Spoiler Space 1

Posted: February 15th, 2012 under Spoiler Space.

OK, this is the big one.  Since the book is out in the UK, you folks need a spoiler space in which to discuss, right?   A reminder of the Spoiler Space rules:

1) If you do not want to see spoilers, DO NOT ENTER OR READ ANY COMMENTS.

2) All discussion of Echoes must stay within a SpoilerSpace thread (if it gets too long, I’ll open another later.)   NO discussion of the book’s comments should be on any other thread; they will be deleted when brought to my attention.  If someone goofs, DO NOT add to the problem by commenting.  Email me and I’ll disappear stuff.

And here we are in the big ballroom with the refreshments tables along three sides,  crepe paper streamers and balloons in place for The Launch Party.  This is Spoiler Space.   Here Spoilers are OK.  You can talk about any part of the book you want, in detail.  You can love it, hate it, wish this bit here had been different, etc.

However, discussion should be respectful of the opinions of others (and if possible, of  Writer) and there will be no personal attacks or Writer/Moderator will regain her book-writing Empress of the Universe costume and blow the offenders out of the thread.  (Er…erase all such posts.)    If  someone’s getting heated about something and one or two responses don’t cool things down…don’t add to the problem.   Back away from the person in the mood to pull the pin on their personal grenade.

IOW: Discussion is good, disagreement is OK,  name-calling and outright fighting is not OK.    Not that I expect the usual denizens to do that, but I’ve been a few other places on the Internet lately that were…toxic.  Let’s not be toxic, and let’s show newcomers what kinds of behavior are acceptable.   For the duration of Launch  Season,  I may ask people to let something drop–not that you’ve done something horrible, but just that–the way I’m reading the overall temperature and response–it’s getting too close to the edge.

Writer is really busy still and may not get to your comments/questions every day, so if you see a problem developing, drop me an email (link on the main webpage, www.elizabethmoon.com.)    Help me out here.    A huge pile of stuff fell off the side table this morning and I still don’t have that sorted out (true, not fictional.  I wish there were a guaranteed 2 weeks after turning in a book in which NOTHING was demanded of a writer but recovery and maybe shoveling out the mess that’s built up in the last year.   But that’s not how it goes.)


  • Comment by Jenn — April 29, 2012 @ 5:13 pm



    There is also Kieri if he is the one who goes to wake the sleeping mages in Kolobia while Paks “babysits” the realm. I know Elizabeth said to ignore that but I thought it was more due to the ages and time line than the actual significance.

  • Comment by Daniel Glover — April 29, 2012 @ 5:44 pm



    Yes, but Kolobia is overland with the horse nomads. He wouldn’t likely travel by sea to get there. It’s landlocked. Partly why the dark cousins enjoy the area so much.

  • Comment by Jenn — April 30, 2012 @ 10:28 am



    Don’t forget the pattern on the floor that one can travel by. Kieri might only need to travel as far as Fin Panir to get to Kolobia. There are several locations of them. The Hall, the cave Luap first discovered it, the elves in Lyona have perhaps 2 or more, the dwarves have one.

    But, if Dorrin is the one on the sea voyage it would be interesting to see if her water magery has any effect on the ocean.

  • Comment by Daniel Glover — May 1, 2012 @ 6:46 am



    Right. All the more reason he wouldn’t be on a slow boat to Aare!

  • Comment by Jenn — May 1, 2012 @ 1:15 pm


    Does Aare have the patterns and are they accessible now that the world is over taken by sand? I wonder how desolate that world is as The Baron was living there and entertained guests at Kieri’s expense and the Seafolk also go there for trade and rescue long lost princes unawares.

  • Comment by Mollie Marshall — May 1, 2012 @ 2:25 pm


    As I understand it, some of the patterns are permanencies, incised in stone, but others can be constructed as occasion demands by drawing them on the ground as Aris did in the Khartazh city. If Arian can remember the pattern shown her by the dragon, Kieri might not need to travel to one of the permanent portals; he could have one in Lyonya.
    I’m betting on Dorrin for the sea voyage. The regalia from Aare; the need for the mageborn to make amends for their history of oppressing others; recolonizing or reclaiming Aare. Perhaps a side bet on Kieri. Though – at two books’ distance – it’s impossible to guess what might be happening by then.

  • Comment by Iphinome — May 2, 2012 @ 4:37 am


    @Jenn I thought the Baron was far to the north and Aare was far to the south. Remember kieri was dropped in the eight kingdoms and found his way to Lyonya not dropped in Aarenis.

  • Comment by Jenn — May 2, 2012 @ 10:13 am


    that is an interesting thought. Can Arian retain the memory of the pattern. My thought is she is unaware of all its contections. It would be interesting if someone figured it out.

    So the north part of the Old continent is inhabitable but not the south. or was the Baron on a separate continent? I need more maps.

  • Comment by Ginny W. — May 5, 2012 @ 8:01 am


    It seems from the recent update on geography that a sea voyage might not be to Aare, but to the eastern continent. It seems that Baron Sekkady was east, and that is where Kieri was taken. We have hints that Alured met a priest (of what god?) who told him of his heritage, but where? Aare? Eastern continent. The stolen necklace could be anywhere, so maybe Arvid is on its trail.

    Only 11 months now until the next book…

    I wonder whether the dragon’s mention of a previous occurence of scathfire is connected to the ruined city where Siniava was killed? Or the destruction of Aare? If Camwyn reappears will he tell us more of the ancient history?

  • Comment by Richard — May 5, 2012 @ 8:10 am


    Anyone got a copy of the map the gnomes showed Arcolin (the one where detail enlarges as you look at it)?

    By the way, note their story is the seafolk pledged to stay below not just the great falls on the Honnorgat, but the limits of navigation from the sea (on every river, I presume, including the tributary Rostvok is on).

    A discrepancy? Torfinn seems to think Dragon has excluded the Pargunese from all that upper land – “my kingdom is lost” – which would push them away from the border with Tsaia for its whole length down to and along the Honnorgat, but Arcolin thinks only from a much smaller portion in the north (a wedge 2 days’ ride across, some of which had been his).

  • Comment by Richard — May 5, 2012 @ 9:05 am


    Ginny, (#209) the story so far:

    There are a few pirates still living on the coast of Aare. (Well, Selfer reckons so in Echoes)

    A Duke of Immer was called back to Aare during the troubles (and never made it north again?). (Which means the title dates back to the magelords’ early colonisation of Aarenis and is older than the titles like Andressat’s that were created for the refugees.) That’s who Alured was told he is descended from.

    We have this from Vossik round the campfire at the start of Divided Allegiance, and he’d had it from Fallo troops who may have some of it wrong. Where the mage came from who told Alured, or where the ship he was on was going when Alured captured it, is anyone’s guess.

    Hypothesis: Those pirate communities are not re-colonisers (or if they are, then from the east) but descendents of those who missed the last boat but survived anyway. Alured comes from there (or a recent ancestor did).

    I’m hoping the voyage will be to Aare because, from the site homepage, we’ve a half promise that the story will spread there.

  • Comment by Ginny W. — May 8, 2012 @ 5:25 pm


    Richard: Thanks for the reference for the pirates and Alured’s history. I knew I had read it, but somehow I was looking in Sheepfarmer’s daughter and Oath of Fealty.

    I knew we were going to miss Vossik.

    I think the discrepancy in the Tsaia-Pargun border between the gnome maps, Torfinn’s perception of the reclaimed land, and Arcolin’s perception is a point-of-view problem. First of all, the land has no real roads and it is more vertical than horizontal, so probably not great farming. (I grew up in the mid-Hudson valley, and picture the ‘hills’ as being something like the Taconic-Berkshire or Catskill mountains). So the population, such as it is/was would consist mainly of widely scattered herding villages (like Three Firs) and maybe some fur-trappers traveling out from them. That makes for a pretty fuzzy boundary – especially since isolated herders would rather be ignored by tax collectors of either king.

    Dragon’s agreement with the gnomes seems to predate either Tsaia or Pargun, so their boundaries (to the extent they could defend them) overlap both countries, but may have included a buffer zone. The conflict between Tsaia and Pargun would be concentrated at the southern part of the boundary, while there would be a buffer in the north.

    More territory would have been confiscated from Pargun, because that is where the dragon’s eggs were stolen and then broken. So there are more loose dragons there than in Tsaia. Cracolnya’s troops found the gnomes, but they did not seem to be concerned about, or even know about wildfires burning out of control. Torfinn, on the other hand, spoke of alot of people being killed by fires, and even some of Rostvok burning.

    Daniel #200: It has occurred to me that the character on the boat isn’t necessarily one of the ones in the list. And besides, we have Camwyn Mikeli’s brother; Sir Camwyn the dragon; and Camwyn the saint whose story we long to hear. And we have Arvid Semmison and now young Arvid.

    For now, I am hoping that the economy in the Guild League cities is doing better than the economy in our world, but we shall see. Perhaps Arcolin gave them enough information to put a serious dent in the counterfeiting, but do they have the resources?

    And Happy Mother’s Day to us all.

  • Comment by Jenn — May 9, 2012 @ 7:08 am


    On finishing my 3 book read through I am struck by a few one sentence lines:
    Dragon states one of his own may be a traitor. I wonder what a dragon war would look like.

    the Kuakgan are present when the Lady is attack but do nothing. Are they just completely neutral or have no desire to get involved in elven politics?

    The elves are mentioned as fading (mostly when death is mentioned). Okay that is more than once but interesting It makes me wonder where they are physically present as Master Oakhollow was also not present and faded.

  • Comment by elizabeth — May 9, 2012 @ 7:44 am


    Jenn: The Kuakkgani in the palace complex were not nearby when the Lady was attacked (they were not even together then) because they wanted no part in whatever investigation Kieri was doing (remember, he confronted Sier Tolmaric and then the Lady showed up.) They had generally avoided meeting the Ladysforest elves as they knew they were hated. So they were locked out when the iynisin showed up, and though the nearest one attempted to work on the door’s wood (from outside) could have no effect on the conflict itself. Kuakkgani do not “fight” in the usual sense; they may raise the taig’s power to bar movement (as in the spiral trap, or as in the battle in Oath of Gold, where Master Oakhallow cuts off escape with the power of the forest.)

    Master Oakhallow was present to Arian as a visible but not palpable spirit. Through the taig’s cooperation, he was able to project an image of himself.

    Elves have a physical being, and are physically present when “on stage” unless otherwise specified. Their “fading” that’s spoken of is the lessening of their presence as a people…there are fewer elves, and fewer elvenhomes, then before. Partly that’s due to the transitioning of elves to iynisin…something else don’t want to admit happens. Partly it’s due to direct attacks on elves by iynisin. And partly due to other factors, including habitat loss.

  • Comment by Daniel Glover — May 10, 2012 @ 11:00 am



    I totally missed the Dragon traitor thing. Can you point where this is. Mmm.

    I have a speculation (two actually) regarding our “sound but no recognition” situation but I’m going to refrain but one is so mundane and the other is totally plot busting that I’ll hold my piece even in this thread in deference to our good author’s wishes.

  • Comment by Jenn — May 10, 2012 @ 1:49 pm


    Thank you Elizabeth for the explanations. I do wonder why speaking of death or rather bones would lessen and elf’s personhood.

    I missed the first time too and did a double read to make sure that I had read what I had read. I think Dragon was talking with Arcolin? But I will look it up.

  • Comment by Daniel Glover — May 10, 2012 @ 2:19 pm



    Oh, that one! I think I know which one you’re referring too. When he’s talking to Arcolin just before leaving with Stammel. I was thinking it might have been earlier in the series. I don’t recall the exact verbiage used so I’ll see if I can find it too.

  • Comment by Jenn — May 11, 2012 @ 6:29 am



    You had me worried there for a moment. You’re the one who catches subtleties so well and even when you state them I am looking through the book wondering where that was and how you saw that. I am afraid I am like Gird. Club over the head and dragging me in the right direction is the best method 🙂 .
    On the rare occasion I see where a book is going it is actually a delight instead of a disappointment.

  • Comment by Richard — May 11, 2012 @ 4:20 pm


    I don’t think Dragon was referring to a fight between dragons, but “traitor” (“maybe”) in the Judas sense, or simply as a strong word for “cheat”. Anyway it was all a long (for humans) time ago.

  • Comment by Jenn — May 12, 2012 @ 8:50 am


    I thought of it as a traitor also. I was just wondering what a dragon war would look like. Dragon was not permitted to kill its young but could enable another to do so. I wonder if that would hold for “fighting” between adult dragons as well.

    Do you think that Daryan, now that he has “green” blood will be affected by the rising sap like the young kaukkgan?

  • Comment by Richard — May 12, 2012 @ 1:02 pm


    Jenn, I’m now wondering if the maybe dragon-turned-traitor is a plot hook, that is something put in on the off chance it might catch Plot Daemon’s attention one day. Then if it does we can say, “Oh look, there’s a connection”; but if it doesn’t, no matter.

    Or if you prefer, a tenterhook to keep us on.

    (Elizabeth: see, I’m learning)

  • Comment by Ginny W. — May 12, 2012 @ 3:52 pm


    Jenn and Daniel: The dragon turned traitor passage is part of the explanation about why the land is transferred (p. 235 in my book). It think it refers to the unknown agent who took the eggs and turned the young dragons (who now must be killed or caught or something) loose on Lyonya, and Pargun. I have the impression that the eggs were imbedded in stone, not just buried. Like geodes in a rock. I don’t know whether miners could get them out or not. It seems like a very risky business for humans – if you hit one with a pick or a chisel, you would go up in flames. Along with everyone else nearby, probably.

    We have only just begun to have some glimpses into the nature of dragons in this world, and must wait for Elizabeth to tell us more about what they can and can’t do. I wonder … how does a ball of fire become wise? And what is wisdom to a flame?

    Richard: If it is a plot hook, will it catch the next loop before the end of the series?

    Jenn: I was wondering about Daryan as well. But he seems to have acquired his green blood from a spruce and maybe the reaction is less drastic for an evergreen? I am rooting for that other thumb.

  • Comment by Jenn — May 13, 2012 @ 10:32 am


    Ginny is rooting and I will bet Daryan is pining.
    Sorry couldn’t help myself.

  • Comment by Daniel Glover — May 13, 2012 @ 4:40 pm



    Pick up a copy of Moon Flights–geodes is a pretty good analogy. They are eggs after all. So they got to be kind of brittle. They just look like rocks, and, (see Moon Flights) have a way of invoking draconic hoarding in those of the lesser races that get a bit too close.

  • Comment by Richard — May 15, 2012 @ 1:29 pm


    In Kings, Achrya had told the Pargunese to take what they found in the hill, i.e. Dragon’s eggs. It never occurred to me to ask how the men got the eggs out.

    I still think Dragon was telling Arcolin how scathefire has been let loose twice. That is, dragons first thought it was sufficient to put the eggs away in stone where they wouldn’t be found accidentally. Following the Severance, eggs were sought out and opened deliberately. (That is the time when, did a dragon help the iynisin?) To stop this from being done again, dragons hired rockfolk guards, who have now failed (one lot of them).

    Yes? No?

  • Comment by Jenn — May 16, 2012 @ 8:43 am


    Interesting thought. How vigilant are the gnomes able to be? It appears that humans are using the “tunnel” through the mountains and I am guessing the gnome kingdom. Humans were able to open up the “eggs” with out the gnomes discovering. Maybe they are just too few in number.

  • Comment by elizabeth — May 16, 2012 @ 11:19 pm


    A healthy tribe of gnomes is extremely vigilant. However, if weakened by deaths, disease, or some other influence, they become less so.

  • Comment by Jenn — May 19, 2012 @ 10:21 am


    Are the gnomes easily effected by the dwarves? Dattur was overcome and had his rock power stolen. the gnomes led Selfer and Co. through the Dwarfmounts. Perhaps the dwarves are letting others in. They appear to have less desire for the law than gnomes and more for gold. Perhaps a certain necklace?

  • Comment by elizabeth — May 19, 2012 @ 10:37 am


    Jenn: A kteknik gnome, such as Dattur–who has been thrust outside the Law and has no kin on which to call–is more easily overcome by anyone. (More easily…not easily…) Dwarves do not revere Law (in my conception, they belong, in Lear’s division of Roman and Germanic concepts of law and treason, to the Germanic tribes–the gnomes are Roman, revering law over persons.) Dwarves do seek gold, among other things, and the dwarf Dattur was traveling with was certainly after that certain necklace. It could have been just to sell it to the highest bidder, or he could already have a buyer, or his king could have sent him…it’s not been told.

    As there’s more about Dattur in the next book, I don’t want to say much more.

  • Comment by Paul — June 28, 2012 @ 11:21 pm


    I realize this is late to this thread, but I just had to post some of the things that have been nagging at my brain after multiple re-reads of Echoes and the other books. And we won’t even talk about how ragged my original copy of the omnibus edition is – I think I have read parts of it 20 times or more not counting looking up stuff. It is by far my favorite series in my collection of books. Elizabeth, thank you for once again visiting Paksworld and giving me a whole new set of books to read over and over.

    Elizabeth, (#46) was Arcolin one of the Halveric’s sergeants? I read it as Siger was one of Halveric’s sergeants. The reference comes from Stammel talking to Paks when she comes to get her things from the barracks after the attempt on Kieri’s life by Arvys (Chapter 11, Oath of Gold) and he says that Arcolin was hired away from the Tsaian Guards when Kieri first came to Tsaia. Admittedly Stammel says that this was before he joined Phelan’s Company, but I would expect Stammel to have a pretty good idea since he joined soon after Kieri started recruiting in Tsaia. Kieri never really says were Arcolin came from, just that Arcolin needed to “scour the streets” in order to fill out a cohort for Kieri’s first big contract for the crown.

    Now on to the speculation: I wonder about the powers of the regalia Dorrin found. I find myself wondering if the regalia can see the future or maybe the “consequences of actions or inactions” perhaps. That might explain why the regalia doesn’t want Dorrin to wait too long before coming to claim them. I also keep thinking about the coronation goblet and the inscription around the rim – “Who drinks from me without a right shall live for aye in endless night; the true king’s draught shall hold him hale until the day his magery fail.” It makes me wonder if Dorrin drinks from this, will it just keep her from aging any more until her magery fails, or if it is possible that it will make her younger, maybe even young enough to sire children assuming she actually would given the chance and a kingdom in need of an heir. As for Beclan, we don’t even know what the regalia would think of him at this point. Dorrin has shown a strong desire to not go astray, but Beclan hasn’t had enough trials, in my opinion, to have reached that point yet. Certainly not enough were magery is concerned as he hasn’t even learned to use it yet.

    Which leads into another sort of speculation. Luap (another backwards spelling?) believed that he had the “royal magery” although I don’t recall that ever being confirmed. I am curious if Dorrin has the royal magery? How many people can actually have the royal magery at one time? If Dorrin has it, does that mean Luap no longer does, assuming he actually had it in the first place? Or does she just have that much mage talent? And if that is just her own talent, will she gain more if she actually drinks from the coronation goblet?

    Additionally, it seems to me that the “keys that are gone” refers to the regalia. Which makes me wonder what they are the keys to. And how did they get lost in the first place? Did Verrakai actually steal them? Or were they actually lost somehow and Verrakai have been slowly trying to collect them over time? Maybe when they come together they get stronger and create a stronger link to the other parts that aren’t with them, drawing the others to themselves. Perhaps this is why the Verrakai were hiding them in seperate locations? Or maybe different pieces were hidden by different Verrakai as they jockeyed for position and power? Is it possible that more pieces have been found by Alured? And what did Arian sense in the grove? Was it just the bodies of the children that Dorrin slew? Or is another piece hidden in the grove of fruit trees?

    And who will take the place of the Lady for the Elvenhome in Lyonya? Maybe part of the Lady’s quarrel with Arian’s father is because he has potential to hold an Elvenhome? Or maybe Arian’s father has a more intimate history with the Lady than we yet know? He did say that all of his children were half-elven. I could see how that might cause the Lady to be disgruntled, assuming they did have a more intimate past. Or does that particular ability run in certain elven family lines? Perhaps Amrothlin will inherit the Elvenhome in Lyonya?

    I think I should stop there since this is already a huge post.

    So many questions…so long to wait for the answers…

  • Comment by elizabeth — June 30, 2012 @ 7:29 pm


    Paul: Arcolin was recruited in Aarenis by Halveric Company when quite young (he may have lied about his age; I’m not sure) and was recommended by Halveric to Tsaian Royal Guard for reasons I’m not quite clear on. He may have bounced back…again, not sure, because I haven’t spent near the time on that period of his life that it would take. Other periods of his life (that will be revealed in the next book) interested me more. The regalia…are deeply magical and have not yet revealed all their powers to the author. OTOH, the next book (or maybe the last–working on edits on one and first-drafting on the other it’s easy to confuse which bit is from which) will give somewhat more of the regalia backstory. Other questions can’t be answered without major spoilers for one of the next books.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment