Some questions

originally posted by Ash


before I launch into my list, I just wanna say (as all fans do) that I really love your books Janny!! I don't buy books as a general thing, but I've bought these ones.

My first question is about accents. When I read, I always sound out the words as I think they are being said eg drawled, clipped etc. However, being from London, and you from America, I imagine that *my* idea of what those words mean will be a WHOLE lot different from yours. So I would like to ask- could it be possible for you to match Real-Life accents onto places on Athera and Dascen Elur (sp?)so I'm not always fumbling when I read them. (Also, using different American accents will mean nothing to me)

Next: in the artwork and sketches of the characters do you manage to capture the EXACT image you have in your mind, or does some of it get lost in translaton from thought to picture? If so, do you think thats an inevitable thing?

Do you have any sketches of anyone apart from Arithon and Lysaer? (in particular I'm thinking Elaira)

While Arithon was training under Halliron, was the only instrument he studied the lyranth? Theres been mention in the series of fiddles and I think flutes and I was wondering has Arithon ever played these? Or are they not considered as part of a Masterbards art?

The first book I read of the series was Fugitive Prince (then the next 2 of Alliance and *then* the first 3). Does that in any way disrupt the vision of your stories? Personally, I liked the added "mystery" of unravelling the past, but should I have read it in the proper order?

*whew* Thats it for now, until I can think of some more :smiley:

Hi Ash - Thanks for the kindly comments!

You Asked: accents would not correlate to any found in the USA – or anyplace else.

To understand languages and accents on Athera, you really have to look at how the world evolved, and how the population settled in sanctuary.

The dragons spoke Drakish, which had no written form, only pictorial symbols.

Paravians brought the language with them, and it has two forms: the Actualized, which carries AND imprints the flow of prime power, and the everyday spoken form, which "reflects" the flow of power from speaker to listener, but does not invoke actualized creation.

The Fellowship Sorcerers use Paravian, among themselves, and have, since their arrival, though they have knowledge of other languages from their prior experience.

When mankind took refuge, they brought language with them. One common tongue, used today among men, has "split" off into accents, through usage. The older form, held by the forest clans, has stayed mostly untouched, due to their isolation and their strong adherence to tradition. The slight shift in accents would be regional, but as a whole, they have a crisper diction.

The accents in the towns carry the most regional variation. These can be quite distinct. Shand, East Halla, Araethura, Carithwyr, and Korias all have regional variations - the lack of connectivity, the dearth of roads, and the movement of trade leaves some areas isolated from rapid change, and these areas would devolve into accents.

There are three 'dialects' alive - these are amalgamations of the language brought in, colored by ethnic roots. These peoples had their own language, and in the dialects, bits still survive. You have seen the Sanpashir desertfolk, and the shepherds of Vastmark already - with dialect mentioned. Those words are not in usage among any other of Athera's popluation.

The last area where dialect is still spoken is at Ettinmere Settlement, but the story has not yet taken you there. That unfoldment is still to come.

Your last – does it matter where in the series you start? No. I have tried carefully to make a path of entry into each volume - though the notable exception was Warhost, which was "split" off after the finished book.

It remains to be seen if I can make Stormed Fortress a new entry point as well - I don't want to stall the action much at this point, since this is finale, Arc III.

If you started with Fugitive Prince, all the pieces ARE there - but the 'viewpoint' at this state is highly colored…people have tried to begin here, and just HATED Arithon because the foundational events that set him down at this jointure are NOT SHOWN - you only see the impacts on other character's views, and many of them are misguided…nor are the signposts in place, yet, as to which of those views you might trust.

I had one reader say "how much they loved Mearn, he seemed so forthright and true, but WHY was he such a dummy, persistently caring for Arithon?"

If you made entry from Fugitive Prince, I might venture to say you are one who sees VERY clearly, and reserves judgment on others…or you might not have had patience to unwind the riddle of Arithon's past acts with such sympathy.

Brava to you - in my opinion, the world needs more such eyes!

and you're welcome.

originally posted by Cheryl

WOw I never thought of someone reading Fugitive Prince first and not being on Arithon's side. I am so surprised. I loved Curse of the Mistwraith and wouldn't have read it differently but I do read series in the wrong order sometimes. I can't believe that reader said that about Arithon even reading them out of order. Maybe she or he has been infected by the curse too LOL It's spreading to real life.

originally posted by skeoke

Just started a re-read of FP.

Yeah, if I'd just met Arithon here, he's seems a bit of a jerk. (Gasp, sorry!)

Thanks for a new viewpoint to explore.

originally posted by Roisin


originally posted by Ash

Thanks Janny for the answers…I guess I'll carry on reading them how I normally do :smiley:
(Now how about some more answers? :smiley:)

I really didn't feel that Arithon was a "jerk" when I read FG. It was clear that the other characters cared for him A LOT and that kind of love wouldn't be baseless. I didn't have enough material myself to make a negative image of him, and usually I try not to judge characters on first appearances. But having said that, my fisrt impressions are usually correct. He seemed wicked cool and I felt I could really UNDERSTAND his feelings, if not like them

It was all so long ago…don't really remember :stuck_out_tongue:

However, it did have a bad effect on how I saw Lysaer- I thought "What an utter idiot!" Reading the other books gradually made me a lot more sympathetic towards him

originally posted by Cheryl

You have a very good way of thinking Ash. It's funny I was sympathetic towards Lysaer early on and it never left me. I still side with Arithon of course but I understand why Lysaer's the way he is and sympathize with the situation.

Ah, the rest of our answers:

Yes I have done images of Elaira. Can't let you see the most major of them - it would be a But Major spoiler. Be patient…

The lyranthe is the more difficult instrument - and has the most tonal harmonics. This is the instrument that takes music to its most high art, on Athera. Therefore, it is played by the more accomplished musicians. The other instruments are available - and for the most part, played.

A bard with a lyranthe can make a symphony unto himself. Which is why it is the preferred, for solo performance.

originally posted by Blue

Wouldn't another point be, that it would be hard to sing along with a flute if you were also playing said flute? That was what I always thought.

I'd still like to read a scene of Arithon playing the bagpipes, Janny, especially considering your own love for the pipes.

originally posted by Hellcat

Welxcome Ash! I started with FP as well… and spent at lot of time being very confused about Arithon's motives and characters.


originally posted by Kam

I'd like to see him play the violin. :stuck_out_tongue:

I'm with Ash on this one. Reading FP was weird because Arithon was just so darn cool (what with the opening with Jieret) and angstyguilt-wracked, when he was obviously meant to be the 'bad guy'.

I didn't understand the significance of that scene with Lysaer and the Fellowship until I read the first three (although I read GC before 'em). I did feel sorry for him… up until that bit where he destroyed the ship. ("Arrgh! You bastard! You jerk!")

Loved Mearn, but didn't realise that this whole compassion geas thing wasn't exactly common knowledge, until I read CotM. (Makes you wonder why Lysaer hasn't questioned that)

originally posted by Ash

Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions Janny. If I have more I'm sure I'll let you know :smiley:

The blurb at the back of FP made out that Lysaer was the goodie and Arithon was the baddie. It took me about half the book to realise I got it wrong :smiley: