1. arron89
    Offline

    arron89 Banned

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2008
    Messages:
    2,460
    Likes Received:
    91
    Location:
    Auckland

    Book of the Month: December - Flank Hawk

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by arron89, Nov 30, 2009.

    By popular demand, this month is devoted to reading and discussing the recently-published fantasy novel Flank Hawk by WF.org's own T. W. Ervin II.

    Terry's website offers these discussion questions which will make a good starting point for the discussion here (Terry recommends reading the book before looking at the questions):

    1. Why did Road Toad give Krish the mercenary name, Flank Hawk?

    2. The death of which character had the greatest impact on Krish? Guzzy, Pops Weasel, Short Two Blades, Piyetten, or Roos? Explain why.

    3. What motivated Belinda the Cursed to assist Krish in trading the Blood-Sword?

    4. Why did Krish struggle a bit emotionally after killing the Long Tooth in the dark alley in Sint Malo, yet had no remorse in slaying the mermaids washed upon the deck of the Sunset Siren?

    5. Describe the initial relationship between Roos and Lilly. How and why did it evolve?

    6. How does the study and use of magic affect the user? Why might it have not affected Belinda the Cursed and the Colonel of the West in the same manner?

    7. What do Lilly and Roos offer (skills, abilities, background, knowledge) Krish in his quest to reach the Colonel of the West, and to deliver the device that destroys the Necromancer King’s factory stronghold?

    8. Was the growth of Krish, from a simple farmhand turned militia soldier, to a mercenary capable of completing the task Prince Reveron set before him believable? Why or why not?

    9. When Grand Wizard Seelain asks why Krish fights against the Necromancer King and his forces, what is his answer. Do you believe he was being truthful to Grand Wizard Seelain?

    10. What motivated the following characters to assist Krish and what motivated Krish to trust or have loyalty to them?
    Road Toad
    Grand Wizard Selain
    Prince Reveron
    Corporal Shaws
    Lilly
    Roos
    Belinda the Cursed

    11. Lilly asked Krish what was the worst enemy he’d faced. Krish replied zombies. What was his reasoning? If you existed in that world, what would you find to be the most terrifying enemy to face in battle?

    12. Speculate as to the rules and lines drawn between the Immortal Bloods? Why might they exist and why might one stretch them?

    13. What character did you as a reader most identify with? Explain. What character did you dislike or despise the most? Explain. Was there a character whose motivations and actions you didn’t understand?

    14. How did the mixture of man, beast, magic and technology shape the balance of power among the nations (peoples, leaders, and their realm of influence), what shifted it, and how did it play out on the battlefield?

    15. Why might Krish or any rogue healer keep their talents hidden? Why would the followers of Fendra Jolain seek out any potential healers and pressure others to inform them of any they discovered?

    16. What do you believe the theme or themes of the novel were, if it held any?

    17. What questions with respect to characters or events were left unanswered at the end of the novel?
     
  2. TWErvin2
    Offline

    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,528
    Likes Received:
    561
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    I am both honored and excited that Flank Hawk was chosen. I am really looking forward to WF reader's thoughts, insignts and comments.

    If anyone is having difficulty obtaining a copy, do let me know.

    Terry
     
  3. Sandy
    Offline

    Sandy Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2006
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    2
    Anyone finished reading Flank Hawk yet?


    Sandy
     
  4. hiddennovelist
    Offline

    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Messages:
    10,256
    Likes Received:
    161
    Location:
    Fabulous Sin City
    I haven't finished, and I'm scared to look at the discussion points. Instead of having them all under one spoiler tag, is there a way to maybe separate them into a couple groups, so as we go through the novel we can discuss the points, rather than waiting until we get to the end? I'm trying to finish it, but as I work retail, I've been very, very busy with work, as well as planning my wedding, so it's hard to find time to read. :(

    I took a peek at the first discussion question, so I guess to get things rolling, I'll start with that. I spoiler tagged it just in case there are people who haven't read that far yet.

    Why do you think Road Toad gave Krish the mercenary name Flank Hawk?

    When I got to the part where Road Toad gave Krish the name, I felt a little silly for not having guessed before that this would be his mercenary name, because it's so very appropriate for him-anyone who has Krish flanking them can count on him to fight fiercely and to defend his friends and those fighting with him like a hawk. It's the perfect mercenary name for him. :)
     
  5. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    I finished the book a while ago. I just haven't really had time to go into the discussion questions.

    I'll pick up with general critiquing points. I did spot 4 or 5 typos in the course of the book (figures, huh? :D), but I didn't write them down. Terry did a great job with first person narration, with none of the clumsy "I, me, I, my" that plagues beginning writers.

    I was disappointed that:
    Guzzy, introduced in the very first sentence, was snuffed out only eleven pages later. Long enough to begin to get to know him, but not long enough to really get attached to him.
    I know that's irrational of me, but of all the carnage in the book, that one felt the least necessary/well-handled.

    I enjoyed the way the different types of dragons were described and explained. They had the right AD&D characteristics, and I liked how their breath attacks were detailed.

    I'll stop here for now.
     
  6. Sandy
    Offline

    Sandy Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2006
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    2

    This first part may need spoiler tags, but I can't seem to find them around any where.

    I think Guzzy was a tool to use as background information, and a very cleaver one at that, but that tool had a life expectancy. We had to get to know Guzzy to get to the information. Krish had to move forward and I just don't see Guzzy tagging along.


    Characteristics is a very strong area with Terry, he really excels with it. Many others have commented.

    Sandy
     
  7. hiddennovelist
    Offline

    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Messages:
    10,256
    Likes Received:
    161
    Location:
    Fabulous Sin City
    To spoiler tag something, just put "spoiler" in brackets [] at the beginning of what you want to hide, then put "/spoiler" in brackets at the end. Without the quotation marks, of course.

    I'm torn between both Cog's and your opinion about Guzzy. On the one hand, I would really have liked to see more of him, and I did think his death was very abrupt. However, I can see how he could have held Krish back and kept him from growing the way that he has. In fact, it could even have been Guzzy's death that served as the push Krish needed to really start reaching his potential.
     
  8. Sandy
    Offline

    Sandy Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2006
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    2
    Thank you so much! I looked into the formatting of how someone else did it, but it looked too simple.

    Sandy
     
  9. thirdwind
    Offline

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Messages:
    7,351
    Likes Received:
    2,891
    Location:
    Boston
    I'm with hidden on this one. While I see the point to his death, I feel it was a bit too early. On the other hand, it has definitely helped Krish become a stronger individual. But on the whole, I think the death was an essential turning point to the novel.
     
  10. Sandy
    Offline

    Sandy Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2006
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    2
    I totally agree with your answer...
    Krish is loyal and maybe not the most experienced fighter, but his logic helps him out more than the need of experience.

    Sandy
     
  11. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    To add to this:
    Another characteristic of a hawk is its keen eyesight. Krish's crossbow work has proven to be deadly in its aim. Krish is fierce and accurate.
     
  12. TWErvin2
    Offline

    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,528
    Likes Received:
    561
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    I've noted the discussion of Flank Hawk has begun and have followed with interest.

    As such, I wanted to report here that I just launched a new feature to my website that I thought readers of Flank Hawk might be interested in. It's a short program that if you answer some questions it will determine what character you are in the novel.

    If you're curious, you can follow the link below to the thread in the writingforums lounge (instead of starting a second "What Character Are You?" thread here).

    Here is the thread: What Character Are You? Thread

    Terry
     
  13. hiddennovelist
    Offline

    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2009
    Messages:
    10,256
    Likes Received:
    161
    Location:
    Fabulous Sin City
    That's true, I never thought about that.
    While on the topic of his crossbow skills, I thought it was an interesting insight into his character that when his skill with a crossbow is first introduced, he doesn't seem to think he is as talented at it as Guzzy and, later, Road Toad. It's clear to the reader that Krish is destined for something great, but even when he's told he's great at something, he doesn't want to believe it.

    I loved that, Terry. Very cool! :)
     
  14. TWErvin2
    Offline

    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,528
    Likes Received:
    561
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    Hiddennovelist, glad you enjoyed the little quiz! And Grand Wizard Seelain...:cool:

    Terry
     
  15. NaCl
    Offline

    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Messages:
    1,855
    Likes Received:
    58
    I went back and re-read the first chapter of Flank Hawk to see if I missed something. To me, Guzzy's death was necessary for the story. It forced the action to accelerate by creating a void that begged to be filled.

    It also reminded me of a young man I once met in Vietnam. He was new in-country, less than two weeks and only on his first combat mission. Nice kid. Against all my experience, I took a liking to him. Even looked at pictures of his little sister back home. Bouncing Betty anti-personnel mine killed him about twelve kliks out of the forward firebase on his first patrol. I packed his belongings for the CO. Point is, people die in war, and they usually die at inopportune times. Guzzy became all the more realistic to me in death.
     
  16. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    What did people think of the blending of technology and magic, and how it was accomplished in the story? Remember to wrap [NOPARSE][/NOPARSE] tags around specifics from deep in the story.
     
  17. NaCl
    Offline

    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Messages:
    1,855
    Likes Received:
    58
    The specific blend of technology and magic forced me to stretch the limits of "suspending my reality" and was initially a bit difficult for me. I don't "stretch" well. LOL

    As the story unfolded, it made perfect sense and I was glad I finished the book. This illustrates the trust a reader places with a familiar author, a known critic or a reliable friend who recommends a book. There are many books I've finished simply because I had come to "trust" that the author would not disappoint. I believe Flank Hawk is one of those books requiring a bit of trust for some people to move through the technology/magic blend. Fortunately, it all makes sense in the high energy ending.
     
  18. Sandy
    Offline

    Sandy Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2006
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    2
    What makes Flank Hawk a good read it neither the technology nor magic is there to solve major problems. I've read books were the magic saves the hero...it's a big let down.

    Sandy
     
  19. TWErvin2
    Offline

    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,528
    Likes Received:
    561
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    WF Members,

    First, I really appreciate all who read and discussed Flank Hawk.

    While I read the discussions, as the author I didn't want to interfere. I think the reader's uninfluenced view is important. Sure, an author can chime in and 'explain' why this and that happened, but in reality the situation where the author can respond to thoughts readers have isn't the way things work in most scenarios. The reader reads and reacts either internally or with a circle of reading friends.

    As the conversation has apparently ended (been well over a month) and as I am working on the next First Civilization's Legacy novel, I would like to ask a few questions. Responses to any of the questions you feel relevant will hopefully help me complete the second novel, making it better than the first.

    1.What did you think worked and what did you find lacking in the novel? (I know that's a very general, open ended question-somewhat answered in the discussion by some of the readers). Was there something that really kept you reading? And/or was there something that just didn't seem to fit or didn't make sense or turned you off as a reader?

    2. Is there any aspect to the world (about the Greater Elves/Immortal Bloods, the Sun Fox Brotherhood vs. the Long Tooth Tigers, how/why magic works, etc.) or any characters that you would like to see more of, or focused on, if not the next novel (working title: Blood Sword) then in the third or fourth?

    3. There were quite a few characters that Krish/Flank Hawk interacted with throughout the novel. Did it become confusing? Or were they introduced/brought into the action well enough. Did they stand out as individuals or did they blend together? Overall were they they interesting and added to the story, or did they detract and confuse you as the reader?

    4. Combining your reader and writer hats, is there anything I could have done (method or technique you've learned or come across), to improve the use of first person POV in telling the story?

    5. Finally, any other comments, thoughts, insights are of course welcome-here in this thread or via PM if you believe it more appropriate.

    Once again THANK YOU all who read and commented in this thread. It was truly an honor to have Flank Hawk selected as the December Book of the Month!

    Terry
     

Share This Page