The Culture/Use of Weapons/YMMV

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

  • Complete Monster: Elethiomel, who is the novel's protagonist, having taken the identity of the stepbrother he drove to suicide. To elaborate: Elethiomel and his brother were commanding generals for opposite sides of a civil war. Elethiomel had one of their sisters (his former lover, but not the one he was actually in love with) with him in his impenetrable fortress, but his army is pinned down and unable to leave the fortification. He kills her, makes a chair out of her skin and bones and sends it to his brother to break him just before a final desperate push to escape. His stepbrother kills himself...but it's deliberately left unclear whether or not Elthiomel even won.
  • Moral Event Horizon: Elethiomel kills his stepsister/former lover Darckense and makes a chair from her skin and bones. He then sends it to her brother, the actual Cheradenine Zakalwe, who shoots himself.