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Thread: November 2013 - Elantris by Brandon Sanderson and Divine Blood by Luke Green

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    November 2013 - Elantris by Brandon Sanderson and Divine Blood by Luke Green

    This month was close. Elantris and Divine Blood were head-to-head the entire voting process, and when looking at the votes only two people voted for both. In order to make 41 people happy instead of just 21, I've decided to have both books used in book club this month. You can read Elantris, Divine Blood, or both! It's up to you!

    Elantris by Brandon Sanderson

    Amazon | Kobo | Audible | Barnes & Noble

    ---------------------------

    Divine Blood by Luke Green

    Amazon | Smashwords | DriveThru RPG

    Happy reading!
    Last edited by Mylo; 11-05-2013 at 07:43 PM.

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    Well, not finished with Elantris yet, but about 41% of the way through according to kindle.

    I can't say for sure what caused Elantris's fall, but at the moment, given the fact that their kind did die prior to the Reod, what is most likely is that whatever process was involved in establishing the Sheod and the Elantrians required some sort of maintenance. The Elantrians were likely slow to relate the necessity of such things to their heirs since they assumed they were immortal. The fact that new Elantrians were drawn from the populace which was, more and more, coming to believe that they were Gods, and you have the next generation growing less and less aware of the necessity for such maintenance until eventually everything fell apart.

    If so, that vaguely mirrors some of the situation we have currently in the United States where each administration puts off the task of addressing the decaying infrastructure of our nation, much of which was originally laid between 1910 and 1950. Eisenhauer and FDR both doing a great amount of work on building that infrastructure. Now we have bridges, roads, power cables, factories and power plants that are over fifty years old and in dire need of updating. But because everything is sort of working, we're content to leave it be. Which is something I could much more easily see happening in the Elantrians case.

    As to the rather moronic system of rule set up by Iadon, it's rather similar to what some would describe as rampant capitalism in this world. However, his system doesn't allow for the capital to continue moving, which is how it builds up and strengthens a culture. Instead he just accumulates it himself, which my limited understanding of economy tells me is how capital dwindles a culture.

    As to the religious issues, rather visibly derivative of real world issues between the various Abrahamic religions. It would be stupid of me to compare either of the two presented religions, Shu-Korath or Shu-Dereth, to any of the real world derivations of the Abrahamic religions. Being Catholic I recognize elements of Catholicism in both religions. Especially Old World Catholicism, but, again I doubt either religion is supposed to actually be Catholic.

    As to the Derethi's methods, they strike me as futile, they might eventually engender belief in the people, as well obedience, but they are already lacking in Faith, at least as follows my understanding of what Faith is. Their unity is a matter of external motivation, they are unified by their urge to obey those above them and that one above them is motivated toward converting everyone to belief in the same religion. Assuming everyone did come to believe in the same religion and Jeddeth never rose up from the Earth as they believe (it's a fantasy setting, such is at least vaguely possible), then they would start to fracture. Actually, they already have fractures. The fractures appear in the monasteries, which are outside the normal lines of obedience, and in the gyorn's use of seon and in split between Fjon, Hrathen and Dilaf's approaches. If the entire world came to the point where they all claimed to worship the Derethi religion and the ascension wasn't happening, then the next question would be why.

    Actually, I can see the Derethi religion fracturing in one of two ways assuming they were to succeed in converting everyone and then nothing changed.

    The first is the most likely, accusations begin to fly that some of the Derethi are not truly worshiping the way they should. Sects split over whatever trivial detail they decree has importance, some minor thing that most be why Jeddeth remains under the Earth. Inquisitions begin with the aim to ferret out heresy and blasphemy. Secrets are found and utilized as weapons by one sect or another and the entire structure caves in on itself in a series of bloody internal wars.

    The second is that the assumption that the ascension happened and that they were now in a golden age, which would remove the external motivation that they had been operating under but instead of a bloody and potentially rapid fragmentation, there would be a slow decline in holding to the old ways. After all, if they'd already achieved their aim then there would be little reason to maintain certain traditions meant specifically to push the agenda of conversion. The sects would split as before and the religion as a whole would slowly grow less important.

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    Well, I was right about this being one of those things where some fundamentally basic function of the magic had been overlooked and had caused the issue. The ending was fairly expected, though the Dakhor monks were rather unique.

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