­acter inter­ac­tions as usual were my favorite part of the series though there was a bit more visu­al­iza­tion of the world in the impromptu inspec­tion trip of the fiefs. I did miss a follow up with the high halls and spike, given the major recent reno­va­tions but figure they will reap­pear later. Not to mention Kaylin’s newest name held.

    It may be the tradi­tion­alist in me who was still a touch disap­pointed that Kaylin as the unsung hero took such a secondary role in this story. Or perhaps its that so many of the other stories gener­ally result in some sort of growth or self discovery for her. And to be fair Kaylin did manage to use her powers for the first time in a conscious and delib­erate way that wasn’t healing. But it sort of felt like besides a few minor things the day might have been saved without her being there at all which isn’t the feeling you want for your underdog heroine playing with the big dogs. You kinda want her contri­bu­tion to be unique, needful and irre­place­able espe­cially as we near the end of the series and more and more powerful players are intro­duced. Like if there had been at least one thing she had done on her own that was deci­sive in the saving of the Acad­emia without help it would be ok.

    Well, anyway I may have also been happier if the two major events that have been hinted over and been such a large focus for Kaylin, becoming Corporal and meeting the Emperor at court, hadn’t lacked any sense of cere­mony or recog­ni­tion at all. (Though Kaylin wanting to write the news on Margo’s board and inter­rupting at the risk of life or limb to correct everyone was spot on I thought) I just thought those events had been mentioned so many times before when they happened it wouldn’t be just so…casual I guess .

    Alright so I admit that while I love and welcome all of Kaylin’s friends, Kaylin is who I met first and she holds a special place in my heart so I’m a little biased maybe. And I’ve always been one to vote for the underdog to win, it makes you think all things are possible.

  15. Kathy says:

    I like every­one’s theo­ries. I just haven’t been able to get past two things. The first, that Ravellon itself seemed to fall ill. Some­thing was removed or lost that it needed. Everyone was so focused on it that they missed the Acad­emia fading. The black dragon came later and appeared to be infected by the illness infecting Ravellon. Also, the illness of Ravellon makes me wonder if the “one offs” entering other fiefs weren’t an attempt by Ravellon to call for help. The one Kaylin fought with Morse was like Star­ranta.

    The second thing was the cold­ness of the book that Kaylin carried out of the Acad­emia. No one else would touch it. Maybe could touch it? That book was key in tipping the battle against Candallar(sp?).

    Kaylin is changing. I think we are going to see her learning more about her talents and the runes covering her body in the next few books. I think that was why she was such a quiet hero in this book.

  16. Mary Allen says:

    I just quietly laughed to myself at Night­shade being forced to sit in a class and change classes like a young kid.

  17. Julianne Single says:

    I’ve noticed that its always been hinted that there is an over­ar­ching intel­li­gence behind Ravellon even from the first book when the ancient tells Kaylin not to let the portal open or some­thing like that but it is hard to base any theory on the 1st book because Michelle has been noted to speak her dissat­is­fac­tion with the book and several things were changed such as the number of chil­dren murdered, to the number of races living in Elantra and even the extent of Kaylin’s mark­ings.

    But other books often hint that Ravellon was “waking” and another (can’t remember I think maybe decep­tion? ) Kaylin spec­u­late that Makuron is perhaps just a highly place pawn in return for the power granted him. So that’s back to Michelle’s talent at misdi­rec­tion which is some­times hard to pick out from her delib­erate changes from canon (I will call anything that makes it to print canon) from the things she acci­den­tally forgets about. (For example the weather, though often there are many small things that change I think telling the cohort about the crea­ture under the cavern was one because they had discussed it prior but acted like it was new in Decep­tion)

    I feel like the book was more or less explained Terrano felt that Kaylin could see it and Lannatin when no one else could because she had stepped slightly to the side or “phased” though while that explains to me why the book and Kaylin became so cold it doesn’t really explain why everyone could still see Kaylin. Also a big deal was made about how she should hold onto the book because she was the only one who could see it in fear it could be lost but after returning it to Lannatin he leaves it lying on a desk in the middle of a battle and after­wards the Arkon picked it up and held onto there­after. Also I m a little fuzzy on the whole how Kaylin managed to “heal” the book but all it did was trans­port Candallar she had to still go and heal Star­rante… somehow.

    I agree the one off in Barren was a bit like Star­rante, also there were spider crea­tures spin­ning webs in the consort’s cham­bers in decep­tion. Star­rante mentioned his people were often useful because they can span many exis­tences I think he hinted at concern that his people made good minion for shadow but he had long ago left.

    It makes me wonder about that over­ar­ching intel­li­gence in Ravellon and what shadow is and does. Terrano described in Decep­tion that shadow was like a web with threads one such thread was attached to Spike which was healed leaving Spike inde­pen­dent again.

    So like Kaylin I wonder what is Ravellon and what is shadow exactly. I did like how the Arkon’s mirror showed Kaylin the fall of Ravellon and the rise of the towers. I’m hoping with the return of the Acad­emia that Kaylin will quit complaining how she is stupid and go and ask the right ques­tions of people that were there when Ravellon fell.

  18. Asia says:

    I loved the idea of Acad­emia the building, the history and how it connects to Towers and Ravellon. The Arkon role and the tran­si­tion to new posi­tions was also inter­esting And Night­shade as a student :)

    Also, i liked how commu­ni­ca­tion between Night­shade and Kaylin the fact that it is changing becoming more personal, inti­mate even I am keen to see more of that, to see how it will develop — Night­shade ignored the ques­tions about the mark when asked by the Guardians and then there is that poss­esivens we have seen in the previous book so their rela­tions is changing, growing the ques­tion is in what direc­tion?!

  19. Seana says:

    Julianne, very inter­esting points!
    I hadn’t thought about Maggaron for the tower. It would certainly give him a purpose outside of Bellusdeo, and not hugely disrupt her story arc/ devel­op­ment.

    The idea of Ravellon being sick wasn’t one I had really consid­ered but I like it over a case of simple evil-ness. Evil and wrong-doing has a place in providing an adver­sary but it does feel like Michelle is asking us to ques­tion our concept of Ravellon, given Spike and Star­rante.

    Intriguing notions afoot!!! This is the only down­side to joining a series as it is being written- no binge reading all the way to the conclu­sion!!

    Michelle, you are awesome, and each book makes me fall more in love with your char­ac­ters and hungrier for the next instal­ment.

  20. Kathy says:

    You know who would be a good fit at the Acad­emia? Terrano. He’d make a really good instructor of the Art and Conse­quences of Temporal Disrup­tion and Travel. Advanced Students only.

    I don’t know why, but I’d like to see Severn take Candallar. It wouldn’t exclude him from Kaylin’s life but it would give him a center.

  21. Julianne Single says:

    No Terrano would make a terrible instructor ;) espe­cially any class “conse­quences of anything” heh. The others seemed to think Terrano deserved to be stran­gled for the things he taught former allies now enemies because he DIDN’T think of the conse­quences. I doubt he’d have the patience for a tower. He would get so totally bored and shadow would take over while he prac­ticed flying… invis­ibly. There are on the other hand a number of other members of the cohort that have been little explored but could possibly better fit.

    I also think Bellusdeo boredom levels might not be good for a tower either or maybe her patience. Though could see her do it for duty, but not happy unless it’s her hoarde. Person­ally I thinkif she is going to take a fief for a hoarde I’dpick the 7th fief… Ravellon itself. I can’t see her being satisfed with anything less.

    Couldn’t see Severn take it he only has eyes for Kaylin and I think hed let the world burn before he let her go again unless she tells him no and means it.

    Michelle might toss us through the loop and pick some random Joe to take over. Wouldn’t be the first time in the series for a new char­acter to come out of left field. Maybe Kaylin will give the tower self deter­mi­na­tion or some­thing.
    Ugh don’t want to wait another year haha.

  22. hanneke28 says:

    Though Maggaron might make a good pairing with the Tower of Callandar — his inside knowl­edge of Shadow and deter­mi­na­tion to fight it aligns neatly with the Tower’s purpose — I’m not sure he can and is willing to replace his devo­tion to Bellusdeo with devo­tion to the Tower. If Maggaron or Bellusdeo takes the Tower, the Norannir could spread out along the inside borders of the two fiefs; now Chan­cellor Llan­na­garos has firmed up the border zone and is plan­ning to involve other Towers, crossing that border has become one fixed street.

    I sort of hope one of the three dragons who’s hoard remains unclear will feel the urge to take Candallar, as that would let them fly again and go dragon when­ever they wanted. Their immor­tality also gives the Tower a much longer period of stability than mortal Maggaron could.

    Bellus­deo’s life goal is fighting Shadow, and before that became all-consuming, so was being a good ruler.
    As we’ve seen in recent books being a fieflord does not preclude leaving the fief for a short time if it becomes neces­sary, so she could lead some battles and forays, but it would hinder her Tower’s effec­tive­ness if she was away from her fief during crucial battles. As others here have said, this doesn’t fit well with her style of taking the battle to the enemy. Though I could wish for her to gain that freedom from the Emper­or’s edicts, she’s wise enough not to take it if she’d ever feel caged by it — she had too much expe­ri­ence of that as the sword.

    Emmerian hasn’t found his hoard yet, so the Tower might speak to him that way. As it started this life as the Tower of a well-known dragon, some of the knowl­edge and expe­ri­ence of that old dragon might have become absorbed by the Tower, and help inform Emmerian as he matures, and support him in how best to fight Shadow.
    If Bellusdeo ends up paired with him (at least for clutching purposes, since he’s the one she appears to view as the least abhor­rent at the moment), that freedom to fly and to use the Tower’s near-infi­nite internal space that’s used to catering to a dragon could be some­thing posi­tive he could bring her as his part of the bargain.

    I’m not fully convinced that Diar­muid’s entire hoard is the Palace Guard; it might like the Arkon’s library be symbolic or a part of what he’s striving for as his hoard. If the end-goal is some­thing more abstract like protec­tion of order against chaos, taking the Tower to embody that fight against the chaos of Ravellon might be some­thing he’d realise he wants to do if he’s confronted with the oppor­tu­nity.

    Tiamaris anx the Emperor each has their hoard, and with Sana­balis just accepting the office/function of Arkon I don’t think he wans to exchange that imme­di­ately for another life­long commit­ment.
    What exactly does ‘being the Arkon’ mean?
    I had the impres­sion it meant some­thing like being the remem­brancer of the dragon race, but that might have been more Llan­na­garos’ person­ality than the offi­cial func­tion going with that title…

  23. Fred says:

    @hanneke28: Tend to agree with you

    Given a situ­a­tion described in the book, I thinking that the cohort as a whole will make at least a play for the tower. Given the bond between them, it is hard for just one of them to do it. The Avatar appears to be rather active and manip­u­la­tive so it may suit both parties.

    Bellus­deo: multiple reasons why not:
    1) Her current ‘state’ (as hinted in an earlier book and at the end of this one).
    2) The tower avatar does not appear to be one that she would like. We know that Tiamaris and Night­shade went into multiple towers before ending up to the ones they now control.
    3) She has an vendetta against corrupt shadow (we now know there are different types of shadow).
    4) She has taken the role of the protector of the Chosen — not just because Kaylin is not boring.
    5) She still feels guilty from her past ruler­ship.
    6) Does not provide the freedom that she desires.

    Maggaron: doesn’t appear to have power as tower holders appear to be mages.

    Emmerian: Doubtful given what the former Arkon said and has not been shown to be a mage or have ‘power’. His fighting in the book was a surprise but did not seem to amount to much. Also the Emperor has effec­tively lost 2 of his court so not sure Emme­ri­an’s loyalty is easily switched.

    Kaylin has effec­tively bonded with Helen so she will not seek another home. She couldn’t do so before when she had the chance (Tara). Also there is now Hope which should be a major conflict with how tower work.

    Although towers might become redun­dant. Towers appear to be aimed to quar­an­tine Ravellon and Kaylin has been slowly uncov­ering the corrup­tion. Hope­fully Kaylin will ‘solve’ the Ravellon mystery soon without being the end of Kaylin.

  24. Kathy says:

    hanneke28 At one point I think Arkon was described as Histo­rian or Chron­i­cler. Not posi­tive about that.

  25. Candace says:

    There were a few key sugges­tions in Wisdom that Bellusdeo may be better off living in the fiefs. First Maggaron when he was speaking to Kaylin about her unhap­pi­ness, and later when Night­shade told Kaylin that Bellusdeo should live in Tiamaris. She is a former warrior Queen though and if she takes any fief, it may be Ravellon itself. I am not sure the Emperor would be happy to lose any more dragons to the fiefs. Even though Lanna­garos and Tiamaris have still sworn loyalty to him, at what point would the defence of the city/empire be at risk with so few dragons in the palace itself? Espe­cially if the Towers (or the school) are being attacked at the same time? I’m not sure that Maggaron is strong enough nor has the ambi­tion to want that kind of command or commit­ment.

    The cohort certainly have the power and ambi­tion to take the fief. But it seems risky for them to be so close to Ravellon. They do not have control over their powers just yet. Look at what happened in Castle Night­shade. It was also stated in a previous book (Decep­tion?) that Night­shade could not be repa­tri­ated and retain his tower. When we meet Farlonne (who is not outcast) it appears she does not have a lot of sway at court, nor “plays any polit­ical games” so her focus is mainly on her Tower. With Sedar­ious so ambi­tious would she be able to be both captain and play her games at court? But I agree, if they do take the tower they will take it as a unit.

    If there is only one Lord in Ravellon, could the outcaste dragon be a pawn that Kaylin can free as she did the adver­sary? Can the outcaste dragon be redeemed? If so, could Bellusdeo and the outcaste dragon rule the fiefs and become mates?

    Kaylin’s powers are growing. Will she be able to free the shadows in Ravellon who want to be freed? She made a conscious effort to under­stand her healing power while trying to commu­ni­cate with Killian. was self aware enough to realize she lost (mental) touch with Night­shade, she found the books, and poured healing power into Star­ranta all in a short period of time (and all without becoming uncon­scious like she has in the past). Speaking of which, does the cold­ness of the book have any corre­la­tion with the cold she feels when she healed Gilbert in Cast in Honour? I think there were books involved in that scene as well but I’ll have to go back and reread it.

    With Sanna­balis now the Arkon, will he remain Kaylin’s teacher? Will she get lessons from the High Court to better control her name bound as the Consort suggested in Oblivion? Or at least have lessons to better filter her thoughts? or will etiquette still be the main focus.

    I missed the Consort and Evanton. Hope we see them again soon.

    Love this series. It is getting so complex and still going strong. One of my favourites!

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