Late to the Party but: Dark Rising ending

This is gonna be spoilers for Dark Rising of course since I’m talking about the end, so if you don’t want spoilers click away!

Ok so despite a lot of confusing geographical swapping (north and south, east and west swap multiple times over a few of the chapters, e.g. at one point in the siege of Skrovenberg Sabbreth guesses Ilari will be fleeing to the north gate which has the over land connection, but in the next chapter it is called the south gate, etc.) and pacing issues, I really enjoyed Dark Rising. Ilari is a compelling protagonist and while we don’t get as much on Roslov and his other officers they are fun characters too. Sabbreth is also metal as heck.

If there’s one thing we learn about Ilari during it it is that he is not afraid to die. He accepts his fate multiple times and then is saved to his surprise. Most notably in Skrovenberg and outside Port Vladovar.

In part 6, we have a fun cliffhanger that is sort of an aside to the rest of the story just to set something else up. However, I have to say it, this chapter does Ilari dirty. The warcaster we have been following would never opt to take the sword just to save his own life, knowing what it was, having already noticed Dagholoth was not leaving footprints and hearing Dagholoth talk about a bargain with the Dark Prince.

There are only two ways the Ilari we know picks up that sword.

  1. He finds it while scrambling away from the Deathless and grabs it without realizing what it was, swinging it in self defense.

  2. Dagholoth has made overt threats to the lives of his troops stationed outside or the rest of Khador and has demonstrated he can make good on them.

Neither of these happen. Indeed, the Old Witch says the choice is simply take the sword or die. And it is pretty clear the Deathless is bound to the tomb so if Ilari could live long enough for Volkova to get out, she could seal the door and prevent virtually anyone from ever going in there again.

PP: Ya done Ilari dirty. No two ways about it.

Anyway, thanks for attending my rant.


Yeah, that inconsistency caught my attention too. But, unfortunately, it’s nothing new or exceptional with Aeryn Rudel’s writing. Rudel has great potential to be a good author - he has the ability to make characters interesting, and he knows how to write dramatic action - but his characters are often inconsistent with how I’ve imagined them.

For example, towards the end of Mk3, Irusk - the greatest strategist of his time - has a massive airship with cannons, bombs etc. He sees the Cygnaran army on its way to liberate Merywyn, but rather than turn his ship to destroy that army, he insists on going on to bomb civilians in Corvis.

Stuff like this is why I can’t imagine myself becoming a fan of Aeryn Rudel. Characters are, and have always been, the focus in Warmachine/Iron Kingdoms storytelling, so authors who break the consistency of those characters feel like doing a disservice to the setting.