originally posted by ishmael smith

Janny you are going to give me a Coronary…my brain, heart and emotions cannot withstand the onslaught of many more of your plot twists.

I get frustrated when i see the shortsightedness of characters, the pre-empting of possible peace, and the continual crushing of Arithon…my heart constricts as though there is a constrictor entwined about its pliant edges that is slowly, inexorably, coiling itself tighter and tighter…its surface is erupting like small postules,too much pressure applied…you're killing me Janny…you're killing me…

(that i now understand that you have multiple plans being enacted that intersect since they occur within the same geographic/spacial/temporal area, that i understand that the approach is one that is lattices more complex than that of a crystal, that i know that you are playing with a live organism that adapts and reacts, that you are strecthing your own existence, your own living self, that you are striving to be the best that you can, to be a consumate writer, and to acknowledge and live Ath's purpose in you life is of NO CONSOLATION to me!)

Could I know what part of the story prompted this response? (are you by any chance partially through Traitor's Knot, or ???)

Also - forgot - make SURE to post in the Spoiler Topic for Traitor's Knot, if you are going to reveal story –

originally posted by Trys


Sounds to me like Janny's doing her job superbly. :wink: IMO, there is no other story with the depths, the breadths, or heights that this story has reached… with yet more to come.

That said, perhaps a nice cup of chamomile tea before you start to read. ::big grin::


originally posted by ishmael smith

I completed the entire hardcover edition from Meisha Merlin in two sittings (should a been studing for exams but as is the case with all of your books so far, it was impossible once the copy was in hand…and once again…Thank You for To Ride Hell's Chasm…although your characters have character, it was exquisite to read a story where the primary character, the hero/possitive/critical/pivotal element, reflected me…Thank You)

most poignant Janny was Jenysa on the boat to West Halla…the possible repercussions are myriad to my mind and caused me to cryout in sympathy

originally posted by ishmael smith

**** this is the complete response Janny, not the previous ******

I completed the entire hardcover edition from Meisha Merlin in two sittings (should a been studing for exams but as is the case with all of your books so far, it was impossible once the copy was in hand…and once again…Thank You for To Ride Hell's Chasm…although your characters have character, it was exquisite to read a story where the primary character, the hero/possitive/critical/pivotal element, reflected me and i did not have to gloss over references to physical features to create my own…Thank You)

most poignant Janny was Jenysa on the boat to West Halla…this was the last straw, the possible future repercussions are myriad to my mind and caused me to cryout in sympathy as i percieved nothing positive for the foreseeable haul

originally posted by Hellcat

I agree ishmeal, I see more troubles ahaed for the clans of Raithan with a Caithen who doesn't trust Raiathn's crown prince.

Jenysa's reaction to her father's death, though understandable, was very disapointing. She wanted to blame everyone for Jiret's death apart from Jieret himself, who knew the risk, who put himself in that situation. No one forced him in to it.IMHO Jenysa should have trusted her father more, trusted that he knew his cause was worth dying for and she should respect his free choice to take the path that lead to his death.

Its also interesting to me how Jenysa portrays Jieret's death in the opposite way to the way it was described in Peril's Gate. In PG Jieret's death was a redemption and an opening to the mysteries, I was sad he died but his physical death truly didn't matter because he had achived spritual release and furfilment. Jenysa however concentrated on the mutilation and destruction of his phyiscal form. Did it really matter what happend to Jieret's skull after death?


originally posted by skeoke

It is very hard for me to remember that most of RAthain clans have never met Arithon.

Jieret - deceased.
Caolle - deceased.
Braggen - close mouthed.

What ARE the clans to think?

spoiler spoiler spoiler

don't look here.

you've been warned



especially with Jeynsa's vision, showing Arithon working fist and glove with Kravolir.

('Kay. That might have been misinterpretted a bit. But, what are the s'Brydion going to do when they find out. After they've been so unconditionally disowned.)

Ah well - ishmael - you ARE still alive…(grin) This series will not reward anyone who is too faint of heart to keep reading…this is, after all, the windup toward the close of an Arc, and an involved third act it is, too.

originally posted by Ruth W M

If I can peek in here…Faint of heart? I have never felt so faint of heart as I did while reading…well, the whole book! I went to work today so distracted that I never thought the clock would come 'round to time to get back to where I left off… dedicated reading has now brought me through to the end, and will take me back to the beginning VERY soon.
BTW Janny, the Meisha Merlin edition is TOPS! SO!! glad I waited. Will definitely wait again! Hope to see more gorgeous illustrations - and I LOVED the zoom maps! Congratulations on the best, headiest, writing ever! So much food for thought, my mind is like a famine victim brought to the first thanksgiving…
A million unanswered questions, like the prophetic glimpses of possible futures…what now? What is going to happen next?(wail) Think I'll go back and read again, to pick up the missed details…
Most impacting to me was the idea of personal autonomy as a ground-level right as an aware being…the potential everyone has if they just realize their self-worth in the greater scheme of things. Where this will take Arithon, I shudder to contemplate. Arithon's path to balance (his continuing path) is amazing to me. And Lysaer! How easy self-delusion is, but the cost…

originally posted by Blue


Well, maybe


The personal autonomy as an Ath given gift; I would bet anything that is something Morriel/Selidie hopes none of the Koriani sisters discover. If they do, especially Lirenda, the dear, sweet Prime will be up a certain creek sans paddle.

Remember, too, in the scene in the dungeon, when Sulfin Evend, who was guarding the enslaved councilmen, that they told him he could not stop the Kralovir, because they had more prepared vessels ready for possession, and if those were killed, they would grab the next whole man who crossed their path and "strangle his will by main force."

Possible connection to certain Koriani practices, which is why they cannot/will not take on the Kralovir? Or naivete on the part of the Koriani, that the "enemy of my enemy" [The Kralovir as enemy of the F7] "is my friend." [In spite of the Koriani creed of merciful intervention, while the Kralovir are just grabbing power in unspeakable ways].

That might be an interesting match up - Morriel/Selidie and the Koriani against necromancer(s). Would necromancers be able to take advantage of the Koriani's greatest strength/weakness, the Waystone? Would the Waystone try to free itself by allowing itself and its captive spirits to be used by necromancers?

Janny, for me, the character who really came through [after Arithon, of course!] was Sulfin Evend. The charisma/veneer of b.s. has been pulled away from Lysaer's charade, and Sulfin Evend sees for himself what he has gotten into. And the choices Sulfin Evend had to make to try to save, not only Lysaer, but other innocents!

I was pretty much ready to dismiss him as another character, "Oh, gads, I hope he gets on the receiving end of a vengeance arrow like Pesquil!" to someone I was honestly and whole heartedly rooting for! What will he do next? What other sacrifices will he have to make to stay true to his oath as Caithdein? Will he have to betray himself to stay true to the needs of the land?

What would really be interesting would be a meeting between Sulfin Evend and Arithon, but I am going to trust you to carry the story forward as you see fit.

While I love the speculations we get into, second guessing Janny Wurts is next to impossible.

originally posted by ishmael smith

I echo Blue. Sulfin Evend is showing the character that a true clansman should and he is the perfect foil to Lysaer's delf-delusions…he has truly blossomed into Lysaer's Jiret!

Now that Lysaer has cast him aside in liew of his pursuit of Arithon it will be interesting to see what happens…especially when he meets the Sanshapirs and meets Arithon face to face…

and to digress a bit…i had to read it 3 times for it to sink in that Dakar actually gave Arithon a 'hand job'! (aghast…now i understand his response to the ministrations)…At first i thought that it was some etheric thing (should have realized that Kar. would have performed that!)…but back to the discussion at hand…

I keep forgetting that Janny is retelling something htat has already happened and is only showing us the "what caused this" stuff…and that i will be 500 years before resolution…

I wonder if Eltaria will live that long, and if Arithon will become a part of the 7 in some capacity…

originally posted by Trys


There was, most definitely, an etheric aspect to the 'ministrations'.

It is an assumption on our parts that this conflicts last the entire lifespan of Arithon and Lysaer. Also, Elaira has longevity.


originally posted by Hunter


There is another aspect to the 500 year thing. It is also an assumption that we'll see the entire 500 years of the conflict documented in these novels. i.e that the last page of Arc V will be the end of the conflict. I think that's a big assumption.

It's interesting to re-read PG and see Sulfin Evend with Lysaer and his handling of Jieret. Contrast this with the Sulfin Evend of TK, there is quite a change.

originally posted by Neil

Sulfin Evend of TK has taken on the responsability as a cathdein…Enith Tuer predicted that dual loyalty it would be his undoing…

The guy on the boat at the end of Ships…Diegan…Talith…the people in Lysaer's "camp" who develop a wider vision tend to fall by the wayside…

originally posted by Hunter

Talith I agree had seen the wider view of the world.

Diegan isn't someone I would have credited with a wider vision of anything other than a product of his Etarran heritage, prejudices and arrogance.

Sulfin Evend has gone from being an Alliance stooge (which is all Diegan was) to someone who was questioning what Lysaer was doing - even before he was sworn as a caithdein. Sulfin Evend was present when Lysaer inadvertantly revealed his true strategies - his so-called Grand ideals.

I think this changed when Sulfin Evend cut out Jieret's tongue for heresy which Lysaer then admitted was absolute truth. This shook Sulfin Evend profoundly.

originally posted by Wendy Collett

Hunter, I think this comes under the saying of:

"You can fool some of the people some of the time, and fool all the people some of the time, but you can fool all the people all of the time."

Except those that want to be.

Sulfin had a far more questioning upbringing than Diegan did, as Hanshire was more open to magic with the Koriani influence etc to a greater extent than we thought before.

Whereas Etarra is acknowledged as the backbiting bitching capital. It is nasty, downright lowdown and in it's own way just as bad as the bluewater pirate's 'dives' down the coast, just with a thin veneer of manners.

However, in saying this, where everything should NOT have been taken for granted from Lysaer's actions, or Arithon's, and everything looked for for an ulterior motive, Diegan was 'blinded by the light'.

Perhaps the massacre at Tal Quorin made the impression best on Deigen, whereas Sulfin Evend 'heard' about it, and lived with the results later, plus the other massacres he was involved with including the last one in PG. If I recall right, he missed out on all the other 'big ones', and has only had the one in PG. And for that one, it was obvious (to the survivors) who killed off the soldiers which wasn't as obvious in Vastmask, where shale moved.

Burnt to a crisp - obvious, Lysaer (limited immediate sign of Arithon)

Landslide - not so obvious, magic, ero Arithon (he was there, darkness fell, so must be him)

If Deigen had lived through Vastmark, I think he may have also started to see the light or at least respected Arithon a whole lot more than he had previously. He saw his folly at the end and admitted it to Carole on his dying words.

And wouldn't that have been interesting, Deigen surviving, and Sulfin Evend still brought into the mix?

originally posted by Hunter

Carole? Carole? Did Caolle wear lacy petty coats under his armour?

I think you've juest dealt the bluewater pirates' dives a huge insult by suggesting that Etarrans has manners whereas they do not. That would be like suggesting Jaelot has a thin veneer of taste whereas a place like the Kittiwake in Shipsport did not.

My take is that Hanshire remembers the old ways, legends and heritage so know a lot more about Ath's Adepts, the Fellowship, the clans and the Compact so are far less suspectible to the broad faced lies of the Alliance and Lysaer. Which isn't to say they yearn for the old ways, just are more familiar with them.

Etarrans have seemingly forgotten this and for them, it's a simple matter of genocide against the clans for preying on the "innocent" town folk. Diegan simply followed this.

Sulfin Evend still believes it was Lysaer who rescued him from the Korias grimward. One wonders if and when Sulfin Evend learns the truth, whether he will remain as beholden to Lysaer as he is right now. Who knows what "truths" he's likely to learn in Sanpashir? And if, following this, he actually does rejoin Lysaer?

originally posted by Wendy Collett

Ooops. Slip of the finger there. (blush)…

Either set of manners would be just as deadly…
Perhaps the dives of Shipsport would be more honest or upfront about the danger…

originally posted by neilw

I stand corrected :smiley:

I haven't looked it up in "Vastmark" but Caolle and Diegen met and both expressed regret…I'm not sure whether this was regret for all the deaths (i.e. killing is no solution) or whether it went further and could include understanding that it was the curse that was the real problem.

Diegen was aware of Lysaer's nightmares but yes perhaps (like the sailor/boatman he had murdered at the end of ships) would not have the wider view that we associate with initiate mages or clan.

It's good that we are just seeing more of SE as he is forced to make choices that reveal to the reader his own awareness of Athera's framework.

He has some advantages over Diegen with respect to understanding the bigger picture. Let's hope he can survive long enough to make a difference.