I love this exchange at the beginning of the chapter. We actually don’t get many scenes in the book where Hrathen gets to interact with Sarene, let alone her friends. The dialogue in this section is rather spiffy, if I do say so myself. The exhanges feel quick, poigniant, and telling of character.
One part of that is probably due to the pair of extremely good metaphores Hrathen makes during the scene. The crushing mountain, the bird banging its head against a stone–these are didactic metaphores, exactly the kind of thing you’d expect a priest to say. He places them quite keenly, and his oration has an effect on Sarene and the others. I’d call this scene the final cap of Hrathen’s victories during the last few chapters.
By the way, I’m still fond of the fact that Hrathen is more skilled a warrior than Eondel. Eondel’s good, but he’s not in the same league as a warrior-priest. Besides, Eondel is a leader, trainer, and general–his skillset is different than Hrathen’s. If the two were to spar, Hrathen would win nearly every time.
Interestingly, this is one of the first real action sequences we’ve gotten in the book. So far, all we’ve really had are: the fencing match between Sarene and Eondel, the place where Hrathen fights off Shaor’s men, and a couple of short battles between Raoden’s men and Shaor’s wildmen. Really not very much. I’m quite proud, actually, of how well I managed to keep up the tension and pacing in a book without much physical action.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that I’m not a sucker for some good action. Go read MISTBORN if you want to see what I mean.
You get a couple nice foreshadowing hints here. First, there’s the scene that reminds us that–for some reaosn–Kiin’s family knows an awful lot about Elantrians. We’ve gotten other hints, but they were back a long time ago. The one I remember best is when Sarene was with the twins on the wall. Kaise and Daorn had some things to say about Elantrians that surprised Sarene, I think.
Also, notice that Ahan is with Telrii. Though it’s presented that the group decided that he should go see Telrii, the actual backsory is that Ahan manipulated himself into the position. It’s just another small clue as to what he’s planning to do.
I think this final scene with Sarene in bed is much more powerful since I didn’t show the actual conversation with Eventeo. Having it begin with a depressed Sarene, the Seon link dissapearing, leaves an air of meloncholy on the scene that is more telling than the sense of sorrowful confrontatoin that would have come from having Eventeo explain himself to Sarene.
Obviously, poor Eventeo isn’t in a very easy position. I didn’t want him to have an easy answer; I think this is a very difficult decision for him to make, and I don’t really think there is an obviously right answer–even though Sarene thinks that there is. We’ll see later that Sarene doesn’t look at things the same way a person who actually has to be a leader does.
I wish I could have made Eventeao a viewpoint character–he goes through a lot of conflict and trouble in the book. Unfrotunately, there’s never enough room to do all the things that you want to, and I like how tight the book feels with only having the rotating viewpoints.