Let’s Read The Fifth Sorceress ch. 26



Sorry. The book is comprehensively boring me and I’m trying to get a little more pumped for it.

After the diversion with the white-winged Minions and the Myth and the magical soul lights (what even was the point of that) Tristan, Geldon and Wigg are finally entering the Recluse posing as newly-captured slaves.

Wouldn’t it be kind of obvious that Wigg isn’t really slave material? I mean, I don’t know what the Sorceress’s tastes are like, but it seems like they’d want dudely studs instead of an old guy.

Kluge’s second in command whose name I can’t remember wanders over to them, drunk, and starts poking Tristan with his extendo-sword.

Suddenly, the steel blade clanged piercingly into the night as the officer touched the button on the hilt

I don’t know why, but I find the phrase “clanged piercingly into the night” hilarious.

After all the clanging and piercing is over Geldon rides off with Tristan and Wigg and the viewpoint confusingly shifts from Tristan to an omniscient POV, much like we saw with Hostile Intent (seriously authors, stop doing that). It turns out Kluge knows full well that the newly arrived slaves are Tristan and Wigg, and internally gloats for a bit about how he’s totally going to kill them. Why didn’t he just order his lieutenant guy to kill them on the spot?

Tristan cast furtive glances around him as he shuffled along behind the dwarf. What he saw amazed him.

Is Tristan ever not amazed by anything? He’s just looking at some hallways, they can’t be that impressive.

What Tristan saw next made his heart recoil.

Okay, I guess sometimes he’s horrified by stuff.

The chamber was clearly a place of torture.


What horrifying sights await within???

It was very large and constructed of dark, rough-hewn stone.

Okay no, don’t say “it was a torture chamber” and then immediately focus in on the banal details. Tell us about the hideous torture devices and the dried blood caked into the floor.

A long, flat table stood a little way off, with what he could only imagine to be disemboweling tools lying on a wooden tray next to it.

How does Tristan know what disembowelling tools look like?

And whether he had a full lifetime remaining to him or whether he would die this day in the Recluse, Tristan instinctively knew that what he saw above him would haunt his dreams forever.

How many sights have remained lodged in Tristan’s memory forever? 6000?

There’s a bunch of corpses strung up with their entrails hanging out, because we need one more reminder that the Sorceresses are evil, just in case we didn’t get the picture yet. After that scene (which doesn’t appear to serve any point) Geldon finally takes them to the Stables.

What they saw defied description.

Book, seriously. Stop doing that. It’s the literary equivalent of the Adam West Batman show putting big POW signs on-screen because they couldn’t stage an actual fight scene.

Walls and floor were marble of the faintest rose,

I haven’t mentioned it before but a shit-load of the locations in this book are made out of marble for some reason. In the last few chapter we’ve also got descriptions of the different coloured streaks running through the marble; this is usually the first thing Tristan notices about a location upon entering.

Everywhere he looked the prince saw nothing but opulence and comfort. Chairs, sofas, and loveseats of every shape and size filled the room.

Loveseats of every shape and size

Anyway the Stables are all opulent and shit and we’re told that the slaves are all lithe and have excellent physiques despite enjoying an unlimited quantity of good food and drink and spending all day relaxing in comfort, which seems pretty unlikely. Geldon tells Tristan that the slaves are kept happy and docile by getting them hooked on magic weed that eventually kills them somehow.

The chapter ends with an extremely confusing and poorly written scene where Wigg looks terrified and then an azure ball of flame comes thundering toward them and Tristan falls unconscious. I don’t get why the sorceresses or the minions didn’t attack before now, Tristan and Wigg were wandering around for ages.

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9 thoughts on “Let’s Read The Fifth Sorceress ch. 26

  1. Pingback: Let’s Read The Fifth Sorceress ch. 27 + 28.5 | Doing In The Wizard

  2. Cat

    “What he saw amazed him.”
    “What they saw defied description.”
    “Everywhere he looked the prince saw nothing but opulence and comfort. Chairs, sofas, and loveseats of every shape and size filled the room.”

    Wow. Such powers of description! Truly Robert Newcomb is a writer for the ages. Seriously, don’t bother trying to describe that opulence and comfort. Don’t bother saying that there are tapestries, sculptures or statues, oil paintings, mosaics, gilt, gemstones, crystal chandeliers, fountains, fresh flowers in winter or exotic houseplants, silk armchairs with elaborately carved and detailed backs, rhino heads hanging on the walls, anything. Readers prefer a blank slate for them to fill in with their own visions.

      1. braak

        I definitely like that Robert Newcomb’s idea of opulence is a profusion of furniture, like the palace of the sorcerer queens is the inside of a Raymour and Flanagan outlet.

  3. Cecilia

    All these ‘What he saw made his X Y’ lines sound like clickbait article headers. ‘Local protagonist enters room! What he sees will amaze you!’

    1. braak


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      He Always Knew He Was Adopted — His True Parentage Will SHOCK you!
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  4. Signatus

    “Why didn’t he just order his lieutenant guy to kill them on the spot?”

    Oh, please, no. Don’t give Newcomb more ideas. I’m sick of endless conversations where characters talk about their stupid choices in a lame attempt to cover the glaringly huge plothole derived from their stupidity. Characters in this book are not rational, end of story.

    “Is Tristan ever not amazed by anything?”

    We should have done a drinking game with this, although I presume most of us would end up in a hospital. Anyways, how about instead of telling me Tristan is amazed, why doesn’t Newcomb SHOW me how amazed Tristan is by the exquisite architecture of the Recluse?

    “What Tristan saw next made his heart recoil.”

    I’m not sure hearts can do this… not even figuratively. Maybe it’s because I’m not a native speaker but it seems to me that Newcomb likes making up expressions so as not to repeat the most typical ones like “his heart leap in his chest” or things like that. Again, showing, and having the characters act realistically would pretty much solve this issue.

    Loved your Batman serie analogy.

    “but a shit-load of the locations in this book are made out of marble”

    Either this world is stuffed to the core with marble, or Newcomb failed to research what other materials could be used in medieval constructions like… rock, for example. Plain, gray, boring rock. Or bricks, they had bricks back then. Or sandstone, or wood, or granite, or… any of the hundreds of materials we are used to seeing in constructions throughout the world.

    A room is not neccesarily luxurious because it contains marble. I’m not sure how common marble was in medieval ages, but seeing how many nobles and even royal houses managed luxury without abusing marble, I’m guessing it wasn’t that common or that cheap. How about tapestries? paintings? Frescoes? Elaborate furnitue made of oak or ebony, or cherry tree, or whichever is the most expensive wood? All we see described is marble this and marble that.

    “the slaves are kept happy and docile by getting them hooked on magic weed that eventually kills them somehow.”

    Because we can’t just have a bunch of people actually fighting to be the sorceresses lovers because they’d rather exchange their freedom for luxury and comfort. No, the sorceresses are evil, end of story. Not saying I justify slavery, but at least that’d give a more interesting dimension to the whole issue, instead of simply hunting these people from their hometowns to drug them in this place (which I can’t stop picturing as real stables) so as to keep them docile (Stefan didn’t seem that docile to me).

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

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