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Cyndere's Midnight

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That was a fun conversation. And it was a privilege to be a guest on Stephen's show.

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I enjoyed listening to it.

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Okay, I'm about 3/4 of the way through Cindere's Midnight, and I'd love to discuss it with folks who have read it. First of all, wow. I'm having a hard time putting it down for such necessary things as bathing, eating, sleeping, or preaching. The story is at least as involving, plot-wise, as Auralia's Colors, but seems to have more breathing room. Auralia was like (rrLike...) the rush of imagery in the Matrix, when Neo learns kung-fu: like everything is rushing at you at once, a million brilliant ideas and colors and images all trying to jump into your consciousness simultaneously. Cyndere takes its time, and I think unfolds a lot more elegantly. But all the stuff you liked about Auralia are here aplenty - Auralia herself, colorful and interesting characters (both familiar and fresh), ravishing descriptions of a world that seems so real that you could touch it yet remote enough to inspire longing, and the fairy-tale underpinnings that surprise you with recognition and delight. Well done, Jeffrey!

On to a topic for discussion, and if you've not read the book, you may want to skip this, as there are some spoilers embedded in these topics:

It seems to me like there's a parallel developing between the religion of the moon spirits and the beastmen's thirst for Essence. The one seems like a more "civilized" version of the other. The religion of the moon spirits glorifies the pursuit of one's desires above all else, but so does the draught of the Essence. Fueled by the Essence, the beastmen are driven almost mad, and run wild and unchecked to do whatever it is they lust to do.

It seems like both Cindere and Jordam have rejected the respective paths of their countrymen, and have embraced an other-centered ethic, rather than a self-centered one. Love instead of lust, so to speak. They have committed themselves to restraint rather than rampant gratification, and for both of them, it is at great cost.

Am I barking up the wrong tree here, or does anyone else see this connection?

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Okay, I'm about 3/4 of the way through Cindere's Midnight, and I'd love to discuss it with folks who have read it. First of all, wow. I'm having a hard time putting it down for such necessary things as bathing, eating, sleeping, or preaching. The story is at least as involving, plot-wise, as Auralia's Colors, but seems to have more breathing room. Auralia was like (rrLike...) the rush of imagery in the Matrix, when Neo learns kung-fu: like everything is rushing at you at once, a million brilliant ideas and colors and images all trying to jump into your consciousness simultaneously. Cyndere takes its time, and I think unfolds a lot more elegantly. But all the stuff you liked about Auralia are here aplenty - Auralia herself, colorful and interesting characters (both familiar and fresh), ravishing descriptions of a world that seems so real that you could touch it yet remote enough to inspire longing, and the fairy-tale underpinnings that surprise you with recognition and delight. Well done, Jeffrey!

On to a topic for discussion, and if you've not read the book, you may want to skip this, as there are some spoilers embedded in these topics:

It seems to me like there's a parallel developing between the religion of the moon spirits and the beastmen's thirst for Essence. The one seems like a more "civilized" version of the other. The religion of the moon spirits glorifies the pursuit of one's desires above all else, but so does the draught of the Essence. Fueled by the Essence, the beastmen are driven almost mad, and run wild and unchecked to do whatever it is they lust to do.

It seems like both Cindere and Jordam have rejected the respective paths of their countrymen, and have embraced an other-centered ethic, rather than a self-centered one. Love instead of lust, so to speak. They have committed themselves to restraint rather than rampant gratification, and for both of them, it is at great cost.

Am I barking up the wrong tree here, or does anyone else see this connection?

I don't know much about moon spirits so I didn't make that connection. However, like you, I equated the Essence with lust - the lust for more stuff, power, prestige, sex, you name it. It represents idolatry at its finest. Rather than being focused on a Thou (God expressed through love of neighbors), it forgoes Thou for I.

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I've been avoiding this thread, since I didn't want any spoilers (I can't avoid them once I see them on the page). I've been slowly pecking at the book since I got it in September; I was also reading a few other novels, all dense, and wanted to finish them first. And finish I did. I'm plowing through Cyndere's Midnight now and love it. I'm about halfway through.

I have to say, Jeff

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On a day full of thanksgiving, I'm deeply grateful for the feedback. It's really encouraging when I get comments from guys like you whose critical sensibilities have been demonstrated again and again here on this board. Thank you so much.

I need the encouragement right now too. We skipped our annual trip to be with the family on the holiday simply because I need to make progress on the third book, so I'm feeling a little bit down today.

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I'm a year late to the party but oh well. Jeffrey, I just wanted to let you know that I finished the book and loved every word of it. I really enjoyed Auralia's Colors, but this book is better in just about every way. I wrote a little review for it on my blog - here if you want to read it. Keep up the good work. I can't wait for the next installment.

Edited by Phill Lytle

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Many thanks, Phil. And good timing. I'm a nervous wreck about Raven's Ladder, so the encouragement is helpful.

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