RIHASI — quick comments

Okay, so, first, many thanks to everyone who has taken time to write a review so fast! Currently, nearly a third of all the ratings for RIHASI are accompanied by reviews, which is an immense proportion. That’s not going to last – as more people read the book, the proportion is going to drop toward the normal tenth or so – but I’m very certain these reviews are helpful in multiple ways, plus of course I am just so happy that readers are so positive about RIHASI. I’m pretty sure I’ve never had a book stick at 5.0 stars this long. I’m aware the rating can’t stay perfect for too much longer, but I now fully expect RIIHASI to settle at something like 4.9 stars, maybe 4.8 stars, and stay right in that range somewhere. I was confident readers would enjoy it, but seeing the proof of that is still thoroughly satisfying, believe me.

Second, I’m really curious about how many readers catch on about Kior’s backstory before the reveal. There are clues, so if you missed those on the first read, I bet you’ll spot them the second time you read the book. I also tried to provide plausible wrong alternatives to confuse the issue, because while I thought it would work for readers who caught it, I didn’t want it to be too easy! Two of the early readers got it; the rest didn’t; that seems to indicate that this element worked pretty well as a mystery. Plus I do think the story works just fine whether a reader catches on or otherwise because this isn’t actually a murder mystery. You’ll just react to certain elements differently depending on whether you’ve guessed or not, probably.

Third, I wonder if anybody has noticed something else? No one has commented about this as far as I know, but MARAG and RIHASI are actually a related pair of stories, even though one is a prequel and the other a sequel. Or, I could say, Sinowa and Rihasi are similar people in really essential ways, even though they’re obviously so dissimilar in more obvious ways:

A) They both belong to the Sun, and

B) They are both implacable.

The former attribute is emphasized in MARAG because Marag herself sees this and notes it in so many words. That’s because Marag is, essentially, a priestess, so she is obviously going to perceive the way the Sun stands above Sinowa. But it’s there in RIHASI even though Kior doesn’t pick it up the same way. There are a fair number of important moments when the Sun really does throw down his light upon Rihasi. The Sun is definitely standing above her in the same way, even though it’s more subtle.

Meanwhile, implacability is emphasized in RIHASI, where Kior notes it in so many words at important moments. But it’s there in MARAG too; it’s just that Marag doesn’t think of it exactly that way. The quality she thinks about is surety, but implacability is in there too. You may not remember, but Goru inNakeyo uses that exact term when he says, near the end, “I do not imagine many men are as implacable as you are, Sinowa inGara.” He’s right about that.

This does make me wonder what Sinowa and Rihasi would think of each other if they met. That’s not a hint. I have no specific plans to have them meet, though who knows, it could happen. I just wonder if they would perceive each other as kindred spirits in this essential way. That would be kind of strange for them both, probably.

I have no specific plans to write another book from the Rihasi/Kior points of view, though obviously if I suddenly thought of a keen story that would work from their points of view, I’d be happy to write that story. This is true for most of the secondary characters, of course. I will say: Rihasi is going to be important, obviously, so we’re dead sure to hear references to her, at the very least. More than that, she’s likely to remain closely associated with Aras and/or Sekaran, so sure, we might meet her again, probably during Tathimi’s stories.

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11 thoughts on “RIHASI — quick comments”

  1. I admit that I only picked up on Kior’s past about 3/4 of the way through, but I am not the best at picking mysteries apart before the reveal. It was the repeated mentions that he wanted to specifically avoid Lord Aras that clued me in, in combination with a few of the other hints. It certainly helped that I’ve read all the other books in the series!

  2. I also picked up why Kior wanted to avoid Aras somewhere about 2/3 of the way through the book. I was very pleased when I turned out to be right and never guessed how that would be used to help clear up Rihasi’s issues. I have also read all the books— most of them more than once.

  3. I really enjoyed being clueless about Kior. At the end I did recall little references being made, but I’m dreadful with names. I loved that way things worked out at the end was a complete surprise.

    I totally got the sun thing with Rihasi due to the writing. It was made clear to me all the way through that she was doing the Sun’s Work.

    I did not pick up at all on the similarity between Sinowa and Rihasi. That is probably a gender thing. Men are expected to be in charge and part of being in charge is to keep everything stable and follow through. Also, in the stories the scale is different re what she has to do versus what he has to do.

    A substack email newsletter that Rihasi would really like, and quite possibly write herself, is the Age of Invention by Anton Howes. Just sayin’. I adored those bits where she talks about Alum mining etc. I could read those all day.

  4. I was completely surprised about Kior. Not sure what that says about me as a reader!

  5. I did guess Kior’s secret very quickly: it was clear early on that he is not the sort of person who would run away from the consequences of something he had actually done (and if it were something like an accidental or defensive killing of a very important person that hadn’t been adjudicated fairly, he would be trying to get TO Aras, not away from him!), so it had to be some situation where Kior might consider himself not directly culpable, or where there was some other person or thing he was trying to protect. But in that case we should have seen hints of whatever special circumstances made his his dilemma and choice to flee from the law fraught and interesting in his POV sections. Since we got so little about the circumstances and the people involved in Kior’s situation as the story progressed—and you are a writer who always sets up backstory carefully and gives the reader reasons to be invested—it seemed most likely that it had something to do with something we already knew about.

    From the summary, I had three guesses about Kior’s background: 1) He had been one of Aras’ soldiers who deserted when Aras was revealed to be a sorcerer. 2) He was a Rahavet. 3) He had been one of Lorellan’s soldiers. But the first couple chapters had enough hints to eliminate two of those as much less likely than the thirs.

  6. Just a quick heads up, the “Year of the Reaper” is on sale for $1.99 from Amazon.

  7. I loved Rihasi and I didn’t figure out about Kior, but in general I don’t figure out clues. I enjoy being surprised!

  8. Just reviewed. I loved it. Didn’t figure out about Kior, but OTOH absolutely all my focus was on Rihasi! I had no brain space to spare for wondering about Kior!

  9. I left a 5-star review to help keep that rating up! Normally I have a hard time writing reviews because I want to be helpful in the way others are but it takes me so long, and this time I had to read the Amazon synopsis several times to make sure I wasn’t spoiling the identities haha. I didn’t really guess about Kior, and even went back to read Tasmakat to remind myself of some things. Did you mention him by name at any point earlier? That’s what I was wondering.
    Very clever work around to their crimes, I adored the way that worked out.

  10. I did not guess Kior’s secret at all! I did perk my ears at the little heads-up near the end, but by then we were so close to the reveal I did not bother to stop and try to figure it out then. I definitely wondered what the secret was here and there early on, but none of my nascent suppositions went anywhere!

    I did notice the part about Rihasi belonging to the Sun, but did not connect her with Sinowa directly. More to Marag the book, in terms of the general concept of someone being ‘of the Sun’.

    Thanks for another lovely Tuyo book, looking forward to more in the future!

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