Top critical review
Swords, Sorcery and Silly Storytelling
on 6 January 2014
This book is quite a curiosity. The first half of the book is very slow paced and almost nothing happens but the story does pick up in the second half only for it to be a victim of silly storytelling. The plot: the kingdom of Mordant is almost on its knees - caused in no small part by its king who is an aging, senile old man who is more concerned with playing Hop-Board (a version draughts/checkers)than saving his own land. A team of magicians known as Imagers concoct a plan to bring a 'champion' into their world via magical mirrors to save their land. At first they only manage to bring a New York girl called Terisa Morgan into their fantasy land who becomes the lead character in the story before they bring who they think is the real 'champion' into their world who destroys part of the stone fortifications upon his escape from the Imagers.
This is where it suddenly gets curious. Two sides are formed before the halfway point of the book. The first is the kings side who appears to not care less whether his land survives or dies while the other side is the Imagers who want to try to save the land they live in. The author is clearly (but also oddly) on the kings side despite him being written as someone who deserves to lose while the Imagers (who are later replaced as the kings enemies with warring neighbouring countries who want to take the kings throne) are seen as traitors and evil. A further oddity comes in the form of Arch-Imager Vagel. He never appears in the book yet he is mentioned several times as the person who is causing some of the trouble described within. No proof of him being part of this is given however yet he is still blamed for much of the troubles. We then get onto the silly storytelling where Terisa and her friend Geraden are constantly jumping to silly conclusions that just happen to be spot on despite a complete lack of proof to the contrary and they also appear to be in the right place at the right time. A good example of this can be found near the end where they jump to the wild conclusion that one of the kings daughters is going to poison the resevoir of water to make most the soldiers and inhabitants ill so that they can't fight against the attacking armies from neighbouring countries. They both head to the water resevoir moments before they catch the long missing Princess Elega poisoning the water (something that she could have done any time in the two or so chapters she had gone missing). The story ends with another bit of stupidity. One of the Imagers Master Eremis accuses Geraden of being a traitor despite no real proof while Geraden accuses Eremis of being the true traitor also, with no real proof. Unsurprisingly, the author (who is on Geraden's side because he supports the king) makes people believe that he's the one telling the truth even though Geraden can't string together any good reasons as to why he's truthful! Just as Eremis is about to call a witness to strenthen his own case against Geraden, Geraden comes over to the witness (which happens to be his brother who is in league with the warring enemies) and kills him! Geraden then makes a run for it which makes him even more guilty than he previously was (killing a witness to keep him quiet and then running away surely counts against him). Finally he has the audacity to claim that Eremis was the person who killed the witness using magic (as if anybody would believe that)before jumping through a mirror to escape.
In short, the author is clearly on the kings side but the side he supports he writes the characters out as people who deserve to lose while the opposition who is clearly more smarter and who shows reasons to want to save the kingdom is portrayed as the enemies! The author never makes it clear why he is supporting the side that wants to destroy the kingdom while pouring scorn over the side that wants to save it but thats what he does! Very curious.