[DWJ] Year of the Griffin

Belben, Philip (Energy Wholesale) Philip.Belben at eon-uk.com
Tue May 8 04:56:57 EDT 2007


Jadwiga was replying about Wermacht (Bettina will be relieved that there
is only one H in that name!):

> > Did he deserve to be a permanent foot stool?
> 
> I thought it was a bar stool?

It was.
 
> I believe attempts were made to retrieve him from his enchantment--
> which, after all, was accidental, and an unfortunate consequence of
> his own interference-- but there was something about him that refused
> to be transformed back into human shape. Perhaps he found being a
> barstool restful, or being a barstool suited his personality.

I think that's an excellent summary.

... and about the Assassins:
 
> What I found disturbing was the fact that there were no consequences
> for the Emir of sending out his assassins for no particular reason.
> Yes, he's dotty, and they were assassins, so one guesses they deserved
> the inconveniences heaped upon them. But sending assassins to wipe out
> an entire community, to avenge *what*? At the least, the man needs a
> keeper of some kind.

A keeper of some kind?  I think Felim must have been rather tired of
being his brother's keeper for much of their adult life!

On a point of detail, he sent the assassins after Felim only.  When he
discovered that the university had defeated them, he took his army to
wipe out the university to avenge this slight on his assassins' honour.

What got me about the Emir was more his hands-off approach to violence.
He instructed his servant to wring the pigeon's neck and didn't even
want to watch!  A thoroughly nasty person.  Fortunately pigeons have
very flexible necks...  (The only time I ever tried to wring a pigeon's
neck I ended up pulling her head off.  I'm sure Mordion would have had
no trouble, though.)

But who said it was against the Rules for assassins to fail?  I don't
think I've ever read a fantasy or SF novel in which (a) there were
assassins, and (b) the assassins didn't fail at least once in the course
of the story.  Maybe this is because if you find out about them and they
don't fail, you are very shortly dead, but I certainly don't think it's
a breach of the Rules!

I tend to re-read in series, so I re-read both Dark Lord and YotG a lot.
I still think YotG is one of DWJ's funniest books, but I agree that the
romantic ending is one of her weaker ones.

Philip.
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