Friday, September 20, 2013

Redemption of Althalus--chapter 24

So they bring Andine back to Othos, and everyone is like "Huh. Our missing ruler has returned in the company of that random slave trader and the dude that murdered her father. Hi, guys. WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN YOUNG LADY."

Because the rulers of a kingdom need to be babied like that. It's not like you're giving them any real, significant power or anything.

Oh, and if you ever want to know what Stockholm Syndrome really looks like...

“I think the word is ‘abducted,’ Althalus,” Dhakan corrected.
“It wasn’t his fault, dear Dhakan,” Andine told him. “He was acting on orders from the one we both serve now... I was a monster. Would you be willing to accept a blanket apology for all the trouble I caused you after I ascended the throne? Your patience was almost inhuman. You should have turned me over your knee and given me a good, sound spanking.”

Yeah. It's that. As for resolving the issue of Andine's kingdom being invaded by Daeva AKA Satan, they advice her advisor to basically get everybody behind a big wall and stay there until Team Al can be arsed to rescue them. Because it's not like Andine has her own army or anything.

...seriously. I don't think she does.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch front lines, things are actually getting kind of interesting.

Remember, Ghend has doors and a mind-reader of his own, and now that Al has shown you can stick your entire invading army into your Not-Tardis, Ghend is probably doing that too, and he's stocked the front lines with soldiers who have completely contradictory orders. So they need to have Leitha picking everybody's minds so that she can tell Khalor where to put the troops, but they can't bet on anything she picks up being accurate until right before zero hour, because Ghend can basically put his troops wherever he wants them.

So they drag her out to start evesdropping, and of course we have to make it very rapy.

“Try to keep them out from underfoot.” Then Khalor looked at Leitha, who was still garbed as a soothsayer. “You might want to keep your hood up,” he suggested. “Princess Andine looks like a page boy, so she won’t attract too much attention, but Gebhel’s troops might get excited if they catch a glimpse of you.”
You know, I was reading just last night about a princess who lead an army in combat that had a strict no raping or pillaging rule, and it was part of what won her the country. That country being China. Yeah, this horseshit is so old it's got dynasties telling it to get fucked.

And then Gher points out something rather beautiful:

“Well, maybe.” Gher looked at Eliar. “You can put one of your doors anyplace you want it, can’t you?”

“To within a half inch, Gher. Why?”

Gher reached out and laid his hand on the ground just above the front of the trench. “How about right here?” he asked.

Yep. Everything Eliar can do Ghend can do better, because his crew has had two thousand fucking unnecessary years of practice (You have no idea how unnecessary it all was.)

Of course, Eliar immediately defuses it and this never actually happens. I think this was an editor's note, actually, and not an actual plot point (yet)

 They start running Leitha back and forth across the enemy lines, and she almost misses the bad guys. They're hiding behind a drunken party. Score another point for Ghend. Leitha points out exactly where the bad guys are and where their main force is going to invade.

And then all the shit hits the fan.

A door opens and Gelta appears right behind Leitha, Althalus and Eliar. Eliar is the only person who can use the doors, or even see them outside of the House, and Gelta literally bashes his brains in with her axe. He drops. Ghend chortles that he's just beaten Althalus, and the Not-Tardis is out of commision for the forseeable future.

End of chapter.


  1. At this point the narrative's treatment of Andine has moved beyond "problematic" and on to "let's burn down David Eddings' house".

    1. Yeah, but it's kind of his heirs' house and I don't think they've done anything to irritate me. Except maybe keep a huge chunk of his books off the e-book market because Random House is being a twit.