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Thread: James Barclay - The Raven Novels

  1. #1
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    James Barclay - The Raven Novels

    I know this may not be the right place for this thread so mods feel free to move if required but hear me out for my logic on posting it here.

    Im assuming most who have opened this thread know of and have hopefully read some of the Raven novels by James Barclay and my question to anyone that has is this -

    Looking at The Raven novels (bearing in mind they are placed in a fictional land) as being set around medieval times and weaponry appearing to be mainly european i.e longsword single and two handed, axe, pike etc... can anyone make an educated guess as to the stance and body/sword positioning of The Unkown Warrior that enables him to rythmically tap the point of his "two handed sword" before battle?

    I realise I may be opening a can of worms here but have been curious as to how others see this being done, I have tried with my H&H and can find no position in which it seems to work except when holding it like a dagger with the hand around waist height or by holding the quillons or grip similar to the oscar statue and lightly stabbing the ground, either way I doubt this is the case as the warrior in question seems to continue the tapping until he is forced to react.

    I assume he must be in a stance/guard of some kind to enable him to beat back a strike or power through the opposing swordsmans guard.

    Once again any ideas
    "Say you know when you know; say you dont when you dont. That is knowledge." - Confucius

    "The pen is mightier than the sword you say? Lets test that theory shall we, you can have a biro?"

    www.the-exiles.org.uk

  2. #2

    Re: James Barclay - The Raven Novels

    Originally posted by C. Giles

    I assume he must be in a stance/guard of some kind to enable him to beat back a strike or power through the opposing swordsmans guard.

    Once again any ideas
    Havent read them, but I imagine you could do a slow tapping from Alber. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fool's_guard

    there are lots of 'sucker you in' attacks from it.

    EDIT: Oh, you might want to be aware that whoever is writing those books.... is most likly NOT a swordsman.
    Last edited by George Hill; 10-25-2006 at 11:55 AM.
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  3. #3
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    Never read any of the novels, but a couple of other low guards could do this: tutta porta di ferro and coda longa. Both can generate a lot of power.
    NEM. PERV.T QUI N.N LEG.CERT.RIT

  4. Hi C Giles,

    I really do want to say this in a friendly manner, and not be a snot. Here's hoping I succeed.

    I put this in my current sig very deliberately:

    'Conrad Gempf, an American teaching at the London School of Theology, posted this wry comment on his Web site: "Dan Brown is a novelist and The Da Vinci Code is fiction. Asking a New Testament person to comment is like asking a marine biologist to comment on Finding Nemo. The expert is of course going to say that stingrays do not sing and clown fish do not talk."'

    We're in the same position here, and all I can usefully say is that stingrays do not sing and clownfish do not talk. I have yet to read much fiction about fencing that is accurate, or even coherent, though admittedly I haven't read James Barclay. As with movie fencing, I just let it wash over me and enjoy the story. I really love The Prisoner of Zenda and The Three Musketeers, for example, but the fencing descriptions range from poor to awful. The movie of The Princess Bride has one of my favorite fencing sequences ever, but the fencing itself is actually pretty stock movie fencing. It's the dialogue that makes that scene great.

    And some medieval mystery I read on the plane a few years back made great store in the notes about consulting Egerton Castle's works, but the fencing prose was still pretty awful.

    Although that may be why the fencing prose was awful.

    Cheers-

    Sean
    Sean Hayes, Maestro d'armi
    Northwest Fencing Academy

    Chivalric Fighting Arts Association
    San Jose Fencing Masters Program Examination Board

    One should never confuse the rules of a competition with the rules of an art.

    People talk a lot about speed, but not very much about control, safety, tactics, and trying to get close to the reality of sharps. When simulating sharp fights, how fast one charges in depends on how quickly one would like to die.


  5. #5
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    Hi,

    Sorry if i was a bit unclear in my first post, ive just re-read and can see where the confussion could have been caused.

    Im not implying in any way that the fencing depicted in these novels is historically accurate or that a specific technique is being shown (though i do think some research has been done and it improves the overall "feel" of the books).
    As an avid reader of this type of genre I just wanted to pose the question to see how others interpretted the actions being described as i couldnt picture exactly what the author was trying to get across.

    Also, and a realise this is possibly not the right forum for such a question, I wondered if those who practice the varying styles of WMA tend to look at fencing within fiction novels (which is not usually a technical description/portrayal) and interpret it with their particular style in mind.

    Cheers, Col
    "Say you know when you know; say you dont when you dont. That is knowledge." - Confucius

    "The pen is mightier than the sword you say? Lets test that theory shall we, you can have a biro?"

    www.the-exiles.org.uk

  6. #6
    Originally posted by C. Giles

    Also, and a realise this is possibly not the right forum for such a question, I wondered if those who practice the varying styles of WMA tend to look at fencing within fiction novels (which is not usually a technical description/portrayal) and interpret it with their particular style in mind.
    Actually we usually look at it and say, "God, he is sooo open to a Zornhau! What? I would have so had him!" And it's worse with movies.
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  7. #7
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    I was pleasantly surprised by his books. Very well written.
    Bartender and Brewmeister for the Pub


    Stranger in a Strange land

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