Let’s Read The Fifth Sorceress ch. 23

When we last left Tristan he was busy drowning.

fifth_sorceress_title

I’m reading the sequel to Red Rising at the moment and it also features the protagonist in water-based peril (the robot suit he’s in is hit with an EMP and he falls into a deep river), except it gets around the problem I talked about earlier where there’s no tension because you know full well the main character isn’t going to die. We actually see Darrow cutting himself out of the suit and swimming to the surface, unlike here where Tristan falls unconscious and we immediately go “oh someone’s going to rescue him then”, and a bunch of his friends and allies are in the same situation so there’s a lot of tension around whether he can not just save himself but also rescue them.

He had heard many stories about the Afterlife back when he was alive,

Earlier we were told that he had no idea what the Afterlife is and hadn’t even bothered to ask anyone until a few months before his 30th birthday. Maybe it’s because I’m editing a second draft at the moment, but there’s a whole lot of stuff in this book that feels like a first draft that was never given a rewrite.

Anyway Tristan sees some naked people splashing around in a stream, then wakes up with Wigg sitting next to him.

Wigg’s familiar left eyebrow came up.

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At least it’s not infamous this time.

Wigg claims that Tristan was actually seeing him and Geldon washing the polluted water from themselves rather than the Afterlife. Apparently they just left Tristan lying on the river bank, unconscious. I don’t think that’s what you’re supposed to do.

It felt good to have the black trousers, leather vest, and knee boots on again,

Just in case you forgot how stupid Tristan’s outfit is.

He took time to look about the Parthalonian countryside as they went along and found it to be not unlike his native land. The trees seemed to grow taller here and some of the sounds of the forest were unfamiliar to him, but he recognized most of the birds and small animals he saw.

Pretty sure that wouldn’t be the case considering the two areas have to have been separated for a looooong time. Unless it turns out that when they crossed the Sea of Whispers they were actually looping around to the far side of the same continent and Parthalon is across the mountain range around Eutracia. That would be kind of amusing.

It’s going to take them two days to reach the Recluse, which added to the two days they spent waiting for Geldon means they’ll only have 48 hours to stop the sorceresses. Throw in probable capture by the enemy and some additional time-wastage and you’ve got a recipe for a last-minute climactic battle!

Eventually they spot a place where Minions leave people out to die for giant vultures or something and Tristan is all like “I MUST HAVE MAN-VENGEANCE” and Wigg is like “no Tristan that’s stupid” and Tristan is like “I DON’T CARE I’M GOING TO DO IT”. Remember earlier, when Tristan basically announced that he was going to do something stupid later out sheer stubbornness? Remember?

Tristan’s motivations make absolutely zero sense, even with how fucking irrational he’s been earlier. He’s trying to save the entire world, if he dies literally everyone is screwed, but he’s willing to risk all that just to satisfy his need for revenge against the Minions. There’ll be tons of Minions at the recluse, why no wait until after you kill the Sorceresses?

It couldn’t be more obvious that this is just in here to satisfy some plot requirement.

Wigg continued to look into the eyes of the Chosen One he had seen born, struggle, and suddenly learn so much about himself. But there is still so much more to know, Wigg thought.

How many times has Wigg thought about how much more Tristan has to learn? Like 500?

Wigg eventually agrees to go with Tristan, since he can’t use wizarding to stop him.

What Tristan saw below him was unimaginable.

This sentence seems oddly familiar…

What Tristan saw beyond the trees took his breath away.

[…]

What Tristan saw below him took his breath away.

[…]

What Tristan saw next would remain lodged in his memories forever.

[…]

What he saw would remain lodged in his mind forever.

[…]

Tristan froze, amazed at what he saw before him.

[…]

and despite the severity of the circumstances, what he saw almost took his breath away.

[…]

What he saw would stay in his memories for the rest of his life.

[…]

What he saw took his breath away, and he could feel his eyes begin to tear.

[…]

What he saw made the breath leave his lungs in disbelief.

[…]

When he finally stood at the top, what he saw made his jaw drop.

Most of these are Dramatic Single-Sentence Paragraphs too.

They find six people attached to wooden wheels on poles and left to starve or die form exposure. All of the people have white angel wings, in contrast to the Minion’s flappity black wings, which clearly means they’re good instead of evil. If there wasn’t so much horrible violence and gore this book could be aimed at five year olds.

‘It is known as the Vale of Torment, and it is used as a place of execution by the Minions,’ Geldon whispered back. ‘The ones you see on the wheels are actually of Minion birth themselves. One of every five thousand children is born blond, with white wings.

Hey the blonde, pretty white people are persecuted isn’t that a shocker. I mean as far as I can tell the Minions have white skin as well- everyone seems to except for Succiu- but the colour-coding here is still making me roll my eyes.

The white-winged Minions, who are called the Gallipolai, are also all gentle and loving and shit, because as I said this book is for five year olds.

Oh and the only Gallipolai woman was raped, because of course.

Geldon announces that there are Minions nearby and Tristan is all MAAAAAANGEANCE and charges off to skewer them. I hope he gets killed.

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18 thoughts on “Let’s Read The Fifth Sorceress ch. 23

  1. Pingback: Let’s Read The Fifth Sorceress ch. 24 | Doing In The Wizard

      1. braak

        It’s in the Turkish part of Thrace. The name actually clearly is the name of a city (-poli, from “-polis”), so who knows how this guy got the idea that they should be the name of a people.

        Reply
      2. andrea harris

        Gallipoli was the scene of a famous WWI battle and also an Australian movie about same, and it’s kind of a touchstone among conservatives for bravery etc. This guy gives off a distinct aroma of unthinking vaguely rightwing ideology and probably saw that movie somewhere. (I don’t believe in coincidences when it comes to unimaginative people, basically. Everything is something they saw or heard or read somewhere and ill digested and forgot the source.)

        Reply
  2. Hal

    I had to reread the part about the white-winged minions over and over to make sure I understood that correctly. How did this get published? Did it even sell at all?

    So since you said there was one female Gallipolai, I have to assume that she will be the book’s Designated Love Interest. It’s weird that the book waited this long to get around to it, but I can’t imagine a fantasy novel this obnoxious not giving the protagonist his own personal waifu.

    Reply
  3. PaleAntiquarian

    Even if they’re on the same continent on the other side of the mountain range, the fact that “most” of the animals there are the same would still be fairly bullshit. If the mountains really are as impassible as they’re made out to be, then the animals that don’t migrate across them would have at least undergone some speciation. That would leave only be those birds that can stand the altitude and distance of the crossing that could conceivably look the same.

    (More) gratuitous worldbuilding in the middle of this brick wouldn’t be appreciated, but in under a paragraph you could manage a general feel of what it would be like to look around and see a landscape much like your own, but populated with different creatures. I find it odd that Author McFantasypants went half-way to that and then stopped.

    Also throughout this whole LR I’ve had the horrible suspicion that given the Very Clever false name of Lilith we had a while back, that Succiu is supposed to be a Very Clever derivation of “succubus”. It seems just like the sort of thing Author McFantasypants would think was a brilliant and subtle hint as to her character as an exotic, bonkers magical sex object.

    (Also let it be noted I can’t remember Author McFantasypants’ name for the life of me. I prefer it this way.)

    Reply
    1. braak

      “Succiu” would fit in with what’s-his-name’s literary style of “sort of halfway figuring out a name and then giving up in the middle.”

      Reply
  4. Gray Falcon

    There are plenty of ways to get the point across about how bad the situation is without relying on this kind of brutality. Consider any scene featuring the question, “How many refugees are we looking at?”

    Reply
  5. braak

    “What’s that place? Some kind of vale?”

    “Oh, yeah, it’s the vale where we do all of our tormenting. We call it the Vale of Torment. Our evil demonic minions really love it.”

    “Sure. What are those guys called?”

    “Our evil demonic minions? We call them Minions.”

    “Of course.”

    “Wouldn’t want to confuse anyone.”

    Reply
      1. braak

        I guess I’m confused, are these minions NOT the little yellow ones with the goggles?

        I think I might have been picturing a lot of these scenes wrong.

        Reply
  6. Pingback: Let’s Read The Fifth Sorceress ch. 22 | Doing In The Wizard

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