Let’s Read The Fifth Sorceress ch.4


Chapter Four

It’s Wigg time again, as our favourite wizard continues his meeting with the King and his fellow wizard bros.

In truth the wizard realized he had no right to be angry with Tristan,

No pretty sure you do have legit reasons to be angry at him, most of which revolve around him being an enormous waste of space.

Wigg is actually thinking about Tristan’s discovery of the magic caves, which is super duper bad news. Well geez Wigg, if you didn’t want anyone getting into them maybe you should have secured them better. He seems to have been assuming that no one would ever find them because they’re located in a not particularly inaccessible forest an easy several-hour journey away from the capital city.

How do I begin this? the old wizard thought. What I tell them here today will forever change all of our lives.

Holy shit stop talking about how momentous and earth-shattering all of this is going to be and just get to the momentous and earth-shattering stuff. After chapter two being filled with nothing but coy hints and now this, whatever is going on better be pretty fucking mind blowing to justify all of this hype.

‘Blood stalkers were maintained by time enchantments,’ he said incredulously. A look very close to horror began to creep into his eyes. ‘Do you suppose it possible that—’

‘I don’t know,’ Wigg purposely interrupted, sure that he could guess the remainder of Slike’s question, but not ready to enter into the inevitability of that discussion.

“I don’t know,” Wigg purposely interrupted, sure that he could guess the remainder of Slike’s question, but deciding not to answer or reveal it to the audience to maintain the dramatic tension.

The problem here is that these scenes are written as if they’re part of a movie or TV show; this kind of dramatic hanging question works in a visual medium, but not in a book, where it seems artificial and lazy.

In case it wasn’t obvious enough, the re-appearance of a Blood Stalker after three centuries is a possible indication that there are Sorceresses once more afoot. But instead of talking about that, Wigg moves to a more pressing issue: Tristan and the magic caves.

‘Unfortunately, we must also assume that Tristan has seen, if indeed did not also try to enter, the Tunnels of the Ones Who Came Before,’ he continued.

Are you serious

We still don’t learn what the holy hell any of this actually means or why it’s such a calamity that Tristan went into the magic caves and bathed in the red pool, but here’s a little idea: if it was so fucking important that he not do those things, why not just tell him that? The book will probably try to wave this away with some guff about Tristan’s rebellious nature.

In fact that gives me an idea, you know what would have been way more interesting? If Tristan knew all about the caves but decided to go into them anyway just to spite the wizards, instead of following some giant butterflies to them.

Anyway Wigg comes and gets Tristan, then takes him to some sort of secret underground wizard school below the palace. This is exactly as odd and goofy as it sounds.

‘This place was constructed at the end of the Sorceresses’ War, and its purpose is the furtherance of the craft via the teachings of the Vigors.’

“We decided to build it under the palace for the lulz”

‘You do remember the Vigors?’

Everyone remembers the Vigors Wigg, because you wouldn’t stop talking about them last chapter.

The infamous eyebrow rose again.


Wizards who train in magic underground wizard school go out into the countryside disguised as ordinary peasants and do good deeds for the populace, never allowing anyone to know that they’re wizards.

A benevolent secret society, if you will.

A secret society of benevolent magic users who go around solving problems would be interesting if that’s what the book was about, but cropping up in what seems like a bog-standard high fantasy novel it’s just kind of jarring and out of place.

Needless to say Wigg goes into way more detail about all of this than necessary, answering questions no one cares about. There’s also a literal wizard school where the sons of wizards who have endowed blood learn magic. Tristan wonders if Shailiha’s child, assuming it’s a boy, will study here and Wigg spouts some more vague bullshit about Tristan and Shailiha having super-duper endowed blood. I wonder if Shailiha is going to become a sorceress, that would be rad.

Eventually they get to the big fancy chamber where the king and the wizard bros are, and the king thinks about what an enormous, crushing disappointment Tristan is (paraphrasing).

But instinctively he also knew that his relationship with Tristan was about to change, and there was nothing either of them could do about it. Long-since dusty hopes are about to float away upon the invisible ink of time, he thought.


Tristan acts petulant and explodes with anger or whatever, demanding to know what exactly is so super mega special about him. He sounds a whole lot like Kvothe in this part.

‘Tristan,’ the king asked, gazing into his son’s eyes, ‘how is it that your trousers are stained in red?’

Trust me dude, you don’t want to know.

Tristan groaned inwardly. All I wanted of today was to keep my secret and hope to someday go back to the falls. Now they are about to take that away from me, too.


The scene ends without anything actually being answered apart from some more guff about the chosen one, and Tristan will have to go to the ceremony in his dirty clothes you guys can you believe it

We are currently 18% through the book, which has almost 700 pages. It’s that slow and padded.

I pray to the Afterlife, please let us survive the events of today, he thought sadly.

Stop dropping hints and fucking get on with it.

Instead of doing that, Tristan’s entire family arrives and the king and queen talk some more about how his reign is going to be super different from anyone else’s in history and it’s important he does a good job, but they can’t tell him why because reasons.

‘The simple truth is, my son, that the stone is not meant to be worn by one who is unwilling to shoulder his responsibilities.’ She knew that she must go on, no matter how much her words pricked them both. ‘The stone is meant to be worn by a man.

STFU Morganna, your name is no longer enough to make me like you.

After all of this Tristan finally decides to stop acting like a jackass and try and take his responsibilities seriously.

That’s enough for this chapter. Next time we move to PART 2 and a different location. The opening scene involves a sorceress whipping a male slave (but in kind of a sexy way), so I guess this is where all of those comparisons to The Sword of Truth come from.

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21 thoughts on “Let’s Read The Fifth Sorceress ch.4

  1. Pingback: Let’s Read The Fifth Sorceress ch. 5 | Doing In The Wizard

  2. Alice

    That’s enough for this chapter. Next time we move to PART 2 and a different location. The opening scene involves a sorceress whipping a male slave (but in kind of a sexy way), so I guess this is where all of those comparisons to The Sword of Truth come from.

    Well, according to this 2004 interview with Newcomb, he started writing The Fifth Sorceress (his first attempt at writing ever, it sounds like) after his wife “had just finished reading her first fantasy novel and […] liked it. She finally persuaded [Newcomb] to read it as well.” According to the intro in the article, a) Newcomb hadn’t been a reader of fantasy before, and b) the “first fantasy novel” his wife had read was by… Terry Goodkind. *facepalm*

    I feel like this explains pretty much everything about why TFS is… well, the way it is.

    (The interviewer also asks Newcomb about the accusations of misogyny that have been leveled at the book, and his answer is unsurprisingly completely point-missing, including the gem: “I didn’t write The Fifth Sorceress to be sexist or to be controversial, or to espouse some anti-politically correct viewpoint. It just happened to be the particular story I wanted to tell to get the saga rolling.” *facepalm*)

    1. braak

      “I wasn’t TRYING to be misogynist, it’s just that what happened to come instinctively to mind when I sat down to write was raging misogyny.”

  3. bad beluga

    If its any consolation, the author’s own publisher dropped him and ever since hasn’t been unable to find another.

  4. Reveen

    Even if they both had no taste and was most hardcore misogynist who’s ever misogynied, I still couldn’t believe anybody would like this book because of how much of a loser the protagonist is. This is Mike Dawson level loserdom.

  5. q____q

    Are you shitting me: „Tunnels of the Ones Who Came Before“ !? m(

    I think this book is actually called „The Tome of the Guy Who Could Only Think of Ridiculously Long and Bland Names for Places and Things“

    WTF is this shit?

    1. q____q

      „Long-since dusty hopes are about to float away upon the invisible ink of time“

      Kvothefuss would be proud of this sentence. Is there more like this? English is not my first language but this sentence seems to make little sense (not that that doesn’t seem to be a recurring theme in this book). Ink if time?

        1. Mr Elbows

          you need like 2 MAs in English Lit and a whole barnfull of weed for that sentence to make sense to you.

      1. Signatus

        I payed 2 euros for this. XD

        Anyways, what I’ve seen so far is the terrible, TERRIBLE dialogue. The princess is an idiot, isn’t she? I just read the conversation about the monster thing which used to be Phillius, and she asked like three times; “oh, but he wasn’t always like that, really?”
        Honestly, princess, what do you think?

        Is this guy payed by the word? Geez, in the part where Tristan falls down the cave he must have said “it was painful, it hurt” and other sinonims like 10 times.

  6. Pingback: Let’s Read The Fifth Sorceress ch. 3 | Doing In The Wizard

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