SpoilerSpace II (Still No Peeking)

Posted: April 8th, 2011 under Spoiler Space.

I’ve noticed a couple of problems with spoiler comments showing up in more recent threads, so…here’s a nice, fresh SpoilerSpace at the top of the list.   All comments that contain content from Kings of the North are  welcome here (and in the first Spoiler Space, if you prefer.  Either one.)   Please do not discuss events, new information on characters, etc. from this book outside of Spoiler Space threads until further notice.  It really bothers some people who haven’t read the book yet.


  • Comment by Leo — April 8, 2011 @ 6:05 pm


    General question – are all or a majority of threads going to be tied up – or are some just going to linger here and there until possibly a future project – or just be like life and not everything gets resolved – or resolved to everyone’s satisfaction? Just curious (I like to have it both ways myself).

  • Comment by elizabeth — April 8, 2011 @ 6:17 pm


    There are always unfinished edges: real life. I will certainly try to tie up enough that people agree the story is finished (that story, anyway.) However, I know from experience that what feels “finished” to me doesn’t necessarily feel “finished” to readers. I think for some people if the characters are still alive, the story doesn’t feel complete, whereas for me, there’s a very definite story arc that stops short of that.

  • Comment by Margaret Middleton — April 9, 2011 @ 3:05 pm


    Am I the only Paksworld reader who thinks Arvid Semminson looks rather like Johnny Depp?

  • Comment by elizabeth — April 9, 2011 @ 8:56 pm


    Oh great. This is what migraines do for you. I answered two questions in one reply–and they were from people asking them in different threads…sorry, Margaret.

    I think Johnny Depp would make a great Arvid in the movie of _Kings_. (Had to delete sentence with my notion of who would be great in the bathtub scene…let people have their own fantasies…)

  • Comment by Moira — April 10, 2011 @ 1:08 am


    LOL, I saw your answer in the other thread and didn’t even notice it was in the wrong place! Hey, I was right there with you (and it’s after midnight here, so that’s my excuse).

    Still laughing.

  • Comment by Jonathan Schor — April 10, 2011 @ 11:32 am


    Finished listening to Oath of Fealty and have started to listen to Kings of the North – good stuff.

  • Comment by Nay — April 10, 2011 @ 1:05 pm


    Hi! *is the one who pays WAY too much attention to little details* Wasn’t Siniava shape-changed as an animal when Paks caught him in Divided Allegiance? Arcolin says at one point (Kindle version so I don’t have page numbers) that Siniava was shapechanged as a woman. I was under the impression that that was Paks’s first impression, not what he actually was.

    Either way, I do like the book very much. Thanks for writing such a wonderful story!

    Err…*covers eyes* The Lady stood to be knocked down a notch, didn’t she.

  • Comment by Moira — April 10, 2011 @ 2:57 pm


    Nay, if I remember right (and this is without going & looking it up, cos it’s Sunday and I’m lazy) someone else in the party was an animal and serving as a decoy. But I could be wrong.

    Either way, Siniava got what he deserved.

  • Comment by elizabeth — April 10, 2011 @ 3:42 pm


    Nay: Yes, Siniava changed to an animal, but Paks thought at first he’d changed to a woman, then saw the animal. Double-fake. Arcolin did not see this himself and heard about it later (the Duke and the Halveric arrived at the scene along with the paladin, but not Arcolin.)

    But to the troops, fat (he wasn’t really fat, but he is in the songs) Siniava shape-changing to a woman is a much better story: the songs made up about it have it that way (I actually wrote one, but it was lost with the lost notebooks) and though Arcolin heard the truth, and the truth is somewhere in the Company archives, a catchy tune and rhyming words will live forever (or would, if I could find the !**! notebook.)

    If he’d changed to something else as ludicrous (a rabbit, say, instead of the indeterminate blurry thing he did change into) or really impressive (a huge wildcat) they might have made a song about that, but Paks couldn’t say what kind of animal and that made it hard to make a song out of it. But a woman…in a veil…trying to waggle her hips…that worked. (For all I know, Paks herself now misremembers it, having heard the song and so much having happened to her since.)

  • Comment by elizabeth — April 10, 2011 @ 3:46 pm


    Moira, there was a woman, but she was the decoy. Nay is right: Siniava sent her out with an obvious wizard-looking person, and then tried to scuttle past while everyone was occupied with “wizard” and “shapechanger.” If he’d bothered to come up with a really good identifiable animal shape that might possibly have been there and bolting away from the uproar (a deer, for instance) he might have gotten away with it, but he thought a darkish blur on four legs scuttling along the rockface would do. And it didn’t.

  • Comment by Moira — April 10, 2011 @ 9:46 pm


    Dammit, that’s what I get for not looking it up. I knew there was a wizard-type in there somewhere. Thank you!

    I do hope the Lost Notebooks turn up one of these days. There’s obviously a lot of great stuff in there you could tease us with for many years to come! (Said one of those who thoroughly enjoy the teasing.)

    I’ve finished my Kings re-read and am digesting contentedly; I suspect another re-read is in the offing. I have all sorts of theories and ideas of where we’re headed, but I’m happy to wait for the book(s) and see if I read the signs aright.

    I like the king of Pargun! (Not his brother, though.) Also Elin, though I suspect she’s in for a heartbreaker with Ms. Thing; hope she makes some good friends at Falk’s Hall. I’d hazard a guess that even if all-out war is averted, relations between Pargun and Lyonya will never be dull.

    I look forward to hearing more from Arian, the dragon, Arvid, Paks of course – well, the whole kit & kaboodle, really. It’s addictive, and I am happily hooked.

  • Comment by elizabeth — April 10, 2011 @ 10:07 pm


    You realize, Moira, that if I ever do find the Lost Notebooks of Wonderfulness, it may be like the time I woke up in the night and wrote a long poem on the windowsill of my room (I was about 12, I think), and went back to sleep thinking it was the greatest thing ever…and in the morning it was…um…not. I remember the lost notebooks as being meticulous records of everything, plus the lyrics of about a dozen songs, plus a lot of the legends, side-stories, back-stories, etc. But that’s a 20+ year old memory. Maybe it was a collection of…um…junk. (And how did I get something sticky on my fingers washing dishes, which is what I was just now doing???) (back to kitchen to rinse it off.)

  • Comment by Moira — April 11, 2011 @ 12:12 am


    Well, time plays tricks on us all, that’s a given. It certainly does with me (plus we change over time, and our likes & dislikes change also). But even if you decided it was all junk and opted not to share (tease!) it would probably still be a valuable resource to you as the writer. The stuff you didn’t like / didn’t agree with any more would serve to throw the newer ideas into sharp relief and almost certainly be a source of further development and inspiration, as you chew over *why* you like the new stuff better.

    At least that’s what it says here. But I’m being all Pollyanna-in-analytical-thinking-mode, and it’s late on Sunday night so I’ll stop. Plus I have a headache.

    Wishing everyone a headache-free week…

  • Comment by Stan Thornton — April 11, 2011 @ 11:15 am


    Stayed up way too late last night finishing up Kings and am paying for it at work today. I couldn’t put it down. Great Job Ms. Moon! You are a very talented writer and one of the few authors that I purchase in hardcover since I can’t wait till the paperback comes out…

    Thank you for the world and unforgettable characters!


  • Comment by elizabeth — April 11, 2011 @ 11:49 am


    Moira: sympathy. Headaches…bleh. Mine disappeared when the front rolled over us last night (thunder! lightning! spurts of rain! Not a lot, but every drop welcome.)

  • Comment by elizabeth — April 11, 2011 @ 11:50 am


    Thanks, Stan.

  • Comment by Thomas Lindgren — April 11, 2011 @ 4:06 pm


    Let me just gush a bit and say that I’ve liked these two quite a bit indeed. My favorites of your work so far (though I’m reserving a spot for SPEED OF DARK yet); gripping stories, characters that sometimes caress your heart, fine worldbuilding that even the picky can make contented peace with, and (not least) villainy I could believe in. Most satisfying epic fantasy.

  • Comment by kirrus — April 11, 2011 @ 7:29 pm


    Nay, If you’ve upgraded to the latest version of the Kindle software, from memory, hit the ‘menu’ button, then check the bottom of the screen. It gives you absolute position (No idea what that is) and page number of the published book, if it knows it 🙂

  • Comment by Keenan — April 11, 2011 @ 8:14 pm


    Is there a possibility that Luap will be given a second chance to finish setting things right? It would be nice to have him return, if only long enough to retell Gird’s story and fill in all the blanks that the archives are missing from the beginning. That might allow him to die knowing he was able to finally fulfill his role as Gird’s Luap and Archivist and correct the last of those mistakes that he can. A way to make amends.

    I, too, wish the notes would show up. All the back stories and side stories to fill in the thin spots really add to the depth and richness of the world you’ve created.

  • Comment by elizabeth — April 11, 2011 @ 11:34 pm


    Thomas: Thanks very much!

  • Comment by elizabeth — April 11, 2011 @ 11:38 pm


    I don’t think that’s going to happen…when the expedition reached the top of that rock, Luap’s spirit was freed from the apparition of him. Of course, these books have been surprising me right along, so anything might happen…

  • Comment by Naomi — April 12, 2011 @ 3:58 am


    the ‘glamour’ that elves cast upon non elves makes it very difficult to trust any ot them! Poor Kieri, he must want to be able to yell at them occasionally and can’t in case he upsets the taig..

  • Comment by Leo — April 12, 2011 @ 6:25 am


    I have a question that’s been peculating in the back of my mind for the past two books. The Wizards. The ones Duke Kieri Phelan had with him. They were absent the last book of Deed – Oath of Gold, and i think if i remember correctly, that they were visiting colleagues in Verella, and that Paks was relieved, because she heard that Wizards and Paladins did not get along very well. But – where they contracted by Duke Phelan and were released when he abdicated and became King of Lyona? Would Arcolin not try to contract them again as i would think he would need them even more now? and are there going to be some marshalls that will be going with Arcolin back down south?

  • Comment by Gillian A — April 12, 2011 @ 5:12 pm


    I really enjoyed Kings. I think it was a better book than Oath, but perhaps that’s just because Oath had to do the heavy lifting of kicking off the new series.

    I loved the dragon and am interested to see what he does about the Pargunese messing with the young dragons. He can’t be pleased that he had to get Arian to kill them. I’d also be very curious to learn if female dragons are really less inclined to wisdom than male dragons, or if our particular dragon is just a little bit of a chauvinist amongst his species.

    I have to say though, that I think Kieri was a bit thick, not realising that Arian was 50 instead of 25. Granted she may look young, but presumably she acts her age, and he did know she was a half-elf, so he should have been a bit more suspicious. On the other hand, I don’t recall anyone thinking that Kieri only looks about 25, so if he’s judging by himself, maybe he can be excused. I recall that his mother made some efforts (can’t recall details unfortunately) to ensure he looked as humas as possible to reassure his human subjects. Perhaps this is why he looks more mature than a typical half-elf.

    Related to the above, I kind of get a feeling that Kieri isn’t quite as comfortable / perceptive around women as he is with men. He seems very confident and perceptive indeed with men and easily able to convince / sway them to his point of view, even including long-standing enemies like the King of Pargun. He’s less so (if not very obviously) with women (eg Arian – her age; Hanlin – he wasn’t really clear what her game was, thinking her a decent and smart woman herself, but not necessarily representative of the King of Pargun’s views, whereas she was actually plotting against him; Elis and Ganlin – so keen to solve their problems for them that he didn’t really think through the possible impact of their non-return upon their families back home; Settik – he thought she was a horrible bitch, but didn’t suspect she was actively scheming against him). Ah well, he’s got a lot on his plate.

  • Comment by elizabeth — April 12, 2011 @ 6:49 pm


    Keep in mind that elves of greater power can charm elves of lesser power. It’s not just humans they influence that way. Kieri, though, does not yell much in any case. Occasionally, yes, but rarely. And it would not work with elves.

  • Comment by elizabeth — April 12, 2011 @ 6:53 pm


    Wizards and the Fellowship of Gird are not overly friendly. The Girdish regard wizards as either frauds, pretending to abilities they do not have (all they can do is provide illusions and tricks), or as those who are trying to be magelords–in any case, not willing to work for what they get. Kieri used wizards (whose ability he tested before hiring) after his wife’s death, when he blamed the Girdish. Arcolin very likely will not, because he–unlike Kieri–is Girdish. If Kieri had not been found to be king–if he had stayed in the north–his decision to allow Girdish marshals in his domain again would have provoked some tension between the wizards and the Marshals.

  • Comment by elizabeth — April 12, 2011 @ 7:49 pm


    You bring up some interesting questions, Gillian. Here are some data you may not have had (or thought of the implications of.)

    a) When he is found to be the rightful heir, Kieri is about 50, a veteran mercenary, who looks his age and whose face, in particular, has a very weathered look. He is half-elven, but does not look it because he’s been out of contact with the taig for all but his first four years. Once he is in contact with the taig again, his elven blood begins to heal the damage, and he gradually looks younger–but will never look as young as a half-elf who has lived near other elves and in the care of the taig for an entire life.

    b) “Acting one’s age” is a cultural concept: what is appropriate for a certain age varies with culture as much as with physical ability. Kieri has lived his life to this point around humans–most of whom (if they are going to marry) are married by 25-30–and much of it around military women (both commanders and soldiers) whose appearance (skin wrinkling, for instance) and physical ability ages much faster than does that of half-elven or elven women. He knows that the military women his own age or near it are getting stiff, slowing down from their abilities decades younger. So he’s used to judging age by appearance (for nearly all) and behavior (married/unmarried, socially experienced v. inexperienced) in human terms, largely those of Tsaia and Aarenis. Arian seems “young” in appearance–the unflawed, unweathered skin–in her movements (no stiffness in drill even early in the morning)–and in her lack of social experience. All the half-elf Squires seem much younger to him than their real age…they haven’t traveled, they’re not familiar with any of the political complexities that he knows, and they act like (to him) much younger people he’s known in Tsaia.

    c) Kieri’s perceptive and skillful with people (men and women) whose background he understands…he makes mistakes with those who are different enough from his past experience to throw him off. He had surprisingly little difficulty with both male and female commanders, officers, and soldiers (thanks largely, but not wholly, to Aliam Halveric’s influence)…from the earlier books, both implied and explicit instances, he got along well with Aesil M’dierra, Dorrin Verrakai (who is not an easy person), his wife, his female NCOs and soldiers, Kolya Ministiera (and other female veterans), the present king of Tsaia’s mother when she was Regent for her sons, and many others. But where a cultural divide existed–and especially where it was deeper than he knew–he could make mistakes with both men and women. So I don’t think it’s fair to say he’s not as comfortable with/perceptive of women…in familiar contexts and a familiar culture.

    c) The Pargunese are from a completely different cultural base, and have been perceived primarily as “the enemy”–and in addition, Kieri has spent much of his time in Aarenis. He has never learned anything about Pargunese other than the appearance of them on the battlefield. (The same is true for other Tsaians.) He had no idea that they treated their dead differently, that they believed women soldiers were all unwilling conscripts used as whores, that they did not know of the honor of Falk’s Hall. Both the Seafolk (Pargunese and Kostandanyans) and the Tsaians (and Lyonyans) had a lot of misinformation that had hardened into firm beliefs. Kieri distrusted their king’s motives until after he had met him and learned about their beliefs. He certainly thought Countess Settik was part of a plot against him, in cooperating to force Elis to try to kill him, but he did not suspect her of plotting against Torfinn (which she was.) Hanlin wasn’t plotting against Kieri–she was, however, Torfinn’s agent and (like Torfinn) wanted peace. But Kieri (reasonably in terms of what he knew) distrusted Torfinn’s motives.

    I’m playing here with cultural differences, not just personalities, as drivers of conflict, confusion, error. None of these cultures are precisely equivalent to anything here and now–or even have precise historical equivalents–but they behave like real cultures in their ability to cause misunderstandings.

  • Comment by Morrygan — April 12, 2011 @ 8:33 pm


    Finished Kings and loved it, of course, as with all the other books you’ve written! Recommended the series to my Dad (he liked the Gird books) and has read the Paks ones as well, and my sister just finished reading it and has started rereading the Paks books. You are well-loved by this family! 😀

    Very glad Kieri found someone he can be with, because I really sympathized with his frustration that everyone was so focused on matchmaking to the point where he had trouble getting his other work done, like preparing the realm for military problems, that seemed inevitable. Plus, it will be very good for him to have someone to help out with running Lyonya, and they seem very well suited.

    Aaah, just so much fun! It’s nice to leave this world for your imagination, just wish I could do it more often!

  • Comment by elizabeth — April 12, 2011 @ 10:25 pm


    Thank you! Glad to know it’s a family affair, too.

  • Comment by John Hicks — April 12, 2011 @ 11:05 pm


    Just finished my first read of KoN. Ms Moon you have certainly given us a wonderful amount of detail of this incredible world. Lots of new threads started and old ones either ended or continued!
    It appears Kieri is developing mage powers.Will this affect relations between Tasia @ Lyonya because of the Girdish view on magic? How old would a child be before he/she displays such powers? What will happen if some of the children Dorrin has at home start to develop mage powers? I believe the oldest is round 9 or 10.

  • Comment by elizabeth — April 13, 2011 @ 7:07 am


    John: Thanks. As for your questions–some may be answered (or answers begun) in the next book but others will still be hanging. And answering some would be spoilerish. But on the cultural level, I can talk about Tsaian (and all-Girdish) attitudes to magery. Girdish view magery differently depending on who has it: it’s OK for elves (and, by extension, half-elves) but not for humans. Elves are uncanny and powerful, but the gods made them that way and they’re annoyingly smug (proud, arrogant, condescending) but they do no harm (a belief that is at best founded on insufficient evidence.) The degree to which elves can charm and confuse humans with their glamors is not recognized by most. The Severance was long ago; the iynisin are wicked and cruel, but easily recognized and far too powerful for humans to deal with anyway. Humans with inborn mage powers are more like iynisin, with the disadvantage that they are hader to spot, at least early on. Wizardry is now widely accepted as a technology (not inborn–learned) whether disapproved of or not, and as equivalent (it’s not) to the “hedge witch” skills which were (almost always) tolerated and even admired.

    So the Tsaians, when they finally hear about Kieri’s developing powers, think his are the result of his being half-elven, which takes the sting out…especially since he did not use any such powers while he was with them. They do not consider that his human father might have contributed mage abilities, because they’ve always thought of Lyonya as governed by elves (even when it had an all-human monarch on the throne. From outside it was clear that the Lady and her court held the real power.)

  • Comment by Gillian A — April 13, 2011 @ 8:32 am


    Hi Elizabeth. Thanks for the comprehensive rely above. Interesting that it’s Kieri’s lack of connection to the Taig that’s hastened his appearance of ageing. I wonder if he’d stayed away from Lyonya whether he would ultimately have aged and died younger than is typical for a half-elf.

    The point about Arian’s lack of social experience is part of what I was wondering about really. Granted she’s not travelled much, but she’s lived a good few years. She’s contemporary with Dorrin (maybe even a bit older) but seems (both to Kieri, Dorrin and the reader)less mature (? – not quite the word I want, but will have to do). It gives rise to some (possibly quite wild) speculations in my mind about half-elves generally. Kieri grew up amongst humans, believing himself to be one, but in Lyonya there appear to be sufficient half-elves for them to form their own customs / community, and not just to tag along with the humans or the elves, depending on circumstances. In other words, they are their own thing, practically their own race, which is intriguing. It would be interesting to see more about half-elves and their relationship to humans and elves if the plot demands of future books permit it.

    With regard to Kieri’s interactions with men / women, yes, it is the difference in social position / cultural background that’s the thing, rather than the specific gender. Despite their different belief systems and lack of knowledge of each other, he and the King of Pargun, had sufficient commonalty of experience (military / command / political?) to be able to thrash things out together and come to quite a good understanding when they had the chance. Not so easy with people coming from a very different worldview.

  • Comment by elizabeth — April 13, 2011 @ 9:18 am


    The half-elf rangers are their own social group, yes. And very naive about things outside their experience, which makes them seem less mature than they are. Arian spent formative years on her mother’s farm–and some of most days out in the woods, alone or with her elven father. She went to Falk’s Hall a little late, got her ruby, and went back to the woods as a ranger, keeping (of what she’d learned there) only the ethical standards. Falk’s Hall teaches all the arts felt necessary for an aristocrat, but most of it isn’t needed in the woods. Aside from being half-elven, with a partial elven education, and the several years at Falk’s Hall, she’s been socially (and politically) isolated for most of her life. By the time she decides to come to the coronation (with a bunch of other rangers, out of curiosity as much as anything) she’s had about twenty years at an isolated farm and a quarter century of being a forest ranger–mostly alone or with two or three others–and four to five years in Falk’s Hall. For someone in that society, there’s no way to learn about the larger world other than direct contact (at least with someone who’s been out there.)

    Because they’re not children, she and the other half-elf rangers-now-Squires learn fast–but they work at it. They realize their responsibility as Squires makes it necessary to learn things they never thought about before….but it’s still a huge amount. The Siers and their families (at least the richer ones) may not have traveled but have been in Chaya before, learning something of government, economics, trade, etc. They have somewhat less to learn. Arian’s skillset–so different from Kieri’s, aside from weapons skills and riding–will complement his and provide depth in areas where he’s still learning.

  • Comment by genko — April 13, 2011 @ 11:27 am


    Yes, as you astutely pointed out, both the elves and the humans are naive in terms of what they want Lyonya to look like, because they lack the information and experience they need about the world “out there.” The same is really true of all of us — we learn and act on what we know, what we grow up with, and disregard a lot of things that seem irrelevant to our experience. And yet, things change all the time, and suddenly we have to cope with stuff we never thought we’d have to. That’s when it’s helpful, though sometimes difficult, to deal with others who have different knowledge and experience and cultural backgrounds.

  • Comment by Anna Puma — April 13, 2011 @ 1:35 pm


    Ms. Moon thank you. Re: previous comment in another thread. I am well rebuked. 🙂 I do have the maps and was trying to figure where Paks went questing from and guess what new complication she could be bringing. Still pondering.

    As the Marshal General has realized, Paks is the cause for changes. It seems the world of the Eight Kingdoms and of Aerenis has ossified before her arrival. Hence people thought of Pargun as a threat without really knowing Pargun. As she told Arvid once out of the Thieves Guild, perhaps the gods have more than one concern. In this case, setting into motion reasons for the lesser races to sort out problems long festering. Or the complaceny Arvid finds in Fin Panir. Huh, wonder if any of the other paladin candidates Paks trained with made it through training – guess will stay tuned to next book[s].

    Arian’s father seems much like Haleron. Much traveled in the human world and knowledgable of things many elves do not think important. From his comment to Arian on joining the Squires, it can be said he thought she was too sheltered as a ranger. I feel some of the Lady’s fellow elves know her weaknesses and play on them, considering how old the Lady is its a tragedy she is only now starting to learn about herself.

    Much yet to learned that I eagerly await. Thanks.

  • Comment by Gillian A — April 13, 2011 @ 1:36 pm


    Genko’s comment above about dealing with change reminds me that I didn’t mention one of my favourite strands in the book. Count Andressat learning to deal with the shock! horror! of discovering that hundreds (thousands?) of years ago his ancestors weren’t quite as grand as he assumed they were, was lovely.

    As an outside observer, his mental readjustments (pulling himself up short and thinking ‘No! His ancestry is better than mine. I must stop despising him’) are rather amusing. But full credit to him for trying to amend the prejudices of a lifetime at an advanced time of life. And then his setting out to atone by leaving his comfortable home and travelling all over the continent to set things straight with everyone he’d ever been a bit snobby to. And they weren’t that interested either when he got there. I thought this was a really lovely plot thread.

  • Comment by Anna Puma — April 13, 2011 @ 1:45 pm


    Hit post and Gillian brings up a good thread in the book. Andresset maybe prickly but he is capable, honest, hard working, and a steady ally.

    And of aerenis, it seems to be the Honeycat was needed to weaken Aerenis for Alured to make his grab for power. Its a black mark on Aliam and Kieri to not recognize fast enough what Alured meant, but neither flinches from taking responsibily for putting short term objectives ahead of long term. Bet in the Afterlife the Master of Torments enjoys taunting the Honeycat for being such a good tool.

  • Comment by Bernardette — April 14, 2011 @ 4:23 pm


    Although Paks calls on Gird for her power, it seems to come as much from Alyanya and the High Lord as much from Gird. That, and the holy circle on her brow, make me wonder if she’s moving more in the direction of becoming another Saint like Gird. Also, will we see more of the Windsteed other than the great horse she got?

    I know that there was a thread on theology a while back but I’m trying to keep the cosmic hierarchy straight in my head. Can you re-link to refresh my memory? Alyanya is not a saint like Gird, right?

  • Comment by elizabeth — April 14, 2011 @ 5:00 pm


    There’s a lot of information on the Paksworld website, including (under “people”) a section on religion.

    Alyanya is worshipped as the Lady of Flowers and the Lady of Peace–she is the equivalent of “the great mother,” the source of fertility; the soil is literally thought of as her body by many (not all) human cultures and some others.

  • Comment by Eliz. D. — April 14, 2011 @ 11:56 pm


    One thing I noticed in “Kings of the North:” in the plot about the necklace and Arvid: some characters seem to indicate that Arvid has given a history about Paks, and then later the chapter about Arvid in Fin Paneer seems to indicate that he hadn’t yet.

    I loved that chapter; again the limitations of the well-meaning Girdish. But they trust both elves and dwarves; it would seem that the scholars at Fin Paneer would notice that there might be variations in character between different elves and different dwarves, and notice that gnomes might occasionally wear different clothing. It almost seems as if the school has no time for scholarship (much like many modern colleges dropping the requirement for history). After Paks, they never had a curriculum review. They see themselves as perfect.

    I would think that almost all dwarves are very honest, or else the Guild League cities would have no banks.

  • Comment by Bernardette — April 15, 2011 @ 11:09 am


    thank you for the link! sorry for breaking the “will we see x do y” rule!

  • Comment by PocketGoddess — April 15, 2011 @ 2:35 pm


    I’m late getting into this game, and am in the middle of my second reading. Just a few comments/questions on Kings:

    1) Is that the same dragon from the judgment story you suggested I read? The colors are different, and I don’t know if they change colors with age, etc. but they *sounded* the same.

    2) Page 298 “Falk’s hall is not some Girdish grange welcoming any farmer’s brat who can pick up a hauk”–that outburst really bothered me, especially since there has been such emphasis on humble service to all, and courtesy (I remember a punishment for unkind words/treatment in Falk’s hall.) Are Falk’s followers really so snobby!

    3) The Kuakgan grafting (266) caught me by surprise and creeped me out a little; I knew that Master Oakhollow lives differently and mostly apart from others, but I always thought of him as entirely human. I would love to know more about this if it’s in the backstory/legend” area you’re willing to discuss.

    4) Cornlyn’s Instructive Stories–I think you have the title for that volume of short stories/legends many of us are hoping you will collect/write!

  • Comment by elizabeth — April 15, 2011 @ 10:10 pm


    PocketGoddess: 1) I can’t answer that. Sorry, privileged info. 2) Some are, but in this instance, it was a situation-specific reaction to the other person. 3) It is creepy. Or, depending on your viewpoint, wonderfully mystical. I’ve known about it for years, but it wasn’t plot-relevant until now. 4) That’s a good idea…

  • Comment by elizabeth — April 15, 2011 @ 10:11 pm


    Bernadette: I hadn’t made the rule explicit, so no blame accrues and no apologies are necessary.

  • Comment by Rune Ulset Furberg — April 21, 2011 @ 7:55 am


    I finally finished Kings yesterday and is somewhat bummed out by having to wait almost a year for the next installment… :/
    (although that leaves some time to read something else, as well as re-reading the other books, so I guess it is not that bad 🙂

    I must say Kings is a brilliant book, and this time I was equally intrigued by all the storylines (for some reason, the Arcolin storyline in Oath did not interest me that much, the Korryn/Stammel incident being a notable exception). I sincerly hope we get to see more of Arianya and Arvid next book – their chapters was somewhat overshadowed by those of the other characters this time. I like the way the focus seems to shift slightly between books – Dorrin being the main protagonist in Oath and Phelan taking over more of the action in this book, as well as the introduction of Andressat.

    Besides the Andressat chapters (which I loved), I think the most intriguing thing about Kings is all the little details about the past and the world besides our main characters that keep popping up from time to time, for instance the discussion of Tsaian nobility during Coronation Day, which I have an eerie feeling will prove more central to the plot at a later stage of the books.

    About that nobility, I have a couple of questions:
    1. Did I read it right when I think the only dukedoms having survived from the time of the Girdish wars and up to present times (which now has been explicitly confirmed being about five hundred years) are Marrakai, Verrakai and Mahieran? (since five dukedoms survived the war and two died out, that leaves three, and as I recall, both Marrakai, Verrakai and Mahieran is mentioned in Surrender None).
    2. Has Mahieran held the crown of Tsaia at all times since the Girdish wars?
    3. If the Escral domain had still existed, would Three Firs be in it, does Three Firs belong to a county or barony, or is Three Firs so far out that there are not much govering there anyway? (hm, suddenly it appears that some of this might be answered at the very beginning of Deed)
    4. We now have the approximate location of Marrakai, Verrakai and the two former dukedoms. Where are Mahieran and Gerstad lands situated?

  • Comment by elizabeth — April 21, 2011 @ 11:43 am


    Your nobility questions: most answers are on the Paksworld website or in the texts. There are four dukes: Mahieran, Serrostin, Marrakai, and Verrakai. Mahieran has held the throne since the Girdish war; they were the only family believed not to have any magery (and were, pre-Girdish war, held in less esteem because of that.) Three Firs always was on the edge of land under any feudal control. Locations will come later.

  • Comment by Daniel Glover — April 21, 2011 @ 2:02 pm


    Definitely spoilerish so I am posting here rather than under the book title thread. I like both and having heard both now I am of the firm belief that we are going to get more information about the elves in the next three volumes than some of us had dared dream for earlier. 🙂

    Granted that’s just a surmise on my part.

  • Comment by Karen B. — April 25, 2011 @ 5:48 pm


    I finally finished Kings of the North, and I loved it. Now, to reread Legacy of Gird. To that reviewer (on Amazon, I think) who claimed it was unfair to introduce a whole new race at the end of the book, it is quite obvious they had never read Legacy, because I clearly remember the dragon hills and I knew there was a dragon involved. And the dragon (in Kings) was totally unlike anything I was expecting.

    I was wondering as I watched Paks leave to ride south if her writer had any idea of where she was going as she wrote those words. I suspect not, and it makes me even more in awe of the writer’s craft and the ability to weave these stories together. I would need to have it all worked out beforehand, which probably explains why I am not a writer.

    I was admiring the person who created a time line. I would love to see a timeline posted, because I get confused. I was sure in Deed that Keiri said he wasn’t going south to campaign, and then Arcolin did in Oath, and then in Kings, it was said Keiri didn’t go south for 2 years. Now I am all confused and need to go back and work it out.

    Thanks for a wonderful book.

  • Comment by Chae — May 16, 2011 @ 10:54 am


    I think it’s important to understand that for most people in these books, travel and interaction with people from other realms, would have been extremely limited. That would hold true within a realm itself as well, unless there was some unifying theme, like religion, that dictated similar custom, like funerals. Fintha and Tsaia, being Girdish strongholds, are used to burials. Lyonya with the “old human” customs and perhaps not a lot of free land to dedicate to burials raise the bones. The fact the elves don’t honor the dead in this way may in fact make the humans cling to that custom even more strongly, given some divisiveness. Pargunese burns the dead, which horrifies those of Girdish traditions.

    These are very realistic flavors that — while by themselves not crucial — gird (haha, sorry) the branching plot arcs into a cohesive, believable whole.

    Pargun is very intriguing. I think I can understand the border skirmishes between Tsaia and Pargun better now. If Pargun is hemmed in by rockfolk’s grant and their prohibitions, and the land itself harsher and less fertile than the southern lands, it would make sense for them to expand westward across the hills to the Duke’s holding, or southward, past the river into Lyonya. They could also expand into Kostandan, but from what I can see form the map, Kostandan is downriver from Pargun and in position to blockade the river to stop any trade from Pargun to Aarenis. So they may be better as an ally than enemy if Pargun’s not in position to take the entire kingdom.

    River is of course a great natural barrier, and Pargunese are separate and distinct ethnically, linguistically, and culturally from the old humans of Lyonya and Tsaia. Further, Pargunese have reasons to fear and hate the magelord remnants of Tsaia and fear the elves with whom they have no compact. And it’s not much stretch to think a shipbuilding culture would have conflcit with wood-loving elves.

    With no unifying religions or even much (if any) trade, and a setting very conducive to conflict, I find the misunderstanding that drive much of the story in KotN very entertaining and realistic.

  • Comment by Jenn — May 23, 2011 @ 7:16 pm


    I was wondering…

    When Arian goes to Dorrin she notices the trees curling back from the graves of the children in the orchard. Is that just because they remain tainted? The woman in the well came dust and freed to be buried and village then began to thrive.

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