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Karsa and the House of Chains Karsa and chains...not exactly friends

#1 User is offline   Haplo 

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 09:17 AM

Hello,
so here I go again, not understanding something. This time its Karsa´s affilation to House of Chains at the end of Chapter 15 (well apparently he´s been thinking and musing over this before but at that moment it became official). I mean - Karsa Orlong - warrior of House of Chains? Out of all people why Karsa? I understand that chains play major role in Karsa´s motivation to do anything - but (at least I thought) in an exact opposite than this - Karsa hates chains, despises being manipulated, enslaved, chained...so isn´t becoming a part of House that basicall runs on chains and whose defining feat are chains a bit...contradictory?
Maybe I will find out, I get it, I didnt read the whole book yet, but here I feel like I really missed something.
Is Karsa planning on taking revenge on "chaining" in general according to "keep your enemies closer" creed? Because other than that I cant think of any reason why he would do this.

Thanks for any comments:

T.
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#2 User is offline   Puck 

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 04:55 PM

View PostHaplo, on 09 March 2018 - 09:17 AM, said:

I understand that chains play major role in Karsa´s motivation to do anything - but (at least I thought) in an exact opposite than this - Karsa hates chains, despises being manipulated, enslaved, chained...so isn´t becoming a part of House that basicall runs on chains and whose defining feat are chains a bit...contradictory?


That's the point, though. Karsa hates it, so obviously he's a prime candidate for the position. Additionally, he's been 'chosen' as the Teblor's champion for this very purpose by the Faces in the Rock (or whatever it is again they call themselves) who have been controlling the Teblor and trying to create a champion for generations, and who just so happen to be allied with the Crippled God and the House of Chains. Also, the House of Chains collects those who are broken in some way, and Karsa is very much so, even though he might not look the part. But the beginning of HoC shows very clearly how he - and by extention his entire people - have been broken and manipulated for so long, and how their beliefs have been twisted. It's only due to Karsa's inherent strength of will that a conflict exists between his wishes and those of the Crippled God. Where Karsa's grandfather had proven too weak-willed to become the champion, Karsa turns out to be too strong-willed.
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#3 User is offline   Haplo 

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 08:21 PM

View PostPuck, on 09 March 2018 - 04:55 PM, said:

View PostHaplo, on 09 March 2018 - 09:17 AM, said:

I understand that chains play major role in Karsa´s motivation to do anything - but (at least I thought) in an exact opposite than this - Karsa hates chains, despises being manipulated, enslaved, chained...so isn´t becoming a part of House that basicall runs on chains and whose defining feat are chains a bit...contradictory?


That's the point, though. Karsa hates it, so obviously he's a prime candidate for the position. Additionally, he's been 'chosen' as the Teblor's champion for this very purpose by the Faces in the Rock (or whatever it is again they call themselves) who have been controlling the Teblor and trying to create a champion for generations, and who just so happen to be allied with the Crippled God and the House of Chains. Also, the House of Chains collects those who are broken in some way, and Karsa is very much so, even though he might not look the part. But the beginning of HoC shows very clearly how he - and by extention his entire people - have been broken and manipulated for so long, and how their beliefs have been twisted. It's only due to Karsa's inherent strength of will that a conflict exists between his wishes and those of the Crippled God. Where Karsa's grandfather had proven too weak-willed to become the champion, Karsa turns out to be too strong-willed.


"Karsa hates it, so obviously he's a prime candidate for the position"


Sorry, but thats what I dont understand - why is he a prime candidate for a position in a group of people/entities (well, lets simplify it like that) if he hates what they represent? I would understand an affinity with (in all other regards) antagonistic group if that group would at least stand for something totally contradictory of what the person hates...but is House of Chains really an epitome of freedom and free will? I dont have that feeling (but I may be wrong of course). And I find it hard to believe that Karsa (to be more specific, post Raraku Karsa) would blindly follow what some beings that pretended to be his gods (and I have a strong impression that he really changed his view regarding his worship towards...well anything) order him to.


It may seem that I am trying to look for flaws where there arent any...I´m not. I just dont get this:) but thansk for your opininon:)
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#4 User is offline   worry 

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 08:35 PM

You don't need chains for the willing and eager.
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Posted 09 March 2018 - 08:56 PM

My take: Karsa was not initially a willing member of the House of Chains. His involvement with the RockFaces and the Crippled God and his own imperfections and innate hatred of being bound drew him into the aspect of the House. He was vulnerable, so to speak, and the CG took advantage to draw him in.

This, of course, wholly backfires against the House when Karsa goes about chopping up the CG's agents and actively working against him.





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#6 User is offline   Puck 

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 09:35 PM

View Postworry, on 09 March 2018 - 08:35 PM, said:

You don't need chains for the willing and eager.


This.

View PostHaplo, on 09 March 2018 - 08:21 PM, said:

View PostPuck, on 09 March 2018 - 04:55 PM, said:

View PostHaplo, on 09 March 2018 - 09:17 AM, said:

I understand that chains play major role in Karsa´s motivation to do anything - but (at least I thought) in an exact opposite than this - Karsa hates chains, despises being manipulated, enslaved, chained...so isn´t becoming a part of House that basicall runs on chains and whose defining feat are chains a bit...contradictory?


That's the point, though. Karsa hates it, so obviously he's a prime candidate for the position. Additionally, he's been 'chosen' as the Teblor's champion for this very purpose by the Faces in the Rock (or whatever it is again they call themselves) who have been controlling the Teblor and trying to create a champion for generations, and who just so happen to be allied with the Crippled God and the House of Chains. Also, the House of Chains collects those who are broken in some way, and Karsa is very much so, even though he might not look the part. But the beginning of HoC shows very clearly how he - and by extention his entire people - have been broken and manipulated for so long, and how their beliefs have been twisted. It's only due to Karsa's inherent strength of will that a conflict exists between his wishes and those of the Crippled God. Where Karsa's grandfather had proven too weak-willed to become the champion, Karsa turns out to be too strong-willed.


"Karsa hates it, so obviously he's a prime candidate for the position"


Sorry, but thats what I dont understand - why is he a prime candidate for a position in a group of people/entities (well, lets simplify it like that) if he hates what they represent? I would understand an affinity with (in all other regards) antagonistic group if that group would at least stand for something totally contradictory of what the person hates...but is House of Chains really an epitome of freedom and free will? I dont have that feeling (but I may be wrong of course). And I find it hard to believe that Karsa (to be more specific, post Raraku Karsa) would blindly follow what some beings that pretended to be his gods (and I have a strong impression that he really changed his view regarding his worship towards...well anything) order him to.


It may seem that I am trying to look for flaws where there arent any...I´m not. I just dont get this:) but thansk for your opininon:)


I don't understand what you're trying to say in the middle there. What I meant is that it's not the first time a character becomes a part of something they resent becoming a part of. Think of Gruntle becoming the Mortal Sword of Treach in MoI. He hates Treach and doesn't want any part in it, but the logic behind Treach choosing him anyway is that his unwillingness and defiance would make him even fiercer in his pursuit of war. So there is already a precedent for something like that for you as a reader. The same goes for Karsa. His unwillingness to be a pawn of the House of Chains creates a dissonance between him being the perfect fit for the position and him refusing to bow to that. A broken champion, if one puts it that way, bringing in the 'broken' aspect which is the core of the House of Chains, in turn making Karsa an even betetr fit. The House of Chains collects broken people, and while most are willing to find a place they belong among it, some people - like Karsa - will naturally gravitate towards pushing that brokenness away because they see it as a prison.

Basically, the entire point is that Karsa refuses to follow norms and orders and this creates a rift between himself and everyone else, creating that brokenness the House of Chains desires.

This post has been edited by Puck: 09 March 2018 - 09:35 PM

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#7 User is offline   Haplo 

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 11:06 PM

View PostPuck, on 09 March 2018 - 09:35 PM, said:

View Postworry, on 09 March 2018 - 08:35 PM, said:

You don't need chains for the willing and eager.


This.

View PostHaplo, on 09 March 2018 - 08:21 PM, said:

View PostPuck, on 09 March 2018 - 04:55 PM, said:

View PostHaplo, on 09 March 2018 - 09:17 AM, said:

I understand that chains play major role in Karsa´s motivation to do anything - but (at least I thought) in an exact opposite than this - Karsa hates chains, despises being manipulated, enslaved, chained...so isn´t becoming a part of House that basicall runs on chains and whose defining feat are chains a bit...contradictory?


That's the point, though. Karsa hates it, so obviously he's a prime candidate for the position. Additionally, he's been 'chosen' as the Teblor's champion for this very purpose by the Faces in the Rock (or whatever it is again they call themselves) who have been controlling the Teblor and trying to create a champion for generations, and who just so happen to be allied with the Crippled God and the House of Chains. Also, the House of Chains collects those who are broken in some way, and Karsa is very much so, even though he might not look the part. But the beginning of HoC shows very clearly how he - and by extention his entire people - have been broken and manipulated for so long, and how their beliefs have been twisted. It's only due to Karsa's inherent strength of will that a conflict exists between his wishes and those of the Crippled God. Where Karsa's grandfather had proven too weak-willed to become the champion, Karsa turns out to be too strong-willed.


"Karsa hates it, so obviously he's a prime candidate for the position"

Sorry, but thats what I dont understand - why is he a prime candidate for a position in a group of people/entities (well, lets simplify it like that) if he hates what they represent? I would understand an affinity with (in all other regards) antagonistic group if that group would at least stand for something totally contradictory of what the person hates...but is House of Chains really an epitome of freedom and free will? I dont have that feeling (but I may be wrong of course). And I find it hard to believe that Karsa (to be more specific, post Raraku Karsa) would blindly follow what some beings that pretended to be his gods (and I have a strong impression that he really changed his view regarding his worship towards...well anything) order him to.

It may seem that I am trying to look for flaws where there arent any...I´m not. I just dont get this:) but thansk for your opininon:)


I don't understand what you're trying to say in the middle there. What I meant is that it's not the first time a character becomes a part of something they resent becoming a part of. Think of Gruntle becoming the Mortal Sword of Treach in MoI. He hates Treach and doesn't want any part in it, but the logic behind Treach choosing him anyway is that his unwillingness and defiance would make him even fiercer in his pursuit of war. So there is already a precedent for something like that for you as a reader. The same goes for Karsa. His unwillingness to be a pawn of the House of Chains creates a dissonance between him being the perfect fit for the position and him refusing to bow to that. A broken champion, if one puts it that way, bringing in the 'broken' aspect which is the core of the House of Chains, in turn making Karsa an even betetr fit. The House of Chains collects broken people, and while most are willing to find a place they belong among it, some people - like Karsa - will naturally gravitate towards pushing that brokenness away because they see it as a prison.

Basically, the entire point is that Karsa refuses to follow norms and orders and this creates a rift between himself and everyone else, creating that brokenness the House of Chains desires.


Regarding Gruntle becoming Treach´s mortal sword - I thought it was more like an "honor uncalled for" that he was chosen/forced to become chapmion of Treach (he never thought about it in any way prior to Capustan...and then it just happened because he went for some serious a**kicking in a very high lvl fury mode). Karsa has worshipped "false" gods for a great portion of his life...then through his journey he realizes it was not the best thing to listen to them. So, at that point (when we meet him again in oasis after some time has passed from the prologue), I thought that he already "gave up" on his blind belief in those seven "gods", thus shrugging off that brokennes that serves as an entry point to HoC.
What I though was, that Karsas character, even though being very selfish and uncessarily brutal and very narrow minded at start, has grown to be a good old grumpy antihero. And, and maybe I am really wrong with this assumption, House of Chains seems to be (very simply put) a "group of antagonists" for the whole plot. I know I know, its much more complicated:)
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#8 User is offline   worry 

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 11:20 PM

Honestly, I think your question will stop being a question if you just get on with reading the books. You don't know either the Crippled God or the brand new House of Chains well enough to be drawing these conclusions about their principles, let alone arguing that other events are in violation of them.

I don't mean that in a harsh way, just that, you know, the story will get to it. Finish the book.
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#9 User is offline   Haplo 

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Posted 09 March 2018 - 11:23 PM

View Postworry, on 09 March 2018 - 11:20 PM, said:

Honestly, I think your question will stop being a question if you just get on with reading the books. You don't know either the Crippled God or the brand new House of Chains well enough to be drawing these conclusions about their principles, let alone arguing that other events are in violation of them.

I don't mean that in a harsh way, just that, you know, the story will get to it. Finish the book.


okay, i´m working on it:) thanks everyone for their opinion!
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#10 User is offline   nacht 

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Posted 10 March 2018 - 08:01 AM

View PostHaplo, on 09 March 2018 - 11:23 PM, said:

View Postworry, on 09 March 2018 - 11:20 PM, said:

Honestly, I think your question will stop being a question if you just get on with reading the books. You don't know either the Crippled God or the brand new House of Chains well enough to be drawing these conclusions about their principles, let alone arguing that other events are in violation of them.

I don't mean that in a harsh way, just that, you know, the story will get to it. Finish the book.


okay, i´m working on it:) thanks everyone for their opinion!


It is a good question and requires some good thought. Like worry said, keep reading and it will all become clearer.
As a hint, think about pain and suffering, what can be the source of it and how might people react to it, and how a person's character/destiny is forged by it.
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#11 User is offline   Puck 

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Posted 11 March 2018 - 06:08 PM

View PostHaplo, on 09 March 2018 - 11:06 PM, said:

So, at that point (when we meet him again in oasis after some time has passed from the prologue), I thought that he already "gave up" on his blind belief in those seven "gods", thus shrugging off that brokennes that serves as an entry point to HoC.


Then, as worry has pointed out, you might want to keep reading the book. And, as I'd like to add - and I know it may sound mean -, try to pay attention to what you're reading. Because the very chapter where we meet Karsa again in the oasis shows VERY clearly that he has not given up on his former gods. He's sculpting statues of all seven of them, for heaven's sake, almost creating a shrine. That he has seen through their deceptions doesn't mean he's stopped caring about them.
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#12 User is offline   Haplo 

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 02:06 PM

View PostPuck, on 11 March 2018 - 06:08 PM, said:

View PostHaplo, on 09 March 2018 - 11:06 PM, said:

So, at that point (when we meet him again in oasis after some time has passed from the prologue), I thought that he already "gave up" on his blind belief in those seven "gods", thus shrugging off that brokennes that serves as an entry point to HoC.


Then, as worry has pointed out, you might want to keep reading the book. And, as I'd like to add - and I know it may sound mean -, try to pay attention to what you're reading. Because the very chapter where we meet Karsa again in the oasis shows VERY clearly that he has not given up on his former gods. He's sculpting statues of all seven of them, for heaven's sake, almost creating a shrine. That he has seen through their deceptions doesn't mean he's stopped caring about them.


No, thats not what I meant - I know he "cares" about them, because he know how important those figures were (and, except for him, still are) to his people...but he also somehow grew up his own head, and is starting to figure out that he was (maybe) worshipping someone...not worth worshipping (at least not to that blind devotion extent). Or maybe he doubts their godhood. Or maybe he started to doubt that gods (true ones, false ones, whatever) should have such absolute impact on anyone´s actions.
I don´t think he wanted to spit in their faces and forget they existed, just that he simply became annoyed by the fact that he should be just fulfilling something already pre-constructed for him. And also, by shaping them in Raraku, he summoned their power there, meaning they were "forced" to leave those sculptures in Teblor lands - so (I think and suspect) he somehow wanted to reduce the impact they have on his tribe (because I was under impression that he was kind if aware what power icons have in this regard).
But, maybe I am wrong. Lets see:)

EDIT: I thought that he already "gave up" on his blind belief - thats what I meant. Giving up on that blind belief is not equal to banishing them from his thoughts. Its kind of a mindset shift towards...I dont know yet towards what, but something is happening definitely:)

EDIT2: Okay now I´m past the part where he clearly showed his "gods" who´s got the balls here. Ahem, so he didn´t just stopped caring about them eventually, he scared the sh*t out of them and ordered them to go and jump off a cliff. Which backs up my previous notion - that he was not creating a shrine for them to bow before and worship, but like to draw their power away from his tribe, because he was sure he can handle them.

Thanks,
T.

This post has been edited by Haplo: 13 March 2018 - 08:54 AM

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#13 User is offline   Gorefest 

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Posted 12 March 2018 - 04:17 PM

Don't forget as well, people don't necessarily 'choose' to be come part of a certain House. It doesn't really matter whether Karsa feels comfortable or not as knight of the House of Chains. He is cast into the role, either by events or perhaps by the Crippled God himself. Doesn't matter if he likes it or not, or accepts it or not, he is identified as the Knight regardless.
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#14 User is offline   Haplo 

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 09:02 AM

View PostGorefest, on 12 March 2018 - 04:17 PM, said:

Don't forget as well, people don't necessarily 'choose' to be come part of a certain House. It doesn't really matter whether Karsa feels comfortable or not as knight of the House of Chains. He is cast into the role, either by events or perhaps by the Crippled God himself. Doesn't matter if he likes it or not, or accepts it or not, he is identified as the Knight regardless.


Which makes me wonder what purpose does it have to put some people (or beings) under one House, give them roles, even though they may never want to work and participate under that role.
But okay I got it, I am at fourth book, so much to read and so much to understand.

Its just sometimes I feel like I lack mental capacity to understand what am I reading. And I cant tell if it is because I didnt catch a meaning of something, or because that something is yet to be explained.

I have read a number of fantasy books/series thoughout my youth but never was I so lost as I sometimes feel with MBotF:)
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#15 User is offline   champ 

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 10:20 AM

View PostHaplo, on 13 March 2018 - 09:02 AM, said:

View PostGorefest, on 12 March 2018 - 04:17 PM, said:

Don't forget as well, people don't necessarily 'choose' to be come part of a certain House. It doesn't really matter whether Karsa feels comfortable or not as knight of the House of Chains. He is cast into the role, either by events or perhaps by the Crippled God himself. Doesn't matter if he likes it or not, or accepts it or not, he is identified as the Knight regardless.


Which makes me wonder what purpose does it have to put some people (or beings) under one House, give them roles, even though they may never want to work and participate under that role.
But okay I got it, I am at fourth book, so much to read and so much to understand.

Its just sometimes I feel like I lack mental capacity to understand what am I reading. And I cant tell if it is because I didnt catch a meaning of something, or because that something is yet to be explained.

I have read a number of fantasy books/series thoughout my youth but never was I so lost as I sometimes feel with MBotF:)


I think it's common to feel that for first time readers due to the sheer size and scope of the books.

I certainly felt that way, just wait till you get to the next book...

That's why you'll see many people say that it's a series that gets even better on a reread, you start to notice the little plot points and connectors that you just don't have the information to notice on a first read.

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 12:25 PM

View PostHaplo, on 13 March 2018 - 09:02 AM, said:

Its just sometimes I feel like I lack mental capacity to understand what am I reading. And I cant tell if it is because I didnt catch a meaning of something, or because that something is yet to be explained.

I have read a number of fantasy books/series thoughout my youth but never was I so lost as I sometimes feel with MBotF:)


Trust me, it isn't just you. It is quite complicated to get your head around all the intricacies, magic systems and histories. I don't even think that people who have read the series 4-5 times would confidently claim that they understand it all. And I actually doubt if SE and ICE give us enough info to even be able to put everything seamlessly together. That's not their goal. The main thing to bear in mind is that both authors have a background in archeology and anthropology. From a professional background they are used to the fact that historical information is fragmented, often unretrievable, and full of holes, and that personal accounts and historical anekdotes/writings are often unreliable or contradictory. Where other writers may try to build a microcosm of neatly fitting magic rules, consistent story arcs and delicate mechanics, SE and ICE are basically throwing out the rulebook in favour of instilling their stories with a sense of epic awe, which feels relatable because in many ways it is very similar to our own human history. We have all these ancient artifacts, mythologies, and creation stories flying around, but much of it is missing or makes little sense when trying to reimagine it from a few pot shards and some withered hieroglyphs. What is far more important is how events and actions move you, the reader, on an emotional level. So especially on your first read-through, don't worry too much about missing details or not fully grasping events. As long as you still feel emotionally invested in the narrative, you're on to a winner. All the important questions will usually be clarified by the end of each book or, if they are part of the overarching narrative, you will be gently led back on track in future books. Then, if you have the stomach and the time for it, you can focus more on the worldbuilding background and the underlying magic/religion systems in future re-reads.

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#17 User is offline   Haplo 

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 03:48 PM

View PostGorefest, on 13 March 2018 - 12:25 PM, said:

View PostHaplo, on 13 March 2018 - 09:02 AM, said:

Its just sometimes I feel like I lack mental capacity to understand what am I reading. And I cant tell if it is because I didnt catch a meaning of something, or because that something is yet to be explained.

I have read a number of fantasy books/series thoughout my youth but never was I so lost as I sometimes feel with MBotF:)


Trust me, it isn't just you. It is quite complicated to get your head around all the intricacies, magic systems and histories. I don't even think that people who have read the series 4-5 times would confidently claim that they understand it all. And I actually doubt if SE and ICE give us enough info to even be able to put everything seamlessly together. That's not their goal. The main thing to bear in mind is that both authors have a background in archeology and anthropology. From a professional background they are used to the fact that historical information is fragmented, often unretrievable, and full of holes, and that personal accounts and historical anekdotes/writings are often unreliable or contradictory. Where other writers may try to build a microcosm of neatly fitting magic rules, consistent story arcs and delicate mechanics, SE and ICE are basically throwing out the rulebook in favour of instilling their stories with a sense of epic awe, which feels relatable because in many ways it is very similar to our own human history. We have all these ancient artifacts, mythologies, and creation stories flying around, but much of it is missing or makes little sense when trying to reimagine it from a few pot shards and some withered hieroglyphs. What is far more important is how events and actions move you, the reader, on an emotional level. So especially on your first read-through, don't worry too much about missing details or not fully grasping events. As long as you still feel emotionally invested in the narrative, you're on to a winner. All the important questions will usually be clarified by the end of each book or, if they are part of the overarching narrative, you will be gently led back on track in future books. Then, if you have the stomach and the time for it, you can focus more on the worldbuilding background and the underlying magic/religion systems in future re-reads.



Let´s see, right now I can only see as far as finishing the series for the first time...its a pretty long journey:)
But thanks for the comment, I feel less like a retard:D
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