Memory Sorrow and Thorn


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As many have heard, Tad Williams is returning to Osten Ard, the world made famous by Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn.  I feel this is an appropriate time to pick back up the re-read I abandoned years ago.  This is something I’ve been thinking of for awhile, and now that I am doing my own personal re-read, I figure, “Let’s do this!”

Please stay tuned for more updates.

Well, lookie what we got here! If I don’t be mistaken, that thar is a Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn re-read!

Yeah, it’s me, and I’m back. It’s been a long time – almost a year. A lot of things have happened since then, and absolutely none of those things are going to be discussed here, because they matter not! You’re here (if you’re here) to read about MS&T, not hear my excuses. So let’s just do that.

First of all, you should notice a change in format. The summaries are much shorter now, with no block quotes filling them. I will be attempting to cover the important plot points in the summaries, and will be leaving anything else to the commentaries, which you may see soon, are just as long as they ever were. Sorry about that, hope you’ll read anyway!

And, as usual, if you have never read this series before, and have somehow found this site by accident, there WILL BE MASSIVE SERIES-BREAKING SPOILERS throughout this re-read and analysis. I do not believe I can stress this enough. DO NOT read this if you have never read the series before, unless you just don’t mind knowing how a many-thousand-page epic series concludes. There will be Spoilers. The will be MANY Spoilers. You have been warned.

Whoopy!

The Raven and the Cauldron

Summary

Maegwin and three of her maids are working hard to close a cattle gate, since all the men of Hernystir are out fighting, or planning to fight. Rhynn’s Cauldron, a massive warning bell, is being rung to warn outlying towns of danger from the battles being fought. She then visits her father in the Taig just as Eolair joins Lluth as well, and discussion begins on the attacks and scouting parties of Skali Sharpnose. Some strategy is discussed, including the fact that Gwythinn may return from Naglimund and help the rest of Hernystir’s men create a pincer attack with Skali in the middle. Lluth seems very troubled, and Maegwin attempts to comfort him, while Eolair in turn attempts to comfort the princess.

******

At Naglimund, Duke Isgrimnur and Prince Josua are visiting with Baron Devasalles of Nabban to ask for Leobardis’ and Nabban’s aid in the upcoming struggle, only to find that Devasalles had sent word two nights previously for Leobardis to come to Naglimund’s aid. Devasalles then warns the prince and duke that Leobardis’ wife Nessalanta, and eldest son Benigaris, do not side with Josua, so politics are currently tense in Nabban. Josua and Isgrimnur leave in much higher spirits, and decide to let Miriamele know the good news that her family will join the struggle on their side.

******

Tiamak is pondering a message he had received from Morgenes weeks ago, which warned of dire events to come. He also thinks of his treasure, a page from “Du Svardenwyrd,” and wonders if Morgenes had known he was in possession of such a relic. He wonders if he should travel to visit Morgenes, but then decides to wait for the doctor’s next message before making such a rash decision.

******

Josua, with Isgrimnur in tow, storms into Vorzheva’s room and demands to know what she has done with Princess Miriamele. Vorzheva admits to having forged Josua’s seal and sent Miriamele to Nabban to ask for Leobardis’ help, not knowing that word had already been sent of their aid to come. On top of this, they find that the “monk” Cadrach was sent along with Miriamele as protection, but Sangfugol speaks up to warn them of Simon’s dealings with Cadrach, and that the princess could be in danger. Josua and Isgrimnur rush to send out a search party at once.

******

Lluth, in full armor, visits his sleeping daughter Maegwin to let her know he is riding out shortly to engage Skali Sharpnose’s men. Afterward, Maegwin cries herself to sleep.

Commentary

After so long an absence, I had hoped my first post upon my return would be filled with a bit more splendor than this. I had forgotten about this chapter though. Not that it’s a bad chapter by any stretch of the imagination, I just feel that it does very little to move the plot along, and doesn’t really even provide a lot of extremely useful insights for the readers. There are a few items to discuss though.

During Maegwin’s section, we see for the first time the two recurring elements that seem to haunt Maegwin throughout the series. The first of which is the fact that she is tall and strong for a woman; these facts are often commented on by those around her, much to her emotional and psychological detriment. The second is her thoughts on how Eolair perceives here. It is obvious that she cares for him, and seemingly obvious to her that he thinks of her as nothing but the princess, and provides her simple courtesies for that reason alone. Of course, as we find out through POVs with the count over the course of the series, that is not quite the case, but alas, their love and the various hurdles in their way are part of what is possibly the saddest arc in the entire story.

Those of us who have read the story also know that the Hernystiri hopes of Gwythinn coming to their aid to help fight Skali is unfortunately not how things will play out. But we’ll talk about that later.

Josua and Isgrimnur’s scene with Devasalles struck me on this reading of being pretty insignificant, other than for it setting up their following scene with Vorzheva and Sangfugol. We do get to hear a bit about Leobardis’ problems with his wife and son however, which will prove to be extremely significant later on. Isgrimnur doesn’t seem to think much of Devasalles (despite the stories of him being a pretty good swordsman). Is it Devasalles who later becomes a bit of a hero during the seige on Naglimund for holding one doorway against countless enemies before finally being cut down? I can’t remember…

Anyhoo, during their confrontation with Vorzheva, Isgrimnur plays a bit of the role of “the guy holding the prince back,” but you can tell even he is baffled at Vorzheva’s actions, especially when he must inform her that a conman such as Cadrach could have memorized priestly lines just for the sake of conning, and not because he was a priest. Which is wrong in regards to Cadrach – he was a priest of course, but it’s still pretty goofy of Vorzheva, someone who keeps the company of a prince, and has been involved in his councils, to be so easily fooled by someone – especially since we saw the scene where she paid him, and he was drunk, but used a pretty inadequate excuse to deter her line of questioning on the subject.

Sangfugol gets somewhat thrown into the middle of this argument/discussion, and has a few humorous lines and thoughts as is his way, but other than that, this section is still just setup for what will eventually become Isgrimnur’s major story arc throughout the series.

Tiamak’s scene is another that provides us just a bit of information about something important, without really giving us enough information to know what’s going on. We, as readers, know that Morgenes’ message to him was not specifically about his piece of Nisses’ parchment, but rather as a warning to him as a friend and potential future member of the League. Of course, this piece of parchment becomes extremely important later, and we (being savvy genre readers and all) can assume a lot from a passage from “Du Svardenvyrd,” especially since we just heard about it in the story for the first time a few chapters back. It’s a method authors use of enlightening the readers to let us know something the characters don’t know. That way, we can always be asking the characters in frustration, “Why are you doing this action?!?” only to shortly thereafter say to ourselves, “Oh yeah, it’s because you don’t know what I know.” Williams really excels in this type of – I don’t think the proper word is “foreshadowing” for this type of technique, but it’s what I’m going to use – to amp up the anticipation and anxiety in his stories.

And that’s about it for now. Let’s move on, shall we?

Chapter 36 – Fresh Wounds and Old Scars

Summary

The first night after Simon, Binabik, and their friends leave Naglimund is uneventful. They take a short break close to morning for sleeping and eating, and Binabik, Simon, and Sludig have a quick (and somewhat tense) discussion on where they are going and why. The next day and night are also uneventful, except that when Simon wakes up that morning, it is snowing, and he is in pain from riding a horse for several days now.

Simon dreams that night that he is yet again snagged in the great wheel, rolling along the earth. At the pinnacle, he sees a great white tree in the distance, then falls off the wheel…

Simon’s party comes across the deserted town of Hullnir, where it appears all the Rimmersmen have fled from “Skali and his ravens,” and the northern snows and slows have claimed the buildings. They can see Aldheorte to the south as they move through the ruins.

******

Princess Miriamele and Cadrach have been riding for a day and a half when they come to the site of where a grisly battle has recently taken place. Even the princess and Cadrach can tell that the battle, which took place between Hernystiri and Rimmersmen at the Inniscrich, went very poorly for the Hernystiri – most of the dead are their own. Miriamele asks Cadrach to say some prayers for the dead, but the “priest” will not do it, and attempts to hurry them on. Miriamele stops them though when she sees a living man against a tree. The two investigate and Cadrach recognizes the man as Count Arthpreas of Cuimhne in Hernystir. The man awakens long enough to question where he saved Lluth, then calls Cadrach “Paedric” before dying. Miriamele is curious about this, but Cadrach dismisses it as the delusions of a dying man, then the two bury him.

******

Simon and his companions circle the lake Drorshull on their way to the mountains. After another day of traveling, they make camp and discuss whether or not someone may be following, especially with Qantaqa acting funny. Grimmric sings a song that worries Sludig, but that gives Binabik a clue as to what they may actually be searching for – not the “Rhymer’s Tree,” but rather the “Rimer’s Tree,” or the Uduntree, a legendary tree made entirely of ice.

The next day, the group comes across the burned ruins of Haethstad, and are attacked by nine men, one of whom – man wearing a hound-shaped helmet – Sludig says was involved in the attack on Hoderund’s Abbey. The group runs into the trees on their horses, with the armored men chasing them. Simon gets separated from the others, then is knocked off his horse. The man in the dog helmet finds Simon and dares Simon to shoot him. The man’s horse is shot by someone not Simon, and when he turns to investigate, three Sithi are standing behind him, one with an arrow knocked and pointed at Simon’s head.

Commentary

Cliffhanger!

So this chapter starts as just one of those typical “traveling from point A to point B” chapters that authors sometimes have to use to get their protagonists from one place to another, but turns into something much more intriguing by the end. It is interesting that this chapter is divided the way it is between Simon’s and Miriamele’s travels – there is almost something poetic in the way they are both traveling at the same time in almost opposite directions, both heading on the journey that will bring both of them to their end-series’ level of maturity by the time they meet again. Both of them are going to go through some pretty horrific things, and have their own adventures, and neither thinks of each other yet – but as we will see during the next few dozen chapters about them, both will start thinking of each other much more often. But that is for later.

For now, there are a few interesting things that happen in this chapter. In Miriamele’s section, the most important two things are that A – we learn of the off-scene battle which took place between Hernystir’s and Skali’s forces, which I believe is where Lluth receives his mortal wound, and B – we learn that Cadrach has even more of a secretive past than we previously thought.

Cadrach brings up some very interesting points when he discusses why he will not pray for his fallen countrymen’s or the Rimmersmen’s souls. Does he pray for the pagan Hernystiri, who are his countrymen but do not believe in or worship the Aedonite god? Does he pray for the Rimmersmen, who culturally are Aedonites, but are obviously in the wrong for this particular atrocity? It creates an interesting disharmony if I do say so myself – I mean, I’m not going to talk about Real World Politics here or anything, but I’m pretty sure there are at least a few modern-day examples of similar-type conflicts that human beings should at least think about once in awhile. And while I personally believe Cadrach’s digression into the philosophy of mourning is more of an excuse for him not to get down on his knees and say a prayer to a god he no longer believes in, it is worth Miriamele thinking about, I should say – after all, she is relatively naive in a worldly sense, and could probably use some lessons in Ethics 101.

In the more northerly part of the world, Simon’s group has a few interesting philosophical discussions as well, though possibly not quite as enlightening as the one above. Sludig, upon finding the ruins of Hullnir, wants to hunt down Storfot, one of Skali’s men, and the likely perpetrator of the crimes against the various ruined villages they come across. Binabik, however, forces Sludig to remember his pledge to Isgrimnur, his liege lord, and recognize that there are greater atrocities afoot, even than the destruction of Rimmersgard and northern villages. Sludig doesn’t like having this pointed out to him, but understands the troll is right, and leaves the argument alone for now. We will learn over the course of the series that Sludig is a bit of a hothead, and is constantly trying to avenge some horror, fight some bully, and right some wrong. It’s very good of him (in the ethical sense), and I actually do believe there is room in our world (and especially in fantasy worlds) for justified vengeance and capital punishment. For instance, even setting aside the emotional reasons behind vengeance (the “he deserves it” argument), there can also be logical reasons, such as the argument that you may be (and likely are) stopping future crimes. Obviously, at the car-jacking or pick-pocketing level, such punishments do not hold water, but at the more genocidal level (such as burning and destroying an entire village, and likely killing people within if they are there), I personal don’t have much of a problem with it. Especially since you cannot really say Sharpnose or Storfot are engaging in specific acts of war – they are not even at war with anyone right now – they are making preemptive strikes. Hell, they’re not even doing that – preemptive strikes usually at least are part of some sort of assumed tactical advantage – take out a military base, take out food reserves, etc, etc. Why would they be making preemptive strikes against these back-ass snowy country towns? They’re not – they’re just committing “crimes against humanity.” So yeah, don’t really have much of a problem with Sludig’s notion of vengeance here, and his ideas of hunting Storfot down and slitting his throat (thought that’s probably not how I would do it).

However, at the end of the day, as Binabik points out, we’re very much talking about the “greater good” here – and murdering Storfot in the middle of the night isn’t going to help prevent the Storm King from killing all the humans on the planet. So yeah… not really sure where I was going with that?

So, Grimmric’s song makes Sludig upset, which in turn gets Sludig ranting about Udun, the Rimmer, etc, which gets Binabik to realize that they are not looking for the “Rhymer’s Tree,” but the Uduntree. The conversation between the two lists at least four different names for the tree all in one sentence, along with a bit of confusing yick-yack about Udun himself. It’s an instance of showing the loss in translation which happens between different languages, and thus adds a bit of realism to the world (all the different nations/cultures with different languages don’t happen to just all call something the same name, which is realistic). Them talking about this tree leads to a somewhat weird scene with Simon going into somewhat of a trance. I always thought this scene was supposed to be relevant in somewhat, but other than it just being about Simon thinking about the White Tree (which he does anyways), I don’t really know what it’s meant to signify, and thus the scene just seems… well, I’ve already said “weird,” I guess I don’t need to go any further on that.

When Simon eventually curled up that evening between the humped and mossy roots of a nearly leafless oak tree he was feeling a little better, although the wine made him think he heard voices singing strange songs on the wind.

I always took that sentence to mean exactly what it said – he thought he heard voices, possibly as a trick of the weather, wind whistling through the trees, all that stuff. However, going by what happens later in the chapter, does he actually hear Sithi singing?

Which leads us to the crux of this chapter, the attack of Ingen Jegger on Simon and his party. We get a tense few pages of Simon fleeing through the trees, dodging arrows, being saved at least once by Qantaqa, then confronting Jegger himself (not that he knows who it is yet). This is their first confrontation, and while Jegger doesn’t actually start monologuing per se, he does make a pretty stupid decision to dare Simon to shoot him – after all, by the laws of just rewards, the fact that he stood there with an arrow pointed at him, daring someone to shoot him, means that he will get shot, whether or not by the person he is daring. Of course, it is not him that is shot, it is his horse, which means that he’ll be back to bother us again later. Which is fine, since as I’ve said before, I think he makes for a suitable nemesis for Simon.

Hello An’nai! We’ll talk with you more later!

******

And, that’ll do for now. Welcome back folks, hope to see you again!

Lots of thingies coming up, just wanted to let people know if there is any interest.

Firstly (and in my opinion, most importantly), I will be restarting my re-read and analysis of Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn. I will pick up where I left off, doing shorter summaries, but just as much detail in the analysis.

Secondly, I am also reading through Tad Williams’ Shadowmarch series for the first time now, and have some thoughts on it, and plan to do a few blogs that are half-review/half-analysis of those as well.

Thirdly, I will be updating my Wheel of Time Casting Call with a few items that have been discussed a bit in the blog. It won’t be huge, but several characters’ actors are being changed after much thought and consideration, and I really need to create some sort of “Master List.”

Finally, as for the reason I have been extremely absent, this blog will also soon become the home of my original novel I have been working on for the last year or so, to be self-published in the not-too-terribly-distant future.

Cheers!

Hey, it’s me again. I feel like I do this a lot, huh? Anyway, for anyone who reads the other big thing on my blog, The Wheel of Time Casting Call, you’ll know I’m about to have some free Fridays. The Casting Call is ending, and I plan on taking its place with the MS&T Re-read. Sorry it’s been such a hectic schedule the last two months, but quite frankly, those two projects are too large to fit in the same week with each other, especially when I’m writing my own stories on the side, and am a full-time musician. So anyway, one more week, I promise, and MS&T will be back and ready for action.

Also, there may be a cool surprise for all you Tad Williams fans soon, collaborated between myself and Olaf Keith of A Gentle Madness. Keep an eye out for it!

Cheers,
Brandon Daggerhart

Hi, and welcome back to the Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn re-read and analysis! There may be false messengers in this post. Just sayin.’

So, New York kicked my ass, and this post is (obviously) coming out late. Also, you may notice there is only one chapter. It’s because it’s a very long chapter, and I was already late, so I figured we’d do it this way, and I may attempt three chapters next week. We’ll see how it goes.

As I say with each of the posts I make in this series, If you have never read this series before, and have somehow found this site by accident, there WILL BE MASSIVE SERIES-BREAKING SPOILERS throughout this re-read and analysis. I do not believe I can stress this enough. DO NOT read this if you have never read the series before, unless you just don’t mind knowing how a many-thousand-page epic series concludes. There will be Spoilers. The will be MANY Spoilers. You have been warned.

Let’s just jump right in, folks.

Chapter 34 – Forgotten Swords

Summary

Vorzheva and Josua have an argument in his chambers about him only wanting to study “old things,” and ignoring her. She leaves in a fury. Binabik, Jarnauga, and Strangyeard come to Josua’s chambers to speak about the mad prophet Nisses’ book, “the Weird of the Swords,” the book present in their dreams. They pull out Morgenes’ manuscript, believing it to have clues about their struggle, knowing that Morgenes made many preparations before his death about the coming events. Binabik reads from Morgenes’ work about the forging of three Great Swords – Camaris’ black sword Thorn, forged from a meteor; the Rimmersgard sword Minneyar (Memory), forged from the keel of ships out of the past; and Sorrow, forged from witchwood and iron, too antithetical ingredients. They then read a rhyme which Morgenes had included from Nisses’ book, which seems to imply that the three Great Swords will be necessary in combating the darkness of the upcoming days. They decide they must find the swords, but do not know where to look for them, other than Sorrow, which is out of their grasp for the time being. Josua sends for Isgrimnur, needing the duke to stand by his side when he tells of their new findings at the Raed that night, then they discuss that Pryrates’ must be behind Elias’ actions. Isgrimnur arrives, and they all discuss possible fates and locations of Minneyar and Thorn, but are unable to come up with anything solid – they break so that Binabik, Strangyeard, and Jarnauga can go back to searching the archives for more records.

Simon is hanging with Sangfugal and Towsesr, upset that he was not invited to this night’s council (and also upset that they previous made him come when he didn’t want to go). Isgrimnur walks by, and Towser and the duke reunite cheerfully, the duke explaining all that is going on, and it turns out Towser may know where Thorn is hidden. He demands to be taken before the prince to explain.

Once there, Towser tells the story of how in Camaris entrusted Thorn to his squire, Colmund, who used the sword to reforge his broken barony in the north, before taking a crew to the mountain Urmsheim to attempt to hunt down the legendary treasure of the ice dragon, Igjarjuk. Strangyeard remembers the story that Colmund made it at least as far as the monastery of Saint Skendi at Vestvennby, which gives them a starting place to look. Josua thinks for awhile and then asks Binabik to lead a crew to the north to attempt to discover Camaris’ sword Thorn. Binabik also asks if he may take Simon, so that along with Isgrimnur’s man Sludig, and “three or four others” from Josua, they will lead a small party, leaving the next night.

Simon is not very honored or pleased by Binabik’s assuming Simon would go on the trek. Binabik understands, and then gives Simon a ring entrusted to him by Morgenes – he wants Simon to have it now in case Binabik does not return from his journey. There is writing in the ring which neither Simon or Binabik understand, that says something about “death” and “Dragon.” Binabik then wishes that Simon would consider the matter of the journey, and hopes they will always remain friends.

Simon finds Miriamele, and discovers she is upset that Josua will not allow her to travel to Nabban to seek help from her uncle Leobardis. Simon then tells her he is leaving on the mission with Binabik, and may never return. Miriamele gives Simon her blue scarf to bear as “her standard,” then kisses Simon on the cheek and they part ways.

Vorzheva has a clandestine meeting with a monk, paying him for services yet unrendered, and tells him to be on his way.

The next evening, Simon and Binabik stand with Haestan (who didn’t want an untrained boy traveling north with naught a teacher), Ethelbearn, Grimmric (these are the three Josua has chosen to travel), and Sludi and prepare to leave. Jarnauga gives Binabik one last clue, that Colmund had left word at Skendi’s that he would be searching for the “Rhymer’s Tree,” which the party will search for. Simon ponders why he is heading out yet again, after having such a brief time in Naglimund, then gets seated on a horse for his first time. Josua then sees them off and they travel away into the darkness. High above them, at the Stile, the hunter Ingen Jegger sees them leave and gets ready to pursue them.

Commentary

Jeez, that was a long chapter. Seriously, I think it took me almost thirty minutes just to do my pre-analysis read-through. Then another thirty to go back and highlight important parts. Let’s see what we can figure out here.

I do not feel that Vorzheva is written as a very sympathetic character. Don’t get me wrong – I know it’s not cool of the prince to ignore his woman and treat her as a serving girl, but if she really has such an issue with priorities that she gets upset with Josua for talking about what may save the world instead of what will make her happy that evening, then I don’t think I particularly care how much he ignores her. Which is bad, because I know in hindsight that eventually (would that be hind-foresight?), she is meant to be a character that we like, respect, and cheer for. But right now, I just don’t really care about her. Especially since she is so obviously trusting of Cadrach, who at this point (being drunk and demanding money), doesn’t seem like the best person to send along with the princess – that’s just damned stupid, ya’ll.

In other news, how did the “Great Swords” get their name, and why was that name given to them? I mean, I know why they would be called the “Great Swords” in one sense – because they are all unique, powerful, and magical weapons that are all very “great.” However, all three of them were forged long before Ineluki’s plan to exact revenge on all the people of the world, and two of the three were forged long before there was even a human-Sithi conflict for Ineluki to worry about. The name “Great Swords” shows up in the mad prophet Nisses’ book, and are named thus by other scholarly types as well (such as Morgenes), and in the modern times, are very much associated with the Big Plan of defending against Ineluki’s evil (though, of course, it’s all really his big plan to begin with). But I never really get the feeling that we are explained exactly why these swords were implied to be specifically forged for this purpose, which is definitely what the books (and their name of “Great Swords”) seem to imply.

This, of course, leads us to the primary quest of the series – that is, recovering the MacGuffins Great Swords, so that the good guys can thwart the bad guys’ plans. The False Messenger makes his/its appearance again here, urging the heroes towards doom, death, and destruction, all while skillfully playing off as though they are instead searching for salvation. This reeks, to me, of Utuk’ku’s manipulations, but that still brings up the point that these plans of Ineluki’s and Utuk’ku’s seem to have originated a long, long time ago. Nisses was the priest during Hjeldin’s rule, which I believe was right after Fingil, which means that it was not long at all before Ineluki began planning his revenge. Granted, there is nothing inherently illogical about an undead Ineluki immediately trying to figure out how to screw over all the humans, but it seems as though the plans for the revenge came very quickly.

This also makes me wonder why Nisses ever wrote the book to begin with. I have some thoughts on this, and I figure I’m right (cuz I said so, that’s why), so what the hell, let’s pontificate for awhile. We know from the situation with Elias and Pryrates that people who walk the Road of Dreams can run into horrible beings like Ineluki, Utuk’ku, and the Red Hand. It’s just a fact that those beings seem to creep around in this place. Binabik comes to the conclusion (eventually) that Utuk’ku, especially, had been using the Dream Road for her purposes all along, and that’s when he figures out the whole False Prophet thing. Nisses, being a learned man who wanted to know things, probably knew of the Road of Dreams, and occasionally frequented it. Once there, he was probably coerced, forced, manipulated, or some-other-against-his-will-type-verb-ed into writing this book about the Swords, as Utuk’ku and Ineluki had forged their plans to release the Storm King and TURN BACK TIME! It’s even possible that, since Nisses was from Rimmersgard, he had been corrupted just by living too close to Stormspike. Anyway, after encountering the beings and writing the book, Nisses went (to use a scientific term) “quite effing looney,” (from seeing things which weren’t meant for mere mortals’ eyes) and offered his new-found knowledge to King Hjeldin. During this revealing-of-knowledge, the magical forces were either so powerful that the bewildered king simply fell off Hjeldin’s Tower while Nisses fell to the ground dead, or they both committed noble suicide to avoid what Elias would himself eventually become.

So that makes Nisses a hero. Cool, huh? Except that his writing of the book to begin with almost caused the destruction of everything. So not cool?

This chapter introduces two new characters who will be with us for a little while – Ethelbearn and Gimmric – as well as brings back into the story Sludig, who is pretty awesome through this and the next book, but becomes rather unfortunately unimportant by TGAT. Haestan’s reason for following along is to help train Simon, which seems a little goofy – aren’t there a lot more soldiers that will need training in Naglimund?

Finally, just because there was a lot of it for such an expositional chapter, let’s talk about various emotions covered in this chapter. According to Towser’s tale, Camaris grew very sorrowful after Ebbekah’s death. Some nice foreshadowing for the Big News that we eventually get about Camaris, Ebbekah, and Josua. The man goes to some pretty great extremes to eventually rid himself of that sorrow, by visiting the Sithi. It’s nice to see Isgrimnur, portrayed as the series’ “manly” man, have so much love and tenderness to his wife. And Simon calls the princess “Miri,” his first time using that shortened version (though possibly by accident?), which shows he’s already developed a more familiar relationship with the princess than he may even be aware of. He gets his first kiss from her as well, and it’s a very well-written scene. And Simon of course volunteers at this exact moment to go on the journey, because Miriamele will think it’s brave. Ahh, for young love.


Thanks for reading, don’t forget to follow Olaf Keith’s blog as he breaks down the history of Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn.

Cheers!
-Brandon Daggerhart

The second part in Olaf Keith’s Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn History talks about the cover art for the books and its various editions. Head that way for some awesome MS&T goodness!

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