Editorial error or a temporary jump out of character?,
This review is from: In the Earth Abides the Flame (Fire of Heaven) (Mass Market Paperback)
First of all, this is in essence a positive review. I really enjoy this and the previous book in the trilogy, and Russell's writing style. However, I came across something that struck me as a bit odd while reading "In the earth abides the flame", and would like to share in the hope that others might shed some light on this, or maybe even Russell himself could respond. I hope I'm not giving too many spoilers here, I'll try not give away anything that is revealing of the storyline itself.
In "Across the face of the world" we are presented with the character of Phemanderac, the philosopher. Since the initial meeting of him and Leith, in the cell of the Widuz, we get the sense that Phemanderac is a man who chooses his words very carefully, and is very articulate. However, when he discovers the 5 books, and the parchment baring the riddle of the Jugom Ark, he has a slip of the tongue, and makes an error that can either be an editorial error (someone didn't notice the mistake, author, editor, proof readers, etc.) or a temporary jump out of character for Phemanderac.
The slip of tongue, as I see it, is in a quotation Phemanderac makes of the riddle on the parchment. The riddle itself has two verses, and the first one ends with the words "Making nations whole again." Phemanderac, trying to explain the meaning to the archivist with whom the discovery of the 5 books was made, while still holding the parchment in his hands, quotes the line as follows: "Making peoples whole again." (ch.3-ItEAtF.) Not careful with the quotation of such an important discovery, while still holding the parchment in his hands? I find that odd.
Although a jump out of character for Phemanderac may be acceptable, especially within the given scene, and Phemanderac's obvious and unhidden excitement over the discovery, I tend to think that this is just an editorial error. I'll explain why: later in the same scene Phemanderac regains his articulate nature, and convinces the archivist to allow him to make a copy of the riddle.
If anyone else noticed this, and has some insight, or if by mere chance Russell becomes aware of this question, please do not hesitate to respond with your thoughts on the matter.
Thank you for reading my comment, Liad Weinberger.