Author Topic: Thoughst about The Olympian affaire (SPOILERS!!!!)  (Read 6011 times)

Offline Dina

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Thoughst about The Olympian affaire (SPOILERS!!!!)
« on: December 19, 2023, 04:53:10 AM »
Stop reading if you did not read the book! I am serious. This is full of SPOILERS.

There is another thread about the map, so I won't speak about that here, but I finished the book today and I had lots of things to say. You are warned, this is going to be long.

General comment:
I REALLY liked the book. BUT at first I struggled getting invested in it. The fact that every chapter changed the characters we were following was very distracting and it was difficult for me to find the motivation to keep reading at least until more than half of the book.
Like with TAW, I still think the characters are my favourite thing in the book. Cavendish is an excellent villain. Gwen, Ferus, Folly and Grimm, and the Spirearch too, are my favourite but I liked most of the others too. I am not a fan of Elaine, I mean, Calliope but in general I enjoy the others. Among the new ones, Ravenna is the best, but I liked all the others: Abigail (even when, you know...), the surface etherealist and the minor characters like the cats, Hamish and Tilde and Vincent.

Specific comments

1) I love the little details, like at the beginning Kettle telling Grimm that not many people would have taken a moment to think, or Gwen "calmly" shooting a revenant, or Abigail understanding what the glasses she gave her meant to Folly. I think the little details made the characters so great.

2) I am really, really mad about the Spanish names. I mean, yes, I know a writer is free to invent whatever names they want but most TOA names are written like nowadays, except by some Spanish ones. And yes, some of them are perfectly correct, like Espira, Chavez and Rafael. But, for example, it is (possible but) weird that Rafael becames Rafe and Espira is Renaldo instead of Reynaldo. Valesco is a very unusual name. I would have expected Velasco, which is very common. Raoul, Francesco and del Aurora are also quite uncommon writings, as Raķl, Francisco and de la Aurora would be more natural. But if that was all, I would be just moderately annoyed. What irritated me so much was the ship called CONQUISTODOR. Like...what? Can you imagine a ship named ConquerIr?  >:( >:( >:(

3) I loved the duels. After having felt robbed of a proper duelling in TAW, I absolutely enjoy those. Still, I think like a lot of Grimm's duel depended of the intelligence Abigail gathered watched Valesco duelling a random character. As if a super expert duelist always used the same tactics and style. It is a reduced sampling  :)
Also, I have a question. I am pretty sure I've read that Grimm's duel was "at noon" and Abigail's "at sunset" but then it seems that they happened at the same time. What did I get wrong?

4) I was not so inlove with the tea meeting from the ladies scene. The attack on Abigail felt super weird and clumsy. It seemed that having a man in a female reunion, particularly if he just appeared to hit the victim, was not a valid reason for offense and duelling. It would be just a serious gaffe from the host. Also, if people heard that the great and terrible duelist had decided to hit a pregnant woman (the warriorborn coud smell the pregnancy) wouldn't have been embarrassing for Valesco? And more important, what exactly was the plan? Because as far as I understood, they did not know about Folly before the meeting, so for all they know Abigail would have gone into the reunion, trade some veiled insults, Hestia would have made her feel ashamed...and she would have left without Valesco having the chance of doing anything.

5) I liked the surface scene with the aetherialist and the old cat, and the battle with the Scyther  :)

6) I understand is very convenient for the plot but I would think the logical action for Grimm would have been trying to blow Ransom's ship instead of boarding it and trying to take a new technology.

7) PLEASE tell me they will rebuild Preddy. If the core crystal is undamaged (big IF) I think her personality could remain. Also, i suppose the rescuers will find (in the other ship) the crystal that Cavendish mentioned, the one grown in weeks, that could be so useful to the war. I am confident they will find Ferus's cane, so I imagine they could find that cristal too.

8 ) Valesco death was very satisfactory, and I hope someday we can have a satisfactory death for Cavendish too.

9) I was very sad about Ferus, a character I loved. But I understand that is the mentor's fate, in general.

10) Cavendish is Folly's mother!!??

11) Even when I understand why she did it, I am not too happy with Abigail risking Grimm's life. I liked Bayard's reaction and the fact that he did not immediately forgive her. I want them to reconcile and be happy with their baby but I feel the way it happened is more realistic and show Bayard's character. Also, I am afraid they will not have a happy ending. Anyways, I think Abigail could have try to show Bayard that even when she would do the same again she still regrets what she did to Grimm. For example, she could have offered to pay for Grimm's rehab with the best doctors. She is rich.

12) I loved that Espira is impressed with Grimm, he seems to respect him a great deal. I was looking forward to a scene with Grimm telling him "So, you slept with my wife..." and Espira blanching. And yes, we know they are exes (but not formally) and both of them have other partners but Espira would not know. Alas, that did not happen.

13) Last, and also Espira related. I seriously see no reason why he is not a prisoner in the end. I understood that his surviving men were allowed to march free, but I think he should have been Grimm's prisoner.

God in Heaven, that was super long. You have been warned though and I regret nothing. I expected so long for this I am enjoying it now :-)
Missing you, Md 

There are many horrible sights in the multiverse. Somehow, though, to a soul attuned to the subtle rhythms of a library, there are few worse sights than a hole where a book ought to be. Someone has stolen a book (Terry Pratchett)

Offline Gman

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Re: Thoughst about The Olympian affaire (SPOILERS!!!!)
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2024, 03:48:25 AM »
This is supposed to take place many centuries in the future. Languages and spelling change over time. Spanish likely has changed some. I think it a minor issue. JB probably is not fluent in Spanish.

Offline Dina

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Re: Thoughst about The Olympian affaire (SPOILERS!!!!)
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2024, 11:31:32 AM »
As I said, most TOA names are written like nowadays, except for some Spanish names. That means, yes, spelling can change in many years in the future, but apparently it only affected Spanish names.
Of course I imagine Jim is not fluent in Spanish and that is perfectly ok, but you can check the spelling in Google or just ask someone who knows. I am surprised not the betas, not even the editor thought in suggesting a change of spelling for the ship.
Also, you are entitled to your opinion that this is a minor issue, as I am entitled to my own opinion.
Missing you, Md 

There are many horrible sights in the multiverse. Somehow, though, to a soul attuned to the subtle rhythms of a library, there are few worse sights than a hole where a book ought to be. Someone has stolen a book (Terry Pratchett)

Offline Braincandy

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Re: Thoughst about The Olympian affaire (SPOILERS!!!!)
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2024, 08:19:54 AM »
Stop reading if you did not read the book! I am serious. This is full of SPOILERS.

There is another thread about the map, so I won't speak about that here, but I finished the book today and I had lots of things to say. You are warned, this is going to be long.

General comment:
I REALLY liked the book. BUT at first I struggled getting invested in it. The fact that every chapter changed the characters we were following was very distracting and it was difficult for me to find the motivation to keep reading at least until more than half of the book.
Like with TAW, I still think the characters are my favourite thing in the book. Cavendish is an excellent villain. Gwen, Ferus, Folly and Grimm, and the Spirearch too, are my favourite but I liked most of the others too. I am not a fan of Elaine, I mean, Calliope but in general I enjoy the others. Among the new ones, Ravenna is the best, but I liked all the others: Abigail (even when, you know...), the surface etherealist and the minor characters like the cats, Hamish and Tilde and Vincent.

Specific comments

1) I love the little details, like at the beginning Kettle telling Grimm that not many people would have taken a moment to think, or Gwen "calmly" shooting a revenant, or Abigail understanding what the glasses she gave her meant to Folly. I think the little details made the characters so great.

2) I am really, really mad about the Spanish names. I mean, yes, I know a writer is free to invent whatever names they want but most TOA names are written like nowadays, except by some Spanish ones. And yes, some of them are perfectly correct, like Espira, Chavez and Rafael. But, for example, it is (possible but) weird that Rafael becames Rafe and Espira is Renaldo instead of Reynaldo. Valesco is a very unusual name. I would have expected Velasco, which is very common. Raoul, Francesco and del Aurora are also quite uncommon writings, as Raķl, Francisco and de la Aurora would be more natural. But if that was all, I would be just moderately annoyed. What irritated me so much was the ship called CONQUISTODOR. Like...what? Can you imagine a ship named ConquerIr?  >:( >:( >:(

3) I loved the duels. After having felt robbed of a proper duelling in TAW, I absolutely enjoy those. Still, I think like a lot of Grimm's duel depended of the intelligence Abigail gathered watched Valesco duelling a random character. As if a super expert duelist always used the same tactics and style. It is a reduced sampling  :)
Also, I have a question. I am pretty sure I've read that Grimm's duel was "at noon" and Abigail's "at sunset" but then it seems that they happened at the same time. What did I get wrong?

4) I was not so inlove with the tea meeting from the ladies scene. The attack on Abigail felt super weird and clumsy. It seemed that having a man in a female reunion, particularly if he just appeared to hit the victim, was not a valid reason for offense and duelling. It would be just a serious gaffe from the host. Also, if people heard that the great and terrible duelist had decided to hit a pregnant woman (the warriorborn coud smell the pregnancy) wouldn't have been embarrassing for Valesco? And more important, what exactly was the plan? Because as far as I understood, they did not know about Folly before the meeting, so for all they know Abigail would have gone into the reunion, trade some veiled insults, Hestia would have made her feel ashamed...and she would have left without Valesco having the chance of doing anything.

5) I liked the surface scene with the aetherialist and the old cat, and the battle with the Scyther  :)

6) I understand is very convenient for the plot but I would think the logical action for Grimm would have been trying to blow Ransom's ship instead of boarding it and trying to take a new technology.

7) PLEASE tell me they will rebuild Preddy. If the core crystal is undamaged (big IF) I think her personality could remain. Also, i suppose the rescuers will find (in the other ship) the crystal that Cavendish mentioned, the one grown in weeks, that could be so useful to the war. I am confident they will find Ferus's cane, so I imagine they could find that cristal too.

8 ) Valesco death was very satisfactory, and I hope someday we can have a satisfactory death for Cavendish too.

9) I was very sad about Ferus, a character I loved. But I understand that is the mentor's fate, in general.

10) Cavendish is Folly's mother!!??

11) Even when I understand why she did it, I am not too happy with Abigail risking Grimm's life. I liked Bayard's reaction and the fact that he did not immediately forgive her. I want them to reconcile and be happy with their baby but I feel the way it happened is more realistic and show Bayard's character. Also, I am afraid they will not have a happy ending. Anyways, I think Abigail could have try to show Bayard that even when she would do the same again she still regrets what she did to Grimm. For example, she could have offered to pay for Grimm's rehab with the best doctors. She is rich.

12) I loved that Espira is impressed with Grimm, he seems to respect him a great deal. I was looking forward to a scene with Grimm telling him "So, you slept with my wife..." and Espira blanching. And yes, we know they are exes (but not formally) and both of them have other partners but Espira would not know. Alas, that did not happen.

13) Last, and also Espira related. I seriously see no reason why he is not a prisoner in the end. I understood that his surviving men were allowed to march free, but I think he should have been Grimm's prisoner.

God in Heaven, that was super long. You have been warned though and I regret nothing. I expected so long for this I am enjoying it now :-)

I can field a few of those.

Point 3. The reason why Grimm had to duel Valesco is because that intel wouldn't have had any value a fight between Bayard and him. The thing they learned is that the Baron likes to toy with vastly inferior opponents and then insta kill them. Against anyone he thought was a threat, he wouldn't do that. He did it against Grimm because he knew Grimm wasn't on his level and it never occurred to him that someone might just accept so grievous a wound to land a strike, or have the ability to parry his strike in the first place.

Point 4. Whether it was noble of Valesco or would be considered an honorable move was irrelavant. The point was to show that Aurora could bully Albion and they couldn't do anything about it. Plus, whether anyone else thought it was a valid reason was irrelevant. Valesco knew that Bayard would never allow that to pass without a fight to the death.

Point 6. They couldn't just blow Ransoms ship. It was clearly established that trying to use the cannons would have been suicidal. In fact, they nearly did use the cannons to kill both ships before the Pikers showed up

Point 7. I am not sure they have to rebuild Preddy, just repair her. The whole reason Gwen went down with the ship was to make it land relatively intact and light signal flares so it could be found. Since they were bound together, that also means it's likely Mistshawk went down mostly intact too. So, we are most likely going to see an Albion flagged Mistshark in the next book, given that it's whole crew is dead and Calliope captured.

Point 10. Where did you get that idea?

Point 11. Abby's actions were perfectly in character for someone who is a covert agent of the Spire, is emotionally attached to Bayard and is not an honor bound duelist. She couldn't let that duel happen because Bayard would probably lose. She would lose the love of her life AND it would have been a massive blow to her spire. So, she stopped it from happening by subterfuge, like the spy she is.

point 13. It was established at the end of the first book that Grimm would accept the parole of an Auroran that acted honorably. He also knew that while Espira was clearly not on board with the Mistmaw plan, he also would never betray his spire so there was little point in taking him back for questioning. With Espira free, he could be a potential ally against Cavendish's master at a later date. Plus, as Grimm said many times, he isn't a fleet ship and there isn't officially a war yet. He didn't actually have a legal ground to take him. It's the same reasons why no one tried to start a fight with the Conquistador. Neither would go down easy and they acted like honorable men in the fight

Offline Dina

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Re: Thoughst about The Olympian affaire (SPOILERS!!!!)
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2024, 09:21:18 AM »
I can field a few of those.

Point 3. The reason why Grimm had to duel Valesco is because that intel wouldn't have had any value a fight between Bayard and him. The thing they learned is that the Baron likes to toy with vastly inferior opponents and then insta kill them. Against anyone he thought was a threat, he wouldn't do that. He did it against Grimm because he knew Grimm wasn't on his level and it never occurred to him that someone might just accept so grievous a wound to land a strike, or have the ability to parry his strike in the first place.

Point 4. Whether it was noble of Valesco or would be considered an honorable move was irrelavant. The point was to show that Aurora could bully Albion and they couldn't do anything about it. Plus, whether anyone else thought it was a valid reason was irrelevant. Valesco knew that Bayard would never allow that to pass without a fight to the death.

Point 6. They couldn't just blow Ransoms ship. It was clearly established that trying to use the cannons would have been suicidal. In fact, they nearly did use the cannons to kill both ships before the Pikers showed up

Point 7. I am not sure they have to rebuild Preddy, just repair her. The whole reason Gwen went down with the ship was to make it land relatively intact and light signal flares so it could be found. Since they were bound together, that also means it's likely Mistshawk went down mostly intact too. So, we are most likely going to see an Albion flagged Mistshark in the next book, given that it's whole crew is dead and Calliope captured.

Point 10. Where did you get that idea?

Point 11. Abby's actions were perfectly in character for someone who is a covert agent of the Spire, is emotionally attached to Bayard and is not an honor bound duelist. She couldn't let that duel happen because Bayard would probably lose. She would lose the love of her life AND it would have been a massive blow to her spire. So, she stopped it from happening by subterfuge, like the spy she is.

point 13. It was established at the end of the first book that Grimm would accept the parole of an Auroran that acted honorably. He also knew that while Espira was clearly not on board with the Mistmaw plan, he also would never betray his spire so there was little point in taking him back for questioning. With Espira free, he could be a potential ally against Cavendish's master at a later date. Plus, as Grimm said many times, he isn't a fleet ship and there isn't officially a war yet. He didn't actually have a legal ground to take him. It's the same reasons why no one tried to start a fight with the Conquistador. Neither would go down easy and they acted like honorable men in the fight

Thanks for your answer!

I think you are probably right in pojnts 3, 4 and maybe 6. That one (6) I am not so sure because I think I remember then stating destroying it as a possibility.

I do not know about 7 but I hope you are right.

Point 10, oh, Ferus last words. When he said to Folly that friends kept you sane and made the difference between "you and your mother" or something like that. It implies that Folly's mother is or was an etherealist going crazy and with no friends. Someone comes to mind? I thought it was clear. I am not sure if Caveendish is aware though.

Point 11. What you said in not against what I said. I stated that I totally get why Abby poisoned Bayard. I do mantain that she could have offered to make amends to Grimm or something. She is rich and socially powerful, she could help Grimm, to try to make up a little for what she did. Bayard would appreciate it. Regardless of that, I think the whole arc (Abby, Grimm and Bayard actions and reactions) was very well written and plausible.

Point 13, that one I disagree.

Thanks for saying Conquistador,  :) :) :)

Missing you, Md 

There are many horrible sights in the multiverse. Somehow, though, to a soul attuned to the subtle rhythms of a library, there are few worse sights than a hole where a book ought to be. Someone has stolen a book (Terry Pratchett)

Offline KurtinStGeorge

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Re: Thoughst about The Olympian affaire (SPOILERS!!!!)
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2024, 02:28:54 AM »
Iím wondering if Jimís defense for the misspellings is the story is taking place far in the future after some cataclysmic event made the world the way it is in the books.  Languages can change over time, with different spellings, different pronunciations and even different syntax and tenses.

That could be total nonsense, but if I was in Jimís shoes, that would my excuse.  It would be more believable if there are slightly different spellings for ships with English names or English noble names.  I only listened to the audio book, so I canít tell.
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Offline Dina

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Re: Thoughst about The Olympian affaire (SPOILERS!!!!)
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2024, 09:12:51 PM »
Iím wondering if Jimís defense for the misspellings is the story is taking place far in the future after some cataclysmic event made the world the way it is in the books.  Languages can change over time, with different spellings, different pronunciations and even different syntax and tenses.

That could be total nonsense, but if I was in Jimís shoes, that would my excuse.  It would be more believable if there are slightly different spellings for ships with English names or English noble names.  I only listened to the audio book, so I canít tell.
As I said, most TOA names are written like nowadays, except for some Spanish names. That means, yes, spelling can change in many years in the future, but apparently it only affected Spanish names.
Of course I imagine Jim is not fluent in Spanish and that is perfectly ok, but you can check the spelling in Google or just ask someone who knows. I am surprised not the betas, not even the editor thought in suggesting a change of spelling for the ship.
Also, you are entitled to your opinion that this is a minor issue, as I am entitled to my own opinion.

I had not thought about that in the audiobooks. How did they pronounce "conquistodor"? I wish I had a list of ALL the character and ship names, but all those I remember use the current spelling or are perfectly common ones, except for some Spanish ones.
Missing you, Md 

There are many horrible sights in the multiverse. Somehow, though, to a soul attuned to the subtle rhythms of a library, there are few worse sights than a hole where a book ought to be. Someone has stolen a book (Terry Pratchett)

Offline magnuskn

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Re: Thoughst about The Olympian affaire (SPOILERS!!!!)
« Reply #7 on: February 29, 2024, 02:55:59 PM »
Let's just be happy that he didn't go the way of David Weber with his Safehold series... <brainbleach>

Anyway, albeit I really liked the book, demoting Gwen to a secondary character until the very end of the book annoyed me to no end. And Rowl didn't really do very much in this book, either, which also read a bit strange, given how active he was in the first book.