OUT NOW–Fists of Justice (Schooled In Magic XII)

22 May

The war is over. But the scars remain.

Emily’s New Learning has been good for Beneficence. A true golden age appears to be on hand. But all is not well. The city’s largest businessman may be on the verge of collapse and there are rumours that one of the Great Gods has returned. The streets are on edge.

And, as Emily returns to Beneficence, she finds herself dealing with the darker consequences of her innovations …

… And a deadly plot from the dark past that may lead the Nameless World to utter ruin.

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212 Responses to “OUT NOW–Fists of Justice (Schooled In Magic XII)”

  1. robinwes May 22, 2017 at 11:04 am #

    Never bought anything this fast

    • chrishanger May 22, 2017 at 11:50 am #

      Thank you!


      • Robinwes May 22, 2017 at 3:05 pm #

        Again you have written an amazing book. I relly enjoyed how emily have progressed as a character and cant wait for the next one. (I could probably read a new one everyday and still want more)

      • chrishanger May 27, 2017 at 9:41 pm #

        Thank you!


  2. Daniel May 22, 2017 at 6:24 pm #

    Already 25% in. And enjoying either I’m reading it too fast or it’s shorter then others

  3. MorkR May 22, 2017 at 8:02 pm #

    Chris – What I do not understand is why Amazon (UK) fails to “recommend” your books to me as soon as they are published? Do you have any insight? I have bought all of SIM, the Bookworm series, the Zero Curse and a couple of others. I would have bought this yesterday (when Amazon said it was published) if I had known/they had told me. (I have the same comment about Amazon with other authors.)

    • chrishanger May 27, 2017 at 9:42 pm #

      Not really. Sometimes they wait a few days before pushing the book to the general readership, even people signed up to follow me.


      • Wazman May 28, 2017 at 7:00 am #

        Is there a way to pre-order your upcoming titles on Amazon.

      • chrishanger May 28, 2017 at 7:06 pm #

        Not really. You can pre-order the 47North stuff, but nothing else.


  4. Puffin Muffin May 22, 2017 at 10:24 pm #


  5. Jared May 23, 2017 at 7:38 am #

    Awesome book Chris!! I have a question about the next book? It says Emily will return in “The Gordian Knot”. But this book isn’t posted on your May 8 schedule. In fact that title hasn’t been used till the release of this book. My question then is, has there been a change in your upcoming books schedule for SIM?

    Are you planning to place poison pen as book 14 ?

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard May 23, 2017 at 3:08 pm #

      I asked Chris about “The Gordian Knot” as well.

      It’s the new title for “Poison Pen”.

      • Jared May 23, 2017 at 6:38 pm #

        Thanks that makes sense.

  6. kell May 23, 2017 at 10:52 am #

    Mild spoilers for fists of Justice. I really enjoyed this book. It was great to see how Emily has grown emotionally. I felt like the situation was very logical along with her relationship with Caleb and how things went. One thing I noticed that Emily has been pushed to the edge a lot recently both magically and emotionally. She had barely adjusted to getting back from the past and then she has the war and then the whole Beneficence thing. My questions our.
    1 Has she told anybody about her time travel shenanigans yet beside Gordian?Like maybe Lady Barb or Void?
    2 Has her powers grown at all with how much she keeps pushing it?
    3 How does she stack up with others lately I notice she seems to have a lot of headaches and this is the second time her nose was bleeding like this
    4.Emily hasn’t broken down yet. A sign of growing emotional strength? Are we heading for an emotional break down? Is all this something were going to get in the next book? Cause I feel like Emily has had a lot happen to her in quick succession.
    I’ll be sure to have my review up tomorrow. Well done on this book.

    • G May 23, 2017 at 3:50 pm #

      Wonderful book…we know at the beginning of TSA Emily has as much power or more than the senior apprentices–since then, she has pushed herself to the limit both at the end of TSA and then drained almost to the point of organ failure fighting the magical being in FOJ. My guess is that her power has grown by quite a bit both times and that one issue in the Gordian Knot is that people on the White Council are going to be very scared of and want to control her…especially as with her control of hearts eye she’s beginning to effect the power structure of the Allied Lands. It wouldn’t surprise me if she’s now the equal in power of a veteran combat sorcerer/senior professor at Whitehall…and this will affect her relationships…

      • Jared May 23, 2017 at 6:44 pm #

        I think Gordian is going about it the wrong way. Still Emily is on probation and has yet to swear any oaths. If this keeps up she will be oath free when she graduates.

      • thehub May 24, 2017 at 12:46 am #

        good question, how powerfull is she now…. in trail by fire she needed to recover for a month and void had to protect her…. now she just needs a day or two und all ist good???
        @ chris… did emily still get the money from her barony? the first railway was a real money maker… and now she owns it… her powerbas should grow even more now…. and with heart eye and the land around it… she hat become quite rich

      • G May 24, 2017 at 3:30 pm #

        If it works as medieval Europe did, she will be sent her revenues from Cockatrice as long as she is the Baroness, she is just not allowed to return…

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard May 24, 2017 at 3:51 pm #

        Part of Emily’s problem with the Baronage is that the White Council “knows” that she is answerable to “her” Monarch.

        Yes, she’s in exile now but King Randor could end her exile (unlikely but possible) and Queen Alassa would definitely end her exile.

        Emily could inform her friend Alassa that she rejects the Baronage, but that would cause problems between her and Alassa (and perhaps cause political problems for Queen Alassa).

      • Jared May 24, 2017 at 8:21 pm #

        Ya I believe Emily is stuck with the barony. But at the rate she is going it will be the most wealthy barony in all the allied lands. I think that by the time she ends her apprenticeship with Void she will be among the wealthiest aristocrats in the Allied Lands.

      • chrishanger May 27, 2017 at 10:47 pm #

        She gets some of them, but most of the revenues were ploughed straight back into development.


      • G May 26, 2017 at 1:56 am #

        I still don’t understand why Emily can’t be both a full sorceress and Baroness Cockatrice when Jade is a combat sorcerer and Baron of Swanhaven (plus prince consort).

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard May 26, 2017 at 3:16 am #

        Jade became Prince Consort (and Baron) after he became a battle sorcerer.

        From what Chris has said a graduate from the Major Magic Schools has to swear an oath to serve all of the Allied Lands.

        This causes a conflict of oaths if a graduate is an heir to a throne or is already a noble/royalty.

        As for Jade’s oath to serve all of the Allied Lands, the White Council freed him from that oath.

        In Emily’s situation, to graduate from Whitehall she has to completely resign her baronage.

        Oh, Chris has said that nobles/kings can become full sorcerers if they have private tutor-age.

      • Jacob May 26, 2017 at 2:57 am #

        I could have sworn there was a quote in one of the books near Wedding Hells that the council had let him free of his oaths to marry Alassa, but I can’t find the quote. One other thing to note is that if they didn’t: Jade has a barony of his own. From FOJ:

        “King Randor had given Swanhaven to Jade, after both of the baron’s legal heirs had died.”

      • chrishanger May 27, 2017 at 10:54 pm #

        They did. Jade’s a free man


      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard May 27, 2017 at 11:08 pm #

        A free man? But Jade’s married! ๐Ÿ‘ฟ

      • chrishanger May 28, 2017 at 7:05 pm #

        I was carefully NOT making that joke


      • Jacob May 26, 2017 at 3:12 am #

        To add to my above comment the following quote shows that it shouldn’t have been possible for Randor to have given Jade a barony without taking the oaths:

        From Trial by Fire:

        โ€œLook at me when you talk to me,โ€ Master Grey said, sternly. Emily lifted her gaze to meet his. โ€œYou could not be a great noblewoman, with obligations to a single country, and be expected to serve the Allied Lands. It would be a major conflict of interest.โ€

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard May 26, 2017 at 3:23 am #

        According to Chris, in order to marry Alissa Jade had to be released from his oath to the Allied Lands but apparently the While Council did so.

        What Master Grey is talking about is that a graduate of Whitehall (and other magic schools) as part of their graduation must swear an oath to serve the Allied Lands.

        IIRC this came up after the second book as Void wanted Emily to remain a student of Whitehall even though being a Baroness would cause problems for her graduation from Whitehall.

      • chrishanger May 27, 2017 at 9:47 pm #

        Yes. The push-back starts in 13


    • chrishanger May 27, 2017 at 9:46 pm #

      1 – Not yet. She probably will at some point, although sheโ€™s reluctant to discuss it too openly.

      2 – Yes, it has. Sheโ€™s also grown better at using it.

      3 – In raw power terms, sheโ€™s probably the equal of Jade or Cat. Bear in mind that sheโ€™s six years younger than Jade

      4 – Yes, sheโ€™s grown a lot stronger over the series.


  7. Sarah May 23, 2017 at 3:57 pm #

    Awesome book Chris! Keeps getting better. I can’t wait for the next one!

  8. Jensebaum May 23, 2017 at 5:25 pm #

    Bought, read, enjoyed! Thank you for this book, I’m already looking forward to the next one!

  9. Paul May 23, 2017 at 9:17 pm #

    Chris, another great book. I stayed up till 2 in the morning reading it.

    I would like to point out that when a company issues a note with a fixed maturity amount redeemable at a fix time it is called a bond. A share is a actual peace of the company that represent a percentage of ownership. Shares in thier basic form often also come with a proportional right to vote in a company where bonds do not. Stocks /shares are more akin to what Emily owns in the bank business and a bond more what the city folks own in the railroad. So really the resale of the notes was the establishment of a bond market and not a stock market. But then again Emaly landed in the unknown world as a 14 year old so the distinction may be lost on her.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard May 23, 2017 at 9:19 pm #

      IIRC she was closer to sixteen but your point is still valid. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Jacob May 24, 2017 at 12:16 am #

        I believe you did remember correctly. In Fists of Justice (Chaper 4) Emily says that the “idea of tying herself down, at twenty-one, was terrifying”. Then in Chapter 38 of the same novel, she says that “[s]he wasn’t entirely sure of her precise age, but she had been sixteen when Shadye had kidnapped her and she’d spent somewhere between four and give years on the Nameless World”.

    • chrishanger May 27, 2017 at 9:50 pm #

      She was 16. But yes – she’s making a lot of stuff up as she goes along and filling in the blanks from half-remembered points


  10. FarWalker May 24, 2017 at 12:01 am #

    Just finished your latest book. It is without a doubt the best book you have written. I, like many others, am looking forward to the next installment. Thanks for the great read.

  11. An Marie May 24, 2017 at 12:42 am #

    Loved it and Iโ€™m very pleased with the situation between Caleb and Emily. But can the poor girl get a chance to rest for a few months before being pulled into another major crises? I would think she needs a chance to study and get her magic core recharged ๐Ÿ™‚

    Since we are getting close to the 14th book in which you had said at the beginning that this would be a 14 book series, is that still the plan? or will you keep writing Emilyโ€™s story as long as people keep buying them?

    • thehub May 24, 2017 at 12:47 am #

      i believe he writes 18 now… i read it somewhere on the board

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard May 24, 2017 at 12:47 am #

      Chris has two more SIM books “plotted out” and the ending of Book 14 demands another book. ๐Ÿ˜€

      Also, IIRC he commented that there will be a Book 18 (involving Emily’s “forgotten” oath). ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • chrishanger May 27, 2017 at 10:46 pm #

      My current planned arc calls for 21 books. But LLW surprised me and IR/PT ended up as two books, so it might be longer.


  12. Billy May 24, 2017 at 2:13 am #

    I liked that Book ๐Ÿ™‚

    Keep writing them and I will keep buying them.
    ( Why stop at 18 ? Stop at 1800 ๐Ÿ™‚ )

  13. G May 24, 2017 at 2:23 am #

    Does anyone else think it strange that at the end of FOJ, Void asks Emily what happened WITH CALEB–i.e. he seems to already know the events that happened…was he waiting in the background, watching the fight–and did he take the parchments???

    • Jacob May 24, 2017 at 2:28 am #

      Hmm. He could have taken the parchments. I was thinking that it would be whoever the next mimic that took over Wolfe was. I may be misremembering here, but I seem to remember it being shown that Wolfe had been eaten by a mimic and then when he died it consumed the one bully in the past that Emily kneed in the groin. I was theorizing that the mimic was different than the others and had some form of intellignce that persisted more concretely between hosts and that was the Cloak… But it’s a wild guess.

      I could see Void just knowing that something had to have happened with Caleb. It usually isn’t hard to spot someone who just got into a fight with or broke up with their significant other. But you could be right that he was lurking.

      • Jacob May 24, 2017 at 2:29 am #

        Sorry I mentioned that Wolfe had been eaten by a mimic, I should have said that he dissolved into a mimic after dying. How he came to be a mimic would be a mystery.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard May 24, 2017 at 2:56 am #

        We knew that Wolfe had been working on the first Mimic spell in order to vastly extend his life as he showed the spell to Emily in the past.

        My guess is that he had set up the spell to activate sometime after his death.

        Mind you, this is “just a guess”.

      • Jared May 24, 2017 at 5:45 am #

        Ya Paul that was my assumption as well. I don’t think he was planning to die. But he was very old for a wizard he had to know his time was fast approaching. And we know he was a complete genius. I say he prepared the spells in his wards and they activated at the moment of death.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard May 24, 2017 at 1:29 pm #

        Yes, Wolfe was old and knew that he wouldn’t live much longer. He told Emily (about the Mimic spell) that he wanted to use it to what Whitehall (the school) would become.

      • MAD-ness May 24, 2017 at 11:19 am #

        I am pretty sure that Void did this at the end of the Mountaintop book – wait until it was over and swoop in and do whatever he wanted before anyone could stop him/notice him.

        Hard to tell for sure which of the mysterious sorcerers are Void in disguise and which are the other power (powers?) moving in the shadows.

      • Eric June 12, 2017 at 4:11 am #

        Just random thought I had about how Void knew about what happened in FOJ. But could Void be Wolfe himself, like what if the first mimic worked out the way it was supposed to. You could almost in theory life forever.

  14. Pixie May 24, 2017 at 2:10 pm #

    I’m glad she broke up with Caleb. Chris does a great job of showing how Emily things of him, the romance felt rushed in the beginning and forced. Her fear of commitment seems to strong for her to get that serious in any relationship. I am looking forward to what she can come up with for hearts eye. I think Emily needs to spend more time with Void, a stable parent figure would help Emily move pass some of her emotional problems and act like an adult with more self confidence. Besides, Emily should rent out hearts eye to the white council as a military base. Being in the middle of the dessert and half way into the badlands, that’s a stronger point to continue the war then on the ally lands borders a few miles from civilization. She could make rent the teaching staff for university, also teach military officers from all nations that would be in charge of mixed army or something. If Emily gives up the baroness job it would make her a powerful neutral place ideal for the council.

    • FarWalker May 24, 2017 at 2:36 pm #

      Pixie I like your idea about Heartseye and using it both as a university/learning center and a training center/base for the military. The potential downside would be that the military would try to take over but since Emily controls the wards that isn’t likely to happen. Very good idea.

  15. georgephillies May 24, 2017 at 8:55 pm #

    14 books — Chris never specified the base for his numbering system.

  16. William Ameling May 25, 2017 at 12:32 am #

    As always, Chris finds ways to surprise us, even when we think we know what is going to happen.

    Caleb is a thinker and researcher, not a death and life doer, so there were always going to be problems of trust and acceptance between Emily and him. But at least they are still friends. I thought that Caleb would give up Waterfall and become Emily’s consort, but no one knows what will happen until the time comes to really make the decision.

    So either Chris has added another book for the next book, or he has renamed it.

    We can not stand the LONG wait to see it. Keep writing (FAST).

    • chrishanger May 27, 2017 at 10:53 pm #

      I never expected their romance to last .


  17. William Ameling May 25, 2017 at 12:51 am #

    Wolfe had to set things up so that he could become the Mimic, in order to see what would come for the school. If he was able to use the Nexus Point as a power source, at least for awhile, possibly a LONG while, he may have lasted for a long time without losing his memories/identity before degenerating to a Mimic with no memory of the past. Alternatively, we still do not know or understand the past of the Warden. Possibly he became the Warden of Whitehall at some point, although I think it more likely that he was the Mimic that Emily helped kill in book 3. Possibly someone else (Lord Whitehall?) from the very early period of the school was used to create the Warden.

    I was expecting to see Nanette’s new boss in FOJ, I guess we will have to wait a couple of more books.

    • Jared May 25, 2017 at 7:47 pm #

      I think using the Nexus point was his intention. However, we also know that that didn’t happen. The Mimc went for Tama. So it’s interesting as to how Wolf would have kept his sanity. But he was a genius if anyone could have found a way he could have.

  18. William Ameling May 25, 2017 at 4:25 am #

    Caleb’s mother is (would have been) an excellent female magician role model in the Nameless World for Emily besides Lady Barb. But the breakup of the Courtship will make it a lot harder for Emily to consult/talk with her. Emily may still have a relationship with Caleb’s father on military matters in the future.

    • chrishanger May 27, 2017 at 10:53 pm #

      You haven’t seen the last of them


  19. Jacqueline May 25, 2017 at 4:55 am #

    Please read FoJ first spoilers!
    So the next book got changed to the Gordian knot. I know this reference, but of course I also think it refers to Gordian the headmaster as well. I think Gordian might be in trouble. Emily said the war was only like a month long and it was only a few days after the almost collapse of white hall that she left. I can imagine now that things are calming down that everybody will be like “Gordian you almost let Whitehall get destroyed. And you also let out the secrets of Whitehall to a student namely Emily. How could Emily have learned how to tame the nexus and build wards if you hadn’t been negligent with the secrets of Whitehall? Don’t you have any control of Emily?” And the real answer is no. He doesn’t. This is also probably why Miles was worried after Emily came back He was probably getting heat too.

    Did it seem to any of you guys that Void was trying to subtly stir Emily away from Lady Barbs influence at the end there? I am a little worried about void. He hasn’t tried to influence Emily to much yet. But he could manipulate her very easily, I don’t think he is a bad guy but he is a very the ends justify the means kind of guy. It felt a little like good angel and Bad angel. At one point Emily might have to choose between her two influences.

    I am just so happy she broke up with Caleb. He was great at first but I knew he couldn’t keep up. Still I wonder what man can keep up with Emily? What guy can she trust completely. He would need to be really good talent wise. He might need to be older too.

    It was really funny seeing Freida fight with Caleb the whole time. She seems to still be crushing on Emily hard. It’s funny cause she was totally right about Caleb not having any nerve. I noticed Freida has actually become very strong magically and emotionally. Part of me is a little bit of a Shipper for the two of them but not until Freda is a bit older. Maybe a couple of years down the line. When they can be more equal.

    So did Emily come ahead at the end money wise? She has the railroad but didn’t she take a hit financially? what do you guys think? I really want to see a White Council scene next book.

    • Paul W May 25, 2017 at 5:39 am #

      Interestingly, after reading FOJ, I have decided to start from book 1 and re-read everything again. I have had to wonder as I have read the first book the second time through if Void set up the original abduction. The dragon does tell Emily that her master is playing a dangerous game and Void is an end justifies the mean kind of guy. So he may have seen the war was going badly and tricked Shadia into making the request for Emily. He was standing by to rescue here upon her arrival. If so that could provide some really good drama. Also, Emily is really not meant to find Caleb and settle down, she is suppose to lead the army of the light. Assuming she is actually the child of destiny.

      • G May 25, 2017 at 4:09 pm #

        What if Master Wolfe had left a diary behind revealing his suspicians Emily was from the future and it had been passed down the centuries to Void?? Void knew a child of destiny was coming, and was consulting demons and spirits to divine when she would appear…and was waiting for her.

    • theblub May 25, 2017 at 8:16 am #

      good question, i think she didnt took a direkt hit but the bank is buying the bonds and they dont now how much they are worth. on the other hand…. the first railway was a money maker… sooo they should balance the loss from the bonds and make a profit in short time. another point is… she has a mine and if the prize was as high as everone said… she should have made a lot of money from this alone…. the problem is… we dont now where she gets all her money from….so we dont know how hard she was hit or at all

    • Jared May 25, 2017 at 9:59 am #

      I don’t think void cares that much about lady barbs influence on Emily. After all lady barb has been a good influence, I feel that they are acting like divorced parents fighting each other for the kids attention. LOL
      As for Emily’s money situation, she may have taken a hit at the moment but that railway will boost her wealth beyond belief. She won’t miss manage it like Vespiran. And at tthe moment she’s the owner of the only train line in the allied lands.

      I to would like to see a White Council meeting.

  20. Pixie May 25, 2017 at 6:13 pm #

    Can a railway be run through a portal? If so could they not set up long term supply chains to the war front? How long till Emily is about to talk to the white council and make these kind of changes to the army?

  21. William Ameling May 26, 2017 at 6:36 am #

    I think that there are some definite limits on the capacity of Portals, particularly on mass being moved. Emily has thought about it or was told a little about it in the past (Books), probably from Miles or others in her Martial Magic classes when they discussed supplying military forces. Even if was possible to move a lot, (they were planning to support the city in TSA before the Portal was destroyed while being setup), they still have the problem of getting it to the actual fighting front from the Portal/supply dump in an offensive/invasion of the Necromancers’ territory.

    Steam ships are much easier to use and establish than steam Railroads which require a massive investment. The problem with steamships is that they are only good on navigable bodies of water: oceans + harbors, large lakes, and large rivers. Canals came before Railroads (on Earth) and they also required large investments. Emily ought to introduce canals to complement railroads.

    As was discussed in FOJ, part of the problem with long canals or Railroads is dealing with many land lords in many seperate states (political entities), i.e. the nobility, to get the right of ways to build them. Compare American (USA) to English to European history on building the canals and railroads. Another problem, as discussed in FOJ, is establishing the industrial capacity to produce enough iron and steel, iron/steel rails and woods ties, build the steam engines, rolling stock, etc. Pre Steam (ships and railroads) societies do not have the productive capacity needed, which includes the mining capacity as well as the shipping capacity for the iron and coal. It takes a lot of time and investment to build that capacity.

    • Pixie May 26, 2017 at 11:00 am #

      Offer to run the canals are Nobel borders. If the two lords agree run the camel as a border defense between lands. They would need less border patrols and only a couple of small boats to control border passing. Bridges would be build with tolls that make the nobels money.

  22. FarWalker May 26, 2017 at 6:46 pm #

    Void offered Emily an apprenticeship at the end of FOJ. I know void is a lone power and highly skilled but what is he a “master” of? Is he a combat sorcerer? He obviously has those types of skills but I don’t think Chris has ever really identified void’s area of expertise. Ideas anyone or have I just simply missed the boat here.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard May 26, 2017 at 6:54 pm #

      Void is a Master of Badassery. ๐Ÿ‘ฟ

      Seriously, I got the idea that if a person reaches the level of skill and power that Void has, then he’s considered a Master Sorcerer even if he doesn’t have an “official” document calling him a “Master”.

      As far as his “specialty”, I’d said that he’s likely a Combat Sorcerer but he may have knowledge of other fields of Magic.

      • FarWalker May 26, 2017 at 7:13 pm #

        So if Emily becomes void’s apprentice she will be a master of “badassert”? No doubt other magicians will think that but I would think her apprenticeship would be as a combat sorcerer but I couldn’t say for sure so that’s why I posed the question. Anyone else care to weigh in?

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard May 26, 2017 at 7:39 pm #

        Actually, I passed on your question to Chris.

        Mind, I think Chris has been a little vague on “Mastery” among Magic Users in the Nameless World.

        It’s not clear in his article on “Education in the Nameless World” (at the end of Infinite Regress) if “Mastery” means anything more than “One who is allowed to teach apprentices”.

        IE Is somebody a “Master” of a specialty within magic or is there a “general mastery”.

        As for Emily, I think she’s going for an apprenticeship in combat sorcery with the idea of also going into “Magical Research”. Even without her baronage, I doubt that she’ll become a Mediator. IMO she’s not that good at interpersonal relationships to do that.

        Mind you, I think Void would be considered a “Master Combat Sorcerer” so in theory, he could train Emily in that area.

      • Vapori May 28, 2017 at 12:43 pm #

        Void must have had a master, after all, he had 3 rings, one for the fourth year, one for the 6 year and one for his mastery if I remember correctly.

        from the look of things would should have been a charm or combat sorcerer.

        But then Master seems to be a wide stretch of skilllevel even if it’s a high one. Someone might become a master, but another master might still be vastly more powerful and skilled

        There are after all the masters like master gray, or the enchanter Yodel in Cockatrice who churn out an apprentice a year, or like Yodel even takes 4

        And then there are also some masters who are very powerful and did their own research, who only take the most talented and potentially powerful apprentices it wouldn’t surprise me if a lone power master takes an apprentice who then becomes an even stronger lone power in the end.

        If such a cycle continues for a while the current lone power void might might be at such a high level that it is extremely difficult for him to find suitable successors he took seven apprentices so far who all failed, lady barb, broke it off, some didn’t survive and some missuses his teachings so that he had to kill them.

        One of the necromancers was actually voids apprentice, if my guess is correct he or she should be the most powerful of them.

    • G May 26, 2017 at 8:07 pm #

      I don’t think Void is a combat sorcerer–he would disdain swords and armor–he’s a Lone Power. Void said in an early book that sometimes “accidents happen” and a sorcerers power expands so much that he/she scares the living crap out of everyone–and then when that sorcerer spends over 100 years with a fanatical focus on sorcery they develop a skill and power in general sorcery that scares everyone senseless…I think Voids skill and ability in destructive magic would make a combat sorcerer look like a child in comparison…

      • FarWalker May 26, 2017 at 9:18 pm #

        G – I don’t necessarily disagree with you but you’re looking at void’s powers skills and abilities today and not earlier in his life when he first gained his mastery. He may disdain swords and armor today but that does not mean he did when he first apprenticed under another master. We know he has studied his entire life and he is probably a “master” or higher in many disciplines today including combat sorcery. For all we know he could be an expert swordsman. We simply do not know anything about his earlier life. We do know that as a lone power he is one mean SOB and feared by all. The white counsel and anyone with a lick of sense will be most apprehensive if Emily, in fact, becomes void’s apprentice. All that said, you could be right in that void is not technically a “combat sorcerer”. But you certainly can’t deny that he had the skills to take on a necromancer. Thanks for your thoughts.

    • Kell Harris May 27, 2017 at 7:11 am #

      Well void did tell Emily did tell Emily to study charms at the end of the sergeants Apprentice. I think Void is a combat sorcerer with an emphasis in charms.

  23. FarWalker May 26, 2017 at 8:00 pm #

    Paul โ€“ like any other profession I would think there would be generalists and specialists. So far in the SIM series we have seen rune masters, charms masters, combat masters, Alchemy masters, demons masters, enchanters, healers and folks who specialize in wards and other disciplines. I was just curious what specially Emily would be studying if she apprenticed with Void. Thanks for your thoughts. I guess Chris well weigh in shortly. Have a great memorial weekend.

  24. William Ameling May 26, 2017 at 11:13 pm #

    The question is not so much what Void is a Master in, but what will Emily be tested as when she completes her apprenticeship. I think that it will have to be Combat Sorcery. I doubt that Emily will be good enough with the sword for Martial or Military Magic. She does not understand the culture well enough and does not have enough empathy to be a good Mediator, plus she is not likely to swear complete political neutrality either. She will be very strong in some of those other areas, particularly Charms and Martial, but it is pretty obvious that her magical career will be combat. However, she will also have a non magical career in introducing science and technology and other ideas from Earth (social, political, and economic), as well as a political career in supporting/advising Alassa and maybe ruling or helping to rule Cockatrice. Possibly she might go to Stronghold at some point to take courses in Military Magic (and it is hard to see her doing that AFTER completing her apprenticeship under Void, when she will be a recognized Master)

    I wonder if she will try to include a school for science and technology alongside a school for advanced magical study (a University) at Heart’s Eye? It will easier to have two schools at one site than at seperate sites, particularly when she already owns Heart’s Eye.

    Combat Sorcery seems to have additional subdivisions such Martial, Mediator, or possibly Military. We have seen Combat Sorcerers who also seem to be those others as well. The question is can she test for just a mastery in Combat Sorcery, and not the others? (probably) (I am not sure if we have ever seen a Military Magic Master close up, not counting the eating facilities at White Hall or Mountaintop, or the test at the end of 4th year).

    • FarWalker May 26, 2017 at 11:38 pm #

      Thanks for your thoughts William regarding my question. We will have to wait and see what Direction Chris takes Emily’s apprenticeship. I am looking forward to that journey whichever SIM volume it occurs.

    • Paul W May 27, 2017 at 1:03 am #

      If I remember correctly she did not actually test into the Military track. She only did half of the test. I don’t know if that is an option for her. I think her heart has always been with charms. Both knowing all she can in charms and finding new ways to use them. Martial magic has always been learned out of necessity.

      In some ways Emily is already a master of her own discipline. I don’t think anyone knows how to interact with nexus points or create self evolving charm constructs needed to tame them.

      Also, related to this discussion is, shouldn’t Emily have outgrown Whitehall at this point? Since day one they have pushed Emily into “advanced” subjects and she repeatedly stated that the education system allows students to progress at their own speed. She was lagging behind in alchemy but her time at mountain top fixed that. I think Emily is reaching the end of what the school can give her and Void suspects this as well. This may be why the apprenticeship offer is unconditional and Void made it a point to tell her it was not contingent on her graduating.

      By the way does anyone find it odd that in order to take years 5 and 6 and apprentice afterwards, the students have to swear to the allied lands as a whole and forsake ties to a specific land. This is why Alisa could not go on and Emily has problems as a Baronies. However, Jade had to take the same oaths but is now the consort to Alisa and a Baron. Is he in trouble? Or is that a loophole? If Jade is not in trouble then is seems silly to make a big deal about Emily.

      • FarWalker May 27, 2017 at 1:16 am #

        Paul as I recall the white council release Jadenfrom his oaths so he could marry. I may be mistaken but that is my recollection.

      • chrishanger May 28, 2017 at 6:46 pm #

        They did.


      • Kell Harris May 27, 2017 at 7:25 am #

        I think what Emily needs at the moment is greater practice and skill. Her power has grown so much that it makes it hard for her to do spells even when she understands them.

        Plus Emily has always been a generalist. She likes to pick up stuff here and there and with the library there, she can learn things almost indefinitely. When she goes with Void she is going to focus on a few areas.

        I think it’s more Emily deciding she is ready to put everything to practice and go off on her own. Plus right now Emily is supposed to be building alliances and gaining connections. At least that is what a lot of other students are doing. She just has a few months and the last tests for year 5 after that just one year.

    • Jared May 27, 2017 at 1:47 am #

      I think in trials by fire she asked Gordian if there was a course of study that was specifically for being a lone power. And he said many fail that test. Although I got the impression that he ways kinda joking maybe he wasn’t.

      • chrishanger May 28, 2017 at 6:47 pm #

        Gordian’s point was that anyone who tries to reach that level may accidentally kill themselves (hence ‘fail’) He wasn’t quite joking.


  25. Pyo May 26, 2017 at 11:44 pm #

    That was fun. I agree with some of the others, that it was one the best books of the series. Nicely tense from the beginning, ’cause you just know bad things will happen.

    Admittedly I find it a bit odd that nobody suggested buying out Vesperian early, essentially solving the issue (at least partially) the way they ultimately did. He might not have wanted to, but it would have been in the interest of city, guilds and banks, so I doubt he could’ve objected much.

    It also still bothers me that Emily is rarely vocal about her opinions – even if she might not entirely agree, she seems to rather say nothing. This lead to a bit of an emotional distance for the story; sure, it can be seen as growth that she’s emotionally stable enough to take everything everyone around her dishes out, but it made it a bit hard to care about anything much, too. I don’t mean that she had to have some type of emotional breakdown, there’s plenty of other possible emotions – anger at being attacked for this or that, again, for example, or contempt for a woman lecturing her about “proper” child-upbringing when she drove her own oldest son to near suicide … etc.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard May 27, 2017 at 12:15 am #

      First, Emily isn’t about to tell anybody that Casper almost committed suicide especially since she has some unreasonable guilt over his death.

      Second, while Casper did almost commit suicide over his concern that “he wasn’t meeting his parents expectations”, it is IMO unreasonable to put complete blame on his parents.

      Third, Emily is sane enough to not want to cause problems with her future in-laws especially when it would cause problems for Caleb, who still loves his family.

      Fourth, Emily is not the correct person to criticize openly somebody else’s parenting. Not only isn’t she a parent, her mother was an extremely poor example of “proper parenting” and Emily knows it.

      • Pyo May 27, 2017 at 12:49 am #

        Sure, there are all good points, but it’s just that most of the time when it’s “she might or might not say something” it’s too consistently for my taste “she doesn’t”.

        First, she didn’t have to. I just wanted to emphasize that she “knows” without question that there are problems. I didn’t mean that she had to throw it in the face of her potential step-mother. That’d have been … unforgivable.
        Sienna’s argument, when Emily lets a bit of her distaste about putting spells on children show that she’ll change her opinion once she’s a mother herself is weak in the first place (it would have made movements like in the 60s for example plain impossible), and the “other women are far worse” argument is an even worse argument. That’s no excuse for anything. It’s easy to point this out without saying anything specific, but she could have hinted that emotional abuse is as bad as physical abuse. For example.

        I agree with the second point; if nothing else, he was an adult by then. But it does demonstrate clearly that no matter how they argue not everything went right with their way of upbringing and that Emily knows this. I might even add that standing aside and letting them make the same mistakes with their younger kids, knowing just bad it might turn out, is … ethically questionable.

        Third, I’m not saying she should insult them. It’s not like either side seems unreasonable about anything. Oh, if she already was sure she’d never met them again, sure, keep it to yourself. But if they’re going to be part of your family for the rest of your life the differences in opinion would have come out sooner or later anyway. Trying to shut up forever is never going to work.

        As for fourth, I’d say that makes her more qualified than anybody else. More importantly though, it should make the issue highly emotional for her – so, sure, we can come up with rational arguments back and forth, but who says it has to be a rational, deliberate decision to say something? I mean, that kinda was my point: Emily feels emotionally distant. Being angry and blurting something out would have been perfectly understandable, the way I see it (just as a possible example).

        And the kids where just an example, anyway. It’s the same for the “PDA” thing. So, maybe that doesn’t bother her so much, but with the “decide immediately what you want” it’s again the same. She just goes along with it. And so on.

    • Jacqueline May 27, 2017 at 7:45 am #

      It’s funny you mention this. Because I don’t see this as a sign of emotional maturity but rather immaturity. Emily’s inability to express herself and what she is feeling is something she is going to have to overcome. I can see this being a big barrier to future relationships plus her inability to trust anybody completely besides Freida, Lady Barb, and void.

      I get why Emily didn’t really speak up to Sienna. Emily is a passive person in many ways especially to authority figures.
      Sienna reminds even me, the reader, of Lady Barb. Emily doesn’t know how to handle a mother figure. Part of her wants to argue part of her wants Sienna to mother her. Emily is constantly looking for parental approval. She’s still 21. There is time to overcome this.

      She also feels a little survival guilt towards Caspar and doesn’t want to snap at his sister for being a brat.

      But what got me was Caleb. She held back a lot of what she wanted to say to him at the end. Like how Caspar came with her to fight and Caleb wouldn’t. While Emily did break it up she didn’t snap really and for her first love that’s holding back a lot. Instead Emily has gone numb and is sort of dead inside. She is so disappointed in him that she doesn’t want to date again for a long time.

      • Pixie May 27, 2017 at 12:44 pm #

        Another reason why Emily needs to spend time with void, as a father figure. He has already made her family so getting a working relationship where he treats her both as family and an adult would force/encourage Emily to mature as an adult emotionally. Besides he is one of the few people that Emily has had emotional outbursts in front of after the duel. No one else makes her feel safe enough to act out in front of other than Lady Barb. And she will tell Emily to grow up while Void will let her vent till she feels better.
        Besides it has been hinted that Void has been there at all her battle, a people checks on her, or Void shows up. And Emily has started to piece it together that he is always there but staying back and letting her handle it, like a concerned parent watching a child try to do things themselves. That would make a great apprenticeship for Emily and a great read.
        I hope we get to see the end of this war before the books stop. Also does anyone know how many nexus points there are, both active and inactive? Because that is one way to ensure Emily becomes the power figure of the world, either handing them out to groups or selling them off as she tames them.

      • Pyo May 27, 2017 at 3:51 pm #

        Good point about the emotional immaturity. I guess there’s still a latent “adults don’t cry” thing going on, which equals no emotions with maturity (also mentioned in the novel). Which is of course rubbish, but it’s hard to throw off this sort of social conditioning …

        I don’t think Void makes for a good ersatz-parent. He’ll probably have to do, but he’s manipulative, and he no doubt has certain goals in mind that aren’t necessarily what’s best for her. Never mind his questionable ethics.

        Hypothetically, I’d say spending some time with completely “normal” people around her would be most useful. No mages, no nobles, no rich merchants, nothing. Just ordinary people doing ordinary things. But I guess her life is too chaotic for that to actually happen ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard May 27, 2017 at 4:24 pm #

        Void is an “interesting character” and many in the Nameless World consider him dangerous in more ways than one.

        Lady Barb is definitely not a fan of Void and the late Grandmaster considered Void a “rogue half-mad sorcerer”.

        I found the prologue to SIM 03, to be a good comment on Void.

        Basically, the late Grandmaster accepted Emily as a student in part because he wanted Emily away from Void.

    • chrishanger May 28, 2017 at 6:45 pm #

      It didn’t occur to Emily to try and buy him out earlier – if it had, it might actually have made matters worse (either by triggering off the crash earlier or by encouraging more people to throw money into a black hole.) It’s a very delicate situation where almost any movement risks disaster, as does doing nothing.


  26. William Ameling May 27, 2017 at 8:54 pm #

    Going to Stronghold for a year of Military Magic courses might help Emily grow more, meet more peers (at least by age, if not in power) and make more connections with them. It would also give Emily time to get over the separation with Caleb, Caleb will still be working with her in 6th year. Once they finish 6th year and graduate, Caleb will start his apprenticeship, and Emily will go a separate path either to an apprenticeship under Void, or possibly a year at Stronghold before starting her apprenticeship under Void. It will also give her and Frieda a chance to grow up separately. I will point out that there is still a possibility that Emily and Caleb’s relationship might grow back in the future.

    Emily might even meet some possible replacements for boyfriend at Stronghold, but it will be a while before she will be emotionally ready to let them through her internal mental barriers. She might find them preferable to Caleb, but on the other hand she may find Caleb to be preferable to them.

    On a different matter, I remember in Wedding Hells (book 8) that some of Emily’s friends speculated that Emily’s accomplishments, i.e. killing Necromancers, winning the duel with Master Grey, etc. might be enough to get her a pass on the practical side of the Military Magic Test even though she only took the theory side of the test. Also there should be a test at the end of 6th/7th year for Military Magic that she might be able to pass if she goes to Stronghold. Having that qualification, which is NOT an apprenticeship (it only leads to it), in Military Magic might be very useful to Emily in future wars that involve large forces that are not all magical. It will also be useful in her efforts to introduce technology (steam, gunpowder, cannons, etc) into combat on the Nameless World. The more Formal (recognized test results) qualifications she has, the easier it will be to deal with ranking military leaders (and she will need all the qualifications she can get, they are stubborn men not likely to respect her very much, without good cause).

    I wonder if Emily might be able to eventually pass the test for Master in both Combat Sorcery and Military Magic, since there is a fair amount of overlap between them. She and Caleb have already been discussing the idea of multiple apprenticeships/Masteries leading into their ideas/goals for a University for advanced magical study.

    Personally, I think that Emily will find it VERY hard to find a better set of parents-in-law than Caleb’s parents. Most other sets of parents will be either both magical, or both mundane (or very weak magically like King Randor). I still like and am impressed by both of them after FOJ. Emily and Caleb need to accept the differences between them and not let them tear them apart. Sienna is a second strong female magician Mother figure that Emily needs to complement Lady Barb, who has not raised a family but been a teacher to many students. General Pollack is the highly respected experienced general that she will need (or find very useful) to connect with other military leaders in the future.

    • Jacqueline May 28, 2017 at 1:06 am #

      I doubt that her and Caleb will get back together. As Marcus said Emily out grew him. During this crisis she learned something about Caleb. That he wasn’t the kind off guy who would jump with her into battle and that was a non-starter for her. Heck even Freida did better. But you know Caleb doesn’t have to be. That’s not who he is. There different people now. I think that they will go through an awkward phase and then they will be friends again. He might be a very important friend with founding the school. They could even be friends for life. Just not a couple. His parents might have made great in-laws but Emily can go without. They might still even be able to guide her a little. I imagine she will work with them again.

      • Pyo May 28, 2017 at 1:39 am #

        That he didn’t go “into battle” with her I find could be forgiven, but actively trying to stop her, endangering all of them? That betrayed his distrust, even if it was over a sister, and that sort of injury to a relationship usually can’t be forgiven. It’s kinda like cheating: once it happen, you’ll always wonder whether it’ll happen again. Not worth dealing with normally.

        And I still don’t see how they would have been good in-laws. So she’s a competent mage, but I don’t see anything that makes her a particularly good person. Likewise, the general seems to be good at soldiering, but I saw little else he was good at. I’m not saying they are evil or anything, but I still don’t think they are any better than any random couple picked via lottery …
        Besides, picking a relationship for the in-laws is crazy. Contrary to what characters like to talk about, you aren’t actually marrying them. They are just in-laws, that’s all.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard May 28, 2017 at 2:12 am #

        In other words, you’re expecting Caleb to “leave his family behind” when/if he marries Emily.

        Sorry but for all of Caleb’s problems with his parents, he loves them and family is highly important in the Nameless World (at least on his level of society).

        IMO it would be selfish for Emily to expect Caleb to “cut off” all contact with his parents & siblings.

        Yes, in many ways Emily & Caleb (if they finally marry) would have to put their relationship first, but still Caleb can’t/won’t completely cut himself off from his family and if they marry, Emily would have to “deal” with them.

        Finally, I can imagine worse “in-laws” for Emily to have to deal with. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • Pyo May 28, 2017 at 2:47 pm #

        I don’t see where I said that they had to cut off all contact. But they surely wouldn’t be living with them, and sorcerers in particular seem to be quite likely to do their own thing away from their families (married into or not) anyway, so I don’t see why its implied they are such a huge part in terms of her relationship-decision. Just because you visit them a few times a year doesn’t really have to make them all-important. And if Caleb wants to be closer to them, sure, doesn’t have to mean anything for Emily. They’d be married, not chained together.

        And, sure, she could have worse in-laws. But I was referring to William stating that she’d have a hard time finding better ones, and I just don’t get what’s supposedly makes them so suited for the position (kinda makes it sound like a job application ^^; )

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard May 28, 2017 at 3:06 pm #

        Family is more important in the Nameless World than here.

        Remember Caleb talking about his responsibility toward his sisters that would fall onto him after his parents died?

        Sure some magicians have little contact with their families but Caleb is no longer the second-son.

        Plus, remember the Magical Family that his mother is part of. Caleb is “now in line” for being the Head of that Family.

        Even in our world, the family of the person you marry can be important to the marriage.

      • Pyo May 28, 2017 at 4:54 pm #

        I didn’t say it was unimportant. I said it’s not as important or set in stone as that it can’t be worked around.

        Sure Caleb would be the head of their little branch of the family, sometime later in life, but so what? What does that matter to Emily? And, the way I understand it, he’ll only be “in charge” over his sisters if his parents are dead, so that “issue” can only happen if the “step-parent” issue is gone anyway. And then they’ll either marry or go on to become sorceresses themselves, so, really, at worst it’s a few years it’ll truly matter before becoming a minor matter.
        Also, she knows nothing about the rest of his family (aunts, uncles etc) so there’s nothing to judge there as of yet. Maybe they’re great? Who knows.

        And I said it before, but everyone always goes on about “good matches”. Well, Emily is about the best anyone can hope for – rich, powerful, noble, influential, unique magic they might hope to learn for their family, and so on. They should be salivating over accommodating her, not the other way around. It always seems like such a one-way street: like the “strict” social rules apply to her whenever it’s inconvenient, but in turn they ignore them with her whenever they want to. And, of course, she won’t insist differently. Which clearly is a mistake ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • chrishanger May 28, 2017 at 7:06 pm #

        No, their relationship is over. But they’re still friends.


      • Jacqueline June 1, 2017 at 5:32 am #

        I don’t know Pyo. I don’t think Emily is as good a match as you think. Sure she is rich and powerful but she is like a double edged sword. It often feels like half of the mages want to praise her while half want to kill her. Emily has done a lot of good but to many mages she is a loose cannon and almost as big a threat as a necromancer. Plus she is uprooting the social order among both mages and peasants. She almost started a war between Marcus and Melissa’s family. I can see lot of people being worried about being in relations with her. Same day Emily might be considered an enemy of the white counsel who knows. There was that vision of a possible future of Emily on trial getting her magic destroyed. At some point Emily is going to push people farther then they want to go and then it will happen.

      • Wazman June 5, 2017 at 3:46 am #

        FOJ ended with both Emily and Caleb still friends, but I’m curious as to how either one of them will react if they catch their former lover in awkward encounter.

      • chrishanger June 9, 2017 at 8:18 pm #

        Wait and see


    • Jared May 29, 2017 at 1:12 am #

      She only has a year and a half left of schooling before she starts her apprenticeship. She is pretty much out of time to go to stronghold. She doesnt need to go to stronghold to build connections. She already has General Pollock who is loved by the common soldiers. And word is certainly spreading through the grapevine that Emily cares for the common man. The commoner knows that Emily isn’t just another aristocrat or a pompous Sorcereres. Given what the High Priest said about her judgements in cockatrice. Also Emily doesn’t need to run an army. She will leave that to the generals. No her place will be in fighting the “big guns” the necromancers throw their way. Which is where the theoretical portion of martial magic will come into play.

      As for any relationship she might have, I will concede that maybe her and Caleb could possibly get back together. But that would require adult maturity and open communication which isn’t their strong suit. But the idea that she might find somebody else to be with isn’t likely. Most people are afraid of her. And she has to get past her trust issues. Which quite frankly is keeping her safe from people who would love to manipulate her.

      Sargent Miles insisted she take the theoretical sid of martial magic because that is Emily’s strong suit. His is trying to educate her strong points. Building on that foundation instead of trying and most likely failing to make her a fighter like Lady Barb. It’s already been stated in the books that Lady Barb is a rarity among combat Sorceresses. Emily just isn’t physically capable of matching men in combat. That’s why she focused on magic in her dual with Master Gray. And again she doesn’t need a practical magical military certification to introduce her innovations. Those innovations have already been introduced in book 11. And we know that other kingdoms are trying to copy them because some of the gunpowder and muskets where stolen.
      It’s true that The Waterfall family has been fairly good to Emily. But still a marriage would require submission to the family hierarchy. And quite frankly I got the impression that in FOJ when Caleb asked Emily to marry him early she was panicking. When it came down to it she wasn’t as invested in the relationship as she thought. She was just riding the emotional high -if you will- of being in what I would call first love. At the end of FOJ Void told Emily that Caleb wouldn’t be able to cope with Emily’s responsibility, making the hard decisions. I feel that Caleb was reaching that point where he was comfortable in his life. He didn’t want to continue fighting. And he would never have allowed Emily to fight Necromancers and dark wizards. He was always trying to protect Emily. If they stayed together he would not improve her Character and abilities. Through the minutiae of family life they would have grown stagnant.

  27. William Ameling May 27, 2017 at 11:19 pm #

    If I remember correctly, someone else (maybe Paul Howard) said that Chris had said that Emily and Caleb would have some ups and downs in their relationship. I would like to call attention to the plural form of ups and downs, i.e. that there would be more than one of each of them. So we may be seeing more to come in their relationship in the future.

    • Jared June 6, 2017 at 3:13 am #

      Chris said their relationship was over. Just scroll up for confirmation

  28. MorkR May 28, 2017 at 5:42 pm #

    I know this probably isn’t the right place to post but…in a different genre, the Angel in the Whirlwind series books 1-3 are today’s (28 May 17) kindle daily deal on Amazon UK.

    • FarWalker May 28, 2017 at 8:41 pm #

      Thanks for sharing. I will have to check out Amazon US since I have only read the first volume in that series.

      • FarWalker May 28, 2017 at 8:57 pm #

        Amazon US is not running a special today. Each volume is $4.99 but you can borrow them for free if you are a member of Kindle unlimited.

  29. William Ameling May 28, 2017 at 6:00 pm #

    I meant a better SET of parents-in-law, i.e. BOTH of them, with drastically different abilities and experiences. Most marriages of strong magicians are going to be to other magicians, not to generals. Emily might be able to find someone better than Sienna, but Sienna is a strong, well qualified, experienced Mediator and Combat Sorceress. Emily can definitely find stronger Magical Houses than Waterfall to marry into, but she does NOT need to marry INTO another House, she needs to strengthen House Cockatrice, i.e. she needs a consort and a marriage alliance. In spite of Casper’s death, Caleb has a younger brother and two sisters, and his sisters can certainly inherit as demonstrated by their Mother, and his Mother is the youngest daughter of the youngest son, i.e. not in the main line of inheritance, plus she is a Mediator sworn to political neutrality. If Emily marries into House Waterfall, some of them would/will be worried about her eventually taking over the House as the Baron of Cockatrice.

    There are probably other good generals for a father-in-law, but many generals are abusing their positions to enrich themselves. They are also probably members of the high nobility of wherever they came from, which could draw Emily into even more political entanglements than she already has, that would probably conflict with her ties to Zangaria.
    Even a marriage inside Zangaria to a general or his son could be a threat to King Randor. General Pollack from a minor noble family in an independent City State presents the “least” threat of political problems inside or with Zangaria. Finally, most generals are probably not married to a strong magician like Sienna.

    A marriage to Caleb’s family/parents starts developing ties to the White Council of the Allied Lands without being perceived as a threat to the White Council. (That may come when Alassa becomes Queen or when Emily becomes a Master and starts preparing to fight the Necromancers).

    In spite of the end of FOJ, she is not persona non grata in Beneficence, they just wanted her to leave for the time being. Once things settle down with the Rail Road collapse with her and the Banks buying out the notes for 30%, people will get on with their lives and not blame her (as much). Any other settlement would end with the rich and powerful getting any/all of the money and the poorer people getting nothing, after a LONG time. She does not deserve any blame for refusing to invest in the old effort, the longer it went on the worse the result would be. Without Emily they would still be under the cult of Justice which would have taken complete control of their lives and city, and many/most of them would have died one way or another, particularly with a Mimic related being as Justice.

    Emily’s already has ties to Beneficence via the Bank and Markus/Melissa. Caleb’s parents will still be a useful tie to the city, but not necessary for that.

    All of the above is based on my belief that there is still hope for the relationship between Emily and Caleb.

  30. daniel May 28, 2017 at 6:02 pm #

    Im quite happy with the book.
    Question for Chris. Grandmaster Hastrubal had 1 more surviving brother. Is that Void?
    speculation: Master Wolfe (or his mimic) left more items “out there” for emily to find. I wonder what is out there?
    Speculation the second: in a future book Emily will return briefly to earth with a battery and bring back text books or even examples of modern technology. the power in a nexus of her very own should allow this to happen

  31. Daniel May 28, 2017 at 6:15 pm #

    you know what also pops into my head. the humans on the nameless world clearly came from other worlds (i assume earth) and from various lands times etc. will it happen again where a group of present day humans arrive on the nameless world during emily’s time?

    • chrishanger May 28, 2017 at 7:08 pm #

      It’s possible. But I’m reluctant to introduce too many new factors.


      • Daniel May 28, 2017 at 8:37 pm #

        The idea of Emily reaching out to our world and transporting a Home Depot (closed after hours no humans present) must present interesting ideas. Portabl generators plus maybe 100 gallons of gas to power all those electric lights and power tools. Toilets showers. Plastic plumbing. Not to mention instruction manuels and modern tools. Hell even flashlights and dolor powered lights. 1 Home Depot could change the nameless world.
        You of course sir are the author and it’s your world. These things just float through my mind after reading the books.
        That all being said I’m highly looking forward to the next book(s)

        Can you give us updates on what’s coming to audiobook and roughly when?

  32. Gardner Friedlander May 28, 2017 at 9:12 pm #

    Small point, in the first paragraph of the Appendix on Religion…
    ” Like Mars and Aries…” should be, “Like Mars and Ares…”
    Ares was a god of war. Aries was a ram, of the sheepish kind.

    My apologies if this was deliberate–the pun is delicious.

    Chris, well done on another excellent book in the series. Another hard-to-put down read. I’m happy to be a fast reader; now, like some others mentioned, I can do re-reads of all the earlier books and enjoy the growth, of both Emily and of the Nameless World.

    My review on Amazon has been submitted; I hope the other readers of this blog also follow through.

  33. William Ameling May 28, 2017 at 10:04 pm #

    Chris has already made it clear in previous discussions on the topic that is very very difficult for Emily and Void or anyone else to return to Earth or bring things such as books from Earth to the Nameless World. They would have to rely on very unreliable entities such as Demons to do it, and those entities would do their best to mess up their orders, e.g. what the Demon did to Shadye went it brought Emily to the Nameless World. Perhaps if they were as powerful as a Demon, but then maybe they would then BE a DEMON or something else just as bad.

    • Daniel May 28, 2017 at 10:27 pm #

      It was the Fae who brought her. And wouldn’t the power of a nexus point make it possible for her or void to be able to pull something else into the nameless world. As I said before at various points in time humans were brought there which created the human populations of today in the nameless world

      • Wazman May 29, 2017 at 1:18 am #

        What about the possibility that because of the supposed absence of magic in our universe. May have given Emily a gross advantage in how much or how she can channel magic. We have seen examples of her heightened sensitivity, could it be that potentially any other traveler from our world would have greater magical potential?

      • chrishanger June 3, 2017 at 4:49 pm #

        It’s possible.


  34. Wazman May 29, 2017 at 1:12 am #

    I’ve been thinking about how over the course of the series Emily has had repeated instances where she had more exposure to a Nexus than any other person in the Nameless World. Has this repeated contact somehow changed her in ways the may frighten people or even the white council. Emily could perhaps be able to use the Linking spell introduced in FOJ to channel magical energy from the Nexus point into a modified battery/valve.

    At the least Emily should be the leading expert on the nature of Nexus points.

  35. William Ameling May 29, 2017 at 3:22 am #

    Nexus Points will be a weapon for Emily against the Necromancers, but only if they do not realize it, and if they are close enough to one. Which means trying to avoid talking about the subject to the general public and almost all magicians.

    I have raised the question about Emily using the Nexus points to jump between. At the moment Chris has not committed himself as to what may or may not be possible. We have had some contradictory statements about what Magicians and Magical Lore believe on the subject of what can be done with Nexus Points. We do know that there are several other Nexus points in the Allied Lands, but they are not as controlled as Whitehall’s. There are apparently a number of dormant Nexus Points in the lands controlled by the Necromancers.

    We know of Nexus points with the three of the Schools: Whitehall, Stronghold, and Mountaintop was supposed to be in negotiations for one after School of Hard Knocks with another small School, plus there are Heart’s Eye (a former School) and House Ashworth (see the Prologue to Love’s Labor Won). No others have not been mentioned as far as I know.

    • Wazman May 29, 2017 at 4:15 am #

      I was thinking that Emily could find a way to make the linking spell introduced in FOJ to channel magical energy from a given nexus to a battery/value device. Like a power lines connected a power grid, but in this case it would be magic not electricity.

      But she could also use runes to channel the ambient magic from the nameless world into a battery or maybe better described as capacitor which could be charged and discharged.

      • Pixie May 29, 2017 at 5:42 am #

        It we are planing to pull energy from the nexus point to an object, what stops Emily from building her own personal army of wardens and attacking the necromancer army when the next major war breaks out? This one scared her enough to start thinking of magic casting mimic/warden hybrids to both protect herself, and help take out the necromancer. It would allow her to cast spells and use batteries without anyone seeing her spells that could talk about it. when will we see the fallout of the king learning her truth?

  36. Vapori May 29, 2017 at 5:42 pm #

    Maybe something else, there might be a limit to the actuall power she can draw over a long distance, Or the spell is still so complicated that she can not modify and recast it to easily. it would be very vulnerble to wildfire, .and even if a nexus point is vast and her control spells stable, there might only be able to channel so much, mana. and lastly like with the nuke spell shouldn’t like it to leak such a powerful ability to some o the less, ethical magic houses in control of a nexus point.

    Still it might actually be her largest advantage if that ability can be used with few limits as long as you have a place of power to draw on.

    and actually Emily is the one best able to abuse that Ability even when it leaks, as it’s only useful with good control over a nexus point or a large ritual, and she is clearly the one who knows the best control matrix for nexus points, and likely the only one who has control over two such points and the ability to awake sleeping ones.

    It was somewere in book eleven that their was stated that the former grand master or founder of hearts eye was exploring the origin of magic,, maybe she learns more when she returns to that place, or starts to build the university.

  37. William Ameling May 29, 2017 at 7:19 pm #

    As an example, Emily might try to use a Nexus point to bring a text book or reference book from Earth, but even if she got the right book, she might only get a pile of ashes. Any transfer of information will probably be foiled by large amounts of chaos in the inter dimensional space. Probably only creatures native to that space, i.e. demons, etc (there has some mention of demented looking angels also, on one or two occasions) can go between other worlds reliably (and we do not know how easy or reliable it is even for them). She could also try reading minds or just reading a textbook between the worlds, but again there may be too much chaos in between for it to work. Now, if she had been carrying a electronic device with reference data on it, but it might have lost it’s battery charge or gotten scrambled or just been destroyed by Shadye. I think Chris does not want TOO much information transferred from Earth, it just ruins any long term story line he could tell.

    As a side note, mirror magic has never been explained to Emily and us. Perhaps information can be transferred mirror to mirror, but again the chaos may ruin the image. Plus she would have to establish the link between the two mirrors, which might require close contact with both mirrors before it would work; and attempting to send a linked mirror to Earth might see it get destroyed instead.

    Let’s see what happens when (if) Emily tries to introduce electricity, electrical devices, and the internal combustion engine to the Nameless world. She has already wished for a computer and it’s magical equivalent on various occasions. In fact she may be working towards a computer that runs and processes magical spells (in the long run after a LOT of development by her and others)(something like that could be extremely dangerous, it might even make Necromancy practical IF it could handle the power flows (which her batteries just might help do), or it might make DARK Magic easier without corrupting the mind of the user).

    • Wazman May 29, 2017 at 8:48 pm #

      There is one thing that Emily could do with magic and electricity right now that would be a devastating weapon. Such as a particle beam (cyclotron) or generate magnetic field that acts as a shield or something. I know that I’m straining the possible boundaries of practical science, but give the fact the Emily was able to construct nuke spell.

    • chrishanger June 3, 2017 at 4:52 pm #

      I’ve more or less decided that there won’t be any more contact between Earth and Nameless. It would be fun – and i have several story ideas that might wind up in a different universe – but it would upset the narrative too much. Emily gets much less important if ‘Grantville’ arrives in the Nameless World.


      • Jared June 6, 2017 at 3:41 am #

        Makes sense Chris. She’s already upset the balance of power in the allied lands. No need for more innovations that could lead to ecological disaster. Just look at what happens in the 20s-30s with the dust boal. Such a disaster would be hard for the allied lands to recover from.

  38. Vapori May 29, 2017 at 10:20 pm #

    Actually I don’t think that Emily will gain any access o earth knowledge past what she knew, When we read about the nexus and how she controlled it it was stated that looking past the dimensional wall was either impossible or courting madness. so a transgression might be difficult and returning even more so.

    so i guess it has to be done with creatures who are well attuned to that, like Fae or Demon, but those might be unwilling if not carefully forced, or demand a hefty price, and then there is the problem of unspecific commands, and missunderstandings.

    sure she could ask for the libary of a technical collage, but couldn’t point out any specific books.

    For high tech or even the fundamental in depth basics of chemistry and electricity.she would need a few very very specific books, and she was 16 when she was abducted, so it’s quite unlikely that she knows the best books to pick, even when she liked to read.

    even, if she could point out a good basic lexicon they would still need to figure out most of it, quite tediously, because higher techs is hard to deduce without a well laid foundation, and actually I couldn’t think on anybody in the nameless world who has such a. background. It’s unlikely that a Thommas Eddison will appear there soon, but it’s otherwise not completely unlikely.

  39. Wazman May 31, 2017 at 2:49 am #

    Regarding Heart’s Eye and the Barony of Cockatrice if Emily finally finds a means to sever her ties to Zangaria without damaging her relationship with Alassa, and moves her power base to the former school. How many of her former subjects in her Barony would immigrate to the city surrounding the school. Once the school is reopened and the city is reestablished.

    • FarWalker May 31, 2017 at 12:50 pm #

      I think very few would immigrate especially if the replacement baron kept most of Emily’s reforms in place. Also remember it’s about 2000 miles to Hearts Eye and few would have the resources to move that far. And you would be on the front lines with the necromancers. A rational person would stay in Zangaria.

      • Wazman May 31, 2017 at 1:19 pm #

        Perhaps but consider that Whitehall is also on the front lines and Dragon’s Den exists nearby. Emily could find a means of extending some ward defenses in the surrounding city.

        Never mind the belief that the city inhabitants will expect (rightly i should add) that Lady Emily would protect her domain. As to the distance that at one time would be a problem but with the portal system which would be extended to the once again reclaimed city, allows rapid reinforcement. Now consider that the rail network in the Nameless world is going to start growing, just as it did in the USA in the 1800’s. Like gunpowder it will explode out into the world and fast, affordable travel will become a very common thing.

        Regardless of how Emily feels about the matter people will be looking to her for leadership and guidance. That alone will change the world.

      • FarWalker May 31, 2017 at 3:10 pm #

        Wazman you are changing the subject. Your original question was whether people would immigrate from Cockatrice to Hearts Eye, and not whether a settlement would develop similar to Dragons Den. Also, it’s highly unlikely he that the white council would approve the creation of a portal that close to the blighted lands to facilitate travel from Cockatrice to Hearts Eye and it will be decades before the rail system expands like you envision. Don’t forget the lessons learned in FOJ regarding the tremendous costs and the difficulty in obtaining right of ways over land owned by the nobility.

  40. Wazman May 31, 2017 at 4:06 pm #

    I was not trying to change the subject I was using Dragons Den as a possible example. I don’t see why the white council would do that since Whitehall itself has access to a portal and it is on the front lines. But I’m thinking more in long terms years and possibly decades for the immigration to occur. The development of the railroad network could be accelerated by the need to move troops and supplies through the interior. I have feeling that Hearts Eye is going to play a very important role in the war against the Necromancers.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard May 31, 2017 at 4:35 pm #

      Both Dragon’s Den and Whitehall existed in their current positions prior to becoming on “the Front Lines”.

      Plus, there are mountains between Whitehall and Necromancer territory which is why the attack on Whitehall in the first book was so shocking.

      There may be a new settlement outside of Hearts Eye in the near future, but it would more likely be a military “settlement” than anything else as long as the Necromancers can easily reach it.

      • Pixie June 1, 2017 at 2:39 am #

        But who will set up that “settlement” is what we are interested in. If Emily is in charged would she want to set up a “modern” sewage and water system. Or will it be tents set up on the ruins of the left over city. There are a dozen problems there too like a water source in the middle of the desert. They hint that taming that nexus point will help start restoring the land but no one said there was water out there. I am sure with Emily’s understanding of science she could make/gather water but that would require her visit and set it up and get the water outside the school building without weakening the wards to keep everyone out. Cities don’t pop out the ground like spring flowers even with magic.

      • Jacqueline June 1, 2017 at 5:42 am #

        Guys there is already a city there both before and currently. It’s just been gutted. I imagine that refuges might start to settle there though. It’s more secure then most with Hearts eye right there.

      • chrishanger June 3, 2017 at 4:53 pm #

        That’s true. Dragon’s Den predates the necromancers.


  41. William Ameling June 4, 2017 at 12:37 am #

    She ought to be able to introduce the fundamental ideas for electricity and magnetism, as well as things like lightning rods. Does the Nameless world use magnetic compasses or does magic and/or mana upset long range magnetic fields? A compass might point at a local concentration of mana rather the magnetic poles of the planet. She certainly has the idea of a battery for magic, inspired by batteries for electricity from Earth. Of course, she may not Want people to be thinking about batteries, it might lead to her magic batteries.

  42. William Ameling June 4, 2017 at 12:58 am #

    Heart’s Eye and the ruins of the surrounding city will start recovering. The question is on what time scale. There will be threats from future Necromancers, but it will be Emily’s best chance to show that the Blasted Lands can be reclaimed from the Necromancers. It will have to start out primarily as a military outpost and possible school. As the example and proving ground for reclaiming the Blasted Lands it will be very important to both sides.

    Emil’s big advantage will be control of the Nexus Point in the local area. In the long run, it may give her an independent economic and military power base, that is not part of any Kingdom, unlike Cockatrice. So there will be no holdover Nobility and Kings that she will have to struggle against to implement her ideas there (if she can keep them out).

  43. William Ameling June 5, 2017 at 7:03 am #

    What Emily might be able arrange would be a more limited Rail Road connecting a nearby sea port (where ever Emily and General Pollack boarded the ship with Casper”s empty casket to return to Beneficence) to Heart’s Eve to Farrakhan to possibly the capital of the nearby Kingdom. This would probably require more than the left over goods from the failed part of the Rail Road project in Beneficence, but they would give it a good start. Eventually they might link up to Swanhaven and Beneficence (which links to Cockatrice by Railroad already). This would take a number of years with the profits of the earlier stages paying for the expansion, but when it was completed it would link Cockatrice and Beneficence to Heart’s Eye. It needs to be done on a more gradual basis that does not ruin the the local economies in the process. A lot of the land is devastated with no present landlords and much of it is desert, this will make getting permission to build the railroad a lot easier, until they start trying to go to Swanhaven, but if Jade is now the Baron of Swanhaven that may make things a little easier.

    A separate problem will be making Heart’s Eye and the city more than just an economic drain supporting the military base and possible school. The school would give them a magically protected base with a number of very strong magicians present as teachers and students, including Emily.

    Like I (and others) have said above, this is the best place for the Allied Lands to start pushing back on the Necromancers and to show that the Blasted Lands can be returned to a normal human habitable status. It will be no small project and will take a lot of time and effort, but it can occupy Emily when she is not fighting the Necromancers after her apprenticeship is finished, or when she is not busy with the school. If they can push the Necromancers back to the mountain range to the East it would strengthen the Allied Lands a lot versus the Necromancers. The Railroad lines, once completed (including the connections to major sea ports), will make supporting any future war efforts (offensive and defensive) against the Necromancers much easier.

    In the longer larger scale of things, it may help push the Kingdom of Zangaria plus Heart’s Eye plus Beneficence economicly and militarily ahead of the other Kingdoms, if they do not change themselves to keep up.

    What Emily and others will need to create/introduce is a stockholder form of a Company (or something similar), for the Rail Road and other projects that support it, that is watched over by a Board of Directors and others who have access to financial records and books to make sure that is operating on a sound and fair basis and not cheating it’s shareholders or customers. This is an important step in getting away from Feudal/Monarchal forms of economy. It is another step after the formation of Banks, and it will be needed for projects that require large capital investments for long periods of time.

    • thehub June 5, 2017 at 8:54 am #

      good idea, but before you even start, you need a road from Farrakhan to Heartยดs Eye. You need the start of a industrie to support the effort. If you build a Rail Road from the Material from Beneficence, you need to transport it …. how long is the distance? 2000 km? How are you gonna do this… by ship? I would say start in Hearts Eye und build a economic base before you start to expand with rail roads. But you are right… they nedd a company for the big projekts. the local economie would boost as well and hope the king doenst intervier.

  44. William Ameling June 6, 2017 at 12:27 am #

    It will not be easy and it will take a lot of time (years and years) and money. Because of shipping constraints (until Railroads are built shipping large quantities by land is impractical, and in this case River shipping does not work either) they would have to ship by sea from Beneficence to that un named seaport and then start building a railroad to Heart’s Eye first, possibly then to Farrakhan and the nearby Kingdom’s Capital. An important long term question is how to connect to Swanhaven, an interior route from the Kingdom’s Capital (it might be on or near the coast, the capital might BE that seaport, or it might be on a major river in the interior) or a coastal Route? We do not know enough about the local geography and political locations to speculate much. There might (probably) be additional seaports in between to help with Railroad construction (which will help the Railroad start making money sooner if they exist).

    They have to start with the connection to Heart’s Eye, in order to defend it and the surrounding area. Defense then makes other things possible. Of course, we do not know what the limits on Portal Connections are, but we do know that are some strong limits, otherwise the Railroad between Cockatrice and Beneficence would not be so profitable, or even exist.

    Maybe we might see some of the first steam sea ships built and used for the connection between Beneficence and that seaport to get the Railroad construction materials shipped.

    • G June 8, 2017 at 4:49 am #

      Heart’s Eye is, and for the forseeable future will remain, in a war zone. Any city and developments outside the wards will be severely vulnerable and likely impractical. Like Whitehall, portals can best link Heart’s Eye to other cities in the Allied lands…I would simply use it as a future palace and home for Emily…in the long run, 10-20 years, maybe an advanced school…

  45. William Ameling June 8, 2017 at 5:39 am #

    I am not disagreeing, in part. Heart’s Eye,at present, is on the front line of the Necromancer War. I am just suggesting that Portals will not be able to support the large amounts of materials and people needed to expand the defenses around it and start reclaiming the land. Assuming that Portals can NOT do the job in sufficient quantity, then another way will be needed, i.e. a Railroad. If the Allied Lands want to stop losing the Necromancer War, then are going to have to find a way to push back the Necromancers and THEN reclaim the land. I think that Emily and the changes that she has and will introduce will play a major role in that process. Heart’s Eye seems like the best place to do this, much of the border became the Necromancers and the Allied Lands seems to be along mountain ranges and it will be very difficult to push the necromancers there. Heart’s Eye and the Nexus Point with Emily’s Wards powered by the Nexus, will give a strong forward secure military/magic base needed to start such an effort.

    If Portals have such a large capacity, then none of the Railroads already built would have been needed or profitable, and the same goes for trade/shipping by sea/rivers. Chris has not told us what the limits on Portals are, but we know that they exist.

    • thehub June 8, 2017 at 11:09 am #

      @William i believe that Chris told in book 5 or 6 that the Portals have a limit to what they can transport and how big it can be.

      The military needs fast improvement to get effectiv against the necromancers. The Allied Lands lost every major battle. One of the reasons they havent lost completly is the geography of the land. all major mountain ranges are the boarders with the badlands. if a aktiv nexus point is realy needed to reclaim the badlands and to reduce the wild magic, than they need to find more and aktivate it. Heatsยดs Eye could be a major Military installation of a more modern mittiltary. you know… with logistic ( food, medicine etc.) and to implement new stratigies. But you are right, all of this needs money,a lot of material and a big labor force.

      A Question: the badlands blong to nobody… if Emliy reclaims them ( aktivate the nexus points) is the land hers? Can she sell it? What of the Land between Hearts Eye and Farrakhan? Is the Land between the Boarder of the Kingdom and Hearts Eye hers? Maybe she can give the Land to the people… you know to farmers or as payment for labor or the work in the military….

      • Jared June 8, 2017 at 6:35 pm #

        At the end of TSA void told Emily that she had a claim of ownership on the school and town. He told her to be careful with the school. And he said the town would be more difficult to claim. She should pick her fights carefully.

  46. William Ameling June 8, 2017 at 7:10 pm #

    That was my impression from reading the SIM series, Portals are effective on an individual level, but are not very effective on a level needed for transporting large quantities of goods for either peaceful commerce or supporting large offensive military operations. I think they have a limited utility in a defensive operation but are subject to interference. Even Railroads are not going to be effective if the enemy can get to and destroy the tracks and rolling stock,i.e. steam engines and cargo carrying cars and passenger cars. Depending on the level of damage, particularly any bridges, it can be easy to hard to repair such damage to a railroad.

    If Portals were effective on that level they would have already displaced most ordinary activities such as sea trade, river trade, and land trade (which is not very good at present, except on a local or city level).

    It will be a long time before they will be able to effectively build railroads through mountain ranges. To invade most of the Blasted or Blighted Lands they will almost have to start on the coast with a good harbor and then develope it to handle large amounts of shipping by sea. By the time that happens they will have (probably) developed a fair amount of capacity for deep water steam ships. Once they have such a port, they may be able to use steam river transport, if large rivers are available. Railroads greatest value is away from the coasts/harbors and large rivers where steam forms of water transport can be effective. Building canals can be as expensive and time consuming as railroads. Even today, on Earth, we use water transport on large scales when/where it is available, in spite of our large network of roads, railroads, pipelines, and airplanes.

  47. William Ameling June 9, 2017 at 1:41 am #

    I can think of one interesting additional possibility, Emily, once she learns and developes enough spells and gains enough strength and experience, “might” be able to use one or two Nexus points to create and sustain a Portal Link that would be useful for a large scale military logistics effort. However, such a possibility will be limited by the locations of those Nexus Points and still need to use Railroads to move the large masses to and from the Portals at one or both ends of the link. It might even require a Nexus Point at both ends of the Portal link for large amounts of goods going through such a link on a regular basis.

    • thehub June 9, 2017 at 7:18 am #

      mh… interessting idea. Is a Nexus point somewhere in Langaria? She could use this one for the transport of the materials. Logictic for everything large is a real Problem for the War effort. Maybe she can power a view things with her batteries?
      At some Point the people in power will push bag and she needs to stand her ground or they will walk all over her. Maybe if she had a view more powerfull allies, she could push for bigger projects without the nedd to bribe the nobles.

  48. William Ameling June 9, 2017 at 11:37 am #

    We only know of only ONE Nexus Point in the Allied Lands that is NOT associated with a School of Magic, which belongs to Melissa’s old House. All the the other Nexus Points that we know of belong to one of those schools (I am counting Heart’s Eye as a (former) school).

    So IF Emily can use a Nexus Point to power a Portal link for large mass transfers it will probably involve Heart’s Eye on one end, and the other end might be a dormant Nexus Point in Necromancer territory (perhaps on the near other side of the Mountains on the other side of the desert) that Emily has brought back to life. Using a Nexus Point on the other side would enable them to use that Nexus Point to establish very strong magic Wards to protect that forward base as well as the Portal Link for the supplies and to move troops, etc. from Heart’s Eye. When you will be fighting Necromancers, perhaps more than one at the same time, you will NEED a VERY powerful secure forward base.

    As I have said in previous messages, if Emily plus her influence over Cockatrice, Beneficence and Princess Alassa/Zangaria can do it, they might be able to reclaim the area around Heart’s Eye without a lot of the old High Nobility and Kings having much influence/power there. This is only a possibility, but it might happen. It could be become another Merchant City State similar to Beneficence with some reforms by Emily derived from Earth’s history. This plus the proposed school (and the Nexus Point) could “eventually” give Emily and her allies a strong economic and military base politically independent of the White Council and other Kingdoms. We know nothing about the nearby Kingdom and how it’s King might react, or how the White Council might react. Political independence will be useful in pushing reforms, and in supporting an offensive War against the Necromancers.

    There is another political possibility: that Markus and Melissa plus their marriage just might reunite their old Houses now that Fulvia has lost power. If that ever happens, that reunited House with Markus and Melissa as Heirs might become another friendly House that might help Emily politically in the Allied Lands and White Council.

    The last political possibility will be a reunited 3rd Human Empire under Empress Alassa that finishes the War against the Necromancers as a victory.

  49. William Ameling June 11, 2017 at 6:06 am #

    I am not saying that she will be rebelling against the White Council, but she will undoubtedly have those in the White Council with different goals and agendas than hers, so she will need a political base backed up by an economic and military base to help get the Council to do things the way she wants (at least part of the time). Void, ties to various Schools of Magic, the eventual Queen Alassa of Zangaria, other Mediators like Lady Barb and Sienna, General Pollack, and others may/will give her support in the White Council, either directly or indirectly. In the long run, maybe even Empress Alassa (if Chris goes that way).

    By the way, that is another reason for her to to Stronghold in 7th year after graduating from Whitehall, the additional connections to the school, staff, and students might very well be useful with the White Council and other political entities and military officers afterwards. Plus of course, what she may learn about Stronghold’s Nexus Point and about Military Magic. As well as personal and social development, maybe even some possible boyfriend(s).

    Being a little speculative, if Emily becomes a defacto (and hidden from the Necromancers) Nexus Point Master, then maybe we will see her visiting all of the Nexus Points in the Allied Lands at some point in the future of SIM.

  50. William Ameling June 11, 2017 at 11:47 am #

    Also even if she can NOT build a high powered Portal link at/to a Nexus Point, if she and the White Council can build a normal Portal Link close enough to a Nexus Point to be inside the wards powered by that Nexus Point, then it would still be worth doing in order to have secure (hopefully) forward base in Necromancer territory.

    This could put the Necromancers in a bind since they would need to defend the Nexus Points, dormant or active, in the Blasted/Blighted Lands to keep the Allied Lands and Emily out, but doing so will put them near those same Nexus Point(s) which Emily might be able to use for power while she is attacking them, if she can get through the defenses that the Necromancer(s) have built and get close enough to revive a dormant Nexus Point and take control of it.

    Meanwhile, the Allied Lands/White Council/Emily could ALSO be threatening to invade by seizing control of a good harbor and port to ship goods and armies in by sea transport. Basic Military strategy: when an enemy has a strong defensive position force him to defend against multiple threats.

    Here is an interesting question: does Void’s Tower (or any other Lone Power’s seat of power) sit on a Nexus Point? Nothing has ever been said on the subject as far as I know. If it does not, what is the source of power for the huge number of spells and wards associated with that Tower?

    • thehub June 11, 2017 at 12:19 pm #

      i believe that she will be more powerfull in time but without the nexus points. With the nexus points to power her it would be a game changer and realy boring if she wins that way. lets see what happens in the next book. i think chris said that she gets blowback ( right word)? She killed a necromancer and a god ๐Ÿ™‚ in a short time. There will be consequences for her. And dont forget, she hasnt sworn any oaths thats binds her to anyone or anything. ( Fairy not included) She is now in 5 year? Oaths are sworn in the beginning of 5 year but she is/was on probation…..

  51. William Ameling June 12, 2017 at 3:48 am #

    Even if a Necromancer is defending a dormant Nexus Point, it may be very difficult for her to get through his defenses. Look at TSA (book 11) where even Void and Lady Barb could not break through a Necromancer’s defenses and had to just watch/spy until Emily and Casper weakened him. And each time she defeats a Necromancer, the remaining ones will try to respond to what and how she did it. Emily can NOT do it all on her own, but a Child of Destiny does not have to either, they just have to cause things to change.

    Emily and the SIM series are facing a problem over what oaths to the White Council and or the Allied Lands she will be taking and how soon. The White Council will not trust her if she has not taken some oaths, but she will have some problems as a Baron (in exile) and political leader/advisor to the Kingdom of Zangaria. However, strong magicians can and do take service with Kingdoms. Plus they are leaders of strong magical Houses. So we will have to see how Chris resolves this. It also raises a point about how Stronghold handles a similar problem with its (magical) students, many of whom have strong political/family connections to various Kingdoms, Houses, City States, etc. In theory, she could refuse to take those oaths and go straight into her apprenticeship with Void, without doing 6th year or finishing 5th year (which we know is not going happen from the titles of forthcoming books). But like I said above the White Council would view that very badly and make it very difficult for her to work with them.

    • Jared June 12, 2017 at 4:38 am #

      Don’t forget that this last necromancer was a lot more stable then most of his kind. Therefore he was able to build defenses of staggering power and complexity. The other necromacers will react yes but they will react out of an irrational fear. They will mostly likely not be sane enough to build proper defenses. Of course I don’t mean to say that they won’t be terribly dangerous. But I think the focus of the books is more on this mysterious cloak figure as a almighty bad guy/ grand finale, Then a march into the blighted lands. Besides, Emily doesn’t necessarily have to march an army to destroy all necromancers, as you said, she doesn’t have to do it all herself.

      So far she’s been on probation and hasn’t sworn the usual oaths. And we know that Gordian doesn’t have the political freedom of Grand master Hasdurbul. So why allow her to continue? I think that this next book will have to do with Gordians political backers. I think they’ll push for Emily to be expelled. And if he refuses they will push for Gordian to be removed from the grandmaster post. I believe they see Emily as a troublemaker and when Gordian was unable to convince the staff of expelling her he put her on probation. In the hopes of an excuse to expel her. Now though having met Emily and finding out that she basicly owns Whitehall. He is stuck between a rock and hard place. I don’t think the white council will have much of a choice. Emily is free to quit and still continue her apprenticeship with void. See how void gave her the apprenticeship with no strings attached. And she’s rich enough that she could pay to continue her education without Whitehall. But Emily loves Whitehall it was and still is her first true home. It’s where she became a woman. And not a scared little girl cowering from her stepfather. It’s where she was givin power over her life. Emily’s situation is very different then that of pretty much everybody else in the allied lands. The students at any schooll wouldn’t think twice about swearing oaths to the allied lands or to an individual sovereign. It’s their way of life. But Emily is from our world. And she will not like being bound by oaths of loyalty. She will try for being a loan power and the freedom that that position comes with. Look at void the white council works with void not the other way around.

  52. William Ameling June 12, 2017 at 12:15 pm #

    The oath problem might be the main thing that would keep her from going to Stronghold for 7th year. That and wanting to complete her apprenticeship. I still feel that Miles will try to get her to take more courses in Military Magic. She might be able to get some of the courses in 6th year at Whitehall. We know that it has a teacher, go all the way back to Book 1 when Imaiquh first takes Emily to the cafeteria at Whitehall and pointed him out to Emily. However, we know that Stronghold has a much stronger program in it. One question in my mind, is how many of the Military Magic courses could she take in 7th year, and would she have the prerequisites for all of the courses? (some courses in 6th year at Whitehall might help with Stronghold in 7th year)

    You are right about Gordian and Emily, Void told her not to read the apprenticeship offer to Gordian, and spelled it so. He may have offered to take her if the oaths become a problem. Remember, it was an unconditional apprenticeship offer, she could start now if she wanted to.

    • Jared June 12, 2017 at 7:41 pm #

      Why do you keep saying seventh year? There are 6 years in Whitehall and then she starts her apprenticeship.

      • Jared June 12, 2017 at 7:49 pm #

        As I understand it there I see the following titles.
        Book 13 The Gordian knot
        Book 14 graduation day
        Book 15 princess in the tower
        Book 16 once and future queen
        Book 17 total classified

        Based on these titles that Chris released awhile back I don’t see a one year stent at stronghold happening. Nor would it be necessary. She has quite enough support around her to provide all the education she’ll need. And I’m sure Void will fill in the gaps.

  53. William Ameling June 12, 2017 at 11:35 pm #

    By 7th year I mean Stronghold which has a 7 year program. If she goes to Stronghold for some Military Magic classes, maybe other classes as well, it would obviously delay the start of her apprenticeship, which would normally start after graduating from Whitehall in 6 years. I think she could use the connections with Stronghold and its staff and students, as well as the chance to become familiar with it’s Nexus Point. The main reason to go is to take the courses in Military Magic and take (and pass) the test at the end of its 7 years. I think that Miles is trying to position her to be recognized (tested) as being qualified in Military Magic as well as Martial Magic. Remember that Miles arranged for her to take the theory side of the end of 4th year test in Military Magic because he thought “it would be useful for her”.

    Did “Poison Pen” get renamed as “Gordian Knot” or did Chris slip another book into the schedule? I have not seen Chris say which way.

    Books 15 and 16 could be in the summer following 6th year (they could even start before that without Emily being there part of the time), i.e. Book 15 Graduation Day. So it possible that Book 17 is at Stronghold, followed Book 18 The Artful Apprentice when she starts her apprenticeship. Chris has said in the past that Emily will probably go to Stronghold (somehow) at some point in the SIM series, but he had not decided on when (when he made the comment). I think the comment was made around the time of Book 8 when I suggested that Emily might transfer to Stronghold for either 5th or 6th years or both, which was before we found out that Stronghold had a 7 year program.

    • Jared June 13, 2017 at 1:48 am #

      Book 13 has been renamed.

      Where does it say that Stronghold has 7 years I don’t remember seeing that? But either way I don’t see her going to stronghold as a student. Even though stronghold is focused on the Military more then other subjects. That doesn’t mean she can’t learn it at Whitehall in fact I would say that Sargent Miles is pushing her to the theoretical portion of Martial Magic because he feels she won’t have a chance to take the classes else where. And because he know Grandmaster Gordian and his backers want to hinder Emily’s education.
      As for the connections Emily could develop at stronghold, I don’t see that happening. After all she’s been given many opportunities to develop ties and connections for political power. And she has turned down, ignored, and avoided these offers. Because they always come with strings attached to them. Emily has displayed a desire to remain free from obligations. Void and Lady Barb has also show some reluctance to direct Emily in that direction. Lady barb has gone as far as to say that Lady Barb and Void have been running interference for her to keep her from the push and pulls of the White council and other parties.
      A few blogs ago, Chris had said something about book 18 might have something todo with Emily’s Oath with the fairies. And where did the Tital the Artful Apprentice come from? Is that your Brain Child or Chris’s. it’s a good title I just haven’t seen that before your post.

  54. William Ameling June 13, 2017 at 6:50 am #

    It was somewhere around Book 9 or 10 that Chris told us in this Blog that Stronghold had a 7 year program. He also listed Artful Apprentice as the title after after the classified title Book 17 somewhere in that time frame. My only communications to/from him have been in this Blog or by reading the books, or by what others have said in this Blog that Chris had told them.

    • Jared June 13, 2017 at 7:08 am #

      Ya that’s the only way I communicate as well. Not many people use the forum.

      The book list I posted was from one of Chris’s update last December, I think it was December maybe January,. I guess we shall see what Chris decides. Either way we can both agree it’s going to be good!!

  55. William Ameling June 13, 2017 at 8:01 am #

    I went back and checked past Blogs:

    See Oct 3 (2016) for long discussion by Chris on Stronghold, including it being 7 years (which was published after I had made my suggestion about Emily going to Stronghold, maybe he changed Stronghold to 7 years so she could go there after 6th year at Whitehall).

    See Nov 21 (2016) for an old list of future titles that is missing the Princess and Queen titles and after the classified title has listed “Mirror Image” and “The Artful Apprentice”

    “Mirror Image” makes me wonder about the remains of the old school of Magic at Heart’s Eye since all of its walls were mirrors. Chris has never told us anything about Mirror Magic, even though when Emily first met Imaiquh in Book 1 she was supposed to be a Mirror Magician.

    So Chris has obviously changed some things about his plans for the future of SIM, but that is where I got that title from. Maybe we will still see something related to those titles sometime after the classified title.

    I wonder if Chris might actually do a Book (or two) in parallel that does not involve Emily for most or all of the book, i.e. “Princess in the Tower” (and even “The Once and Future Queen”) about Alassa which would take place while Emily is still busy with 6th year in “Graduation Day” or even start during “Gordian Knot” or “Fists of Justice”?

    • Jared June 13, 2017 at 8:57 am #

      I suppose Chris could write book 15 or 16 during Emily’s 16th year. But it would be odd I don’t think there is a single series in Chris’s books that does that. Except the book that is about to come out for ARk Royal. All I’m saying is it would be different then anything he’s done in the SIM series. It could be cool to see Emily from another perspective. But I wonder if book 15 will be about Alassa after all she’s not the only princess in the allied lands

  56. William Ameling June 14, 2017 at 1:20 am #

    I have the impression that more than Emily is offering 30% (or 1/3rd) to buy all of the old notes (bonds) from Vesperan, I think that at least Markus’ Bank (that Emily has a major share in), maybe some of the other Banks, and possibly some other rich individuals are together offering to buy in return for getting the Railroad AND no more legal actions to try to recover Vesperan’s debts from them (the investors). To some extent, it will be costing them less than it might appear since that investor group may already own a lot of the notes that they are offering to buy at 30%. Plus they will own all of the iron/steel rails, railroad ties, etc. that he had already bought, those goods can be used in future railroad building/expansion efforts that are done on a more sustainable/profitable basis ( see my comments about a Railroad to Heart’s Eye). We already know that the existing railroad line between Cockatrice and Beneficence was quite profitable.

    One thing that will be necessary is to establish enough large mines of coal and iron plus means of transport (railroad or river/water) to get them to a large enough industrial center to produce the large amounts of iron and steel needed for major railroad construction projects plus steamships, military equipment, etc. Part of Vesperan’s problem was that Beneficence did not have enough of such capacity, and so he was driving up the prices a LOT. It will take time and investment to create and then be able to grow as needed, such capacity.

    As mentioned (by several people) before, trying to deal with many small (relatively) land holders (noble families) in many different political entities (Baronies and Kingdoms) is one of the major problems in trying to build a large industrial economy which requires transport of large masses long distances. It is also why steamships (ocean and river) can often come before long railroads. Railroads are needed where the steamships can not go, after the market demand is established by the steamships.

    This is where trying to develope the area near Heart’s Eye might actually be easier compared to building additional railroad lines in Zangaria for instance. There are no local land lords/nobility left near Heart’s Eye. Even it’s old Kingdom (and King) may be gone. So if they can defend it against the Necromancers (the nearest one just got killed and the rest are on the other side of the Mountains) they might be more successful than you would expect.

    On different matter, there are different levels of oaths on the graduates of the major Magical Schools: Healers’oaths are VERY binding, potential Mediators have to swear complete political neutrality, etc. Combat Sorcerers may have to swear to support the Allied Lands but it can not be as binding as Mediators. We know that Combat Sorcerers do take service with many of the Kingdoms, Jade (before he got married) and Zed. Even Lady Barb, a mediator, was working for Zangaria, in Book 2 when Emily first met her.

  57. Jared June 14, 2017 at 2:15 am #

    I am listening to the audiobook for TBF. And the more I think about it master grey was an idiot. He was there in LLW when Emily showed a massive display of power. Even though throughout TBF Emily never showed that kind of power. He must have wondered how she pulled off the atimagic ward. And even though there where obvious questions about her power he still tried to kill her at the end of TBF.

    • chrishanger June 18, 2017 at 8:56 pm #

      He also had plenty of time to evaluate her as a student


  58. William Ameling June 14, 2017 at 10:23 am #

    A couple of questions:

    When Emily and the group of bankers proposed to buy the notes, to settle the Vesperian Crisis, she said one third of face value, which I assume to mean the price the buyer paid to buy the note, not the price he/she was supposed to be paid when it was redeemed which was 20% to 100% higher. Is that correct?

    A bigger set questions is about what happened in Cockatrice when Vesperian’s scheme collapsed? How much had Vesperian been buying in Cockatrice and thereby driving up prices for those goods? How many investors did he have in Cockatrice buying his notes? How much has the disruptions (riots, fires, deaths,etc) in Beneficence affected potential business on the railroad in the near and not so near future? Emily as the Baron (in exile) and head of the legal/court system there is in a better position to make the agreement be accepted there (although they could appeal to King Randor). But there is still the question of the economic affects on Cockatrice and the rest of Zangaria of the collapse of the Vesperian (Ponzi) scheme and the riots and disruption that followed in Beneficence.

    Did Vesperian have any actual partners from Cockatrice in his existing Railroad between Cockatrice and Beneficence? Who Emily and the Bankers may also have to deal with to settle the crisis and gain control of the railroad line to Cockatrice.

    change of subject:

    I doubt that Master Grey would have created the pressures that caused, then accepted and demanded the Duel with Emily, if Fulvia had not told him to kill Emily. He may have been unhappy with things that happened because of her, and viewed her as a possible future threat to the Allied Lands, but I doubt that would have caused the duel. Fulvia was the key factor, not Emily. He did it this way so that he could legally kill Emily (so he thought). Even if he had won, he would have to worry about Void in the future.

    • thehub June 14, 2017 at 12:47 pm #

      that are good question. but what of swanhaven or the other Baronys? we know next to nothing of what happend outside of Beneficence. didnt emily own a mine or more than one? how many people are out of buissnes becauce they coulned pay the higher prices for material? i believe to realy get the big picture of the consequences for emliy and her barony… it will take a lot of time.

  59. Jared June 14, 2017 at 6:19 pm #

    I just had a thought, so I went back to SA towards the end to see if I was right. Emily says to Void.
    …”could you teach me now?:.. and Void says, …”if you want an apprenticeship with me, do well on your final exams and I’ll consider it.”…
    At the end of FOJ which isn’t that much time passing really and before she goes back to school. Void gives her an unconditional offer of apprenticeship. My thought was could this be significant? What changed in the short time between do well on the exams. And o no matter what you can train with me. Of course it could be nothing, but perhaps Void knows that there could be problems in the near future.

  60. William Ameling June 15, 2017 at 3:38 pm #

    about Jared’s comment

    I see several several branches in possible explanations: either it is something that Emily did, or something that someone else did in response to what Emily did. I think that it is more likely that Void offering an unconditional apprenticeship offer NOW versus before is a result of a change in how others are reacting to Emily. As Jared points out, not that much time has passed and Void has known Emily now for over 4 years, so this is the less likely explanation.

    So it (the apprenticeship offer) is more likely a response due to a change outside of Emily, i.e. others’ response to Emily. So what changed there? I think the most likely change is due to a delayed response to the events of TSA rather than the events of FOJ since he had the offer ready before he found out what happened in FOJ. I suspect the most likely cause was Emily’s decision to hold onto the Heart’s Eye Nexus Point and former school site and not let it be acquired by former graduates of that school in order to rebuild it. Two ways for them to apply pressure on Emily is 1) via the White Council about the oaths that she has not taken yet and 2) trying to force her out of the Whitehall School of Magic by applying pressure on Master Gordian who does not like her.

    The title of the next Book indicates that Master Gordian is central to the story line. They can be using Gordian in both ways: over the oaths and her probation status at Whitehall. Plus they can be trying to cast her as too dangerous to remain at Whitehall. They can also be attacking her via all the classes she has missed in 5th year and her incomplete project with Caleb. What they do not know is what only Emily and Master Gordian know, the events of “Past Tense” and Emily’s control over the Wards of Whitehall and it’s Nexus Point, which makes it hard for Master Gordian to do anything to Emily since she has more control than he does over them.

    I think that the change in title from Poison Pen to The Gordian Knot is an indication that the one whose mind is being “Poisoned” by writing (“Pen”) is Master Gordian. I wonder if Master Gordian might resign (or offer to resign) rather than yield to all of the pressures being applied to him. He may not like her, but he is still an honest man and will not like all the pressure being applied on him.

  61. William Ameling June 15, 2017 at 3:49 pm #

    Void is giving Emily and Master Gordian one way out of the pressures: starting her apprenticeship now rather than staying in the School and graduating. But I think a different solution will be found so that she can still graduate from Whitehall.

    • Jared June 15, 2017 at 6:04 pm #

      Those where my thoughts exactly

      • Jared June 15, 2017 at 6:11 pm #

        I’ve been listening to TBF. I was curious, how old was Grandmaster Hasdrubal ? I was just wondering.

      • chrishanger June 21, 2017 at 6:25 pm #

        He was pretty old


  62. William Ameling June 16, 2017 at 1:17 am #

    The other point about the apprenticeship offer is why did Void make it so Emily could not read it? There must be things that he did not want Emily to know, probably dirty laundry of the White Council and those trying to put pressure on or hurt Emily. Possibly things about how he viewed Emily’s abilities, progress, and problems in magic and why he was ready to offer her the apprenticeship now and unconditionally.

    I think Hasdrubal had been Grandmaster for at least or about thirty years so he was probably in his 60s or more likely 70s. While Void, by his own words, was over a century old.

    • Jared June 16, 2017 at 1:37 am #

      I was just thinking it would be crazy if Void ended up being The brother of Hasdrubal. Your probably right about Void’s sudden reversal on the apprenticeship. I feel like there is so white council action going on and Void is preparing for it. Although, I don’t think Emily will follow his plain entirely. LOL

  63. William Ameling June 16, 2017 at 3:47 am #

    I think Void is a lot older than Hasdrubal. I was wondering about the beginning of FOJ and the possibility that Roderick (and Bad Luck Bay) that General Pollack told Emily about just before they reached the Harbor at Beneficence, might be Hasdubal’s brother. I think it is a possibility, but we do not know much other than Chris will be putting it into a future Book, most likely as a problem for Emily at some point.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard June 16, 2017 at 4:52 am #

      I don’t remember hearing anything definite about Void’s age or the age of Grandmaster Hasdrubal.

  64. William Ameling June 16, 2017 at 3:57 am #

    Void also said that the rest of his family was dead (probably for a long time) when he gave her the ring and adopted her as a family member at the begining of Wedding Hells. I think that Emily now has to be viewed as the heir to Void and his Tower.

  65. William Ameling June 16, 2017 at 9:12 am #

    I remember one time when Void told Emily that he was over a hundred years old, I read it again just recently, when I was checking on something in one of the books.

    • Jared June 16, 2017 at 9:37 am #

      Void said, “you do realize I’m over a hundred years old.”

      That’s why I was wondering about the Grandmasters age. And remember what Hasdrubal said about his family. They had shunned the four brothers. And his father was dead. Only two brothers remained. One without eyes. The other living in the mountains with a scared soul.

  66. William Ameling June 16, 2017 at 10:43 am #

    I found the location, Book 2 almost the beginning, just after Jade asked Emily to marry him, and then was frozen by Void who then had a long conversation with Emily, particularly about Alassa and the problems of Zangaria which she was about to visit. In my Kindle edition it was near location 362 just after Emily asked Void “Why don’t you court her (Alassa)?” Part of his response was “…And besides you do realize that I am over a hundred years old?”

    Hasdrubal still has living family, even if they shunned him and his 3 brothers. However, Void has told Emily when he gave the ring that he had no living family members. So Void is not Hasdrubal’s brother.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard June 16, 2017 at 2:23 pm #

      Nit, when Void gave Emily the ring Hasdrubal was dead so there is still the possibility that they were brothers.

      Also, see the following quote from Wedding Hells.


      โ€œMy family…โ€ He shook his head, his expression darkening. โ€œSuffice it to say I have no such spells to share.”

      End Quote

      That sounds to me like Void’s relationship with his family was similar to Hasdrubal’s relationship with his family.

      So, assuming that Hasdrubal was also “over a hundred” when he died, he could have been Void’s brother.

      That’s why I was asking about text evidence for Hasdrubal’s age.

      While Chris may have other ideas about “who Void is”, IMO there is nothing to indicate that Void wasn’t Hasdrubal’s brother.

      • Jared June 16, 2017 at 4:52 pm #

        My thoughts exactly

  67. William Ameling June 17, 2017 at 10:38 am #

    I found the reference I recalled, in Trial By Fire Chapter 40 when the Grandmaster’s body lay on the funeral pyre “.. to say farewell to a man who had ruled Whitehall for nearly thirty years”
    followed by a speech by Lady Irene about him. The Grandmaster qualified as a Charms Master in just under two years (as an apprentice) … and returned to the Whitehall School to serve as a tutor five years after his departure and then worked his way up the ranks until he was the only clear choice for Grandmaster.

    I think he did that relatively quickly and I doubt that it took him until his 70s (to be the same age as Void) to reach that stage, I think 30s to 40s is more likely, which would mean he was in his 60s to 70s when he died (while Void is over 100 years old).

    Earlier TBF (just before he died) when Emily was talking to Grandmaster about how he got blinded and then she asked about what happened to his brother (the one that did not die) and the Grandmaster responded “We rarely talk” which means to me that the brother is still alive and has not become so evil that The Grandmaster would refuse to talk to him.

    • Jared June 17, 2017 at 11:26 am #

      There definitely is unaccountable time there. Between his first teacher posting and the grandmaster ship. With magicians living so long it’s quite possible that it did take him that long to reach the top. And Void and the grandmaster didn’t really talk much. At least that’s my impression. Perhaps it’s a stretch though. LOL

      • chrishanger June 21, 2017 at 6:27 pm #

        The (former) Grandmaster was a Charms Tutor for quite some time before becoming Grandmaster.


  68. William Ameling June 17, 2017 at 3:41 pm #

    Them being brothers is not ruled out, but I am doubtful about it. If Void was the brother, he should have been in charge of the funeral (by the customs of the Nameless World) rather than Lady Irene, and Void was definitely there at the funeral. I doubt that he (as brother) would have been at the funeral and yet not in charge of it. Plus of course, the likely age difference. Void may be well over 100 (rather than just over 100). If he is Cloak, see Book 5, Cloak had been on the Mountaintop Council for over 70 years plus the time it took to get strong/experienced enough to gain membership. I also tend to doubt that anyone who’s soul had been damaged by a demon would gone on to be a Lone Power as strong as Void. I do not view Void as a bad guy, just someone who can (and HAS) make difficult choices when necessary. (The Grandmaster lost his eyes instead of his soul being damaged).

    At least knowing that the Grandmaster’s brother is still alive (for Book 7) and talking (rarely) to him pretty much rules out the idea of Roderick (beginning of FOJ) being his
    brother which I had considered possible (either because he is dead, or has become something too evil to talk to his brother).

    Changing the subject, I wonder if Void’s Master that taught him and who he inherited the Tower from, was old enough to remember the fall of the 2nd Empire. I saw a reference in Book 2 about the history (that Emily had just read) of Zangaria and it’s royal Family that seemed to make it at least or about 170 years ago (when Zangaria was founded).

    Also an interesting mention of a “Soul Stone” as an heirloom of that royal family (that had been passed down from the time of legends, Kindle location 1011 Book 2, chapter 7) and its being laid into the foundation of the castle, undoubtably as part of the magical wards of the castle and tieing them to the family. I wonder what THAT is about, maybe we will find out someday.

    • Jared June 17, 2017 at 6:06 pm #

      I don’t think a damaged soul would affect the mana in the body. After all they are separate things. I would say that Voids ruthlessness is a result of his damaged soul. As for the funeral mistress Irene performed the rights because most people don’t know about the demon or his brothers. Emily thinks this after Mistress Irene reads out loud Hasdrubal’s last words. If Void is cloak that also could be a symptom of his damaged soul. I never considered Roderick to be his brother. Because Hasdrubal said his brother lives in the mountains.

      Zangaria was far older then that. When they where talking about the line of Alexis the family lagacy was hundreds of years old. Although, there is a decrepancy in the dates. I always chalked that up to the history being rewritten.
      I was under the assumption that Zangaria was about four hundred years old give or take.

      I have wondered about the soul stone myself. Is it going to be significant or is it just background data to add to the mystery.

      • Jared June 17, 2017 at 6:09 pm #


      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard June 17, 2017 at 6:41 pm #

        Nod, the late Grandmaster said that his brother’s soul was damaged and “Fatty” said that Void has a “void” in his soul.

        Since Chris hasn’t given us an age for the late Grandmaster, we really can’t say for sure that Void is older (or not) than the late Grandmaster.

        Again, Chris hasn’t given us any real information about Void’s past and likely won’t until it becomes necessary for Emily’s story.

        For all we know, Void is the bastard son of the Last Emperor and is looking for the Silver Sword (ie the Imperial Sword) in order to reestablish the Empire. ๐Ÿ˜€

        Now, I had a crazy thought after I read “The Sergeant’s Apprentice”.

        That book mentions the “Silver Sword” and in “Wedding Hells” Emily “inherits” from Master Grey a very old sword which she gives as a Wedding gift.

        We were told that Master Grey’s family is a very old one so perhaps that sword is the “Silver Sword”. ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

      • Jared June 17, 2017 at 11:09 pm #

        Interesting thought. I was wondering the same in SA. Except with the sword that Void was wielding during the battle with Dua’kapala.

  69. William Ameling June 17, 2017 at 4:29 pm #

    Make that 40s to 50s when he probably became Grandmaster.

  70. William Ameling June 18, 2017 at 8:12 am #

    I checked Book 2 Chapter 1 Kindle location 114, again “But then, Zangaria had been part of the old Empire until 170 years ago. It hadn’t really existed until its founding monarch staked his claim to rule”

    The simplest way to read that is that the Empire still existed when Zangaria was founded as a separate monarchy, but perhaps Zangaria got founded because the old Empire had just broke up. We need more historical info from Chris.

    Master Grey’s sword may have come down in his family line, or he may have gotten it from the estate of one those who challenged him to a duel and then died in the duel. We do not know enough. We do know that he was connected to House Ashworth (Melissa’s House) and owed a favor to Fulvia, in spite of his oaths as Mediator to be politically neutral.

  71. William Ameling June 18, 2017 at 8:32 am #

    The House of Alexis can still be hundreds of years old, but the Monarchy of Zangaria is 170 years old (unless the history book is wrong). Before that the territory was part of the old Empire and we know nothing about how it ruled that area and other areas.

    “The Glorious Laying of the Stone.” = “House Alexis had a “gem”- they called it the Soul Stone- that had been passed down from the time of legends. When they became the rulers of Zangaria, they laid the Soul Stone in the foundations of the castle”

    Given what little we have been told about gems, soul magic, and other permanent magical items, I think that there must be something significant about it, and we will probably be seeing more about it in the future of SIM.

  72. William Ameling June 18, 2017 at 8:41 am #

    I also saw a reference that said that the test to end your apprenticeship and be recognized as a Master (by Jade in Book 2 I think) was before the White Council. Which is an interesting statement about Emily’s future if accurate.

    • Jared June 18, 2017 at 9:10 am #

      I remember that.

  73. William Ameling June 19, 2017 at 12:34 am #

    The before the White Council comment made me stop and think about how many apprentices would be taking their test as Master (before the White Council) per year. I think Emily’s 4th year class was about 80 (but they took significant losses in the events of the last 4 years) when they graduated with only part of them going on to 5th and 6th year, and eventually to apprenticeships in magic. With 3 major Schools of Magic and several minor Schools, I think that a range of 100 to 200 per year is a reasonable estimate, particularly since there may be other sources such as home schooled, and those who started as apprentices without going to a School. So a guess of about 200 per year is a reasonable upper limit for apprentices becoming Masters in Magical areas per year (and it may actually be closer to 100 per year). I could be underestimating it, but not by a large factor.

    That leads to a fairly small total number of masters in magic across the Allied Lands and several times that for those with some training (4 years), considering the size of population of the Allied Lands. So within a particular area of magic, someone has probably heard of a large fraction of their peers, and met many of them at the various Faires. Within a particular Kingdom or city, you would probably be familiar with most of your fellow magicians (or least know their names and something about them).

    • Jared June 19, 2017 at 2:42 am #

      That is a good deduction. And remember what Void told Emily about there being a lot of necromancers and only a few powerful sorcerers. I assume by powerful he ment lone power status. And as far as we know perhaps only Aloha and Emily are in this small group within Whitehall. Making them an even more well known. Not only among themselves but to the weaker magical community.

  74. William Ameling June 19, 2017 at 7:20 pm #

    I finally found where Emily met “Fatty”, it was the beginning of chapter 31 in Book 5 Love’s Labor Won. He said “That I knew your father (Void) when we young.”…He slapped his chest, which wobbled like a plate of jelly. ” Your father is a gaping emptiness, while I am pleasantly plump.”

    He did NOT say that Void’s SOUL had a void in it, although looking back on the conversation knowing about the grandmaster’s brothers, we “might” be able to interpet it that way. He may have just been making a comment on their relative physical sizes and weights, and not on his soul.

    He also said that he was powerful enough to be a Lone Power, but he was not as interested in being “alone” enough to be one, but Void prefers his own company.

    Also of interest, later in that same chapter Master Gordian introduced himself to Emily with a very short conversation.

    I will be keeping a more open mind on Void and whether or not he is the hidden master of the Crow Sorcerer (Book 2) and Nanette’s new master (Book 8). I do think that Void is Cloak on the Mountaintop Council (Book 5) which can work with any interpertation of Void’s character (morality).

    I am still not sure about the old Grandmaster being old enough to be Void’s brother. It all depends on how old he was when he became Grandmaster of Whitehall. He would have to have been at least in his 70s when he became Grandmaster to be Void’s brother; and we do not know how MUCH older than 100 years Void is.

    • Jared June 19, 2017 at 9:07 pm #

      The problem with Void is that everyone around Emily swears that he is not trustworthy. Even the dragon gave Emily a warning. Yet in every scene he’s in he gives Emily great advice and he allows her to make he own mistakes. The fear from all those around Void, and his own reputation makes him out to be a dark character.

      • Jared June 19, 2017 at 9:08 pm #

        Frankly I keep waiting for pin to fall. Lol

  75. William Ameling June 20, 2017 at 12:10 pm #

    Either that or someone more willing or able to make really hard choices than others with more concern about other people’s feelings and their societies/social groups. I think that Void’s biggest concern, other than studying magic, is the war against the Necromancers and other Dark Sorcerers. We do know that he has done many tasks for the White Council and probably knows them well (and vice versa). He may well be on the White Council. We have seen comments in the past that Emily was truely Void’s daughter, usually when she had done (or said) something that stepped on other peoples’ feelings and feet (figuratively speaking) or not worried about the social niceties (usually because she did not know them well enough, from not being born and raised on the Nameless World).

    Changing the subject, I noticed in Book 6 shortly after Caleb meets Emily, that Caleb was telling her about Stronghold and why he was glad to have transferred, and one of the things that he said was that when you first arrive at Stronghold you are instantly to a regiment that will be your your family for the next 6 years. Which implies that Stronghold had a 6 year program (like Whitehall and Mountaintop). So apparently Chris changed his mind to make it a 7 year program at some point before he wrote that long article on Stronghold in late 2016.

  76. William Ameling June 20, 2017 at 12:13 pm #

    I dropped the word “assigned” in “instantly assigned to a regiment”. sorry for the typo.

  77. William Ameling June 20, 2017 at 12:17 pm #

    The only reason I can see for Void NOT being on the White Council is that he does want not to do all the social interactions with it’s members that being on the council would require.

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