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Esmi posted 25 August 2008 in The Warrior ProphetEsmi by Avariel600, Commoner

Bakker does tend to bend philosophical in his books, and what I find most heartwrenching and ultimately insulting is his portrayal of Esmenet. She starts of as a strong, intriguing character with depths of intellect and a powerful philosophical mind herself, despite her meagre upbringings; she can feel the sting of being a whore, and carries the weight of her own guilt (i.e. what she perceives as being sin as well as what she's done to her own daughter) with a resignation and sorrow that only the repentant truly feel. She begins a monogomous relationship with Achamian, reigniting an old love affair and, for me, the brief passages in the Warrior Prophet describing their pseudo marriage are some of the most powerful in the book. They not only love one another, but they seem to need one another desperately; despite many decrying Esmenet as a social climber I don't see her as such, as she probably could have gained much more social prestige remaining Sarcellus' lover than becoming openly the lover of a damned sorcerer. Being with Achamaian really doesn't gain her a lot of prestige at all.

I feel let down by Esmenet's betrayal and eventual relationship with Khellus. She becomes almost a replacement for Serwe, who while being beautiful is in reality a simpering cow-like woman who's only real vitrue seems to be a child-like innocence that merely ends up getting her killed. Esmenet seems above the divinely inspired, almost religious rapture and adoration that encompasses many of those who treat with Khellus on a day to day basis, and yet despite the groundwork of this deep and unfathomable love for Achamian, as well as her own sharp intellect, Esmenet suddenly finds herself prey to these same worshipful feelings? Where did this come from? It was completely out of character, and while it somewhat speaks to Khellus' power of other people and his ability to manipulate, I would think that most women, especially a woman of the world like Esmenet who also has her intellect, would be able to see the difference between a man who was using her as a tool and one who truly loved her. I find it interesting that Akka loved Esmi simply the way she was, while Khellus felt it necessary to "redeem" her in order to prepare her for him, in a sense.

There's also the dichotomy of an almost divine love versus flawed mortal love; Khellus is most definitely a messiah like character, and Esmi's descriptions of the feelings invoked in her are closer to religious rapture than true love. She loves him, I think, because he's a prophet and god-like and she's consumed by the signifigance of this, whereas Akka...she knows his flaws, his imperfections, and she's infuriated by them while loving him wholly at the same time. I think Bakkar harps too much on how much more "perfect" Love is when it is focused on the divine, and he sullies the flawed nature of mortal love, which in my opinion is the more beautiful of the two. A sorcerer and a whore, one imperfect creature and another, and yet they love one another; how is that not the most signifigant thing this book could have shown anyone?

Instead it cheapens itself and merely shows that apparently women are easily bent from one man to another, and then all love is truly false. view post


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