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Friday, November 11, 2011

The Purifying Fire - Chapter 15

Done with Diraden!

The Purifying Fire - Chapter 15

The plan is quite risky, and Gideon has his doubts, but Chandra doesn't see any other options. The king says he still has the ability to make himself look like Gideon and vice versa. All he needs is a bit of Gideon's blood. He's lived too long and is ready to die, and if his death can ruin his son's plans that makes it all the better. Once he's kill the shroud that creature perpetual night and blocks their magic will be lifted.

(I'd suspect betrayal... but there are only twenty chapters to this book. They need to get off this detour and back to the main story.)

As for how they'll transport the blood from one cell to another... he says Chandra will have to use her mouth.


Chandra wonders if the crazy king is just making up a story to be able to put his tongue in her mouth. When she takes a look at the pallid, old man... she understands they have to go through with the plan, but under no circumstances is she going to deliver blood from one cell to the other using his suggestion.

(Now we know where Velrav gets his sleaziness.)

...Days later...

Chandra nearly bursts with anticipation as she waits for the plan come to fruition.

It was a relief when one of the nameless castle guards finally came to escort her to a wing of the castle she had never seen. He led her into an oval room without appointment save a long stone table at one end. The plane of the table slanted toward the middle of the oval at a sharp angle. Four straps were positioned at the corners, presumably to hold something, or somebody, in place. She was placed at the opposite end of the room and made to stand in a slight depression covered with a metal grate.

Gideon, or what looks like Gideon is brought into the room by some of the guards, with more bruises than the last time she saw him. Then more guards come through the door. With the king. What's going on?

Prince Valrev walks in and introduces his father. He says he knows of their plan, and now it simply won't work. The king has been brought to witness his son's transformation. Gideon says that the king came in right after their meeting and beat the secrets out of him. With the failure of their plan, the way that everything is going wrong at every turn, and the king's insane laughter fills the room to top it all off and Chandra just can't take it anymore.

Everything slowed down when she got this way. She felt like she was moving outside of time as the power bloomed in the base of her skull, as the fierce flower she’d been missing filled her head and her hair became a raging halo of fire. Her fists became torches, her feet lit with alchemical intensity. She spread her arms wide, her shackles a molten puddle on the floor beneath her as she began to levitate.

Chandra brings her hands together and a sword of flame appears. With a quick spin and a slice, the prince's head is cut from his body. The king walks over to it and pat's his son's face one last time, then the grabs hold of Chandra's sword and impales himself with it before she can get over her shock to react.

(More on this later.)

Chandra helps Gideon up and they both feel mana returning to the world. Gideon asks what she did, and she tells him that she's never done that before. Never made a sword of flame. But who really cares? It's time they get out of there. Chandra suggests they go to Regatha and Gideon says he'll follow.


They get back. Lie on the grass. Chandra sits up and says that maybe she shouldn't be here. She wants to take Gideon with her but she's not sure his particular brand of magic will be welcome at Keral Keep. She looks at the woods and realizes she can take him there.

Before they can get going, Samir appears. He's shocked to see the state of Gideon and scolds Chandra for whatever it was she did to him. She protests, then Samir gets a second look at Gideon. He realizes he's seen him before. At the Temple of Heliud.

"Yes, that's right," Gideon said, his voice calm, his expression impassive. "I hope you’ve been well since then, Samir?"

* * *

How Convenient, Part 1

So in a plane of no red mana... all Chandra has to do is get angry and everything is fine and dandy? It's not like this is a mental block or some other kind of personal limitation. The lack of mana is an aspect of the environment. It's not like Chandra is one of the planeswalkers of old that could generate mana.

And it looks like there will never be any explanation for this. The very helpful Troacctid explains the lack of explanation in the comments to Chapter 14.

So at this point, I guess it would be worth mentioning that chapters 14 and 15 were not written by Laura Resnick. The manuscript she sent in had completely different things happening. For whatever reason, Wizards didn't like it, and they had another writer in-house re-do this chapter and the next one completely from scratch before the book was published. If anything feels out-of-place in these two chapters, or if you notice any *cough cough* unexplained plot holes in *cough* Chapter 15, you can safely point the finger at meddling editors.

Source: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75842/18888530/Purifying_Fire_author_Q38;A&post_num=353#322060286

^ That's the interview Laura Resnick did on the WotC forums after this book was released. (There's no spoilers in the post I linked to, but I make no guarantees about the rest of the thread.)

(Note: I'm also not confirming if there are or are not any spoilers in the thread. I've read a few posts in there but I don't be going back to read it until I'm done with the book. I would have loved to have seen how they escaped Diraden by non-magical means though.)

How Convenient, Part II

Samir just happened to appear exactly where they planeswalked to? It really wouldn't have been that hard to have Chandra decide to seek out Samir's help to clean up their wounds would it? It could have easy been written to take up the same basic space and seem more natural rather than exposing the mechanics of writing and putting a spotlight on the fact that they needed Chandra and Gideon to run into Samir so he could reveal some new information.

With that said, I'm glad we're done with Diraden. I liked everything to do with Jurl, but as for Prince Varlev... not so much. (Which I now know isn't because of Resnick.

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