Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Redemption of Althalus--chapter 28

So the updates have been sporatic and that is entirely my fault. Depressive cycles suck. I know what this one is, I'm trying to handle it sanely. Having my first reaction to the blog be "Fuck that shit" is not helping but I am working on that.

So. Where were we?

Eliar is blind and we're violating the personal boundaries of a woman in order to fix that. Great.

A sudden look of revulsion crossed Leitha’s face. “You don’t know what you’re asking, Dweia!” she exclaimed. “I can’t do that!”

Dweia, being the goddess of mothering--not motherly love. mothering--does not give one flying fuck what Leitha wants.They go back and forth for a while, and then Dweia drags Althalus into things. Being the consummate man of honor that he is, he promptly cons Leitha.

“I rather thought you might see it that way, Leitha,” he said. “I’m sort of following up on something you said earlier. We are a family of sorts, and that means that Eliar’s your brother, and you’re his sister, doesn’t it...And isn’t Andine also your sister? And there’s a link there as well, isn’t there? ...Then why are you making such a fuss about something that’s already in place? You’re already locked to Eliar, and you have been ever since we all left Kweron. All you’ll be doing now is bringing it out into the open. We might even want to expand that later and bring everybody into this family get-together. It might just be very useful. Love’s a nice sort of thing, Leitha, so don’t be afraid of it.”
I cut out most of Leitha's "uh huhs". And her response after all this is basically "I think I've been manipulated". LEITHA. YOU READ MINDS. YOU SHOULD NOT BE FALLING FOR THIS SHIT.

Also, once the merger happens?

“It’s not really that significant, children,” Dweia told them. “Those are just physical differences. They have very little to do with who you really are. All of us are aware of our physical bodies all the time, and that awareness shouldn’t bother you.”
Yeah, it's genitalia that concerns them. Not, you know, not having their minds to themselves anymore. Nope. Our bodies are all we should give a fuck about.

They do a bunch of tests to prove that Eliar and Leitha's senses are linked now, and then Leitha puts her face up close to Eliar's until they find the door. Why Dweia couldn't be doing this, I have no idea, but that's how this works. Eliar, Leitha and Andine go through, AAAAAANNNNNND the door closes.

So now Althalus is down his magic house, his pocket goddess, his money hole AND his mind-reader. That just leaves him with Wonderkind Gher for future DEM moments. Which will happen.

Meanwhile, Khalor wants to know when he'll get the mind-reading girl back because she was really useful on the front lines. NO SHIT SHERLOCK.

Althalus is all like "Uh...later." And given how much later it takes the not-Tardis to heal Eliar when it basically has a pause button, there's absolutely no reason that Eliar couldn't have just popped back in a paragraph later, fully cured. I'm glad he doesn't, because that would end the military stuff too soon, but that's how the not-Tardis should be working. It's a freaking time pause button.

Anyhoo, Khalor realizes that without Althalus's pocket miracles, they need to fort up in a better position. He asks Salkan to take him to the nearest hill, which turns out to be a several hundred foot high sheer cliff jutting out an otherwise flat field. It has its own freshwater supply.

It makes no geographical sense, which every character points out repeatedly. We're rolling with it.

They stick things out for one more good rush, and use sheep to hide their thoughts from Ghend's mind reader, which works pretty well for defense and offence, as the damned things stampeed the second the battle starts. Then everybody heads out for the geographically impossible cliff for some RnR. Althalus magics up some food and he and the troops start planning for a long, long seige on the mountain.

Gher points out that Ghend's hencman will probably open a door on the path up the cliff, if not directly in their camp (why this never actually occurs to either side mystifies me. Open door at rear of camp, take out most of the supplies and support, and then attack the front lines while they're distracted. It's classic and you don't have to bother with all the hiking. Having a couple hundred enemy soldiers appear in the middle of my camp followers would really ruin my day) so Althalus has the shepherds start rolling rocks down the pathway.

Gher and Althalus also start planning to set fire to the grass around the cliffs, now affectionately known as God's Tooth. This whole sequence annoys the fuck out of me. Dweia can't talk to Althalus, so she talks to Gher instead...because we never find out why, that's just what happens because we need artificial suspense instead of, IDK, shooting three or four of our DEMS and having actual suspense.

Gher tells Althalus which words from the book to use. Because that's what Lord of the Rings needed, you know. Having Gandalf be coached through his spell-casting by a random orphan from Rohan. Having been handed the difficult spell of "making wind" handed to him on a silver platter, he gets the shepherds to set random fires. Gelta attacks with cavalry, and Althalus lights her horses on fire.

Khalor starts building another tower inside their camp on the cliff, because I guess Eddings wanted to do a re-enactment of Helm's Deep.

 Things move on predictably.

By late afternoon, Gelta’s Ansus had returned across the fire-ravaged grassland and totally encircled the tower. Gebhel’s men soon discovered that a boulder rolled off the edge of the tower onto the rocks a thousand feet below bounced a long way out from the base of their fortress. They found that to be enormously entertaining.
Gher then suggests that they build a moat inside their own camp. I guess because being able to pull your front lines back inside your fall-back position is for suckers. Althalus spends a lot of time fishing for words again. Dude, you spent two thousand years studying that fucking book, you'd think you'd remember to bring a crib sheet with you, at least.

Ghend finally remembers that he has doors and how to use them. He dumps his troops on the path towards Khalor's camp, rather than, you know, inside of Khalor's camp.

Khalor dumps a bunch of rocks on Ghend's men then retreats into the main cave. The top of God's Tooth now belongs to Ghend. Althalus, however, pulls magic directly out of his ass and starts an earthquake. Apparently there was a very deep crack in this geological improbability, and this opens up a ditch. Althalus dumps water into it and all of Ghend's horses and all of Ghend's men go flying off either side of God's Tooth, caught in Althalus's brand new waterfall.

And that is what "I've written myself into a corner" looks like when you drag the solution directly out of your ass. Though I have to admit the double-ended waterfall is kind of metal.

Though I probably ought to call it Dweia's waterfall, seeing as how she had to hold Al's hand every step of the way.

And then we have RANDOM FUCKING CAVALRY. Yep, the cavalry soldiers Khalor and Althalus hired several chapters ago come racing out of the cave with Eliar in the lead. The cavalry smash Ghend's troops while Eliar and Pekhal enter single combat. Eliar waits until he's got Pekhal on the ropes before showing him the magical will stealing knife. Pekhal, of course, screams like a vampire doused in holy water, and Ghend rescues his underling before Pelhal can do much more than wet himself.

We never see Pekhal again.

End of chapter.

Oh, and the next  chunk of book? AKA section five? Yeah, this is Andine's section.

Brace yourselves.

1 comment:

  1. "So the updates have been sporatic and that is entirely my fault. Depressive cycles suck."

    Sporadic updates are fine. Depression does indeed suck, and you need to take care of yourself before you worry about amusing us.

    I've been reading the reviews. I just haven't commented much because as bad as some of Eddings' stuff is, it doesn't quite rise to the levels of HOLY FUCK LKH that really bring out my snark.