Wow! This section sure did bring to light some mysteries, some secrets, and some social conundrums ;). If you have finally decided to join us on the epic fantasy, pop on over to Barbara Friend Ish’s place to down load a free copy of the book for the duration of the read along. Also, we have this great giveaway going on for a signed paperback of The Shadow of the Sun and other goodies. This week we covered Chapters 22-28. Next week will be the conclusion of the book (excited to read the ending, pouty because the read along will be over).
Spoilers roam free from this point on folks.
Oh, and Rachael Ish made another Story Time video, covering Chapter 2 of The Shadow of the Sun (remember this part? Ellion wandering around in only a towel after the first assassination attempt. hehe).
1) Ellion and Letitia finally have not 1, not 2, not 3, but four trysts in this section of the book. What insights into the characters did you gain from these assignations?
Each one gave me something new about each of them. Even though we really are only seeing things from Ellion’s point of view, we learn some things about Letitia too. After the first lovemaking, Letitia shares a secret about Carina with Ellion. He makes this assumption that this all part of the pattern of secret trysts he has had before. But the subsequent night (and the following morning) where they make love 3 more times, he comes to see that there is still a large part that Letitia isn’t willing to share with him. Still, he learns many things, and they have some pretty rocking sex.
2) Letitia’s retinue has diminished even further. How did this affect you as the reader and how do you think it will affect the dynamics of the remaining Tanaan?
I was pretty sad to loose Easca and Tru. While Letitia has her strengths, she is not a warrior, nor is she seen as a warrior by anyone. Tru and Easca gave this feeling of balance – females can do the protecting as much as be protected. Also, with Bealtan swiftly approaching, the male Tanaan will not have any Tanaan ladies to entertain, or compete for, so far from home. All that is secondary to loosing some great companions so suddenly. I think the Tanaan need some Tanaan reinforcements to keep things lively.
3) We’ve learned a bit more about the missing Carina in this section. What do you think is in her grimoire that has Letitia so secretive?
Something really, truly messed up. Did you hear that part where Ellion said that wizards do things that would get normal people hanged in the pursuit of their wizardry? I bet said things are gooey, messy. Letitia has several things holding her silence – the taboo on magic, the broken spear, the fact that the Tuaoh Stone did not recognize her, the mystery of where her mother went and if she is still alive. But still, she finally shares some of it – even a bit of it inadvertently. When Ellion touched the Spear, he had a vision or memory of Carina fighting Nechton. Apparently he’s handsome enough to catch even Ellion’s eye. Perhaps I should have a peak ;)? (psst! Barbara, are you going to have art made up for this book?). Barbara was kind enough to provide this post on dream casting this book and the sequel.
4) We’ve heard plenty about how much Ellion’s vow not to draw power means to him. But then we also see him finding several ways to feel, touch, smell, and use someone else’s power. What do you make of this and where do you think it will take Ellion?
Ellion is addicted. He did pretty well for a decade to leave his addiction to magic and arcane power behind him. He fears this addiction, and perhaps, maybe with good cause (jury still out on this in my mind). But bit by bit, he’s being sucked back into using. First Amien pressures him, then backs off, and then Ellion offers to let himself be used in a simple thing. Pretty straight forward. At first, I thought Ellion was relaxing a bit, being more realistic. But then finally we see him using Letitia’s power to rebuild her wards and loosing himself in the tumult that follows. Granted, this time it was sweet. But still, I am sure there were neighbors who heard the wild monkey sex screams and may have been woken a little too early.
5) Nechton also played a larger role in this section. Which aspect has caught your attentions so far?
Well, if you read the answer to Question 3, you know which aspect caught my attention and held it ;). But then there is this weapon, the Shadow of the Sun, and Aechering’s grimoire, both of which are supposedly in Nechton’s power. Those are probably more important to the story over the size of his personal equipment and contemplating whether or not he shaves his chest. All in all, he sounds like a very deadly, tainted dude who would nevertheless make a fascinating dinner companion.
6) The mummers were in and out of this section, turning up in city and on the river. What did you make of their antics?
Creepy. Mischievous. Extra creepy. Nosy. Randy. And back to Super Creepy. I would be surprised if this is it for the mummers, whether for this book or the next in the series. They would make the perfect information gathers, instigators, and assassins.
7) So far throughout the book we have gotten maps as we read. How is this working for you as the reader?
While I like the big map before the pertinent section, I still wish there was one whole map showing all of it, as covered in this book, even if it was an eyechart. I like seeing things in relation to each other, and if I flip back and forth between all the maps, I can match up the edges and get that, but I like the one big map better.
Do you think Nechton can really shapeshift into a dragon, or was it illusion like Ellion guessed?
Amien at least has a guess as to what Ellion and Letitia was up to. Perhaps will all the love making, others do too.
Are you convinced that explosion was really for Ellion? Perhaps he is being maneuvered into using his power to make it easier for some malevolent power to seduce him to the dark side. Killing off his warrior companions might just do the trick.
What Others Think:
My question for Barbara: Secondary and/or side characters can make or break a scene or a book. In building your characters and moving them through the story, what are some of the most important things you kept in mind?