Okay, I've read the first book, and is it just me or does the Termagant Trogs sequence seem to indicate the author has... issues... with women?
You could argue that, perhaps along with the Shrykes and such, but it seems more likely they are simply playing on the Common theme in nature that the Females of a species will be larger or more deadly than the males; For example Mosquitos, along with many Reptiles and Insects. Somewhat less common in mammals.
There's also some pretty rampant sexism going on with females who aren't Shrykes or Termagant Trogs. It seems to be a given that girls can have a few little adventures as long as they're being looked after by responsible men (best highlighted with Maris in the Quint trilogy), but once they grow up it's on with marriage, babies and get back in the kitchen. Even Maris, who this troper had high hopes for, ended up being remembered, not for her instances of badass, but for being 'Mother Maris'. And let's not forget Keris who, being only a girl, CLEARLY had no use for her father's sword. Oh no, just give her a little trinket and she'll be a-okay. I was so disappointed with the ending of The Slaughterer's Quest that I honestly very nearly cried. So only the MALES of the Verginix line are allowed to be badass? What gives?
First off, I think the sword point may have been more to do with her living in a slaughterer village than anything. Also, that Twig may have still needed the sword if he was going off to find his crew. But onto my main point; I haven't read The Immortals yet, so I don't have the full spectrum to compare across, but it seems to me that the attitude towards women may have been deliberate. One thing I love about The Edge Chronicles is that society changes as time goes on, and one thing that changes seems to be the attitude towards women. In The First Age of Flight, then yes, it seems very much that women are expected to stay out of trouble. There are no women at The Knight's Academy, Maris, when she joins The Galerider is basically the nurse of the group, and Maugin hides behind a hood and shocks Twig when she reveals her gender (by the way, no-one can tell me Maugin isn't badass; she set herself on fire to save the ship). By the time we get to the Rook trilogy, however, things have clearly changed. Varis Lodd is the most renowned knight academic around, and obviously girls are allowed to become them. There is sexism in the society - blatantly highlighted by Magda getting booed when her name was announced to go study - but there has been progression. And OK, maybe Magda does get saved by a male, but she can clearly survive fine on her own. And for the "remembered for motherhood" point, I don't know about Magda, but Varis couldn't possibly have been remembered as anything other than an absolute hero. As I said, I haven't read The Immortals yet, but from what I have read, it seems society has progressed quite naturally in this regard.
Maris being remembered as "Mother Maris" is remembering her CMOA, she wandered Undertown, adopted a group of waifs and strays, traveled into the Deepwoods, and founded the greatest society in the Edge's history.
How come nobody bothers to tell Rook about his heritage until the end of Freeglader? And even then, it's Tem, not anybody who, you know, was actually in a state to tell him before that. Tweezel obviously knew, given his little exposition party with Xanth. He can't have been the only one, not when the only guy left with the name of Barkwater married Keris and then disappeared... then oh hey, kid with the name of Barkwater pops up. Okay, granted, we don't know how much was generally known about Keris's heritage - but come on, her surname was still Verginix when she arrived in the Free Glades, and according to the timeline she was there for sixteen years before she and Shem left. Even if nobody else remembered, Tweezel doesn't really have any excuse.
Am I the only one who only liked the first book? The rest seemed awful and I can't figure out why. Anyone else notice a change or something?
I did like all the books, but I see they were different after the first one. The first book's plot wasn't very complex; kid gets lost in the woods, meets monsters, finds his destiny. And we never deviated from Twig's point of view. After that, a lot more plot threads started creeping in, and we didn't get as much of the different creatures. Basically, they became a bit more typical. I love all the books, but the first is always a bit special for being distinctive in its' style, and I can see how someone could like that one and not the others.
What happened to Goom and Woodfish? In The Immortals it was revealed that Maugin was killed just before Twig got back to Riverrise, but Goom and Woodfish aren't mentioned. Did they just get tired of waiting and leave? They're not mentioned in The Stone Pilot either.
Goom left because he couldn't resist the call of the Great Convocation of Banderbears. Woodfish wandered off later on.
But... where did it say that? Did I just miss something in the books, or was this said by the author somewhere else?
Woodfish did indeed wander off, but in the Weird New Worlds blog it is revealed that he is alive and kicking in the Third Age.
What. The fuck. Is the sun. I've been confused about it since I first saw the map of the Edgelands in Beyond the Deepwoods, and not even The Immortals, with its big reveal that didn't explain anything right at the end, never gave any hint as to WHAT THE SUN OF THE EDGE WORLD IS OR HOW IT WORKS and i dont even know why that bugs me so much, but it DOES.
I assume you mean the fridge logic of the nightwoods being eternally night? even at Riverrise where there are no trees blocking out the light? That confused me as well at one point, but that final illustration does actually offer an apparent answer. Everything below a certain height in the edgeworld is in constant darkness, and the edge itself slopes slightly. therefore the Nightwoods, as well as the so called great fluted decline beneath the edge are in the dark zone. Doesn't seem any worse than any of the other atmospheric oddities of the series, and actually makes more sense than many. I'm more worried about whether this means the Edgewater river runs uphill.
But isn't Riverrise the highest point in the edge?
In The Winter Knights, there's all this talk about "defending Sanctaphrax". The academics-at-arms, the gatekeepers, the giant catapults ... This all sounds perfectly sensible, except for one question: WHAT IN THE UNHOLY LIGHTLESS DEPTHS ARE THEY DEFENDING IT FROM?! None of the other books - nor, indeed, this one - mention anybody wanting to attack Sanctaphrax, and besides, who'd attack it? They don't really interfere with the leaguesmen or sky pirates, so who would attack it? Even mentioning some attack that had been made in the past would have been enough, but there's just ... no explanation whatsoever for why Sanctaphrax is armed.
Certain leagesmen within that trilogy alone do make hints that they want to and/or plans to try and control Sanctaphrax (Heft Vespius, Imbix Hoth, Ruptus Pentaphraxis). And lets we forgot how the leagues are in Undertown. Having protection against them isn't unreasonable. Although more likely is that it is to enforce some order and protect tradition. Take the purge of earth scholars for instance. With the paranoia as seen in Winter Knights it's safe to assume that such forces were originally created to protect against Earth Scholars.
Well given the gatekeepers tried taking over it's fair to assume to have more factions in case one decides to rule everyone. And as for why those guys are the ones that can capture flying rocks, so if say, the league of weapon decides to attack them and says "guess what new management you give me the flying rocks and in return I don't paint your big rock red. They are not independant from Undertown because they can read, but because they have their army to protect what is theirs.