Limits of Power Errata

Posted: June 13th, 2013 under Errata, Limits of Power.
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Since several of you have pointed out mistakes in the new book, I think we need a thread for that, so I can (eventually) put an Errata notice on the main Paksworld website in a proper scholarly way (there’s a tough of sarcasm in that last phrase.  Don’t miss it.)    I’m going to keep the errata threads separate for each book.

I’ve  already lost track of one of the comments (I think in Spoiler Space) about Duke Elorran’s family history.  Please, if you posted that, reference it here so I can include it. [correction: now received and listed below]    Contributors welcome–let’s have a complete list before the paperback goes to press.

Short list:

p.58   Ganlin stayed in Lyonya, not Tsaia
p.288   “Fintha” should be “Prealíth”
p. 430  Gerstad Elorran’s niece tells Arcolin her mother ran the household for her uncle Duke Elorran because “he never married” but in Kings of the North, the other dukes tell Dorrin he’s bitter and reclusive because his sons died of a fever.    It’s all hearsay–actually Elorran was married, but his wife died after producing several sons; he did not remarry.  His sons also died, but “fever” was the story, not the reality.   Cobai, the only one to live to adulthood (and dead some thirty years at the time of this story)  was killed away from home.


  • Comment by elizabeth — June 25, 2013 @ 8:18 am


    Could be. I do not have time to read every comment in every topic right now. (looks now) It’s wrong. Not foreshadowing. Thanks.

  • Comment by Richard — June 25, 2013 @ 1:23 pm


    Adam, re#33, Machrynalythnyan is the name that should be there (he didn’t reveal it on first appearance in the book, only near the end).

  • Comment by Dave Ring — June 28, 2013 @ 8:56 am


    I’m not sure this rises to the level of an erratum, but it puzzles me. On page 170 of the U.S. hardback LoP , Kieri asks, “Did you see the pattern on that box with the regalia?”. Arian replies, “No. It’s sealed in an outer box they can’t open. Only Duke Verrakai can, they said, and elven magery had no effect on it.”

    Does Arian mean her own magery during her visit to Verella could not open the plain outer box? I don’t remember any occasion in the books on which elves saw the chest, although the disclaimers by elves and other elders about making the regalia suggest that such a viewing must have occurred — possibly in the distant past.

  • Comment by elizabeth — June 28, 2013 @ 2:22 pm


    Dave: Arian is reporting what she was told. She could not have opened the outer box if she’d tried, but she didn’t try. She was told elven magery wouldn’t work on it.

  • Comment by Dave Ring — June 28, 2013 @ 7:40 pm


    I remain puzzled. If elven magery failed to open the boxes, which elves and when? Were elves allowed into the Tsaian treasury to try to open the box? If elves saw the box long before it was placed in the treasury, how did the Tsaians learn of their inability to open it? If someone other than the Tsaians told Arian elven magery would not work, that seems like something she would mention to Kieri in the conversation on page 170.

  • Comment by elizabeth — June 28, 2013 @ 9:38 pm


    Dave: She was told in Tsaia, of course: during her visit. Probably by the king, possibly heard it first from someone else. It didn’t lead anywhere. There have been elves at the Tsaian court more or less continuously for hundreds of years (they installed the Bells; they check up on them.) The elves were there in the Paks books.

  • Comment by Hawkman — June 29, 2013 @ 5:38 pm


    When will there be a companion book available for Paks world? Listing all the characters and locations, chronology, maps, etc.
    For that matter, same for Suiza.

  • Comment by elizabeth — June 29, 2013 @ 5:49 pm


    When a) someone with the requisite abilities and a cooperative publisher is willing to do it or b) my publisher pays me to do it rather than write another story.

    I agree it would be handy for fans of the series, but given my schedule, I’m not going to have time to do it. And dang, I really need those missing notebooks.

  • Comment by Richard — June 30, 2013 @ 9:54 am


    (We are getting off-topic, but) I’ve done a complete list of names from the Deed (only that) – every person, place, inn, song title, but unfortunately not the words (redroot, taig, etc.). Twice over – classified lists, and alphabetical order. Comes to 40 pages as a Word document. I sent it to Elizabeth as raw material for the Pronunciation Working Group lists. As to publication, even on the website, there are problems. Not least that even the website space has to be paid for somehow (I assume).

    I thought it was complete, but recently discovered that though Cortes Vonja is in the Cs, and Pler Vonja in the Ps, I never cross-referenced Vonja in the Vs.

    Some questions are unanswered (and even with Elizabeth’s lost notebooks might still be unanswerable). For example, is Sim[6] storming the walls of Rotengre the same person as Sim[1] in Paks’ recruit year, or as Sim[5] in Dorrin’s cohort recently honored at Dwarfwatch, or a third person? Is Sim[8] from Dorrin’s cohort ambushed and captured the next year the same as either [5] or [6]?

    I included a reconstructed chronology for Kieri’s life, putting numbers in for the years as illustration, but any number is too precise for how Elizabeth writes. We do have three fixed dates before the start of the books:

    – Kieri came to Aliam’s (in the fall) 38 years (and a fraction) before Oath of Fealty starts in early spring. Estil is sure of that from her son Calium’s ages then and now. Aliam and Estil thought at the time that Kieri was about fourteen (Kieri didn’t know then who he really was).

    – Paks was born (in winter, or very early spring, she doesn’t tell us when) 24 years before the start of OoF (18 years before the start of Sheepfarmer’s Daughter).

    – Kieri’s first wife and children were killed in the summer 8 years after that, 15 coming up to 16 years before the start of OoF.

    Kieri told Paks he was two years at Falk’s Hall. Arian, though a year older than Kieri (she reckons), didn’t get her ruby until she was about 24, that is two, three or just possibly four years after Kieri finished there, giving us the following sequence (backstory gleaned from several books):

    – Kieri started at Falk’s Hall;
    – Dorrin started at Falk’s Hall (she was a junior when Kieri was a senior);
    – Kieri left Falk’s Hall (and went to Tsaia where he’d work for a couple of years as a minor mercenary before getting his big break in the war against Pargun);
    – Arian started at Falk’s Hall (if Dorrin was still there, she was someone “the part-elves would hardly speak to” – delicious edge to their meeting in KoN if so);
    – Kieri’s sister was crowned Queen (on reaching 21??) when Arian was a senior at Falk’s Hall;
    – after Kieri’s sister had died and their half-uncle had recently come to the throne, Aliam found three dead elves, some dead orcs and the sword between Chaya and his homestead;
    – Aliam kept the sword until giving it away as a wedding present for Kieri’s bride.

  • Comment by Annabel — July 2, 2013 @ 4:53 am


    I had no problem with Maris Maherai being referred to as Maris Verrakai – she tells us herself, when we first meet her at the picnic, that she has returned to her maiden name; if her husband was indeed a Verrakai, that would be quite understandable! I think you could leave that one uncorrected!

    Thoroughly enjoyed a readthrough of the whole saga so far while I was on holiday!

  • Comment by Karen H — July 3, 2013 @ 1:29 pm


    chapter 31, kindle US Kindle version, location 5017, page 286. “We should go look,” Kieri said. ” I don’t even know where the border with Fintha is or what kind of border watch the Sea-Prince keeps.”

    Fintha in that sentence should be Prealith.

  • Comment by Hawkman — July 8, 2013 @ 9:13 pm


    I got confused on pg 460, US hardcover. King Mikeli of Tsaia in the top paragraph. Prince Mikeli two paragraphs later. Plus Mikeli’s elder brother as ancestor of Declan of Valdaire. I might have lost a reference it it could be error. The author can decide.

  • Comment by Hawkman — July 8, 2013 @ 10:04 pm


    I thought Marshal Kerrin arrived with the Marshal General group, and both Keiri and Paks spoke with her.

  • Comment by Hawkman — July 8, 2013 @ 10:09 pm


    You and your publisher don’t mind if we do it? I recall Rowling had a huge reversal of her opinion of the matter.

  • Comment by Richard — July 9, 2013 @ 2:39 am


    Hawkman, you are right about Marshal Kerrin, that was her first appearance (Oath of Gold chapter 12) when still Marshal of Burningmeed (village at the southern edge of the North Marches domain on the road to Vérella). Chapter 14, when she has moved to the Stronghold to start the new Grange, is where we learn more about her.

    Apropos my chronological remarks, Estil said, “Cal was a baby just starting to walk strongly. That would be – let me think – thirty-eight years last fall”. As reliable a date as Elizabeth ever gives us. In Kings of the North, Kieri tells Torfinn he was four winters old when taken, and did not escape for “at least eight years” which means that he might have been only twelve winters coming up to thirteen when he reached the Halverics. Aliam recalls they (he and Estil) thought Kieri to be about fourteen, but that was when they promoted him to page, so maybe the second winter after arrival (longer than we readers may have assumed); maybe Kieri looked a year older than he really was; maybe Aliam’s off-the-cuff recollection is at fault there; or maybe Kieri was a year longer in captivity than he cares to remember.

    Somewhere in the Chaya palace records must be Prince Falkieri’s exact date of birth, somewhere in the Falk’s Hall records the year Kieri Phelan qualified to take vows as a Knight of Falk (never mind that he declined to do so then), and somewhere in Tsaian official records the dates when the Crown Prince (Mikeli’s grandfather) was killed in battle and when Kieri Phelan was granted the North Marches, but I don’t believe we’ll ever see those records. We don’t even know what systems of dating years Paksworld has, and I don’t necessarily want to, because assigning a numnber would invite comparisions with our own world.

  • Comment by Dennis Sosnovske — July 9, 2013 @ 10:15 pm


    I want to thank you for continuing this tale. I first read Shepfarmer’s Daughter when I was in undergrad in the early 90’s. It is a series that I have read several times; so much that my paperback copies are falling apart. I refuse to let my wife purge them every year when she does her annual cleaning of the bookshelves. In anticipation of reading the new book, I have gone back and re-read all the Paksworld books.

    I think I found an inconsistency concerning Dattur. I am reading on the Kindle edition.

    In Kings of the North, page 151, location 3162. When Arvid is talking with Marshal Perin. “He is Kteknin,” Arvid said. “A spy. It’s his punishment for something he did in his own tribe– Aldonfulk, he said.”

    Then in Limits of Power, Dattur claims to be Karginfulk when talking to Arcolin on page 233 (location 4135).

    Thank you again for sharing this story. I like it because of the imagery that you are able to bring up, as well as seeing a woman in a strong central roll. First with Paks, then with Dorrin and Arian. This is truely one of my favorite sagas. I have shared it with many of my friends.

  • Comment by elizabeth — July 9, 2013 @ 10:55 pm


    Hi, Dennis. Welcome to the group. To be honest, I don’t remember if Dattur lied to Arvid, or Arvid made the assumption, because the only gnome tribe Arvid knew about then was Aldonfulk. It’s the one familiar to most Tsaians because they know the road to Valdaire crosses Aldonfulk territory. (Hmmm…trying to remember…at the time I wrote that, before Arcolin rescued the gnomes the dragon displaced, I might have thought Dattur was from Aldonfulk myself.) At any rate, Arvid was mistaken. Dattur was kteknik of Karginfulk.

  • Comment by Mollie Marshall — July 11, 2013 @ 12:48 pm


    Dattur did not mention which tribe he was from, in KoN, at least in the conversation as reported. Arvid must have assumed it. Dattur did say, in relation to the cleansing of the banast/elfane taig, “They denied my prince’s request to send a delegation to search for any kapristi bodies…”, which sounds as though the tribe was a nearer one – Aldonfulk? – than the Karginfulk in the far north.
    A couple of errata from earlier books, in the absence of separate posts (and hoping that I’m not repeating other people’s comments):
    Oath of Fealty, p.225 in the UK paperback. Arcolin explains Kieri’s place in the Lyonyan royal family as “He’s the son of – I think it was the second last king before the one that died this winter, sister of the last queen.” Either brother of the last queen, or sister was the last queen.
    Kings of the North, p.229. Arcolin and Stammel are travelling from Valdaire to Vérella, so “they reached Valdaire with several days to spare before the Autumn Evener” should read “reached Vérella”.

  • Comment by Richard — July 13, 2013 @ 2:28 pm


    Elizabeth, I knew this was somewhere so I did a Google search to find it. Comment #29 (yours)in (“Gnome Expansionism” blog March 14th, 2012):

    “Incidentally, Dattur misled Arvid about something important in Kings of the North, and I didn’t know it because Arvid didn’t know it…now I do. Clearly gnomes can lie, though it’s painful for them to do so. Dattur had also misled the dwarf he was traveling with and felt less guilt in doing so.”

    Could it be Law that a kteknik must lie about anything that would give away what tribe he’s been thrown out of? Also, is there a reason he claimed a different name – Datturatkvin, KoN p183 – from how the Arcolinfulk estvin now calls him – Datturnaknitunak, LoP p449 (both references UK editions).

    When you first wrote Dattur, had you even discovered the Karginfulk, apart from knowing that some (unspecified) Earthfolk had told the Pargunese not to set spade into a certain hill?

    The cairn Macenion showed Paks had Gnarrinfulk as the destination of the trail taking them past Flessinathlin’s underground halls (the banast taig as it then was), so I’m taking that fulk to be immediately east of Aldonfulk and the most likely one to have worked for her there. If Macenion wasn’t making that up using a name he’d heard of rather than admit he didn’t know one fulk’s rune from another.

  • Comment by Richard — July 14, 2013 @ 10:23 am


    This one isn’t an error – leastways not in LoP – but does pose a question, “What happened to?”, that I’d like to think Crown will answer. Andressat’s scholar tells how the Regalia were sent to Verrakai, along with a scroll more-or-less a duplicate of the one he has found (LoP UK p.458). Well when Dorrin first opened the vault (OoF UK p.187) she saw an urn, a box, a bundle and a scroll in there, but when she went there again with Paks a quarter year later to bring out the contents (p.418 etc), no scroll mentioned, only the other three.

  • Comment by Mollie Marshall — July 16, 2013 @ 1:04 pm


    Ordinary typo mistake (with the usual apologies if it’s already been spotted): p.79 in the UK ed. “a veritable PLAT of the orchard” should be PLAN.
    On p. 359, Arvid says this is his first time in the High Lord’s Hall. When he warned the Marshals in Fin Panir of the likely theft of the necklace, he had to swear to this in the Hall (p. 158, KoN). It may be that his willingness so to swear was accepted as sufficient, or that it was all over so fast he didn’t have much time to look around.

  • Comment by Mollie Marshall — July 16, 2013 @ 1:06 pm


    Sorry, “creditable” not “veritable”.

  • Comment by Hawkman — July 20, 2013 @ 9:51 pm


    I thought plat was the most correct term. Why would plat not be correct?

  • Comment by Richard — July 21, 2013 @ 2:29 am


    Plat of the orchard = apple pie

    Or, basketwork.

    Maybe it is a transatlantic thing.

  • Comment by elizabeth — July 21, 2013 @ 7:51 am


    Mollie: “Plat” is correct. “Veritable” in this case means “true” as in “he really did it–it’s right.”…”creditable” would mean “good enough for a first try” but not really accurate. Though perhaps, in the context of a first lesson, I should have gone with the more familiar “creditable” even though Natzlin didn’t let him stop until it was right.

    Richard: In surveying terms, a “plat” is an accurate scaled drawing of a small property, such as a lot or a field. A “map” is an accurate scaled drawing of a large property (and there might be plats of subsectiosn of it) or multiple properties and/or a legally defined region. So you have maps of cities or counties, and plats of lots within the city.

    A plat is detailed and contains information not usually found on maps: a plat of our house and yard, for instance, would probably have the surveyed property boundaries, the location and dimensions of the house, the carport, all hardscape (driveways), the location of the incoming water line and all exterior hose connections, the sewer line, grease trap, septic tank, and tile field, all fences, the electrical service line, the telephone service line, the underground electric line to the water garden pump, the underground gas line from the propane tank to the house.

    Plats are made for small-scale planning–in preparation for either building or planting or digging a hole or trench. (My mother created both maps and plats for her employer, as need dictated, using surveyors’ data.)

  • Comment by Mollie Marshall — July 23, 2013 @ 3:17 am


    “Plat of the orchard” would be an apple pie for sure on this side of the Atlantic. Even my big dictionary has plat in this “sketch map/scale drawing” sense only as a verb. A brand new word: lovely!
    The “veritable” was just a slip on my part, sorry – must have been thinking of something else.

  • Comment by Hawkman — July 23, 2013 @ 9:30 am


    I had not heard or seen apple pie reference. Is this plat of the orchard. slang? Is it solely Britain or Ire, Scot, welsh? Colonial outposts?

  • Comment by elizabeth — July 23, 2013 @ 11:23 am


    “Plat” is a noun in US dictionaries, with the v.t. secondary…”to plat” something is to make a plat of it. The origin is Middle English, according to the dictionary nearest at hand, Webster’s New World, copyright date 1966. In surveying and cartography, it’s quite common in both noun and v.t. forms. “Do we have a plat of this subdivision?” “Box & Jones platted that property ten years ago, but after the tornado it was rezoned commercial and I don’t think it’s been done since.”

    So…what do surveyers in the UK say? And when did they quit saying “plat” since the word originated there?

  • Comment by Hawkman — July 23, 2013 @ 1:37 pm


    I have a plat book of each county I own property in. What is the equivalent in the UK?

  • Comment by Richard — July 23, 2013 @ 2:28 pm


    My dictionary has plat (meaning diagram or plan) as an obsolete (here) and U.S. word. Just how obsolete it doesn’t say, but it is a 30 years ago reprint of a now 40 years old edition. What surveyors say I wouldn’t know, but the lay usage in the UK is that Beclan plotted a plan of the orchard. I’m vaguely aware that a plan view of a building (horizontal plane) should be distinguished from an elevation (vertical plane).

    My apple pie is a weak pun on plat du jour (dish of the day, today’s special), a familiar borrowing from the French.

    My dictionary gives pride of place to another plat: an alternative spelling of plait.

    Elizabeth, digressing somewhat while we’re here, I never commented on a blog last year about road building where a grader was mentioned. I had no idea what that is and had to look it up. Well, just enough knowledge of American to guess it must be something to do with scraping a level surface or uniform gradient, but that gave me no picture. (Without the context my best guess would have been someone Kolya hires to sort apples.) Having found pictures on the web I realise we do use graders now on major projects, but I guess only people in the work know about them.

    The two fundamental pieces of equipment for UK road-building are diggers and rollers; the roller was developed first. Before steamrollers, everything was done with hand tools (or pony carts, but only for transport to site). So steamroller buffs wrote on their info placards at the Great Dorset Steam Fair, our ultimate traction engine rally. I paid my usual visit while you were at Chicon the end of last summer.

    The funny thing is that by contrast I know (as should everyone else) just what a bulldozer is, even though we almost never see those either – just the ubiquitous JCB, large excavators perhaps, and scrapers.

  • Comment by Richard — July 23, 2013 @ 3:23 pm


    We are discussing in Spoiler Space the strands of gray/silver in Paks’ hair. Arvid remarks on them last page of chapter 40 (421 UK), “had it been the ordeal? But he had seen her afterward; he had seen no gray then.” That is literally true, because when she rode away from him to Westbells Grange (then east with Dorrin), all he could have seen was a bald-shaven head “bristling with pale stubble where her hair was coming back” (UK Deed p.1170).

  • Comment by elizabeth — July 23, 2013 @ 7:21 pm


    Richard: Paks’s hair. She’s not totally gray-haired–just some silver in with the gold. The Lady, recall, restored her hair to its pre-shaved length after the battle, and the Lady would not, of course, have included any gray hair–elves do not like the signs of age or damage. No, this is related to something else which I’m keeping rather quiet about now and past the end of this group. Not sure how/when/if to bring it up.

    Plats, plots, plans, and graders. Fascinating that “plat” went obsolute in the UK. I wonder if it was in use in the colonial period? I wonder who would know? Horse and mule-drawn graders to control camber of a non-paved road were known in the 19th c. and a logical development from agricultural equipment. I’m surprised they weren’t/aren’t used in the UK, or developed independently during the great age of agricultural-equipment invention satirized by Surtees in one of his books.

    By my childhood they were powered by diesel engines and were one of my favorite machines–one of the first pictures I drew in school was an attempt at one grading the street outside the school for repaving. They were known as “Le Tourneaus” for the company name on the side of the machine, but I think they’re now made by Caterpillar and others. Around here, where I live now, they’re called “maintainers” because that’s what you maintain a road with. I have wanted to learn to operate one since I was six years old. All those levers. All those ways to change the angles of the blade. And the throaty rumble on a diesel out in front…and the insectile appearance of the whole thing. WANT.

  • Comment by Richard — July 24, 2013 @ 4:09 pm


    Elizabeth, my quibble was that the last time Arvid saw Paks was before the Lady restored her hair, so he doesn’t himself know how it looked when restored.

    I wish I could tell you more about the UK histories of “plat” and of road-making. Once I’d found pictures of graders, I’m sure I’ve seen some on motorway widening projects I driven past. Anyway some of the internet hits are from the UK proving we now use them. But I’m sure I never saw one in my childhood (and I did see some roadworks and pay basic attention to what was going on). I think the difference is that road-building here, right back to the 18th century turnpikes, has been all about paved roads. Presumably due to a more economically favorable ratio of traffic to length of road. Even unpaved private farm or small commercial access drives are usually gravelled at least. Establishing camber isn’t about how much earth is cut away, but about the depth of stones added (before asphalting on top), which is why the steamroller is the linguistically archetypal piece of equipment. Modern rollers are motor ones, of course. Less exciting than the grader, obviously. You’d have had to content yourself here with wanting to operate a JCB (so-called after the original maker) digger: back-hoe loader is the technical reference I’ve discovered. Front shovel, rear arm, hydraulic jacks – plenty of levers at least.

    Have the steamroller buffs conveniently overlooked horse-drawn predecessors? The story they told was of gangs of men using small tree trunks to tamp down layers of broken stones. How about borrowing farm ploughs to break top cover before getting out the spades? I’ve no reliable source.

  • Comment by Hawkman — September 2, 2013 @ 9:22 pm


    I have been wondering about obsolete words or meanings.
    In Paks world common has made luap obsolete, but what of other lands, and in these other lands, what have nik and nigan come to mean, if they haven’t atrophied altogether?
    Are there other obsolete terms in these books? Words in Girds time but not in Paks? The elder races must consider this a fickle language, and I’d have thought the interactio with elder races as insulation from obsolete terms.

  • Comment by Hawkman — September 2, 2013 @ 9:42 pm


    It gets difficult keeping all the errors straight.
    When Author returns, can the list at the topic entry be updated? both with the correctly identified errata, and with the mentioned items which Elizabeth does not consider errata?
    That would be very helpful.

  • Comment by GinnyW — September 18, 2013 @ 5:25 am


    There is a good description of a 19th century road grading (in this case, railroad grading) in By the Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder. They use plows and scrapers to move the dirt from hills to low spots.

  • Comment by elizabeth — September 18, 2013 @ 2:46 pm


    There’s also a description in a book of…I don’t quite know if they’d be called essays…by a now-unknown writer from the late 19th or early 20th c. whose pen name was a pseudonym. I have a couple of his books (really liked them) but right this minute can’t pull up his name. David-something was his pen name. The scraper-thingie was drawn by mules.

  • Comment by Richard — September 24, 2013 @ 5:04 am


    For myself, maybe for others this side of the Pond too, “scraper-thingie” is clearer than “grader”.

    What I’ve read, in railway straying into social history, concentrates on the dramatic rather than the humdrum aspects of the work (in the UK) – the gangs of men with shovels digging deep cuttings, steering pony-drawn wheelbarrows up runs of planks to the top, and the deliberately-crashed wagons tipping the spoil to make embankments.

    Hawkman (#62): Mikeli the current King of Tsaia bears the same name as the long-ago Prince whose account of the Fall of Aare, naming survivors promoted to the new nobility, Andressat discovered in KoN chapter 11. Mikeli (or Mikel) is a moderately common name in Paksworld and, it would seem, a famous one.

    One example of is this really an erratum? #13 about Juris Kostvan. That is the correct name for the new Knight-Commander of the Bells (we have that from KoN) so thinking of him as a Konhalt is indeed a mistake, but was it Arian’s mistake (confusing an unfamiliar name with one she would know)?

    My #14, how many of Valdaire’s thieves has Arvid killed: I’m deliberately not counting the girl he brained when she joined in attacking the supposed merchant in the street, but had myself forgotten the two sentries (roof, and office door) he got past to kill the Guildmaster. So including Dattur’s four who were holding them prisoner that makes a total of three hands and three.

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