In the twenty-fourth and penultimate chapter of Battle Magic, Briar and Rosethorn learn of the end result of the negotiations. Intrigued? Then it’s time for Mark to read Battle Magic.
I am going to be a mess when I read the next chapter.
I didn’t expect chapter twenty-four to be so brief, but there’s still a lot of information in these couple pages. I certainly didn’t anticipate a negotiation period when I started Battle Magic; I figured this was like some sort of fantastical cage match, and only one party could leave. TWO LEADERS ENTER, ONLY ONE IS SLAUGHTERED BECAUSE HE IS THE ABSOLUTE WORST AND I WOULD HAVE BEEN ENTERTAINED HAD HE SUFFERED. But as I said in the last review, this ending allows Gyongxe to not only rebuild, but maintain peace without the immediate threat of invasion and war.
And Pierce still knows how to drop a plot twist or two within all of this:
“Hengkai did not go with him,” Riverdancer said through her translator.
WELL, CONSIDER ME SURPRISED. Because I figured that Hengkai, as cruel and terrible as he was, was ready to follow Weishu to hell if he had to. But now that I re-think what I saw of him in the previous chapter, this makes a lot more sense. Look, it’s not just that he is begging for forgiveness here. I think that’s incidental. I think he’s doing that because he doesn’t really have another option. As Riverdancer points out, Weishu blames the failure of the invasion on Hengkai and has already punished him for it. So, I don’t find his begging to be all that sincere, you know? He’s way too opportunistic to suddenly “care” about all the people he’s killed. Plus, this made me laugh:
“He hopes the goddess will forgive him his many killings and keep him safe from cave snakes and peak spiders, he says.”
HAHAHAHAHA, HE IS JUST TRAUMATIZED FROM ALL THE CREATURES HE SAW.
I do wonder about all the mages and generals who did choose to stay in Garmashing. How many of them had been eager for any opportunity to leave the empire? How many saw a chance for them to escape from Weishu and finally took it? I don’t blame them; Weishu is a nightmare. At the very least, those who defected are safe from Weishu while in Gyongxe. Will they be required to work towards forgiveness? I AM VERY FASCINATED BY THIS POSSIBILITY. Will they assimilate into the culture or maintain their Yanjingyi beliefs? TELL ME THERE IS FANFIC OF THIS.
Anyway, I found a personal symbolism in the reveal that once Briar, Rosethorn, and Evvy left Gyonxge, a “veil” would fall on them and prevent them from remembering all the gods and creatures they were lucky enough to witness. Just in terms of worldbuilding, it’s one of the coolest things in the Emelan world. Gyongxe protects itself through native magic! I ADORE THIS. But it’s a sign, isn’t it? This journey is coming to an end. These people will head back home to Emelan to try and restart their lives. (AND THEY’LL GET INVOLVED IN DISASTERS, OH MY GOD.) I’m glad that they made it through this nightmare, but I still can’t help but feel that this is a bittersweet end to all of this.
“We would be sad indeed if you were to forget those of us among the humans. We will certainly remember you.”
OH MY GOD, I WILL NEVER FORGET YOU OR THIS BOOK OR THIS SERIES OR THIS UNIVERSE AND I WILL NOT BE OKAY VERY SHORTLY.
Mark Links Stuff
– I am now on Patreon!!! MANY SURPRISES ARE IN STORE FOR YOU IF YOU SUPPORT ME.
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