This is the sequel to Blood of Ambrose, and much like the first book, it’s a wild ride. It explores many different applications of the setting’s magic, as well as questions about death and mortality.
I have a few (mostly spoiler-free) thoughts about the tale.
I read a Star Trek novel recently.
These are my equivalent of the fluffy romance novel: they’re not too heavy or too hard-hitting, and I can whip through one pretty quickly.
Many are quite mediocre, and The Shocks of Adversity was no exception to this rule. However, it did provide some good food for thought.
I’ll provide spoilers here, but the book is largely spoiled by the blurb… and the plot is not terribly surprising.
Merlin is not the hero.
Blood of Ambrose is the first in a series written by James Enge. It’s an amusing sword and sorcery tale, which hints at Arthurian legend without being beholden to it. It concerns the defense of Uther’s kingdom from a usurper trying to steal it away from his descendant, in an alternate fantasy-world. Merlin’s children are at the forefront.
It’s a fun romp, and worth reading if you don’t want to think too hard about the real world for a little while.
And now, I will think a little too hard about this book. The biggest spoiler is a bit at the end that doesn’t have a big impact on the main plot.
There’s an element that commonly appears in fantasy novels. In some cases, as in Harry Potter, it’s explicitly constructed as a school. In many others, it’s more of a master-apprentice system.
But the bottom line is this: none of the improved pedagogical methods that are used in modern-day Muggle classrooms are making it into the magical community. Worse, many of the methods of magical instruction are downright abusive.
Since I just gave up on watching a show that was supposedly about a graduate school in magic, let’s talk about this mess.
Arrival is a gorgeous film. The music and ambiance are flawlessly done, and, because of how the movie is put together, I expect it will have some extra meaning on a second viewing.
You should probably go see it before I spoil it below.