two comments on Issola

David Silberstein davids at kithrup.com
Mon Mar 31 12:42:54 PST 2003

[spoilers for Issola & Phoenix]

On Mon, 31 Mar 2003, Philip Hart wrote:

>Following David Silberstein's recent announcement of an instance where
>Sethra sees Vlad reacting to something Loiosh says, I've been looking
>haphazardly for an instance where a GW wielder shows the same behavior.
>I may have found one: in Issola, pg. 191, S. is looking at V.'s wounded
>arm and they are bantering in a macho way.  V. says with faux
>off-handedness, "Nice wine", and S "smiled as if sharing a joke with
>herself..."  On the other hand I can't think why Iceflame would care about
>wine - maybe S harvests grapes with it.

Remember, we have no idea what the context is to these inner
conversations; it may have had nothing to do with wine at all. 

If Iceflame is as snarky as Loiosh, maybe he/she said something like
"Well.  The Easterner is learning some manners.  Maybe I *won't* eat
his soul."  Assuming that's even what she was smiling about.

>On page 90, Morrolan asks V if he had "ever been held captive by
>someone other than the Empire".  Apparently he forgot his involvement
>in the events of _Phoenix_ not long before.  This bugs me. 

Weak defense:  Morrolan may have meant "other than by Humans" (that
is, Dragaerans).  Greenaerans are of the same species as Dragaerans,
for all that they are not part of the Empire. 

Hmm.  That is pretty weak.  OK, let's see if I can do a little better,
given that I am away from books:

Vlad never told Morrolan that he was held prisoner by the Greenaerans.
He was pretty close-mouthed about the whole affair, as I recall.

As long as I'm talking about Phoenix, here's some thoughts:  those
events that he partook in are why Vlad was so pissy when he met Verra
again in "Issola".  I think that in "Phoenix", when Vlad accepts the
commission, he had some vague notion that since his Goddess wanted
this assassination, it was somehow for the greater good of all.  For
all his vaunted cynicism, I think there were *some* things he thought
of idealistically.

The revelation that it was (a) a murder of an innocent man who happens
to be the ruler, and appears to have been loved, or at least liked, by
his people (b) part of a deliberate & callous provocation towards war,
(c) in fact aimed at screwing with his people, Easterners of South
Adrilankha, and (d) didn't even *work* because the result she
predicted didn't happen ... all came as several nasty shocks.  So Vlad
was pissed off at himself for being her pawn, and pissed off at Verra
for being so damn manipulative, and so he very nearly got himself into
trouble when he met up with her again in her place of power, and he
let some of that anger out. 

Of course, poor Lady Teldra had no idea why Vlad was being so rude,
but I think her forgiving attitude -- especially when she says that
Vlad "always" acts appropriately -- says quite a bit about her,
although I am still not sure if it's because she likes Vlad (along
with everyone else), or was a little bit in love with him even then.