The Shadow of the Sun Read Along Part II

Tofu sniffing my book suspiciously.
Tofu sniffing my book suspiciously.

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.

Other Tidbits:
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:

Coffee, Cookies, & Chili Peppers

Just Book Reading

Lynn’s Book Blog

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.

32 thoughts on “The Shadow of the Sun Read Along Part II”

  1. I lovelovelove your thoughts here! Rachael read it to me from her phone while we ate breakfast in a restaurant in VA this a.m., and we just howled! We’re still on our way home; I will write you a coherent answer to your v. cool question tomorrow. Thank you so much for all this fun!

    1. It’s because I used the terms, what the hell, macho man, lay them out on the table and measure them, and impulse control + penis, isn’t it? I made this post when I was tired and my filter between brain and mouth was not firmly in place. Luckily you have a sense of humor, unlike upper management.

    1. Yeah, even tho we have only seen a little of Easca, I am getting attached to her. And poor Ellion is being pushed toward Greatness and Glory no matter how he tries to avoid it.

  2. I also feel sorry for Easca – especially as every time she steps outside everyone assumes she’s having a tryst with Ellion! Not because it would be bad if that’s what they both wanted to do but because it hasn’t happened. The problem with that as well is if she denies it all it will just look ‘like the lady protest too much!’
    Ha, yes, maybe the stone is some type of tracking device! Good work.
    Lynn 😀

    1. Yeah, but it’s not like Easca has given any hint to Ellion that she wants to bed him. So….why do all her fellow Tanaan think she is trysting with him? Or perhaps they assume he is very randy and trying to get Easca’s attention every chance he can. Sigh. Cultural difference.

  3. Finally, the answer to the question you asked, nrlymrtl–or a partial answer, anyway:

    If you’ve been reading my blog lately, you will be unsurprised to learn that I stole. A lot. To reinforce the cohesiveness of the cultures I had built on a basis of ancient Irish myth as history, I drew heavily on ancient Irish and Gaelic languages and naming traditions, with a bit of Iberian thrown in for development of the Essuvian names and words. Where I could, I lifted words whole; where the word I wanted either didn’t exist or was too hard for someone with my VERY meager command of those languages to track down, I started with the etymological roots of those words in that end of the human language genome and built new ones. I also drew on ancient Greek and Egyptian sources for words that are, in the context of my tale, of yet more ancient vintage. In the course of developing the traders’ culture in the forthcoming The Heart of Darkness, I stole from Basque and Romani language and naming traditions. And the ubiquitous profanity fouzh, which Ellion can’t get through an entire page without, was invented out of whole cloth: I wanted something evocative of the “f-bomb”, as it is delicately styled, which would be satisfying in the English-speaking mouth but wouldn’t require me to litter the pages with something that makes a significant percentage of readers flinch, not to mention bringing our cultural norms into an entirely different culture.

    The whole answer, of course, is too long to clog up your comments thread with. Interested readers can find more discussion, and geek out with me in the comments, here:

    1. Large numbers of people flinch at the f-bomb? Hmm…..well, I may need a bar of soap.

      As a language enthusiast myself, I always enjoy seeing where an author pulls story language from in the real world. Specifically, i like guessing and when I get it right, it makes me feel superior and smug. But it is a quiet geeky smug that really no one cares about. Or so I have been informed by the masses. Perhaps the same masses who are scared of the f-bomb.

      1. As usual, I find myself agreeing with you! I remember when we were reading The Lies of Locke Lamora and I checked out the reviews on Amazon . . . he got a lot of negative reviews simply because of the swearing, which I thought was a shame.

        1. Swearing is part of the culture. If someone swears a lot it doesn’t mean that they are crude, or unintelligent. It simply means that they are uninhibited and probably wouldn’t mind if you sweared along with them.

  4. 1. I don’t think I could be quite so calm about having to repeatedly kill a man who keeps vanishing and reappearing: I’d be freaking out big time, along with lots of screaming and gibbering!

    2. I totally agree: they must be able to find at least 1 minute to talk to each other about what is going on and sort it out. Good grief! I really think that they need a slap!

    3. I agree, it sounds like a geological event of some type . . . it is rather worrying that we similar reactions to natural disasters even now: “Hurricane Sandy is God’s answer to gay marriage / Obamacare!”

    5. I like your idea about the necklace being a tracking device: I don’t think it can allow him to overhear conversations, otherwise he wouldn’t have been so surprised that she wasn’t Carina.

    6. You almost owe a keyboard, because I took a mouthful of drink before reading your answer! Yep, I’m all for voting that he should try to keep his mind off the ladies, especially as he had that nice sexytime with the lady bard early on . . . but I suppose he’s a young man with raging hormones . . . 😀

    1. Totally agree with you on the natural disaster thing. They are not sent by some divinity to punish humans for …..fill in the blank. Ridiculous.

      Hehe. Keyboard, huh? Well, you aren’t the first person to tell me that they will wait until AFTER their morning drinkable caffeine to read my posts.

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