Mark Reads ‘Thief of Time’: Part 7

In the seventh part of Thief of Time, Lobsang proves himself. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Discworld. 

I know I’ve written before about how difficult I normally find it to visualize complicated or strange things based on text. I have always learned better by seeing and observing things myself rather than having them described to me. That means I’ve often commented on how great a book can feel if the author can convey something complex to someone like me, who understands about eight things ever.

I think I understood what happened here, but I must admit that my own brain couldn’t make out exactly what Lobsang was doing. I got the set up: time was leaking haphazardly all over the monastery, reducing birds to egg or accelerating monks until they were dust. In order to correct it, Lu-Tze takes Lobsang to the hall of the Procrastinators, which is where… something happens? Time can be transferred there, I got that. I didn’t understand all the cylinders, though. Did they store time? Why were they linked? Where did the surge of time come from?

This was sort of answered with the color coding that denoted time wound up or time unwinding, but it was also that point where the bobbins were introduced that I lost track of the physicality of all of this. Even reading back over it now, I’m not actually sure what it is that this thing looks like. How was the board connected to the racks?

Here’s the thing, though: even without being able to visualize all of this, I still understood that this was about balancing time. The History Monks had to prevent the chaos of time winding up or unraveling and spitting itself randomly about the monastery. That’s where Lobsang comes in, and he demonstrates once again his incredible knack for the intricacies of time. I just want y’all to know that I feel so embarrassed typing that out because IT IS SO OBVIOUS NOW. Lobsang is an orphan; he has abilities that are unreal; HE CAN MOVE OUT OF PEOPLE’S LINE OF SIGHT OR STOP TIME COMPLETELY FOR HIMSELF, EXACTLY LIKE SUSAN DOES.

My gods. IT WAS RIGHT THERE THE WHOLE TIME. And it explains why he’s able to master such a complicated system – matching dates, finding spaces for extra bits of time, balancing the entire nightmare – with no training whatsoever. He achieves perfect balance, y’all, something that appears to be rare enough that Lu-Tze is momentarily shocked into silence.


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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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