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[quote:32efad23eb="krwordgazer"]The same can be said for Rayek-- but the difference, for me, is that Rayek has shown a depth of real remorse that I have never seen in Kahvi.[/quote:32efad23eb]
Honestly, Kahvi has some negative personality traits, it's true. But she's never done anything as bad as what Rayek has done. Rayek, for the sake of ego, exiled an entire race of elves, destroying their home, their tribe and everything they'd worked for. He stole Cutter's family (kidnapping [i:32efad23eb]is[/i:32efad23eb] a crime!)-- and he did so with the intent to commit genocide. Genocide. To wipe out the lives of every elf who did not, in his opinion, deserve to "stand [with] him and greet the high ones."

So, um... if Rayek had not shown remorse-- he would have been utterly evil. Only his guilt redeemed him in any way. Kahvi never ever went that far-- and really never did anything so terrible that she would need to show that level of remorse.

[quote:32efad23eb]Kahvi engineered the attempted theft of the Little Palace; she wanted to abduct Cutter's cocoon; she permitted her Go-Back warriors in the First War for the Palace to find amusement by hacking trolls to pieces, not content with simply putting them to death. In other words, she exhibits a lot of negative behaviors that her admirable courage and strength just don't make up for. [/quote:32efad23eb]
Absolutely. But her motivations for each action were very understandable. She wanted to steal the palace back in order to raise the Go Back's spirits. She didn't do it for greed or self-aggrandizement. It was for her people.

In the first war... she was a warrior leading warriors. What I understood from that scene the very first time I read it (at age 8) was this:
The Go Backs and the Wolfriders came from different worlds. For the Go Backs, war was a daily reality-- they lived and breathed this violence. Even the youngsters were raised to think in terms of it.

And here was Kahvi, leading her people into battle. They were walking into a "kill or be killed" situation. We saw what fear did to Skywise (nearly got him killed)-- and we saw the kind of courage that was expected and required of Vaya. Kahvi did encourage them to be ruthless, to stir up bloodthirst, to have no mercy for their enemy. But in part, I got the impression that she saw it as preparation for the larger fight to come.

I'm not saying that was the right way to think-- but in terms of the world they lived in, I think it made sense. And Kahvi, as an individual, wasn't responsible for that per se-- it was the Go Back way of thinking in general.

[quote:32efad23eb]My question about Kahvi and magic wasn't about Kahvi having magic per se-- it was about her character, and whether she'd be able to responsibly handle the kind of power that magic would give her. I know Go-Backs don't approve of magic, but supposing they did? Would Kahvi use her magic ruthlessly for the furtherance of the Go-Back tribe, at the expense of everyone else? She seems to use every other resource at her disposal in that way. [/quote:32efad23eb]
I think Kahvi would do no more and no less than what she felt was necessary for her tribe to survive. I don't think the Go Backs were about glory-- and they did seem willing to share their lodge, their lifestyle and the Palace with both Rayek and the Wolfriders. But if threatened? Sure.

[quote:32efad23eb]I agree about the adrenaline-- but the scene I was actually thinking about was at the very beginning of the war, when the Wolfriders and Go-Backs first entered the tunnels and met their first trolls. The text says some of the Wolfriders were shocked by the brutality of the way the Go-Backs attacked-- and Kahvi said something along the lines of "Let them have their fun."

Don't get me wrong, I have never really disliked Kahvi-- but I do find her quite ruthless and Machiavellian, most of the time. [/quote:32efad23eb]
I think she was being ruthless. She was trying to get their adrenaline pumping. Her people saw war as a lifestyle. It was what they did. And they were callous about it-- to an extent that shocked the Wolfriders.

nomad-human wrote:
It's just interesting to me that most people seem to have sympathy for the devil (Winnie), sympathy for the male anti-hero (Reyak), but little to none for the female anti-hero (Khavi). I have my own opinions why, but they are for another time.

Seems to me like a lot of people also have little to no sympathy for the other character who seems to me to be the male equivalent of Kahvi -- Bearclaw.[/quote:32efad23eb]

Um.. I have sympathy for Bearclaw! Wink

I think that Nomad was making a particular point here. I'm going to just be blunt about it:

Lots of people like to feel sorry for Rayek for a number of reasons. First of all, he's handsome and angsty. Girls like that. Secondly... hmm. I'm thinking... Okay. Secondly, he seems to be sensitive. As testy and rude and conceited as he sometimes behaves on the outside, we've seen him cry.

Winnowil? Well, Rayek loves her... and she's utterly gorgeous. And she's intriguing.

What's different about Kahvi? Kahvi never shows a soft underbelly. If she did, we'd all probably like her more and find lots of sympathy for her. But she's tough-- through and through. I think that makes a lot of people edgy. Nightfall, at least, shows a great deal of tenderness-- although she's strong and tough as well. She's also got that vulnerable side. A lot of people would like Kahvi to be vulnerable-- but she isn't. Not in that way at least. THAT, I think, is why she's criticized.