Now that we’re to the final two books in the series, I have something to refer back to. As I mentioned when I responded to The Alchemyst, I’ve previously responded to The Warlock and The Enchantress. The Warlock was Book 49! That’s almost 400 books ago in the life of this blog. WHOA.
All I have to say, upon re-reading my response, is wow what naivety! What youth! What excitement! I’m clearly a bit more jaded on this re-read and I did NOT re-read every book again before each book was released, but I do still agree with the fact that the books were a bit thin on subject matter even though they took place over only a matter of days. There’s things missing that I think would’ve been great to include and there are things included (multiple times in some cases) that I was not interested in.
For some reason, these last two books didn’t feel as well written or maybe copy-edited. There were a few times where the same phrase/story was used over and over again by the same character. The story is still great, it’s just that the writing wasn’t as well crafted or honed for some reason.
Not to compare them again, but it made me think of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, where it felt like Rowling was so rushed that she pushed out a book that wasn’t as polished as the first three or the final three. I don’t think that was the case with Scott though as there seemed to be plenty of time between each book and these are significantly shorter and less involved than the final three Harry Potter books. There is also always the chance that I’m a lot pickier and notice a lot more about stories and copyediting now that I’ve had a blog for almost six years and I’ve done a lot more work in the communications field.
SPOILERS IN THIS SECTION, SKIP TO “NO MORE SPOILERS” TO AVOID THEM
This book covers a lot of ground, but the titular warlock character is Niccolò Machiavelli. He and Billy the Kid decide to go against their elder masters and align themselves with their own race (humans) versus any of the elders. As I’ve mentioned in every post, Scott’s ability to write good and evil and to merge/convolute the two is excellent. When Machiavelli and Billy decide to do this, they align themselves with the side that takes major losses and is clearly under-manned, but they do it for the right reasons.
This was the book that almost had me stop re-reading the series, which is sad. It’s the book that really picked up the series on the first read with its numerous reveals. During the re-read, however, the foreshadowing was just too much. Maybe it’s because I knew what to look for, or maybe it’s because the series relies on only two major reveals (unlike Harry Potter which has slow reveals across the entire series). These two quotes got me:
“The moon had been painted in phosphorescent paint, and its glow lulled her to sleep every night she slept at her aunt’s house. Josh’s room, next door, was in complete contrast: it was a pale eggshell blue with a huge golden sun in the center of the ceiling.” (Loc. 1116)
Given, Sophie has just found out the woman she’s called “aunt” for the past 15ish years isn’t who she thought she was and is actually an immortal who goes by the name Tsagaglalala (She who watches, Lensjoy.com link). And then the conversation continues and this gem appears,
“There were occasional Golds in your family line, some Silvers, too, even a couple of sets of twins, but the prophesied twins never materialized, and my brother’s mind began to collapse with the weight of years.” (Loc. 3572)
I won’t add emphasis, but when you’ve read the final book, come back and read this line and you’ll be like “OMG, WTF?! How did I miss that comment and I’m still mad about it either way.”
NO MORE SPOILERS
For some reason that last section just got to me. What I talk about isn’t bad and it’s probably a good sign of Scott’s talents as a writer, but if it makes me not want to re-read the series is it a good thing? I don’t know. I am glad I re-read it, but I know I won’t be re-visiting it again. Maybe I’ve just gotten old.
Recommendation: Same for the entire series, if you’re reading them for the first time I’m sure you will LOVE them! The myths and legends Scott brings to life throughout the series are so well crafted and have such great personalities they stay with you. The only downside of the series, and this is coming from a re-read perspective, is that it’s hard to ignore what you know at the end. It was really hard not to let what I know about the end of the series affect my re-read of the series. For a lot of the time I was able to ignore it, but it was always there.
Opening Line: “Nicholas Flamel is dying.”
Closing Line: “The couple bowed. ‘In this place we are called Isis and Osiris. Welcome to Danu Talis, children. Welcome home.'” (Whited out to avoid spoilers, highlight to read.)
Additional Quotes from The Warlock
“And because this was Paris, no one looked twice at a couple wearing sunglasses at night.” (Loc. 93)
“A feeling of absolute despair washed over her; her stomach churned and her throat ached. Her twin, her little brother, had done what he had sworn he would never do: he had left her. The tears came then, deep wracking sobs that shuddered through her body, leaving her breathless.” (Loc. 371)
“‘But what you must remember is that knowledge itself is never dangerous,’ Tsagaglalal insisted. “’t is how that knowledge is used that is dangerous.’” (Loc. 3534)
“I have seen marvels and endured so much. The humani lifespan is not long enough to experience a fraction of what this world alone has to offer. I have visited every corner of every continent on this planet and explored Shadowrealms both terrifying and awe-inspiring. And I have learned so much. Immortality is a gift beyond imagining. If you are offered it: take it. The benefits far outweigh the disadvantages.” (Loc. 889)
“The truth—the cold, bitter truth—was that she simply did not know. Right and wrong, good and bad, had become twisted and confused. She couldn’t even distinguish friends from enemies anymore.” (Loc. 1412)
“The day we stop learning is the day we die.” (Loc. 2147)
“Man is the only animal that can destroy the world. Beasts live only in the present, but humans have the capacity to live for the future, to lay down plans for their children and grandchildren, plans that can take years, decades, even centuries, to mature.” (Loc. 2172)
“Celtic cluricauns and Japanese oni, English boggarts and Scandinavian trolls, Norwegian huldu alongside a Greek minotaur, and a Native American Windigo in a cell next to an Indian vetala.” (Loc. 2278)
“There is no such thing as magic. It is a word. A silly, foolish, overused word. There is only your aura … or the Chinese have a better word for it: qi. A life force. An energy. This is the energy that flows within you. It can be shaped, molded, directed.” (Loc. 3872)
“That is the secret of all magic. If you can imagine it, if you can see it clearly, and if your aura, your qi, is strong enough, then you will achieve it.” (Loc. 3905)
“And Scathach. The Shadow. For ten thousand years I have watched you. I could fill a library with your adventures and another with your mistakes. You are, without doubt, the most infuriating, irresponsible, dangerous, loyal and courageous person I have ever encountered. The world would be a poorer place without you. You have given much to the humani, and they have not given you back as much as you deserve.” (Loc. 4127)