What a crazy week! So much happened in this week’s readings; even though it is a re-read for me, I am greatly enjoying the book and found it a little hard to stop.
This week’s reading included Chapters 24-34. Schedule over HERE.
1. Lightsong is beginning to remember his past, or at least, what he thinks is his past. Why do you think this knowledge is coming to him now, after five years as a Returned?
I think his subconscious is preparing him for big things. He has to believe in himself for what is to come. Once upon a time he did something heroic and bold and he needs that piece of himself again. It’s been buried all these years, waiting for the right moment to strike, like a hidden panther.
Or perhaps his servants will run out of grapes and he will have to peel them himself.
2. In this section, Vivenna has learned a lot about herself, and not necessarily to her liking. How do you think the new knowledge will change her going forward?
I think it was healthy for her to admit she was a hypocrite. Learning that ‘your people’ are gangsters and prostitutes and feel that they are better off in the slums of Hallendren rather than the empty slopes of Idris must have stung a bit. In some ways, Vivenna became a much more interesting person in this week’s reading- having to confront what she would do in a moment of terror. Perhaps now she will vary her daily dress a bit.
3. From the beginning of the book, both the Idrians and Lightsong have been telling us that the Returned aren’t Gods, and that the Hallendren religion is untrue. Now, though, we’ve had a few other different perspectives: Jewels’ vehement faith in the God King, the God King’s own belief in his divinity, and finally, Hoid’s collection of historical stories. Given the new information, have your ideas about religion in this book changed? How do you view it now?
Most importantly, it was very good to see Hoid again. He turns up here and there in other Sanderson books.
Religion is an organized group of people who believe roughly the same thing. Hallendren definitely has it’s religion – with some of the Returned subscribing to it and others not. I really love how Sanderson weaves together all this religious turmoil into the story line. I think Lightsong is deeply disturbed by the religion surrounding him, because he does not believe himself worthy of such adoration and dedication, not to mention the breaths he must take from children each month.
Susebron has known nothing else. Siri is the first person he has had contact with that has been honest to his face about not believing in his divinity. While the priests that surround him use religion as a tool to maintain power, they have always reinforced his belief in his divinity.
The only way I can think to relate to this is by looking at my mundane life and imagining someone telling me, very seriously, that I am divine. Huh? You must be a little nuts. Go put the harp away. No, we don’t need choir music. OK, leave the candles if you must, I wanted to read anyway.
4. Denth says, “Every man is a hero in his own story.” What do you make of this, especially given Denth and Vasher’s apparent rivalry, and Vivenna and Siri’s different perspectives of life in Hallendren and the Gods’ court?
Siri is making the best of an impossible situation. She wasn’t trained for this position, she was ordered to it last minute, and when she gets there, it is not as advertised. I think she is doing remarkably well. It is a good thing she is flexible.
Vivenna started off as pretty inflexible and it was her stubbornness and idea of ‘Right’ that got her this far. But this week, we saw a lot of her believes challenged. I am expecting this to lead to personal growth on her part.
Denth and Vasher. this is a a re-read for me, so I won’t say too much. So far, we have spent very little time inside eithers’ head. We’ve heard more chat from Denth and how he has taken pains to protect Vivenna. On Vasher’s side, we have seen a lot of threatening postures, a few deaths/injuries, and several occasions where he goes out of his way not to kill. So far, they are both suspicious to me.
Hoid’s storytelling performance with the various thing she pulled out of his pockets was very cool.
Hopefinder and Blushweaver: That was a very entertaining conversation, with all the back and forth.
Do you think Clod has any of his personality left? It was pretty amazing how the Lifeless retained such mobility and fighting skill.
Sooner or later, Siri will have to explain to Susebron exactly why she bounces on the bed, making moaning noises. I find it entertaining how she is in the awkward position of sooner or later explaining the mechanics of reproduction.