Before we get started, some scheduling notes.
My current plan is to do either one or two more books in this Quick Read cycle, depending on how busy I am over the next few weeks. On around the 16th or so a poll will go up to decide our next full Let’s Read, after which I’m taking a blogging break until the 30th. However, there will also be Something going up on the blog on Christmas day. You’ll have to wait until then to find out what it is.
This chapter opens with the following line, which is both hilarious and cringe-inducing in its clunkiness:
The obese wrestler rubbed a pudgy hand over his newest bruise, trying to ignore the growing taunts of his colleagues.
Thing book is very into doing that thing where repeating a character’s name too often is Bad Writing so characters gets described as “the old druid” and “the young scholar” a lot.
Danica brushed her hair out of her almond-shaped brown eyes and tried to hide her smile
Before we comment on this let’s head on over to the official Forgotten Realms wiki real quick for some additional insight:
Danica has an unruly mop of strawberry blonde hair and soft brown almond-shaped eyes, the heritage of her oriental mother.
When I encountered that bit about her “almond eyes” it prompted the usual question of whether Salvatore was using the expression as a racist way to describe east Asian features, or if he was doing that baffling thing where authors go on about an attractive character’s “perfectly almond shaped eyes” and you have no idea what the fuck they’re even talking about. Thanks to the wiki we have our answer.
I petition to ban this phrase from all writing forever.
Danica looked like a wisp of a thing, barely five feet tall, with a floppy mop of curly strawberry-blond hair hanging just below her shoulders and a smile to steal a paladin’s heart
More tiny, girlish waif love interests, because for some reason that’s a Thing in bad fantasy. Is it because of Joss Whedon?
And it’s probably a coincidence that her name sounds like Denna, right?
Every time Danica needed information in the great Edificant Library, she found it offered only in exchange for a wrestling match.
What? Why? That’s stupid. This book is stupid.
Danica shook her head helplessly and retrieved her two daggers from a nearby bench. She took a moment to examine them, as she always did before putting them back into their respective boot sheaths.
Why is she bringing daggers to a library? I mean, apart from because this is a D&D book and keeping knives in your boots all the time is the sort of thing the player characters would do.
After she defeats the wrestler guy we get her tragic life story, which is basically what you expect it to be: parents killed by assassins, left an orphan at a young age, etc.
The raid had come in the dark of night, and when the assassins had gone, so, too, were Danica’s parents, the house she had grown up in, and the wagon shop that had been her father’s lifelong toil.
You should talk to Kvothe, he knows all about wagon-related tragedies.
After her parents were killed Danica was trained in martial arts by her teacher, who is also from The Exotic Far East and is a monk. Not an actual monk, as in the D&D character class that fights using hand to hand combat and spiritual abilities, because– and I feel the need to keep pointing this out– we’re reading a novel where the characters have literal classes. If you go into the wiki they even have the D&D morality designations, although so far there’s been no sign of that in the actual book itself.
She dismissed those dark memories, leaving them with a final image of her father’s calm smile, her mother’s almond eyes,
I am filled with unyielding hatred
A quick search reveals that Danica’s almond-shaped eyes come up seven times, and there are two more instances where we’re told about her “exotic eyes”. It’s like this is the only trait the character possesses.
Although Danica’s features and mannerisms were mostly Western and not so different from the norm in the central Realms, the shape of her eyes revealed some ancestry in the far and exotic east.
Danica stopped suddenly, pulled Cadderly’s face down to her own, and kissed him eagerly. She moved back from him just a few inches, her almond eyes, striking and exotic, boring into his.
THIS IS ON THE SAME GOD DAMN PAGE
WE FUCKING GET IT JESUS CHRIST
She rolled her eyes to emphasize the vastness of the pillared room.
She rolled her eyes to emphasize the crappiness of the writing.
Cadderly tries to grope Danica’s boobs while they’re making out so she does that nerve-disabling thing you see in martial arts movies. Then… something happens. It’s kind of confusing.
You are such a …” Danica stammered, “a … a boy!”
At first, Cadderly thought her anger just the expected reaction to his bold advance, then Danica stunned him completely.
“Can you never forget your studies?”
“She knows!” a horrified Cadderly muttered to himself as Danica stormed away.
While Cadderly went through his life busy but distracted, Danica’s vision of the world remained narrowly focused, based in a rigid and philosophical religion little-known in Faerûn. That passion, too, enhanced the enchantment Danica had cast over Cadderly. He wanted to open her mind and her heart and look into both, knowing that only there would he find answers to fill the missing elements of his own life.
These characters are just fascinating.
The dangerous finger shot up and waved about, resembling some hellish viper.
Is Danica’s dangerous finger related at all to Wigg’s infamous eyebrow? Which one of them would win in a fight?
You know what I was planning to do one more chapter, but I am dooooone with this shit. I’d rather reread all of The Wise Man’s Fear. This is the most generic of generic mush, with every attempt at storytelling and characerization neutered by the fact that it has to conform to the conventions of a tabletop game.
(No, it’s not Lord of The Rings)