Frequently Asked Questions


There are major spoilers here - you may prefer not to read on.



As far as possible no speculation is included here. All the information is from Pat Hodgell herself (PCH), indirectly through her friend Melinda Hutson (MH), or by deduction from the books.


Q1. How do you pronounce rathorn and Gerridon?
["To Ride a Rathorn" Chap 1. part II]
"Damn, bloody Mind-rear, trotting after a crazy rat-horn..."
"That's rath-orn, moron." Rue glanced up at the Knorth house banner

PCH says Gerridon with a soft g as in jerry.

Q2. How old is ??? ?
Torisen: Ardeth: "...when we first met, you were half the age you are now.... Fifteen years ago." i.e. Torisen is about 30.
Jame : about ten years younger than Torisen. She spent 10 years in the Master's house plus 2 years elsewhere in Perimal Darkling where time moves more slowly.
Kindrie: It's been 34 years since the massacre of the Knorths. Tieri died twelve years after. That makes Kindrie about 22.
"Among the Dead" gave a second angle on Kindrie's age: Tori was 7 when Gerridon learned of Tiere's existence. Given a year for gestation, Tori would be 8 years older than Kindrie. So if Tori is 30, Kindrie would be 22.

Q3. Who is Jame/Torisen going to marry?
You've obviously noticed that neither Tori nor Jame seem to be overly attracted to members of the opposite sex. You've interpreted that to mean that Tori at least is gay. Sorry. PC intends for them to be only attracted to each other and for the sexual tension between them to start showing up in the fourth novel. As to Kindrie, he's been sort of a surprise for PC. She'd intended for the 3rd Tyr-ridan to be Jame and Tori's offspring, but Kindrie sort of just popped up out of her subconscious. He's fairly asexual, but definitely prefers Tori. (MH)

Q4. In "God Stalk" when Jame calls for judgement, how did she know she'd get it?
Instinct, I suppose. Because of who/what/where she is, Jame can make certain calls on the powers that be and get answers. Note that the answers can be thoroughly scary and sometimes world-shaking, so one doesn't want to ask often. (PCH)

Q5. In "God Stalk" given the power moving on the night she entered the city, how is it she still feared the haunts getting in?
Well, she's not entirely rational at this point, obsessed with the pursuit. Anyway, if the haunts did enter during the Feast, the gods would probably make sushi of them. (PCH)

Q6. In "Dark of the Moon" why is Torisen's army so much smaller than most of the others?
Tori is too honourable to take on yondri-gon on the basis of a possible future hiring. Others, like Caineron and Randir, do not have the same sense of honour. That doesn't mean that Jame cannot bind Kendar and use them to repopulate Chantrie, although that would be against current Kencyr traditions.

Steve et al. are right about Tori being too honorable to take on yondri when he can't realistically expect to be able to bind them in the near future. Jame can bind Kendar, of course, but it's against tradition. I'm not sure about Kindrie. Probably, in theory. He's certainly a strong enough Shanir. (PCH)

Correct me if I'm wrong. Don't any bindings by highborn simply add to the bindings of their lord? MH

Yes, that's one way Caineron has built up his house so much. About Brier, I would say that she was still partly under the Caineron influence, especially since she didn't (doesn't?) entirely trust the Knorth to be as good as they seem. Many of her attitudes are still Caineron. (PCH)

Q7. Who are the Tyr-Ridan?
You've mostly figured out that Jame is destruction and Kindrie is preservation, and though you might not be happy with it, obviously Tori is creation. Pat has said that destruction will manifest first. She's also thinking of Tori's role as coming in to clean up the messes after Jame (re-creation). He hasn't had the opportunity yet, but current plans for the fourth novel include some small slightly warped acts of creation by Tori (remember a certain stained glass window in Seeker's). Warped, because Tori is functioning without full access to his soul image. Pat is planning on making Tori a really unhappy camper. Nothing is set in stone for the fourth novel, so all of this could change during writing (Seeker's was supposed the be the first quarter or so of what is now going to be the fourth novel, but it kept growing and growing and growing. (MH)

Q8. Whatever happened to Jame's surname "Talissen" which was used in both "God Stalk" and "Child of Darkness"?
Well, "Child of Darkness" came first, and I can't for the life of me remember why I called Jame "Talissen." (An echo of Taliesan?} Once I had, I was stuck with it until I changed it to the rather ironic "Talisman," given Jame's penchance for devastation. Maybe I explain somewhere in my diaries. Now, there's a dissertation topic. (PCH)

Q7. Who are Kindrie's parents?
Fine details are still being worked out, but apparently Gerridon and Jamethield were only infertile with each other. Gerridon contracted with Ganth's father for a Knorth consort, but the massacre interfered. He later finds Tieri and gets her to fulfill the contract. So Kindrie is actually a legitimate full-blooded Knorth. The Randir matriarch got involved--she wanted an heir by Gerridon. She got a changer pretending to be Gerridon instead. So her son is a bit um odd. (MH)

Q10. In "Seeker's Mask" what is Brier's relationship to Caineron?
About Brier, the point of her first visit to Restormir was that Caineron was going to bind her once she had proved herself to him in a suitably humiliating way. Then she would no longer have been yondri. She isn't now because Tori has bound her.

I think I refer to Brier as a Caineron yondri, or at least that's the way the cadets still think of her. It isn't true, though. Was I so unclear about the rest?

Then too, this is an evolving story. I didn't know everything when i started, and i still don't. I just hope I don't contradict myself too often. (PCH)

Q11. What is it about Jame's soul image in "Seeker's Mask"?
About Jame's soul image, good question. I would say that so far she defines herself in opposition to her past, hence the developing rathorn armor on her body. She may not yet have found her true soul image. Anyway, these things aren't always static, just as our self concepts change as we mature. Perhaps Jame's hunger for a home is reflected in her so-far rootless soul image. For that matter, I'm not sure if That-Which-Destroys will ever have a fixed soul-image. That is, if it should become Kithorn once she has settled there, the very act of her taking it so much to heart might endanger it. Perhaps she will always be a roaming figure in the collective soul-scape. (PCH)

Q12. Which stories in "Blood and Ivory" are canon?
According to Pat, it's canon. All stories but "Child of Darkness" are canon.
PCH says (in the introduction to "Blood and Ivory"):
Although I left a niche for this presequel plotline in the chronology of God Stalk. I've begun to think it ["Child of Darkness"] may be too baroque to keep. You may therefore prefer to read this story as an alternative history.

Q13. Why is Jame's night vison so good.
About Jame's night vision, I think I had in mind that the Kencyrs' original world was a lot dimmer than subsequent ones. The Kendar seem to have adapted to Rathillien better than the Highborn, as we will see in the Southern Wastes. On the other hand, Shanir blood is either creating throw-backs or mutants -- I'm not sure which; maybe both -- but this only effects individuals. (PCH)

Q14. Why is such an ancient race as the Kencyr so backward?
"About techo/societal progress, societal is easier to deal with: if anything, the Kencyrath has regressed since the Fall. It was a lousy situation to begin with (I'm thinking especially of the Kendars' fate) and it's gotten a lot worse on Rathillien with everyone playing power politics in the Riverland and Caineron et al. trying to find ways around honor as a limit to personal power. Tori is just barely holding things together. There's going to have to be a big bust-up, courtesy of Jame, before he can put the pieces in a new pattern. (Think of the Riverland map as a template here).

About technology, I've never been much interested in that. It's like a foreign language. I've learned enough to be consistent (I hope), but not to change my society with it. My sense is that the Kencyrath just isn't very interested either. Obviously, none of the worlds they have occupied have been much more advanced than they are, if as much so. Up until recently, they depended more on the power channeled through their god's temples than they do now, which would also tend to freeze them at a status quo. Tori may introduce new ideas here too, against great resistence.

Also note that each time they have had to flee a world, things have been left behind, including some knowledge. The flight to Rathillien was especially abrupt.

On top of that, Melinda reminds me that you need a critical population mass before things start to change. The Kencyath is shrinking, not growing, and has been for a long time. (PCH)

Q15. Are there any Tolkien influences in the books?
About Tolkien's influence on my work, Damien is dead-right about the maps. I studied them long and hard (as well as others) to see how it was done.

Back when I was writing God Stalk, Kate Wilhelm complained that "Kencyrath" was a word that Tolkien would never have let in even by the back door. Her rule-of-thumb was, "Would Tolkien use this?" I suppose I took that advice more or less to heart. However, Tolkien also had his sources, and I've used them too. Names ending -iel (e.g. Jamethiel) are consciously Biblical. Both angels' and devils' names tend to end that way, with reference, I think to "El" -- God. So there. (PCH)

Q16. Does PCH have e-mail or internet access?
Pat does have e-mail. She has a personal account that she doesn't really want shared around and a work account (that she probably doesn't check as often as her personal account. She is faculty at University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, and will eventually have some nice faculty web pages put up. Right now, all it says is "under construction". (MH)

Q17. Who is this Hypatia that gets mentioned from time to time?
Hypatia Press was/is an imprint of Blue Moon Books, a small press in Oregon USA, who formerly published PCH's books. The books were only printed in small batches and some are now quite rare. Until Meisha Merlin republished the books Hypatia editions were all that were available outside second-hand book shops. The Blue Moon website has disappeared [Link checked 04/2/02 and found to be dead] so they are probably out of business.

For the record:
Blue Moon Books, Ltd., 225 West 7th, Eugene, OR 97401
Tel: (541) 484-9500; email:
The publisher, Alan Bard Newcomer, ran a bookshop, Escape Books, at the same address.


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© Steve Clark   Created 4th Feb 2002    Last updated 24th April 2007
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