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T O P I C    R E V I E W
wwwwwww Posted - 17 Mar 2005 : 14:23:52
Just finished it. Had TONS of potential, and started out cool (stranded in the northern wastes), but it really fizzed out. I found myself struggling to finish it. Thoughts on this one?

MINOR SPOILER/OBSERVATION

Based on a comment earlier in the book, was Vil supposed to be gay(not that there's anyting wrong with that )? I couldn't quite figure it out, and it said nothing later on.
12   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
Caolin Posted - 01 Jun 2024 : 08:54:31
quote:
Originally posted by SiriusBlack

quote:
Originally posted by Kajehase
To me, this does not say gay (not that there's anything wrong with being that), but that he's not as of yet had sex, probably due to paladins being chaste (hence the sleeping-arrangements always being "pretty much like last night"). Which of course doesn't mean that he's not gay, just that I don't look for signs of characters being so (not that there's... you know the rest).



I also don't see TSR allowing something like this to remain in the tome if the powers that be thought it could be interpreted as meaning the character is gay.



Despite people today thinking anything older than 10 years were dark times for gay people, being gay wasn't a big deal in the 90's and most media did not purposefully avoid the topic. Hell even into the 80's it wasn't a taboo thing. Maybe in the 70's you start seeing it as a stigma. But by the 90's it had lost most if not all of the taboo in popular culture.
Seravin Posted - 28 Apr 2024 : 18:05:46
Yeah I never assumed Vil was gay, just that he was a paladin which up to that point was the big secret since he no longer acted as one? And we assume paladins are not into casual sex because they are warrior-priest types.

This novel starts good and I really think the author builds fantastic atmosphere with the cold / woods / warrens / gnoll camp / cozy cabin /etc which I loved. Really drew me in. What was weird is the harpers, the main character, and just generally how inept her wizard harper sponsor was - and I agree the book falls off a cliff. To me it's basically okay until the wizard harper just teleports himself into the warren. Okay so he's got high level mage spells? But he's also an idiot? He's trusted by the Shadowdale harper arm? But he's vain and a bit abusive? Okay you lost me.

I did really like the gnoll shaman character though - for the time it was pretty radical to have a gnoll as a reluctant hero. I think it's more common now to have humanoid monsters and of course drow be on the side of good - but this character was well done.

Athreeren Posted - 28 Apr 2024 : 13:05:57
Regarding the paladinís sexuality, I donít think that line supports him being gay, and considering the heroin kisses him at the end, I hope he was not intended to be: better not having any gay character than one who gets ďfixedĒ by the end. In the same series though, The Veiled Dragon definitely has a lesbian couple.

I liked the way the mentor was written. Too often, we wonder why the mentor canít do the quest himself. Having him be magically talented, but also a coward who is useless in a fight allows the heroin to take matters in her own hands and is a believable way for the novice to be the one ordering the powerful mage around. The problem is having them starting in Shadowdale: it would have made more sense to start in a smaller Harper stronghold closer to the threat, where possible reinforcements would not include Elminster and Storm.

Talking about mages, what was the point in insisting that the gnome city had an enchanter, if he is not a Chekovís gun? The obvious plan would have been to give the ice elemental a fake keystone, complete with a Nystulís magic aura, and then proceed with the plan as intended, getting Jazrac away from the gnolls with no risk of him ever opening the rift. Giving the real keystone is totally pointless, and shows the Harper agent to be so incompetent, I donít understand why the gnomes keep listening to her. Also, after insisting about the strategic advantage of being in fortified warrens where there is no way lanky gnolls could attack them, why would they attempt to escape just to freeze in the cold or be taken out one by one by their enemies outside?

In the end, my biggest problem with this story is the gnolls. There are two Dragon articles about gnolls. One is from 1982, the other from 2008. Of course, Sodiers of Ice (1993) follows the former, the one who claims that ďOf all the humanoid races, gnolls and hobgoblins have the lowest opinions of the female sex. Goblins and kobolds tend to see their females as important, though not in leadership or military roles; their women help manufacture weapons and armor to support the military, and help maintain the cohesiveness of the tribes. Hobgoblins have no respect for their females because they donít make good warriors; the males keep them out of public sight and busy with those things they feel their women are good for ó keeping house and having little hob¨ goblins. Gnolls regard their females as slaves, pure and simple, and dump as much work on them as possible (which usually means all of it).Ē The novel is actually kinder to gnolls than this article is, with females being treated as property, but still seen as valuable.

This is not what we see in the 2008 article: "The physical build of a female gnoll is almost identical to that of its male counter¨ part, and in many clans the females are larger than the males. As a rule, it is difficult for a member of another race to tell the gender of a gnoll unless itís pregnant or actively nursing. Females and males are equally aggressive, and both males and females actively take part in hunting. Although the leader of the clan is typically the strongest gnoll (male or female), lineage is usually traced through the mother. Because of the difficulty involved in identifying the gender of a gnoll, there are folktales based around the idea that gnolls are hermaphrodites or can change their gender; however, neither of these things are true." This change makes complete sense, because gnolls are based on hyenas, and hyenas form purely matriarchal societies, with females being usually bigger than the males. In fact, I interpreted the 1982 article as being the work of a biased researcher who saw the largest gnolls utterly dominating the smaller ones, and thought those were males abusing females rather than the contrary (a mistake commonly made in the real world, especially since female hyenas' external clitoris makes it easy to get their sex confused). With Martine actually living among the gnolls, this explanation makes less sense and we have to accept gnolls as constantly abusing their females, even though this is lazy world building that makes little sense from a biological perspective.
Weiser_Cain Posted - 23 Mar 2005 : 05:48:33
He's not gay, he's just had no experience with women.
Wooly Rupert Posted - 18 Mar 2005 : 22:59:55
quote:
Originally posted by SiriusBlack

quote:
Originally posted by Kajehase
To me, this does not say gay (not that there's anything wrong with being that), but that he's not as of yet had sex, probably due to paladins being chaste (hence the sleeping-arrangements always being "pretty much like last night"). Which of course doesn't mean that he's not gay, just that I don't look for signs of characters being so (not that there's... you know the rest).



I also don't see TSR allowing something like this to remain in the tome if the powers that be thought it could be interpreted as meaning the character is gay.



Why not? In Spellfire, Elminster says that outside the walls of his tower, Lhaeo is thought to be a "simpering man-lover from Baldur's Gate."
SiriusBlack Posted - 18 Mar 2005 : 18:17:24
quote:
Originally posted by Kajehase
To me, this does not say gay (not that there's anything wrong with being that), but that he's not as of yet had sex, probably due to paladins being chaste (hence the sleeping-arrangements always being "pretty much like last night"). Which of course doesn't mean that he's not gay, just that I don't look for signs of characters being so (not that there's... you know the rest).



I also don't see TSR allowing something like this to remain in the tome if the powers that be thought it could be interpreted as meaning the character is gay.
Kajehase Posted - 18 Mar 2005 : 16:35:11
quote:
Originally posted by wwwwwww
quote:
Originally posted by Mareka

What was the comment? Can you reference it?


SPOILERS
.
.
(This discussion takes place after Vilheim allows Martine to sleep on his bed and he sleeps on the floor. There is no mention of the "s" word. This is why it's a bit confusing.)
Martine: "Did any woman ever tell you that you snore?"
Vilheim: "You're the first."
Martine: "Wait . . . am I the first one to tell you that you snore? Surely you're jesting me."
Vilheim: "What I meant was that you are the first . . . um . . . woman to tell me that. Although the arrangements were always . . . well . . . pretty much like last night."



To me, this does not say gay (not that there's anything wrong with being that), but that he's not as of yet had sex, probably due to paladins being chaste (hence the sleeping-arrangements always being "pretty much like last night"). Which of course doesn't mean that he's not gay, just that I don't look for signs of characters being so (not that there's... you know the rest).
SiriusBlack Posted - 18 Mar 2005 : 03:24:27
quote:
Originally posted by wwwwwww
You've never read this tome, but it's been awhile since you've read this tome?????



What? That didn't make sense?

Actually, the only thing I recall about the tome is the cover, a body in the ice if memory serves with someone crouched over it.

And thanks for the plot summary. No, I don't think I'm going to read the novel as it just doesn't strike my interest. Who is the author by the way?
wwwwwww Posted - 17 Mar 2005 : 23:12:51
quote:
Originally posted by SiriusBlack

I've never read this tome and it's been awhile since I read this tome. Is it a Harper book? And what's a general plot summary for the novel?

You've never read this tome, but it's been awhile since you've read this tome????? Kidding aside, yes, it is a Harper book, #7 to be precise. General plot summery is as follows:

SPOILER
.
.
Young female ranger (human) Martine is given her first solo Harper mission to close an elemental rift in the Great Glacier, just north of the Samek Valley. Eager to prove herself, she heads off and soon befriends a former human Paladin of Torm (Vilheim) living in isolation in the northern wastes near a gnome village, just a days ride south of the rift. He agrees to accompany Martine, and they ride on her pet Hippogriff towards the rift but soon crash land upon the glacier. The hippogriff dies, and the two are stranded. Martine succeeds in the closing the rift but discovers that some kind of Ice Fiend had already passed through the rift and now threatens to destroy the entire Samek Valley. The demon takes over a gnoll village and what ensues is an epic (term used loosely) battle between the gnome village (with Vilheim and Martine fighting at their side) and the Fiend-led gnolls. I won't tell you the riveting outcome just in case you decide to read it for yourself.

quote:
Originally posted by Mareka

What was the comment? Can you reference it?


SPOILERS
.
.
(This discussion takes place after Vilheim allows Martine to sleep on his bed and he sleeps on the floor. There is no mention of the "s" word. This is why it's a bit confusing.)
Martine: "Did any woman ever tell you that you snore?"
Vilheim: "You're the first."
Martine: "Wait . . . am I the first one to tell you that you snore? Surely you're jesting me."
Vilheim: "What I meant was that you are the first . . . um . . . woman to tell me that. Although the arrangements were always . . . well . . . pretty much like last night."
Wooly Rupert Posted - 17 Mar 2005 : 23:06:38
quote:
Originally posted by SiriusBlack

I've never read this tome and it's been awhile since I read this tome. Is it a Harper book? And what's a general plot summary for the novel?



Yeah, I think it's book 9 of the series. Personally, I thought it stunk. I can't summarize it, though -- I don't think I've read it since a year or two after it came out.
Mareka Posted - 17 Mar 2005 : 20:35:43
quote:
Originally posted by wwwwwww

Just finished it. Had TONS of potential, and started out cool (stranded in the northern wastes), but it really fizzed out. I found myself struggling to finish it. Thoughts on this one?

MINOR SPOILER/OBSERVATION

Based on a comment earlier in the book, was Vil supposed to be gay(not that there's anyting wrong with that )? I couldn't quite figure it out, and it said nothing later on.


What was the comment? Can you reference it?
SiriusBlack Posted - 17 Mar 2005 : 17:10:56
I've never read this tome and it's been awhile since I heard of this tome. Is it a Harper book? And what's a general plot summary for the novel?

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