Mark Reads ‘Magic Steps’: Chapter 2

In the second chapter of Magic Steps, Sandry tries to convince Pasco that he is special. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read The Circle Opens. 

WELL. WELL. So, I definitely said some interesting things in the last review. DEFINITELY. A lot of my questions were answered, but I still don’t have a solid lead on what Magic Steps is going to be about. Pasco’s magic? The death of Rokat? Oh god, does The Circle Opens refer to the group bringing in new students??? I am intrigued by this terrible theory of mine if only because I’m so into the way in which Pasco and Sandry interact. It’s obvious now that Pasco was much like the kids at the beginning of Sandry’s Book: he truly did not believe that he possessed any sort of magic. Beyond that, he didn’t even think that highly of magic in and of itself.

It’s with that understanding that Pierce introduces a major conflict for him while introducing one for Vedris and Sandry. While learning that you are magical is a challenge for any person to learn, it’s complicated for Pasco because his family is involved in one career and one career only: working for the Provost’s Guard. Both sides of his family have been “harriers,” as they’re referred to, for many generations. At least one of his sisters works for the Provost’s Guard, and Pasco is expected to do the same. Which is a lot of pressure to begin with. It’s not an enjoyable thing to have your life planned out for you. I distinctly remember having to break my father’s heart multiple times because he was so certain that I was destined for a life in the military.

On top of that, though, is the news that Sandry brings into his life: he definitely has magic. And it’s not the kind of magic that would make him a good harrier-mage. What I appreciate about this chapter is that Pierce does not have Pasco react with joy and excitement. First of all, he doesn’t actually believe Sandry yet, and even if that night’s catch does come back successfully, he still needs his magic demonstrated to him. He’s not just going to take Sandry’s word without proof. But once that happens, then he’s got to deal with inevitable fallout from his family. Whatever kind of magic he has – dancing magic??? – is not exactly applicable to being a harrier. Even if he might not want to be a harrier, he does have a lot of the knowledge of the profession, so will he want to abandon what his family wants for him?

I don’t know the answers to these questions. This is a tough one, y’all! I get that Sandry thinks this is exciting, that she’s giving Pasco a choice he never had. But sometimes, people don’t want that choice. Pasco has no reason to trust a famous noble girl like Sandry, and he has no reason to pursue life as a mage. That being said? We know for certain from Sandry’s POV that he does have magic, so he’s going to have to deal with it. And I’m definitely interested in seeing how that plays out.

LET US ALSO LAUGH AT MY ATTEMPTS TO SAY ANYTHING ABOUT JAMAR ROKAT’S ROLE IN THE BOOK. I was pretty certain he was being set up as an antagonist, and then WHOOPS, HE’S DEAD. Murdered, no less! There’s a brief discussion of the ramifications of someone as rich as Rokat being murdered, and I hope that comes up again. I still don’t know where this book is going, BUT I’M IN. Y E S.

Mark Links Stuff

– The Mark Does Stuff Tour 2015 is now live and includes dates across the U.S., Canada, Europe, the U.K., and Ireland. Check the full list of events on my Tour Dates / Appearances page.
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About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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