[LMB] Penric close reading!

pouncer at aol.com pouncer at aol.com
Fri Apr 10 00:54:21 BST 2020

Thank you Karen, for getting this going. 

A new reader will have a different experience of the Penric stories than one coming to 
them from the Chalion novels. The opening works for either.  
Lots of colors, vivid imagery:  
     The morning light sloped across the meadows, breathing      
     pale green into the interlaced branches of the woods      
     beyond, picking out shy pink and white blossoms here      
     and there among the new leaves. The spring air hung      
     soft with promise.      
The Season of Spring, yes, but not the Chalonese colors, blue and white, of the Daughter. 
So ' spring ' but NOT ' Spring ', perhaps. Shortly Pen is presented as a bit of a stoic as well as an optimist, and one taking his self-assigned
duties quite seriously. Back to vivid colors and details again: 
     An odd collection of horses and figures was halted on      
     the verge. A man with a badge pinning jaunty blue and      
     white feathers on his hat, marking him as of the Daughter’s      
     Order, held four restive horses. The weapons of a Temple      
     guardsman hung at his belt. A second guardsman and a      
     woman in a superior sort of servant’s garb knelt      
     by a figure laid out supine on a spread cloak.     
     ... Her cloak slipped off her shoulder, revealing      
     Temple braids pinned there marking a divine -- not      
     in the green and gold of the Mother of Summer, as he      
     would have expected, or perhaps the blue and white of      
     the Daughter of Spring, but the white, cream, and silver      
     of the Bastard, the fifth god, master of all disasters      
     out of season. He gulped, swallowing his surprise.    And as the close of this first encounter:   
     If all he could do was hold her hand, Pen decided in     
     desperation, well, that was what he would do. His grip      
     tightened. For a moment, her brown eyes seemed to flash      
     with a deep violet light. Then, between one breath and      
     . . . none, her eyes went dull and still. No one was      
     looking back at him now. He heard a confusion of      
     women’s voices babbling in half-a-dozen languages, most      
     of which he didn’t recognize, crying out in terror and     
     pain. His head, throbbing with tension, seemed to explode      
     in a thick, tangled net of lightning, all white. Then all black.     
All light, all colors, ending in lightning and black.   Very careful authorship, and it's only the very first scene. 

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