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zhai'helleva bitches

May 2008

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flying pigs

joyfulseeker in companionz

Arrow's Flight Discussion (whole book)

Guys. Guys I TOTALLY want to make Patrick and Pete end up lifebonded to each other! WRETCHEDLY. Because this:

It was almost, she decided a bit reluctantly, as if Dirk was some hitherto-unrecognized, hitherto-unmissed, other half of herself, and that she'd never feel whole after having met him...

The feeling of a lifebond forming would be incredibly scary, I think, if you were used to being independent, and I think Patrick is VERY used to being independent. So he would be all angry and scared and in denial and feeling a rising sense of trapped panic when he realized what was happening, because he liked being who he was, wandering wherever he heard a song, self-contained and content with himself and his music. He'd sung the old songs, of course, and he had the training to put the right emotion into the songs to make his audiences sob, but in his own mind, deep down where he only half-consciously thought of key changes and tricky fingerings, he was relieved to be ordinary. OH THE GLORY. and of course Pete would be VERY VERY SAD and not knowing what was going on or why Patrick was avoiding him and when they met was cool and withdrawn, yessssss I CAN SEE IT ALL SO CLEARLY.

Anyway. Moving away from my OTP tendencies...

So! Talia is finally an adult! Who gets to have sex! It's interesting to see the way Lackey framed that shift in relationship between Kris and Talia, because very little in the way they interact has changed, except for the sex. It strikes me as a little...idealized. Also, can I just say that if you have no idea what people do during sex, reading the sex scenes in this book will not help you at all. It's funny, actually. The scenes are kind of written in code, so that once you know the mechanics, you can interpret what's going on, but without that knowledge, it's all very nebulous. I can remember thinking that there was something about mouths and feeling good. And skin. And that it was all very glowy. Which is actually not a bad view to have of sex when you're nine or ten, though the glowy bit probably wasn't.

I'll admit that I got excited every time Dirk's name appeared on the page. I'm a romantic; I've basically been waiting eagerly for the romance. Especially since it involves lifebonds, which now freak me out when I think about them applied to myself (good lord, how codependent can you get? To feel like your SOUL is INCOMPLETE without another person? eek), but when I was younger I thought were the greatest idea ever. Anyway, not important. What's important is that Dirk is kind and good and loves kittens and babies. IT SAYS SO IN THE BOOK. HE'S THE PERFECT MAN. It's interesting to see that Lackey really was laying the groundwork for this plot early. As far back as Arrows of the Queen, with the first Herald Talia met being Dirk, and then the watching-the-Gift-training scene. I approve!

Lord Orthallen, though. I do not approve. He was clumsily done. I practically expected him to cackle in the scene with Kris at the start of the book. At the very least he should have been wearing a pointy-hatted turban, stroking a pencil-thin goatee while a blue Genie sang "Prince Ali" in the background. This unsubtlety was probably exacerbated by a lack of control over the book's omniscient narrative--the scene was almost entirely from Kris's limited point of view, but Orthallen was depicted in quite negative terms, with a "smug smile" on his lips at the end of the scene, a description from the omniscient narrator (who has a clear agenda) that isn't from Kris's point of view, but seems like it is, and contrasts jarringly with Kris's response to his uncle, and the way he went on to be suspicious of Talia.

However, in this book, I think you can feel Lackey settling into her style. Talia's feelings of guilt and her spiral into despair are heartbreakingly plausible, and I have particular fondness for the "ground and center" training montage. I love a good training montage. I have to admit, I'm champing at the bit to get to the next book. I remember that there's pining! I can't wait.

Ooh, other discussion topics:  Threesome lifebonds?  I think it has potential, y/y?


Next up, Arrow's Fall! callsigns   will be discussing chapters 1 through 6 on Thursday. I will be finishing up the book with chapters 7 through 12 on Monday.

Comments

I have particular fondness for the "ground and center" training montage.

Have you heard the song that goes with it? Or any of the filk for the books?

Let me tell ya- Mercedes Lackey's voice is...erm...well. She tries very hard!

Lifebonds, Companions...it's AMAZING to me how these things were SO COOL when I was 13, and now I look at them and immediately feel skeeved. In fact, I kind of think Companions are like the beginning brainwashers for this weird suicide cult.

"Hello, homeless/abused/neglected/misunderstood/gay/ugly child verging on puberty! I am a large white mode of transportation that will take you ANYWHERE, and LOVE YOU FOREVER. Except for this little bit here, in the tiny print, where you're going to spend your life with me as the voice of you conscience in your head. But LOOK! OVERWHELMING LOVE, the likes of which you have never experienced. Okay, choose now!"

I dunno. Maybe it's just me. And it's not like it utterly ruins the stories for me or anything, but damn...Companions creep me out when I think about it too hard.
Yeahhhhhh. Um. I mean, the nice thing is that she makes a very good living from being a writer? So at least she doesn't need to be a strong singer?

Yeah, you're right about the more disturbing aspects of Companions and being Chosen. Except! Don't forget! These kids are SO GOOD that they were MEANT to be Chosen! it's the best, most rewarding thing for them, and they'll tell you that. (cultcultcultcult)
I cannot lie. I own all the Valdemar albums before the ones they released for the Mage Winds Trilogy. *hangs head* And maybe a copy of Mercedes Lackey...Live! (Oh, Firebird, why couldn't you have gone for the cheap zombie joke?)

So true! Because you know who will tell you how not brainwashed they are best of ALL? Yeah. Heh.

Pete's Companion. I desperately need to imagine who would Choose Pwentz.
I nominate Joe! Except that I sort of hate to take away Joe's human body and give him the body of a HORSE. Poor Joseph. Um. Charlie?
agh i just got my books today! [well the other day, but they've now just been rescued from my trunk!]

*tries to read fast!*
That's okay! They're short! They go fast!
i will read them at work!
Oh Fi, I'm so glad you're playing along! They're quick and easy reads. <3333
okay! i am going to read them soon!
Also, thanks ever so.

Now I have that fucking song from Aladdin stuck in my head.

"...handsome is he, Ali Ababa
strong as ten regular men..."

AUGH!
Well, considering that it was going through my head all day, I'm just glad I could share, because sharing is caring, you know.
Gods, now I'm going to have to find my VCR so I can watch the damn tape.

Also, I see your fluffy bunny, and raise you a chinchilla.
I bet Patrick would also get massively frustrated, because of course Pete is a Herald, so he's always throwing himself into these really dangerous situations, and if something happened to him Patrick would be COMPLETELY CONSUMED WITH WOE and that's just not really something Patrick is into.

Kris and Talia basically end up the way so many of my favorite male/female buddy characters are, where there's maybe sex but really they just kind of end up BFF/sibling-y and braid each other's hair and talk about boys. Or girls. Or, um, magical talking horses. It's totally massively idealized, but that is A-OK in my book. THE THIRD BOOK IS BASICALLY ALL PINING, ALL THE TIME. I LOVE IT. AND DIRK. BECAUSE DIRK IS MADE OF SUNSHINE AND PUPPIES.

Orthallen is . . . Orthallen. He's almost the better villain, really, when you get to the third book. Because the other ones are even worse in terms of the MUAHAHA factor.