November 18, 2018, 06:44:36 PM

Author Topic: Part 1: Ghosts of the Citadel, Ch 1-12  (Read 4138 times)

Offline JMack

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Part 1: Ghosts of the Citadel, Ch 1-12
« on: June 25, 2016, 03:07:08 AM »
Post your thoughts on Part 1 here!

« Last Edit: June 25, 2016, 11:05:09 AM by Jmack »
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Offline Lanko

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Re: Part 1: Ghosts of the Citadel
« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2016, 03:20:53 AM »
Slow and steady wins the race.

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Offline Eli_Freysson

Re: Part 1: Ghosts of the Citadel, Ch 1-12
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2016, 10:26:23 PM »
Well, I finished the twelfth chapter today, and I feel this book is off to a FINE start.

I can't remember if I've ever read an actual fantasy dungeon crawl in any novel not set in a D&D setting, so that was an interesting sight.  :) The worldbuilding certainly holds my interest, and while in my mind writing characters who are less than morally upstanding while still making them sympathetic can easily go wrong, I feel The Copper Promise succeeds at it. The main characters all bring enough to the table to be interesting, with promise of developments to come.

That is also QUITE the *Nice Job Breaking it Hero* moment by Frith there, and I'm curious to see where it leads. But, y'know, can't blame him for wanting his body fixed.

On to the next portion.
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Offline tebakutis

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Re: Part 1: Ghosts of the Citadel, Ch 1-12
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2016, 04:45:13 PM »
Read the first chapter on my phone, since it became available today. It actually read more like a prologue, though it wasn't called a prologue! :) It does a good job establishing the person (I assume) will be our antagonist. Looking forward to reading more.

Offline m3mnoch

Re: Part 1: Ghosts of the Citadel, Ch 1-12
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2016, 05:53:19 PM »
yay!  i started!  i started!

Offline tebakutis

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Re: Part 1: Ghosts of the Citadel, Ch 1-12
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2016, 06:34:53 PM »
Stopped at the beginning of Chapter 8 for now. My questions/observations at this juncture:

Spoiler for Hiden:
- I'm curious how Firth escaped the torture in the prologue. I suspected it was him as soon as we saw his missing ear, and had it confirmed a bit later, but now I'm wondering how he survived. Looking forward to seeing that revealed.

- The Culcuss tanks made me think of cloning vats, which makes me wonder if the book is going the post-apocalyptic fantasy route (ala Shannara and Terry Brooks) ... there's still ancient science experiments locked away from the time before the world's history was lost. But it could just be magical cloning tanks. :p

- Agree with Eli that the book has a D&D adventure vibe to it (so far) but not in a bad way. It certainly reads like a dungeon crawl, but there's nothing intrinsically wrong with that if it's done well.

- Loved the idea of the single crazy surviving god EATING the other ones. Heh.

- Pretty sure Gallo isn't Gallo. Given the end of Chapter 2 and what happened to his guide, I'd be truly surprised if he made it away, alive, from whatever killed the guide. So the unlikelihood of his survival, combined with Frith's "That is definitely him?" tells me "Gallo" is actually a doppleganger of some sort. We'll see if I'm right.

Offline tebakutis

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Re: Part 1: Ghosts of the Citadel, Ch 1-12
« Reply #6 on: July 06, 2016, 03:01:32 PM »
Thoughts, having completed Part 1:

Spoiler for Hiden:
Stuff I Enjoyed
- I was right about Gallo! But it was pretty obvious, which means the writer did a good job of setting it up.

- Good fight scene, and I love the snake warrior ladies.

- Holy **** they woke up an Elder God. That's a good way to open a book.

Stuff I Didn't Quite Get
- I was a bit confused by the actual rules behind releasing Y'Ruen. Initially, the Culoss said the god would only be released if Sebastian died. I went back and checked, and the quote was "When the last of this man's lifeblood falls onto the stones of the Citadel, Y'Ruen's prison will finally be broken".

So, I assumed that if Sebastian died, that would be the final trigger that released Y'Ruen. That's why they wanted to get Sebastian in the healing goop, so he wouldn't die. But Sebastian didn't die (he's still alive when they leave the temple, even without being healed) even after Frith stole the once every decade healing for himself. So why was Y'Ruen still released? Did the Culoss get it wrong?

Right now, I'm not sure if Frith stealing the goop is actually responsible for Y'Ruen's release or not, since the Culoss seemed confused about what would actually allow Y'Ruen to be released. It seems like she was crawling out once they broke the seals on the jars, regardless of if Sebastian died or not. So my thinking is that the Culoss didn't quite understand the seals the mages created, which seems reasonable.

Offline m3mnoch

Re: Part 1: Ghosts of the Citadel, Ch 1-12
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2016, 05:16:04 PM »
finished up chapter 12 last night.

thoughts in general:
Spoiler for Hiden:

i would swear this is a story about jen's d&d characters.  speaking as a d&d guy, i LOVE that.

the prose is light and jouncy.  often, the content is dark and grim.  it's a weird juxtaposition.

uh...  i still don't get why the guards are guarding something that kills anyone who enters.

totally called the gallo thing.  you did a great job telegraphing his creepiness.  i was practically screaming "don't trust him, dammit!!!" at the book.  nicely done.

man, i hated frith when he jumped in the lake, but was like, "he's so badass" when the mages couldn't destroy him.

i'm waiting for wydrin and frith to hook up.  angry sex ftw.

edit:  forgot to add, i love all the hints at sebastian being gay.  i predict crass jokes from wydrin about it the whole way through the rest of the series.

« Last Edit: July 07, 2016, 05:21:33 PM by m3mnoch »

Offline Lanko

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Re: Part 1: Ghosts of the Citadel, Ch 1-12
« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2016, 03:25:16 AM »
Just finished Part I.

I liked the first chapter and how the group met, with all their different backgrounds.

Also... Ynnsmouth. Hah, that reference. I'm wondering if I missed others. From that point onwards, couldn't get that Lovecraftian feeling away from the creatures, the world and the Citadel. The dragon is even an ancient imprisoned goddess with a reptlian army!

Thoughts I had and from some of tebakutis and m3m thoughts:

Spoiler for Hiden:
1) I actually didn't get Gallo being corrupted until he snapped at the jars. And he actually survived the ordeal, if I remember right.

2) About the dragon being released: I'm sure the Coloss were referring Y'Ruen would be free not specifically because of Sebastian, but because there would be human blood or death directly caused by her inside the Citadel, a sacrifice that would seal the deal. Sebastian was the only one in danger of dying, so that's why they were all worried about him.

But he didn't die (at least not inside the Citadel) and his wound was covered. And then Wrydin points out the four guards actually died when Frith cast his spell and they all fell into the Citadel, which simply replaced Sebastian's blood/deaths with theirs.

This can be indeed a bit tricky to fully understand, as we are led to believe both Seb's death and blood are important. So the blood wouldn't matter if he died. Since it's not fully clear, we can have some possibilities:

The deaths of the guards were caused by Frith's spell, not Y'Ruen. And simply dieing inside the Citadel couldn't have caused her full release, as tons of humans were killed by the "guardians". So when their corpses fell, Y'ruens minions could have simply harvested the blood. But maybe releasing the seals could have altered that by any human death, which was why the snake army went after the group.

Another explanation could be that the mages stole power from the gods, Y'Ruen included, so the magic Frith used and killed the guards was also a part of her, which indirectly had the same effect as Sebastian dieing or the group dieing by the snake minions.

One thing I didn't get was why Gallo ran away. If he was mind controlled, then why would Y'Ruen try to preserve her minion and not use him to try to also wound Frith and Wrydin as badly as possible to either have more people in risk of drying or to prevent them from saving Sebastian. Without caring for his life, she could have just used him with a careless, suicide approach to surprise the other two.

3)The Guards and the Citadel: I think whoever is in power saw an opportunity for easy profit with the ruins. They are sure there's nothing there, but requiring bribes to politicians and guards gives the impression there's something there, and if you find it, it's yours. Of course, it's a total illusion and the bribes become easy money for fooling people that want treasure and glory easy and fast. That was actually very creative, playing with people's delusions.

The thing is, it's extremely hard to pull off the "place of public knowledge that contains great power/magic/artifact/weapon/whatever and everyone leaves it alone."

In games, say, Skyrim, this works with ease. As the player, we are the major acting factor, by our own will or paid with a quest by someone else, so nobody really cares that are so many ruins with plenty of treasure in front of everyone that are simply left alone despite the Nords and their conquerors having tons of soldiers doing pretty much nothing. One would think that after decades of imperial conquest, they would have mapped and ransacked everything already, right?

In books this is way harder, as we don't see the characters as NPCs lurking around the same place and way for our convenience.
The Well of Ascension or the location of the Elderings in Mistborn and Farseer Trilogy worked because they were secret locations, known only to very few people and it was still partial information.
One was not even in the place everyone thought it was (a very clever and amusing thing done, showing how people would protect/guard their secrets) and the other, despite everyone saying was an unknown region, the characters reach it within 3 days on foot... but in this region there is a secret area accessible only to those with a special skill. So even when the place becomes known to a lot of people, they can't do anything about it anyway.

So I guess the guards, even if not the intention, worked both as "there must be something there" and "there's nothing there and the king is just making some easy money out of some fools, don't go there".
Of course, nobody comes out alive. But why wouldn't the king or whoever sends a small army down there to map the thing or capture one of the creatures to interrogate it, learn from it? Gallos had a map, after all. Maybe they didn't want to risk disturbing anything, since it never seemed to cause trouble for the kingdom/city. But foreigners wouldn't have that problem.

I think what made it work is that Jen, aside from the traps/guardians, also described it as a giant maze of similar corridors and such, and the only way they reached the point of interest in a matter of minutes instead of months was because they had the mind controlled guide lead them exactly where the dragon wanted the group to be.

So considering all the difficulty/trouble/questions the Citadel being public knowledge could raise, it was handled reasonably well. Because it would be simply easier to make it a secret place and have Frith know where it was because of some secret noble map (instead of it being Gallo's) and just hire the group along his way, with them getting separated/injured and then Gallo getting mind controlled.

4) On that vibe, if Gallo was being mind controlled/influenced, and the magic was gone, I wonder if the feast was just an illusion, and I was imagining what the group really ate and drank. Creepy, hm?

5) Yeah, as others mentioned, I'm seeing beds creaking because of Wydrin/Frith... As she said herself, opposites attract.

6) Also curious how Frith escaped. Well, my theory is that his captor also had a thing going on for him... Who said seducing guards only works for the ladies?  ::)


Damn, that was...long. Didn't even notice until I finished hah.
 
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Offline SJBudd

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Re: Part 1: Ghosts of the Citadel, Ch 1-12
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2016, 01:26:07 PM »
Just finished chapter 12!

It's a really strong start. I absolutely love Wydrin and the fact she just openly takes the piss out of Frith and yes @m3mnoch I can see they getting together too!

I love how a lot of the charaters are female such as Wydrin, Y'Ruen and her snake lady warriors.

I saw the Gallo betrayal coming too, but it was done well. I was positively screaming at the book - stop opening the jars!

I couldn't believe stabbed Sebastian I really thought he was going to die and was nooo I like him it's only page 67 but he seems ok now.

I can't work out if I like Frith or not yes. I feel sorry for him because he was tortured etc but I also get the impression that he's a dark horse and like Gallo, he's not to be trusted! And yes, I'm very curious as to how he escaped too!




Offline Justan Henner

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Re: Part 1: Ghosts of the Citadel, Ch 1-12
« Reply #10 on: July 12, 2016, 02:48:22 PM »
Finished Chapter 12 last night. It's very well written, but not really to my tastes so far.

Offline Nino

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Re: Part 1: Ghosts of the Citadel, Ch 1-12
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2016, 06:19:01 PM »
Starting off with a torture scene, interesting choice...mmm...

And I enjoyed chapter 2 a lot. Some suspense, a bit of light humour... I could easily imagine this. Nice.

I'm still busy with chapter 3, so I'll leave and read some more comments in a little while.

Offline NightWrite

Re: Part 1: Ghosts of the Citadel, Ch 1-12
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2016, 07:45:20 PM »
A bit behind, but still got it done. Admittedly I don't have much to add at the moment.

I'm enjoying the interactions so far between the characters, though like @SJBudd I'm not sure how much I trust Frith. I too am curious of his means of escape though. Perhaps it was less of a "he got away" and more a "we'll let him go and follow him to the vault" kind of thing?

Offline Nino

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Re: Part 1: Ghosts of the Citadel, Ch 1-12
« Reply #13 on: July 17, 2016, 04:49:36 PM »

thoughts in general:
Spoiler for Hiden:

uh...  i still don't get why the guards are guarding something that kills anyone who enters.

totally called the gallo thing.  you did a great job telegraphing his creepiness.  i was practically screaming "don't trust him, dammit!!!" at the book.  nicely done.



Spoiler for Hiden:

With the guards I understood it the other way around. That they were not keeping what was inside safe, but more as a civil duty from the city's side to keep the people of the city from wandering in there and getting killed. And then there is the added bonus of taking bribes from those who would stop at nothing to get in.

And yes! I agree with the Gallo thing, I was also practically screaming at them to not trust him, "isn't it obvious that it isn't him!"

Offline Nino

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Re: Part 1: Ghosts of the Citadel, Ch 1-12
« Reply #14 on: July 17, 2016, 04:56:27 PM »
Also I have to say that I am enjoying this book much more than I expected to from just reading the back cover blurb.

I like the fact that it is all contained with not too many characters and names as well as being quite contained location wise in the first section.

Enjoying the main characters a lot, and I'm even finding the warrior women interesting.

And since I have a small child in the house the short chapters really work for me, and I always feel that I can quickly sneak in another chapter without losing the thread of the story by having to stop in the middle of a chapter.