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      Living Room Etiquette   07/25/17

      Welcome to my living room on the internet.   Let me talk a little bit about the history of my home on the internet. I started out blogging on LiveJournal, which is a blogging community. And I talked about publishing and process, but in a fairly general way.   And that worked for a number of years.   What I almost never talked about was my books. But over time, people found my LJ, and they wanted to talk about my books, and I felt a little self-conscious talking about my books on LiveJournal, where the community was more general and more social, and talking about my books felt a little conspicuously like shouting: Me Me Me!   So: I started my author web-site. I posted sample chapters. I talked--when I had any news--about my books. I didn't post often, because I didn't want to drive people who came to the web-site purely for news or information away.   And that seemed to work.   But a funny thing happened. I'm not, and have never been, Robert Jordan, George Martin or Patrick Rothfuss in terms of my reach. I don't have the kind of buzz they generate, and I'm fine with that. I'm not Misty Lackey or Melanie Rawn, either.   I write my books. I try not to say too much about them, because some people hate spoilers. I try not to complain too much about the process, because every job anywhere is difficult sometimes. But… I can't really talk about my books as if I were a reader, because I can't ever approach them as a reader would for the first time. Or even the twentieth.   And sometimes people want to talk about the experience of reading my books. But given my general invisibility on fantasy reader radars, they haven't found many places in which they can do that.   A few years ago, my readers began to talk to each other - on my web-site, because they found people who were also interested in talking about my books there. On a release-day post about the latest novel. This made some readers unhappy because of course discussing the books meant spoilers. I then made a separate SPOILER thread, which people could easily avoid.   That worked, and I made a spoiler thread for almost every subsequent book.   So readers who wanted to discuss the book with other readers spoke to each other on the spoiler threads. I stay out of the spoiler threads. I stay out of the discussions about my books. And I've been able to do that because, while people don't always agree, they don't descend into acrimony and flames.   But the spoiler thread for Cast in Peril was 369 comments long. And that's a lot of comments, and possibly a long load time.   And I thought: maybe it's time to try forums.   I wouldn't have considered forums at all if the spoiler threads had descended into invective and angry ranting; they never have. The people who post and discuss on them have been helpful and reasonable, even when they don't agree with each other.   And what I want out of forums is for that to continue. I don't expect my forums to be crowded; I don't expect that they'll need to be moderated or policed, because of the history of the readers who have posted on my web-site.   But forums in general have rules and policies, and it's best to be clear about those up front, in case of future need. So.   The Living Room rules:   1. Since it's my Living Room, there's a strong possibility that children and grandmothers will stroll past or stop in, since both frequent my house. So I'd ask you to keep that in mind when it comes to profanity. Swear as much as I do.   2. Door to door salesmen frequently interrupt social gatherings, and they're not there to join the discussion. So: don't be that person. This isn't a tupperware party, and I don't want anyone to attempt to sell things to my visitors. If you notice that someone is advertising cheap watches or winning lottery numbers or any variant thereof, report it - and ignore it. It'll be cleaned up and swept out the door.   3. No flaming. Which is to say: no personal attacks or insults. I don't expect this will be a problem because it hasn't been - and I'd really like that to continue. Also, and this is a personal thing: don't accuse someone of trolling just because they disagree with you. Sometimes people disagree; they're not doing it to enrage or derail.   4. Things NOT to discuss on these forums: Real-world religions (any). Real-world politics (any). Explicit sexuality (because: children & grandmothers. And, to be fair, me). There are many other places to discuss any of these things - and I ask that you discuss them there. Here is not the place. This is possibly the only thing I'll be draconian about.   If, in the opinion of the management, you break these rules, we'll probably ask you to sit out the topic. If you break these rules more than once, we may ask you to sit out the week. If you can't communicate without breaking these rules, this is not the forum for you; there are lots of forums on the internet that will be more to your liking.   Also: I believe that readers should be able to discuss what they want to discuss, even if what they want to discuss is how a particular book I've written didn't work for them. For obvious reasons, I would like to personally avoid those discussions because I don't want to be a damper, and because it's not possible for me to be consistently objective about my own work. It's not entirely possible to avoid these discussions on the web-site; on the forums it will be. I've asked Tchula Ripton to moderate, as she's been the list-mom on the Yahoo West list for a number of years.   So on those parts of the forum where the discussions are about my works, she wears the big hat where necessary, because I'm not there.   As for the forums: any member can create topics, and any member can read any forum and reply there. If, for instance, you want to get people's opinions on ebook readers, you can start a post in the “Random†category, and ask.
RTJ

Evolution of Characters/plot/story over time

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RTJ    6

It's been interesting to reflect on how things have changed over time. I find myself doing this having read Hunters Death over the weekend combined with some things Michelle has said in the past about the character of Jewel on the old yahoo group forums.

 

  • Jewel was never envisioned as being the major character she is now. This from a comment Michelle had made of the old forums. But, I don't see how Jewel could be other than she is now. Someone has to fill the roll of a Sen Adept kind of character, someone who can stand toe to toe with Allasakar and it can't be Cellerient, Viandaran, Illaraphaniel or Ariane. It might have been someone from the south, a Voyani for example, but Jewel makes more sense, IMHO.
  • Sor na Shannon met the Winter Queen on the Winter road at the height of Winter and Ariane didn't kill her!? Ariane even had her Host with her.
  • Meralonne couldn't defeat Sor Na Shannon either! And yet, he is one of the four riders? Yes, I know he killed her in the battle of the coliseum, but after she was distracted. 
  • Meralonne lost his shield to a Duke of the hells. We now know that a Duke isn't the second most powerful echelon within the hells, there are Firstborn Princes such as Darronatos. It was also mentioned the loosing the shield and replacing it would be a matter of months, fifteen years later he still doesn't have a shield. How can the riders be perceived as such a danger to Allasakar if one of them can't defeat a Duke, let alone a Prince, of the hells?

I think if Illaraphaniel met Sor na Shannon as we know and see/perceive him now, she'd be a goner. It's interesting to look at the second time Illaraphaniel met a Duke in battle and how he fared better even minus his shield than he did the first time.It's interesting to wonder if the evolution of these characters has been intentional or an artifact of the changing landscape of the story?

 

Have other's noticed a similar thing? Perhaps about different characters?

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Tchula    16

I, too, will be interested to see how Illaraphaniel fares without his shield.  But I think he has become more powerful, in part, because the Hidden Ways are opening.  Since his power is derived from Arianne, and he is now on the Terafin grounds, which can access Hidden Ways, this probably strengthens him.  But the Kialli also derive power from Allasakar's presence on the plane, as well, so it may not be enough, since Arianne still resides within the Hidden Ways. Now, that may change if the Summer Court is convened in the mortal realm (the Commons perhaps?) but we'll have to wait and see.  (D'oh!  Waiting is so hard!)  ;-P

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drza44    2

I agree that the Meralonne/Sor Na Shannon relative power seemed off to me. But upon re-reads I note that for a long time now characters have been referring to Illaraphaniel being far from his power source, and at the time of Hunter's Death there hadn't been any kialli for him to fight in centuries so perhaps he was rusty.

 

Also, I noted in one of the recent House books that Sigurne offered Meralonne a mysterious ring when she thought he might be ready to give up his humanity, and he looked at it for awhile before saying it wasn't time yet. Perhaps he put away some portion of his power to assume his mantle of humanity, and when the time comes (e.g. when the Sleepers wake up, maybe?) he'll pick it back up again? Kind of how Viandaran is ridiculously powerful but can't maintain his humanity, and he has to "lower" himself down to being Avandar in order to interract with the mortals.

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RTJ    6

I agree that the Meralonne/Sor Na Shannon relative power seemed off to me. But upon re-reads I note that for a long time now characters have been referring to Illaraphaniel being far from his power source, and at the time of Hunter's Death there hadn't been any kialli for him to fight in centuries so perhaps he was rusty.

 

Also, I noted in one of the recent House books that Sigurne offered Meralonne a mysterious ring when she thought he might be ready to give up his humanity, and he looked at it for awhile before saying it wasn't time yet. Perhaps he put away some portion of his power to assume his mantle of humanity, and when the time comes (e.g. when the Sleepers wake up, maybe?) he'll pick it back up again? Kind of how Viandaran is ridiculously powerful but can't maintain his humanity, and he has to "lower" himself down to being Avandar in order to interract with the mortals.

 

I too made reference to that mysterious ring in one of my other posts, though perhaps that was in the Yahoo group days. But, I must say, I never saw it the way you suggest! Very interesting! When I saw it, I saw it as a ring meant for Sigurne! Not as a place where Illaraphaniel might place a part of his power.

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drza44    2

I too made reference to that mysterious ring in one of my other posts, though perhaps that was in the Yahoo group days. But, I must say, I never saw it the way you suggest! Very interesting! When I saw it, I saw it as a ring meant for Sigurne! Not as a place where Illaraphaniel might place a part of his power.

Now I want to go back and find/re-read that part. I hadn't really focused on it when I was reading it. I just had the impression that Sigurne was holding it for Meralonne (not waiting to use it herself). The thought that it might be holding some of his power is purely speculation...I'm not even sure I believe it myself. But I think the ring must have been brought up for a reason, and clearly many of us are expecting the Sleepers to be more powerful than Meralonne has shown himself to be thus far, so it could make sense that the ring might be some sort of key for Ilaraphaniel...

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RTJ    6

After reading the latest book, I feel my concerns over Illaraphaniel have been addressed. I still can't account for why the Winter Queen, at the height of Winter, was unable to kill Sor na Shannon.

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drza44    2

I've noticed that the it seems to take a long time/lot of effort for the uber-powerful to defeat the really-powerful. I mean, when dealing with the red-shirt level kin and kialli, it's fairly common to see a single fight end with them being dispatched and their bodies turning to dust. But once you get up into the heavyweight class, even if one is supposedly clearly stronger than the other, it rarely ends in a clear defeat/death. Meralonne fights lots of times when he's outclassed (Duke in HD that broke his shield, Darranatos, possibly Ishavriel?) and he holds his own for awhile then disengages; we saw Ishavriel defeat (forgot his name...the one that kidnapped Elena) and put his sword through his chest but not kill him; we saw Isladar impale himself on Kiriel's super blade...just for a few examples.

 

It just seems that once both parties reach a certain power level, they can fight almost anyone for a time and if they're losing they can withdraw. Maybe that's what happened with Sor na Shannon and Arianne. 

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Salty    14

It's been interesting to reflect on how things have changed over time. I find myself doing this having read Hunters Death over the weekend combined with some things Michelle has said in the past about the character of Jewel on the old yahoo group forums.

 

  • Jewel was never envisioned as being the major character she is now. This from a comment Michelle had made of the old forums. But, I don't see how Jewel could be other than she is now. Someone has to fill the roll of a Sen Adept kind of character, someone who can stand toe to toe with Allasakar and it can't be Cellerient, Viandaran, Illaraphaniel or Ariane. It might have been someone from the south, a Voyani for example, but Jewel makes more sense, IMHO.
  • Sor na Shannon met the Winter Queen on the Winter road at the height of Winter and Ariane didn't kill her!? Ariane even had her Host with her.
  • Meralonne couldn't defeat Sor Na Shannon either! And yet, he is one of the four riders? Yes, I know he killed her in the battle of the coliseum, but after she was distracted. 
  • Meralonne lost his shield to a Duke of the hells. We now know that a Duke isn't the second most powerful echelon within the hells, there are Firstborn Princes such as Darronatos. It was also mentioned the loosing the shield and replacing it would be a matter of months, fifteen years later he still doesn't have a shield. How can the riders be perceived as such a danger to Allasakar if one of them can't defeat a Duke, let alone a Prince, of the hells?

I think if Illaraphaniel met Sor na Shannon as we know and see/perceive him now, she'd be a goner. It's interesting to look at the second time Illaraphaniel met a Duke in battle and how he fared better even minus his shield than he did the first time.It's interesting to wonder if the evolution of these characters has been intentional or an artifact of the changing landscape of the story?

 

Have other's noticed a similar thing? Perhaps about different characters?

The comment I remember about Jewel is this one from the Author's Note at the beginning of Skrimish: "When I started Hunter's Death, Jewel Markess ambushed me, I had intended her to be a minor character through which the events in the poorest of the city's streets could be viewed...I hadn't counted on Jewel Markess of course and by the time I had finished Jewel's first scene, the shape of the novel shifted." So maybe our Michelle had intended for someone else to fulfill Jewel's role in the Sun Sword series, and maybe House Wars hadn't been planned at all at the time of writing Hunter's Death. I am so very glad that Jewel ambushed Michelle, of all her myriad books and her 3 series so far, Jewel is in the very top tier of my favorite West/Sagara characters.

 

As to the evolution of the power of the characters, specifically Illaraphaniel (and to a lesser extent the Sleepers, Celleriant, and Viandaran and several new characters like Brigid) I think the approach of the End of Days has something to with their change in power. Remember during the time of Hunter's Death and City of Night/House Name, Illaraphaniel and a whole friggin army! could march right past the Sleepers without a problem, now just Illaraphaniel alone and only nearby is considered too dangerous to waking them. The End of Days are coming, the Sleepers are getting restless, the power of the powerful, including Jewel, and a host of others as revealed in Oracle are getting stronger. The next book is going to be so much fun!!

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Tickle    1

Drza44 - I read it that the ring Sigurne is holding is Meralonne's ring from his time as Arianni & once he dons it he will be full blown Prince of the Arianni & will be more like Celleriant w/no mortal concerns any longer (outside of specific people, not including the Kings, but Sigurne & possibly some off the wall person, LOL). That is what Sigurne fears, even though she did offer to give it back to him. So, it could possibly hold the majority of his power or just the final shove back into his immortal being. I can't wait to find out.

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RTJ    6

Is anyone else disappointed in the evolution of Viandaran?

 

When we first learn of him in Hunter's Death we know next to nothing about him other than he is cold, powerful and likes to test. The in the Sun Sword series we learn more, much more about him and his past and then the short "The Warlord" is published and we learn even more. We learn that he *never* looses a battle he has chosen to enter. He was presented as a "God" character. Normally when author's write God characters into books the books is immediately ruined. Got a problem, bingo bango, God character deals with it, no more problem. But Michelle to my mind is the only author I have ever read where having a God character did not ruin the book -- because of the constraints she placed on him. He is a mortal who is immortal -- and he wants to die! But cannot due to the curse of his wife. Then Jewel comes along and he sees the dimmest of hopes that there might finally be an ending, Jewel promised him, basically, that if it is possible, she will give him his death. She has also made it clear it *is* possible.

 

Then in "Battle" when Darranatos shows up and it becomes clear that Illaraphaniel and Cellerient cannot deal with him, Viandaran takes to the air and draws his golden sword and shield and is on the verge of taking up the mantle of The Warlord again. Jewel desperately wants to prevent that as she *knows* it will result in the loss, forever, of his chance at the death he so craves. And she wonders if even The Warlord could defeat Darranatos and he grimly replies that he can.

 

Then in "Oracle" it is made clear that he could not have defeated Darranatos. I was so let down. It makes him so much less interesting as a character, as the only well written God character I have ever read. I was so interested in his struggle with immortality and its consequences and the consequences of his choice and his longing for death and an ending. His humanity as shown in the short story, so very different than anything a true immortal would ever be capable of showing. Can you imagine Illaraphaniel or Arianne crying over the broken body of a child? I wanted to see how that struggle played out, I wanted to see him both become The Warlord and yet, fulfill the requirements of the curse such that he could finally have an ending. I wanted him to go out in a blaze of glory!

 

But now? If he can't even defeat Darranatos then how is he even The Warlord? He's just another more powerful version of Rymark. He's someone who got what Rymark dreams of -- immortality. Rymark, as Jewel points out, is someone who dreams of power and immortality because he thinks it will let him live a life free of consequences. Viandaran has become painfully aware that that is not possible. But still, all he is is an older version of Rymark and is so much less interesting.

 

When Viandaran betrayed the City of Man on the promise of Allasakar to kill him, I always envisioned what would have happened in the absence of that promise. Viandaran vs Allasakar. I always envisioned Viandaran as being able to go tow to toe with the Gods as The Warlord. But now?

 

One last point, the swords. Kialli normally have red, Arrianni have blue -- usually. But Shianne and Viandaran have Gold/Summer colored swords. What's the significance?

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Courtenay    0

One last point, the swords. Kialli normally have red, Arrianni have blue -- usually. But Shianne and Viandaran have Gold/Summer colored swords. What's the significance?

Mortals have gold.

 

(The color of Gyrrick's bow is never mentioned;  I suspect it is gold.  Does anyone know?)

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RTJ    6

Mortals have gold.

 

(The color of Gyrrick's bow is never mentioned;  I suspect it is gold.  Does anyone know?)

 

I'm good with that, but. Kialli are formerly Arianni, were their swords blue then and change to red when they betrayed Arianne? Did they lose their blue swords during the betrayal and have to make new ones and when they did they were red? What do blue and red signify?

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crystalle    0

Is anyone else disappointed in the evolution of Viandaran?

 

When we first learn of him in Hunter's Death we know next to nothing about him other than he is cold, powerful and likes to test. The in the Sun Sword series we learn more, much more about him and his past and then the short "The Warlord" is published and we learn even more. We learn that he *never* looses a battle he has chosen to enter. He was presented as a "God" character. Normally when author's write God characters into books the books is immediately ruined. Got a problem, bingo bango, God character deals with it, no more problem. But Michelle to my mind is the only author I have ever read where having a God character did not ruin the book -- because of the constraints she placed on him. He is a mortal who is immortal -- and he wants to die! But cannot due to the curse of his wife. Then Jewel comes along and he sees the dimmest of hopes that there might finally be an ending, Jewel promised him, basically, that if it is possible, she will give him his death. She has also made it clear it *is* possible.

 

Then in "Battle" when Darranatos shows up and it becomes clear that Illaraphaniel and Cellerient cannot deal with him, Viandaran takes to the air and draws his golden sword and shield and is on the verge of taking up the mantle of The Warlord again. Jewel desperately wants to prevent that as she *knows* it will result in the loss, forever, of his chance at the death he so craves. And she wonders if even The Warlord could defeat Darranatos and he grimly replies that he can.

 

Then in "Oracle" it is made clear that he could not have defeated Darranatos. I was so let down. It makes him so much less interesting as a character, as the only well written God character I have ever read. I was so interested in his struggle with immortality and its consequences and the consequences of his choice and his longing for death and an ending. His humanity as shown in the short story, so very different than anything a true immortal would ever be capable of showing. Can you imagine Illaraphaniel or Arianne crying over the broken body of a child? I wanted to see how that struggle played out, I wanted to see him both become The Warlord and yet, fulfill the requirements of the curse such that he could finally have an ending. I wanted him to go out in a blaze of glory!

 

But now? If he can't even defeat Darranatos then how is he even The Warlord? He's just another more powerful version of Rymark. He's someone who got what Rymark dreams of -- immortality. Rymark, as Jewel points out, is someone who dreams of power and immortality because he thinks it will let him live a life free of consequences. Viandaran has become painfully aware that that is not possible. But still, all he is is an older version of Rymark and is so much less interesting.

 

When Viandaran betrayed the City of Man on the promise of Allasakar to kill him, I always envisioned what would have happened in the absence of that promise. Viandaran vs Allasakar. I always envisioned Viandaran as being able to go tow to toe with the Gods as The Warlord. But now?

 

One last point, the swords. Kialli normally have red, Arrianni have blue -- usually. But Shianne and Viandaran have Gold/Summer colored swords. What's the significance?

Yes, I am severely let down by the evolution of Viandaran. It is as if he has written off to become a background character in the last two books (Battle & worse in Oracle). 

It is as if Viandaran in the sun sword series is a different character than Viandaran in Jewel's series. And I find it very frustrating. I was hoping that as Jewel comes more to her power, Viandaran's full power, too, will be more obvious, in order to complement Jewel's. 

 

Obviously in Oracle I really do not care for the newly appearance of Shianne that took chapters after chapters that jarred and blindsided me. I rather those chapters were used to flesh out Viandaran more, especially when Caliastra also appeared. I really don't care for Shianne, especially not at this late of the series.  

 

In short, I found it very disappointing and frustrating. 

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RTJ    6

Yes, I am severely let down by the evolution of Viandaran. It is as if he has written off to become a background character in the last two books (Battle & worse in Oracle). 

It is as if Viandaran in the sun sword series is a different character than Viandaran in Jewel's series. And I find it very frustrating. I was hoping that as Jewel comes more to her power, Viandaran's full power, too, will be more obvious, in order to complement Jewel's. 

 

Obviously in Oracle I really do not care for the newly appearance of Shianne that took chapters after chapters that jarred and blindsided me. I rather those chapters were used to flesh out Viandaran more, especially when Caliastra also appeared. I really don't care for Shianne, especially not at this late of the series.  

 

In short, I found it very disappointing and frustrating. 

 

 

I don't mind Shianne, and found her fascinating and I believe she is/will be necessary in future. Or, more precisely, her child will be. Jewel only has one bargaining chip in dealing with Arianne, and that is the Summer Tree. Shianne offers a possible second, a Summer King. Note that this last is pure speculation as I have guessed at the possible identity of who a new Summer King might be in other threads and her child was only one of my guesses. But Illaraphaniel has said that Arianne requires either a Summer Tree or a Summer King. And the father of Shianne's child is Mystery and Shianne had a vision, or was visited by, the Oracle in regards to her child and the saving of Arianne. It's clear to me that Mystery, Arianne, the Oracle are playing a loooooooong game and I find it fascinating! :)

 

Viandaran/The Warlord is a disappointment, might as well just call him "Just another warlord from days gone by," certainly not -- The Warlord.

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crystalle    0

I don't mind Shianne, and found her fascinating and I believe she is/will be necessary in future. Or, more precisely, her child will be. Jewel only has one bargaining chip in dealing with Arianne, and that is the Summer Tree. Shianne offers a possible second, a Summer King. Note that this last is pure speculation as I have guessed at the possible identity of who a new Summer King might be in other threads and her child was only one of my guesses. But Illaraphaniel has said that Arianne requires either a Summer Tree or a Summer King. And the father of Shianne's child is Mystery and Shianne had a vision, or was visited by, the Oracle in regards to her child and the saving of Arianne. It's clear to me that Mystery, Arianne, the Oracle are playing a loooooooong game and I find it fascinating! :)

 

Viandaran/The Warlord is a disappointment, might as well just call him "Just another warlord from days gone by," certainly not -- The Warlord.

I don't know. I do not love Shianne character. And actually, when the book opened in "Battle" with picture of Adam with a circlet/crown on his head, I always think that Adam would make a perfect Summer King.

In my mind, it'd make perfect sense if Arianne as winter queen always chose men of great power as winter King, she'd choose men of opposite characters when she is summer queen as it's been alluded that summer queen has opposite personality from winter queen. 

 

For me, Oracle and the next book are the ultimate books in the story line of Jewel coming to her power, I rather the chapters were/are spent in building and fleshing the characters that have been around Jewel as well, including Avandar and Devon for example. 

Shianne doesn't merit that many chapters in oracle, imo, maybe in the next series (rumoured the dark arc series), the fight of Arianne and Allakasar. 

And even then, I am more curious to see the development of Stephen's(Brendan's) son, not to mention also Kiriel, Telakar and Anduvin, and Magret's cousin, and always Isladar, as I find Isladar very curious character. 

 

 

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koetsu    0

Is anyone else disappointed in the evolution of Viandaran?

 

When we first learn of him in Hunter's Death we know next to nothing about him other than he is cold, powerful and likes to test. The in the Sun Sword series we learn more, much more about him and his past and then the short "The Warlord" is published and we learn even more. We learn that he *never* looses a battle he has chosen to enter. He was presented as a "God" character. Normally when author's write God characters into books the books is immediately ruined. Got a problem, bingo bango, God character deals with it, no more problem. But Michelle to my mind is the only author I have ever read where having a God character did not ruin the book -- because of the constraints she placed on him. He is a mortal who is immortal -- and he wants to die! But cannot due to the curse of his wife. Then Jewel comes along and he sees the dimmest of hopes that there might finally be an ending, Jewel promised him, basically, that if it is possible, she will give him his death. She has also made it clear it *is* possible.

 

Then in "Battle" when Darranatos shows up and it becomes clear that Illaraphaniel and Cellerient cannot deal with him, Viandaran takes to the air and draws his golden sword and shield and is on the verge of taking up the mantle of The Warlord again. Jewel desperately wants to prevent that as she *knows* it will result in the loss, forever, of his chance at the death he so craves. And she wonders if even The Warlord could defeat Darranatos and he grimly replies that he can.

 

Then in "Oracle" it is made clear that he could not have defeated Darranatos. I was so let down. It makes him so much less interesting as a character, as the only well written God character I have ever read. I was so interested in his struggle with immortality and its consequences and the consequences of his choice and his longing for death and an ending. His humanity as shown in the short story, so very different than anything a true immortal would ever be capable of showing. Can you imagine Illaraphaniel or Arianne crying over the broken body of a child? I wanted to see how that struggle played out, I wanted to see him both become The Warlord and yet, fulfill the requirements of the curse such that he could finally have an ending. I wanted him to go out in a blaze of glory!

 

But now? If he can't even defeat Darranatos then how is he even The Warlord? He's just another more powerful version of Rymark. He's someone who got what Rymark dreams of -- immortality. Rymark, as Jewel points out, is someone who dreams of power and immortality because he thinks it will let him live a life free of consequences. Viandaran has become painfully aware that that is not possible. But still, all he is is an older version of Rymark and is so much less interesting.

 

When Viandaran betrayed the City of Man on the promise of Allasakar to kill him, I always envisioned what would have happened in the absence of that promise. Viandaran vs Allasakar. I always envisioned Viandaran as being able to go tow to toe with the Gods as The Warlord. But now?

 

One last point, the swords. Kialli normally have red, Arrianni have blue -- usually. But Shianne and Viandaran have Gold/Summer colored swords. What's the significance?

 

I must say that I am also a bit confused about Viandaran's evolution in the House Wars Series.

 

In the Sun Sword Series we learned a few things:

 

When he betrayed his city, he was powerful enough that Allasakar himself said that there was no one in his host that could defeat The Warlord.

 

He is maybe the second most powerful mage living, next to Anya, as his ability to transport MULTIPLE people only causes him the need to rest for a short while without fevers.  Not to mention the hidden home and special servants he created as his refuge.

 

He is one of the few "mortals" that can actually speak to the earth.

 

He could confidently travel the hidden ways.

 

He is viewed as an equal or threat by all immortals that meet him.

 

 

In the House Wars, same time arc, he is suddenly unsure of his own power (Dannatos), gets pushed around by cats, can't find Jewel in the hidden ways and spends most of his time carrying stuff.

 

 

Hopefully there will be a joining of the two persona.  Oh, and what was up with him and Jewel getting all close and personal in the Sun Sword and then that just evaporating.

 

That said, the books are great and I have reread the Sun Sword series multiple times.  Isladar is by far my favorite character, as I try to figure out his endgame.  I enjoy Telekar and Elena as well.  The revelations about the history of the demons in the Oracle added much to the story in my opinion.

 

Can't wait for the next book!

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HILDA    5

I have let this segment of comments go for a long time. So much time in between books and I have read them more than once because I absolutely love them. So, I have dealt with other series, although will always say: "these Michelle's books are the best". So, I reread this whole section and the comments bring me back the books. Comments that got my attention are the discussion of the, some believe, the fading powers of "Meralone", Viandaran vs. the sudden power of other less important characters, like the demons. I wonder if in the writing of so many books and different series Michelle, as a writer of so many ideas, have a record for each character, past and future. It's obvious that as much as she writes, and the variety of her books and characters, she does not have time to read and reread them all the time as we do. Remember the incredible number of characters she develops in all her books. She introduces and develops new important characters in each book, further develops the others. And because of her other series can't read and reread her books as we do.  I would go crazy. Most authors, by far, write different characters books, and avoid the problem of what they are doing from book to book. She not only has this incredible, fantastic series of humans, warriors, gods, demons, etc. where all are major, important and fascinating characters and heroes; she has also written this one like a group of mini series. So far, I believe, she hasn't made major errors from book to book. I can only believe that she must have a folder for each character she has introduced in her books. Each folder will have to have pages or sections where she adds facts pertaining to each character as she writes the book. This is the only way she can avoid errors from book to book. Not long, because she has no time; but a short sentence that will keep her straight once that character shows his/her face again. This, I think, is why, although some of you noticed some questionable actions, they are not major or unexplainable. I will add that I would like Viandaran to become again the powerful character we all believe him to be.  

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HILDA    5

Just a short mention of a comment above. Someone wondered about Meralone sword and shield , and I remembered that Anduvin promised Meralone that he will do him a new shield.

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koetsu    0

Yes, Anduvin promised Meralone a new shield if he could bring Anduvin before Arianne again.  At the time of the conversation, the true nature of the Kalli wasn't revealed, but it was obvious Anduvin and Meralone had a long history together.

 

I agree that the complexity of the books Michelle writes are awe inspiring.  And I have only indulged in one of her worlds. I too hope that some of the characters regain the majesty that she bequeathed to them earlier.

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RTJ    6

I was listening to Battle on Audible (again) and it raised two other questions I had forgotten to ask/talk about when I first read the books.

 

1) When Jewel faced Lord Darranatos he lost his sword, he swung it at Jewel and it got stuck in the ground and he could not withdraw it and in attempting to do so allowed Lord Cellierient to stab him and he has to abandon his sword. In the past this has always meant the sword or shield was lost for good i.e. Illaraphaniel's shield, or Lord Ishavriel's Shield. Or when Cellierent almost lost his sword, it was implied that if he dropped it it would be forever gone. So, how is it that Lord Darranatos lost his sword in Battle but still has it in Oracle?

 

2) When Jewel and Sigurne are talking just after the Darranatos battle, Sigurne asks Jewel if she noticed anything different about this Kiali, Jewel says yes but it is never explained what specifically she or Sigurne noticed.

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Ehtiar    106

As I'm re-reading Oracle, the one point that jumped out at me for the entertaining evolution..  is what happens when the right people suddenly realise that Jewel (via Finch) has collected the three devious minds of Jarven, Hector, and Haval all working in combination. That could have a few interesting expressions around the city.

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koetsu    0

To be honest, as I have re-read the books waiting for the new release, I will be happy when the Jewel arc is completed.  Maybe its because I joined the story in the Sun Sword series, then went to the Hunters books, where sacrifice was common.  There is too much convenience and entitlement in the latest books.  Jewel "knows" everything and everyone runs to do her bidding.  She is constantly told that she wouldn't last a second in the old world, then those same people are helpless/neutered against her.  There is no sense of drama, because in the end everything conveniently works out for her.  I could relate more to Margret and Diora and the struggles they went through.

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