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Messages - Aesir

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Cinder Spires Spoilers / Re: Is it just me?
« on: November 05, 2016, 11:02:30 PM »
Of the three series, no question, Cinder Spires is the one I like least so far.  The beginning is weighed down by info dumps, and some of the character's personalities struck me as a bit contrived and not particularly believable.  Overall the first book is ok, but not something I'm inclined to praise to my friends the way I do the books in the other two series.  I would most definitely recommend Codex Alera and the Dresden Files as well to those that haven't yet read them.

Cinder Spires Spoilers / Re: Warriorborn
« on: October 05, 2015, 05:08:55 PM »
I don't recall anyone aside from the cats referring to the warriorborn as halfsouls, and its humanocentric to think that cats care if a soul is human.  On the other hand if the warriorborn have some cat genetics as evidenced by their cat-like eyes, superior sense of smell & hearing, high cat-like metabolism, and their feline-like grace, then that might explain why the cats refer to them as halfsouls, because part of their soul is that of a cat, and the human portion doesn't matter to a cat, only the feline portion.  ;D

Cinder Spires Spoilers / Re: Social Status of Warriorborn
« on: October 05, 2015, 11:08:28 AM »
Albion maybe a democracy in name, but it's one that is highly tilted in favor of an entrenched aristocracy who monopolize the positions of power. Children are not taught that all men and women are equal.  High House members are born High House Members, and what makes them High House Members? It's their bloodline that makes them a "blue blood".  As with many historical real world aristocratic societies, there is almost assuredly a belief that their very blood is superior, and thus the products of illicit sex with inferior bloodlines (such as "beasts" or wherever it is the warriorborn get their genetics) would be considered likewise inferior.  That said, practicality can trump bloodline in certain instances. For example, if Bennedict were heir to House Lancaster then according to Gwen that "might" trump his mixed genetics when it comes to his eligibility as a suitable mate to a gal from another High House.

In the case of the warriorborn, there is a perception held by Bennedict's own cousin Gwen that they're too focused on the present, and lack the mental ability to consider the past and plan for the future the way members of the High Houses can and do.  This perception is very likely shared by the other High Houses, and probably explains why it is considered "unseemly" for a High House to recognize one as a member, why they are not considered eligible as spouses for High House members, and why it is considered "outre" for a High House member to get romantically involved with one. Furthermore as per Major Aspira's thoughts,  "if he had been born like Ciriaco (ie. a warriorborn) he wouldn't be a major in the Auroran marines" , and given that Ciricaco is only a sergeant, this further implies that the Aurorans likely don't consider the warriorborn to be good officer material, especially not high ranking ones. Whether or not there is any truth to these perceptions is up in the air, but a certain subtle prejudice certainly seems to exist as a result.

Cinder Spires Spoilers / Re: Cinder Spires Airship Specs So Far
« on: October 05, 2015, 10:15:02 AM »
Whether or not the D in Dreadnought is capitalized appears to be significant:

Chap 2: A truly efficient combat dive required a brief, severe period of reduction in speed, and Grimm had read accounts of battleships and dreadnaughts that had attempted a dive, only to have their lift crystals tear themselves entirely free of the ship when attempting to arrest their descent too rapidly.

Chap 20: Behind the desk, in a case, were miniature replicas of each and every airship in the Aetherium Fleet of Albion, from the mighty battleship Dreadnaught, the size of Rowl, down to the tiniest destroyer, Energetic, no larger than Gwen’s smallest finger.

As has already been said by others, I think it very likely that Dreadnaught is the highly influential first ship in a class of battleships that were larger than anything built before. Therefore a dreadnought (little d) is an especially large battleship, which in Albion's navy means ships of the Dreadnaught (big D) class.

The quote from chapter 20 very heavily implies that Dreadnaught is the largest ship in Albion's navy, so I'm keeping it simple and not speculating on the possibility that there might be a newer class of same-sized or slightly smaller big battleships (dread naughts) in service beyond those of the Dreadnaught class.   

Polydactyl cats with opposable "thumbs" on their front paws are not uncommon in the real world. The polydactyal gene is considered dominant, but its expression is variable such that the number of extra toes produced and whether or not they're opposable can vary. There are likely other still to be identified genes that effect its expression.

The hypothesis that this series takes place in a human colony world where technology has regressed, perhaps due to the "iron rot", at least in part, sounds like a good one to me. I must also admit to being curious how "the enemy" factors into this world's history and development.

Cinder Spires Spoilers / Re: Non-spoiler review of TAW
« on: October 03, 2015, 08:00:34 PM »
So hey, got an advanced reader copy of CS: TAW at SDCC, and I've recently finished it (and mostly gotten over my post-flight migraines).  So I figured I'd give you guys something of a review, sans significant details.  (I'll at least try to talk in the general, but you should be warned that I can't promise that I won't let something slip.  You have been warned.)

First off, the book starts off a tad slow, but starts to get you hooked about 4 chapters in.  The problem is, this being a new series, it takes time for you to feel any emotional interest in what happens at first.  Plus, this book doesn't jump you straight into the action, and begins a tad on the mundane side.  Personally, I think the book might have benefited from picking another perspective as a starting point.

(click to show/hide)

Still if you stick around long enough, the tedium quickly evaporates & you'll be committed to the long term.

Speaking of which, the general flow of the book is great.  While the book is presented from a multi narrative perspective, you aren't left hanging waiting for each story to resolve.  The narratives really flow well into each other, and there isn't a sense of individual story behind each chapter.  (Oh, and it isn't in a journal style, so that helps.)

I won't say that I'm nearly invested into this series, as I am the Dresden Files, but I liked it significantly more than the Codex Alera books.  I can't say that there isn't any minor quibbles or complaints I might have, but generally nothing worth mention.

The book did a fairly decent job of presenting a interesting new world & a story to go along with it.  If you are willing to give it a chance, I think you'll be pleased with your reading.


I tend to prefer more serious tales, so my preference is for Codex Alera over Dresden Files over Cinder Spires, but aside from that I agree with you. I thought the prologue of TAW was very weak, and the first two chapters weighed down with steampunk mumbo-jumbo that wasn't sufficiently explained.  I also agree that if someone is willing to persevere, things improve relatively quickly and the book turns into an enjoyable read.

I like the talking/fighting house cats for their novelty, but they also push the campyness factor and I hope we don't see a deluge of "copy cat" authors also creating talking cats who can fight alongside humans just because Jim did it here. It's fine if used carefully and judiciously, but I'd probably start gagging if they became commonplace in sci-fi/fantasy.


Cinder Spires Spoilers / Re: Warriorborn
« on: October 03, 2015, 07:35:45 PM »
Since three different characters, Espira, Grim and Bridget all remark to themselves how Sark moves like a silkweaver, I suspect that there is more to the description than simply a way to denote creepiness. 

I've got a question, but I'm not sure on the formatting.

Do the Fae have souls?  Harry has claimed that they don't, but was he right?  Did Harry deny Aurora both a normal life & an afterlife to boot? 

If not, what happens to their soul, does it move onto the afterlife when a Changeling chooses, or is it converted into part of the new being.

(Angels don't have free will, & are all soul, so if Harry is making the assumption that the Fae have no souls based on the lack of free will, I just assume its a mistake.)

Wordy, right?  If I get a chance, I plan to just really ask the first bit, but I figure I should put out my entire thinking here.  It was something I wanted to know, back with Aurora & Meryl, but now has come up to the forefront of my thinking.

There are some seeming inconsistencies surrounding this subject.  Are sidhe who are not faerie queens immortal? or only the faerie queens?  How can Lily be the first "mortal" to become a faerie queen when the same thing occurred with Maeve?  and much, much earlier Mab?  How can a mortal non-fae become an immortal fae?  Does she still have her soul? Or free will?   Can such a state be forced on her against her will? What percentage of new fae aredue to fae-fae breeding, and what percentage are due to fae-human breeding?  Can fae even breed with each other?

The eyes weren't actually yellow. Here's the description from PG:

"...her eyes aglow with an unpleasant, fey light." I'd guess that any number of supernatural creatures might be capable of crawling inside a human and causing them to look like that. We might even have seen one or two in the books already, if the creatures can cause different changes in the appearances of their victims. That look could even be the result of a bargain or series of bargains with some of the fae. Probably Winter fae, maybe even Lea.

Honestly, I think she's already taken her first few steps along this path. Possession isn't necesary.  The girl already looks like a junky, her sanity is borderline, and she's got an extremely dangerous faerie for a tutor. All she needs are the glowing eyes, and I'm sure Lea could arrange that as part of a bargain.  Heck, Molly herself could make her eyes glow if she wanted to look intimidating as part of her bag lady act.

Well Cortez was a Spaniard so I am presuming that the christian powers were backing him up. According to changes the Rampires are one of the most vulnerable beings to faith magic, so maybe a bunch of christian Spanish soldiers were enough to cause grief to even a bunch of Rampire turned gods.

Your reasoning sounds good to me.  If called upon by those with true faith fighting the good fight against murderously evil Ramps, I don't doubt that the White God's angels would do everything legally allowed under the restrictive rules they operate under to keep their people safe.  This is probably the most likely possibility.

He has come a long way from that to, mainly because of Molly.

It might also be that he underestimates himself. He grew up with Justin, I can very well see him being bad at praising people. Then he has mostly fought things far bigger than himself. He has never (as far as I know, except Elain a long time ago) had a change to test himself against someone in his own league. Morgan seems to consider him good, and I would value that testimony way higher than Harrys own judgment (he is after all not a particularly smart man, when it comes to himself).

While my rebuttal went off in a different direction, I'm in agreement with your reasoning as well.  Harry has gotten quite a bit better since he started teaching Molly, and he does have a tendency of underrating himself.  I'll take Morgan and Eb's opinions of Harry over Harry's own opinions of himself any day.

That's not book 1, that's a quote from book 8.

Interesting, and that's rather similar to the wording used in book 1.  I suspect the distinction, based on previous descriptions by Jim, is a matter of context.  Harry has a bigger, fatter supply of magic power available to him than most other wizards do.  So his #1 issue is controlling all that power so he doesn't accidentally blow himself or those around him up.  That's why historically he's been highly dependent on his staff and blasting rod to help him focus and maintain control of his evocations. For most other wizards, accidentally taking out a building is less of an issue. So controlling their magical power comes more easily than it does to Harry, and this leads to them having an advantage at complex little magics that don't take much power, but a great deal of focus and control.  So they have a head-start in the efficiency race, and in a lot of ways find it easier going, at least at first, to improve their skill at complex evocations, and to work without foci.

On the other hand, most wizards don't spend a lot of time saving the world.  So when a Ramp comes charging at them, they may freeze, panic, cast an inappropriate evocation, or simply screw up the right evocation.  Harry has none of those issues.  He's had lots of practice at emergency evocations.  Furthermore, Harry's fine control has gotten significantly better in the last few books, and his spells have grown more flexible, so for a mage of his age, he likely is a good evocator, especially at big spells, even if there are other evocators, his age or even younger, that are better at intricate little spells. So I suppose it depends on how the word "evocator" is used. If we use evocator as a synonym for combat mage, than he's a damn good one for his age.  He can throw big, destructive evocations that most other mages couldn't dream of pulling off. Yet if we use evocator as a synonym for someone able to quickly cast a complicated spell that they made up on the spot, then he's not very good at it.  It's all relative.

Really, what ritual was used that required Chichen Itza? what did they do to piss the Reds off that much? Who were the targets?

And this is all just a piece of irrelevant background information I'm asking about.

I read that passage in Changes a bit differently. It wasn't that they used the very same ritual when Cortes came through, but that the Reds haven't used the location since Cortes conquered the Aztecs.   Do we know what supernatural group Cortes was associated with that the Ramps weren't able to stop his conquest? 

I haven't seen the WoJ talking about Harry's skill at evocation, so I'm just guessing here, but I'd bet that a statement like that would need to be qualified with, "for his age" or "of his generation." I can see Harry being considered very good at evocation for someone of his age, but not for, say, a wizard who's 150 years old and has been a Warden for 100 years of that time. It seems like any Warden who's 150 years old or so is going to be way better at evocation than Harry is, just by dent of skill gained through an extra 100 years of experience.

Yep, we've had several comparisons of Harry with other wizards both in books and in Q&A's.  He has a huge amount of raw power, and in the time span between Proven Guilty and Cold Days, due to his growing skill, he's gotten a lot more efficient at using that power.  That's still only 20 years of hard practice, Luccio (in her original body) and most of the senior council members have had over 200.  And Morgan wasn't quite as old as all of them, but still considerably older than Harry, and considered by Harry to be "one of the best evocators in the world".  Do we know Morgan's age?

Well Carlos was said and shown to be much more skilled at evocation, less powerful but still more talented.

I recall Carlos being way more skilled at water magic, but his skill advantage in evocation wasn't necessarily large enough to make up for Harry's greater raw power. I kind of had the feeling that the difference between Carlos and Harry is very similar to the difference between Elaine and Harry.  Carlos and Elaine both have less raw power, so they had to make up for it by developing skill more quickly.  That doesn't mean Harry isn't a match for them, he just didn't need to develop the same amount of fine skill since he had so much more firepower at his disposal.  His top priority was controlling that firepower so he didn't accidentally kill all his friends and level entire buildings, not in making the most out of a pea shooter.  Therefore he isn't so good at little evocations that take a lot of pinpoint control, although he is getting better at them as the series progresses. It's big evocations that involve massive destruction and take down entire buildings that he's a natural at.  :P

I want more specific ages than just "alive back in the french and indian war".

Asking Jim point blank for the exact ages of all the SC members assumes that not only has he picked birth years for them all, but that he remembers them without having to check his notes as well. I'll lay odds that "alive back in the french and indian war" is just the sort of answer you'd get if you were to ask him for their ages.

The most recent quote on him being bad with evocation.

Harry has come a long way since the first book in the series.

And we know What it was used for, I'm asking about Who it was used on in that time and Why.

The Why seems obvious, and maybe I've missed something, but I don't see what's so special about the Who.

For the senior council, their ages are all over the map, Langtry and Eb are the same age, LTW and Martha unknown but appear to be same generation, Mai's over 400, Pietrovich and Cristos unknown and nobody freaking knows how old Rashid is, he was running around in 700A.D.

Yep, Pietrovich and Cristos are unknowns, although Cristos must be the youngest of the bunch given the rules of seniority, and Mai is over 400.  The rest sound as if they are somewhere around 250-300, judging from the French and Indian War remark.

And the possibility of Harry being one of the best evocators makes me want an official clarification even more, in early books he was supposed to be pathetic at evocation and good at thaumaturgy, in later ones he's skilled in both with a talent for evocation in particular.

Do you have the citation on where he was supposed to be pathetic at evocation?  I recall something along those lines in the very first book, although I don't think "pathetic" was the word used.  Given that this series spans 2 decades of supernatural bad guys trying to kill him, his evocation skills have been forced to improve greatly in order for him to survive, kind of like what Molly is now going through now with Lea & the Fomor, so it may well have been accurate for the Harry of that time, but no longer accurate for the Harry of today.  Otherwise he wouldn't have been drafted to help teach evocation to young wardens.

And the Chichen Itza thing, the only one who said Chichen Itza was used for that was Odin in Changes.

Do we have reason to believe that Odin was mistaken?

The Wizards gaining power one has been answered by select book quotes, the rest, no.

I recall Jim saying in one of the audio Q&A's that the senior council members were around Harry's age at the time of the French and Indian War.  Some day he may even go back and write about that period.

On evocation I recall Jim saying in an audio interview that Harry is one of the most skilled WC members at evocation, although the senior council members have been doing it for far longer than he has, and have the skill to back it up. The Merlin is the Merlin for very good reason. 

As for Chichen Itza, my memory has fogged over from time, but I believe that at some point Jim said something along the lines of it being put to the same use in the time of the Aztecs as it was in Changes, magical rituals involving human sacrifices. 

For his exact words, you'd have to dig through the audio interviews.

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