This is topic Songmaster Question in forum Discussions About Orson Scott Card at Hatrack River Forum.

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Posted by Jill (Member # 3376) on :
Warning: this post contains spoilers

I loved Songmaster, but I was always confused by this one chapter in which Esste and Onn discuss Riktor's rise to the throne. It makes it seem as if the Songhouse deliberately helped Riktor (possibly by the blocks in Ansset's mind) become emperor. Is this true? It doesn't make sense that Esste would manipulate Ansset, and I can't believe that she would have anything to do with his kidnapping. Perhaps I just read the scene wrong. Anyone care to explain it to me?
Posted by Farmgirl (Member # 5567) on :
We aren't ignoring you, Jill.

It has just been a few years since I read Songmaster so now I will need to go back and read it again in order to remember the exact sequence of events you are talking about.

I was hoping someone that had read it more recently would reply to you, but perhaps most are off on vacation...

Posted by IanO (Member # 186) on :
I believe that is correct (though it's been a few months.)

The Songhouse was instrumental in making sure that the next Emperor would be Riktors. I *think* Esste made a comment about Riktors that indicated he was closest in temperment and ability to Mikal.

Considering the bloodbath and wars that occurred in Alexander's empire after his death (or many other powerful rulers), it probably was good for the empire.
Posted by Telperion the Silver (Member # 6074) on :
Yes... the Songhouse did manipulate the change of power. Esste did manipulate Ansset to that purpose. They didn't have anything to do with the kidnapping, but did "train" him to make the Emperor love the people of the Empire more than himself. Thus allowing Mikal to give the Empire away to Riktor peacefully. If not then there would have been civil war on a galaxy wide scale.

Esste put those mysterious blocks in Ansset's mind that the Chamberlain and the Captain-General were not able to break. They thought the blocks were put in by the kidnappers, but they were actually from Esste.
Posted by Jill (Member # 3376) on :
Thanks, that makes sense. Sorry it took me so long to post a reply, but I've been out of town. [Smile]
Posted by timothytheenchanter (Member # 7041) on :
i thought it said that some of the blocks were put there by the songhouse, and others by the kidnappers. that would make more sense because at one point the chamberlain told a keyword to ansset, and anset tried to attack the emperor. i liked esste so i don't think she would do anything like that.

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