[LMB] Penric 15: Divine (?) Intervention

Gwynne Powell gwynnepowell at hotmail.com
Tue Mar 29 11:34:58 BST 2016

> From: "Tony Zbaraschuk" <tonyz at eskimo.com>

Looking at the Saint....

> And... Blessed Broylin, the saint of Idau, walks in.  Desdemona is Not
> Happy (an understatement).  Clee is not happy.  Pen is boggled.  (And also
> tired.  Neither he nor Desdemona expected the saint to be here -- but
> perhaps he had travelled on his own, faster than Tigney had expected?  I'm
> guessing the B*stard may have nudged him a bit.  Or was it Tigney's panic
> that hastened him on the last stage of his journey?)

Isn't he lovely?  He'd get on so well with Ista, and Caz, and Umegat. (What
would you give to see a conversation between the four of them?)  He's
so totally human, and ordinary, and yet there's an sense of very real power
about him.

Clee has his brother's military power backing him. Penric (sans demon) has
his lordly rank. Tigney is a master spy. And suddenly none of them are 
anything beside this grumbling old man who has a god standing behind him.
And yet the saint makes little fuss or care about it all. Actually, he's most
like Penric. (Or Penric is most like him.)

> And... the B*stard looks in on the affair.  Pen... "couldn't run away.  He
> thought he might even want to crawl _toward_. ... It came to him that
> every prayer he'd ever said or mumbled or yawned around before had been by
> rote.  And that he'd never be able to pray like that again."

Suddenly he realises what it's all for, and about.

> How does the fifth god's appearance here compare with how we've seen him
> in other books?  Pen's viewpoint is rather different than Ista's or
> Ingrey's, after all.

Pen is hit by the power. We don't get a more personal view of the god, 
although the Saint is probably an echo. 

> Some legal argument follows, and Pen decides that this isn't how things
> should be done, in the fierce light that beats upon the scaffold
> (Desdemona's, but not his...)  "It occured to him that the attitude of
> supplication was identical that of surrender on a battlefield."

Penric goes for the heart, not the head. The gods are beings of spirit, 
after all.

> I like the saint's response.  "The gods hear you at all times, speaking or
> silent.  You hearing the god... that is more rare."

So few people pay attention.  I'll say this for Tigney, he doesn't try to
argue with the god. Clee is a bit of a slow learner.

> And the prayer is granted.  "Presumably, the god has some interesting
> future in mind you -- for you two.  This is not a blessing.  Good luck.
> You'll need it."  (Very typical of saints' attitudes in this universe.) 

Saints are realists, not idealists.

> Final comment: I like the Saint, grumpy old guy that he is.  And Pen is a
> hero in so many ways in this scene.   One is not nearly as impressed with
> Clee, though in his defense he's probably exhausted and hasn't had nearly
> as much time as Pen to think about how Pen is going to tell his story (he
> probably figured Pen was long gone, perhaps because Clee would have been
> long gone in his place?)  And how does Tigney show?  Is he making good, or
> bad, decisions at this point?

Pen is as exhausted as Clee, possibly more so, and not trying to hide it.
Clee just doesn't seem to get what's happening around him, unlike the 
others. Tigney isn't happy about it all, but he accepts it (although it's
not very tidy. He likes tidy.)

It's a pity Pen doesn't get a chance to chat with the saint for a while. 
He might get some useful pointers.


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