Warning: Contains Spoilers!
Lee couldn’t believe it. Here was the Ismus, the mighty Austerly Fellows, scared by something out of a heavy-metal video.
Aufwader’s Thoughts: There’s an awful lot to chew over in this chapter, but my favourite detail is the brief paragraph about the Dawn Prince facing down Mauger and capturing the beast to be Growly Guardian of Mooncaster’s gate. Thus far, the Dawn Prince has been a name to inspire terror and little else, but the section about Mauger gives tangible weight to the idea of him (Him?) in exile.
No matter what grandiose claims he makes, the Ismus is and always will be a regent and representative. Austerly Fellows just got lucky, latching onto a power greater than himself – he was never Mooncaster’s true ruler, and all he can really do at the end of the day is pave to road to hell. Which card will the hooded figures draw for him, we ask ourselves. Rise of a Tyrant? The False Prophet? Death of Innocents? Plague? Flood? Fire?
Or what about Downfall of Empires.
Matt’s Thoughts: Where do we start with so much brain-bending mythology packed into this chapter?
Lee is a ferociously brave character, and the idea of a love strong enough to kill the prophets of all world religions is somewhat breathtaking. (Though I would be interested in whether secular readers feel as much of the weight of what Lee is being asked to do.) But I’m not sure if any of us believe that this fairytale will have a happy ending.
Finally, the idea that life is somehow an epic card game is tantalising. Is it a game of chance? Is it a game of strategy? Is it played for fun? Is it serious? Will we ever find out?