You can see Naithin’s Part 4 post, and the links to the other blogs taking part, here.
This week we have read up to the end of Chapter 49.
1) So, pretty much everything has been flipped up on its head in this section. Which particular revelation was the greatest shock to you and how has it impacted your view of the book as a whole?
I think the biggest shock was Denth and company’s treachery. It was perfect example of the best lies being based mostly on truth, although it does look pretty obvious in hindsight.
I was not overly shocked that Vasher turned out to be a good man because we already knew that he tried to avoid killing the priests when looking for the tunnels. I guess we can assume that the killer who followed him was probably Denth. I do like the fact that he is not easy to trust because he is rude. It reminds me so much of the first impressions that the hobbits have of Strider in The Prancing Pony until Frodo says that he would make more of an effort to appear nice if he was trying to deceive them.
I was fairly shocked with how low Vivenna fell in her weeks in the wilderness, but I think that it has finally made her truly understand the plight of her people and any others who fall on hard times. Her words to the group of Idrians held a lot of truth and her acceptance of her failure shows a great strength of character.
I was sort of surprised that Siri gave in to her feelings for Susebron, but it was kind of inevitable and cute! :)
2) Vasher is perhaps one of those things who we’ve had flipped over on us. Turns out he may have once been a scholar, even! Vasher and Viveena have quite the conversation about Awakening and Returned and skate across the topic of ‘Type 4’ Awakened Objects, which the story implies to be objects like Nightblood. Vasher is completely unwilling to discuss it any further – any guesses as to why?
I am not sure if Nightblood is a unique item, or if there are other things like it out there causing trouble, but it is most certainly evil or very dangerous. It seems to have unbelievably scary powers and the ability to tempt its wielder to lose themselves in blood lust. I feel as though Vasher hates to use it but will not leave it to control a more weak-willed individual who will wreak havoc with it. I am very interested in why Vivenna is made nauseous by it.
3) Siri’s conversation with Treledees perhaps indicated that for all the disregard he shows for Siri, that he may in fact still care for the God King. If true, does this clash with their idea of simply holding onto the Divine Breath until the return of another, or how could you see it being reconciled?
I suppose he may see Susebron’s death as an unfortunate but inevitable part of the process. He has probably known the God King for a long time, possibly his entire life, and so is very fond of him. Perhaps the very fact that he will be sacrificed to protect the Breath makes him seem more precious to Treledees. I guess it depends on whether or not he is a pious man who truly believes in the tenets of the religion.
4) We’re so far through the book now, and the War has yet to come. Do you (still?) see it as inevitable, or do you think that it may yet be headed off?
I think it may be a very close call, but that the combined actions of Siri / Susebron, Lightsong and Vasher / Vivenna will prevent the war. I do not think that they will all survive to see the peace, but the return of Nanrovah’s daughter will hopefully turn the tide in their favor.