celticdragonfly: (TSK - snagged from Torak)
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Karl finished the ARC last night, and I've been reading it today. I don't have a detailed bit-by-bit analysis yet - maybe next read, right now I mostly can't put it down long enough to type. I did get to the point around chapter 9 and 10 that I just had to start talking to Karl about bits. So I'm going to put them in here.

WARNING: the stuff behind the cut has spoilers for The Sharing Knife: Legacy - the new Bujold book that we have in ARC, that's not due out until JUNE. Don't click if you don't want to see them.

I'm speculating wildly - some of this stuff I posted to the Bujold list earlier, and I've already read farther and seen some changes, but I'm going to post it anyway.


I’ve just finished reading the first nine chapters of The Sharing Knife: Legacy, and I must stop to jot down some observations.

Mostly, I love it.

Once settled in camp, Fawn is enjoying working with Cattagus, but notices that Sarri seems a bit stiff around her. Well of COURSE, she has reason to.

Dag says to Dar, “Fawn and I may always be an oddity, but we won’t start a stampede any more than Sarri did with her two husbands.”

Okay, there may not be others with two husbands. But I don’t think Dag’s thought this through from Sarri’s POV. She WAS the oddity, the scandal, had everybody looking at her funny. And eventually, it settled down, and things have been okay. But now here’s her aunt bringing her Redwing nephew into her clearing with ANOTHER oddity, another big scandal. It’s bringing all the eyes of the camp back on her family. It may not be another case of two husbands – but she’s got to be thinking about what others are saying. She’s got to be afraid that others are casting this up to her account – ‘see? Let an oddity like that happen, and see what happens later on. Letting those three get away with it, well, that’s probably why Dag thought he could get away with this. She’s just encouraging more scandals!’ Dag and Fawn’s presence is potentially threatening the equilibrium and peace she’s managed to win out over her oddity. Despite possibly sympathizing from a similar oddity background, of course she’s stiff.

Karl was talking about the Lakewalkers don’t seem to be so free and easy in camp as they are on patrol. I figure this makes sense. The patrollers are likely to be the most flexible people – they’re used to dealing with outsiders and other ways of thinking, and the most hidebound elder types are likelier to stay in camp. And on patrol, results matter. They have to. In camp, it’s safer, more stable, and they can have more rules and customs build up.

Look at all that stuff with the “tents”, cabins missing one wall that’s covered with tent material, so that they “count” as tents. This is practically pilpul. Reminds me of a story I heard about Orthodox Jews in, I think, New York, who did something with string around a series of building roofs so they could “count” as one building, getting around some rule about visiting on the sabbath.


Went ahead into chapter 10 - YES!!!!! Lois mentions a Lakewalker woman working with a four-pronged lucet, making cord! All that info I sent her, the series of pictures I took of me doing lucet work, and the emails explaining how it worked, back when she was originally looking for info on how wedding cords have been made - which she said didn't work for what she had in mind for the wedding cords - she still used it!

Okay, a brief mention, but I honestly don't think she knew about lucets before then. And they're honestly just perfect for Lakewalker culture.

Okay, I’m on page 183 in chapter 10. Dag’s mother Cumbria has just been very nasty to Fawn. Fawn’s started using the word “stupid” in her internal self-descriptions again. I’m seeing major self-doubt starting to creep in again.

And then she’s talking to Cattagus, who heals her burnt hand, and they discuss the cords, and Fawn talks about being able to find Dag’s direction through what he put into her cord and her. This surprises Cattagus – clearly the others can’t do this.

These two put together seriously suggest to me that Fawn is NOT going to stay on the island while Dag is gone on the big patrol.

I figure either she decides to leave, having been convinced by Cumbria that she’s an embarrassment to Dag, and heads home – and gets into Deep Shit – and hey, she’s carrying that primed knife still… or she decides to leave, heading out to find Dag and get reassurance or something, and will find him, and will run into Deep Shit – and hey, she’s carrying that primed knife…

For that matter, there was the foreshadowing that Dag took the patrols there the long way around by the road, against Saun’s wishes to lead them directly cross-country. Well, Fawn won’t be following maps, she’ll be using her Dag-compass – so possibly she could catch up quite a bit.

And as for Dar’s insistence that the knife with her baby’s ground couldn’t possibly have “affinity” for the malice – it was IN a malice already.

Plus our earlier discussions about how maybe Lakewalkers and Farmers aren’t as different as Dar insists – after all, Nattie had an elementary groundsense with no training at all.

------------------------------------------

More thoughts – thinking back on all the unusual groundwork Dag has been doing. Fixing the bowl at Fawn’s family’s farm, the bit on their wedding night. Then the bit with slamming down the ghost hand to break through to that apprentice healer to get his arm worked on. (Although the twitch at the idea of him *taking* that groundwork rather than so much accepting it – well, clearly this isn’t a path with no possible bad sides…I could see this going into some creepy directions.). The groundwork he did on Fawn so that she could feel him through their cords, *and* be able to tell what direction he’s in. All of these are things Lakewalkers shouldn’t be able to do, they think. And it’s all since his association with Fawn. (Or possibly it could be looked at as since his intended knife was primed by her baby, I suppose) I’m wondering – there’s the stuff he tells Fawn, about the time after the Lakewalker mages went wrong and became/created the malices, and that dark time when they lost so much. (Although, as Fawn says, they kept the plunkets going!) I’m wondering if one of the things that was lost during that time was that Lakewalkers *need* Farmers. Not so much because they’re alike – as with previous speculations that maybe Farmers have groundsense too, it’s just never awakened or trained – but maybe *because they’re different*.

Karl just looks at me and says “there’s more to come on that”. Whee.

Also, I gotta say, I love the term “ground veil”. So much better than yet another book that deals with psychic forces and uses the term “shields”. And plunkets – makes me think of a combination of “lake” and “pumpkin”. I’m visualizing something between a pumpkin and a cantelope. (The latter mostly because it sounds more apt to eating raw slices than pumpkin does.)

------------------------------------------------------------

The scene with Fawn facing Cumbria – oh, it’s just painful to read, Cumbria’s so nasty to her. But still – makes me think. There’s Fawn, facing this hostile woman, her mother-in-law, who is SO much older than she is, a very dominant personality (even Dag clearly isn’t up to dealing with her), who’s on her home ground and in her own culture, which Fawn so very much is NOT. *And* Cumbria makes it clear to Fawn that she can tell so much about Fawn from groundsense – tells Fawn she might as well be going around naked. And is very nasty to her.

Yet – through all this, Fawn stands up to her. That’s *brave*. It’s not a lion facing a lion – it’s a mouse standing up to a cat. That’s hard.

The bit with the socks also makes me cringe, knitter that I am.
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May 2009

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