Song of the Mysteries, the final volume

Um … WOW. After letting it sit for day, I’m rereading since I know there are things I missed pushing along despite my best efforts to read slooooowly, wanting to find out what happens next.

Janny, thank you so much for creating my favorite book series ever. Such a fateful day when I picked up CotM at my local library when I was idly cruising the shelves waiting for my husband to finish his checkout and was attracted by the beautiful and simple yet complex cover art. I read that book three times before I returned it and immediately started my pursuit of all your writing.

Now, to do a full series reread and catch all those hints.

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Thank you everyone who is stopping by to comment - I had to sit on what I knew was in this finale volume for YEARS because if I hinted at about anything at all, it would have been a spoiler. The tension, as I held it all in, until the release day, has been indescribable, and seeing the reactions and the joy after such intense anticipation - I wanted this series to be everything it had promised to be from the very start, and top all that had gone before.

It is an immense joy and relief to see the responses as they come in - fifty years of work in culmination. There will be other projects and more Athera going forward, based on how this volume hits and where it leads from here.

Please, if you have a second - leave a two word review and a rating - because the algorithm rules, so far as how visible this book (and series) will be going forward. It takes a village, and this is one area where I can’t do the work.

Happy that I made it, that you have a book in your hands, and that it was everything I had planned. Thank you all for being here, and for the perseverance of those who have been, since the start. From the bottom of my heart, I am grateful.

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I finished this last night. I said this in my review and I’ll say it again here: it was everything I’d hoped it would be and more! Thank you for writing this magnificent series.

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My hardcover arrived this morning, so will re-read Song of the Mysteries in a more relaxed way.

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I finished a couple of days ago and immediately after, reread the prologue to COTM.

Everything was wrapped up nicely. There was a substantial passage of time, but not where I expected it. I had been expecting a century or more between Destiny’s Conflict and SOTM, so when I read the section about Dace’s subterfuge hiding the pace of Lysaer’s recovery, I was thinking it had been decades. That’s even though Arithon’s difficult exit from Althain took place only months after his (attempted) execution AND the chapter was dated. Preconceived notions can be difficult to overcome…

There are hints of other stories to be told.

Mhorovaire.

Two ancient dragons who were NOT awakened from the events in SOTM. (Are they hibernating beneath the ocean floor PLUS heavily warded?)

The nature of the seventh age sages and of the fifth through seventh ages.

Events on Dascen Elur between COTM & SOTM.

The reign/service of Falyrionient and his queen; and heirs.

The restoration of the crowns of Shand, Tysan and Rathain; and will Melhalla continue with just stewardship?

How have Arithon’s mortal descendents fared?

The ending was satisfying though bittersweet for some characters.

It was nice to see Dakar play a pivotal role in resolving a major crisis.

Traithe’s recovery cheered me. I’d like to read more about him.

Lots of suspense from Rockfell to Sanpashir near the end. It was great how the dismantling of the Rockfell wards was told from Elaira’s perspective.

It’s amazing how much was covered in just the final 300 pages. The only thing missing was Crater Lake.

There’s more to consider, but that’s enough for now.

It’s been a great experience.

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I mistook the blockquotes as spoiler tags.
Hopefully I deleted the post quickly enough before reformatting it.

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I hope that Janny can make eBooks in German as selfpublisher… much Fan cant good enough english for read Books :frowning:

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A great finish to an excellent series but I still want to know when/why sethvir got his scar… surely he would a match for any human on athera?

I wonder whether janny has thought through the drake culture … there cannot that many of them in athera? Just a guess… or did most of them just happen to be sleeping during this short period of history? Did any drake encounter the Mistwraith? And if it did who would “win”? Perhaps a free wraith might be a threat to young drakes?

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How Sethvir got his scar is very much in play as a short story/or a novella…stand by.

There are ALWAYS four dragons on Athera. There is a whole lot more behind that, and that number, than you have any clue. Also in play as a future side piece story.

Oversimplifiying history is a morass of a pitfall because so vastly much never made it into the series, proper…for a reason. It would have overwhelmed the narrative.

All of that is now in play if I get the chance to write more satellite shorts. It’s on the menu, creative time and bills permitting.

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Hey Janny,

I’m sure you’re aware of the Under the Radar Discord. I feel a little guilty discussing this series over there instead of here, but Discord is also on mobile with notifications, so conversations are asynchronous and fluid.

Even so, you’d love the dissection going on over there on the Song spoiler’s channel.

And ya gotta love the guy trying to suss out ocean charting from the books.

David

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“And ya gotta love the guy trying to suss out ocean charting from the books.”

Guilty as charged :sweat_smile:

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Oh, was it you David was referring to? That’s so funny :smile:

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Yep, I was talking with chibipoe about where Curse opens and the Saeriat sank, using math to figure out where would be 5 days sail from South Isle and also 20 days sail from Port Royal to narrow down the possible locations lol

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Lol! Did it work?

I am aware of the Discord run by Blaise (Under the Radar) and am profoundly thankful for it. He’s done more to grow this series from the ground than just about anyone, right after AP Canavan announced his readalong with Philip Chase and Johanna reads.

I will not join, though he sent me an invite - discord wanted WAAAAY to much personal information/that I consider too easy to open the gate to ID theft, and more: the workings behind what Discord does with data - yours - runs way beyond the egregious behavior of certain other platforms people frequent. I didn’t like the actors behind the site, not a bit, which reinforced my gut reaction when I stalled in the sign up.

By all means, have your fun, wherever it can be found. I know some folks don’t feel as free when they know there is an author presence.

This forum - was nearly dead when this release hit…some of you came back to respond. Many haven’t. What people choose to do is OK and fine.

This said: the years of labor going into this work - it would have been nice to know what made you exhilarated, what made you laugh, if you cried, what you felt as Arithon met his destiny - whether you managed to keep faith, or whether you were challenged to react to provocation…the lack of feedback feels like a void, after earlier volumes - though looking back, responses have been quieter and quieter with each successive book.

I don’t use a phone. I’ve worked with the careful curating of my trusted and tried test readers. They’ve been the star I steered by, given the ‘edit’ I was promised from the publisher - never happened. My copy editor, Bob Schwager, stuck with this book to the last, even as personal tragedy tore apart his life. That is the lasting tribute that mattered - the people with me behind the scenes stuck it out to the end.

I am left (mostly) to look at reviews, and they can be a minefield at times best avoided.

This forum takes time to curate and run (Thank you Brian!!!) not to mention space to host it…in the past, you have had Verrain’s story The Gallant, directly as a result of a reader wanting to know more about him. You have had various shorts, filling in what commenters here thought happened in simplistic terms - and I wrote the story to shed light on the complexities involved in the back histories. Sometimes questions show me what needs to be illuminated, or comments show me where assumptions run quite contrary to the historic events.

I have a TON of material here to work with, so no worries - I don’t need anyone’s feedback to sort it and pick the next event, past or future, to write in expanded form. The stories will come to you - but at my discretion, oddly detached from the community forum that spot lit which areas to bring forward.

I am appreciative of EVERY one of you who has posted, who has reviewed, who is in that discord - as more people will see the series as a result.This is a great space, but mostly frequented by people who already know. Outreach beyond is absolutely critical during the next weeks and months to come.

Keep doing your thing, while I do mine.

But if you care to share your experience and thoughts - despite the inconvenience of the interface not being simple for a cell phone - know that it is not wasted. I will see what is posted here, and there is a certain alehemy to sharing thoughts on this page. I doubt I’d have written The Gallant without the one person here beating the drum for Verrain. There are more cataclysmic moments in history - far wider tapestries to bring to light beyond the notes and scribblings in boxes in my studio. I am really truly glad interaction here sparked The Gallant - no matter that it took a decade to write/since any one story from any one period requires knowing ALL of the threads in play, all over the rest of the world in that picture window of the moment.

I’d hire Sethvir to work up those timelines, but he’s probably overseeing the Discord to keep y’all in line.

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My two favourite monologues in Song of the Mysteries:

  1. Daliana: Her quittance of service to Lysaer
  2. Arithon: His justification for the actions that Verrain presumes to be imminent at Mirthlvain Swamp

A passage that stung memorably:

  1. The Biedar Crone: Her summary dismissal of Lysaer’s worth

And a passage that made me laugh:

  1. Daliana: “I have friends!”
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Just finished binge-listening to the audiobook last night. What a ride! This series often has a slow burn to it, but when big stuff breaks loose it really breaks loose all at once. Loved it.

It’s crazy to think I’ve been reading these books since the series started back in '93. I had pretty much fallen off of reading epic fantasy at the time, but something about CotM grabbed me and wouldn’t let go. Then in SoM when we learn more about the nature of the Fellowship my brain exploded. At that point I knew I had to follow the story to the end. Thanks very much Janny for creating such a wonderful series!

Favorite Parts:

Pretty much any time the army of Light comes in contact with the Paravian mysteries and gets completely wrecked. I just love when staggering ignorance gets a lesson in hard reality

Asandir showing the true scope of his power and teleporting Arithon to the other side of the world. We constantly get hints of how strong the Fellowship are and just how much they’re holding back out of patience and compassion, so it was pretty dramatic to see someone push them far enough to take drastic action.

Of the many ‘endings’ of the book…

I think one of my favorite is Arithon as High King playing the lyranthe to lead the dance of the Sunchildren. Just a really exultant and joyful ending to a long, grueling journey.

Little things and unanswered questions…

One of the F7 (Sethvir maybe?) makes reference to the ‘arsenal’ at Althain tower, which is terrifying considering who the F7 are and why they were brought to Athera. I assume these were used to address earlier threats like the Seardluin, but held in reserve just in case.
Humans on Athera who threaten the mysteries(especially the Koriani), are really lucky the Fellowship is as compassionate and forbearing as they are. I always get the feeling that the Fellowship is basically saying ‘look, we really really don’t want to destroy humanity so please stop poking around, thank you’.

I really want to know…

What’s beyond the East Gate, but maybe it’ll come in one of the satellite stories. I assume it’s some group that has not accepted the Compact, like the people in Marak, or maybe a group like the Biedar that has rejected some of the 4 rights of humanity (The Coin, the Wheel, and I forget what else).

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What an enormous feat, to bring this all together. I’m just in awe.
The 26 years of reading and rereading the series has made these characters important to me, and still, in the final reading, I reacted not quite how I expected - which is fun!

I teared up with Lysaer in the pit being ‘let go’ by the curse. I know he’d done wrong, but hoped he’d find redemption nonetheless, sometimes it takes a group, not a person - to overcome the worst in ourselves. I had to close the book and take a break.
Then, when Lirenda was able to find a new life, I actually whooped. She’s really not a person I’d enjoy knowing in real life, but I didn’t feel she deserved elimination. Her flaws got her caught in a cult, and then the cult further shamed her because she loved, and unrequited! Was glad the ‘power that be‘ :wink: let her find redemption through grace and then work as a healer.
The use of the Celtic concept of ‘geas’ was such a good literary device for how ideas ‘infect’ and influence people (in Linguistics there’s ‘meme-theory’ which has now played out on online platforms - the notion that ideas spread like viruses and trap people into thinking states - a bit prescient?!) . Liked how it was possible to free oneself from it though self-honesty, a state of grace or in the liminal space between life & death find a ‘repair’, before final crossing.
I’ve also enjoyed the story of the potential of humankind- evolving to a state pure enough to co-exist with Paravians. It was a really satisfying, long narrative arc to have the two protagonists come to ‘forge fate’ & ‘bring light’, by working on redressing the outcomes of past human mistakes through the personal but also species-wide levels - the micro & macro.
Hope for humanity…oh for a Paravian song of mystery, right now, on Earth.
Also - the great Drakes… that was such inspired imagineering!

How lovely to close a big book with such a satisfying thump. I stared without seeing for a bit… replaying scenes in my mind.
Thank you, Janny. Bravo.
(I really hope I’ve correctly deployed the ‘spoiler’ protections.)

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I’m so glad to have decided to read these books. I appreciate how much work that must have gone into them. I wish I had a whole bunch of short stories about things that make Arithon happy. When I reread the old books those are my favorite parts. Thank you for completing the series. I’m in shock that it’s over. I’ll be rereading them for a long time still.

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Thanks again for the tidbit on athera’s drakes Janny. I am NOT asking…just wondering…

“As one of three dragon allies in residence on Athera to anchor Dragonkind’s Concord with the Paravians, Seshkrozchiel…” so what is the fourth one up to?

Assuming the queen and her mate are in warded hibernation off athera (warded by themselves? to protect themselves from what? Would the other drakes attack them in their sleep, assuming no drakespawn left to cause much trouble or perhaps there are still risks to drakes / drake clutches from drakespawn?)

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