Let’s Read The Fifth Sorceress ch. 24

fifth_sorceress_title

Last time on Tristan: Tristan scurried off to kill some Minions and prevent a sequel movie from ever being made.

I mean, he went off to kill some dark-winged Minions who cruelly executed white-winged Minions. I’m extremely unclear why he’s doing this, since the fate of the entire world rests on him not dying in a pointless fight.

The razor-sharp throwing knife completely surprised the warrior as it buried itself to the hilt into his left eye. The force of the impact carried the Minion over and onto his back, dead before he hit the ground.

I’m willing to grant that the fight scenes in this book are generally clearly written and quite exciting- a whole lot of authors, even very good ones, struggle mightily with this- but they also work on goofy movie logic, where throwing a knife at someone somehow sends them flying backward. If there were guns in this book I have no doubt that we’d see Minions being shot through windows. That sort of stuff works fine in a stylised visual medium where you can just sit back and enjoy the flashy fight choreography, but when described in writing it comes across as profoundly silly.

Also, would throwing a knife into someone’s eye necessarily kill them instantly? I guess if the knife went right through into the brain, but how long are these throwing knives? It seems a lot more likely that they’d simply destroy the eye but leave the person alive and theoretically able to keep fighting.

After killing the two Minions Tristan takes the Returning Wheel Doomerang one of them was wearing. Why, I don’t know, since the thing would inevitably require tons of training and skill to use.

He put the glove on his own left hand, not really knowing why he was taking these things, knowing only that for some reason his endowed blood had directed him to do so. Somehow, it just felt right.

Oh come the fuck on. We didn’t even need an explanation beyond “Tristan decided it would be better to have backup weapons, even if he wasn’t trained in their use.”

Anyway Tristan goes to examine the woman who was strung up by the Minions.

Upon reaching the wheel, he found himself looking up at the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.

Every woman Tristan meets is the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen.

How could such a creature have been produced by a Minion warrior and his brothel whore?

Yes because “brothel whores” are only capable of giving birth to ugly children, right? Jesus this book.

The book spends some more time driving home how depraved and cruel and evil the Minions and the Sorceresses are- seriously, we get it- then the good-Minion woman wakes up and is all in awe of Tristan’s manliness or some shit. Tristan of course insists that the woman (whose name is Narissa) comes with them even though he straight-up admits it’s a bad idea. Don’t worry though Geldon knows some caves or whatever she can hide in. That’s a relief, for a minute I thought there was going to be some actual tension.

Later that night they’re about to make camp when Narissa asks Tristan to take her a bit further, then won’t explain why and is like “just trust me bro”. Yeah that’s not suspicious.

‘The pull of the Myth,’ she answered.

So Narissa feels “the pull of the Myth” but, like, can’t put it into words to explain what the hell that means, because she doesn’t comprehend it herself, man, it’s like, a sort of thing, you know.

‘Why?’ Wigg asked skeptically. Geldon was also clearly suspicious.

‘Personal reasons,’ Tristan said smartly. ‘ Female reasons. Do I need to say more, or would you prefer that I stay here and that you two brave souls go along with her to supervise?’

man-destroying-laptop

My reaction to this part can be summed up as:

  1. Seriously?
  2. Fucking seriously?
  3. Why would Wigg and Geldon be like EEEWWWWWWW GIRL STUUUUUUFF but Tristan be totally fine with it? They fucking wouldn’t, they’d just be like “yeah okay we’ll come too to make sure she doesn’t turn into Sorceress again and try to sex-murder you.”

They go off into the woods and Narissa explains (sort of) that there’s a Myth that all the Gallipolai who have been killed are buried at a grave site, and now she feels some sort of mystical pull toward it. And she couldn’t explain this before… why, exactly?

Tristan asks who buried the Galliopoilai since they’re supposedly left in the VALE OF TORMENT to rot.

‘The dead Gallipolai bury themselves.’

‘ What?’

“No it’s cool I’m papering over a plot hole, just go with it.”

Narissa finds the grave site and says magic words to make the ghosts of the dead Galiopiloapilioilio appear, or something. This all feels like it was made up on the spot to pad the word count out. They start talking about how awesome Tristan is for freeing Narissa and killing Minions.

‘Kneel,’ the voices said.

Without really knowing why, the prince went down on bended knee

AAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

STOP TELLING ME TRISTAN IS DOING THINGS FOR NO REASON

THIS IS BAD WRITING

But know this: wherever the two of you may go, or whatever you may do, you will always be bound in your hearts by your act of kindness this night. For it is only the good that holds beings together, and only the evil that tears them apart, and in this we thank you for your charity, your courage, and offer to you our blessings.’

Seriously, what is the point of all this? Why are going through this weird diversion right before the story starts heading for its climax?

Tristan sat on the ground under a small rocky overhang, reflecting on the amazing last two days.

THE WORLD IS GOING TO END IN TWO DAYS

Actually we’re told they’re two day’s ride from the Vale of Torment and that they have two days until the Blood Communion, which I swear contradicts the timeline of events laid out earlier earlier but I’m too apathetic to go back and check.

Tristan and Narissa have a long, meandering conversation about… I don’t know, love or something.

We are their slaves, our wings clipped and our feet bound.

But earlier you said that if the Galalalala’s wings turn black before a certain age they get to join the Minion population in training. Wouldn’t clipping their wings and binding their feet make them unfit for combat?

‘Geldon said that it was forbidden for a warrior to be with a Gallipolai woman,’ he said gently. ‘Is that true?’

She lowered her eyes and turned her head slightly away. ‘Yes,’ she said quietly. ‘That is true. I have never been with a man. It is not permitted.’

EXCEPT

NO

Earlier Geldon said they left Narissa alive so the Minions could rape her, but now they’re claiming that even that’s forbidden. It feels like the story is just contradicting itself so Narissa can be a virgin.

He put one finger beneath the point of her chin and lifted her face up to his.

Who the fuck actually does this in real life

‘There is no need to be ashamed,’ he said. ‘Where I come from such women are considered highly virtuous, and are often preferred as wives.’

We’re just going to skip right over this? No examination of how messed up that is?

Well I guess it is ~historically accurate~, everything else about Eutracia is such a spot-on depiction of a feudal society there’s just no way we could have different portrayals of purity culture and attitudes to virginity.

Narissa asks Tristan what the colour of his heart is or something and he eventually realizes that his life back home was actually pretty rad and he shouldn’t have been such a whiny little shit all the time.

For the first time in my life a woman truly cares for me because of who I am, not what I am.

I’m literally dying. This book is killing me bye I’m dead now

I seriously don’t get how anyone can write this without falling asleep at their keyboard.

Anyway eventually Narissa is all “I love you pls survive and come back” and Tristan promises that he will indeed come back. Gosh do you think he’s going to. Be still my heart.

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9 thoughts on “Let’s Read The Fifth Sorceress ch. 24

  1. Pingback: Let’s Read The Fifth Sorceress ch. 25 | Doing In The Wizard

  2. PaleAntiquarian

    With all the obsessive descriptions of women in terms of physical attractiveness, the line “he found himself looking up at the most beautiful woman he had ever seen” reads like a creepier version of the Onion headline “Dog experiences best day ever for 400th straight day”.

    But I’m sure this one is True Love or whatever. I have the horrible suspicion that given the clunky “my midiclorians told me looting the corpse was the right thing to do!”, the “pull of the myth” thing means she’s a magic jedi too.

    Reply
    1. PaleAntiquarian

      Although I will say that if it is True Love then my other horrible sneaking suspicion that Tristan would end up with someone named Isolde would be laid to rest. …In a way that has the capacity to be even stupider than that would have been, given that this appears to be a manic pixie dreamgirl with actual fucking wings.

      If we get the line “but your wings are beautiful” I’ll flip a piece of furniture .

      Reply
  3. braak

    Speaking as someone who throws a lot of knives, I’m profoundly skeptical of the possibility that a even a very long knife is going to go through the eye and into the brain. You don’t throw a knife like a dart — it’s got to turn over in the air as it’s going. that means when it hits your average minion’s eye, it’s got both forward momentum and a certain degree of angular momentum that’s either going to bounce it off the top of the eye socket as it moves in, or else bury it in the bottom of the orbital, depending on the angle that the knife enters at.

    Historically, this is why you primarily see knife-throwing as a carnival trick, rather than an actual combat technique.

    Reply
    1. braak

      Though, that said, getting a knife in your eye is probably going to make you disinclined to continue fighting, even if it doesn’t kill you.

      (A+ waiting for a fantasy novel where someone gets a knife in their eye and just rolls around on the ground screaming “FUCK MOTHERFUCKER FUCKING FUCK FUCK FUCK”)

      Reply
  4. jfml

    Thanks for the comment! (And yeah, nah, all that draft/revision/whateditorlol, it’s all a mystery in fantasyland, I think. Kvothefuss is the same. No one knows how these things get approved for publishing.)

    Reply
  5. Signatus

    “We’re just going to skip right over this? No examination of how messed up that is?”

    No, deffinitely not going to skip over it.

    I wouldn’t mind that portrayal of women given that the book is placed in some sort of middle ages fantasy. It is, after all, an accurate portrayal of the values in the middle ages. I don’t think we need to go crazy about different societal portrayals as long as there is no justification about it. The problem with this book is, THERE IS a justification. The sorceresses are shown as depraved and evil because they enjoy lustful sex with a lot of partners (like Tristan) and even get into bondage and sadomasochism and bisexual relationships. The author continuously beats us with the idea of horrific bisexualism, as how depraved and disgusting it is. Not only are the characters laughably evil, but the fact that the author, in his attempt to make them as evil as possible, would include what HE believes are “sexual depravations”, is absolutely disgusting.

    My second point about this topic is the portrayal of the main character itself. I already thought about this and mentioned it in a comment, in one of the first chapters. Back then it was an intuition. Now I know this for sure. Tristan being the one speaking of how valuable virginity and purity is, while taking that away from women thus ruining their chances at a good marriage, is an act of pure selfishness. He is the good guy, and yet he doesn’t give a shit about the people around him, using them for his own, personal interest and tossing them away. The fact that this selfish, paid of himself, asshole is portrayed as the good guy, while the sorceresses are evil because, “OMG, they are BI!!!!” is a clear image of the patriarchal society we are still inmersed into. In my country, a woman who sleeps with many is considered a slut, while a man who sleeps with many is considered a champion. This is the same stupid, antinatural and ignorant idea that’s portrayed in the book.

    On happier terms, yes, the book seems like a first draft that was never revised or re-read. Tristan must die, but he musrn’t, but he must, but he shouldn’t, but no we need him, but he must die, but…
    And he has had blue eyes, brown eyes, blue eyes, hazel eyes. Now minions can rape, but can’t, but can, but…

    I don’t understand why the author wouldn’t revise his own manuscript before sending it out, but I get maybe he’s too new about the whole deal and doesn’t know how it goes. My first piece of trash of a draft was “perfect!” to my eyes. Now I look back and see well, it’s very bad, but even if it wasn’t, it needed a load of revisions.
    What I don’t get is where the EDITOR was. This things get worked on before they’re sent to the printer, right?

    Reply
  6. Pingback: Let’s Read The Fifth Sorceress ch. 23 | Doing In The Wizard

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