Recap the previous book


Daniel Peridue, newly appointed Captain of the Guard as a result of his heroics at the battle of Langtathon where he had single-handedly held the main keep of Castle Langtathon against a determined strike force of magically strengthened ape-men called Grathraks, felt uneasy. It had been three months since the Southern Enchanters had broken the centuries-old treaty and launched their attack under cover of night, only to be foiled by the swift actions of Eli Shiningheart, who had revealed himself to be the long-lost heir of Lord Langathon and thus fulfilled the Prophecy of the Protector, as passed down from generation to generation of Ingturon scholars and eventually into the teachings of Yath’l Cth’dang, last of the Ingturon, who had nobly sacrificed himself at the Mountains of Rehethihimah to save Eli’s life and grant him the mysterious power of the Ancient Ones. Now everything was quiet. Too quiet.
‘Are you thinking what I’m thinking?’ he asked his companion. Remi Longshanks, reformed thief whose skill with throwing knives had proved to be invaluable when he and Daniel had infiltrated the Enchanters’ inner sanctum and stolen their magical hearthstone, thus severing the link that allowed them to command the Grathrak army, looked up.
‘Don’t know,’ he said. ‘Were you thinking that peace has settled uneasily on these lands and that the dark shadow of the return of the Old Magic still lurks somewhere far to the South, despite our success in repelling the specific threats that previously faced us?’
‘Pretty much,’ said Daniel.

14 comments:

  1. Eli Shiningheart! Is he going to meet up with Dash Gallant at any point in time? Perhaps when Dash crashlands on this primitive little planet?

    (Is it wrong that I now have a whole little fanfic in my head about this?)

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  2. Just reading this is a langathon. (That's like a marathon of language.)

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  3. Awesome! I once had the opening paragraph of the Encyclopedia Brown books memorized - it was the same in every book.

    BTW, has peace ever settled easily on any land?

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  4. Terry Goodkind was bad about that....

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  5. Sounds pretty good. I hope to the Shining Ones that this story doesn't end up introducing a female counterpart. PS Where's the dragons?

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  6. When I was young I used to read/play the Choose Your Own Adventure RPG books of "The Lone Wolf" series. Every book required this sort of recap in the beginning, and they even had a new map in each one, but most of the time you still had no clue what was going on in the story, and even if you died and had to start over, it wasn't so much about the great storyline or anything as just trying to beat the book so you can get some new skill on your character sheet.

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  7. MarcT, I'm with you on the Encyclopedia Brown. Same thing with Chapter 2 of every Baby Sitters' Club book. I used to just skip the chapter because it was always an almost word-for-word recap of the characters, their families, and their interests

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  8. I was just going to mention the Baby Sitters Club books! And they did this with each book in the 200+ series...
    Also, JK Rowling does this to some degree.

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  9. Good one, Joel. Thanks for getting all posty again.

    "...looked up," is just brilliant.

    I always imagined, while rediscovering that Harry Potter is no ordinary boy, that the editors forced her to write all that, in case there are silly people out there who start in the middle of a series or who don't recall what they've read. I think a key to writing badly well is assuming your readers are idiots.

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  10. The Antipodean, who read the Thomas Covenant series by reading the synopses in the front of each book,Wednesday, April 20, 2011

    Most writers who write books with the same characters struggle with this - it's harder to think of writers who do it well than writers who do it badly.

    I think Terry Pratchett is pretty good at it, as is Douglas Adams and Dianna Wynne Jones - both writers who assume their readers have some brain, which fits in with CT's point.

    Then of course there's the ones who cheat, and have a "Previously on The Wheel of Time..." intro.

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  11. It's the literary parallel of Lost's infamous eight-minute recap. I love it!

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  12. I think that whether done well or badly, if it's been over a year since reading the previous book, such recaps are necessary

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  13. There could be an entry that just says:

    "It's quiet. Too quiet."

    For the love of everything holy, dear adventure authors everywhere, please figure out a better way to convey foreboding silence.

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