Another brief post today bringing us up to the beginning of chapter 22.
Much of novel writing is the art of taking characters and putting them in situations that push them to the breaking point. When the cast is an ensemble, this also means pushing the company to its limits as well. The Fellowship of the Ring ends with "The Breaking of the Fellowship." In the stone city of Eldwist, Terry Brooks pushes his own "little company" to its limits leading to a lesser "breaking of the fellowship." Having sundered his company into three groups (Pe Ell, Morgan/Dees, Quickening/Walker/Carisman), Brooks then makes the interesting decision to break away from his sundered fellowship and take up the story of Wren Ohmsford.
Wren is the odd man out through the first two books getting (I think) only four chapters to herself. It's ok, she's an interesting and easy-going enough character to put on the back burner for a while. The threat, however, is that when we finally take up her thread it will feel as if we've wandered into a different story. Coll and Par are already slipping away from us, having to go through another barely-connected saga may put them beyond our reach even when they come back for the finale in book four. Maybe that wouldn't be a problem if the two brothers weren't such "light" characters when compared with the rest of the cast. They seem to belong far more to the world of the original trilogy than the new world that Terry Brooks has opened up for us.
That said, I wonder if Wren needed to come in at this point. Brooks makes a deliberate decision to turn our attention elsewhere right after his main group reach their breaking point. Is this intended to give the reader an emotional break? Is it a ploy to keep us from getting board now that the "little company" has hit a wall? Either might be a valid reason to turn aside to look at Wren for a chapter -if the distraction really works. We'll see if it does as I continue reading.
That's all for now. Enjoy the weekend!