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I want to finish it and, yet, I'm terrified to finish it! I'm being dragged along by the current and have no idea where I'm going to land!

I thought all would go along its merry way and now Nevare is standing near the prison suddenly touching the new trunk that has branched off from Lisana's kaembra tree...I hope this is just a diversion on Robin's part and isn't there so Nevare can soon join Lisana and Soldier's Boy again!!! Hopefully they will somehow assist Nevare in his quest to free Amzil instead.
Geees I wonder if any of the things you thought were going to happen occurred to Robin Hobb? Very interesting possibilities you've raised along the way!
I'm done Yay, though not before a few more buckets of tears were shed since my previous post, especially when Nevare saw the calf-skin package with his family crest on the top!

Whew, I'm DRAINED, and must get some shut-eye before I can respond further Sleeping !!!
I hadn't responded yet because you'd skipped ahead of me in the book and I didn't want to come across any spoilers. Just finished it last night as well, so I'm back in the debate! Smiling

A few first thoughts;

I wonder if the magic of the Specks and Forest, as Orondula speaks about it, are one and the same being and if that being is one of the old gods. This magic seems to be a sentient being with the ability to see into the future and to directly interfere in the physical world by using people as it's hands and eyes. From snippets throughout the books, it seems as if these old gods were very real and took a noticable role in people's lives.
Aside from that, this new religion with the "good god" seems to be on the fast way out. Towards the end of the book, you see the first signs of the church letting up on it's own rules (with it's usual convulted spin on things), giving in to political pressure and convenience. Typical human behaviour if there is no actual god to say; hang about!

A very interesting dilemma: give your life or your death. I still don't quite know the full significance of both choices. I assume that, if you were to give your life, you'd spend the rest of your days in service to this god. Give your death, and you'd spend an eternity serving him.
But those are the obvious conclusions so most likely incorrect! Smiling Nevare's choice clearly went wrong, as Orondula himself admits, he shouldn't have been alive anymore in any way if it hadn't been for Lisana's second division of his being. (One of my favourite lines in the book is when Orondula admits to feeling rather sheepish - can you imagine a god feeling rather sheepishly? Big Grin)
So what went wrong, what was supposed to happen and why did Orondula consider the balance restored (and himself in the role of a good god) when Scout Tiber let Nevare escape?

There's such a bigger picture here that I'm missing entirely! I apologise to our packleader, I'm sure that wasn't her intention.

One thing I really like about the series is how the smallest things turn out to have the greatest significance, and not Nevare's larger decisions.
So much to think about and I am still trying to get my head around most of it.

(Jul-19-2010, 10:13 AM (UTC))Chrischa Wrote: [ -> ]I wonder if the magic of the Specks and Forest, as Orondula speaks about it, are one and the same being and if that being is one of the old gods.

I can see that! Forest serves first the interests of the forest and the forest-dwellers. That it differs to the magic of the plainspeople suggests that, if Forest is an old god, then possibly the magic of the plains is an old god also (or was, as the Spindle was shattered) ?

I have something else to add but will pop that in my other thread so we can compare things free of spoilers. A great way for Robin to make us curious about these other gods, and do some digging though...telling us there are others but only firmly introducing us to one!

(Jul-19-2010, 10:13 AM (UTC))Chrischa Wrote: [ -> ]This magic seems to be a sentient being with the ability to see into the future and to directly interfere in the physical world by using people as it's hands and eyes.

Oh, absolutely. That it directs things such as the writing of Nevare’s journal, the on-going saga with the rock/gold etc, particularly over long periods of time, shows us that it is an intelligent, conscious being/force. Its ability to be able to analyze and know Nevare (and others) so thoroughly, and predict his movements and all possible outcomes from these decisions, isn't the working of some 'random' magic....certainly backs up the theory of it being a god or at least god-like. The power it wields is terrifying!

(Jul-19-2010, 10:13 AM (UTC))Chrischa Wrote: [ -> ]From snippets throughout the books, it seems as if these old gods were very real and took a noticable role in people's lives.
Aside from that, this new religion with the "good god" seems to be on the fast way out. Towards the end of the book, you see the first signs of the church letting up on it's own rules (with it's usual convulted spin on things), giving in to political pressure and convenience. Typical human behaviour if there is no actual god to say; hang about!

Hmm, I’m still thinking on it but what do you think about the gods who fought for Nevare. Orandula was one, it seems, but who was the other? I assumed it was the “good god”, but Orandula just didn’t want to admit this to Nevare OR was it Forest?

(Jul-19-2010, 10:13 AM (UTC))Chrischa Wrote: [ -> ]A very interesting dilemma: give your life or your death. I still don't quite know the full significance of both choices.
I assume that, if you were to give your life, you'd spend the rest of your days in service to this god. Give your death, and you'd spend an eternity serving him.
But those are the obvious conclusions so most likely incorrect! Smiling

I thought that at first, too, but don’t think that’s the case now. Will have to think on it more and come back to justify. I’m still a bit Blink with it , especially given that the life was to balance that of the bird Nevare freed. I do have a comment to make regarding the life/death thing on the other thread though.

(Jul-19-2010, 10:13 AM (UTC))Chrischa Wrote: [ -> ]Nevare's choice clearly went wrong, as Orondula himself admits, he shouldn't have been alive anymore in any way if it hadn't been for Lisana's second division of his being. (One of my favourite lines in the book is when Orondula admits to feeling rather sheepish - can you imagine a god feeling rather sheepishly? Big Grin)
So what went wrong, what was supposed to happen and why did Orondula consider the balance restored (and himself in the role of a good god) when Scout Tiber let Nevare escape?

I loved that Orandula was sheepish too, and this admission made him seem much less onerous to me...I began to think more on his role as a god of balances rather than a god of death.

Maybe Tiber’s allowing Nevare to escape after he had offered his death balances well because, similarly, Nevare allowed the bird to escape, after it had given its death to Orandula? Still thinking though!

(Jul-19-2010, 10:13 AM (UTC))Chrischa Wrote: [ -> ]One thing I really like about the series is how the smallest things turn out to have the greatest significance, and not Nevare's larger decisions.

Yes, me too, and it makes me think about those small things in my life that I think don’t really matter but just MIGHT, in the long run!

More to add soon P !!!
(Jul-20-2010, 02:26 PM (UTC))Farseer Wrote: [ -> ]Forest serves first the interests of the forest and the forest-dwellers.

That is not to say that Forest ONLY thinks of or serves the forest etc. Rather, he prefers peace and has an awareness of all who inhabit the land, and thus also fully takes these others into his considerations/plans?
(Jul-20-2010, 02:26 PM (UTC))Farseer Wrote: [ -> ]I can see that! Forest serves first the interests of the forest and the forest-dwellers. That it differs to the magic of the plainspeople suggests that, if Forest is an old god, then possibly the magic of the plains is an old god also (or was, as the Spindle was shattered) ?

Ah yes, but only if you start from the assumption that all magic comes from these old gods. It might be, though, Dancing Spindle might have been some sort of altar through which the Plains People god worked.

(Jul-20-2010, 02:26 PM (UTC))Farseer Wrote: [ -> ]I have something else to add but will pop that in my other thread so we can compare things free of spoilers. A great way for Robin to make us curious about these other gods, and do some digging though...telling us there are others but only firmly introducing us to one!

Definitely! I love the way she leaves more then half the story for the reader to unravel. That speaks of so much respect for her readers, too.

Speaking of respect, I also love the way Nevare handles the animals in this book. For example, whenever he goes somewhere with his horse, he speaks of; "me and Sirlofty" or "me and Clove". He very much treats them as companions rather then servants.

(Jul-20-2010, 02:26 PM (UTC))Farseer Wrote: [ -> ]Hmm, I’m still thinking on it but what do you think about the gods who fought for Nevare. Orandula was one, it seems, but who was the other? I assumed it was the “good god”, but Orandula just didn’t want to admit this to Nevare OR was it Forest?

I'm sorry, I don't understand what you're saying. Do you mean gods who fought over Nevare or gods who were on his side?
Personally, I don't think this good god exists at all. But what a fascinating take on religion that people shape their lives according to what a religion says about their birth order. Things like that happened in our history, too, albeit on a much less extreme scale.

(Jul-20-2010, 02:26 PM (UTC))Farseer Wrote: [ -> ]I loved that Orandula was sheepish too, and this admission made him seem much less onerous to me...I began to think more on his role as a god of balances rather than a god of death.

Yeah, me too. After all, as Nevare himself reflects in the forest, death and life are very much part of life overall. Only humans posses the ability to be aware of our own deaths, which is why it seems like such a huge and unfair thing to us. But they both fall under the balance of life. Another idea which blew over from the Farseer series (if you'll forgive that intrusion into this thread).

(Jul-20-2010, 02:26 PM (UTC))Farseer Wrote: [ -> ]Maybe Tiber’s allowing Nevare to escape after he had offered his death balances well because, similarly, Nevare allowed the bird to escape, after it had given its death to Orandula? Still thinking though!

Yesssss... that could be it... still thinking, too... .

(Jul-20-2010, 02:26 PM (UTC))Farseer Wrote: [ -> ]That is not to say that Forest ONLY thinks of or serves the forest etc. Rather, he prefers peace and has an awareness of all who inhabit the land, and thus also fully takes these others into his considerations/plans?

Perhaps... but maybe once his influence was much larger, and streched over the forest along the main river towards the great forest of the West. Remember in the first book, when Lisana briefly looked through Nevare's eyes and was distrought by the bare lands she saw? Maybe it isn't so much a Forest god, as the god of life and peace...? (grasping here)
(Jul-20-2010, 07:41 PM (UTC))Chrischa Wrote: [ -> ]Ah yes, but only if you start from the assumption that all magic comes from these old gods. It might be, though, Dancing Spindle might have been some sort of altar through which the Plains People god worked.

An altar? I love it Clapping !

(Jul-20-2010, 07:41 PM (UTC))Chrischa Wrote: [ -> ]I'm sorry, I don't understand what you're saying. Do you mean gods who fought over Nevare or gods who were on his side?

Orandula says, "...As I told you, things didn't go exactly as I expected them to, It often happens when gods squabble over something. Neither one wins completely."

Besides he and Lisana (who he states is not a god), he doesn't identify who else fought.

Just on that, in the same passage he also states that Forest isn't a god either, though "might as well as be a god with all the power Forest has." So, there goes the theory that Forest may be an old god P !!

Sorry, quick visit only, mainly to address the gods point!
(Jul-20-2010, 07:41 PM (UTC))Chrischa Wrote: [ -> ]Speaking of respect, I also love the way Nevare handles the animals in this book. For example, whenever he goes somewhere with his horse, he speaks of; "me and Sirlofty" or "me and Clove". He very much treats them as companions rather then servants.

I have nothing truly insightful to add to these discussions, but this reminded me of another thing from those books - I loved the horse Clove!
I came to love Clove too, despite bawling when Nevare handed over Sirlofty Crying ....I cried so much in the SS series!

I may have read them recently but that doesn't mean I have anything insightful to add either P ! There is so much to think about!
Finished book 1 yesterday morning. I remember again what I didn't like about the books:
- Colonialism in its worst form
- Too much religion
- "Women are barter material"
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