Glass Books #5 ~ Cardinal Chang

by Gordon Dahlquist

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DeppInTheHeartOfTexas
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Glass Books #5 ~ Cardinal Chang

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Fri Jan 09, 2009 8:52 am

Let’s discuss Cardinal Chang. What does his character bring to the story?

(Remember no casting ideas...yet :grin: )
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Re: Glass Books #5 ~ Cardinal Chang

Unread postby trygirl » Fri Jan 09, 2009 12:38 pm

Cardinal Chang brings the classic anti-hero element to the story. He's isolated from the society in which he lives but he doesn't mind the marginalization. In fact, he feels it aids him in his duties as a man for hire. And it's because of his low social status that he's able to fly under the radar so that he can conduct his business which sometimes takes him to different parts of the seedy underworld i.e. brothels. He knows the streets of his environment very well and easily navigates them…when he can see these streets of course. :lol: Where Dr. Svenson is a foreigner and Miss Temple a type of social shut in from an island, Chang is an urban native. Dr. Svenson even says as much to Chang in the book, "It is still your city, you are it's animal." He's also the muscle of the trio. And though he is not overly courageous, he's good with his weapon of choice and has a better chance of escaping danger than the other two. If you had to count on someone to rescue you, it would be Chang. And though the other villains think him a brute, I feel they're more threatened by him.
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Re: Glass Books #5 ~ Cardinal Chang

Unread postby ladylinn » Fri Jan 09, 2009 1:19 pm

I have thought alot about Chang - the story brings out that his younger years were lived on the edge of society and he had to do what he could to survive. His knowledge of this underclass society definately aids him in his chosen profession of being a man for hire. Through all his trials he also shows there is softer caring side well hidden from anyone. If shown he feels this would weaken him. He is definately the one who leads the trio and I also trygirl would chose him to rescue me if needed.

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Re: Glass Books #5 ~ Cardinal Chang

Unread postby Peachy » Fri Jan 09, 2009 1:28 pm

Chang leaped out of the pages immediately. He is a complex character. His history would probably fill a volume of its own (I wish!).

There are highly contradictory aspects to his character: he is obviously highly intelligent and would also appear to be educated (his love of poetry, knowledge of texts etc) in some ways he is also highly sensitive, and yet he is a contract killer who frequents brothels.
In many ways he is like a wild cat – I think he is described somewhere as being feral. He is instinctive and quick-witted and this is what saves him time after time.
I found him fascinating and strangely enough I was not put off by his habits or his profession. I think this could be because he does redeem himself somewhat by teaming with Miss Temple and Svenson and not just pursuing his own aim, having said that, I liked him from the start.
Whilst Svenson is the glue, Chang is the muscle – without his skills the other two would be lost.
and I absoulutely agree with Trygirl and Ladylinn about him being our preferred rescuer :lol:
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Re: Glass Books #5 ~ Cardinal Chang

Unread postby Jackslady » Fri Jan 09, 2009 1:32 pm

My first impression was that Chang is simply a cold-blooded killer. At this stage, I was wondering if the book would really appeal to me - I favour romantic stories and enjoy characters who are well rounded. However, Dahlquist's writing began to impress me on deeper levels when he revealed Chang's feelings for Angelique - then he became an appealing and quite sexy character as far as I'm concerned! At this point he became human, someone I could care about even though he murders for a living! Of the three leads, he is the one I am most interested in, and the one whose background I yearn to know more about. I think the author has given him an intriguing appearance and a stealthy elegance that probably makes him appealing to female readers? A romance between Chang and Miss Temple would work well for me...
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Re: Glass Books #5 ~ Cardinal Chang

Unread postby Liz » Fri Jan 09, 2009 3:02 pm

I was trying to think of the right word to describe him, and couldn’t come up with it. Peachy came up with it for me—instinctive. He’s a natural at what he does. And I think likening him to a cat is perfect, but not just that he is wild. He is also aloof and seems to have 9 lives. He also seems to have some of the physical attributes of a cat—agility, for one. He has the street smarts, as trygirl pointed out. But he does have that softer side, as ladylinn mentions. Without it, I don’t know that he could have been as useful to the trio. His love of Angelique and a deep-down caring for his friends gave him motivation to keep going. Jackslady, the evolution you describe is exactly how I saw his character. Again, Dahlquist gives us another well-developed character BUT one who is still a mystery and leaves us wanting for more.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Re: Glass Books #5 ~ Cardinal Chang

Unread postby Theresa » Fri Jan 09, 2009 3:18 pm

Like Peachy noted, Chang is a myriad of contradictions. Unfeeling, yet is in love with Angelique, heartless, but he takes the time and care to pick up Miss Temple's green shoes and carry them around with him as he is hunting around in the prison/mansion (Argh, I forgot the name of it...Harschmort? Harschmant?)

Then there's his need to be 'invisible' to do his killing-for-hire, yet he wears a red coat that's he's known for. And his favorite place to be is the big library, yet because of his scars, he can't read the books.

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Re: Glass Books #5 ~ Cardinal Chang

Unread postby Liz » Fri Jan 09, 2009 3:47 pm

Theresa wrote:Like Peachy noted, Chang is a myriad of contradictions. Unfeeling, yet is in love with Angelique, heartless, but he takes the time and care to pick up Miss Temple's green shoes and carry them around with him as he is hunting around in the prison/mansion (Argh, I forgot the name of it...Harschmort? Harschmant?)

Then there's his need to be 'invisible' to do his killing-for-hire, yet he wears a red coat that's he's known for. And his favorite place to be is the big library, yet because of his scars, he can't read the books.

Harschmort, but I keep wanting to call it Harschmont.

I loved how he carried around her shoes. I can't believe he didn't drop them....but it's fiction.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Re: Glass Books #5 ~ Cardinal Chang

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Fri Jan 09, 2009 4:03 pm

He seems to be a popular guy with this group! :lol:

I saw him as a contradictory character, which made him more realistic to me. He is a loner yet we learn about his love for Angelique and his concern for Celeste. He is sly and secretive yet he wears the red coat which would certainly draw attention to him. He is a killer for hire who loves poetry, a man with poor eyesight who wears sunglasses. He is definitely mysterious which makes me want to learn more about him. Because of his profession Chang is allowed to do things and get away with things in the story that would be less acceptable with the other two. His familiarity with the city, and the seedy side of the city, is important to the story.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming -

Wow! What a ride!

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Re: Glass Books #5 ~ Cardinal Chang

Unread postby trygirl » Fri Jan 09, 2009 4:23 pm

Jackslady wrote:My first impression was that Chang is simply a cold-blooded killer.


I also initially thought Chang was nothing more than a ruthless killer so I'm happy there's more to his character than the typical heartless assassin. He's the one who's backstory I'm most interested in and if I had to pick a favorite, it would be Chang. Good analysis from all of you.
I'm not a brand, I'm more of a variety. - Johnny Depp

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Re: Glass Books #5 ~ Cardinal Chang

Unread postby nebraska » Fri Jan 09, 2009 4:32 pm

Count me in Chang's fan club, too! He was by far my favorite character, perhaps because he was the most complex . His early life story portrayed him as an outsider, an underdog who was victim to much abuse. It made me hope for him to gain power and success - it put me on his side early on. His inner struggles (like his love for Angelique that he fought against feeling) made it easy for me to feel sympathy for him. I found him exciting right from his introduction -- I guess I am a pushover for the "bad boy mystery man". :lol: Even though he was depicted as a killer for hire, I never saw him as being without a conscience. He approached his jobs with intelligence and he had his own personal standards of behavior (even if they were very different from society at large). His physical grace and the dark glasses and the flashy red coat.....he was just a whole lot more fun than the doctor!

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Re: Glass Books #5 ~ Cardinal Chang

Unread postby gemini » Fri Jan 09, 2009 8:19 pm

Chang was also my favorite character. I always have sided with the underdog. What more could you ask for in a character to appeal to me? Chang was a student when he was young, he was injured through a beating, he was poor, he spent a lot of time in the library, he loved poetry. He took chances, was fearless in a fight, and lived by his own set of ethics.
He loved Angelique but kept his feelings to himself. He eyes were injured so he was flawed which usually tends to affect ones character in some way. The fact that he was a hired killer, took opiates, I managed to overlook in my feeling for him because of his circumstances. I too, have hopes for him and Celeste.
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Re: Glass Books #5 ~ Cardinal Chang

Unread postby Liz » Sat Jan 10, 2009 1:46 am

I don't really have a favorite character of the trio. I like them all--but each for different reasons.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.

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Re: Glass Books #5 ~ Cardinal Chang

Unread postby Jennak » Sat Jan 10, 2009 2:30 pm

I agree that he is a bad boy, a heated rebellious yang To Svenson's Victorian yin. He was delt a cruel hand by life, and has made the most of it, utilizing the talents he developed to stay alive...and to make a living. I also like his sense of defiance by wearing the red coat. He basically lived from one "assignment" to the next, with a pretty empty and purposeless life. His one bright spark was Angelique. But, like the rest of his life, his attachment was more or less vicarious. His rather unlikely alliance with Miss Temple and Svenson changed all that. It threw him INTO life. He had to become a participant, not merely someone who hits and runs. I think this is salvation for him...it gave him a chance to become involved in something meaningful, before he ends up getting killed in one of his "assignments" gone wrong. It has rejuvenated him...a kind of salvation.

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Re: Glass Books #5 ~ Cardinal Chang

Unread postby Liz » Sat Jan 10, 2009 3:20 pm

Jennak wrote:His rather unlikely alliance with Miss Temple and Svenson changed all that. It threw him INTO life. He had to become a participant, not merely someone who hits and runs. I think this is salvation for him...it gave him a chance to become involved in something meaningful, before he ends up getting killed in one of his "assignments" gone wrong. It has rejuvenated him...a kind of salvation.

Excellent point, Jennak! I totally agree. This alliance with Miss Temple and Dr. Svenson has given him a purpose---a goal that comes from within him rather than the goals of those who hire him.
You can't judge a book by its cover.

The only thing that matters is the ending. It's the most important part of the story.


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