Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Redemption of Althalus--chapter five and six

Althalus draws the normal, sane conclusion after hearing the cat start talking. Namely, that he's lost it. Of course, he gets to blame Ghend for it all, so he spends a few minutes doing that.

The cat asks him to go close the door again. He and the cat  hold a conversation about how the cat can't actually talk. This segues into a conversation about how the Edge of the World is just a really high cliff, and how Althalus is being stupid.

I like the cat.

And then this happens:

“Well, of course I know your name, you ninny. I was sent here to meet you.”
 “Oh? Who sent you?” 
“You’re having enough trouble holding on to your sanity already. Let’s not push you off any edges with things you aren’t ready to understand just yet. You might as well get used to me, Althalus. We’re going to be together for a long, long time.”

Dave. You tell the same fucking story each time. This makes me think that maybe you're making this shit up as you go but you AREN'T. And we both know it. You've got the balls to make your repetition a cosmic question of purpose rather than your own inability to come up with a new story (IT IS THE SAME EVERY TIME) and for this I commend you, but if you can't keep your continuity up better than this I really don't know what to do with you.

Yeah, you'll see what the problem is with this REAL soon.

 Athalus tells the cat that he's going to take his book and leave now, because the cat is fucking creepy.

The cat points out that this tower no longer has a door. And it doesn't.

This is not the time for the consent rant, so we're just going to earmark this scene for later.

Althalus's reaction to this is not exactly rational:

 “I think I’ll kill myself,” he said mournfully.
The cat just says "Well, you can't, so let's get on with this."

See, Althalus now needs to learn how to read The Book, and then he needs to learn how to use The Book, and once he has completed this, our Theif will complete his metamorphosis into The Irrascable Racist Misogynist Drunk Wizard, and this is why we are not playing the David Eddings Drinking Game in one sitting.

Althalus tells the cat he isn't learning shit.

The cat goes back to sleep.

Althalus spends several days trying to get out of the room, and then agrees with the cat. It takes about two paragraphs. The cat demands he sit next to her and pet her, and when he refuses threatens to take another nap.

I have to say, Eddings has captured the attitude of a cat with magical powers rather perfectly. "You're going to play with me NOW, human!"

Althalus spends the next bit learning how to read and trying to get the cat to tell him what she is. She hasn't always been a cat, but she's not interested in giving him any knowledge other than "That mark means 'dog'".

He names her Emerald. Emerald acts like a cat. Althalus remarks at how annoying this is. Especially as she's providing him with food via magic and all she wants is fish.

Althalus keeps trying to understand why he's here and how all this is possible, and decides finally that he's dead. He died back in Hule somehow, and this is all the afterlife. He's fine with it, because it's not like a theif can make it into heaven.

He and Emerald then discuss who wrote the book. It's God. His name is Deiwos.

Althalus shortens Emerald's name to Emmy. It pisses her off.

Next chapter

Althalus realizes that he was kind of a git back before he came to the house, and that he really wasn't all that great of a thief.

Admitting it is the first step in the healing process

Emmy decides that Althalus should now learn how to use the book. She tells him to order his shoe to come to him while touching the book and using the book's Very Special Language. He does. His shoe hits him in the face.

I am rather pleased with this.

The learning continues, with Emmy apparently using every chance she gets to let Althalus inflict minor injury on himself.

He asks her how long he's been on the house. She doesn't give him a number, but does let him know she put him to sleep for a couple years every once in a while. Oh, and she's God's Sister.

Yeah, nobody sent her. She kind of picked Althalus herself.

They continue to debate his age and she finally mentions that Ghend is a bit older than he is. He says "Oh, you mean the red-eyed asshole who sent me to get the book?" And Emmy kind of does a spit-take.

“Why didn’t you tell me?” she almost shrieked at him. 
“I must have.” 
“No, as a matter of fact, you didn’t. You idiot! You’ve been sitting on that for the last twenty-five hundred years!”
Our brave hero. Forgets to pass on vital information.

Also gets his ass chewed by a kitty.

So Althalus patronizes her for a second, and instead of clawing his face off like she ought to, Emmy info dumps. Ghend is on the side of Daeva, the bad God. He is bad because Plot. Althalus has been kidnapped and re-educated in the name of the good God, Deiwos, which is really weird because Ghend was recruited of his own free will, and--right. Not time for the consent rant.

Anyway, knowing that Ghend sent Althalus to get the book means that Emmy and Althalus have to leave the House at the End of the World RIGHT FUCKING NOW. Before Althalus is ready. He still can't use the book right, you see. And that means Emmy has to come along with him, but first she has to rape his mind so that he can talk with her.

As we will find later, there are many ways that Emmy could take care of this that DON'T involve her having to run off RIGHT FUCKING NOW, but for the moment, we're finally leaving this stupid fucking room.

Anyway, the mind-raping scene starts with Emmy asking Althalus if he really loves her, and it goes downhill from there. It involves him counting trees until his mind is loose enough for her to get inside, at which point she starts using telepathy and acting like she does this all the time. Who knows? Maybe she does.

However, I do not feel very sorry for Althalus. The chapter ends with him immediately using the link to ransack Emmy's head.

Yeah, these two were totally made for each other.

1 comment:

  1. Well, at least Eddings is a competent writer. Creepy, reactionary, and prone to writing self-satisfied privileged jackasses as protagonists, but competent.