Monday, April 8, 2013

The Shadow of the Sun by Barbara Friend Ish Read Along: Week 2

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 15.

1) Ellion has quite a mystery on his hands with yet the third assassination attempt. The assassin is the same dude, and once 'dead', he proceeds to disappear once again. What do you make of this elusive, reappearing, dead guy assassin?

He is seriously creepy and has to be magical in some way. I can only assume that he is a magically reanimated corpse of some type, but I really cannot guess at more than that.

2) Throughout this section, Ellion and Amien have several exchanges of words. Did you have the urge to ask them politely, yet firmly, to step out back and settle the matter for the duration of the trip?

Yes, I am getting a little tired of them dancing around their problem, whatever it is. However, I doubt that they would sort it out even if given a direct order to do so, mainly because Ellion is so determined not to explain anything to Amien. I can understand Amien’s frustration as he is very familiar with Ellion’s capabilities and does not understand why his former pupil has renounced magic.

3) The Tanaan suffered a great loss in the past, calling it The Deluge, believing it to have been brought upon them by a wrathful goddess. Do you believe this Deluge was due to a goddess striking a disobedient people? What could the Tanaan have done to warrant such action?

As a scientist and atheist, I do not usually jump to ‘Act of Deity’ as my explanation of choice in situations like this, where geological activity could explain the damage. However, this world does seem to have active gods, if we believe that Ellion has personal experience of a goddess’ intervention.

I dread to think what they might have done to offend their Goddess so much: perhaps she was having a really, really bad day . . . It reminds me of the Old Testament tales of Sodom and Gomorrah, but the Tanaan seem to think that their sin was to be warlike and power hungry, rather than the sexual promiscuity and ‘deviance’ that we see in the Bible.

4) The Tanaan are use to fighting in tourneys, one-on-one, and not in formations with team goals. How do you think they will take to Ellion's attempts to school them in real combat tactics?

I doubt that they will have much affect under stressful conditions. I am no expert in military training, but I do know that it takes more than a few brief explanations, with constant repetition used as a way to condition the individuals to react automatically to instructions and to complete tasks with minimal thought. I would have thought that learning how to fight from horseback would add an extra layer of problems that they will need to overcome.

Of course, Ellion is not always the best at staying cool and controlled in a crisis, and that will not help.

5) Letitia has been wearing her mother's diamond on her torc, which turns out was a gift from Amien. He crafted it himself and says it is a tool. What kind of tool do you think it is?

I believe that there is mention of it being a tool for magic use, so I wonder if it acts as a focus point. This might explain why she is staring at it while meditating, but could also be a wild guess based upon our reading of The Elvenbane over the last couple of weeks.

6) What is up with the Tuaoh Stone having a strong reaction to Ellion?

As if we need him to be more mysterious! He remembers something about it roaring like a dragon for the rightful righ, so I guess it has recognized the destiny that he had to set aside. I am not sure if this means that he will get back on track to fulfilling that destiny, but it certainly seems much more likely now. I am actually more concerned that it ignored Letitia: although I predict that this simply means that she is not mora because Carina is still alive and well somewhere.


  1. I think Amien has no idea that Ellion has this self-imposed rule of No Magic and that has made things difficult. Where we left off, I think Amien is finally getting an inkling that Ellion has this rule in place, perhaps as a form of self punishment.

    I too usually look for some natural calamity to explain things before jumping to the conclusion that some deity wanted to punish the mere mortals.

    Very true about Ellion not exactly staying cool and in formation during the skirmishes.

    I very much want to know what Letitia knows or suspects about her mother.

    1. You are probably right about Amien not knowing, but that does make me wonder why Ellion doesn't just tell him that he has sworn off using magic.

  2. Good call about Letitia's mother still being alive. It'll be interesting to see how that plays out if she is.

    I like nrlymrtl's natural calamity explanation for The Deluge. It's hard to believe a god would be this vengeful and the description does fit with something natural but catastrophic happening.

    1. I just feel that there have been enough hints that Carina isn't actually dead, though I have no idea where she is or what she's doing.

  3. I thought Ellion should have dropped his self imposed rule over the last few chapters. After all people are now dying because of what he isn't doing as opposed to people dying because of what he did do!
    I'm also interested in Letitia's mother and I think you made a good call that she may still be alive. I couldn't help but feel sorry for Letitia when the stone didn't react to her - that must have been very disappointing not to mention humiliating.
    Lynn :D

    1. I was beginning to agree with you about Ellion, but then we had the flashback to him killing his parents and now I can understand why he is so afraid of using his powers. However, as you say, he is almost allowing people to die because he won't even try to use magic to help them, so I am rather conflicted.


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