Live-Read-Blog: The Other Lands – Book Three, Song of Souls

This is a continuation of Live-Read-Blog: The Other Lands – Book Two, On Love and Dragons.

Currently I’m finished. And I need the third book right now. Argh, another year!

It was a great read.

Damn it, another year….

There will be spoilers!
You have been warned.

There are totally spoilers here!
You have been warned.

Song of Souls

Chapter 35

You know, it’s hard to blame Rialus for being a snake. More of a weasel.

Chapter 36

The chapters involving Ushen Brae are slower than the rest at this point, but they need to be, and besides, they answer an awful lot of questions. Poor Mór.

Chapter 37

Fuck.

Chapter 38

Argh.

Chapter 39

Oh gods, Corinn. This so isn’t going to end well.

Chapter 40

… Benabe is going to kill everybody in that questing party, isn’t she.

Chapter 41

Devoth Lvin, mighty of the Auldek, friend of hummingbirds.

You know, I haven’t been bored by any of the plot threads so far. Not quite like A Feast for Crows, where Brienne’s sections eventually annoyed me all to heck.

I’ve also been thinking about all the slavery of Africans in history, and how badly it affected Africa’s stance in the world even now, through stealing genrations upon generations of talent and potential talent. And thinking about Acacia’s quota, and how that might also have affected their progress—though they seem fine progress-wise, even if it’s all pretty medieval (or not? Dunno).

Chapter 42

I think Melio is going to bite it, because the royal children don’t get nice things. Although he’s being a bit of an ass anyways.

Chapter 43

…. oh boy.

So, who’s going to win? Corinn’s paranoia or her feelings of sisterhood?

Right, who was I kidding. Delivegu’s lying ways are going to get Mena in serious hot water (fortunately Wren has apparently been forgotten. Or not). I hope the next time he shows up Corinn is gutting him.

Chapter 44

The emotional tide of the story is turning. And Dariel is now being silly in the right way. Although I had a hard time believing that he would act so haughty so long. It isn’t like him.

Chapter 45

I’d forgotten that the Meinish ancestors are also no more.

Corinn chapters always leave me so conflicted. It’s nice for a change.

Chapter 46

!!

Chapter 47

I wish Mena would stop trusting her sister. Well, she doesn’t always, but now is not the time.

Chapter 48

Entire League Council: blah blah posturing blah blah bitch won’t know what’s coming blah blah asking for it blah blah

Lethel: I will totally not fail you all just like my cousin did!

Reader: *eyeroll*

Fun chapter, though, and I do give them good odds for surviving and successfully playing all sides. They are rather good at that, except when they get full of themselves.

Chapter 49

The Known World is so screwed.

Chapter 50

This chapter is so beautiful that I forgive the Known World being screwed.

Chapter 51

Well, at least Corinn, smart girl, knows that she’s caused trouble and that she can’t see her way out of it—perhaps not alone.

And many things are now up in the air. Argh. In a good way.

[Fin.]

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6 thoughts on “Live-Read-Blog: The Other Lands – Book Three, Song of Souls

  1. Finished it last night too, staying up too late. Have to re-read and think, but:

    Characters:

    I was also dubious about Melio on first read.

    And about Dariel being all “I’m royalty!” But it’s been 9 years since we last saw him.

    And about (early) Corinn thinking Rialus is good for anything. What?

    Corinn, coming off too nice considering everything for much of the book?

    –I think the problem with her romance, which I absolutely did not believe at first, is that she is not being introspective about that, there isn’t anyone else nearby to observe her properly, and Durham doesn’t do the kind of third-person narration that would convey what’s going on emotionally when the character doesn’t want to think about it. (I think she doesn’t love what’s-his-face, she wants a break and companionship and so for, but she can’t tell herself that.)

    Plot:

    Oh em gee STUFF HAPPENING. Wow.

    Just to pick the last one: Aliver? Seriously? I did not expect that.

    Theme:

    Children children children. So much so and so thoroughly that I have wonder if it’s a spoiler to say so.

    This is me, dumping my 11:00 thoughts out on your blog!

  2. Yay, I enjoy your thoughts on my blog! :)

    I think we can have minor spoilers in the comments. I’ve taken away the comment box for the time being for extra safety so people don’t fast-forward to comments by mistake, and the big spoiler warning at the top of this post should be enough.

    Characters:

    On Melio: Melio, Melio, Melio. Why must you be so… one of my unfavorite characters right now (though not someone I hate). I seem to like mentor-style secondary characters, as he was in the first book. Now he just wants to get a kid. Which I suppose is understandable in a way, but like, dude, your girlfriend has to fight frickin’ Numrek now or nobody’s kids are going to survive for very long in the Known World. Not the time to screw with pregnancy and kids!

    Haughty!Dariel: It has indeed been a long while for Dariel, and he was kind of learning a little bit from Corinn during all those years, so yeah, that would explain it. Also it gave him a little bit of character arc while keeping him youthfully silly, ’cause he sure doesn’t develop that way.

    Corinn’s opinion of Rialus: I think she just assumed he was good at surviving after all the times the Numrek could have killed him in the first book, and she did have him do that final task to finish off the Mein, so that ties him closer to her, such that she might be a little excused for being near-sighted.

    I think Corinn is just overwhelmed at this point. In some ways she’s not experienced enough. And in other ways, she is extremely experienced. The interaction of those two sides interests me quite a bit, and perhaps explains the really sideways affair with Grae and the somewhat strange attraction to Delivegu (ICK). I just… don’t know if her meeting Shen is going to work out.

    Plot:

    Yeah, I thought Aliver was… and now goodness gracious oy vey. Is it going to blow out or is it going to get weird and then blow out or is it going to get weird and completely blow our minds?

    And Shen?

    And practically all the stuff that happened in the Other Lands, except maybe for Neen biting it?

    Speaking of Shen, I feel sorry for Kelis, and hope that he finds someone in book three, and doesn’t bite it. Love, it seems, is even more fickle when you’re gay.

    And also: Wren should hope that Mòr is simply gay rather than bisexual, not that she knows about Mòr.

    Theme:

    Children: Everyone thinks of the children. Including in not so good ways. In some ways it’s a reflection on what happened to the royal sibs in the first book; and a reflection on immortality; in other ways it’s a surprising motive for a lot of people I wouldn’t have expected it of.

    I’m not sure about how some of the children are going to turn out, even if they’re still in the womb. I mean, I even worry about the giant vegetarian flying lizard-bird’s children! Ye gods. And I mean even Rialus. Rialus! Having kids! How are the genetics going to work out with that, much less the nurture?

    And… and is Aaden going to be okay? I’ve been worried sick about him from the first time his name appeared on the page. I’m scared for people who meet a Corinn who’s lost her kid.

    And the thing with Barad is just not going to turn out well. I feel it in my bones. But almost everything else has gone straight to hell, so that might be a minor worry.

    I tend not to re-read high emotional impact books so soon after. I might hit highlights (and I certainly am glad that all the annotations on my Kindle get backed up even if I nuke the book from it) but otherwise it just… whoa. To this day I still can’t read A Storm of Swords.

    Speaking of which, I haven’t really had an OMG THE RED WEDDING moment in the Acacia trilogy (although there’s plenty of time for one to show up in the next book). I don’t know how I would exactly define an OMG Red Wedding Moment; I think I’ll know it when I see it. It must have something to do with being utterly convinced in less than one chapter that one sympathetic side out of many is now just dead for reals. Like, “wiped out, every major and minor and secondary and even tertiary character dead but the plot goes on quite well with the remaining five sides” type thing. Whereas in Acacia one is pretty certain that the Akarans, or at least two major ones, are going to live to the end, because otherwise there’s no story left. I think, but I’ve been really wrong before.

    Although the fact that OMG PLOT TURNING POINT is much more concentrated in Acacia than Song of Ice and Fire may be noising out any particular OMG Red Wedding Moment.

  3. Oh, sorry, I couldn’t imagine anyone would be reading comments here who hadn’t read the book.

    In no particular order:

    Shen! Who is a fake-out for Aliver coming back, but is also awesome herself. (“Oh, they thought I had to be a boy but they were wrong”–less awesome.)

    I thought Kelis was het with an except-Aliver clause. But regardless: yay, not universal heterosexuality!

    And *poof*, no more Aklun, whoa. (Except maybe not? I was reading too fast, I’m not sure I understand who was whispering to Corinn, must go back and check.)

    There are a *lot* of threads in play here. I mean, on the highest level, right now it’s hemisphere v. hemisphere, with empire v. self-determination apparently having been shoved aside, but that’s got to come back, *and* Imminent Evil Sorcerors v. everyone else is on deck. Most of which is inextricably intertwined with personal conflicts.

    Lot of stuff to digest . . . but now I have job-work to do. Alas.

  4. Agree about Shen!

    And, hmm, perhaps you’re right about Kelis. Things can work out that way; human sexuality, not simple at all!

    I find it hard to believe that there aren’t, like, doubting Lothan Aklun who would have not rubbed that poison all over their bodies, so there must be a few left. But their lands were pretty deserted, so I’m unsure either. Also there was the mention of evil sorcerers from other dimensions (!) and I think also Cthulu-esque monsters. The Lothan Aklun are relatively small fish compared to them (eek). The worm of the world that Corinn sees/feels may actually be literal.

    Perhaps it’s not a wonder that some historians seem to be writing the best complex-plot novels, inside or outside of genre. They capture the ambiguity and messed-up-ness of history in ways that other writers don’t seem able to—while at the same time being able to tell a coherent story. Difficult balance there. G.R.R.M. making a serious study of the middle ages and the War of the Roses and all that, David Anthony Durham publishing and I think even writing historical novels before Acacia, etc. Of course, everyone has weaknesses and strengths, but for me it’s hard to think of a weakness where this kind of successful epic, complex writing is concerned.

    I’ve got an unusual weekend with respect to light work as regards Teh Day Job, but this week has been rather hard (launch every zig! I mean it! Every zig! For great justice and better service to our customers!) so I gotta go back to sleep. Zzz.

  5. On re-reading while holding a feverish SteelyKid:

    Corinn thinks in the last chapter that to bring Aliver back, she has to “take from her family’s blood.”

    I am suddenly very very worried about Wren’s pregnancy.

  6. … oy vey. I hadn’t thought of that. I was hoping Corinn had forgotten, but probably she hasn’t… and that is… not good.

    Since last I read this, I’ve been thinking about how the civilizations in the Other Lands are quite developed, but Acacia itself is still in the medieval ages; and the slavery of the children has quite a lot to do with that. That’s an analogue to Africa and slavery and technological development as well.

    But then, Acacia has the Book. So at least Acacia has a fighting chance. Or something.

    Another year!!

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