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Sword of the Lady - Discussion **SPOILERS**

Posted: Fri Sep 25, 2009 7:15 pm
by Kitsune
Okay, now that I can type without pain, lets get this party started. This thread is for avid supporters of SM Stirling's book "Sword of the Lady" who want to discuss this book and take it apart trying to understand it better. Warning. There will be spoilers, so if you don't like those, I don't suggest reading any further.

Now that the warnings are over, I'll jump right into it then. In the final scene, SM Stirling has an incredible scene with Juniper leading her people in ritual, and the brilliant light returns.

What do you suppose it was? The Change reversing? The Gods Intervining? What?

And what do you think happened to Rudi?

Personally, I think Rudi may have died... leaving only Artos living, if that makes sense. Your opinions and thoughts? And what do you think of the name Montival? It does sound more real, at least compared to what the world has become.

Re: Sword of the Lady - Discussion **SPOILERS**

Posted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 6:20 am
by davisherm
Consdiering what gets said to Artos on Nantucket about how they pulled the island out of time and forced the change so that when the people were ready they could return the powers, it certainly seems as if the change could have been reversed. Except, if that were the case, why does Artos bear a sword? Why not a machine gun? Is it merely a symbol? Of course, he IS the sword so maybe it is just a symbol. But seriously, who has guns anymore? I could see the change reversing being a boon to the people of Montival, because there's still a few left who remember how to make things the old way, but I can't see it being used terribly much, at least not right away. The infrastructure has been demolished. That happened in CY1. If the world suddenly reverted to normal, they've had twenty years of neglect on any machines that might still run. About the only thing they might be able to do is build more efficient steam engines since that technology is still sort of present and you can use just about anything that burns for fuel. Gas needs to be refined and oil is bound to be incredibly hard to get at after a 20 year lapse. Although with their ban on any technology more complex than the wedge and wheel, can you imagine the disadvantage the CUT would be at if APC's and M1A3's from Montival started rolling into Corwin?

Another possibility is that it was another Change. Remember, that time is a wheel. The people in the story are entering another turn. What if the powers that they're getting back are not those powers lost back in '98 but powers lost long ago with only a very small handful of people left who are able to even touch them? People like Juniper and BD and Singe and also Artos, Mary, Ritva, and I think it's pretty clear that Ignatious has something pretty powerful behind him also. There must always be parity. The people of the CUT have accessed something truly terrible. It granted them extraordinary powers. The universe cannot exist in that sort of imbalance. There's a bit right before the light revealing where BD is musing to herself and it's revealed that she can feel the CUT's Seekers, just as Artos and Ignatious can. (I love how Ignatious refers to them as Hollow Men. It's just got a great ring to it!) I think that this trickle is going to open. I think that the light coming off of Juniper's hands is an indication that what comes next is going to come from within. The people just needed to be ready to accept the burden of responsibility that comes with such awesome power.

I think you're right that Rudi died. I think Rudi was allowed to progress to his next life immediately. To borrow from Stephenson, he's shown all the signs of being an ascendant throughout the whole story. We also know that he is destined to become Landfather to his people just as his bloodfather did. He's gone through a number of needed lessons on the trip east. It was all of those experiences that led to him being ready to become who he needs to be and now, having been given the sword, he is ready to begin his new life as the High King of Montival.

Re: Sword of the Lady - Discussion **SPOILERS**

Posted: Wed Sep 30, 2009 10:35 am
by Kitsune
The part where BD says that she can see the protons and electrons in everything... definately a powerful scene.

Poor Matti though... she still doesn't like or really want to like this side of him, and now she's left with the part that is only that link. Do you think this will change their relationship as well? I mean, some changes are neccessary... perhaps I'm asking the wrong question though. To be more presise, Do you think that Matti will be able to change enough that she will be able to truly love Artos? I always saw her love of Rudi ending in a proper Christian marriage and although she would never ask it of him, I think she always thought that he would leave his faith behind when they married, no matter how much she spoke otherwise. Her words and actions just never sounded true, when she said it.

Now she's truly seen Artos in ritual once (during Samhain) and that upset her for days afterward. I don't know if her faith will allow her to live and love "all" of Artos/Rudi, unlike just Rudi.

Did you love that scene with Rudi talking to the Goddess though? I thought that SM Stirling did that scene exceptionally well. I personally got a sense that he understands the laws of the mysteries... In Elysian law, the penalty for speaking of the lower elysian mysteries was a fine, but there was no penalty for speaking of the higher ones. The reason was that you could tell somebody the truth all day, but they wouldn't truly understand it, unless they had already been through the initiation and figured it out.

And Ignatius definitely has someone watching over him... I liked that his vision came in the form of his leader back at the Sanctuary (help, I'm away from my book and can't remember his name!). That just seemed very... right... for some reason.

What do you think?

Re: Sword of the Lady - Discussion **SPOILERS**

Posted: Thu Oct 08, 2009 6:40 pm
by joatsimeon
So, just to kick-start... what was particularly liked, and why? Disliked, and why?

Re: Sword of the Lady - Discussion **SPOILERS**

Posted: Wed Oct 14, 2009 9:22 am
by Kitsune
Sorry it took so long to get this written here... I was away for a friends wedding. :oops:

I don't think any part of the book really sparked dislike for me... I thought the whole book was superbly written (one day, I hope that I can write like that). You had a well thought out plot, your characters stayed in character (although Matti is a bit more of a dreamer than I originally gave her credit for). The book doesn't hit us over the head with one definable theme, religious or not, although it does describe religion in quite a bit of detail.

Things I loved... As usual, seeing your description of pagan ritual always gives me goosebumps. I particularly love when Rudi enters as the Horned Lord for the Samhain celebration at Ingolf's homestead. Telling that scene from Matti's point of view was perfect, and I think you hit on her emotions spot on... Or at least you evoked, not only the sense of wonder and the divine, but also her revulsion at witnessing the ritual.

I couldn't say if the Norse ritual where they met the All-Father was correct or not... but considering your meticulous checking on all of the religions you use, I am willing to assume that this is correct. (Which is a huge part to making me stay in the story, instead of getting pulled out to check your facts)

I suppose the only thing that I found slightly unsatisfying was at the very beginning of the book, they got the aid of the tribe and then "suddenly" they were back giving the leader his treasure... It seemed to jump almost as though you glossed over what had happened. I found myself looking back just to be sure I hadn't missed reading any pages.

I loved it though, and I personally thought the book was well written.