[LMB] The devious dy Jironels

John Lennard john.c.lennard at gmail.com
Sat May 18 00:08:37 BST 2013

William: I far more readily assign them the title "villain" by what they
did to Sara
and what they threatened to do to Iselle.

John: I'm only just catching up on this thread, but I was about to post to
the same effect as William. I thought (almost Tel-wise, heaven help me)
that the views of Martou were distinctly romanticised and selective, and
the bald statement by Sara is a necessary corrective.

Yes, he was doubtless well-meaning in the beginning, and yes, he was
labouring under the curse, but he also plainly had meaner appetites to
which he gave free reign. It's hardly unknown (by rumoured history at any
rate) for an impotent king to have an heir secretly sired by another, and
if Sara had been willing one Chancellor's attempt might be forgiven. But
getting Dondo in on the act is unforgivable, and knowing what Martou must
then have known about his brother, his plans to give Iselle to him acquire
a hue of rank cruelty beyond any personal ambition or expedience.

In so far as he sought to serve Chalion, against divine odds, he deserves
some acknowledgement. But it seems to me plain in the text that he had
begun serving his own appetites long before, and gross appetites they were
too. I also take it, given Caz's extended attempts at self-denial where
Betriz is concerned, that a pattern of venial as well as mortal contrasts
was fully a part of Lois's intent.

John Lennard, MA DPhil. (Oxon.), MA (WU)

General editor, Humanities-E-Books Genre Fiction Sightlines and Monographs

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