1. Hey Guest, welcome back to DLP

    As you can see, we've changed our look. We've migrated from vBulletin to the Xenforo forum system. There may be issues or missing functionality, if you find anything or have feedback, please check out the new Xenforo Migration Feedback forum.

    Our dark ("Dark Lord Potter") theme is under heavy development. We also have a light ("Light Lord Potter") theme for those happier with a light background and darker text.

    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Hey Guest! Are you any good at cooking? Got a favourite recipe that you love to cook or bring out to impress that special someone? Why not share it! A new forum called The Burrow has opened and it's all about homemaking!

Broken Quill by Joe Ducie

Discussion in 'Books and Anime Discussion' started by Joe, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. Erandil

    Erandil Headmaster

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2008
    Messages:
    1,127
    Location:
    Germany
    Just two little questions...

    How much do the various worlds develop and interact? And how do they deal with sequels or similar things?

    And what stops those knights from writing/using paradise creating weapons/drugs into being... or even something mundane as immortality?
     
    Joe
  2. Joe

    Joe The Reminiscent Exile Prestige DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    Messages:
    499
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    High Score:
    1,800
    Not entirely sure - will see what I can do!

    Good questions. This is covered a bit in-story, both Distant Star and a touch more in Broken Quill. Funnily enough, it makes up a big part of the plot of Knight Fall, the next in the series, too.

    Here's the basic idea (this may be a shade long): A world of the 'Story Thread' is an entire universe that has been written by a Willful author--an author with the capability to channel and use the power that fuels all creation. Imagine there are hundreds of thousands of them, represented as books in our world, on True Earth, and that the Willful can visit any of these worlds. Sequels are accounted for inasmuch that the world can never really be visited while the story on the page is happening. At least, not under common circumstances.

    So say Deathly Hallows was written by a Willful author. Declan Hale and the Knights Infernal could not enter that world when Harry is fighting Voldemort, or whatever. The story is written--it has already happened. They could enter that world, but it would be after the final volume in the series, when the world has technically been left to its own devices.

    Now, for the most part, all these hundreds of thousands of fairytale worlds don't interact or crossover with one another. That only happens when the Knights Infernal visit and connect the world to Forget, to the Story Thread. Like a line of Christmas tree lights, one of the lights comes online.

    The core of the Forget is Ascension City, the Knights' home world, and from there they run the Story Thread--each world they've brought into the fold. They deem certain worlds too dangerous, also, and place runic locks on the books, stopping travel there. These worlds are known as the Dream Worlds and are, for all that matters, inaccesible.


    Not a whole lot, which is why you have the Renegades. When Distant Star begins, we see the Story Thread has only just emerged from over a century of war. The Tome Wars. Again, this is covered in-story quite a bit. The Renegades were a faction of the Knights that splintered away to do just what your question asks. They wanted to write complete worlds into existence that could be exploited, used for resources, and what not. This goes against the very reason the Knights exist - to protect the Story Thread and Forget.

    Very roughly, there's a balance to the Story Thread. Too many lights, too many worlds, and the Thread could tear--and outside of the Thread is the Void. Complete nothingness. If there are enough tears, the Thread - and countless billions - will plummet into nonexistence. We've already seen this happen in-story, in a few locations, where the Void has punctured reality, even True Earth. You'll see more in Knight Fall, the next volume, in a devastation known as a Voidflood, where the reality of a world crumbles entirely, is washed away, and worlds collide.

    Declan's fault, of course.

    Also along the lines of your question, there are certain elements/alloys/materials/minerals/what have you that cannot be written into existence. In-story a few of these have been mentioned, such as star iron, the celestial illusion alloy, and a few others. Basically, there are limits, there are caveats. Celestial illusion is powerful crystal capable of absorbing absurd amounts of Will, and as such is prized because it simply cannot be created. It's one of the few laws that govern the entire Story Thread as well as True Earth.

    Finally, there is a trade in everyday illegally created goods. A black market. This was touched on in Broken Quill, during a flashback to Declan's time as a Knight in the Tome Wars, where he was fighting Marauders in the Outer Territories. They do write worlds into existence, or small pocket realities where the trees are made of pure heroin, the sky shits diamonds the size of minivans, and so on. The Knights stamp out these worlds. They burn the book from existence, shatter the world, restore a balance. If that can't be done, the world is runic-locked into the Dream Worlds.

    I'll leave this here, because I've gone on a bit - would be more than happy to answer any more questions. If there's one thing I love talking about, it's my writing.

    Cheers.
     
  3. Shinysavage

    Shinysavage Madman With A Box Prestige

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009
    Messages:
    1,028
    Location:
    UK
    High Score:
    2,296
    Finished this the other night, and I thought it was much better than Distant Star. It's amazing how much difference the extra hundred pages or so made; it feels much more fleshed out and developed, and the plot was far more intriguing than that of Distant Star - although to be fair, that might be more because DS is so similar to Wastelands than any inherent flaw in the plotting. And of course, the action is seriously awesome, with that distinctly 'Joe' touch of epic.

    On the downside, there's a few points: the secondary cast, who I still didn't feel particularly invested in (although equally you've significantly improved on that aspect since DS); the amount of repetition, because I swear you told us what happened to Tal about six times across the book; and although it might sound a little contradictory given my first paragraph, both books are perhaps a little too epic at points. Remember that bit in 'The End of Time', where the Tenth Doctor talks about what was going on at Galifrey by the end of the Time War?

    It's kinda like that, but five hundred pages of it. It's fun, and awesome, but after a while it starts to lose its impact, I think.

    Eh. I still thoroughly enjoyed reading them both - I was up till one in the morning finishing BQ, despite having work the day after - and I'll definitely be picking up book 3. More importantly, perhaps, whereas I probably wouldn't have recommended DS on its own, having read BQ I'd recommend the series.
     
    Joe
  4. Mugglewizard

    Mugglewizard Seventh Year

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2012
    Messages:
    213
    I just finished the book and I must say I enjoyed it more than Distant Star. Left you review on Amazon too. I usually read books on my phone when travelling to and from work and this book almost made me miss my stop twice. Luckily I looked up in time.

    Declane is more defined here and his motives much more clearer than they were in Distant Star. I do wonder though if he was serious about leaving alcohol. I dont think so. I hope Annie is a recurring character in the series.

    Though I still dont know what purpose Sophie and Ethan are serving apart from just increasing the number of words in the story. They are always out when there is a fight. I also felt the book made too many a mentions of Tal and what happened to her to end the Tome Wars.

    Cant wait for Knights Fall.
     
  5. basabbath

    basabbath Second Year

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    Messages:
    54
    Just finished this the other day and I have to say I liked it far more than Distant Star, that is not to say that I didn't like Star, it's just at times I felt like an outsider thrown into a conflict of which I knew nothing about, following characters who all knew each other but about who I knew nothing.

    With Broken Quill I'm still not sure whats going on half the time but this time around there was a fresh face Anne who actually knew less than I did about the what was going on and that made the story much easier to follow.
     
  6. Eilyfe

    Eilyfe Death Eater

    Joined:
    May 27, 2014
    Messages:
    957
    I'm through and here's the detailed review. I'll write a condensed 5/5 for Amazon later.


    Pros:

    Charlie. I wasn’t sure about him at first, but the contrast with a kid plying mangos and a creature that only gets a headache by being near runes and enchantments that would rip apart Voidlings at the seams is a nice touch. Got the danger of the Dream World across very well. It also made me remember the Voidling in the last book, and thinking Charlie to be far stronger than that makes the snarl that at one point escapes him quite beautifully placed. (One point, as of yet unconfirmed because not read to the end, is that he gave up too easily, I feel.) – Now that I’m through: good job. I love that he’s Scion. And that the Everlasting are imprisoned in different places. Atlantis. The Dream World. Indeed, where’s the next one?

    The Infernal Knights, especially Declan’s friends. I’ve witnessed about two scenes with them (the guys) and already there’s a feeling of brotherhood that I can fall in love with. I forgot his name, but especially the one talking treason? I love that exchange. Also, all three of them leaving Declan alone at the gate to the Academy because it’s technically not considered the palace? Classic. I’m starting to gush but the respect they have combines well with the friendship. Honestly, I want you to build on the whole internal conflict. I want to learn more of these people, to see what actually happens when half the knights united under Declan’s banner, which might as well be a pair of ice cubes on an amber background. (After reading through: I hope you didn’t kill Vrail. I like him. And obviously, if he stops drinking, the banner doesn’t apply anymore.)

    With the Academy and the Fae Palace, and with the Knights, you start to flesh out the world of Ascension City – also with healers and ranks, and the library, and all that jazz. I admit, I like the parts there better than the ones in Perth or most of their journey. Already said it with the knights, but I’d love for the internal conflicts to become more of a focal point so that you get deep into Ascension City and flesh it out.

    Nice hinting at another kind of Will, a more ancient kind of it, with Origin. Makes me wonder how Declan will wreck shit once he’s got it.

    The World Cemetery. I had a vivid image of a whole world peopled by pale markers of death, and shuffling in between tending to them, the old grandfather made senile by imprisonment. Also, the emotional parts of that scene, of Declan before the gravestone, I liked as well. Too jaded to still shed tears; dried out entirely, and wishing not to be so dulled to emotion. That was powerful mojo. Also, love the phrase about ruthless soldiers fighting in an inept forever-war.

    Emissary just sitting down next to Declan on the bench at the Atlas Lexicon was amazing. Hands down the best way to start that fight.


    Cons:

    Exposition/Explanation of what happened in the first book or the time before that seems a bit heavy-handed/forced. Might be owed to reading the series back to back and knowing all that stuff; still I had the feeling it could have been smoother at some points. Sometimes it comes out somewhat roughly when Declan tries to summarize some aspect of the past and it feels unnatural. And it also happens rather often.

    Some expressions have cropped up so often now, they start to jar, because you also used them in the first book. ‘Pebbles on still water’ and ‘knife through butter’ especially. The last one bothered me the first time I read it because it’s an old, severely overused phrase. The pebble one I liked, but it’s cropping up a bit too often for my taste now. For the love of the Everlasting though, no more butter please. That phrase makes me aggressive, and you’re rather fond of it.

    Not too big of a point, but I’m still kind of rolling my eyes whenever I see a capitalized noun since there are so many of them. Sometimes they’re unavoidable, but I’d still use them like spices.

    Honestly, I’m not sure where you’re going with Sophie and Ethan. They feel like stowaways, just as in the first book, and fall flat to me. For Ethan at least I can interpret some kind of ambition, getting better at using the Will. But Sophie? She simply tags along, heals when it’s necessary, and is then put away again. Given that she’s Tal’s sister I would have expected more there. It feels like wasted potential.

    Annie Brie, while I liked her well enough alive, should have stayed dead. Her death was sudden, had impact, made Scion all the worse an enemy. Scion, if I understood it right, was just driven back, not killed. Him having killed Annie would have made any future meeting between Scion and Declan so much more tense. I’m also wary now. I can’t trust the emotional impact of a death, because I never know when the next petal suddenly appears.

    While wishing her dead though, I still wonder why Declan took her up to the tower in the first place. I get him involving her to convince Faraday of sending aid, I get them journeying through the worlds and growing tight. But he’s a war veteran who, for years, seems to have seen more dead people than Annie did alive ones. He knew Emissary would be waiting. He should have known there was a chance of an Everlasting, or something equally terrifying, crawling out of the woodworks. Whether Annie still accompanies him or not, I would have expected him to at least try and dissuade her.

    In general:

    Declan himself is solid. I like him, I like his inner voice. I sometimes wish that he’d get more angry at things. The lost eye for example. His reaction of “aw, well, that sucks” felt out of place to me. I was cheering when he walked into the throne room, furious and about to lay down the law, and then couldn’t. But overall he’s fleshed out quite nicely. He’s depressed, sometimes angry, funny and sarcastic, able to be happy, at times melancholic – in short he covers the human spectrum.

    Overall I liked this better than Distant Star though, and I’m curious where you’re taking this. Gods going to war hits a sweet spot, simply because they do quite the same in the story I’m currently writing; and it’s always hilarious to involve mortals in such a struggle.
     
  7. Joe

    Joe The Reminiscent Exile Prestige DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    Messages:
    499
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    High Score:
    1,800
    Wow, thanks for an awesome review, mate. Lot in there that will help me advance the current story, Book #5, even.

    Re: Declan angry, I'm trying to convey that the alcohol has numbed him, some what. Almost to the point of wanting to kill himself. He simply doesn't care, and perhaps he's not hurling himself into all these dangerous situations and fights because he's a hero, but the exact opposite. A guilty coward who wants to die. Its the booze whispering lies, of course, and what makes that worse is he knows that but still feels depressed.
     
  8. Eilyfe

    Eilyfe Death Eater

    Joined:
    May 27, 2014
    Messages:
    957
    And you do a good job of that overall. The way he uses booze as self-medication is obvious; the dulling effect that goes with it is, too. I mentioned the eye, because no matter how dulled the mind, even an alcoholic would be furious about losing one.

    But I have a question about the eye in general, because I'm ~30% into Knight's Fall (#3) and it was mentioned that

    Scion cost Declan the eye, and that Declan gouging out Scion's eye was revenge. Didn't Declan damage his eye during the attack on Tia's pub on the neutral world. Where's Scion in that?
     
  9. Joe

    Joe The Reminiscent Exile Prestige DLP Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    Messages:
    499
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    High Score:
    1,800
    WIthout going back and reading it, I believe Declan was talking more broadly.

    As in, the only reason he was in Meadow Gate in the first place was the series of events set in motion by Emissary/Scion. While, yes, the townspeople were the one to maim him, he never would have been there to be maimed if not for Emissary/Scion pulling strings. He considers the whole affair, ultimately, Scion's fault, thus the eye for an eye.