Vol. 1 | Chapter Five: Successor to the Throne (v)

Gathered in a farmer’s residence at a certain village laid to waste by Lusitanian soldiers were the modest but stalwart anti-Lusitanian forces…


Notes under the cut:

Fitting that the book starts with Arslan’s troubled relationship with his father and ends with his perhaps equally troubled relationship with his mother.

… Well, not quite, there’s one bombshell of a final scene left. Though I’m not sure how surprising the revelation actually is at this point.

Also note that after the update on Saturday, I’ll be returning to a roughly once-a-week schedule.

1. “mantis before the chariot”: This is a Chinese/Japanese proverb originating from the Zhuangzi. (In particular: this passage.) I generally don’t like localizing proverbs (unless there are obvious and contextually appropriate equivalents*) because I think they flavor the text and the meaning should be clear in context anyway. I’m a nerd like that. đŸ˜›

* could have gone with David and Goliath here, but nuance is off and in the cultural context it’s awkward.

2. “the woman who had given birth to him”: I took liberties here, so don’t look too deeply into the wording. The direct translation is just “mother” again, but there’s a very very slight distancing in the phrase, and the flow is better like this.

3. As mentioned before, “mardan” in the text equates to “warrior” even though the RL definition is simply “man.” Mostly it’s used as a title, but here it’s used to imply the quality of the people around Arslan.

– – –

Unrelated: remember when I said the illustration accompanying chap. 5-i wasn’t very accurate? Well… after staring at it a little more it finally occurred to me that it was probably misplaced in the book. (The QC on this original edition of the book was not so good, hahaha.) It looks like it really should go with the NEXT section (i.e. Tahmineh and Innocentius), which makes a LOT more sense.

(And now you know why I was briefly questioning the canonical gender of the elder. LOL.)


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