kadengt

Question on the ending of Scrivener's Bones

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I have a question from The Scrivener's Bones that I could not find an answer for so I posted it here. I don't know if it needs to be in a spoiler or not so I put it as such.

Alcatraz's father said he knew the trick to not losing his soul was to not own it when he signs the contract, so he wrote down that he bequeathed his soul to his son. Alcatraz assumes that his dad asked for the book to explain how to get his soul back from the Curator's and this is where he learned this trick. But earlier in the book, Alcatraz learns that rule # 3 for the Curators is that they can reject or accept a request for a soul contract, but says they must hand over the book once the contract is signed. They cannot take the soul for a specified time, but according to this rule Alcatraz's father had to sign the contract before he saw the book, so he would not have been able to write that Alcatraz owned his soul before he signed it away to them. Did Alcatraz get the story wrong and his father knew this trick before he read a book? Otherwise, how could he give his son to Alcatraz before signing the contract since he did not receive the book explaining this technique until he had already signed it?   

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Welcome to the forums!

No spoilers for the Alcatraz books needed here in the Alcatraz sub-forum, but some people try to be cautious and extra spoilers don't hurt.

 

It's been a while so I don't remember the exact wording. My interpretation is that his dad did not know the trick until after he signed the contract. In my version, the trick is actually to not own your soul when the contract comes due, rather than when you sign the contract. Whether you want to chalk that up to a continuity error or to a misunderstanding by Alcatraz is up to you.

Other interpretations are possible.

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Thanks. My version has his dad's letter saying "The trick is to not own your own soul when you sign the contract." So maybe it is different in other versions. It would make sense if it says when the contract comes due in your version.

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By "my version" I mean how it works in my head--I'm guessing the text is identical. If that is what the quote is then i think this is probably a continuity error, but Alcatraz is unreliable enough that it could be poor reporting on his part.

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If the contract signed with Curators says that the souls becomes their property AFTER the time given to read the book, then the timeline is correct. They sign the contract, but the soul is still his. He reads the book, transfers ownership of his soul to his son and after that Curators take him.

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The will of his soul to his son was not part of the contract. The will was written after the contract had been written and was part of his goods that were to be kept.

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The will of his soul to his son was not part of the contract. The will was written after the contract had been written and was part of his goods that were to be kept.

Good clarification.

I think the question is why the will takes precedence over the contract in determining ownership of the soul. The OP was asking why, if the contract is signed first, transferring soul ownership to the librarians, he was subsequently able to write a will bequeathing his soul to Alcatraz, since it was no longer his to give away.

I'm no law expert, but it seems like if I sign a contract exchanging my car for season theater tickets, I could no longer leave my car to my daughter in my will, since I don't own it any more.

But wills are tricky, and we don't know the actual text of the contract. I'm not too worried about it.

Edited by ccstat
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When is book 5 to be written? Any word on that?

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Book 5 actually has been written last year (Brandon mentioned that in his latest State of the Sanderson post).

Starting February next year, Tor will begin rereleasing the Alcatraz books with new cover art, interior art and world maps. After rereleasing the first four books, they will publish the fifth one, so it's expected to be released sometime in the summer of 2016.

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The art on the ones purchased through audible.com are horrible!!!! Thanks - oh when we were going through the Sidney, MT High School library for my mom's classreunion, I did find the Alcatraz books and the first one for WOR.

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I think I may have found an error as well.

Spoiler

Earlier in the book, Alcatraz, Bastille, and Kaz are using Kaz’s Talent to hop them around the library. They send Bastille ahead to scout, them realize that she was lost because Kaz had teleported Alcatraz and himself away from her. The chapter ends there. Then, in the next chapter (where they get trapped in the tar-banana stuff) Bastille is back as if nothing has happened. Is that a continuity error or am I missing something?

 

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You're right. Right after the chapter ends they are all together like nothing happened. I guess you could say that Bastille was still list so she was still affected, but it is a bit of a stretch.

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On 1/5/2019 at 6:52 PM, Theodore Smedry said:

You're right. Right after the chapter ends they are all together like nothing happened. I guess you could say that Bastille was still list so she was still affected, but it is a bit of a stretch.

I think when they stepped on the tripwire Kaz turned off his talent, and Bastille came back then stepped in the goop.  

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