The Mating Bond problem

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The Mating Bond problem

Post by degdelta on Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:41 pm

I've read several posts here from different people expressing their unhappiness in how Nalini handled the mating bond explanation (or lack of). I too was confused on the specifics of this dynamic until I suddenly realized that our beloved author is telling us something very profound, and has been doing it in every one of these books. And that is - whenever one of the main characters has an absolute idea about their relationship ideal, that ideal will be turned on its head, flipped inside out and back to front.

Examples - Lucas would never get involved with a Psy... Sascha was never going to have children... Vaughn wasn't interested in a long term relationship. Hawke's perfect female died as a child and that ended his chance... and, btw, Sienna was too young... Judd could never love anyone because he was so damaged by Silence, and too dangerous to boot. Dorian's sister was killed by a Psy and he could never have a relationship with one of those murdering bastards. Mercy could never get involved with that wolf. Indigo couldn't trust a relationship with a younger man/less dominant wolf. Dev could never trust a born Psy. ... and so on.

So, here comes this mating bond between a single man and a married woman. He's too honorable to break up the marriage and thus there will never be another woman for him. Except, along comes Adria, who actually fits him better than the other woman as far as I'm concerned. They find true love without the bond, and I predict a long, happy mating because they CHOOSE to be together and make it work.

I think the problem that many folks are having is that they are completely buying into statements coming from the characters. Let's say I declare that I would never, EVER ride a motorcycle, and then, out of the blue I am confronted with Hugh Jackman inviting me for a ride (hubba hubba! move over baby!) It's as if I'm throwing out a challenge to the universe, and the universe calls the dare.

Nalini is the universe to these people, and her universe says that love will not be denied.

So, what is Nalini telling us? That just because you believe something does not make it true. That no one can truly know what's in store, and if you think you know all the answers to life and love you are SO WRONG!!!

Keep an eye out for any who are adamant - (Vasic and Kaleb come to mind.) Comeuppance (if they survive) is surely in the cards.
Very Happy

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Re: The Mating Bond problem

Post by Yurice on Tue Jun 26, 2012 2:22 am

I wasn't unhappy with the mating rules, ToN actually made it simpler with Hawke's 'two people in perfect sync.' thingy.
However I can see how it can be frustrating for those who want Adria and Riaz to mate eventually. There's no clear cut answer regarding that one.
I'm of the mind that believes they can be happy together, but will remain unmated.
Unlike Sienna who was Hawke's, always had been -- it implied she was born his mate, not that she became his mate after they fell in love -- there was no such recognition for Adria. Riaz's wolf had accepted her, but never once acknowledged her as its mate.

I don't like Riaz for Adria anyway, so I'm not really keen on following up if they will mate later or not. >.>;
But for the mating rules, I'm content.

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Re: The Mating Bond problem

Post by Alliee on Tue Jun 26, 2012 6:25 am

I wasn't disappointed. In fact, I liked that Nalini made the point that it is possible to have a deep, meaningful love without the matingbond, or some sort of psychic connection. (the psy, I believe, when they feel emotion can develop psychic links to one another, very similar to the mating bond)

But truthfully, I did not have a lot invested in Riaz and Adria. I actually had to go back to KOS to remind myself who they were. I enjoyed their story, but when I was anticipating the book, I was really looking forward to info about Kaleb and the Arrows, so I did not have to many expectations built up.

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Re: The Mating Bond problem

Post by Lulu2011 on Tue Jun 26, 2012 9:26 am

I like Riaz and Adria together as a couple and I agree that Adria is a better "fit" for Riaz than the shoe-throwing Lisette. Seriously, SnowDancer is fighting for survival and the fate of the world and all that, so Adria definitely works better for Riaz. Can't see Lisette going for runs with the wolf out in the Sierra Nevadas or taking on the Psy or understanding Riaz wolf nature to the extent that Adria can. Again, this is intentional on Nalini's part, all those subtle and not-so-subtle clues that Riaz and Adria work better together.

I also buy into Riaz and Adria's love and commitment to one another. I do see them making it work for a lifetime. I think Nalini's references to Riaz being a "lone wolf" and how they go their own way and are so possessive and protective when they do find the woman who is their "lodestar" was also part of her effort to make sure that readers feel Riaz' commitment, along with having him engineer Lisette and Emil's reconciliation, grinning about it all the while.

I guess part of Nalini's point is that true love, whether within a mating or outside of a mating, is the same. Adria and Riaz love each other the same way that Hawke and Sienna do, or Luc and Sascha, or any of the mated pairs but they just do it without the bond.

That being said, I still can't help but feel disappointed that they didn't end with the mating bond. Maybe they will down the road in another book. (Hawke said he knew of couples where it emerged years after they were together.) I really want it for Adria who I thought deserved to have that connection. It also does feel like a diminishment of the mating bond to an extent as well, that Riaz was able to recover in a relatively short period of time. (At the beginning of Tangle, 6 months had passed since he'd met Lisette.)

We've also read so many, many examples (including in Tangle) of how glorious the mating bond is and how they ALL long for it, that to end up without it is just disappointing and kind of a downer. Nalini doesn't usually end her books on downers which is why the end of Tangle surprised me. She went out of her way in KoS to heal EVERYBODY. Nobody from SD or DR died. She brought back Dmitri's dead love in Archangel's Blade. So, I was expecting a tied-with-a-bow happy ending.

I also need the mating rules explained more clearly. I have to admit that not allowing Riaz and Adria to mate is consistent with what we know of the mating rules. It also seems to partially explain what happens when a woman does reject the mating bond, which is effectively what happened with Lisette. The man is wounded but his life isn't ruined. That makes sense. But, it doesn't explain Hawke and Sienna's situation and that's a biggie. How were they able to mate? You aren't supposed to find your mate twice . . . so, I need those additional hints and clues to come in future books and trust that Nalini does have a plan to make it all make sense.
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Re: The Mating Bond problem

Post by degdelta on Tue Jun 26, 2012 5:27 pm

Lulu, the Hawke/Sienna thing was actually explained - even though Rissa was born to be his mate, the mating bond had not yet taken effect, thus leaving Hawke "available". (I get the feeling that the finalization doesn't happen until the female is "legal".)

If Rissa had lived and they'd completed the bonding he would not have been able to be with Sienna.

I think what most folks don't get is that the bond pull may be there, but it has to actually be accepted, and then the psychic/physical component kicks in to bind the two parties, literally til death.

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Re: The Mating Bond problem

Post by Lulu2011 on Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:08 pm

degdelta wrote:Lulu, the Hawke/Sienna thing was actually explained - even though Rissa was born to be his mate, the mating bond had not yet taken effect, thus leaving Hawke "available". (I get the feeling that the finalization doesn't happen until the female is "legal".)

If Rissa had lived and they'd completed the bonding he would not have been able to be with Sienna.

I think what most folks don't get is that the bond pull may be there, but it has to actually be accepted, and then the psychic/physical component kicks in to bind the two parties, literally til death.

I don't think this was actually explained in Kiss of Snow. I'll have to go back and look. I think Sienna speculates that (and it's what lots of us readers think) but it's speculation. I happen to believe it will be the answer one day but, from what I recall, it's not specifically stated in Kiss of Snow as canon.

In any event, if that is the case, then there should have been no reason for Riaz and Adria not to be able to mate with one another. Riaz and Lisette were not in the mating dance, not even close, and Lisette certainly didn't accept the bond. That's what I'd like explained. Why Hawke and Sienna, but not Riaz and Adria?
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Re: The Mating Bond problem

Post by Yurice on Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:20 pm

For me' the simplest explanation of Hawke and Sienna's bond is that she was born his mate. But Sienna was Hawke’s, had always been his, whether she’d known it or not, whether he’d accepted it or not.
With Rissa, there is no way to know for sure if she is indeed his mate as she died too young, so young for even that mating tug to form. All we know is that Hawke's wolf recognized her, and everybody believed they'll mate when they become adults...when things can happen differently if Rissa lived.

Of course, this is still just my opinion, not a clear statement from Nalini. Smile

Riaz has found his mate, complete with the mating tug. Unlike Hawke's case where there was no mating tug yet and Rissa died, Lisette is alive and kicking shoes. What's left to see is if Riaz will still feel that pull later on, will love be enough to keep Adria from having insecurities...will they eventually mate?
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Re: The Mating Bond problem

Post by Lulu2011 on Tue Jun 26, 2012 8:56 pm

Sienna was born after Rissa died so, yes, I can see your point. Maybe one of the rules is that if your expected/possible mate dies before the mating dance kicks in then you get a shot at another mate. I don't know. This is too confusing!!! Especially when I read that there is only one mate ever. No exceptions. Then Sienna thinks to herself, yes, "MATING is once and forever" which implies it's the process of mating that is just once.

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Re: The Mating Bond problem

Post by Yurice on Thu Jun 28, 2012 5:37 am

They say that there is one in 64 billion chance of finding a fingerprint match. What are the odds of finding two people in perfect sync? I'd say none.
However, this is possible in Nalini's world because a mate is the changeling's other half, in other words, two halves of the same soul, so they have the same 'frequency', they can achieve perfect sync. Going with this, there is only one mate, ever. You can't have three halves, lol. So in essence, Sienna is born Hawke's other half, his mate. It's possible because Rissa died.

Adria on the other hand, isn't born as Riaz's half, that would be Lisette. And just as we can't change our fingerprints, Adria can't suddenly become Riaz's other half, his mate. This is the pessimistic view. Lol. A more optimistic one is that since Riaz claimed he 'died' then maybe his soul is 'reforged' too and will now match Adria's.

If I sound obsessed with this mating thingy, it's Lulu's fault! Lol.
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Re: The Mating Bond problem

Post by Lulu2011 on Thu Jun 28, 2012 8:33 am

Sorry, Yurice, for adding to the obsession lol! I just hope we get it explained by Nalini, whichever way it goes. Then I can stop obsessing but it looks like that's going to take some time.

Overall, I prefer to take the optimistic view that Riaz is now a "different person" based on what he went through and so is a match for Adria and they will have the mating bond down the road.

Still . . . do you remember that part in Tangle, where Riaz tells Adria "I will love you until the day they put me into the earth?"

It's a beautiful line, feels very Latin, very Riaz, to have said something like that. But I also recall that Hawke says to Sienna in KoS that one lifetime isn't enough, he wants eternity. Hawke's father, Tristan, says to his mate when he's dying that he'll see her in the next life, etc.

But Riaz doesn't promise Adria eternity . . . just wondering if that was intentional on Nalini's part or if she just thought it was a beautiful thing to say (which it was).
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Re: The Mating Bond problem

Post by Yurice on Thu Jun 28, 2012 10:03 am

It is indeed a beautiful line. ;_;

Perhaps it's a given, and maybe I should double check too, but there was no verbal promise of putting Adria first. Only that Riaz trusts her more than he does Hawke.
When Hawke said Sienna comes first, always will, followed by his actions on the battlefield, pre-mating, I thought to myself that even if KoS ended without them mating, I will still be content --of course, that's a lie, ToN made me see that. Lol.
Now, if there was a situation in ToN where Lisette is free and in love with Riaz, but he still chose Adria, or perhaps a more bloodthirsty one where Riaz was in a situation where he can only save one of the two women and he picked Adria...then, maybe I'll be more convinced of his love too. Twisted Evil

Ever since Nalini responded to your question through Fluff about the mating rules with 'there are rules. They are fixed', I have toyed with the idea that perhaps the rules are psychic ones.
Nalini's response sounded like Alice when she spoke about the rules in the psychic plane. And Lucas mentioned that mating is psychic on some level...perhaps the neosentience that exists in every psychic network influences mating too. Hmmmm...
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Re: The Mating Bond problem

Post by Lulu2011 on Thu Jun 28, 2012 10:31 am

Yurice wrote:It is indeed a beautiful line. ;_;

Perhaps it's a given, and maybe I should double check too, but there was no verbal promise of putting Adria first. Only that Riaz trusts her more than he does Hawke.
When Hawke said Sienna comes first, always will, followed by his actions on the battlefield, pre-mating, I thought to myself that even if KoS ended without them mating, I will still be content --of course, that's a lie, ToN made me see that. Lol.
Now, if there was a situation in ToN where Lisette is free and in love with Riaz, but he still chose Adria, or perhaps a more bloodthirsty one where Riaz was in a situation where he can only save one of the two women and he picked Adria...then, maybe I'll be more convinced of his love too. Twisted Evil

Ever since Nalini responded to your question through Fluff about the mating rules with 'there are rules. They are fixed', I have toyed with the idea that perhaps the rules are psychic ones.
Nalini's response sounded like Alice when she spoke about the rules in the psychic plane. And Lucas mentioned that mating is psychic on some level...perhaps the neosentience that exists in every psychic network influences mating too. Hmmmm...

Well, the way I looked at those reunion scenes with Lisette at the end was that was pretty much equivalent of that. Lisette was confused and hurting over her husband asking for a divorce. Suave, gorgeous Riaz could have won her over time. He could have actively driven a wedge between her and Emil. She would have turned to him and he could have gone for it and he knew that. But he didn't. He set her back up with her husband. So, that helped me believe that Adria was his choice.

About mating being psychic on some level, yes, that makes a lot of sense and has been the way I see it. And there is a tiny, immature little NetMind in each of the pack's psychic webs. I remember Sascha or Faith saying it was so immature, it wouldn't be able to make it's presence known the way the PsyNet's does.

Now, that being said, have you noticed that the humans in the Clay/Tally, Zach/Annie and Emmett/Ria pairings don't seem to have the same reaction to the mating bond snapping into place as the changelings or Psy do? The Psy heroines/heros notice because they are psychic beings and can "see" the connection. But, the humans, can't see that and I think I remember all the humans having to be told, yeah, you're my mate or we're mated. At least that's my impression. I may have to go back and re-read those two novellas. Well, that won't be too demanding a task!
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Re: The Mating Bond problem

Post by ferdy on Mon Jul 02, 2012 1:01 pm

Lulu2011 wrote:
Still . . . do you remember that part in Tangle, where Riaz tells Adria "I will love you until the day they put me into the earth?"

It's a beautiful line, feels very Latin, very Riaz, to have said something like that. But I also recall that Hawke says to Sienna in KoS that one lifetime isn't enough, he wants eternity. Hawke's father, Tristan, says to his mate when he's dying that he'll see her in the next life, etc.

But Riaz doesn't promise Adria eternity . . . just wondering if that was intentional on Nalini's part or if she just thought it was a beautiful thing to say (which it was).

See I don't think it's beautiful at all when you compare it to what Hawke said to Sienna.. I actually find it sad and I noticed straight away when I was reading it that he said that once he died he would stop loving her and that there was no promises between them of being together in their afterlife or their next life. If this was done intentionally because they didn't have the mating bond then at least we can see one of the differences between loving someone and having the mating bond with someone. But then how are we supposed to be happy with Riaz/Adria when it's clear they have something less than the other couples and that their's someone out there that's better for them..it's just not a good enough happy ending for me.
I also noticed that when Riaz and Hawke were talking about Adria and mates that Riaz admitted that he could potentially have something more profound and more deeper than what he had with Adria but that he wasn't willing to risk it because it was only a possibility.. No other hero/heroine have ever said that they could be any possibility of something better than who they ended up with. Even Hawke said that Sienna could hurt him 1000 times more than Rissa ever did. I though it was interesting that Riaz admitted the possibilty of having something better than what he had with Adria.

Like another poster said (I think it was Yurice) I also think that Riaz was just being honourable when it came to his relationship with Adria..and that him and his wolf didn't want to get hurt again by Lisette so they chose the safer option of being with Adria. When Adria left Riaz he didn't seem to be suffering that much and that was when he was supposedly in love with Adria yet when he couldn't have Lisette he said he died and was in an unbelievable amount of pain..Adria never caused him anywhere close to as much pain and she never will. How can it be romantic if the strongest emotions and the biggest change the hero's ever been through is not caused by the heroine but by another woman?? I would be more convinced with Adria/Riaz if Lisette was no longer in love with her husband and was actively persuing Riaz and he chose Adria instead or if he only had a chance to save one from death and he chose Adria. I think that it's more than feasible that he only sought out Lisette's husband because she was still in love with him so he chose to save himself any future pain of watching his mate being in love with another man by getting them back together.

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Re: The Mating Bond problem

Post by Lulu2011 on Mon Jul 02, 2012 1:38 pm

Well, you know I'm not happy with the way the Riaz/Adria relationship ended up. I want the mating bond for them and for Adria in particular. It does feel "less" to me as we have had too many examples of how spectacular the mating bond is, how they can sense their mate's feelings, location, hold them to life if need be, etc.

However, I did end up feeling that Riaz was in love with Adria and I thought that he honestly and obviously showed that by fixing Lisette and Emil back up together and not showing any interest in her. I mean, he does say to her right off "I'm not in love with you either" and is all happy when Lisette and Emil are reuniting in the parking lot. I think that was Nalini's way of trying to emphatically show that he does choose Adria over Lisette. Yes, it would have been even more effective if Lisette had basically come on to Riaz and gone after him and he rejected her. But that isn't very "Nalini" to me as she doesn't usually have her characters do stuff like that. (I mean, seriously, in real life someone like Rosalie would have been all over Hawke and trying to get rid of Sienna lol.)

I think Nalini is also trying to say that true, deep love is the same whether it is in a committed relationship or a mated relationship. They just don't have the primal bond that gives them that extra connection but they are capable of loving and cherishing and caring for the other person the same way.
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Re: The Mating Bond problem

Post by Yurice on Thu Jul 05, 2012 11:23 pm

I've made my peace on the whole A/R thing while discussing with others in goodreads.
Here's my latest take on how the mating or lack of it in ToN impacted me:
I admit that when I read how people were speculating that there was no mating between A/R, my interest in ToN spiked even more. I had automatically assumed that they would mate at the end, regardless of the fact Riaz already found his mate. It bummed me, because I wanted to see Hawke and Sienna's mating not as Hawke's second chance, but as the greatest gift of a changeling's life. Dalton did say that mating is so precious that even warring packs did not execute their own who had mated with the enemy.

If Sienna had been just one of Hawke's potential mates out there, how could their mating be special if he could just easily find another one to take her place? ( like I said before, when i like a character I start to nitpick everything!)

Then came ToN, and the answers I 've been seeking. Perfect sync, Rissa's death, and the fact Riaz didn't mate with Adria despite him choosing her told me that there is only one mate, that the bond isn't controllable, meaning Riaz can't just point it at Adria like a laser and make himself mate with her, lol! That even Riaz's wolf knew Adria wasn't its mate, though it desired her... no bond.

Translation - no matter how brutally attracted Hawke was with Sienna, or how combustible their chemistry is, no matter how much Sienna fights for the chance to mate with Hawke, no matter how much they love each other, so much that Hawke won't harm her to save SD...the mating bond cannot be forced to form between them if they weren't mates. No amount of bribing or negotiating or blackmailing or force or love or devotion or committment will ever make that mating bond snap into place. Mating is indeed a gift. Very Happy


My final take on Riaz/Adria:
I don't think Riaz's actions are in any way a dimishment of the mating bond. His are the actions of a man deeply wounded, so deep that he will not expose himself to that kind of pain, that vulnerability again.
A vulnerability that only his mate can inflict.
He is on a self preservation mode, vulnerability doesn't sit well with a man as dominant as him. And he's closing up, barricading, protecting himself from such vulnerability again. Is it any wonder then that he chose Adria? When she's safe, will not wound him as deep, nor make him feel vulnerable as Lisette does?

The time frame doesn't matter, even if it's just a few months or several years, nothing short of a mate will ever make Riaz come out of hiding...the way Sienna made Hawke face the truth.

I see a bleak future for them. Riaz is too controlling enough to keep Adria for life, even if she wants out, so yeah, they'll be probably be together for a long, long time. I hope in the interim, Adria grows a spine and push back. I like her, love her generosity, her selflessness...she's a gift Riaz doesn't deserve.

My issue with A/R isn't the lack of mating bond, but the imbalance in their relationship. Riaz is too pushy...he pushed her into moving with him when she's not ready. He was going to make her eat her sandwich when she didn't want to finish it. He pulled rank on her during that anchor watch, instead of discussing it with her before they arrived, he would have still got what he wanted.
This is the last straw for me, Sienna knew that for their relationship to work, Hawke can never be her alpha.
Though lower in the hierarchy, the dynamics is the same, Riaz should never use his position to negate Adria's. He must learn to accept the soldier in her, and not diminish that other part of her, the dominant part as well as the maternal.

A mating bond won't solve those issues, it would be like putting a bandaid on a bone fracture.

I don't want a postmortem on A/R, as long as they remain unmated, I'm content.
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Re: The Mating Bond problem

Post by ferdy on Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:18 am

Lulu2011 wrote: I think Nalini is also trying to say that true, deep love is the same whether it is in a committed relationship or a mated relationship. They just don't have the primal bond that gives them that extra connection but they are capable of loving and cherishing and caring for the other person the same way.

I agree I think that was what she was trying to convey but if that's the case then it just makes finding a mate and mated couples not all that special. It's like if someone doesn't find their mate, it's no biggie because they can find someone just as special only they won't share a psychic bond with them.. all the talk in previous books about how special and life changing a mate is, only for then to be told that falling in love with someone who's not their mate is just as special. For me, it's just a complete 180.. and it just diminshes what we've been told about the bond.


Great post Yurice.
It's made things the mating bond issue just that little bit more easier to understand. I really don't care about Riaz's happiness..I don't like him AT ALL for the way he acted with Adria at the beginning and also like you said when he pulled rank on her instead of discussing it. His feelings for Adria were so underwhelming especially compared to all the feelings Lisette caused in him.
I can't say I'm content with A/R because I think Adria deserves someone better, she deserves to find her mate. I'm foolishly hoping that in future books we'll see Adria finding her mate and see Riaz realize that he only stayed with Adria because she was a safer option and maybe have him trying to fight for Lisette.
Adria has definitely had the worst HEA in the series..after everything she's been through she deserves to be someone's one and only instead of a subsitute or second best.

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Re: The Mating Bond problem

Post by degdelta on Fri Jul 06, 2012 12:43 pm

there is one very fundamental difference in the mating bond - apparently if one partner dies the other one will too. it's a possibility but not a certainty in a non-bonded relationship, however, the advantage is that the pack does not get entirely wiped out during a war.

folks may not be happy that Adria and Riaz are not bonded, but remember they are both on the front line in the coming war. someone needs to be around to protect the non-combatants.

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Re: The Mating Bond problem

Post by Lulu2011 on Fri Jul 06, 2012 2:32 pm

degdelta wrote:there is one very fundamental difference in the mating bond - apparently if one partner dies the other one will too. it's a possibility but not a certainty in a non-bonded relationship, however, the advantage is that the pack does not get entirely wiped out during a war.

folks may not be happy that Adria and Riaz are not bonded, but remember they are both on the front line in the coming war. someone needs to be around to protect the non-combatants.

That's an interesting point. I'd love to ask Nalini what percentage of wolf and cat changelings are mated and what percentage are in long-term committed relationships. 50/50? 70/30? That would help give Riaz/Adria's relationship a bit of perspective since all we've ever seen are happily mated changelings with the non-mated pairs being the unhappy or downright crazy (Nate's parents, Vaughn's parents, etc.).
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Re: The Mating Bond problem

Post by Lulu2011 on Fri Jul 06, 2012 2:38 pm

ferdy wrote:It's made things the mating bond issue just that little bit more easier to understand. I really don't care about Riaz's happiness..I don't like him AT ALL for the way he acted with Adria at the beginning and also like you said when he pulled rank on her instead of discussing it. His feelings for Adria were so underwhelming especially compared to all the feelings Lisette caused in him.
I can't say I'm content with A/R because I think Adria deserves someone better, she deserves to find her mate. I'm foolishly hoping that in future books we'll see Adria finding her mate and see Riaz realize that he only stayed with Adria because she was a safer option and maybe have him trying to fight for Lisette.
Adria has definitely had the worst HEA in the series..after everything she's been through she deserves to be someone's one and only instead of a subsitute or second best.

I think Nalini was trying to convey that Riaz didn't have any feelings for Lisette. He felt the pull of the mating bond but that wasn't/isn't love. They only ever had a possibility and that's what Riaz was mourning, the loss of that possibility. He didn't know Lisette, they never slept together, they were acquaintances only so how could he be in love with her? They didn't really even know each other. He felt the "tug" towards her, but that's also not love, though it has started to fade and my guess would fade away completely given a little more time. It's only been 6 months plus whatever time passed in Tangle. Still, I don't care for how Nalini handled it because it does diminish the mating bond in my mind, if it is possible to move on as he has obviously done.
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Re: The Mating Bond problem

Post by Yurice on Fri Jul 06, 2012 5:19 pm

Well that's the thing, I don't think he loves Adria either. I will not deny he lusts after her, but love? Nope. It feels more like he's keeping a pet, he'll care for it, nurture it, but expects complete obedience. Well OK, perhaps that's not the best way to say it, but I can't find a more suitable comparison right now.@_@;

Lisette managed to wound Riaz and his wolf twice. The second one, after he had seen his attraction to Adria as 'gift', as second chance. Well, one can't call that love, but that's one big emotional response nevertheless.

For me Nalini has writtten their story in such a way that readers can come with different conclusions
the first one, more optimistic - the 'They're in love! He chose Adria over his mate.' optimism.
Then there's the negative view, the one I hold - 'Riaz is acting like Hawke had been, hiding behind a wall and chose the woman who will never make him feel vulnerable again'.

That anchor protection thing was an opportunity to show that Riaz respects the soldier in Adria, but instead we get to see how he'll use rank to get what he wants. No protective urges can excuse what he did, that's seeing Adria for less than who she is. A senior soldier, one who are called upon to lead! This just shows how Riaz really regards her.
How can that be love?
Even Hawke with his wolfiness possessiveness/protectiveness never stood in the way of Sienna's growth. Saw her exactly as who she is, accepted her strength, as his equal, not less.

Still, I don't see Riaz's actions as oversight on Nalini's part. To me, they're planned that way, to support the other view on their relationship. No way am I going to believe that 'pulled rank' thing wasn't deliberate, when it's the first line in that chapter. Nalini had been careful to sell 'equal footing' between couples, I can't see her missing that important aspect after 10 books and few novellas.

But I agree with Ferdy, Adria indeed got the worst HEA, if one can even call it that. I'd be happier too if she left Riaz and find her mate, but...I much prefer that they stay in the background in the future books. I didn't like Riaz, still don't, but at least I don't feel angry mad at him anymore.^^
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Re: The Mating Bond problem

Post by Yurice on Fri Jul 06, 2012 7:20 pm

degdelta wrote:there is one very fundamental difference in the mating bond - apparently if one partner dies the other one will too. it's a possibility but not a certainty in a non-bonded relationship, however, the advantage is that the pack does not get entirely wiped out during a war.

folks may not be happy that Adria and Riaz are not bonded, but remember they are both on the front line in the coming war. someone needs to be around to protect the non-combatants.

But through the mating bond they can also hold the other to life. Like how D'Arn kept Sing Liu alive tho she was in the hit zone and he was in the den. Like Indy did with Drew. :3

I'd be unhappy if A/R bonded. That will cheapen the mating bond in my eyes, not the lack of it between A/R.^^
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Re: The Mating Bond problem

Post by Lulu2011 on Fri Jul 06, 2012 7:51 pm

Yurice, I understand your points but I prefer to take the more optimistic view as the more negative view just makes me unhappy.

As far as the anchor protection detail went, Riaz' protective urges made him do what he did and that scene just wasn't a big deal at all to me. I read right through it and didn't see anything insulting about what he did, just a dominant wolf with his fear for Adria's safety riding him hard. I also don't think Riaz' fear for her safety is unfounded. Adria isn't anywhere close to as lethal as Sienna. She also doesn't have Sienna's telepathic capabilities so she can't lash out psychically or call to Judd for help in an instant. So what he did in the context of who Adria is and her capabilties, and who Riaz is, didn't bother me. But that's me.

It would be interesting to ask Nalini if she wrote the Riaz/Adria relationship to be seen as a total loving HEA, or if she agrees with you that she wrote it with some ambiguity. For what reason though? To keep people chatting and talking? There are maybe a couple of dozen of us talking about this since most people are casual readers and don't get nearly as wrapped up in this stuff as us avid fans, of whom there are a number but not thousands. I'd say most of the readers of the series are fairly casual readers and expect their HEA at the end and I think that's who Nalini writes for.
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Re: The Mating Bond problem

Post by Yurice on Fri Jul 06, 2012 8:37 pm

For the ones who are content to take it at face value, no over thinking, no overanalyzing stuff, no comparing with other couples in the series...they'd get that happy, Riaz chose Adria over mate pov. It's when we start digging that the discontentment/negativity come up. But ToN isn't a stand alone book, I don't know if people will be able to follow the nuances of every detail/scenes if they weren't avid fans of the series first.


Riaz could still have gotten what he wanted -protecting Adria during that anchor duty, if he discussed it first. Why pull rank when they had the opportunity to discuss about it during the ride there? My point is, his unwillingness to discuss stuff, aside from the fact that she's a senior soldier, not a helpless lady he had to babysit. By doing so, he undermines her confidence in herself, in her abilities as a ranked soldier. That's like saying "I don't think you're good enough to handle this." Protective, yes. But it's the kind of protectiveness that stifles growth or self confidence. Sad
There too is his 'abuse of power',by making it a situation where she can't question his authority. That's not very conducive for a happy, healthy relationship. Sad

Sienna is lethal, but she's awfully clumsy too, just how on earth did she trip during that south American operation? Lol. Psychic abilities perfect, but physically? She's weak, not as fast as Judd or the changelings, one attack from the back, snap her neck, she's gone, T_T
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Re: The Mating Bond problem

Post by Lulu2011 on Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:30 pm

I think any of them (even Hawke or Luc) could be brought down if caught by surprise. Sienna is most definitely more lethal than Adria. I mean, she pretty much killed Henry Scott and almost took out Ming in the forest. Adria doesn't have those capabilities.

Now, Riaz made his decision based on his worry over Adria, but he was also under no obligation to discuss it with her before or after. He's the ranking officer. If Adria was upset about it, she could certainly have brought it up with him but didn't. In fact, she says: "I know what you're up to. Stay in one piece or I will really hurt you." It was 2 small paragraphs to open chapter 66, and I don't see it as undermining her confidence, especially since she narrows her eyes at him when delivering the above sentence. She wasn't intimidated at all. She was just acknowledging that a dominant changeling male can be mighty protective over their woman, a trait magnified by Riaz being a lone wolf.
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Re: The Mating Bond problem

Post by Yurice on Fri Jul 06, 2012 9:50 pm

If they go by abilities alone, then Sienna would have ranked higher than Adria by now, but no. She's a senior soldier and Sienna's still a novice for a reason.

Yep that proves my point, if they were just lieutenant/soldier then yes, Riaz doesn't have to explain his actions. But they're supposed to be more than that.
Adria lets things slide...which is why I said I hope she grows a spine and push back. Indigo/Mercy doesn't take it well when their men pull stunts like that, which leaves me to think she is either losing herself, or she lacks the confidence to stand up to Riaz because she's not his mate, or she's just a generous woman whose dominance is just for 'show'.
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