October 20, 2020, 01:03:49 AM

Poll

Hmm

Great book love everything about it
3 (33.3%)
Disappointed with everything about the book , don’t get the love for it
1 (11.1%)
Great book up until the ending
3 (33.3%)
Other and Jmack a very beautiful man
2 (22.2%)

Total Members Voted: 9

Author Topic: Sixteen ways to defend a city ending poll (spoilers)  (Read 591 times)

Offline eclipse

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Sixteen ways to defend a city ending poll (spoilers)
« on: August 22, 2020, 08:31:40 AM »
I thought it was great but the ending didn’t work for me.
According to some,* heroic deaths are admirable things

* Generally those who don't have to do it.Politicians and writers spring to mind

Jonathan Stroud:Ptolmy's Gate

Offline Nora

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Re: Sixteen ways to defend a city ending poll (spoilers)
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2020, 12:05:17 PM »
I picked the first choice, which was a little too strong though. I didn't love the book, I liked it. And the ending was surprising but likeable enough.
"She will need coffee soon, or molecular degeneration will set in. Her French phrasing will take over even more strongly, and soon she will dissolve into a puddle of alienation and Kierkegaardian despair."  ~ Jmack

Wishy washy lyricism and maudlin unrequited love are my specialty - so said Lady_Ty

Offline cupiscent

Re: Sixteen ways to defend a city ending poll (spoilers)
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2020, 01:06:31 AM »
It amuses me that this conversation is going on alongside the Baru Cormorant discussion because both are endings that seem to polarise the readership, and I love both of them. I'm trying to find the best words to wrap around my "I like endings that" statement that encompasses both of them. I think it goes something like: I like endings that do the thing they've been hammering towards all along, but that you wish desperately they'd been able to avoid, even if it would have been unrealistic/out of character for that to happen. I find that sort of "unavoidable tragedy" arc really interesting when done well.

For me, Sixteen Ways was a really satisfying one of those. I know the thread is tagged for spoilers but I'll cut anyway. :)
Spoiler for Hiden:
I see the key tension of the book as the conflict between Orhan's defense of the City(/Empire), and the Empire's treatment of him. So when we get that climactic moment of the reinforcements arriving, the massive relief is cut with the dismissal of Orhan himself. And it's both an outrage and entirely expected--tension is released in bitter irony.

I must admit, I assume the very ending is him trying to flee the city after all, and getting injured partly because of that ongoing prejudice. And writing/dictating his story because no one else will bother remembering he was involved, non-human as he is. Which also raises questions about what he's chosen to include/exclude in the tale, what his objectives are... but those are questions raised, not answers given, and I feel like that's the point.
Anyway, I'm certainly not saying it's perfect, but I found it really satisfying and interesting.

Offline eclipse

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Re: Sixteen ways to defend a city ending poll (spoilers)
« Reply #3 on: August 23, 2020, 07:46:42 AM »
Mixed results in the poll ;D all we can agree on is that jmack is beautiful and has a lovely jawline and that I’ve been reading http://fantasy-faction.com/forum/fantasy-book-discussion/gendered-descriptions-in-books/msg207666/#msg207666 this topic.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2020, 07:50:15 AM by eclipse »
According to some,* heroic deaths are admirable things

* Generally those who don't have to do it.Politicians and writers spring to mind

Jonathan Stroud:Ptolmy's Gate

Offline S. K. Inkslinger

Re: Sixteen ways to defend a city ending poll (spoilers)
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2020, 04:48:15 AM »
Alright, I've let my thoughts stew for a day and have come to the conclusion that that ending SUCKED! Big time too. (Man I wish I could go back and change my vote for this poll)

First of all it's sad as hell. Orhan didn't even get the chance to tell Aichma that she was his daughter before he died. But then, I guess it's one of the few possible options for Orhan's ending, though. He have pissed off so many people in the city ever since he came in charge (politicians, the Themes, the common people, even probably the Watch and etc.). Even if he did survived that arrow he probably would've been killed by one of them either way (because of his changes or because of his association with Ogus)

He's such a fool, though *cries*, Orhan had more than half a dozen chances to escape, whether from not entering the city at all or escaping through Ogus or ships coming in through the city. Instead he did such an utterly heroic and idiotic thing by staying and helping the city against the siege, and for what? No one would remember or appreciate him in the slightest. (As made even more evident by the synopsis for How to Rule an Empire and Get Away with it)

The ending I would've preferred would be for Orhan to open the gates of the City to Ogus and then ruled as joint emperors. With Orhan's personality that probably wasn't possible, though. (I probably would've given the book with that ending a 5 stars)

What really pisses me off about the whole thing was that K. J. Parker decided to write another book, set in the same city, the same setting, with the same dishonest, unreliable protagonist in the sequel novel. If he was going to keep most of the things the same (including the protagonist), why don't he just kept Orhan alive instead of ending his story in such an abrupt and sh*tty way? I don't think I can read How to Rule an Empire and Get Away with It until I've get over how pissed I am at the author for ruining Orhan's ending and proceeding to write a damn sequel with a similar protagonist.

Alright, rant's over.  >:(

Offline Nora

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Re: Sixteen ways to defend a city ending poll (spoilers)
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2020, 05:55:59 PM »
Quote
The ending I would've preferred would be for Orhan to open the gates of the City to Ogus and then ruled as joint emperors. With Orhan's personality that probably wasn't possible, though. (I probably would've given the book with that ending a 5 stars)

That's what you want, but that's not what the author wanted. I feel your pain, but this seems to fall within the realm of fanfic and shipping wishes. It could be nice if X, Y, and Z happened instead, and everything was fluff and good and OP, but that's the not the point he's trying to make out of Orhan. He's not trying to make you angry, but he's not telling a hero's tale either. I don't think the book is meant to have a satisfying ending, or else it defeats the point.

Now go on AO3 and publish the version in which he ends up co-ruling as emperor, I'll give it a read too xD
"She will need coffee soon, or molecular degeneration will set in. Her French phrasing will take over even more strongly, and soon she will dissolve into a puddle of alienation and Kierkegaardian despair."  ~ Jmack

Wishy washy lyricism and maudlin unrequited love are my specialty - so said Lady_Ty

Offline S. K. Inkslinger

Re: Sixteen ways to defend a city ending poll (spoilers)
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2020, 05:59:39 AM »
Seriously though, I think the ending would kinda made sense if Sixteen Ways was just a standalone novel. Having a sequel with an MC that sounded really similar to Orhan and set in the same city just kinda seemed to defeat the purpose of Orhan dying at all.

Offline cupiscent

Re: Sixteen ways to defend a city ending poll (spoilers)
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2020, 04:43:29 AM »
I think Parker is probably making an overall point - with the series, if that's what it is - about the subjectivity, mutability, political-agenda, lost-in-translation-and-time nature of history... and a part of that is getting us so invested in Orhan emotionally that we remember what he did and was (but also, possibly, so that we swallow hook-line-and-sinker what is a very subjective account, told on purpose and with an agenda).

I think part of the ending's effectiveness is its provocation of outrage. :)

Offline eclipse

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Re: Sixteen ways to defend a city ending poll (spoilers)
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2020, 11:42:47 AM »
Also Orhan might be stretching the truth a tiny  bit or a lot just because he said he did something Doesn’t mean he did, did he really meet certain people. Truth mixed with lies.

Two votes for Jmack 😛
« Last Edit: August 31, 2020, 11:45:24 AM by eclipse »
According to some,* heroic deaths are admirable things

* Generally those who don't have to do it.Politicians and writers spring to mind

Jonathan Stroud:Ptolmy's Gate

Offline CameronJohnston

Re: Sixteen ways to defend a city ending poll (spoilers)
« Reply #9 on: September 25, 2020, 11:20:24 AM »
I felt the ending was a little underwhelming and unsatisfying, but I didn't entirely hate it. For me, it felt a bit rushed and didn't live up to the rest of the book.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2020, 12:09:52 PM by CameronJohnston »

The Traitor God & God of Broken Things

Offline eclipse

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Re: Sixteen ways to defend a city ending poll (spoilers)
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2020, 11:59:54 AM »
Are you going to read the sequel @CameronJohnston ?
According to some,* heroic deaths are admirable things

* Generally those who don't have to do it.Politicians and writers spring to mind

Jonathan Stroud:Ptolmy's Gate

Offline CameronJohnston

Re: Sixteen ways to defend a city ending poll (spoilers)
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2020, 12:10:29 PM »
I'm undecided on it. I'm not left yearing for more, but I did enjoy the first book, so...hmm...

The Traitor God & God of Broken Things