Readers' Questions about Revelation
I love answering questions about The Books of the Rai-kirah. Here are questions that readers have asked me about Revelation in person or via email.
Revelation does indeed leave a lot more unresolved issue than did Transformation. As I told the readers who sent me these questions, Revelation was truly going to be a single follow-on, but by the time I delved in, I knew the story was too big for one book. Seyonne must learn the ramifications of the choice that he made at the end of Revelation as well as solve the mystery of Tyrrad Nor--the fortress prison. And I didn't want to give Aleksander's future short shrift. What is the destiny signified by the feadnach? Thus Restoration, and the year wait. But here are a few answers.
Warning! Possible spoilers if you have not read Revelation!
NEW! Seyonne insisted there was a traitor who leaked info to Aleksander about Blaise's planned raid to steal the Emperor's horses. We know it wasn't Seyonne himself, and Farrol proved to be a loyal friend, so who was it actually betrayed Blaise?
I never really say. The important thing is whether Blaise believed Seyonne or not.
NEW! When Seyonne confronts Vallyne about her trickery, he claims he knows that both Raddoman and the kind attendant in the courtyard were actually Vyx. I know he saw Raddoman's aura change color, but how in the name of logic did he figure the other one out? It seemed totally out of the blue to me.
This was extrapolation. As he recovered, he could look back and see that the time with the dogs was a time of testing. Vallyne was clearly testing him. That led him to think of the kind attendant who was observing him so constantly. When he helped the attendant with the aftermath of a beating, the attendant immediately appeared to be fully recovered, and was immediately replaced by someone who looked totally different. When Seyonne realizes that Vyx has been masquerading as Raddoman, he suspects the other masquerades also. He doesn't trust anything in Kir'Vagonoth to be what it seems
NEW! Why is it that the first time Fiona sends Seyonne to Kir'Vagonoth, he lands in the pits, but every other time, he is sent to Fiona's Tower? What made the switch in the portal's location? Since Fiona merely opens a portal through Balthar's mind, how can she determine where Balthar's soul deposits Seyonne?
Because the first time is different from every other time. The first time, Seyonne has told her to let him go through, and then to shut the portal down behind him, just as if he was "abandoned" after a battle. This is the only way he knows to find the demons. Fiona does as he asks, but she shows him the tower and tells him that this is how he can find his way back. I believe that if Fiona had known then all that she learned during the long months of Seyonne's captivity, or if Seyonne had understood about Kir'Vagonoth, she perhaps could have bypassed the Gastai. (Though Vallyne would have gotten him there anyway, of course. She wanted Seyonne to be pulp so that Denas could "survive".)
It is Fiona's own skill and stubbornness, her connection with Seyonne, that allows her to create the tower as a true part of Kir'Vagonoth.
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Seyonne and Aleksander
Does Seyonne have a feadnach? If anyone is marked by destiny/the gods and for great things it would be him.
Clearly he does not, or someone in Ezzaria would have noticed. Though the ability to recognize it is rare, he has probably interacted with those who could have known. So, therefore, the real question is why doesn't he. And that will have to wait for Restoration.
What exactly does Seyonne see in Aleksander? He calls it a mark or a light, a brilliance. I left the description purposefully vague. You can imagine, if you want, that this is truly a mark placed in Aleksander by gods or some impersonal law of the universe foretelling a great destiny. Or you could say that part of Seyonne's magic is to recognize a particular combination of strength, courage, charisma, greatness of spirit, and opportunity that "marks" the one who bears them.
Certainly Seyonne possesses many of these same characteristics. But his destiny is very different. If I say any more, I WILL be giving things away! Ask me again after you read Restoration, and let me know if this seems clearer.
Why is it that Kiril and Aleksander have such a close bond? When the Emperor treated Kiril more like a son with fatherly love than he treated Aleksander, why didn't Aleksander resent Kiril?
For one thing, Kiril was no threat to Aleksander's position. They grew up together, were fostered to Dmitri together, and Kiril would have done anything for Aleksander. Their relationship is one measure of Aleksander's generous heart. Aleksander likely also felt, deep inside himself, that Kiril was deserving of his father's love and that perhaps he himself was not. This is not something he could have explained to anyone, even himself.
I found it quite humorous when Seyonne said, "Only Balthar the Villain stood gaping and grinning, his sin at last eclipsed by someone else's." I was left laughing. Did you intend that to be funny?
I feel like Seyonne's sense of humor and sense of the absurd is part of what keep him "in balance" through everything.
I kept wondering how Aleksander was dealing with all the political problems, and how he was getting on with his wife! Will there be more of him in the third book?
Absolutely. Seyonne and Aleksander are back together for well over half of Restoration. I really like Aleksander. He is very fun to write!
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Since Seyonne lived through his stabbing, I was wondering if the Ezzarians would think that their gods had judged him and allowed him to live. Since he survived his punishment maybe the Ezzarians wouldn't kill him if he returned to Ezzaria.
An interesting question. They would not believe that the gods had judged him and allowed him to live, because their execution was interfered with by a "demon" -- Blaise. And too, the Ezzarians were not so much "punishing" Seyonne as preventing him from making war on them. They did not chase after him once they were back in Ezzaria, but if he tried to interfere with their work again, they would have tried to execute him again. From their point of view, he was permitting the demons to pass through human souls, and he was opening a gateway to set loose something terrible on the world. So the typical "shunning" would not work.
Did I understand correctly that Seyonne took no actual physical damage when they were fighting in his soul? If the victim isn't damaged, how can a Warden kill the victim when the demon is killed, such as Seyonne did with the slaver at the beginning of the Revelation?
Yes, you are correct that the physical state of the victim does not parallel the physical damage to the demon. (Or else any time the Warden killed the demon, the victim would die! That doesn't work!) But because the battle is occurring in the victim's soul, and the demon is certainly linked very intimately to the victim, one can imagine that certain kinds of attacks--in particular, attacks with excessive violence, excessive emotional involvement, and/or attacks that severely damage the "psychic landscape"--could damage the victim's psyche, even so far as to destroy life.
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Demons and Their World
What/where exactly was Kir'Vagonoth?
Think of Kir'Vagonoth as another dimension, connected to all other psychological dimensions. It is a separate world formed out of nothing much.
Were the Khelid possessed by the Gastai? They seemed too calm to house such violent demons. Does the disposition and willingness of the host have anything to do with the way a demon would manifest itself?
Yes, the Khelid were possessed, but not by the Gastai. Tasgedyr, the "Lord of Demons" who possessed Kastavan (and Aleksander), was not a Gastai. He was a Nevai of great stature, who had a large following among the rai-kirah. He believed that the demons needed to fight their way free by taking power in the human world. Then they would be able to kill the pandye gash--the Ezzarians--and release the "power" that awaited the rai-kirah in Kir'Navarrin.
What causes the third circle of demons to go mad?
In Revelation, Seyonne comes to understand that something about the constant re-immersion of the Gastai in human souls and their subsequent dispossession by the Ezzarians causes them to go mad. But it is not until Restoration that he understands more of why this affects them so terribly.
The last we saw of Vallyne was after the joining ceremony, on the balcony. Did she go to Kir'Navarrin or did she stay at the ice palace?
Vallyne remained in Kir'Navarrin. She said in Revelation that she never intended to leave Kir'Vagonoth. Denas (and therefore Seyonne) knows it. She loves Denas and believes that if they go back to Kir'Navarrin they're going to lose what they have. That is, they will likely find out that they never even knew each other in their true lives. She would rather stay in the place where they were together. This is one reason she is truly furious with Denas, because he would rather do his "duty" than stay with her. Of course she loves him for being this kind of a guy, also. Always a terrible dilemma for a woman!
And the demons who entered Kir'Navarrin, did they automatically manifest bodies, and become "human" again, or are they still forms of light that need Ezzarians to be complete?
The rai-kirah can never reclaim their true physical existence. Their physical bodies died a thousand years in the past. But in Kir'Navarrin they can shape themselves bodies (as they did in Kir'Vagonoth) and because of the nature of the land and environment and just "being home," these bodies work better. They can feel and taste and sense things properly. Theoretically they could get more a sense of true completion, "become human," by joining with an Ezzarian, but that means giving up their autonomy, submerging themselves in another being. After a thousand years as an individual, this is a tough thing to do. They would also become mortal, of course, dying when the Ezzarian host died.
In the tile portrait, there were different types of "Ezzarians" if you will. Some changed form, etc. What relation is this to the three demon circles, which are the current Ezzarians? Or was this done to the race as a whole, and they all were like Blaise and the "new" Seyonne?
All of those depicted in the mosaic were like Blaise, whole, with integrated human and demon aspects. When the split occurred, all of them were affected. The three circles of the Ezzarians are something of a corruption of the three circles of the demons, which were, in turn, a ragged memory of their former society in Kir'Navarrin. The Ezzarians fit their own interpretation, ie. level of melydda, to the unclear memory of these circles, the "thinkers", the "shapers", and the "hunters" which were really more akin to "class" distinctions.
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Ezzarians and Their Magic
Tegyr [one of the young Wardens] has blond hair? Did I read that right? Do Ezzarians ever marry non-Ezzarians (outside of slavery such as Fiona's mother)?
Yes, Tegyr had blond hair and was thus likely descended from a non-Ezzarian parent. In general, marriage outside of the Ezzarian race was rare. But if you think about Searchers and Comforters who spent a great deal of their lives outside of Ezzaria, the likelihood of falling in love with an outsider becomes much greater. I would imagine that it happened much more often than the Ezzarian "elders" approved of.
Why are some Ezzarians born with melydda and some not?
It is just a trait of birth, like someone born blind or with blue eyes. Slightly more common than the first and less than the second. Perhaps the "demon" part of their being is just very weak and does not spark their power.
What difference in magic causes some Ezzarians to be Comforters, some to be Wardens, Aifes, etc.?
This is not so much a difference in the quality of melydda, but quantity. For certain to be a Warden or an Aife just takes more power. As children grow up, their other skills and other talents are judged, and they are accepted by a mentor into a "specialty". Just as some humans are born with the physical and mental talents to be an artist rather than an engineer or quarterback rather than a linebacker.
From where exactly do Ezzarians draw melydda? Do their bodies focus power gained from nature, or is their power internal? What is the process?
Melydda is truly an inborn power, a natural strength that can be exhausted as they use it and then grows again as they recover. It is a result of their dual nature. In Revelation we learn that the "demon" is a natural part of an Ezzarian. In Restoration we'll learn how that came to be the case. The Ezzarians talk of certain places as being rich with melydda, but in fact they don't understand it themselves. These places bear the traces of their own enchantments. That is, their ancestors put it into the land, rather than drawing it from the land. Seyonne believes he draws strength from living in Ezzaria, but it is more that he loves the land and beauty so much. When he is at peace, he is able to reach inside and draw on his own strength, to "recover" more quickly and completely than anywhere else.
Can only men be Wardens and women be Aifes?
This is the only way it has ever happened. I won't say that it could never be otherwise. But we won't see it in this series.
Are queens always or typically Aifes?
Queens must have great intelligence and great melydda. Since Aife is the task most demanding of power and intelligence, it only makes sense that the Queen is very often an Aife. But there is no rule to that effect.
How does having access to both worlds keep the demon-born sane?
It's as if some nutrient is missing from the air of each world. Their nature is of both worlds, and therefore, they need contact with the elements of both worlds to thrive.
How do you pronounce Drych's name?
Drych is pronounced "dritch".
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Are Blaise and Seyonne now the same?
No. Not as long as Seyonne has not passed into Kir'Navarrin. Theoretically Denas will only be "fully integrated" at that point, indistinguishable from Seyonne. But Denas has lived as a separate being for a thousand years or more. Is it possible for him to completely vanish? Restoration will answer this.
Finally, what happened to Denas?
See previous answer. At the end of Revelation, Denas has no corporeal existence outside of Seyonne, but he does have "a mind, a voice, and ideas of his own." So Seyonne tells us at the beginning of Restoration. This is extremely unnerving to Seyonne, a man who tries to be very much in control of his own fate.
What of Denas? He can't just have completely joined with Seyonne, because he had unfinished business with Vallyne, things that Seyonne saw when he shared Denas's mind.
Seyonne has been told that he and Denas will not completely merge until he goes through the gateway into Kir'Navarrin. This leaves him a real dilemma: he wants to go to Kir'Navarrin and he knows that at some time he must confront this "danger in the tower." But does he dare believe what Denas tells him, that any rai-kirah joined to an Ezzarian is destined to be "lost" because the human has the soul? Or is Denas leading him on, trying to win the battle for control?
Well, I didn't really answer, did I? Restoration answers all.
Seyonne on the other hand can't immediately let Denas go, because if this evil in this fortress is so great, he will need all of the power he can get his hands on. Right?
Seyonne certainly believes that he will need everything he can bring to bear on this confrontation. So, the question is, does Denas really bring him power or must Seyonne face this problem with his own faculties unhampered?
Do Seyonne and Denas ever separate and do Denas and Vallyne ever reconcile and get together?
These things I won't tell! :-) Read Restoration to find out.
Is Seyonne now like Blaise, and, if so, will he one day have to go through that shapeshifters' craziness?
In theory, once Seyonne passes through the gateway into Kir'Navarrin for the first time and is completely joined, his essential nature will be the same as Blaise's. Of course, none of the shapeshifters will have to suffer the madness anymore as long as the gateway is open and they can spend time in both worlds.
After what Ysanne did to him, Seyonne said that it kind of put the kybosh to any relationship they once had, so I would assume that its over for good, yes?
This will be a tough "disagreement" to get over. Aleksander says it best early in Restoration: "Worthy wives do not drop their wedding tokens in their husband's blood."
Seyonne got away with all of the secrets of Ezzaria, so does Ysanne let him go, or does she, thinking that the demon is in control, continually pester him by sending out hunting parties or whatnot?
At the opening of Restoration we find Seyonne in hiding with Blaise. Ysanne couldn't find him if she wanted. And, as in the past, the Ezzarians are very insular. As long as Seyonne doesn't come back to Ezzaria, they don't much care about him.
Catrin was a good friend to Seyonne during his many tribulations. Is that over now because of what he has become? Does she hate him because she thinks that he killed those young Wardens?
Catrin doesn't hate Seyonne. She mourns him. She believes the demon destroyed the man she knew and that the demon killed Tegyr and Nestayo and Merryt.
Fiona gave up everything for Seyonne, which makes me think she is kind of taken with him. If Ysanne is truly out of the picture do Fiona and Seyonne get together?
Fiona respects, admires, and honors Seyonne. She is passionate about truth. Does this turn into love? That, I won't say.
Does Aleksander take Blaise on as an advisor and together they fix the problems of the Empire?
This is certainly Seyonne's hope. But many things get in the way. The problems of the Empire and Aleksander's destiny comprise one of the two major plot lines of Restoration. Seyonne and the truth of what is waiting in the tower of Tyrrad Nor make up the second, of course.
Is Vyx really dead? Personally, I think it would be a shame, because when you first introduced Vyx, I liked him imediately, I thought he was a fun character.
Yep, Vyx is a fun character. He is not dead, but he is not "immediately available" to talk to either.
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Send me any other questions you might have.
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