The God's War Discussion

Book Three of The Great God's War trilogy, which may or may not ever be published.
Mr.Land
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The God's War Discussion

Post by Mr.Land »

I've read and thoroughly enjoyed The Killing God. One of Steve's best. I was a bit surprised that the community (to my knowledge) isn't discussing the latest book or series at all now that it's complete on KW. If anyone would like to share feedback or insights please respond.
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Post by Fist and Faith »

Sorry I can't help. I haven't read any of them. I just wanted to tell you to stop with the excessive posting already!
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And disregards the rest
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Post by Mr.Land »

Rest assured I will not post again. I've always appreciated the Community of Kevin's Watch. There are few places to discuss SRD's work and through the years I have enjoyed immersing myself in thoughtful discussions, albeit usually silently. Others seemed so well versed in Donaldson's imaginings that I felt more comfortable watching from the sidelines. Toe, the Great God's War is a stunning achievement that has only gotten better with each book. For Steve to produce a book of this quality so late in his career is no less than outstanding. This makes the indifference of the members of the forum so perplexing to me, and more than a little sad. I wish you all well.
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Post by StevieG »

I’m sure you know that Fist was joking Mr Land :D

I’m really enjoying it too but I’m only part way through the 2nd book (a reread) before moving to the Killing God. After that I’d be keen to discuss.

I hear you though - it is definitely a little sad that the discussions have died off. Still, I’ll be back to discuss - I’m a very slow reader so it might take a while.
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Post by wayfriend »

I am 3/4 thru the TWI. Then I can start TKG.
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Post by kevinswatch »

I'd be happy to see more discussion on this great series!

-jay
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Post by Mr.Land »

Thanks for that comment Stevie G. I actually didn't know the comment was humorous. I'm afraid I took it to heart. Still hoping others in the community will eventually be able to discuss the new book and series now that it's complete.
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Post by wayfriend »

.... almost done.
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The God's War Discussion

Post by kevinswatch »

I'm on Chapter 11. Slow going, because of life, but I am enjoying it. I still really like Estie as a character. Really like the name, too. SRD always had a good knack for fantasy names that weren't impossible to pronounce, like most fantasy authors.

If this was written by Robert Jordan, then Estie's name would have been Estivhrenmhie.

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Post by wayfriend »

I actually finally wrapped this up a few days ago.
I don't know why I haven't posted about it yet ... just busy with other stuff I guess.
And I'm still pondering it all as well.
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Post by Fist and Faith »

Oh! Sorry, Mr. Land!! Yes, I was thoroughly joking! :lol: Teasing you because you've been here 19 years, and only 57 posts.
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Post by kevinswatch »

Fist and Faith wrote: Oh! Sorry, Mr. Land!! Yes, I was thoroughly joking! :lol: Teasing you because you've been here 19 years, and only 57 posts.
Great, you scared him away!

-jay
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Post by rdhopeca »

I just finished it myself; I feel like I need to go back and do a re-read of the series now. I don't want to reveal any spoilers but I still have questions about what went down.
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Russ Hatton
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Post by Russ Hatton »

Just started volume 3. This is not my favorite Donaldson.
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Post by Savor Dam »

Welcome to the Watch, Russ. May you thrive here...and contribute.

Join in anywhere, whether it be about making your way through The Great God's War, your thoughts on Donaldson stories you like better, or wherever you feel moved to comment.
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Post by Avatar »

Russ Hatton wrote: Just started volume 3. This is not my favorite Donaldson.
Welcome @Russ Hatton. :D

So, what is your favourite Donaldson? :D

--A
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Post by Cord Hurn »

Just finished The Killing God a couple days ago.

I liked it, as a story where the main characters come through the story being more admirable as the pages go by.

Some details, like King Bifalt being the one to strike the death blow against Great God Rile, could be foreseen from way back in the early part of the second book when Rile begins to be mentioned, but surprises still abounded for me in the story, like when Sirjane Marrow was assassinated (I figured he'd be around to be a thorn in both Bifalt's and Rile's sides for most of this book, but I sure was mistaken about that), when Jaspid and Lylin arrive by Rile's pavilion for Prince Jaspid to shoot out the rubies (though we knew from Elgart that the rubies of Rile are the source of coercive power), and I was really, REALLY surprised at just how powerful Queen Estie's voice-projecting talent truly is! WOW! 8O
She faced Tak Biondi again. Defying her weakness, she demanded, "Show me what you have under your shirt."

His hand at his chest knotted into a fist. It gripped tightly. The cloth of his shirt seemed to blaze. A gap in his hair let her see the flash of vehemence in his eyes.

--It is nothing, Queen. A trinket. It has no meaning.

Urgently, Third Father added:
--Beware!

Like a conjurer's trick, a knife appeared in Tak Biondi's free hand, a long dagger. All the light in the room seemed to concentrate on its edges. With absurd ease as if he were floating, he came at Estie.

She tried to move. None of her limbs obeyed her. She had no defense against power like this. She braced herself to die.

At that instant, Third Father released her hand, left her side. Frail and weary, worn down by his years, he stumbled toward Tak Biondi. Almost falling, he grappled for the blade.

In surprise or self-defense, Tak Biondi let go of his shirt. He needed both hands to prevent the monk from taking his knife.

Their struggle took less time than Etie's heart needed to beat once, but it was enough to free Magister Rummage. Roaring in silence, the hunchback launched himself like a blacksmith's hammer at the anvil of Tak Biondi's head.

Estie did not understand how the servant [Tak Biondi] could react so fast. She only knew that Magister Rumage jerked to a halt in an instant, a sliver of an instant, before he struck Magister Marrow's killer. Tak Biondi had already wrenched the monk aside. Now he stood behind Third Father with one arm wrapped across the monk's chest. The other held his knife at Third Father's throat.

Tak Biondi was shouting. Estie heard nothing.

Despite his rage, Master Rummage did not attack. Instead, he turned his fury on himself. With both fists, he punched his own head. Then he whirled away.

Breathing hard, he came to the Queen's side. At once, he grasped her forearm and wrote fiercely:

--That whoreson says that your death would crown his service, but he will be content with a hostage. A revered monk is ideal. He will deliver a fatal blow before we kill him. If you wish to save the monk, you will surrender yourself.

Queen Estie found that her mind had cleared. The light no longer hurt her eyes. When he was not touching whatever was hidden under his shirt, Tak Biondi could not confuse her with borrowed sorcery.

To herself, she promised, I will not.

She did not waste time speaking aloud. Deliberately, she focused her mental voice on Tak Biondi. As if she had earned the right, she commanded, Let him go.

The man jerked as if he had received a blow. Wildness filled his eyes. He shouted again, spewing threats that did not reach Estie. His blade drew a line of blood across the monk's throat. She was more than Amika's Queen. She was a sorceress. She summoned all of herself.

I said, Let him GO!

Tak Biondi's head seemed to explode. Blood burst from his eyes, his ears, his mouth. The skin of his brow split as the bones holding it twisted. His whole body spasmed, flinging the knife away, throwing him back against the table. While Third Father stumbled free, Tak Biondi flopped to the floor.

A moment of darkness came to the Queen. Tak Biondi was not the first man that she had killed. After her father had arranged an ambush for her, after she had slain one of her attackers and face the outcome-- her guts had rebelled. Fearing that she would vomit again, she retreated blindly to the wall, lowered herself down it, sat hugging her knees on the cold stone.

When the darkness passed, she saw Third Father on his hands and knees. His head hung down, almost touched the floor. Blood dripped from his cut, but he ignored it.

Behind the monk, Magister Rummage flipped Tak Biondi's corpse onto its back. Roughly, he reached into the man's shirt, found a chain around the neck, jerked it loose. Holding it in front of him, he showed it to Estie.

Lit brightly on all sides, a small golden cross hung from the chain. On each end of the crosspiece, a tiny ruby glittered.

She gave it a glance, nothing more. Third Father was crawling toward her. When he reached her feet he pushed himself up onto his knees. His blood demanded her attention. When she forced herself to face him, he met her gaze as if he had never seen her before. He looked as plaintive as a child.

With his hands on her knees, he asked:

--Have I surpassed myself at last, Majesty?

To answer him, she wrapped her arms around him, hugged his head to her shoulder. Softly, she breathed, "Rest, Father. You have done enough."

She did not know how the Cult of the Many judged such things. She could not say whether he had gone beyond his own expectations. But for the first time, he had called her Majesty. That sufficed.
Third Father is a character that I loved, for his humility, his wisdom, his honesty, and for his bravery in that scene. I always felt assured that Estie and Bifalt would be guided well anytime they met with Third Father. He may be my favorite character of this Great God's War series. ANYBODY ELSE HERE LOVE THIRD FATHER?



I had ambivalent feelings about Bifalt in the first book, admiring his dedication to his people, but disdaining his clinging to his prejudices about Amikans and Magisters. We saw a lot of both Amikans and Magisters giving their lives in this book to protect the knowledge of the Great Repository for future generations. I like that he can come clean about where he was mistaken, and embrace further personal growth.
"I am what you see, an ordinary man with ordinary gifts. I fail as often as any man. I am wrong as often as a man can be.

"I was wrong when I came here long ago. I judged the Magisters you have lost wrongly. I interpreted their intentions wrongly. When I left, I vowed to myself the I would humble their arrogance. I was wrong.

"And in my own realm, and in Queen Estie's, I was wrong. I feared sorcery. I saw every wielder of a Decimate as dishonorable and cowardly, Belleger's as well as Amika's. In all my dealings with them, I betrayed my scorn. I could not bear that their gifts diminished me. I was wrong.

"Worse, I treated my wife wrongly, my Queen-Consort, Estie of Amika. You do not know the pain I caused her. My father, King Abbator, was a good man. He would have groaned to see my treatment of her."

For a moment, the King paused, bowed his head. During their last exchange in Belleger's Fist, Third Father had encouraged him to surpass himself. He did not know how.

Nevertheless he knew what he had to say.

He raised his head, faced the gathering like a man who knew himself.
I enjoyed how Bifalt follows it up by admitting he was right in having faith in Klamath, Elgart, Flisk, Forguile, Estie, Amika, Magisters, Jaspid, & Lome to fulfill the tasks he had given them. And then, as a nice closing touch to their story, he surprises her by letting her know he has been practicing signed gestures and wants to love her at last. The ending felt emotionally quite fitting to me.

The Great God's War is a series I am glad I read, though Mordant's Need remains my favorite SRD story. I have already read Seventh Decimate and The War Within twice, and will probably give The Killing God a reread sometime next year.

But for now, I'm going to read the Mordant's Need story again (my seventh read). :read: :read: :read: :read: :read: :read: :read:
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Post by wayfriend »

Cord Hurn wrote: I was really, REALLY surprised at just how powerful Queen Estie's voice-projecting talent truly is! WOW! 8O
I just finished a few weeks ago myself. And Estie's talent is as good a place as any to begin to talk about my ups and downs with this series.

It seemed to me, at the end of book 2, that this story was leading to Estie having some sort of new, powerful, and heretofore unknown magical power. Basically, I was anticipating something like Teresa ande Geraden in Mordant's Need.

When Estie's power was revealed, I was a bit disappointed. It seemed utilitarian and rather boring to me.

Of course, in the end, it somehow plugs into a necessary slot in the sequence of events leading to the destruction of the god. It wasn't the main thing, or even the most important thing, but it was a critical thing among many critical things. However -- it's still not very exciting.

I am still thinking about this story. My ideas are not well formed yet. But I wanted to say that lots of this story was like this to me: I anticipated something big, was given something small, dwelled in disappointment, ultimately discovering how it fit, but never really shaking that disappointment off. I anticipate my impressions changing as I think about it more -- and I haven't even really begun yet. Donaldson's writing changes, and he tries to write his stories differently. Sometimes it takes a bit for me to get in tune with his style.
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Post by Russ Hatton »

Avatar wrote:
Russ Hatton wrote: Just started volume 3. This is not my favorite Donaldson.
Welcome @Russ Hatton. :D

So, what is your favourite Donaldson? :D

--A
My favorite is the Gap Cycle. Astonishing scifi that does not get the attention it deserves. 1st Covenant series is a close 2nd.
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Post by Avatar »

My favorite is the Gap Cycle. Astonishing scifi that does not get the attention it deserves.[/quote]

Could not agree more. His best writing, and some of the best hard sci-fi out there. Make sure you join us in the Gap forum, there's a Gap trivia question going begging. :D And over in "Ancillary Documentation" the Gap group read is taking a break before starting ADAHG. :D

--A
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