Midst Toil And Tribulation – Snippet 44

Midst Toil And Tribulation – Snippet 44

“There are several other questions which need to be considered, of course,” he said. “For example, Father Davys has many commitments among the Loyalist congregations here in Tellesberg. I think it would be difficult for him to leave the Old Kingdom, that he’d feel he was abandoning those who depend upon him. Neither Their Majesties nor I wish to deprive you of clergy of your choice, however. Would you wish for me to ask Father Davys to nominate a Loyalist chaplain to accompany you on the voyage? I’m sure he’d be able to come up with several possibilities.”

“That . . . would probably be a good idea, Your Eminence,” Irys replied slowly, her eyes hooded. “I think, if you’ll forgive me for saying it, that it’s important Daivyn not be faced with . . . competing orthodoxies at this time in his life.”

“It’s never a good idea to confuse children,” Staynair agreed. “At the same time, however, if you’ll forgive me for saying it, they’re capable of grasping differences of view with rather more acuity than adults give them credit for. Your brother is going to have to decide what he himself believes in the fullness of time, and I’m afraid he’ll probably have to make that choice earlier in his life than most, simply because of who he is. I agree that this is no time for him to be trapped between men of God who both claim to know the truth yet persist in telling him different things, but I think you owe it to him — and to yourself, perhaps, if you’ll forgive the observation — to see both sides of the issues which are currently wounding Mother Church so severely.”

“I can’t disagree with you about that,” Irys said, meeting his gaze levelly, “but neither am I prepared at this moment to lend myself to undermining my brother’s beliefs. The truth is that he’s more concerned about winning at baseball or basketball — or telling me about that marsh-wyvern hunt Earl Hanth took him on — than he is about the state of his immortal soul. I think it’s called being a ten-year-old.” Despite herself, her lips twitched into a brief smile, but it disappeared quickly. “Yet I think that makes it even more important for me and for the adults in his life not to confuse him. Give him a little longer, Your Eminence, please. You yourself say in your sermons that a child of God has to choose what he or she believes, and whether or not I can agree with you about Mother Church and the Grand Vicar, I do agree with you about that. But no one can make an informed choice when they don’t understand what it is they’re choosing between, and Daivyn doesn’t. Not yet. For that matter,” her nostrils flared as she made the admission, “I don’t understand yet, not fully, what I have to choose between.”

“Of course you don’t,” he said simply. “I think, perhaps, you’ve come closer to that understanding than you yet realize, but you’re absolutely right that it isn’t something you rush into. Not if you’re going to give it the amount of thought and prayer a decision that important deserves. And we’re also right about the need to give Daivyn as much time as we can before he’s pushed to decide. I’ll send Father Davys a note this afternoon asking him to nominate a chaplain for both of you. And for Earl Coris, of course.”

“Thank you, Your Eminence,” she said with quiet sincerity.

“I do have to wonder where Captain Lathyk’s going to put everyone, though,” the archbishop said with a faint smile.

“Captain Lathyk?” Irys asked just a bit more quickly than she’d really intended to, and the archbishop’s smile grew a little broader.

“Admiral Yairley — I’m sorry, I mean Baron Sarmouth, of course — is being sent out to Chisholm, and he’s retaining Destiny as his flagship. Their Majesties thought that since he and Captain Lathyk seem to’ve done a reasonably adequate job of plucking you and your brother out of captivity and delivering you safe and sound to Tellesberg, the Empress might as well avail herself of their services for delivering her — and you — safe and sound to Cherayth, as well.”

“Daivyn will be delighted to hear that, Your Eminence!” Irys felt her own eyes sparkling. “He had so much fun aboard Destiny! Of course, with Haarahld Breygart to help him get into trouble, it’s going to take the entire crew to keep the two of them from burning the ship to the waterline.”

“Oh, I doubt it will be quite that bad, Your Highness.” Staynair’s eyes twinkled back at her. “Not with you and Lady Hanth there to keep an eye on things, at least. For that matter, it takes a very brave person to cross Empress Sharleyan, as well, now that I think about it. And although I’m afraid Seijin Merlin won’t be able to join you for the voyage, I understand your brother has become almost as fond of Lieutenant Aplyn-Ahrmahk. I imagine he’ll serve as a . . . restraining influence on the two of them.”

“I’m sure you’re right about that,” Irys agreed, uncomfortably aware her cheeks had grown ever so slightly warm for some reason. “The truth is that Daivyn adores Hektor — I mean, Lieutenant Aplyn-Ahrmahk — almost as much as he does Seijin Merlin. He’ll be so happy to make another voyage with him.”

“I’m glad to hear that.” The twinkle was still in Staynair’s eyes, and Irys felt her face turn a little hotter, but he only smiled. “I’m rather attached to young Hektor myself,” he said, “and I’m sure Her Majesty will look forward to spending some time with him, as well. When he can be spared from his duties and from riding herd on Daivyn and Haarahld, of course.”

“Of course, Your Eminence,” Irys agreed, and turned quickly back towards the panoramic view of the harbor. “Is that Destiny?” she asked just a bit hurriedly, pointing at a galleon making its way into the outer roadstead.

“No, Your Highness,” the archbishop said gravely. “No, I believe Destiny’s currently at King’s Harbor, refitting for the voyage to Cherayth, although that’s obviously one of her sister ships.”

“I see,” she said, keeping her eyes resolutely on the ship’s sails until she could be sure that inexplicable heat had faded from her face.

“Of course, Your Highness.” She sensed rather than saw the archbishop’s small, possibly slightly ironic half-bow. “But now, I’m afraid, I have to return to my office. There are a great many details I have to deal with before our departure, as well, I fear.”

“Of course, Your Eminence,” she replied, still gazing at the nameless galleon making her slow, steady way closer to Tellesberg. “Thank you for taking the time out of your schedule to tell me about all this in person. I appreciate it.”

“It was my honor, Your Highness,” Staynair murmured, and she heard the glass-fronted door open and close as he left her to the view, in sole possession of the balcony once more.


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62 Responses to Midst Toil And Tribulation – Snippet 44

  1. Well, now we know! Hektor will be on the same ship with Iris. How convenient!

    • Nimitz13 says:

      I expected Hektor to be transferred from Destiny to Sharleyan’s ship so she could polish his political skills (or some other excuse) but this is much simpler.

      It will certainly serve as a silent reminder of how much Irys and Daivyn owe the EoC to sail in the same ship that rescued them.

      I just hope they fixed all those holes in the hull from canon balls. Bleek!

  2. Anonymouse says:

    So uneventful voyage?

    Or more likely for those of us who have read Weber’s previous work, a three hour tour.

    • Izzy says:

      I almost completely lost it (laughing), when i read “three hour tour”

      On an aside, I almost wish there hadn’t been anything [romantic] between these two characters… seems almost like it’ll feel like fluff. Unless, perhaps, we get some good drama like an unexpected death or something.

      • Nico de Lange says:

        Hey Izzy, they’re two healthy, more good-looking than not, heterosexual teenagers, both of whom also happen to be among the ten or so highest-ranking aristocrats in the entire Empire of Charis. Irys’ rank means that Hector will almost assuredly be her only option for socializing with other young people whilst aboard ship. I don’t think she’s the stereotypical stuck-up, snobbish noblewoman, but the social, cultural & political context within which she finds herself, hobnobbing with the other youngsters of her own age-group aboard the ship (only common sailors, almost all of them) would be unthinkable. Hector cannot socialize with them, either, because fraternizing between officers & their subordinates would be a violation of regulations.

        Given all of that – & the fact that the three most important people in the Empire clearly recognize that a closer friendship between Irys & Hector could potentially reap significant, possibly even game-changing political gains for the Empire & the Church – it seems to me that it is only natural for the two of them to go all mushy on each other.

        • Elim Garak says:

          Nope, it’s extremely stereotypical. And boring, and annoying. If this actually happens, then I will be very disappointed – because then I would have seen this coming from a book ago. It’s not a good thing where books have such obvious and banal relationships and situations that can be seen from so far away.

          In the real world that is not stereotypical. But that’s not the real world.

          • TenofSwords says:

            Sorry Elim, got to disagree with you there. In aritocratic societies, aristocrats marry each other. I can’t see how you regard that as a sterotype. Likewise young people meet each other under a range of circumstances and fall in love.

            That DW telegraphed this particular relationship more indicates growing attachment over time etc. than anything else to my reading.

            • JimHacker says:

              I think he means predictable, telegraphed, obvious or cliched rather than stereotypical.

            • Elim Garak says:

              I meant that it was stereotypical for the author and for this type of book. Oh, look, two teenagers described with some detail, and are of roughly the same age. That’s it, they are hooking up. Done deal.

              When you can predict who is going to hook up with whom several books in advance, then it’s bad writing IMHO. Cliché is another way of describing it.

              • Nico de Lange says:

                Elim, did you actually read my post?

                Two teenagers, raging hormones, very high-ranking aristocrats, no other aristocratic youngsters (except for Daivyn) on board, a very long voyage aboard a relatively small sailing ship (compared to modern ships OTL at least).

                The logical outcome is in fact at least a measure of attraction between them.

                Mr Weber is not writing about some fantastical society where the laws of nature have been completely discarded.

                He is writing a story about a possible reality that might emerge, should certain events take place OTL. As such, Safehold is very much a ‘real’ world, in which the laws & phenomena that hold sway OTL are still in effect & will continue to hold effect.

  3. stephen y says:

    Matchmaker, matchmaker make me a match. On the other hand as we know from Mr. Weber’s other works things are never that easy and no plan survives contact with the enemy. Irys is politically important and I question whether Hektor would be an acceptable husband given his commoner origins. Indeed the possible husband market seems extreamly bare. If I were Clyntahn I would be sparing no effort to kill Ifys and Hektor.

    • Nimitz13 says:

      I didn’t realize Irys is so attracted to our poor young lieutenant. Oh dear, he is in for SO much trouble… ;)

      I get REALLY nervous when the MWW starts arranging things exactly how we predict he will, and PeterZ and I nailed this one. Bleak?

    • Robert Krawitz says:

      Whatever his origins, Hektor is now a member of the royal (or imperial) family.

      • Drak Bibliophile says:

        Correct. Earl Coris (in an earlier snippet) saw him as such so considering his influence on Iyrs, she is likely to see Hektor in the same light.

    • robert says:

      To that end, beware the cleric sent along to minister to Irys and Daivyn. He had better be vetted down to his toenails.

  4. Et1swaw aka Rob says:

    You are going to have Irys and Hektor, Daivyn and Haarahld Breygart, Lady Hanth and Sharleyan, Archbishop Staynair and Admiral Yairley, and Lord Coris all going to be on the same upper-middle-sized ship with a newly appointed (and totally unknown) TL chaplain on a sea voyage from Charis to Chisholm.
    Can anybody not see the myriad opportunities present?

    And Irys seems to be clinging to her faith (and wishing to cement her brother in the same) with everything she has. Her growing disillusionment with her child’s view of her father seems to be stoking the denial of ANYTHING that cheapens the CoGA doctrine IMO.
    I wonder what MWW has in mind to fully open her eyes and make her grow up and see what she has been swimming in?

    • Nimitz13 says:

      Irys’ position as a TL is political pragmatism at this point, as she’s obviously more aware than almost anyone of the ruthless depravity of Clyntahn and the inquisition. The doctrinal differences are slight – the CoC has repudiated the Punishment of Schueler and putting people to the Question, denies the authority of the existing corrupt vicarate, and stresses a personal relationship with God while presenting a gentle face to the world, while the CoGA offers the terror of the inquisition and constant sermons on the hellfire and brimstone that await the damned souls of the “heretics,” and the importance of murdering them. (The mainland version of the CoGA at least.)

      Were she to attend public mass outside of the EoC, she’d most likely see a very different version of mother church. The CoGA enjoys freedom of religion within the EoC, but its doctrine is undoubtedly restrained. Preaching “Kill the heretics!” in Charis is likely to get one quietly transferred to a distant monastery by the local TL leadership, but it’s daily fare on the mainland.

      It’s a pity she can’t be exposed to the contrast. She’s quietly attending Staynair’s masses, which for political reasons she prevents Daivyn from doing, so she’s at least investigating what to do. But the CoGA MURDERED of her father and older brother, and tried to do the same to her and her baby brother! She’s undoubtedly trying to distance the organization from its current leadership, but almost the ENTIRE leadership is corrupt and venal. The only thing that can fix it is a major purging of the remainder of the vicarate and a large percentage of the church hierarchy all the way to the local level, and that isn’t going to happen.

      If Irys is honest with herself and truly wants to live as God would have her do – based on her understanding of the doctrines of the sham Langhorne created that she devoutly believes in, the CoC is the proper choice. It may be not be politically expedient at the moment, but once she and Daivyn swear fealty to the EoC, there’s no political reason for her not to make the switch. Ditto for Daivyn. The TLs may not like it, but the CoGA already wants her and Daivyn dead so why remain a member of a church that would prefer you as a martyr?
      (Subdued Bleek…)

      • Shade says:

        Idiocy in my opinion. Why stay loyal to a church in which the leader(s) arranged your father and brothers murder, and tried to do the same for yourself and remaining brother? And the attempt wasn’t exactly subtle in her and Daivyn’s case. I do get the political expediency aspect of it, but you’d think that sheer rage at the upper echelons of the vicorate would make you turn away from everything they stand for. Guess that’s just me though. Plus if she was just sticking with the TL church for ‘political’ reasons, by that same reasoning it should make being under Staynair’s protection utterly anathema to her.

        • Drak Bibliophile says:

          Shade, I understand the mind-set but I understand why you don’t.

          For centuries on Safehold, there has been the view of “God’s Own Church”.

          No matter how corrupt the leadership was, it was still “God’s Own Church”.

          To reject/fight against the Church was to reject/fight against God Himself.

          There will be conversation later between a Charisian and a non-Charisian about the Charisians having the courage to fight against the Church.

          The Charisian’s response was that earlier the non-Charisian’s nation wasn’t openly threatened by the Church while Charis faced an open threat from the Church. So the decision for Charis was easier than it was for the non-Charisian’s nation.

          Irys is in a position of safety now, the Church can’t easily kill her and her brother. She still thinks of the Church as “God’s Own Church” in spite of its current leadership. It is hard for her as a believer to reject what she still sees as “God’s Own Church”.

          It would be easier for a current day believer to reject *his* church because he didn’t grow up in a world where there was *only* one Church.

          • Shade says:

            True enough Drak, and I even said at the beginning of my comment that it looks insane “in my opinion”. The church has basically said ‘it wants you (Irys et all) dead’ so by logic to be a loyal daughter of the church she should just cut her own throat; because–according to Clyntahn–that is what God desires.

            But then I am aware that logic and reasoned thought is not really what the church on Safehold has ever encouraged. In our current world of cynicism there are still plenty of people that won’t hear a single negative word about the faith they believe in so I can certainly understand that there are those that would continue to follow despite all reason, sanity and even self-preservation. My problem is that Irys’ characterization would not have led me to believe that she is incapable of looking at the facts even when she -heard- a priest ordering her and her brother to be shot down, given that everything seems to be about protecting “her baby brother”. Seriously? You live through that and still decide it is “politically expediant” to show support to the TL. And have him believe in the system that wants him dead…

            Though as someone else commented attending a TL church in Charis probably does not give a realistic vision of what that really means… given that a “true son” of mother church on the mainland would turn her and her brother over to Clyntahn to be killed.

            Looking forward to that Charisian and not-charisian discussion. To be honest I was surprised that there wasn’t more active dissent in earlier books from Emerald and Chrisholm when they joined Charis. You’d think being excommunicated would be more upsetting for them then it apparently was. For Charis it makes sense because if they hadn’t fought back, they’d all be dead. At that point a change in loyalties and perspectives is definitely in order ;) Which is exactly why Irys’s stance doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me as an individual

            • Drak Bibliophile says:

              As I said, I understand what you’re saying.

              However, IMO you are seeing the Main Church in terms of its Leadership.

              Plenty of people (currently and on Safehold) see Churches as being more than their current Leadership.

              Irys is caught between her respect for the Church and her knowledge about the current Leadership.

              You don’t see the difference between the Church and its leadership, she still sees a difference (or wants to see a difference).

              • Shade says:

                I can ignore the leaders and/or see them as being different from the organization they represent when they do not have the ability to arrange my death or the destruction of an entire nation. But when they can do that and the organization itself doesn’t stop them… then it goes out the window (which I believe the Wyslynn brothers had a conversation about). There are levels of responsibility. As an example I wouldn’t blame the entire church for an individual priest’s abuse of a child. I blame the individual. However I do think the leadership of the time is in some way culpable when they were -aware- of incidents and did nothing, or just moved the offender to a different parish to repeat the behaviour again. There’s a line about “a few rotten apples spoils the bushel” and Clyntahn is more then rotten enough to spoil an entire silo ;)

                I do understand exactly what you are saying as well, especially when you account for the perspective of a one-religion-world. It’s more that I don’t quite ‘buy’ Irys’s character tying to appologize for the main church when it is responsible for the death of half her family… which she previously virulently hated Charis for, and specifically Cayleb, after branding him responsible for an entire book.

    • JeffM says:

      Any TL priest will only be unknown to US…not to Imperial Security. Are you mad, man? Every one of those would have been “vetted” ages ago–especially in the wake of the terrorist attacks.

  5. Bobsuncorp says:

    Hektor and Irys sitting in a tree…

    • Karsten says:

      poor tree … ;)

      seriously, i’m as taut as a bow ready to shoot to read about the next episode with Hector and Irys …

      Hopefully, my paper-ARC will be delivered soon – yeah, I got one at ebay;)

      • Anette says:

        You bought a paper ARC? When it’s only two weeks left until the real book arrives? I do buy a lot of Baen’s eARCs, but they are usually available months before the final version.

        • karsten says:

          I did it, because I bought Paper-ARCs of the first 3 books of the Safehold-series, too. And I’m still looking for paper-ARCs of By Heresies Distressed and A Mighty Fortress, but these are hard to get, especially here in Germany …

      • George Phillies says:

        How much?

  6. Elim Garak says:

    Crap. Craaaap. This suuuucks. I really, really hope that DW doesn’t take such a banal and obvious step as to match those two together. That would suck soooo much!

    If they do end up together then that means that I have seen this coming from a book ago. That’s very bad. If even I can predict what is going to happen from so far away then the book is exceedingly predictable and boring. And predictable and boring books are not worth reading.

    Seriously, if these two end up together, I am done with this series.

    • Elim Garak says:

      My only hope is that this is not going to happen. I think Drak hinted as much to me a while ago.

      • Drak Bibliophile says:

        I don’t know what I said to make you think that. The only thing I may have said is that there were plenty of “crazy things” that people thought would be “how they’d get together”. Of course, it is common knowledge that David Weber has fooled us before.

        Without snerking (too much), I think David Weber handles the situation quite realistly.

        • Drak Bibliophile says:

          Oh, on the “boring comment” (up above), there is plenty of non-boring stuff in this book.

          IMO many good authors include “lighter stuff” along with “heavier stuff” in their books.

          • Elim Garak says:

            All I am saying is that it is not to my personal preference and taste, of course. I don’t like it when things that predictable.

        • Robert H. Woodman says:

          Without snerking (too much), I think David Weber handles the situation quite realistly.

          Which is what we hope for and (mostly) expect from MWW.

          Knowing that I’m the world’s worst at predicting what MWW will do, I’m still going to hazard a guess at the sub-plot. Hektor and Irys will travel together. They will have interesting conversations and, perhaps, a heated argument or two (over religion, I imagine). There won’t be any major adventure in their travels, but probably a minor diversion of some sort that will reveal more of their personalities to each other. A romance will form, and DW will leave us hanging there until the next book comes out in 2-3 years.

          I could be wrong, of course, and I probably am, but it’s still fun to speculate. :-)

        • Elim Garak says:

          No worries – I am apparently misremembering it.

    • robert says:

      Oh Elim, just give yourself a “good guess medal” and stop being so cranky.

    • sq_rigger says:

      But MWW is CONSTANTLY dealing with “obvious and banal” subjects, such as having sailing ships influenced by weather. night alternating with day, people’s needing food to survive, gunpowder exploding when it comes in contact with flame, etc. I’m amazed that you lasted past page 3 of OAR because everything was so PREDICTABLE.

      Seriously, Irys’s love life is a minor subplot in a multi-novel epic. If a little nit like being able to predict something minor is enough to sour you on the series, just quit reading the books and go away quietly.

      • Elim Garak says:

        If you can’t criticize you can’t optimize. Criticism is one of the better things that can be given to a writer IMHO. And yes, I understand that you are perfectly fine with that choice. That’s cool too. I am just expressing my own opinion, after having read a lot of books in this genre.

    • Robert H. Woodman says:


      Putting Irys and Hektor together is so obvious EVEN I saw it coming. I’m one of the absolute worst on this site at predicting what’s going to happen next. For me, getting something right about the plot is inspirational. It permits me to delude myself that I’ll be able to guess some other plot development in the future. :-)

      Seriously, though, don’t take it as such a disaster. This development was too obvious not to happen, and the only way that DW could realistically prevent it from happening is to kill one or the other of them off. Also, Hektor and Irys are probably still a bit too young to marry, and Hektor has lots of adventuring, er, sailing left to do before the day he can marry arrives, so there’s hope for you yet. DW might let them get engaged, and then have Irys fall in love with someone else or have Hektor get killed in battle or receive a debilitating wound. If you’re that upset about Hektor and Irys pairing off, then console yourself that DW has many creative ways of eliminating them in the future. :D

      • d says:

        Hektor throwing himself in front of a bullet meant for Irys and dying in her arms would be one. It could also conveniently put the last nail in the coffin of her feelings towards COGA.

      • Elim Garak says:

        I don’t see that it’s too obvious to not happen. Hektor is not that interesting a character for me period. In the last book for some reason we spent a large part of an entire chapter of following him around a ship. That did absolutely nothing to advance the story or make me interested in him.

        Hektor could easily be pushed off to the side and replaced by somebody less perfect and ideal.

        IMHO DW’s characters often suffer from enhanced perfection. The majority of them are beautiful, brilliant, never make mistakes, are adored by their friends and people around them, etc. That to me is boring. Perfection is not interesting.

        Hektor is one such character – or at least that’s who he appears to be growing into. An ideal character without any real flaws or issues. Just like most of the people on the Charis side. The only fun character used to be Prince Norman due to his imperfections, but now he is dead… At least so far…

        Anyway, Irys is interesting – primarily because she is smart and doesn’t assume that Charis is uber-awesome, or take things as a given. She is also a lot of fun as an external perspective on Merlin. Pairing her up with somebody as boring and banal as Hektor would be a huge waste (besides being so incredibly predictable that even we saw it coming :-P).

        My only hope now is that Hektor drops dead or something. Or goes away semi-permanently.

      • robert says:

        If we couldn’t make guesses (even WAGs) about the snippets we wouldn’t need the comments capability, would we? And even Honor found her own, slightly odd, true love.

  7. hank says:

    Just wondering if we’ll be checking in on doings down at the Temple soon…

  8. tootall says:

    re Irys clinging to the True Church in spite of it’s “excessive zeal”
    MWW , I think, once said that (in Clyntahn’s view) if the church wanted Charis gone- Haarahld , if he was a true son of the church, would have dutifully committed suicide- the fact that he didn’t puts him in rebellion-and makes him a heretic.
    In light of that logic, perhaps we can understand Irys’s trouble with all this.

  9. Scott says:

    I can’t help but think what happened to Honor and Paul. Just because it’s obvious doesn’t mean that the future holds nothing but flowers and sweetness. Now if the loyalist priest tries to touch off the powder magazine. . .

  10. Sigh says:

    So I don’t think that Irys is acting against character by appearing to side with the loyalists. She can always convert to the church of Charis at some later date, possibly as a carefully timed political blow to the Church. But that’s a one way road. I think she’s holding off to see how things turn out on the mainland before she cuts ties.

  11. Sigh says:

    Was it just me or where there some sparks between Merlin and Irys? I don’t really think DW is going to have these two get together but man would I like to see that. Lots of potential drama down that plot line. Perhaps a love triangle if that is not too cliche.

  12. Spoiler Alert says:

    I believe I hear the tolling of dynastic wedding bells. I didn’t realize DW was into D&D. Resurrection spell anyone?

  13. Bruce says:

    Another alternative: what could drive Irys and Corisande more into the Empire’s arms than the death of Daivyn with the Temple (say, the new priest nominated to travel with them) clearly at fault?

    If her new husband becomes the new Prince of Corisande – and they are both loyal allies and even family members of the Royal family (as Hektor now is) – you bring that nation firmly into the empire.

    A bit of irony, don’t you think, if Hektor – enobled and adopted after the fleet of Corisande killed his King and almost killed him – becomes the new Prince of Corisande.

    The Duke of Darcos Sound may control his “duchy” one day, afterall.

    • Drak Bibliophile says:

      What a nasty thing to do to Hektor. [Wink]

      Seriously, I suspect that if the idea of “Prince Consort” exists on Safehold (and Merlin may invent it if it doesn’t), Hektor would be Consort to Irys as Ruling Princess of Corisande assuming anything happens to Daivyn.

      This would likely be more acceptable for the people/nobles of Corisande.

      IE, having a Ruling Princess with a Charisian Consort would better than having a *Charisian* as Prince of Corisande.

  14. anonymous says:

    honestly i would perfer hecrtor dying than the totaly predictable matchup with irys. I feel like these books are way to predictable and cliche in general. Also all the charsian charchters are perfect while all the church clergy are evil and moraly corrupt with no grey area in beetween. That saying i still enjoy the plot and conseder david weber a great writter though i would appreciate an unexpected twist. BTW if anyone is intrested in a book with lots of grey read the first law by joe abrocrombie.(not for anyone who like storybook charchters)

  15. JimHacker says:

    |While I agree that many of the Charisians are just slightly too perfect, I would dispute your claim that all of the opposition are evil. You would expect a concentration in the clergy, but what about the Circle? Sure, they’re gone now but Duchairn is still there. Then, outside the clergy, there are plenty on the loyalist military whom we’ve seen so far who aren’t evil or immoral. There was Gharvai, before his defeat, and we’ve still got Thirsk and a few others who, while not recurring characters, pop up now and then. I agree with you that it would be nice to have a few more, so we could get to know them like we know the antagonists in other Weber novels but that hasn’t been really posssible due to the nature of the story being told. The only repeat commander we’ve seen is Thirsk because none of the land battles (so far) have happened in the same place so Weber hasn’t been able to develop such a character.

    • JimHacker says:

      (that was meant to be a reply to anonymous

      • anonymous says:

        you raise some valid points though i feel that these “grey” charchters play a very insignificant role in general and when u look at Duchairn he go’s from “evil” to “good”. He suddenly gains a moral compass and seems to have turned 180 deegrees. There is no phase in which he seems to have been in beetween. Also i would like to see Caleb and sharylean have some flaws such as maybe not caring so much about thier people.(as even the best monarchs in our history never cared about a few peasents dying even if they .cared about the general well being of thier people). That being said i can always find somthing wrong with even the best books.

        • JimHacker says:

          Duchairn was never immoral – he was ammoral. He didn’t care about good and evil, just the effificient discharge of his responsibilities as he saw them (ie, not to do good but to keep the Church’s finances as well as possible). He didn’t oppose the Charisian Solution because he could see which way the wind was blowing and knew that opposing it wouldn’t work and would cause a rift between him and the rest of the Go4.

          As i said, the reason all the other characters we’ve seen on the other side have been minor is because the course of the war so far simply hasn’t allowed as to meet the same enemy commander repeatedly.

  16. JeffM says:

    Good grief. I’d think that some of you were Harry-Hermione shippers.

  17. “Iris and Hector,
    Sitting in a cross-tree,

    Sorry, there was just no way for me to humanly resist. I’m just sayin’.

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