Mark Reads ‘Emperor Mage’: Epilogue

In the epilogue of Emperor Mage, Daine makes one last request of Kaddar. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to finish Emperor Mage.


I’m happy that Daine is more than aware that her behavior in Carthak is something she’s not terribly proud of. That doesn’t mean she didn’t do good here, and I think that by tapping into her anger, she was able to stand up to a force that had never truly been challenged. But I cannot believe that I did not see the two very obvious parallels here!

First of all, THIS IS PRETTY MUCH WHAT HAPPENED AT SNOWSDALE. Daine lost her temper when her mother died, and it made her an outcast. So, she vocalizes this fear to Alanna: Will she be shunned once she returns home? God, I love you so much, Alanna, and I’m thankful that out of everyone there, she’s the one to comfort Daine. Alanna intimately knows the responsibility and guilt that comes with claiming a life, so it makes sense that she’d be able to help out Daine.

Alanna also spent an entire year under the influence of a goddess, too. BY GODS THEY ARE MEANT FOR EACH OTHER. I’m so happy Alanna is in this quartet because in her, Daine has a friend who truly gets her. It’s lovely!

I’m also quite satisfied that Kaddar has taken over his uncle’s empire. I wasn’t surprised that Daine refused to take anything for her own personal gain from him. It’s just not who she is. I have hope that Kaddar will be able to make the changes to Carthak that’ll put the city back in the good graces of the gods, though I acknowledge the difficult job he has ahead of him. I did expect that Daine would wish the slaves away, but there are a couple reasons why I think what Pierce writers here works. First of all, it’s nice that Daine acknowledges that she doesn’t think she is in a place to criticize someone else’s culture. That doesn’t mean she can’t, but she understands context and the fact that she comes from a different place. And that’s something that, in the context of being American, is an important tactic we should all employ when we’re talking about the rest of the world. Too often, my country is centered as the moral bar by which all countries are measured, and it’s kind of super gross? There aren’t enough people who go into activism or criticism by saying, “You know, I recognize you have an entirely different upbringing or life of experience because you don’t live where I do.”

So after starting things off this way, Daine suggest that Kadder re-think the existence of slavery in his empire, highlighting how dehumanizing it is while also pointing out that in the end, it’s not going to do his empire good anyway. I get that Kaddar’s hands are tied, and I’d like to think that he actually wants to abolish slavery. But his city is in ruins, his immediate future is filled with rebuilding, and he could lose everything if he also gives slaves their freedom. At the very least, I’m glad that the slaves freed are given a choice. Ultimately, that’s what is most important here. They can go with Daine back to Tortall, or they can remain in Carthak. And Daine respects that! This is where they’ve been their whole lives. Why should they also uproot everything once they get their freedom?

As this chapter in Daine’s life comes to a close, I hope to hear in The Realms of the Gods that Kaddar emancipated the slaves. That’s about the only plot that is left from this book, so I’m mostly terrified about the fact that THERE IS SOMEHOW ANOTHER BOOK. HOW? HOW???

Regardless, I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH. I don’t understand how they keep getting better and better, but y’all, I’m in love. I never want this series to end. Ever. EVER.

We’ll do predictions for the final book in The Immortals quartet on Thursday; attached to it will be a video/review of the short story “The Hidden Girl”! HUZZAH! Here’s to being so unprepared for The Realms of the Gods that I can only laugh at myself.

Mark Links Stuff

 I am now on tour!!! I have 26 events spread out across the eastern HALF of the U.S. and Canada. They are all free and all-ages. Come see speak about the Mark Does Stuff Universe and read terrible fanfiction live!
- Mark Reads Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is now published and available for purchase! It’s available in ebook AND physical book format, and you can also get a discount for buying the ENTIRE SET of digital books: $25 for 7 BOOKS!!!
- Commissions are still open while I am on tour! There may be a day or two delay to get them done, but I am accepting them graciously to help fund my tour!

About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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