Tad Williams' Message Board

Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It's hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It's round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you've got about a hundred years here. There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- 'God damn it, you've got to be kind.'
-    Kurt Vonnegut, 1922-2007

Welcome to the message board for tadwilliams.com. All comments are welcome, whether kudos or brickbats. However, please bear in mind that Tad would like this to be a friendly, civil message board, at least in the relations between users. We reserve the right to remove postings, or even ban postings, from anyone who crosses the boundary of reasonable taste. Basically, you can argue vigorously with someone, but watch your language, okay? We have a lot of young readers as well as grown-ups, so please show them some respect.

But the main requirement here is: have fun.


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#1 2008-04-04 06:56:19

pixiejen
Pilgrim
From: At my desk
Registered: 2008-01-18
Posts: 95
Website

Ferras Vansen

This is a completely hedonistic post to thank Tad for writing a character I can fully crush on in every possible way.  I always like it when I can read and book and *YUM* after a character.   

I like that he's written not all Hollywood Gorgeous, but with flaws.. but it's his character that is attractive.   Magnetic, in fact.   

So, thanks :)


"When the windows of perception are cleansed, man will see the universe as it truly is - infinite."

-W. Blake.

pixiejen.com

 

#2 2008-04-17 05:44:56

iancanning
Pilgrim
From: Manchester, England
Registered: 2008-04-17
Posts: 79
Website

Re: Ferras Vansen

Ferras Vansen is by far the best character in book!

 

#3 2008-04-20 06:27:55

pixiejen
Pilgrim
From: At my desk
Registered: 2008-01-18
Posts: 95
Website

Re: Ferras Vansen

I think I'd have to agree -- though of course I have other favorites, I always tend to gravitate to the strong male characters - but interestingly they don't always have to be the "good" guys for me to like them.  In this case, he just happens to be.

Though I'll admit that Tad's female characters are SO MUCH NICER to read than most of the fantasy authors out there, who make them stupid and petty and extremely one-dimensional, but I won't name names.   Tad's women are just as interesting and complex as his men, much to his credit.


"When the windows of perception are cleansed, man will see the universe as it truly is - infinite."

-W. Blake.

pixiejen.com

 

#4 2008-04-20 07:13:42

Neemo
Pilgrim
From: Hamilton, ON, CA
Registered: 2005-03-28
Posts: 921
Website

Re: Ferras Vansen

his feelings for briony, and his taking the blame for everythign get a bit annoying at times but yeah hes pretty cool

 

#5 2008-04-20 07:31:20

iancanning
Pilgrim
From: Manchester, England
Registered: 2008-04-17
Posts: 79
Website

Re: Ferras Vansen

I hope Vansen and Briony get together at the end.
A true fairy tale happy ending!

 

#6 2008-04-20 12:29:35

PeterJW
Pilgrim
Registered: 2008-01-19
Posts: 613

Re: Ferras Vansen

Mayhaps they will, though I do have some reservations that he may be too old for her.

 

#7 2008-04-20 13:13:03

iancanning
Pilgrim
From: Manchester, England
Registered: 2008-04-17
Posts: 79
Website

Re: Ferras Vansen

PeterJW wrote:

Mayhaps they will, though I do have some reservations that he may be too old for her.

Actually I didn't think about that!! You might be right there!!

 

#8 2008-04-21 06:16:40

pixiejen
Pilgrim
From: At my desk
Registered: 2008-01-18
Posts: 95
Website

Re: Ferras Vansen

He is in his early 30s right?  And she is like 18?    Yeah it's a stretch, in the whole Harrison Ford/Calista Flockhart kinda way :P

If he is in his late 20s though, just 10 years older, that isn't so bad.


"When the windows of perception are cleansed, man will see the universe as it truly is - infinite."

-W. Blake.

pixiejen.com

 

#9 2008-04-22 19:02:12

PeterJW
Pilgrim
Registered: 2008-01-19
Posts: 613

Re: Ferras Vansen

Briony is only 15 years old.  She certainly has the intellectual skills to be a great ruler, but seeing that Nerahla is right  by guessing that Ferras Vansen is in his late twenties or early thirties, she is not suitable for him.  Do not get me wrong, I like the character very much, but he would be better off with a woman his own age.  Someone who can be his equal in outlook and disposition.  Due to her youth, Briony cannot meet the criteria that  would be more appropriate for Ferras Vansen.

IMHO

 

#10 2008-04-24 23:36:24

Aidan Cook
Pilgrim
From: Huntington Beach, CA
Registered: 2008-04-23
Posts: 1

Re: Ferras Vansen

sorry for interrupting.

but i thought vansen is in his early 20's. 21 if i'm not mistaken. it's in the book, i think. but hey, i could be wrong!


"What really knocks me out is a book, when you're all done reading it, you wished the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it."

-Holden Caulfield

 

#11 2008-04-25 06:06:20

strangeshe
Hierarch
From: Texas
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 11555

Re: Ferras Vansen

You're not interrupting at all, Aidan! That's what discussions are all about. Welcome to the boards. :)

& I think you're right, but I'd have to pull out the book to check. Iirc, actual ages are pretty young but they are very mature for those ages by our standards.  As for the age gap, 10 years is not as much as it sounds -- and if she's 15 and he's 21, that's only 6 years which is nuthin' ;)

 

#12 2008-04-25 06:15:35

Sahi
Mantis
From: Assendelft (the Netherlands)
Registered: 2001-06-04
Posts: 44693
Website

Re: Ferras Vansen

Wasn't it rather common in the era that the book resembles for men (the wealthy ones anyway) to have much, much younger women?
[edit]Or rather, not unheard of.[/edit]


"Because it is scientifically impossible to have enough books." - Patrick Rothfuss

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First member of the Shadowmarch Council of Sages, Official Quiller's Mint Historian
You may call me the Porcupine Lady, or if you are feeling generous the Erinaceous One.

 

#13 2008-04-25 06:47:58

Ren
Pilgrim
From: Austin, Tx
Registered: 2001-07-29
Posts: 15351

Re: Ferras Vansen

Keep in mind folks that in the middle ages etc that most Fantasy stories reflect on, the girls often got married at very young ages...as low as 13 or 14. Usually more common amongst royalty and nobility to seal deals etc...but still...

And I like Vansen too, he seems to be the most "Grounded" of the characetrs in the story. Even Shaso is a little over the top sometimes and over-reactive...


"Brain makes my math hurt"
- me

"Eeyore is my Totem Animal"
- me

 

#14 2008-04-25 13:44:17

ylvs
Mantis
From: Art Central
Registered: 2001-06-19
Posts: 13269

Re: Ferras Vansen

Don't  I recall fire arms in Smarch?

*isn't betting the life of her children on it*

If that is so Smarch is more settled at the end of renaissance than in the Middle Ages!


To meet an old friend is like the finding of a welcoming campfire in the dark. Qanuc saying
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Arsonist of the probably most spectacular Mint burning ever

 

#15 2008-04-25 20:11:19

Neemo
Pilgrim
From: Hamilton, ON, CA
Registered: 2005-03-28
Posts: 921
Website

Re: Ferras Vansen

ylvs wrote:

Don't  I recall fire arms in Smarch?

*isn't betting the life of her children on it*

If that is so Smarch is more settled at the end of renaissance than in the Middle Ages!

yeah you're right the autarch has firearms in his army

 

#16 2008-04-25 21:24:03

mabinogi
Pilgrim
From: Canberra, Australia
Registered: 2001-07-26
Posts: 10528
Website

Re: Ferras Vansen

Ren wrote:

Keep in mind folks that in the middle ages etc that most Fantasy stories reflect on, the girls often got married at very young ages...as low as 13 or 14. Usually more common amongst royalty and nobility to seal deals etc...but still...

And I like Vansen too, he seems to be the most "Grounded" of the characetrs in the story. Even Shaso is a little over the top sometimes and over-reactive...

Actually, although it's the common stereotype that fantasy is set in some idealised middle ages, a large number of fantasy settings far more closely resemble the 18th and early 19th century as far as people, society, and even costume go (knights and armour and so on notwithstanding).
Maybe that's because of the fact that modern fantasy has its roots very strongly grounded in the romanticism movement of that time  (and as a separate thread shows - it's certainly where a lot of cover artists get their inspiration).

In fact, you can see that even in the Lord Of The Rings - there certainly wasn't much medieval about The Shire, at least.


..and then one day you find, ten years have got behind you,
no one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun..

My Musical Experimentations

 

#17 2008-05-09 08:10:15

Outsider
Pilgrim
From: North Carolina
Registered: 2008-04-29
Posts: 177
Website

Re: Ferras Vansen

The Shadowmarch world is obviously not set in our world but I did draw some interesting parallels with our world and theirs. It's set in a Europe-like medieval world, with an Africa-like desert continent to the south that resembles the splendor of Egypt more than anything. But what is really interesting is the time shift; the main continent is more like the European Renaissance of the 16th to 10th centuries while the Egyptian like world is more in line with the golden era of Egypt (1500-1300 BC).


"A witty saying proves nothing." -- Voltaire
"Bring back meat, we are not Zida'ya, to live on flowers and bee's milk." -- Kemme

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#18 2008-05-09 08:48:37

Marian
Pilgrim
From: RVA
Registered: 2001-06-05
Posts: 21590
Website

Re: Ferras Vansen

Tad has said that at least Shadowmarch (as in the country itself) is based more on Renaissance courts and styles.

 

#19 2008-05-12 06:57:33

pixiejen
Pilgrim
From: At my desk
Registered: 2008-01-18
Posts: 95
Website

Re: Ferras Vansen

I agree that it seemed more Renaissance -- I think perhaps people get confused by the Castles and moats effect.

But remember that during the Renaissance people lived and worked in them just as much as the middle ages - in fact most of the castles that are standing today were built in the Renaissance (even if their foundations date back to William the Conqueror, as do most of them in England today).

It wasn't until the Enlightenment when people had enough regular peacetime to consider building regular Manor homes (and/or Palaces) instead of a fortified castle.   

Middle Ages: ~400/500-1400

Renaissance: 1300-1600

Enlightenment: 1600(Age of Reason)/1700-1780

Romantic: 1750-1800/Industrial Revolution 1760-1830 (Georgian Era coincides- think Jane Austen)/Victorian 1837-1901

Edwardian:  1901-1910

They overlap quite a bit -- but it's the general gist. 



The scary thing here is I didn't really need to check Wikipedia until Edwardian, because I couldn't remember the exact dates ><


"When the windows of perception are cleansed, man will see the universe as it truly is - infinite."

-W. Blake.

pixiejen.com

 

#20 2008-05-12 07:26:31

Outsider
Pilgrim
From: North Carolina
Registered: 2008-04-29
Posts: 177
Website

Re: Ferras Vansen

And it's so interesting to view their culture and society from being influenced by polytheism versus Europe's monotheism.


"A witty saying proves nothing." -- Voltaire
"Bring back meat, we are not Zida'ya, to live on flowers and bee's milk." -- Kemme

Follow me on Twitter

 

#21 2008-05-12 19:21:30

pixiejen
Pilgrim
From: At my desk
Registered: 2008-01-18
Posts: 95
Website

Re: Ferras Vansen

Well actually Europe is quite influenced by polytheism -- every single region worshipped gods/goddesses Rome, Greece, Celtic (which interestingly spread far and wide throughout the entire continent of Europe for centuries before Greece and Rome and all the "barbarian hordes" showed up), Scandinavian, etc etc --  even "monotheism" is riddled with the rituals and beliefs of the "pagan" cultures that they surfaced from.   Monotheism is a very recent civilized development.


"When the windows of perception are cleansed, man will see the universe as it truly is - infinite."

-W. Blake.

pixiejen.com

 

#22 2008-05-12 20:47:50

Outsider
Pilgrim
From: North Carolina
Registered: 2008-04-29
Posts: 177
Website

Re: Ferras Vansen

True, all religions take from the ones they attempt to replace. And now that I think of it, the triune of gods in Shadowmarch closely parallel the Christian trinity.


"A witty saying proves nothing." -- Voltaire
"Bring back meat, we are not Zida'ya, to live on flowers and bee's milk." -- Kemme

Follow me on Twitter

 

#23 2008-06-06 10:11:44

pyroriffic
Pilgrim
Registered: 2008-06-06
Posts: 2

Re: Ferras Vansen

Newbie to the area, but feel must just add my respect also for the character of Ferras Vansen.  He's by far and away the character with whom I connected right from the start and who I 'care' about more than the others.

I feel the same about Matty Tinwright, oddly enough, but for different reasons.

 

#24 2008-06-12 06:56:02

pixiejen
Pilgrim
From: At my desk
Registered: 2008-01-18
Posts: 95
Website

Re: Ferras Vansen

I agree pyro, three cheers for Ferras Vansen.   =)


"When the windows of perception are cleansed, man will see the universe as it truly is - infinite."

-W. Blake.

pixiejen.com

 

#25 2008-06-19 00:35:00

Nihilum
Pilgrim
Registered: 2008-06-19
Posts: 1

Re: Ferras Vansen

As to discussing what time period the series could be related to in reality, I would have to say the 15th century (early Renaissance as some have said). Although the Autarch's realm greatly resembles Egypt, I think that the giant cannon that he had made is very similar to the giant cannon the Turks used to destroy the walls of Constantinople (and likewise, the cities walls greatly resembles Constantinople's walls).

As for the original topic, I would have to say Ferras Vansen is probably one of the most realistic characters in the series. Every time I read about him, I feel as if I could know him in real life, which in my opinion, is the pinnacle of brilliant characterization.

 

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