The Official Knight Errant Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Literature' started by Havac, Jan 21, 2011.

  1. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    I'm too excited by his use of the Force Commander soundtrack to care.

    I also ran out of interest before I got to the review.
  2. jedimasterED Moderator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 10, 1999
    star 4
    I almost gave up, too; but I chose to hang in there and listened to all of their KE "discussion"... Wow! That show is... something else. And what is up with Nathan's hapless "co-host", Andrew? Oof! And Kelly...? She writes for a website and that's all she can contribute to the conversation? I won't be subscribing to that podcast, that's for sure.

    I can say this, though: What Nathan gets side-tracked with in overreacting, he almost makes up for in valid points.

    I agree that the book is most successful in establishing the setting and the antagonists; JJM pulls this off in spades! It's what kept me reading. What the book didn't do successfully was get into the mind of the titular character. Sure, I enjoyed the depiction of her exploits for the most part, but I didn't feel like I got to know her any better. Not that I had to or the book was a failure, mind you, or that someone else couldn't have come away knowing her more. It's just that I sort of expected more exposition on who Kerra is and why she does what she does, given that the book is named for her. But, the book seems to be better thought of as named for the era and setting, as being named for the product known as Knight Errant than for Kerra Holt herself. I also agree that JMM's exquisite mind created a fascinating and dense milieu but that tended to bog the book down in exposition-filled jaunts. Lastly, I didn't particularly identify well with Narsk or Rusher, either. So, I was more interested in the bad guys for the entirety of a book named for a good guy.

    What I don't agree with is that one needs to worry about how "dark" KE is or whether Kerra is truly a hero or if she's turning all dark jedi... that's someone taking things to extremes.

    It is a really good book, not perfect, but really well done.
  3. MercenaryAce Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 10, 2005
    star 5
    I have to agree. He had valid points, just ones I barely noticed while they apparently drove him crazy. In particular I noticed that Kerra was a little ruthless and angry at times, especailly given that many of the people she was fighting could have been drafted or brainwashed...and I never liked heroes making one liners about killing people. But I certainly thought that she was going dark jedi. Not an invalid argument in retrospect, but it never crossed my mind and I wouldn't mind if it went commentated on.

    I really have to disagree about the story being dark. Don't get me wrong, the story was very successful in portraying the chaos of the time and how much life sucks under the Sith, but I could never call the story itself dark. For one thing, the good guys win a lot. Smaller victories than most stories, but meaningful ones. In particular, some of the stunts they pulled would never have worked in anything but pulpy action series. Plus there was the humor. Sometimes dark, but often light hearted, and almost always hilarious. And always almost present too. From the most mundane scenes to the most dramatic, there was often some comment or thought or little detail wortha chuckle at the very least.

    As another way to expand the thread, I have some questions. Might be worth discussing:
    1.How common are Sith adepts? Daimen has his correctors, but I don't know how many. The Dyarchy had several metric tons of Unifiers. We didn't here about any working for Odion or Arkadia. Plus, with so many lords I can't imagine there are that many people willing to be adepts.

    2. Daimen's troops were described as wearing burgundy armor and skirts, but his soldiers in the comic wore dark silver armor and no skirts. Is the difference because of their ranks, or where they are posted, or was there an out of universe explanation, like the artist having a different idea than JJM?

    3. How will the comics handle the giant revelations from the novel? They can't ignore this stuff, but revealing something that important via exposition would annoy the people who just read the comic.
  4. TKeira_Lea Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 10, 2002
    star 5
    In all fairness to the reviewer I think her point was she couldn't find enough in the book to inspire her to say that much. She said she wanted to read it twice, and could barely get through it once. I can't say I'm far off on that opinion. I'm still trying to finish it. I think this is a book a fan will really love or feel really ambivalent about. I think the length and her expression of what she did feel about the book actually says enough - sort of like, it's not worth her time wasting that much energy on it. That response may not fly well with fans who LUV!11!! the book, but as a method of review, it's doesn't make her small say less valid or less of a contribution.
  5. jedimasterED Moderator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 10, 1999
    star 4
    I didn't say it wasn't a valid perspective on the book but, by definition, a "small say" is less of a contribution when the purpose of the podcast is to review and discuss. I guess my point was that she's a reviewer in another setting and it seemed to me like she didn't give her review much effort. A reviewer who is ambivalent or uninspired by that which they review ought to be able to at least offer up something more than, "I just couldn't bring myself to care." Then why participate in a review or discussion? And that was what I was getting at in my critique of the podcast: you have one reviewer who can't put thoughts or words together to support his position, one reviewer who doesn't care enough to have a position really, and a lead reviewer who is over dramatic and very nearly misses his position for it. That all adds up to a sucky "review" and a laughable podcast. Jus' sayin'.

    That said, MercenaryAce (and Nathan Butler in the podcast) does raise an interesting question about how the revelation of "how the Sith are connected and all that stuff" will be handled in the comic... if at all. Do we think it's necessary for the comic to do that soon? I don't think it's necessary for quite some time. There's the Odion/Daiman/Kerra plot to resolve, there are other unnamed-in-the-novel Sith to check in on, there's returning to Republic space; I think there's plenty to explore without needing to get into the connection revealed in the book.
  6. TKeira_Lea Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 10, 2002
    star 5
    Compared to say a movie critic show, I'd say the same non-reaction happens often. The book inspired nothing from her - not to hate, not to like, just nothing. I've seen Siskel and Ebert, back in the day, give less of a review than Kelly, but in the similar vein. I'm going to throw this out there, it's generally accepted that women aren't wired to be overtly negative when we don't like something. So perhaps her silence speaks volumes.

    Now if it's a pattern in how she responds as a reviewer that's another matter. But judged in isolation I think you were being a bit unfair. It's the overall pattern of reviews from a reviewer that helps people feel out the reviewer's judgment.

    To me it was a bit wierd to read a book titled around a knight errant that really wasn't about her at all. She was just a mechanism to travel around these three story arcs and build worlds. There is no compelling reason to care about her sadly. The review got a bit long-winded, but I think it lined up pretty much with what I'm thinking as I finish the book. I wouldn't recommend it to most of my friends. IMO, KE is a niche book for a certain type of fan that enjoys world-building, and that's the bottom line from their review.

    Personally, I think the EU needs to be careful how they allow people to develop the Sith. I'm not so sure JJM's vision aligns with what Lucas wants for the Sith to be to the fans. Take for instance Filoni's recent discussion of backing the two Sith out of TCW episode. Overexposing Star Wars' bad guys and their inner workings can backfire. When Traviss got really into world-building her Mandos, look what happened. I'm just saying...
  7. episodenone Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 13, 2001
    star 4
    Filoni's almost use of Bane and Revan has no relationship to what happened in this novel.

    And we already know the basics of this timeline from LFL -- not sure how anything presented here wouldn't fit into whatever preconceived notions GL might have had.
    I mean we already have Space ship that look like 17th Century Spanish Galleons in this era -- this seems to be a major improvement.

    And like I said earlier -- I am personally lead to believe that this is exactly what LFL and even GL himself must have had in mind... otherwise how could there be any justification for Mace saying "The Oppression of the Sith will never return" [paraphrase]

    The societies JJM designed in this novel are 1 after another different forms of Sith Oppression over the entire Populace of a system / planet.
    And done in entirely different and fascinating and interesting ways.
    Thus - now we understand exactly what Mace [and his presumed historical studies of the Sith] was trying to prevent by killing Palps
    Because obviously, any ruling class of Sith completely dominates its citizenry

    I haven't listened to the podcast of Nathan Butler -- but I am not 1 who ever listens to podcasts.
    And why wouldn't he drop by and make a few comments on the official thread?
    Didn't he used to be a regular on these boards?

  8. episodenone Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 13, 2001
    star 4
    As to Kerra being angry at times... well, these were VERY different Jedi from the movie era types.

    They were in a state of constant war -- and would have had little time to spend on contemplation or meditation on the light side.
    I think she represents the natural progression of what Jedi philosophies would have morphed into during this time period.

    I agree - maybe some more introspection on her part would seem warranted - and would mitigate the view readers would have as to how or why she acts this way.
    But keep in mind - we are getting to know a lot more about her in the DHC arc as well - so to accomplish all that JJM did and keep in mind this wasn't the beginning and end of all her character development - is perfectly acceptable imho

  9. Taral-DLOS Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2009
    star 3
    I finished this last night, and absolutely loved it!

    A few quick thoughts:

    I'm one of those readers who pictures the characters and hears their voices when reading (in a strictly non-psychopath sense). For some characters, I like to liken them to actors or characters from other shows, to ensure they sound different.

    To all those like me:

    Did Daiman sound like Mark Hamill doing The Joker?

    Also, did Arkadia look and sound like Emma Frost?

    Another quick point: I found some typos. Nothing significant (in fact, every one of them was a proper name that was misspelled into an actual word (Vilia misspelled as Villa, Arkadia as Arcadia). I point it out only because there's been a trend of typos that have made their way into Star Wars books this past year or so (especially Allies and Clone Wars Gambit). I'm hoping that, with fans pointing out when such errors occur, that editorial staff might be extra-vigilant, especially in cases like these, where proper names were misspelled as legitimate words.
  10. JohnJacksonMiller Mastermind: KOTOR, LTotS, Knight Errant

    VIP
    Member Since:
    May 24, 2005
    star 3
    Hadn't seen those typos, but they're both of the sort that could have been auto-spellchecked and slipped past. We did have a bit of a faster track on this book, to get it out in the timeframe of the first comics series. I Fedexed the page proofs on the way to the airport for Celebration!

    All right, I am finally ready with the post-release Ask-Me-Anything thread over on my blog. I'm also giving away a couple of novel-comic sets to randomly-selected questioners. Those who haven't read, beware of possible spoilers in the other questions. Again, I can't get into stuff that hasn't been published or announced yet, but I can try to address any burning (or even slightly warm) questions you may have about what you've read.

  11. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    I'm not sure anybody should care.
  12. JohnJacksonMiller Mastermind: KOTOR, LTotS, Knight Errant

    VIP
    Member Since:
    May 24, 2005
    star 3
    Before I head out for down there, just wanted to alert readers in southern Wisconsin and northern Illinois to my signing today at Westfield Comics in Madison, Wis. Stormtroopers from the 501st will be present. Take a break from watching the craziness at the State Capital and come visit! The signing is from 1-4 at the Westside store -- 7475 Mineral Point Rd., Suite 22., in High Point Center.
  13. dewback_rancher Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 23, 2009
    star 4
    Wisconsin? Awww, fudgenuggets. One state over (Michigan) and I would totally be all over it, even if it were all the way in the UP. As it stands, I've got no way to get out of state for a book signing.

    So close, and yet so very far away... :_|
  14. Zorrixor Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Sep 8, 2004
    star 6
    Well that's interesting...

    When I tried to see if Red Harvest was available on Audible back in January, they didn't have it.

    Today, in browsing for something to listen to, I see they now stock it.

    Maybe there remains hope Knight Errant will still get recorded and I'll get to listen to it sooner than whenever I finally manage to get time to read it. [face_praying]
  15. Manisphere Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2007
    star 5
    On parole?o_O
  16. dewback_rancher Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 23, 2009
    star 4
    No, I just have no way to get myself out of state, travel-wise. Severly ADHD, so... too easily-distracted to be safe with a driver's license (that, and I had a psychotic driving instructor, but that's an entirely separate story). Not sure I could convince anyone to let me bum a ride out of state for a book signing. *sigh*
  17. Senator_Cilghal Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 19, 2003
    star 5
    expect some notes soon...

    for the time being, let me say this book rocked...

    I cannot help but think it reminded me of the first book in Asimov's Foundation series...Kerra visiting different Sith states in Grumani, each with their own unique culture and govt and warped world vie...I recalled the different "neighborhoods" of Tantor, with same

    And I totally hope we get to see some of the vessels in the book in the comics, especially the Arkadianate Fleet

    Interestingly, although we've seen lots of Odion and his fleet, still no peek at any worlds in his space
  18. DemonzNMySleep Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jan 11, 2009
    star 1
    Meh. For me, Kerra Holt could have easily been any other Jedi Knight in any other era. She could have been Jaina Solo, for all I knew, and I still wouldn't have been able to identify a tangible difference. I guess that's the problem with Jedi these days -- they're all alike, no matter what species, gender, age, or rank they happen to be. They all end up trying to tell everyone else what they should do and how they should live, anyway.

    I nearly shut the book and tossed it into the corner a few times when Kerra tried to lecture Rusher about how to treat the refugees, and how to basically live his life. I mean, her precious Republic has utterly written this entire sector off, abandoning it to a bunch of squabbling Sith brats with no intentions of doing anything about it anytime soon. Rusher's doing what he can to get him and his crew by in this atmosphere, yet this doesn't fit in with Kerra's quaint little idea of what a perfect galaxy should be. The man took on a thousand plus refugees and whisked them all over Sith space, but Kerra wasn't satisfied until they were able to find a route back to the Republic. And maybe she shouldn't have settled for anything less, but Rusher went above and beyond a mercenary's call of duty. I'm just saying -- in a sector like that, people like Rusher, or Gub Tengo, or anyone else, can't just go around picking and choosing how they should go about surviving according to the Jedi's idea of what is morally righteous or not. They find out what they're good at and they go with it.

    I liked that all the Sith warlords turned out to be related, all participants in a twisted family competition - that was an excellent twist. Beyond that, I found this book to be rather diffcult to get through until the last 50 pages or so. I only finished it yesterday, and I'd had it since the day it was released. I still have RED HARVEST sitting in my pile of books to be read, but I don't even feel like picking that up and being disappointed again. *Sigh*
  19. Darth_Monopoly Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 6, 2006
    star 2
    I really want to go back and reread it now that I know that (spoilers for Aflame #5) Odion actually has been burned so badly his armor is fused to his skin. As I was reading I was picturing him as shown in the first four issues of the comic, but obviously that's changed now.
  20. Havac Former Moderator

    Member Since:
    Sep 29, 2005
    star 7
    But that was kind of the point; Kerra was hassling him because she'd been raised by the Jedi, by Vannar, with the notion that it's your duty to go out there and fight evil. She's so far into it that she's decided that she's going to run around Sith space all by herself trying to defeat evil and save everybody. She can't wrap her head around somebody choosing to work for the Sith, somebody who seems like a good person and has skills and means not standing up for what's right. The payoff is when she realizes, near the end of the book, that Rusher really is a decent guy who's in a situation that's so badly screwed up that good people do mercenary work for Sith Lords because they think it's the best of many lousy options, and he's really just trying to do the best he can for his crew.
  21. JohnJacksonMiller Mastermind: KOTOR, LTotS, Knight Errant

    VIP
    Member Since:
    May 24, 2005
    star 3
    The novel notes are now online. The drawing results are on there now; I will be posting the specific Q&A answers later this week in a later post. Hopefully this breaks the bottleneck so I can get to the pages for the most recent two Lost Tribe stories, among other things.
  22. Robimus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 6, 2007
    star 5
    Darn, I didn't finish this before the sticky died.:p Hopefully soon.
  23. Robimus Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 6, 2007
    star 5
    So now that I finished this up(my thoughts in the review thread), I have to seriously ask you all something.

    Do you all(well many of you) seriously put this on the same level as Matt Stover's work?(My impression from the review thread) I'm just wondering becasue I don't see any similarity from the development of the characters to the pacing of the plot, to the dialog and overall complexity of Stover's work.

    Don't get me wrong, I think the writing was fine and fits in well with what Star Wars authors generally deliver, but a Matt Stover novel this was not. I'm just surprised by the amount of people comparing the two authors - It's high praise for JJM for sure even if I don't agree with the comparison.
  24. Charlemagne19 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 30, 2000
    star 7
    I think that's comparing an apples and oranges sort of thing. Shatterpoint and Traitor are arguably the two best Star Wars novels ever made with exteme points about the nature of war, the Force, and personal integrity.

    That's not so much a ten as a 15 if 10 represents, "I have no complaints and really enjoyed it."

    Luke Skywalker and the Shadows of Mindor, OTOH is closer to a 10 or 9 Point X that reflects my Knight Errant feelings a bit more.

    In the case of Knight Errant, the whole point about the story is that it is sort of a literary comic book. I pretty much read it as the novelized version of three comic book arcs following Kerra Holt as she deals with Daimon and Odion's attempts to do something nefarious (again), Kerra's efforts in the Dyarchy, and finally the climax where she has to deal with Arkadia's Sith Empire and the revelation of how this tapestry of weirdness works together. In short, Knight Errant is (IMHO) really just issues 6-24 of the Knight Errant series distilled into text format.

    Is Kerra Holt a character who needs some further fleshing out? Maybe. There's the simple fact that we're not getting much into her head because JJM has established both within the text and in his notes that she's extraordinarily tightly wound. That doesn't lead to much in the way of introspection and it is coming off as more action as opposed to thought, but that's not bad because clearly Kerra doesn't do much thinking.

    The moment she starts to think in the novel are rather powerful, especially when someone starts pointing out how impractical her ideas are. Eventually, someone is going to point out she can't evacuate Sith space because refugee criseses aren't good for anyone. Also, her worldview is remarkably black and white which is so far helped because Daimon and Odion are cartoonishly evil while Arkaida is clearly one of those sorts of dictators who THINKS she's doing her people a favor but isn't (and then snaps when her people rebel - Hitler was supposedly one of these).

    Arkadia I actually liked because of the simple fact that she was so desperate to be a "Good Sith." She reminded me of those RPGers that wanted to play a Light Sided Dark Sider on the Old Republic, but in her case it's obvious she has no idea what the hell she's doing because people are still just objects to her.

    Really, the best part of the book is that JJM takes the usual "big bads" of the Sith and turns them in on themselves to get a sense of who they are. We start with the usual Chaotic Evil of the Sith and then reveal the deeper nuance that, yes, these people are actually human beings with their own emotions and damage.

    I'm anxious to see where JJM is going with this.
  25. dewback_rancher Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 23, 2009
    star 4
    Glad to see so many other people enjoyed this novel as much as I did- KE really is one of the most exciting things going on in Star Wars at the moment, and the novel is where you really get it brought home how exciting. JJM 'gets' Star Wars in a way that is just so rare to see nowadays. As I've said before, I feel like a little kid finding the Thrawn Trilogy in my dad's book collection for the first time again. It's got that same feeling of (for lack of a better term) Star Wars-yness to it.

    You're always welcome around the KE fan club over in the EUC, Charles! [face_peace]