Let’s Read The Fifth Sorceress ch.11

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It’s time for Wigg and Tristan to do what they do best: nothing.

Several hours have passed and the Sorceresses and the Minions have sailed away, leaving behind a devastated Eutracia. The great hall of the palace is filled with corpses (the book of course makes sure to inform us that every single woman and girl present was brutally raped, as this is Serious Fantasy) and Wigg and Tristan are, like, totally shocked, I guess. I don’t really care.

Tristan finds Kluge’s extendo-sword lying on the ground and decides to keep it, because it is a truth universally acknowledged that an angsty man in possession of a vengeance quest must be in want of a stupid sword. Here’s how Tristan putting the sword on is described:

He replaced the dreggan in its scabbard, then lifted the baldric over his head and put the sword behind his back, the strap across the front of his chest, the hilt rising behind his right shoulder, the curved and ever-widening blade reaching down his back to his left hip. He then readjusted the baldric so the handle of the sword reached fairly high and close to the side of his neck, so that he could easily grab either the dreggan or his throwing knives.

Dude seriously, “he took the sword and strapped it across his chest” or something would have done.

I will kill him with this very sword. I swear by everything that I am, and everything that he has taken from me, the winged murderer will die at my hands.

Tristan is so adorable. Poor lil’ baby.

He put his robe back on and jumped down from the dais to look into the infamous raised eyebrow of Wigg.

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Tristan goes and collects some dirks from a secret stash, then leads Wigg off to find his trusty steed Pligrim. Gotta have a trusty steed and a cool sword.

They came upon more than one horse that could be seen trying to get up without a hoof or a leg, screaming insanely in pain as only a horse can, eyes wild with agony and fear. Wigg always stopped before these pitiful creatures, turning up his hands and closing his eyes, giving them a painless, humane, wizard’s death.

Note that just a few pages before this Wigg realizes that there are going to be a lot of mutilated and horribly wounded people who would probably beg him to put them out of their misery, but specifically decides to hide the fact that he’s a wizard and not help them because he has more important things to do. But the horses, by God we can’t let them suffer for another moment.

Anyway Wigg and Tristan proceed through the totally grimdark as fuck city streets, which are filled with blood and piles of rotting corpses and severed heads and shit. Nope, it’s not working! I’m just rolling my eyes at all of this. You’re trying too hard.

I wonder if this was supposed to be some sort of Shocking Subversion of fantasy tropes, setting up the idyllic fantasy kingdom and then burning it to the ground in the most disgusting and bleak way possible.

‘They’re all dead!’ a shopkeeper exclaimed. ‘And it is being said that the traitorous prince has taken the head of his own father! Now we all shall die!’

BEEP BOOP I AM A ROBOT WHO SPOUTS POORLY WRITTEN EXPOSITION BEEP

Tristan insists on burying the bodies of his family and all the dead wizards even though Wigg keeps telling him they don’t have time.

There was no need for him to fight to maintain his determination. In this he would not be denied.

The book seems to believe that Tristan has transformed overnight from a playboy goofball into a stone-cold badass. He has not.

It turns out the bodies were actually a trap; Succiu and Natasha created a barrier near them before they left and there’s some kind of flying thing hiding on the roof, pretending to be a gargoyle. Evidently they knew Tristan would probably come back to bury the corpses.

‘I am a wiktor,’ it said venomously, yet somehow also casually.

I think this sentence might the funniest thing I’ve ever read.

Then the Wiktor (tee hee) launches into an explanation of… well, just see for yourself:

‘And you shall not find me such easy prey as those ignorant blood stalkers or screaming harpies. I take great pleasure in what I do, and I am an expert craftsman. I am one of those whom the mistresses call upon when the task is to be very specific, and you must have great importance to them for one such as I to have been called forth and brought here to a foreign land.’

Wiki the Wiktor (that’s what I’m calling him) and Tristan trade stupid insults for a while and then start fighting, but it turns out that Tristan is unfamiliar with the Minion sword and can’t use it effectively. Well gosh, who could have seen that coming? Maybe you should pick your weapon according to what actually works instead of what looks cool.

The ensuing fight scene is actually sort of alright, as Tristan has to use some tricksy strategy to win, but then Wiki is like “lol I’m just going to go back to the Sorceresses anyway see you around loser”.

They buried the bodies in the royal cemetery, taking the precaution to place them some distance away from the others, without markers, so that there might be less chance of tampering with them.

If you don’t want people to tamper with them, wouldn’t it be better to mix them in with the other graves so they don’t stand out?

Anyway Tristan crised manly tears while he repeats the oath of succession over his father’s grave and it’s all very dramatic. We’re 45% of the way through this bad boy, shouldn’t the plot be further along than it is? Barely anything has actually happened. Seriously, here’s a plot summary:

  • The sorceresses are banished
  • 1 million years later, Tristan finds a magic butterfly cave
  • The sorceresses attack
  • present day, present time hahahahahah

Wigg wiped a tear from his eye.

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(Thanks to q_q for the single tear GIF)

AND THEN TIRSTAN CUTS HIS HANDS ND HES LIEK BLOOD OATH MTHFUCKERS

‘I swear to you on all that I am, and all that I ever may be, that I will bring my sister and her unborn child back to this land,’ he said, trembling, continuing to squeeze his endowed blood out of his palms and onto the soil.

Can you feel the drama

Can you

‘And so it begins,’ he said quietly.

Half way through the book and it’s only just now beginning. There are probably entire full-sized novels that are shorter than what we’ve read so far. At least now Tristan is a very important Fantasy Man who kneels over graves and says BY THIS OATH DO I SWEAR IT or whatever.

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12 thoughts on “Let’s Read The Fifth Sorceress ch.11

  1. Pingback: Let’s Read The Fifth Sorceress ch. 12.5 | Doing In The Wizard

  2. reveen

    I like to think he’s actually a Riktor, but he talks like Elmer Fudd.

    ‘And you shaww not find me such easy pwey as those ignowant bwood stawkews ow scweaming hawpies. Oh, dat scwewy wabbit! I take gweat pweasuwe in what I do, and I am an expewt cwaftsman, uh-hah-hah-hah. I am one of those whom the mistwesses caww upon when the task is to be vewy specific, and you must have gweat impowtance to them fow one such as I to have been cawwed fowf and bwought hewe to a foweign wand.’

    Perfect.

    I wonder if this was supposed to be some sort of Shocking Subversion of fantasy tropes, setting up the idyllic fantasy kingdom and then burning it to the ground in the most disgusting and bleak way possible.

    I don’t really think so. If my insatiable hunger for blog posts about people taking the piss out of fantasy taught me anything it’s that pre-grimdark era books had no problem with resorting to slaughtering peasants, torturing people, and menacing women with rape to get their heroes all lathered up to kill the bad guy. Except now the level of unnecessary detail is higher.

    Newcomb seems like he basically wrote a generic fantasy, but then went “Hey, kids like that Martin guy right. Okay, ‘blood’, ‘rape’, ‘decapitation’, thereeee. Tonal dissonance? What’s that?

    Reply
    1. Pook

      More like, “Hey, kids like that Goodkind guy right?”

      The whole grimdark thing is reminding me of this guy I used to share a creative writing course with. He was the only other person in the class who wrote fantasy. He admitted to me that Game of Thrones (show not books) got him into wanting to write fantasy, and he would always give me advice like, “Never give your characters anything they actually want. Always take take take from them.” and he would always go on about how much he loves subverting tropes and cliches.

      One story he showed me was about Italian mercenary elves who pillage, rape, and eat humans, but comes down with a case of the feels when their slaves profess their love for their masters. Another he showed the class was about two characters debating “What can change the nature of a man???” and acted like it was the most deep, profound question one could ask while prying everyone in the class for an in depth answer.

      Thing was he actually was a pretty decent writer, but he would constantly try to one up everyone in the class and would never shut up about grimdark this and subvert trope that.

      Reply
  3. Signatus

    So Tristan cuts his hand. I guess this land doesn’t seem to have any problems with infections.
    I don’t know what else to say, other than this is a bunch of unnecesary grimdark bullshit. I’m 54% into the book and still NOTHING is happening, or at least nothing I consider interesting enough to make this a compelling read.

    Dan Brown might not be the example of a good writer, but at least his books start with things going on, throwing you right into the plot without delay. I like going with that approach, saves for a bunch of unnecesary dribble. Are fantasy writers payed by the word?

    Reply
    1. Elspeth Grey

      Man I’ve read authors who were paid by the word and were WAY more entertaining than this drivel.

      Admittedly, they were also Victorian writers who were serialized, so they needed to keep people hooked even while padding things out.

      Reply
    2. q____q

      Yeah, thanks for reminding me of that infection thing. Another on up high in the charts of „What fiction of any kind does wrong all the time“ (together with being knocked out for an hour without serious brain damage).

      But then again, surely magic could be used to disinfect the wound? ^___^

      Reply
  4. q____q

    You mean „angsty man in possession of a vengeance quest must be in want of a stupid phallic symbol“?

    I’m pretty sure I read a discussion somewhere with people who (claimed to) have done actual (renaissance fair) sword-fighting and the general consensus was that it’s pretty unlikely that he’ll kill Kluge with that sword because it’ll be almost impossible to get it out of it’s scabbard when worn on the back.

    Ah, here’s a (slightly annoying) guy with a demonstration: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IocQ_DZVAU0

    It might work with shorts words, I guess?

    Mh, on the other hand, here’s a (sexy, half-naked) guy doing it without any problems: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBcpirMVu0Y

    Ah, it’s seems to work fine if you use your other hand to draw the scabbard down while drawing the sword (sorry, two crossed sword-fans): https://youtu.be/fE7MRSJMwLM?t=4m44s (skip to 4:45)

    Now let’s pray this gets through the spam-filter ok. ^___^

    Didn’t think you’d need that gif so soon!

    Reply
    1. Mr Elbows

      I think drawing from the back works (better than “not at all”) if the sword is curved too. sorry Witcher fans.

      Reply
    2. Fibinachi

      Yeah, good luck doing that with a long, non-curved sword. Also good luck holding the scabbard down while wearing any kind of armor ( breastplates and backplates aren’t known for being horizontally flexible and you’re going to need lots of straps to make sure the scabbard stays exactly in place )

      You certainly can carry, draw and use a sword from your back but it really also is usually way more hassle than its worth. At least with your typical straight arming swords. It makes carrying them way easy though. So there’s that.

      Reply
      1. Mr Elbows

        I know like one game (Bound by Flame) that actually had these little back-hooks that you could fit Zweihänders into, essentially a pair of hooks, two short metal plates and a piece of wood for putting your sword on your back once the battle’s done but you still have to walk half a mile to your caravan/horse – these did exist

        Reply
  5. Pingback: Let’s Read The Fifth Sorceress ch.10 | Doing In The Wizard

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