jodel at aol.com
jodel at aol.com
Mon Apr 20 15:01:28 EDT 2009
>>I wanted to say, without quoting all of J.Odell's excellent post, how
I always enjoy reading your astute and amusing analysis<<
Er, thank you. Spare my blushes.
But, really, I strongly suspect that I am going to need to roll this
into the Beautyx3 essay. 'Chalice' really is another retelling of the
same story, so I've had it on my mind ever since I read it back in
January or thereabouts.
As to the point that you raise; this turns out to be a case in which
the ending throws us a Fire & Hemlock conclusion. It came about because
the situation had a sting in its tail, and it is *only* going to work
out properly by going *against* the established tradition.
The bit about Masters being forbidden to mary their Chalices was
traditional, and it read as being a perfectly reasonable constraint --
according to what, by then, we had absorbed of the tradition. It took
until the middle of the book to absorb that much of it, but we managed
it. the stipulation against it didn't spring out of the blue and leave
us going "Say what?!" It was the sudden elimination of that prohibition
that surprises us.
But then, when you stop and think, the whole story from the get-go was
a departure and a defiance of "tradition" -- from the point that the
Grand Senechal started insisting upon making the attempt to restore the
Mastership from the original bloodline. If not earlier, when the
previous Master decided to get rid of his brother, defy tradition, and
the devil with what it demanded.
There had never been a 2nd-level priest who attempted to return to
humanity. Indeed, 2nd-level priests were *unfit* to live among normal
There had never been a Chalice who held her office in honey, for that
And, getting down to the nitty-gritty of the problem, by the time
matter was settlerd, that demense had really been through an awful lot.
I can't remember how many years the previous Master had dragged it into
his rebellion against everything his father had stood for, and had held
him to against his will. But it was at least a few, and then it lost
both Master and Chalice in the same conflagration, and the rest of the
circle were left at loggerheads.
Then it suddenly burps up an untrained Chalice with a totally
unprecidented fluid in which she holds her office, who isn't socially
equiped to help to bring the circle back together. And *then* when the
Senechal finally gets his way, and brings back the Master's younger
brother, the fellow isn't even properly human any more.
He means well by the land, however, and that makes a big difference.
But by the time that things are finally beginniing to stabelize, the
Overlord has to shove his oar in, and and we are looking at a demense
that is slated to shatter altogether. And will produce *exactly* the
situation wherein the Master *must* marry his Chalice to bring the
demense back together, and give it a new ruling bloodline.
Which the Overlord counts upon, for the benefit of his favorite.
Well that didn't happen. But by restoring the Last Master's younger
brother, the demense now has yet *another* "new" Master to have to
adapt to. It was gradually succeding in adapting to being ruled by a
Master that was not human. But that is not a safe precedent to set, for
a Master who is not human will only forstall the pending disaster for
his own lifetime. He will get no heirs. And a demense needs *human*
heirs, and I suspect that it has been through too much by that time to
just settle down as if it were passing smoothly from its new Master's
father to him, had the two young lords' birth order been reversed.
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