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Abyss'mal Essalieyan read thread Now reading THE SHINING COURT... already shinier than Tiste's thre

#61 User is offline   JPK 

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Posted 05 September 2023 - 06:36 PM

Where are your thoughts Abyss? You promised me thoughts!
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#62 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 06 September 2023 - 03:09 AM

View PostJPK, on 05 September 2023 - 06:36 PM, said:

Where are your thoughts Abyss? You promised me thoughts!


i think that maybe, just maybe, i do, in fact, like pistachio ice cream.
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#63 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 06 September 2023 - 03:14 AM

One chapter in, let me tell you i am positively blasting through this book...
That said, i enjoyed Teresa's visit w Magret. It was admirably brief and to the point even if the point was entirely just reacting to things that happened two books ago. Evayne is always fun to see.

Over with Jewel as co... well, her chat w her den was ok and her chat w the ghost was fine and her chat w the Terafin was interesting and OMG STOP TALKING AND DO SOMETHING ALREADY LEAVE YES WE ALL UNDERSTAND WE GET IT YOU CARE ABOUT EVERYONE OK FINE YOU GET THE CARE AWARD NOW JUST FNCKING LEAVE ALREADY.

...if anyone was wondering why i alternate listening to these books w demon zombies and exploding astronauts, this is why.
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#64 User is offline   Tiste Simeon 

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Posted 06 September 2023 - 06:57 AM

Jewels story gets a bit more interesting in a chapter or so.
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#65 User is offline   pat5150 

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Posted 06 September 2023 - 02:58 PM

Her story gets more interesting, but Jewel herself remains (all the way to where I'm at, several books later) as infuriating as always. :/
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Posted 06 September 2023 - 05:29 PM

On the bright side in Ch 2 Diora is WAY more interesting. I enjoyed how she's so infuriating to the four Dominion nobles.
Margret, less so. 'We will have our vengeance!' ....seriously?
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#67 User is offline   pat5150 

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Posted 06 September 2023 - 08:03 PM

Believe you me, Margret will grow on you as her importance in the greater scheme of things becomes clearer. Her relationship with Diora is one of the highlights of the series for me. :)
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Posted 07 September 2023 - 02:50 AM

Ch 3... Cortado among the Kiali was engaging. I enjoyed the sheer hubris of him throwing their failures in their faces and their demands being thrown right back. They are still wildly incompetent but the politicking was fun.
Anya. Is an absolute. JOY.

...and Avigar is the demon 'Warlord'. Explains Jewel's dream, perhaps.

And hey, Kal's back and back to being a secret agent dude.
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#69 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 15 September 2023 - 04:46 PM

Carrying over some comments from Tiste's thread here to be spiler-conscious because i think i'm further along than him and also better looking....


View PostTiste Simeon, on 06 September 2023 - 07:43 AM, said:


I'm actually now really enjoying the Avendar/Jewel story in Evereve. Lots of information about who he is but not enough meaning I'm involved to find out more! Very interesting.

Also Khallandaras is still the best and his plot with the Voyani is great.

This book has hit the ground running on the whole, a lot less of the infinite exposition that was a feature of the first two.[/quote

I think West still very much suffers from "why use one word when 100 will do?" and some of the stuff that she keeps repeating gets grating (she doesn't need to remind us every single time that his name is now Alesso di Alesso or Sendari di Sendari!) but on the whole I'm enjoying the pace of this a lot more.


Chapter 12 here.

There are absolutely running repetition issues that have triggered me upping the readspeed (again). It's kind of annoying, honestly, West doesn't seem to ever be satisfied making a point or hitting a mark with one scene if she can do it with three.

The whole Jewel/Avendar/Evereve/statues thing is fascinating but OMG it is draaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaging.

Khal among the Voyani has been excellent. At least, it was til we spent 20 minutes with Margret reminiscing about her mom chopping wood. I needed that intricate description of the axe handle's woodgrain, really, i totally did. My life is better for it. Truly. When the story kept moving i regretted not spending another 20 minutes on how the light reflected off the ax-head or something equally riveting.


View PostTiste Simeon, on 06 September 2023 - 08:13 PM, said:

View Postpat5150, on 06 September 2023 - 02:56 PM, said:

That's good. And keep in mind that the Evereve chapters are the slowest moving of the novel.

Fair enough but I'm really enjoying the evolving of Avendar's story and background.


god i hope that's as slow as it gets. Oh, wait, Margret and Yolanda are talking about being matriarchs. again. (again again).

View PostTiste Simeon, on 15 September 2023 - 12:14 PM, said:

The Raddan! Who knew how ace they were? Basically a hit squad against the Kin. No wonder Alesso is keen to get rid...


I love that for them.


Relatedly, I'm generally enjoying the Dominion side of things. I did not need pages and pages of the pov of the widdin brought in just to confirm there was something suspicious about the deeply suspicious masks provided by the extremely untrustworthy demons as part of their totally subtle and not at all suspect diabolical paster plan to have a whole bunch of people wear these completely harmless masks on the festival night dedicated to the nice friendly demons' rival goddess whom they also want a festival 'consort' appointed for which is a completely subtle not at all evil demand and have i mentioned before how much these demons suck at being demons?

...BUT, the interplay between the demons and Alesso and the widdin is interesting, as are Diora's efforts (if she ever gets around to doing more than sitting there looking all flower-of-the-dominion or whatever) and her interaction with Sendari's wife.

To be clear, i AM enjoying this book, but some of the author's foibles are still bugging me.
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#70 User is offline   Tiste Simeon 

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Posted 15 September 2023 - 06:33 PM

Yeah agreed mostly. I liked Evereve at first but now they're in the Deepings or whatever it's called I'm very over it.

It's picked up a little now some kind of hunt is going on (Winter Queen sounds interesting no doubt we'll get 40 minutes of someone postulating about her soon)

But this has been my favourite so far, despite these things and a distinct lack of Kirriel.

Oh and one more thing: are the demons meant to be so hopelessly inept? They're just rubbish! Like, I'm being told that they're masters of power and violence but I'm being shown they're pathetic, whiny infighting losers...

At this rate, if Asherak himself showed up, I'd half expect one of Jewels den to neatly handle him while Jewel spent the whole time remembering the first time she met said person...
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Posted 16 September 2023 - 04:27 PM

Someone made the point that the demons are overpopulated and idiots from millenia of infighting and in need if a purge, and I'm like YES PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF ANYTHING DO SOMETHING PRODUCTIVE W THESE IDIOTS
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Posted 18 September 2023 - 05:32 AM

Ch 17ish

i keep falling asleep or tuning out during Jewel's segments.

is that bad?

...she was supposed to be off to the south to do something really dramatic ahead of the war and instead we're getting adventures in fairyland. The Winter King thing was ok, but now we're back in the castle and she's yelling at Avi again. again again.


Meanwhile over in the Dominion everyone is very frikkin concerned about Diora.

...and also some fake masks that completely aren't going to be switched for the demon masks at some point...
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#73 User is offline   pat5150 

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Posted 18 September 2023 - 01:21 PM

Jewel doesn't change. At least until Oracle. . . :/

And probably not after.

The good thing is that it gets much better after the Evereve sequences.
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Posted 25 September 2023 - 05:53 PM

k am around halfway. Jewel's existential fairyland journey is boring me, Margret's mommy issues are also boring me, and over in the Dominion everyone's talking about the MoonFeste the way everyone was talking about the Games in book 2, which is to say everyone and their idiot brother knows something bad is going to go down and yet hey, let's go ahead w this, great plan.

Taking a break to read something else.
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#75 User is offline   pat5150 

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Posted 27 September 2023 - 04:27 PM

The second half is much stronger than the first. You'll most likely enjoy it more, whenever you should to pick it up again. :)
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#76 User is offline   QuickTidal 

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Posted 06 November 2023 - 03:30 PM

Re-reading chunks of THE SHINING CITY to prepare for SEA OF SORROWS...

The scene where Kallandras saves the Voyani children from the Tyrian "police" squads roaming was nice, but what followed with Nicu (a character with a name that is also a medical short form, makes it difficult to read it) holding what turned out to be a "cursed" or at least "Magicked" sword (I assume like Mat's dagger in WOT) and it making him ignore the woman he loves to try to take out a single Cerdan trying o protect his fallen allies...was a nice point, but Kallandras basically Legaolas/Obi-Wannning him with wildly superior skills was also dope.

Also, this read around the fact that the Voyani are desert wanders of roving wagon cities stood out to me with areal world allegories...I've always assumed that the Annagarians are supposed to be like feudal Japan, with Italian-sounding names (the audiobook covers very much lean into the Japanese aspect)....does that make the Voyani more like the Mongols? I feel like West throws in descriptions that war with those notions occasionally, but for the most part I picture them as such...the SEA OF SORROWS cover throws me though, the wagon/housing is massive and wood (so no Yurts of anything of that sort), and the clothing is much more Arabic....so maybe the Japanese Annagarians are nearby the more Arabic Voyani?


Anyways, that's just silly stuff.

The Evereve stuff is a bit taxing overall for sure, even no a re-read. The teased out way everything occurs makes me want to smack Avandar...It's telling that this is a sort of holding pattern to exposit stuff to Jewel, but also to make sure she's not where she needs to be till she needs to be there...like West decided that after she "left" the north in the beginning...or at least nominally left and then got attacked in the Commons of Averalaan...that she could not just go south yet. It's fine, but I can see why it would be annoying. I will say that the Evereve portions are deliberately scattered in smaller sections amidst the most action-y bits of the book...like you don't get a whole chapter of Evereve....you get a section.


Anyways, I'm skimming so I'll probably be able to get into SoS by early next week. I'd love to finish at least the Sun Sword portion of the Essaylieyan books by Christmas, and next year start into the rest of the House War books. HUNTER'S REDOUBT is mocking me from my ToRead Pile....I'm also tempted to take it into the store and hope West is working and ask for it to be signed.
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#77 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 07 November 2023 - 06:38 PM

I forgot that CINDER SPIRES 2 was landing this week and resumed THE SHINING COURT, mid Jewel's travels on the road, Tessa meeting w Sendaraii, and Marg i dunno being angry again/still/more. Chapter 19-20ish, so at the midway point.

The move from Jewel being harassed by various figures from her past to just a general pile-on from gods and their servants was interesting and enjoyable. It also moved the earlier engagements w the ghosts of her dead grandmother and dead lover/bestie from tropey yawm to 'oh THAT was what was happening there'.

Much more interesting and very well written has been the jumping between the Widden and the Matriarchs all investigating the thoroughly subtle not at all suspicious totally not diabolical master plan related in any blunt obvious way demon masks which happen to come from people called 'demons but don't let that bother you. My cynicism w the plot aside, West does a very nice job of showing two very different groups arriving at the same conclusions via different paths and tells the reader more about the magic in this series.

View PostQuickTidal, on 06 November 2023 - 03:30 PM, said:

Re-reading chunks of THE SHINING CITY to prepare for SEA OF SORROWS...

The scene where Kallandras saves the Voyani children from the Tyrian "police" squads roaming was nice, but what followed with Nicu (a character with a name that is also a medical short form, makes it difficult to read it) holding what turned out to be a "cursed" or at least "Magicked" sword (I assume like Mat's dagger in WOT) and it making him ignore the woman he loves to try to take out a single Cerdan trying o protect his fallen allies...was a nice point, but Kallandras basically Legaolas/Obi-Wannning him with wildly superior skills was also dope.


Kal is a great character and tends to steal the scene even when he isn't the focus. His wind whisper chat w Teresa is a good example. He's there to help her, but whatever he is really up to is more interesting than her, even if hers is the bigger focus and mystery.

Quote

Also, this read around the fact that the Voyani are desert wanders of roving wagon cities stood out to me with areal world allegories...I've always assumed that the Annagarians are supposed to be like feudal Japan, with Italian-sounding names (the audiobook covers very much lean into the Japanese aspect)....does that make the Voyani more like the Mongols? I feel like West throws in descriptions that war with those notions occasionally, but for the most part I picture them as such...the SEA OF SORROWS cover throws me though, the wagon/housing is massive and wood (so no Yurts of anything of that sort), and the clothing is much more Arabic....so maybe the Japanese Annagarians are nearby the more Arabic Voyani?


Anyways, that's just silly stuff.


It's the kind unsubtle mashup many fsf authors deal in... stick Italian names on a Korea-based culture and give them, i dunno, indigenous Sioux teepees and bareback riding skills just for flavour. The jump from 'Voyani' to 'Romani' isn't exactly wide.

Quote

The Evereve stuff is a bit taxing overall for sure, even no a re-read. The teased out way everything occurs makes me want to smack Avandar...It's telling that this is a sort of holding pattern to exposit stuff to Jewel, but also to make sure she's not where she needs to be till she needs to be there...like West decided that after she "left" the north in the beginning...or at least nominally left and then got attacked in the Commons of Averalaan...that she could not just go south yet. It's fine, but I can see why it would be annoying. I will say that the Evereve portions are deliberately scattered in smaller sections amidst the most action-y bits of the book...like you don't get a whole chapter of Evereve....you get a section.


It bothers me that it feels like a placeholder story. I assume, and hope not to be wrong, that Jewel comes out of this w some change relevant to the rest of the story. I'll be annoyed if it's all just a way to kill time and space (pun intended).

Quote

Anyways, I'm skimming so I'll probably be able to get into SoS by early next week. I'd love to finish at least the Sun Sword portion of the Essaylieyan books by Christmas, and next year start into the rest of the House War books. HUNTER'S REDOUBT is mocking me from my ToRead Pile....I'm also tempted to take it into the store and hope West is working and ask for it to be signed.


While I'll likely jump out again for Cinder Spires, my brief return to this has been positive, which is nice because i have a (virtual) pile of this series in the eTR/LP and on some level i want to see where it goes.

I do admire West's courage in tying the latest to the Hunter duology it seems she more or less sidelined for Sun Sword and House War.



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#78 User is offline   QuickTidal 

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Posted 07 November 2023 - 07:13 PM

View PostAbyss, on 07 November 2023 - 06:38 PM, said:

It bothers me that it feels like a placeholder story. I assume, and hope not to be wrong, that Jewel comes out of this w some change relevant to the rest of the story. I'll be annoyed if it's all just a way to kill time and space (pun intended).


Spoiler

This post has been edited by QuickTidal: 07 November 2023 - 07:14 PM

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#79 User is offline   Abyss 

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Posted 15 November 2023 - 05:14 PM

Just Finished THE SHINING COURT.

After interminable slogging and whining some good things did happen... 1. Jewel met the Winter Queen. Great sequence. 2. The Matriarchs finally did something even if it was some weird ritual they could have gotten on with fifteen chapters ago. 3. Jewel stepped out of that ritual. I laughed. 4. The two groups went about doing... something about the masks and Allonso actually did something clever. 5. We got more Anya.

...and then the 'good guys' ran around the city cleaning fountains and the demons all looked for Anya and a bunch of masks were burned in the lake and some demons did dumb stupid demon things to give the Rodan someone to hit w swords and Diora finally moved her butt and Kal stabbed someone and Jewel sent the Wild Hunt after the stupid stone cat and wait wtf the book is over and none of the rest of it came to anything that mattered.

Seriously?

SERIOUSLY????????

Seriously what a complete disappointment of a finale. Half the plots went nowhere, half were resolved by almost accident (Jewel's entire slog amounted to two snarky chats w the Winter Queen then the Hunt showed up then left after some ghost Jewel met in the mask she only got at the end of the book, the Matriarchs' spent pages and pages getting to the fire ritual, did the ritual stood around doing... something ritual related, the ritual fire showed up, had a chat then left, then in the end they didn't need the ritual because no one tried to eat them, Kal fucked off, Diora finally (finally) decided oh hey i guess i should go now took the sword and left and there was no reason she couldn't have done that half a book earlier. The entire fountains thing was just an excuse to separate Jewel from Avandar. Sendari and Mike spent chapters and chapters beating their heads against the masks only for Alonso to come up with a completely practical 'hey throw them in the lake' solve, the demons' entire plot went sideways because Anya went AWOL and had a temper tantrum (gods those guys suck), we put up with chapter after chapter of Sendari's other wife stressing just so Diora could pick the single most dangerous time to leave because reasons. Teresa wandered around talking at a bunch of people and literally did nothing else the entire book.


No confrontation between the matriarchs and the demons or the Dominion and the demons, no Winter Queen vs anyone, Jewel and Margret basically met acknowledged each other's existence then ignored each other the remainder of the book, Kal just vanished, Alonso and Sendari did... something and hey let's get on w that war thing we keep delaying.


Someone semi-spoiler-free help me here... does this all immediately pick up in book 4 and this was a cliffhanger, or was that really the whole thing?




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#80 User is offline   Tiste Simeon 

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Posted 15 November 2023 - 08:07 PM

See my comments in my thread if you don't mind spoilers but basically no. It's more of lots of nothing happening. And they're still talking about a war that's been coming for over a year now.
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