Chapter 19:

When we last left Romilly, she had received a message that she needs to get to Hali to save Orain. So what does she do? Well, she needs a horse! Thankfully, she’s near a village, and so it’s perfectly fine to steal one of the farmers’ horse because she’s so wonderful and speshul:

“I have been through the war and worse,” she said. She had dwelt among animals so long she had forgotten the need of money. She searched the deep pockets of tunic and breeches and found a few coins forgotten she [sic] spilled them out before him.

“Take these as earnest,” she said, not counting them, “I swear I will send the rest when I reach a hostel of the Sisterhood, and twice as many if you will find me a pair of boots and some food.”

He hesitated. “I will need thirty silver bits or a copper royal,” he said, “and another as token that you will return the horse here—”

Her eyes glittered with rage. She did not even know why she was in such need of haste, but she was sought for at Hali. “In Carolin’s name,” she said, “I can take your horse if I must—”

She signalled to the nearest horse; he looked fast, a great rangy roan. A touch of her laran and he came swiftly to her, bowed his neck in submission. His owner shouted with anger an came to lay his hand on the horse’s lead-rope but the horse edged nervously away, and lashed out, kicking; circled, and came back to rub Romilly’s head with his shoulder.

“Leronis…” he whispered, his eyes widened, staring.

“That and more,” said Romilly tartly. (Pg. 747-748)

(Insert GLaDOS Anger Core noises here)

You know, in Steven Brust’s Taltos the Assassin series, the people of that world have a saying: “No matter how skilled the wizard, a knife between the shoulder blades will seriously cramp his style.” That’s what I want to do to this dumb bitch right here. How…why…there’s just so much wrong with this that…ugh.

Firstly, she’s been out living like an animal for merely less than a month and has forgotten all about money. Uh-huh. Then it’s perfectly fine to mind-rape a horse into loving you over its former owner who by no means has mistreated it, when she was whining about it…what, one chapter ago? Oh, and nearly killing or severely injuring the guy by making the horse kick out at him; then again, if she’s taking their beast of burden right now and never happens to return it, she might as well be condemning them to death. When you consider this, the farmer asking her for a token is perfectly reasonable. She’s taking away their means to their livelihood; “no” would have been the expected answer.

But no, HOW DARE HE DOUBT THE WORD OF THE GREAT ROMILLY! It’s perfectly fine to terrorise villagers into giving her what she wants, because it’s for a very good cause. As opposed to the EVIL KEENG, who terrorises villagers into giving him what he wants, because…

You see where I’m going here? Of course, the farmer’s wife bursts out and grovels before Romilly like a proper peasant should:

A young woman stood watching, twisting her long apron. At last she whispered, “my mother’s sister is of the Sisterhood, mestra. She has told me that the Sisterhood will always pay debts incurred by one of them, for the honor of them all. Let her have the horse, my husband, and—” (Pg. 748)

HONOUR? HONOUR? WHAT FUCKING HONOUR? Romilly didn’t give two shits about the Sisterhood’s reputation and honour when it clashed with what she wanted to do. Why is she now leveraging on it when she hasn’t contributed anything to said honour? She doesn’t deserve to fucking to, hell, she even tore off her own fucking earring, but—agh—it fucking hurts when I even try to think about it.

What next? The farmer’s wife rushes to attend to Romilly’s every need, giving her all their stuff from boots to food to shit.

“They were my son’s,” she said, in a whisper, “Rakhal’s men came through the village and one of them killed him, cut him down like a dog, when they seized our plow-beast and slaughtered it for their supper, and he asked them for some payment. Carolin’s men have done nothing like this.” (Pg. 748)

No, she’s just terrorised you lot into submission, intends to take away your means of livelihood without any more proof of recompense than her word, and implicitly threatened to kill or maim one of you lot should he not comply.

And a Limyaael quote:

“Don’t make one army “good” and one army “evil.” If you look at history, one conquering army is as likely as another to loot, burn, enslave, kill, and rape. Unless your hero somehow managed to conquer his kingdom with a hundred people- or fifty, even better- whom he could keep an eye on at all times, it would make no sense for the “evil” army to be the only one making the peasants wish they hadn’t been born peasants. It’s particularly silly to insist that everyone in the good army is a shining paragon of virtue if the hero has hired mercenaries. Mercenaries get paid, sure, but they’re probably in there at least as much for whatever they can carry off in the battle- victims included.”

GOLLY GEE THATS SO WONDERFUL. Of course, in a stupid, stuck-up attempt to arm-twist us against the farmer, he becomes randomly misogynist:

In a flash she was on the horse’s back, even while the man cried, “No lady can ride that horse—he is my fiercest—”

“I am no lady but a Swordswoman,” she said, and suddenly a new facet of her laran made itself clear to her; she reached out, as she had done to the mountain cat, and he backed away before her, staring, submissive. (Pg. 748)

Great, so she’s mind-raped him into submission just because he was being inconvenient. And so she makes off with the farmers’ horse while “The woman stammered out directions, while the man stood silent, goggling at her.” Gee whiz. wonder if she’s left him an idiot for life. That would be lovely on her CV: “Mind-raped someone and left him witless because he annoyed me.” Oh wait, he was MISOGYNIST, so it’s all right.

Oh, and even at the end she’s randomly sprouting new abilities. Wow-ee.

So she rides to Hali, where there’s an encampment of Sisters outside, and everyone’s amazed her appearance because she’s Just That Special:

“She made her way through the staring army, hearing one of the Swordswomen call her name in amazement.” (Pg. 749)

So Jandria come out to greet her, and everyone from the REEL KEENG to Alderic’s overjoyed that she’s alive. But even then, we don’t stop with the annoyance:

Jandria cut her a slice of meat and bread, but Romilly laid the meat aside—she knew she would never taste it again—and ate the bread, slowly. (Pg. 750)

So EVIL KEENG and EVIL CHANCELLOR have barricaded themselves within Hali, and want REEL KEENG to surrender or else they’ll kill Orain, who was taken hotage during the battle. How is never explained. Very convenient. So essentially, we spend the next three pages of filler stating that REEL KEENG will throw everything he has at Hali by tomorrow if no solution is found.

So what does Romilly do?

HOW CONVENIENTLY, every single guard along the walls of Hali is an animal:

“How many men watch the city walls?”

“I do not know; but they have sentry-birds all along the wall, and fierce dogs, so that if anyone tries to sneak into the city by breaking the side gates—we tried that once—the birds and the dogs set up such a racket that every one of Rakhal’s men is wakened and rallies to that spot,” he said despondently. (Pg. 754)

So her plan is to use her magic to sneak in and quiet the animals. How brings me terrible, terrible, pain, but I’ll get to that later. No, instead we get this:

“Alone? You, a girl—” Carolin began, then shook his head. “You have proved again and again that you are more than a girl, Swordswoman,” he said quietly. (Pg. 754)

Oh god.




Proven? Through what? Whining? Being a bitch to everyone? Using magic that she never bothered to improve, a inborn talent that she never needed to sweat to train, to work to improve? Why is she more than a whiny brat? WHY??????

No answer.

And you’re telling me that no one in a whole army has thought of using magic to silence the birds? Even when we have someone like Lady Maura around, who has shown she can handle animals with equal ease? Are you fucking kidding me? Are you fucking kidding me? This is like a scene where the plucky young adventurer manages to beat whole universities full of doddery old wizards who’ve been working all their lives at unravelling the mysteries of the ancient prophecy, just because he’s SO MUCH BETTAH.

Pain. Pain. Pain.

So night falls and it’s time for her to go, and the REEL KEENG comes to wish her well, offering her anything that she desires if she succeeds in rescuing Orain. What does she say to that?

She smiled at the thought; why should she wish to do that? She said, speaking as if her were the Dom Carlo she had first known, “Uncle, I will do what I can for Orain because he was kind to me beyond all duty when he thought me only a runaway hawkmaster’s apprentice. Do you not think a swordswoman and a MacAran will risk herself as well for honor as from greed?” (Pg. 756)

Honour? When have you cared about honour? Was it when you ran away from home, soiling the honour of your family? Was it when you didn’t give two shits about the honour of the Sisterhood because it conflicted with your own selfish desires? Was it when you mind-raped someone and took his means of livelihood without a token of recompense because he annoyed you? Is that honour? Is that being mindful of the needs and wants of others?

What a shitty little bitch. So how does she sneak into the city?

Why, she just walks up the the fucking side gate and goes in. Yes, really. The last stronghold of the EVIL KEENG, encircled by his enemies. LOGICALLY, there’d be a constant watch in every section of the city. Guards would swarming the walls and streets, alert for trouble. But no. FUCKING NO. All she has to do is to quiet a dog and a few birds, and she’s in. The gate’s not even LOCKED, let alone BARRED or hell, why she should even be able to move the fucking thing in the first place, considering how heavy city gates are.

So what does she do? She casts a spell over the whole city. That’s right, the whole goddamned city and makes EVERYONE sleep. That’s right, every. Fucking. One. Even EVIL KEENG AND EVIL CHANCELLOR, supposedly EVIL KEENG’s most powerful and trained magician. I…I don’t have the strength or tenacity to copy out whole pages of complete, utter fail, so you’ll just have to take my word for it.

Romilly skips through the street of Hali unopposed and reaches EVIL CHANCELLOR’s house, where Orain is being held. I’ll just make this quick. Caryl is somehow awake, and begs Romilly to let him defect to the REEL KEENG’s side. They rescue Orain, who is being held prisoner, and of course Romilly smakes a snide remark on how the torturer’s mind must have been like an animal’s, or else she couldn’t have made him sleep so soundly. So they all escape from the bloody fucking city and reach the REEL KEENG, who is overjoyed and says that EVIL KEENG and EVIL CHANCELLOR will be defeated soon, and we end with this quote:

Carolin laughed and said, “do as you wish, hawkmistress. You have been faithful to me, and to those I love. And when you have done your duty to your laran and to your parents and to the one who would marry you, I shall expect you to come back to us in Hali.” He turned and took Maura’s hand, saying, “I pledged to you that we would celebrate our next Midsummer-festival in Hali, did I not? And the next moon will see us at Midsummer. If it will please you, Lady—I had thought to make the hawkmistress’ marriage at the same time as her Queen’s. But we can wait for that.” He laughed aloud and said, “I am not so much of a tyrant as that. But one day, Romilly, you will be hawkmistress to the reigning king as you were in exile.” (Pg. 763)

Oh. Yeah. Wow. What happened to EVIL KING and EVIL CHANCELLOR? No conclusion. They’re just throwaways. hell, we didn’t even see EVIL KEENG at all. At least even Eragon will probably meet and kill Galby in the end. Here? Well, she’s more than happy to leave them hanging in limbo.

What a stupid, useless book.

What a fucking waste of the paper it was printed on.

And with that, Hawkmistress!—yes, with the fucking exclaimation mark—is done, and good riddance to bad rubbish.

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  1. sakuuya on 15 April 2010, 14:43 said:

    Holy shit, it just ends like that?

    That’s… I just… WOW. That is some… special pacing thar.

    Good job with this piece of crap, though.

  2. Danielle on 15 April 2010, 15:02 said:

    It’s OVER?

    You mean….you mean….the great MZB can’t even come up with a satisfactory conclusion to this steaming pile of crap? MZB, you win the Golden Turd Award!

  3. Nate Winchester on 15 April 2010, 15:12 said:

    When we last left Romilly, she had received a message that she needs to get to Hali to save Orain.

    Is it bad taste I first read that as “get to Hati to save Orain”. =S

    How…why…there’s just so much wrong with this that…ugh.

    Yeah like… no wild horses available? And isn’t she risking yet another life? I just wish the simple farmer turned out to have his own laran (he just used it to help with chores) and proceeded to kick her ass in a battle of wills.

    Great, so she’s mind-raped him into submission just because he was being inconvenient.

    The sheer double standard here is starting to make me cry.

    Was it when you mind-raped someone and took his means of livelihood without a token of recompense because he annoyed you?

    Yeah, just imagine what it would have done for her character if, as an answer, she had said to him, “Well there’s this farmer I need to repay…”

    Is it too cruel to call MZB the UWe Boll of the literary world?

  4. lookingforme on 15 April 2010, 16:15 said:

    It’s OVER?! I can’t believe it—no resolution whatsoever!!! I still don’t understand how you read this book, but I commend you on keeping your sense of humor through this pathetic excuse of a novel.

  5. Spanman on 15 April 2010, 16:43 said:

    My God, man! Your fortitude is astounding!

    And I would venture to say that the ending of Hawkmistress! was worse than the whole shitty book put together.

  6. dragonarya on 15 April 2010, 18:59 said:

    That’s it? That’s… it? Well. I’m glad your and our suffering is over, but… seriously, what the hell?

  7. Leliel on 15 April 2010, 21:52 said:

    Wait what? /That’s/ the ending? How very… devoid of redeeming qualities!

  8. Snow White Queen on 16 April 2010, 01:07 said:

    That’s it?

    Weirdest, most abrupt ending ever. Who were the antagonists again?

  9. Charlotte on 16 April 2010, 11:11 said:

    Dear God, is that how it ends? The entire book has been fail upon fail, but this… That’s not a good way to end even a random chapter in the middle of the book.

    And yes, I too would love to see that farmer mind-rape the crap out of her for trying to steal his horse. That alone would maybe save this book from complete suckage.

  10. ProserpinaFC on 16 April 2010, 14:52 said:

    Wait…. It’s over? (O_O )?

    I was just getting started… 19 chapters?! How long was this. Thank god it was short, apparently.

  11. RandomX2 on 16 April 2010, 16:26 said:

    I was actually quite neutral to Romilly throughout the story, but the situation with the villager was horrible. Absolutely horrible. I’ve been sitting here for about 3 minutes trying to find a way to express my frustration at that bit, but I just can’t. What the hell?

    And a lazy ending, to boot.

    On another note, I’m surprised you used mind-rape over mind-crush. I mean c’mon, MIND CRUSH! It’s awesome!

  12. Gray Falcon on 16 April 2010, 21:09 said:

    The ending makes perfect sense in terms of the “feminism” espoused in “Hawkmistress!” It isn’t about reform, equality, social justice, or helping women (and men) in general, it’s all about Romilly and her own personal advancement, no matter who gets in the way. Modern feminism (or at least the better parts of it) has been trying to distance itself from the kind appears to be espoused by Marion Zimmer Bradley, which mostly is out to help women who are white, middle class, straight, cisgendered, currently able-bodied, and Marion Zimmer Bradley.

    At least that’s my impression. Which may not be very accurate, seeing as my research consisted of reading recent articles in social justice blogs.

  13. fffan on 18 April 2010, 02:22 said:

    That ending was worse than the classic: “Then she woke. It had all been just a dream.”

  14. Thea on 18 April 2010, 18:50 said:

    Thank goodness it’s over. And I wasn’t even reading the book! My condolences, but now you have finished, and I hope your recovery is quick ;)

  15. geekish on 1 May 2010, 16:35 said:

    what?! i have no words

  16. swenson on 16 December 2010, 16:04 said:


    That’s it? That’s seriously the end? There’s no conclusion whatsoever! It doesn’t even make sense, considering what she’s said/done before—not that it was particularly consistent before, but this is particularly incongruous. Why does she go live in the woods again? What did that have to do with anything at all? And since when has she been an uber-powerful sorceress anyway? You can’t just suddenly in the last chapter be like “AND THEN SHE HAD MAGIC THE END”! I know in a lot of books the heroes somehow manage to whip out some new magic power the first time they’re in a tight spot, but this is the first time I’ve ever seen it happen in the last chapter, with not even the clumsiest of foreshadowing to make up for it.

    And quite frankly, despite the clumsy writing, there’s no resolution anyway. All the people introduced as important at the beginning (her father, her sister, Alderic or whatever his name is) are just completely dropped by the wayside. I know this is part of a series, but… still. You’d think they’d at least warrant a mention. Even if a book is part of a series, it needs to be its own story and have a full introduction, rising action, climax, and resolution. (the sole exception is a book not originally written as a series, such as Lord of the Rings)


    So basically, the book ended with little resolution, really obvious New Powers As The Plot Demands, and doesn’t even manage to reaffirm the themes the author has been (poorly) screaming at us the entire time. GAH!

  17. Zombie on 28 December 2010, 20:35 said:

    wat wat wat wat

    Did she think this was clever or something? I don’t even know. I don’t care anymore. I’m going to go head desk until I can forget this.

  18. LoneWolf on 12 June 2012, 20:54 said:

    Read the spork just now. Ohmygawd. That’s the only thing I can say. Superior Virtue of the Oppressed much?