Thoughts on completion of Initiate's Trial

originally posted by Sleo

POSSIBLE SPOILERS- My review on Goodreads:

5 stars

The tour de force of Stormed Fortress is a hard act to follow, but, as usual, Janny Wurts is up to the job. It's 250 +/- years in the future, Arithon is a prisoner of the Koriani, betrayed by a clansman who was one of the Companions - which event is foreshadowed in Stormed Fortress. Prime Selidie is determined to break the compact the F7 made with the dragons in the Second Age and will go to any lengths to do so. Elaira is now a rebel and travels to visit the Biedar in a bid to help her best beloved. Lysaer has gotten better at fighting the curse, but is having a mighty struggle of it. Asandir enlists the help of Daliana, a descendent of Sulfin Evend, to try to shelter him.

New characters abound, and the shades of old ones emerge. Dakar is grown up, now a skilled mage in his own right, but still funny as hell.

A rousing good read, the opening of a new Arc to be finished in the next book, as things gradually build to the ultimate climax… Wurts' plotting is superb and there is no guessing what she will pull out of the hat next.

I was moved to tears several times, laughed out loud a few times, and my heart stopped once or twice!

originally posted by Paige Madison

I really like the new Dakar and loved Daliana. She has quickly taken a beloved spot in my heart. I loved the scene where Dakar and Lysaer crash Daliana's trial. It gives me hope that all is not for Lysaer even though he is still cursed. I'm kinda hoping that Janny will surprise us all and do away with the Curse and the Mistwraith early and shock us with some unexpected problems that arise that are dealt with in the last book.

originally posted by Paige Christie

Oops! Think I posted in the wrong place before so I am re-posting here.

Hi all - new to the chat area and happy to be here.

I just devoured the book and feel the need to go back and re-read stormed fortress before I do a re-read on Initiate's Trial.


Biggest Revelation: The Beidar arriving on Athera before the Fellowship and having their own 'treaty' with the Paravians. That's got to make things interesting as we go forward.

Glad to have read the short stories prior to this or parts of this book would have had me scratching my head.

This book felt different than the others…I think because less time was spent deep within the POV of characters we already know and more time in an ethereal realm of characters' vision and what they see and overhear through 'sight' and attachment to the mysteries. Also, we got less Arithon's POV, which makes sense because he is not in complete possession of his own POV.

Really glad to see Lysaer had a few revelations in the last 200+ years, sad to know that that was probably only possible due to the horror of Arithon's isolation in captivity. Also glad to see a woman strong enough to understand what needs to be done to try and battle the curse with him. I seriously dig Daliana.

Dakar's maturity is also pretty cool to see. I hope someday he will be able to forgive himself so he can reconnect with Arithon, because we know Arithon's compassion will not allow him to hate Dakar, even though he may never trust him completely again. Looking forward to seeing how that is worked out over the next 2 books as well.

Elaira - She is SO much stronger that she knows. I fear Morriel figuring out just HOW strong Elaira really is…And the separation of Elaira and Arithon is just killing me! Gah! Well, Davien's fountain said 500 years of suffering…We're 300 or so years through that…

Ready for the next book and for someone to finally have the power to deal with Morriel and her madness. I wonder if Janny will work more of her magic and not just 'take her out' but find a way to release her from her insanity and offer grace to her despite what she has done. And I wonder what part Lirenda will play in all this, because I know she's just going to POP if she ever gets loose. Curious to see…


originally posted by Julie

Just finished it!! Which is good since I could not put the book down. I agree that this book had a different feel,- perhaps because such a short period of actual time was covered. Also was it my imagination or was it fairly short? Bravo Dakar- and Lysaer. I have beeen waiting for their best qualities to emerge!

Anyway THANK YOU Janny-

now back to studying pathophysiology!

Um - grin - shorter it wasn't. The page count proves that out, though truly, I had HOPED it would be shorter…:wink: The book had other things in mind.

originally posted by Julie

Hi Janny:

I could not wait for a physical copy so purchased for my Kindle. Did not have the weight of the book or a visual page count. Maybe I just was so hungry I did not notice the length!

originally posted by Annette

I do not have a real book either, but according to Sleo Initiate's Trial is 554 pages, so I am glad Janny did not manage to make it shorter.

originally posted by Sleo

That 554 pgs doesn't include the glossary.

originally posted by Joy

Either way, fantastic achievement, and so rewarding after the wait for it. IMHO there is no other series on a remotely similar scale or depth that stays so "tight" and maintains such magnificently high quality. A true pleasure to read, WoLaS never disappoints :smiley:

Many thanks, Janny!

All of you, Thanks So Much for the Feedback! You have no idea of how uplifting it is after all that hard work, to see how readers are receiving the story.

Joy: wow, thanks, can I quote that, or better still, mind posting that encapsulation yourself as a 'review' on some online sites? - if you can, it truly helps new readers understand that this particular series doesn't flag or dissipate (at least in your opinion, grin). You'd be surprised how many readers report being disillusioned with long, thick fantasy series books - helps to show that not all BFFs (big fat fantasies) run to flab…(and if you are too shy, no worries, I respect you, and however you feel is totally OK).

If word like this could get out and be seen elsewhere, it would be very very helpful. (Paravia folks already get it.) :smiley:

On another note: part of the great FUN an author has after years of intensive, solo labor is seeing the story reach you guys, and sharing in your fun with it. It's better than opening a gift to hear a crow of joy, or catch a bit of speculation that says the book lives and touched another heart.

So thanks to all of you who are joining in the release celebration - may it continue to unfold.
:smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

originally posted by Joy

Janny, you may absolutely quote any or all of anything I post if it is useful to you. I'm not one for online commenting generally (hence my rare appearances on the threads) but I'm happy to post some reviews as I can appreciate the benefits of letting others know they don't know what they're missing!

Where to post? Perhaps one of you who is more familiar with the sites that reviews are posted on might provide me with options other than Amazon (pretty much the only one I know of off the top of my head:smiley:).

originally posted by Trys and Another US bookseller - ( 07362127&itm=1&usri=initiate27s%252btrial)

Also a search for UK online bookstores found

Blackwell's (

There may be more. :smiley:

originally posted by Aria

Places like, and the Book Depository (although I can't remember their link off hand) are good as well. The first being a highstreet retailer in the UK. :wink:

I'm not posting anything yet though as I'm still going. :wink: Half way through!

originally posted by Sleo

Well, let us know when you finish!

originally posted by Trys

FYI, Waterstones appears to require that you have an account. Barnes & Noble website seems to have problems. Using Internet Explorer, it doesn't display correctly. Using Firefox, it will NOT accept my review… it just loops back to the same page. Anyone have better luck?

I did however post on, and Book Depository (for the last the link is CLEAR at the bottom of the page).

originally posted by Lisa

LOVED IT!!! Although I was caught very unawares, and absolutely devastated when it finished, as i was reading it on my iphone and could not feel it coming to an end (the paper version was taking way too long to arrive in sydney!). Can not wait to have the paperback in my hands to be able to see the maps clearer.
Once again a most riveting read Janny. I fear the next few years wait are going to be as agonising as the last have been :slight_smile:

Lisa - grin - did my job, then. :smiley:

originally posted by Nikki Hayes

I did enjoy Initiates Trial but:

Good points - Tarens is a great new character, as are the three clan youngsters who set off with Alithiel to find Arithon. The news about the Biedar and the Paravians was a nice surprise and the coup by Arithon's daughter in freeing him was a nice twist, if something of a waste of what could have been a promising story tangent about Arithon and Glendien's daughter. Lysaer appears to have kept hold of his minor ability to keep a grip on the curse (rather like Arithon did in the early days of the series) and it was good to hear that he had been putting justice over geas during the 250 blank period and he still knows that he is cursed. Dakar has matured and has gained mastery, and is now far better equipped to help both the brothers and we have new clanblood, more talented due to the purges back during the Alliance of Light's campaigns.

Bad Points - I was less than happy with the fact that we took a 250 year jump into the future and that it is rather unclear exactly what happened after Arithon and Elaira left Athir at the end of Stormed Fortess. A prologue to Initiates Trial would have solved this problem with a brief recollection of exactly how Arithon came to be betrayed (yes I know who betrayed him) and how exactly Dakar, the Fellowship and Elaira were involved. Without this information the idea of the Fellowship allowing Arithon to be held in captivity for 250 years does not wash, it would be against the Major Balance for them to condone this and I recall very well that Dakar swore debt for the Crown of Rathain, not for Arithon Teir s'Falen. I started enjoying the book about 100 pages in, but I'm still annoyed about having waited 4 years and not being clear why there was such a massive jump in time or what happened during that time. The True Sect and their actions does not gel with Lysaer's newfound geas-free sense of justice (whilst Arithon was captive), surely he would have acted against the faith he created much earlier? I also do not think the idea of Seshrochziel not caring what happened to Davien when she hibernates holds up, it was obvious from Stormed Fortress that she had a bond with him. I would have liked to have seen more of this pair than we did, not a complaint, more of a wish.

For me, the highlight of the series was Stormed Fortress. It still is. Sorry to sound disappointed but I hate unanswered questions and the snippets of information we were given about what happened with Eriegal just did not add up to a decent account of events, I didn't mind the book ending somewhat up in the air with regards to Arithon as its the first book in a new arc but the lack of information about what went down in the 250 years since the end of Stormed Fortress does not sit well with me.

(a minor aside, with regard to Apparently Unfinished Threads, ;), subtle cough) the fourth arc is NOT completed, yet, far from it).

(grinning author, ducking flung knives, because YOU WILL HAVE TO SUFFER THE WAIT FOR DESTINY'S CONFLICT!!!)

And of course - even wider grin - you are SUPPOSED to be on edge and ticked - it's rightfully called suspense.

I wish, and truly, ALL the arcs could be issued as 'one volume' as they are designed to be one story, peaks and pause points leading to the finale point for that sequence of action.

Then the markers get moved at the arc starts; lots of readers didn't see Stormed Fortress coming, at the close of Fugitive Prince. Part and parcel of reading one volume, as they are issued.

I hope (by now) readers have learned to trust the narrative flow of this series - and the handling of ALL prior books under my name.

Not to say I can't goof, but :smiley: - certainly don't plan to, at this stage. Proof, as it were, will be in the pudding. Back to getting the next installment properly baked.