Welcome back everyone. This week we are covering Chapters 8-15 of Barbara Friend Ish’s epic fantasy The Shadow of the Sun. Lots of interesting stuff happened in this section. If you think you’d like to join us, there’s still time to do so – here’s the schedule. Also, Lady Ish is offering her book as a free ebook download for the duration of the read along. And we also have a giveaway going the entire month of April that features both ebook and paper of The Shadow of the Sun, a swag pack, and a winner’s choice of ebook from Mercury Retrograde Press.
1) Ellion has quite a mystery on his hands with yet the third assassination attempt. The assassin is the same dude, and once ‘dead’, he proceeds to disappear once again. What do you make of this elusive, reappearing, dead guy assassin?
Well, like Ellion, I believe some hither to untried/undiscovered magic is at work. Reanimating a dead guy twice – not such a big deal. Somehow forcing that body to move, heal, and pump blood like a living man – pretty friggin awesome magic. Bringing said dead guy back around after burning the corpse – What the Hell! Yeah, I’m a bit freaked out, so I can only imagine how this must be disturbing for Ellion. Although, he took that last attempt like a macho man and simply washed off and acted like nothing happened. On the other hand, we don’t really know why he is being targeted, so maybe it is best he play it cool.
2) Throughout this section, Ellion and Amien have several exchanges of words. Did you have the urge to ask them politely, yet firmly, to step out back and settle the matter for the duration of the trip?
Haha! Letitia and Iminor sort of did that, in their ever so polite (and slightly confused) way. Still, if I was around for some of those confrontations I would be tempted to ask those guys to simply lay them out on the table and measure them so the rest of us could get on with the important present day nonsense of staying alive. They obviously have a history – one of past friendship, mentor-student relationship, disagreement on studying certain dark arts, and Ellion’s horrible accident. Still, none of that angst is helping Letitia and her retinue stay alive.
3) The Tanaan suffered a great loss in the past, calling it The Deluge, believing it to have been brought upon them by a wrathful goddess. Do you believe this Deluge was due to a goddess striking a disobedient people? What could the Tanaan have done to warrant such action?
I think this is probably some natural calamity – perhaps a smaller dome volcano? That would explain the reshaping of the land, the loss of plant life, and the current smell. Humans have been interpreting acts of Mother Nature as divine acts forever – literally. It is very much human nature to blame yourself first, because that means you actually have some control of the situation and can change yourself/your actions to prevent the event from happening again. Alas, I don’t believe such thinking will benefit the Tanaan in this case.
4) The Tanaan are use to fighting in tourneys, one-on-one, and not in formations with team goals. How do you think they will take to Ellion’s attempts to school them in real combat tactics?
Not well. Many more will die because this is just too hard, too foreign. Even if they want to make the effort, in the heat of battle they will react on what has worked before – the one-on-one personal glory thing that they have been training for and competing in for years. A few odd days, perhaps weeks attempting to train under team formations will do little good.
5) Letitia has been wearing her mother’s diamond on her torc, which turns out was a gift from Amien. He crafted it himself and says it is a tool. What kind of tool do you think it is?
Yes, I’ve read this before and I should remember this, but I don’t. The way Amien said ‘tool’ and avoided explaining in detail makes me think that Letitia would not like the answer. As with all ego-driven persons, they like to go on and on about their work. Amien simply clammed up on this one. Perhaps it is like a GPS chip in magic – allowing Amien to track the diamond…or overhear conversations?
6) What is up with the Tuaoh Stone having a strong reaction to Ellion?
Hmm….Well, I would say the Tuaoh Stone wants Ellion badly, in a way he isn’t willing to give. Yep, that stone has plans for Ellion – and I think those plans involve rulership. Which is OK as Ellion kind of wants to be a ruler anyway. He already enjoys being acknowledged as royalty, so this shouldn’t be to big of a leap for him. However, he is fighting it because he doesn’t believe he is worthy in a way. I say that if he just took some time to practice impulse control, then he wouldn’t have to worry about blasting anyone else to death, unintentionally. I would say he could start by controlling the impulse to put his penis into every willing lass, but that would probably offend some ladies and would cut down on my entertainment as a reader.
Poor Easca! She seemed to really have a thing for Niede, who fell off a cliff during one of the skirmishes. And she is next in line to rule Arian, which received the brunt of The Deluge.
Letitia must feel like her world is coming apart – loosing so many friends and followers, her mother’s disappearance, and then the Tuaoh Stone doesn’t recognize her at all. And she knows something about her mother’s disappearance but chooses to keep it to herself. Very curious.
Rishan seems to have figured out that Ellion can at least receive telepathic communications directed at him. He’s not as daft as I was thinking.
My question for Barbara this week: You have used language throughout the book as a way to sew culture clash, create bonding, and swear creatively. How did you go about building the various languages into your story?
You can catch the short answer from Barbara in the comments below. For the awesome full answer, check out her blog post in response to this question: That’s Not Even A Real Word!
What Others Think:
P. S. Here is another entertaining video from Rachael Murasaki Ish – It’s her unpacking the dolls to be used for Story Time of The Shadow of the Sun.