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zhai'helleva bitches

May 2008

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callsigns in companionz

Arrow's Fall chapters 1-6 discussion

The last book of the first trilogy, and omg dramorz! If you've read the series before, you know what's coming, but since we're just discussing the first six chapters,

MAAAAAN! I felt so much for Talia as I reread this! It was cool, because Misty really dives into the Valdemaran political arena in this book, and I almost felt as out of depth as Talia! Except as Queen's Own, she rose the occasion AS HER UNIQUE ABILITY ALLOWS HER TO DO! I think maybe Misty doesn't have a total grasp of Valdemar's geography yet, too - I know the Pelagirs are in the northwest? But later on, aren't they in the south? Oy, maybe it'll be answered later on, hah.

But no, about the lifebond, did y'all want to smack everyone's heads together? Of course you did! I had forgotten how frustrating that threesome situation was, with the non-communication between Talia and Dirk and Kris. Also, ouch, requited love that no one talks about. I couldn't help but imagine joyfulseeker's Pete/Patrick scenario, but in real life, with a lifebond - right? I mean, they can't talk about it, Patrick's cheeks flame and Pete stutters awkwardly, but they work together, aw. Aw, Patrick drinking himself to distraction because he thinks he can't have Pete, Pete sending scrolls of lyrics! Aw! *fans self*

You know what bothered me more in this book than in the previous ones? The continued mentioning of Talia getting her sexual education from Rolan's shenanigans! I mean, what? How does that even work? Is it like an overwhelming flood of emotion, or does she learn mechanics from it, or . . . eesh, I don't even know!

Urrggh, you know, I read ahead and I really want to talk about the second half of the book. But I won't! I liked the foray into Hardorn, how distinct the societies are set up, but I thought the whole mirror communication thing was a little laughable and stupidly intricate.

I don't know, what'd you guys think? *runs in circles*

joyfulseeker will be finishing the book on Monday, so this would be a great time to go out to the library/bookstore/your basement and get The Last Herald-Mage Trilogy, Magic's Pawn, Magic's Promise and Magic's Price. (I know the Tarma and Kethry books were *technically* next, but so what, let's get to Vanyel!)


ZOMG THE RIDICULOUS NOT-EVEN-LOVE-TRIANGLE WAS SO RIDICULOUS. I forgot how totally annoying I found Dirk's mopiness. I did like that initial conversation with Kris, though, where you could see how Kris was totally oblivious to the impression he was giving Dirk about his relationship with Talia. It really fit with his character, the way he just doesn't seem so good with subtle interpersonal interactions.

Also, I realized that it was actually kind of...cruel to you to make your section end at chapter six. Corollary to that--my view of this book was waaaaay warped. They spent way longer in Haven than I remembered, and it took much longer than I thought to get to Hardorn and the rest of the action. Also, hey, how about that foreshadowing?

The continued mentioning of Talia getting her sexual education from Rolan's shenanigans!

Hey, that is a very good point! I mean. Okay, not to delve too deeply into horse-y lovemaking, but. I don't think the two experiences would be so comparable as all that.

Also, yeah, I think, wasn't there a map in this book? And the Pelagirs were northwest, but Lake Evendim was due West, and so if you extrapolate that maybe what Valdemar knows as the Pelagir Forest is just the first trailing edge of the larger Pelagirs, it could make sense? Except where is Rethwellan...? There's a message here, I think. ALWAYS START WITH A MAP. Whoa. Speaking of maps, check this out. OH MAN. OH MAN I HAVE FOUND THE FANFICTION.
Have always been mildly weirded out by the Rolan's shenanigans thing.

There's actually some fic in various LJ comms, but the one I saw has been dead for a while, and one of the more active comms just shot someone down who was asking after fic. I think people had to get permission to post their fanfiction or something like that back in the day. You had to be a member of Queen's Own or . . . eh, something. And you had to sign a legally binding release form about how you knew Valdemar/Velgarth was ML's intellectual property. And at one point you actually had to be making OCs rather than using her characters. It was a whole complicated thing.
I had forgotten how long they spend in Valdemar before heading to Hardorn as well. And how much I wanted to start slapping all members of the threesome. I admit, this section makes me less enamored of Dirk, which is really too bad. I think when I was younger, I empathized with him more, but now I want to yell at him that he's not a fifteen year old girl. Learn to communicate, damn it!
There was going to be a response to other stuff, but I've just been waylaid by geography and my copy of The Valdemar Companion. (Nearly forgot I owned it, actually.) This is totally okay, because otherwise I'd go into a rant about the threesome situation, and I think you summed it up nicely. Anyway, back to geography!

Arrow's Fall does have a map in the beginning of the book. I've just taken a look at map in the front of Magic's Price as well, because it's a lot simpler to read. The Pelagir Hills on both maps are actually called the High Hills in the VC. On the other hand, IIRC they actually do talk about the Pelagirs FOREST in later books. I'm pretty sure it's either By the Sword or one of the T&K books. There's a bit where someone from Rethwellan is talking geography with someone from Valdemar, and they find that they're calling different places the Pelagirs. I think that's partially because the forest really does stretch all the way up the Western side of Valdemar, with a few clear patches in between, the biggest being Lake Evendim. (It's smack Seriously, the forest takes up at least a third of Valdemar. I wish the map had been done in color. It'd be a lot easier to deal with. Even the big version that Firebird Arts sells is in sepia tones.

I almost forgot Iftel existed until I saw the maps. Man, Iftel is hilarious. At any rate, if anyone has a glossary-type question or stuff along those lines, the Concordance takes up about 250 pages in the Valdemar Companion. It goes up to 2001 of the published stuff (through Brightly Burning and Take a Thief) and I'm more than happy to flip through my copy if you don't have your own.

Oh, hey, page 5 of the VC: "I had to lay out Valdemar in my mind - and let me tell you, that was no great joy, because I hate, loathe, and despise maps." ALL OF A SUDDEN, THIS MAKES MORE SENSE. Apparently she made Lake Evendim round for shits and giggles.
I still maintain that all of the Talia/Dirk/Kris stuff should have been solved with a threesome. *nods*

And yay for Vanyel!
I THINK THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN DELIGHTFUL. Seriously, all of the talk about how deep and meaningful Dirk and Kris's relationship was...I'm just saying. It could have been awesome.

Actually, though, I do wish that there'd been more interaction between Dirk and Kris, because we HEARD a lot about that relationship, and didn't really get to see much of it.