Let’s Read The Fifth Sorceress ch. 30 – 31


Last time: I don’t even know any more

This time:


‘Try to concentrate,’ Wigg said. ‘It is vital that we talk, and that you be able to remember what I tell you now.’

Oh my god enough talking

Wigg tells Tristan that what happened to him wasn’t his fault. Yay for not victim blaming I guess. Not yay for literally everything else.

They have to talk in code speak again and Wigg seems to suggest that he somehow knows how t stop the Communion, but can’t tell Tristan.

‘And sometimes the master knows the answer but has said all that he can, and the student must find his own meanings,’ Wigg responded.

He knows! Tristan shouted to himself. He knows the answer to stopping the Communion, and he is trying to tell me what it is!

THEN WHY THE FUCK DID HE NOT TELL TRISTAN EARLIER? Did he gain some sort of insight in the last hour or something?

Also I feel like the Sorceresses would probably be able to figure out what they’re walking about, especially since Wigg is like HEY TRISTAN WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT SECRET THINGS NOW.

Anyway Tristan falls asleep unable to decipher Wigg’s riddle.


Chapter Thirty-one

Al the sorceresses enter the room, ready for some Communioning.

Each of them wore a magnificent black gown with a Pentangle of woven gold thread just above the left breast.

Every single time the Sorceresses’ clothes are described we’re told they have a pentangle over their left breast. Sicciu is heavily pregnant with her magical super-baby.

And then the product of her crime against me will be among us, he reflected sadly.


Also Failee announces that they totally knew what Wigg and Tristan were talking about. Which makes sense, because it was incredibly obvious.

‘The Lead Wizard is now unable to speak or to raise his hands or arms to gesture to you in any way,’

Why didn’t she just do that before? None of the villain’s actions in this book make any sense.

Failee is like “mwa ha ha now it’s Communion time” and Tristan is like “oh no” and then Failee is like “‘mwa ha ha” and Tristan is like “oh no I can’t figure out what to do.”

Then, after a whole lot of “oh noes what shall I do”, Tristan figures it out. I’m going to quote this entire section so you can see how much bullshit is in it.

 The light is not just flowing through the stone to empower the blood below, draining the Paragon of its power as Faegan thought, but is actually sustaining the Paragon as it does so. There is a third, before now completely unknown entity, other than the host and the water, that can empower and sustain the Paragon. The light that Failee has called down. That is why the Directorate did not know of it – its description was contained only in the Vagaries. The forbidden, esoteric Vagaries that Failee tore from Faegan’s mind with the Chimeran Agonies and was forced to combine with the Vigors to produce this bastardization of the craft. And in her thirst for the Reckoning, the First Mistress herself is not even aware of the danger she has created. In that part of it, Faegan was indeed correct. He felt almost as if an unseen presence was speaking to him from somewhere far away. Once again he heard Wigg’s riddle, and now he knew the answer.

The mystery has been solved! Hooray!

Tristan now has to use magic to move the Paragon. He’s used his powers exactly once before, to see the gnome canyon. The fact that Tristan has magic powers is such a non-factor in the plot that I keep forgetting about it. We’re continuously told about the “quality of his blood” but in practical terms that doesn’t mean anything.

Somehow, moving the Paragon causes shards of light to burst out of it and slice the sorceresses up. Well man, I’m sure that total deus ex machine came out of nowhere to save our heroes.

So, you might recall that whenever Tristan kills a magical thing-a-majigger there’s a big clap of thunder and lighting (very very frightening). I assumed this was the sorceresses “recalling” their minions, but it also happens when the sorceresses die, so something else is clearly going on here. It’s probably some sort of sequel hook.

Shailiha conveniently didn’t die from the magic attack, and killing the sorceresses has lifted the affects of the Chimera Agonies. The way they were described earlier made it seem as if that was impossible, but whatever. Let’s just get to the end of this thing.

‘You see, Tristan, once, long ago, before the Sorceresses’ War, Failee was my wife. I loved her dearly. And, in many ways, I always have.’

Man there sure wasn’t any indication of that at all. The book tries its damndest to pretend that this twist was set up beforehand, but it really doesn’t come across that way. Oh, and this is also supposedly the explanation for why Wigg banished the sorceresses instead of killing them, which I’m not buying for a second. Do you really think the wizards would take such an obviously foolish course of action just to appease their leader’s feelings?

Wigg finds the paragon, as they need to do something with it before it loses its power, or something.

The infamous eyebrow came up in concern.

I’m too apathetic to dig out that picture of The Rock again. You guys all remember that, right? All the good times we had? Those were the days.

Then it’s time to find out what the hell was up with that pewter locket Wigg had: it’s filled with water from the magic caves, so they can put the Paragon in it to keep it viable until they can transfer it to Tristan. That sure was worth building up!

‘Oh, didn’t I tell you?’ Wigg asked impishly. ‘The pewter insulates the stone from my blood.


Wigg also seems to imply that he did in fact know how to stop the ceremony all along but didn’t tell Tristan for no reason.

In fact, let’s just unpack all the nonsensical elements of this whole scene and the rationalizations used to justify them.

Why did the sorceresses keep Tristan in the room while they conducted the Communion? Because they wanted to gloat, apparently.

Why did they not take away Tristan’s powers as well as Wigg’s (there’s no reason I can see why that would diminish the Quality of his blood)? No idea, the book doesn’t even try to explain it.

How did the sorceresses not notice the Paragon was being moved? They were using magic (or something) to blind themselves so the light of the ceremony wouldn’t damage their eyes.

Why didn’t the light shards harm Tristan, Wigg, Geldon and Shailiha? Because, you see, the shards were born of the craft and were therefore seeking endowed blood to sustain themselves and ironically Tristan and Shailiha’s blood is too powerful so

Oh also Shailiha immediately “loses her mind” again from the trauma of seeing the sorceresses killed in front of her.

Also also Sicciu’s child that she concieved after suddenly becoming naked dies when she does, which makes me wonder what the point of that even was.

After that there’s a whole lot of back and forth about how much time they have to get to the portal back home and whether they have to kill Shailiha in case she’s still evil. It’s all very dull. Before they can leave Wiki the Wiktor arrives and is like “hey you killed the sorceresses gonna eat you all now kay.”

Tristan magic-throws his knives and kills one of them, then Wigg kills the rest of them with wizard fire.

And then he stopped short, and the blood ran from his face. Succiu’s body was gone.

Oh my god what now

Fuck he still has to fight Kluge doesn’t he

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8 thoughts on “Let’s Read The Fifth Sorceress ch. 30 – 31

  1. Pingback: Let’s Read The Fifth Sorceress ch. 32 – whatever | Doing In The Wizard

  2. braak

    Of course didn’t you know? Obviously a cheap alloy of lead and silver would be enough to insulate a person from the most powerful magic object in the world.

  3. shardbaenre

    I have a question about Tristan’s rape (?). Was he raped? The text seems to indicate he was raped because magic baby is magic…but I refuse to actually believe that. It seems all previous rape was pretty explicit. Crimes against Shailiha, the one against the slave (?), the one against this mother and all those other women who were there, but this seems non-graphic and so I don’t believe it happened. The author doesn’t seem like one to tread lightly. Or maybe he’s graphic with women and not with dudes so much? Like, it seems like I want graphic rape, but I really don’t. This just seems to show a double standard, right? And further illustrates how bullshit all this “realism” talk and “value” of rape certain kinds of readers and authors seem to find in this kind of thing, right?

    1. ronanwills Post author

      The book does explicitly describe it as rape, but you’re correct that it’s far less graphic. As I said, the scene appears to be written for titillation, as opposed to the rapes of women, which are gruesome and brutal.

      1. shardbaenre

        Yeah. You did say that. I guess I just missed it in my dumbfounded-ness. You’d think this desire to not have your “hero” or the person who looks like you not victimized would lend itself to a greater sense of empathy. I mean, Tristan is victimized, but not really somehow since it’s a basic fade to black almost? A scene wrought with implication and consequence but not a scene witnessed…if that makes sense.

        Once again, I don’t want more rape. And I don’t want him to “lose his mind”, but…yeah.

        1. ronanwills Post author

          Early on I was tempted to (sort of) praise the book for at least acknowledging the existence of male rape, but seeing how the scene with Tristan was handled put that right out of my mind.

  4. Pingback: Let’s Read The Fifth Sorceress ch. 28.5 – 29 | Doing In The Wizard

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