Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Bale Time IV

When one temporarily insane Gwydiona kills another during Bale time, the robots take the body away. Now we know why the Gwydiona go to the Holy City and some do not return. Because Tolteca, uncomprehending, blunders into the City and interrupts their ritual mumbling or chanting, a young girl runs from him and her father kills her. Tolteca, still not understanding, tries to reason with dangerous lunatics, asking them if they have gone crazy instead of realizing that they have gone crazy and that he is making things worse.

That horrible phrase:

"'Don't eat me, mother!'"

- which we have encountered before (see the link), is repeated here. (XII, p. 656)

Elfavy recognizes Raven as the one who sat on her grave when she couldn't sleep. The morbid song that she strongly disliked has affected her. Now she finds it beautiful.

Raven should have tried to escape and not have stayed with Elfavy. What an ending! It has got to me more this time because I have blogged while rereading.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I'm starting to conclude THE NIGHT FACE has to be one of the darkest and grimmest written by Poul Anderson. And I don't think that is bad--because I think the future will show us horrible things as well as great, glorious, and beautiful things's. It's a good thing for us to be reminded of that once in a while.

A subset of Anderson's works shows us grim, dark, even shocking endings. Some of them being "Welcome," "The Martyr," WORLD WITHOUT STARS, "Murphy's Hall," "Eutopia," etc.