AP Canavan/A Critical Dragon's superb analysis of the prologue

I wanted to share AP Canavan’s insightful analysis of the prologue to Curse of the Mistwraith, he definitely mines the precision of the language to the core meaning I intended to portray.
So much packed into a half page and four brief paragraphs of prose - this video was recorded when he was under the weather, hence, the cartoon avatar.


The prologue is what hooked me into your series, all those years ago, when I took CotM off a friend’s shelf back in ‘97. I reread it before every new instalment of the series, because of the detail about how the Light had managed to keep its reputation despite the as yet to be revealed truths. It’s that puzzle that makes me come back to each book. Like much of the readership I’m sure, I’m craving that long-deferred resolution - and it keeps me here.
The prologue also spoke to my own experience: a childhood realisation that the institutions I was being brought up in had very dark histories, but spent a lot of time unfairly blaming others. Arithon represents that story - of at once not being the story projected, but also, not living to preserve his reputation more than peace.
Like, what if the West hadn’t crowed so much in its media messaging about how Russia was beaten in the Cold War, to the moon, etc… but quietly lent a hand to post-soviet bloc countries, including Russia. Would the current leadership’s attitude be different?
I also read it in post-apartheid South Africa, where a man who’d been demonised as a terrorist was invited to Norway to receive a Nobel peace prize with his former enemy, who’s political party had jailed him for 27 years. The story seemed a break from the typical fantasy battle against a Great Evil and seemed to be from the pov of freedom fighters & tribes trying to survive exploitation from commerce.
So looking forward to the final dénouement.

Additionally, here is AP’s overall thoughts on the whole book. There are spoilers, so beware.

Curse of the Mistwraith - Initial Thoughts by AP Canavan/A Critical Dragon

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This morning’s drop from Dr. A. P. Canavan takes a passage (nonspoiling) from Curse of the Mistwraith and analyzes the prose style and technique.

As always he does a brilliant job, his eye is spot on.

If anyone you know is having difficulty reading this book due to the density of the style - this analysis is the perfect guide to follow to grasp what to look at as you read.

A P himself is a treasure and an asset to the field of SF/F - enjoy the expertise he brings to bear, it is altogether precious and too rare.


I finally got to watch his analysis, and he is so spot on. I’ve had this conversation with people I’ve recommended this series to … “I can’t figure out what it all means” or the paraphrase of Amadeus “too many words” … My response is always that you must pay attention to what you are reading. READ the specific words and understand what they are saying. Don’t skim or assume you know what’s coming based on the start of the sentence. Each word is carefully chosen to do more than one thing. You are required to think about what you just read. “Dense” prose (NOT wordy) is an understatement and the author expects you to engage your brain in order to realize her intention based on the quite specific words she has chosen.

Not a style for light frivolous reading but if you want something to make you engage with a damn good story … keep reading

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