Monday, April 22, 2013

The Shadow of the Sun by Barbara Friend Ish Read Along: Week 4

If you haven't read the book, why not join in and read along with the rest of us? You can find links to everyone else’s thoughts at Dab of Darkness.

This week we read through to the end of Chapter 28.

1) Ellion and Letitia finally have not 1, not 2, not 3, but four trysts in this section of the book. What insights into the characters did you gain from these assignations?

I am afraid that I was quite disappointed in their lack of self-control, especially Letitia. For all their vows and honor and all that, they still tossed everything aside for some reckless sexytimes. I know that she is approaching oestrus and that they have just suffered a terrible bereavement, but I still think that it is a very self-indulgent way to behave. I would also add that all of Ellion’s reminiscences about his former days as a persistent debaucher of married ladies did nothing at all to improve my opinion of him. I found his lack of sympathy for the husbands that he had killed in duels to be very telling and more than a little revolting. As you can probably tell, I am not very tolerant of narcissists.

It might have been just me, but all the time they were at it in the sacred grove I kept expecting something evil to pop out and attack them. However, it seems that Nechton has a moral code about interrupting people when they are ‘busy’ (see my answer to #5).

2) Letitia's retinue has diminished even further. How did this affect you as the reader and how do you think it will affect the dynamics of the remaining Tanaan?

I was very sad to lose the rest of the knights, especially the girls. These were characters that we had come to know and love, and yet their deaths had no meaning or honor. However, I am not sure that this will change how the others react to each other. We are left with only Letitia, Iminor and Nuad, so their roles will not change, although I expect the weight of grief and determination to add even more seriousness to their efforts.

3) We've learned a bit more about the missing Carina in this section. What do you think is in her grimoire that has Letitia so secretive?

I am going to go out on a limb here and suggest that it contains the details of her love affair with Nechton. Other than that I really cannot guess at what it might reveal.

4) We've heard plenty about how much Ellion's vow not to draw power means to him. But then we also see him finding several ways to feel, tough, smell, and use someone else's power. What do you make of this and where do you think it will take Ellion?

I have no doubt that it is only a matter of time before he gives in and uses the power again. I have no doubt that he will be able to convince himself that he is doing the right thing, but he reminds me very much of a drug addict who cannot overcome the lure of his chosen poison. His decisions to open himself to the various magics have been the small steps down the slippery slope towards using again whilst he continues to delude himself that he is still in control.

5) Nechton also played a larger role in this section. Which aspect has caught your attentions so far?

Apart from his immense power, the most noticeable thing for me is that he still hasn’t just killed this group. This is really starting to annoy me as he has shown the ability to reach them at any time and destroy them at will: so why is he messing about?

6) The mummers were in and out of this section, turning up in city and on the river. What did you make of their antics?

I thought that they were really rather irritating and creepy. I was surprised that Ellion was so tolerant of their mocking behavior because I would have been much more tempted to give them a good kicking and leave them tied up behind a warehouse at the docks. I was very suspicious of their continued reappearance, which made me think that they might be spies of some type. However, I guess that most people at that time are travelling to the Fair and the Moot, so they have good reason to be moving along the same route.

7) So far throughout the book we have gotten maps as we read. How is this working for you as the reader?

Normally I love to use maps as I read. Unfortunately, the ones in the Kindle edition are difficult to read and not easy to flick backwards and forwards to and from, so I have not really used them at all.


  1. Reading along as Ellion contemplates his past experiences with ladies and their cuckolded husbands, I get the feeling that he wants this one time to be different, but does not really expect it to be. Meeting Ellion now, after a decade of giving up so much, I have trouble picturing him actually killing a man in a duel on a woman who won't matter to him within a twelfenight. We'll have to see how it plays out this time.

    I still love the term 'sexytimes'.

    OMG! I had not contemplated Nechton and Carina being lovers. But then we see how it is for Ellion and Letitia getting together - how the power bounces back and forth between them. So, if that is normal for magical folks, I can see Nechton wanting to woo another magically strong person.

    I like your question about the why of Nechton not having destroyed Letitia and crew yet. He has all this power - so I think he must be maneuvering them for another purpose. Sacrifice?

    1. Sacrifice does seem like the only possibility at this point: otherwise he is behaving very strangely.

  2. Love affair...I like that theory. And boy did that relationship end badly if that's true!

    Ellion is doing exactly what a drug addict does --- he's making it OK by telling himself he's helping others but all he's doing is helping himself. I'm pretty sure this is going to end in tears.

    What you said about Nechton is true. He hasn't managed to kill them yet but he's showing a lot of power in the process.

  3. I think I shared your feelings in answer to No.1. In fact I was probably a bit harsh with my answers to 1 and 2 but there you go. This phrase 'a persistent debaucher of married ladies' gave me a proper giggle.
    I like the point you make in No.5. It is as though they're being played with for some reason or herded. I don't really understand it.
    Perhaps it is about a sacrifice - perhaps he's discovered a way to harness other people's power when they die - a bit like The Highlanders???
    Lynn :D

    1. I like your idea about a sacrifice, but I still have a hard time understanding why Nechton doesn't just overwhelm them, knock them out and get on with it: it's very frustrating!


Please let me know what you think, because comments make me happy!

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Link Within

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...