Out Now–Graduation Day (Schooled In Magic XIV)

26 Nov

Frieda is one of Emily’s closest friends, a young girl she saved from Mountaintop and brought back to Whitehall. But Frieda found herself the victim of a deadly soul-destroying plot – and the true target may well be Emily herself. Now, after Emily saved Frieda from a magician who was slowly driving her mad, Frieda stands accused of attempted murder – and worse. She must now stand trial for her crimes.

Worse, Fulvia – Matriarch of House Ashworth – has returned. Humiliated by Emily, years ago, Fulvia burns for revenge – and the chance to regain her lost power. Calling in favors from all over the world and rigging the trial against Frieda – and Emily – it looks as if her time is finally at hand. With no clear proof of Frieda’s innocence – and a jury that can be manipulated at will – Fulvia has all the leverage she needs to bring Emily to heel.

Gathering her friends around her, and calling in favors of her own, Emily must find a way to outwit a kangaroo court and save her friend from a fate worse than death, little realizing that Fulvia’s true target is Emily herself …

… And that Fulvia’s desperate quest for revenge will bring the entire world crashing down.

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188 Responses to “Out Now–Graduation Day (Schooled In Magic XIV)”

  1. Stephen Hullott November 26, 2017 at 6:19 pm #

    Bought today, reading at the moment….

  2. Dani November 26, 2017 at 10:59 pm #

    Two can keep a secret if one is dead. By the end of this book, many of Emily’s secrets – including but not limited the secret of her origin – are known by many people. They will start leaking.

    This book also completes the Emily-at-Whitehall arc. It’ll be interesting to see where the next arc takes us. In the long run, considerable foreshadowing suggests that Emily will wind up opposing Void. It’s hard to see a path to making that a fair fight.

    • Mark November 27, 2017 at 2:53 am #

      After reading Graduation Day (BTW…5 Stars Chris!!!), I also can’t wait to see where Chris will take things.

      In regards to the foreshadowing Emily VS Void, where did you get that impression? Everything that I have read (entire series), there has been very LITTLE, if NO foreshadowing regards to Void. And as far as E VS V being a fair fight, the impression that I received as Heart’s Eye was liberated, was that Emily, when compared to Void, is like someone who can add 1 and 1 and get 2 against someone who can do Fractal Math and Chaos Theory in their head – absolutely no chance of a fight under those circumstances – Void would not even notice any attempt that Emily might make to oppose him.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard November 27, 2017 at 3:14 am #

        While I agree that Emily vs Void would be a “one-sided fight”, I’d point to Lady Barb’s distrust of Void as well as other people’s concerns about Void.

        One of the reasons that the Late Grandmaster admitted Emily to Whitehall was his concerns about Void training Emily and what it might do to her.

        All we know for sure about Void is that he opposes the Necromancers and he has expressed a dislike for the White Council and magical society in general.

      • Jared November 27, 2017 at 12:47 pm #

        Hahahahaha nice description!!

      • allyk November 27, 2017 at 2:12 pm #

        > there has been very LITTLE, if NO foreshadowing regards to Void

        there is the line of thought that Cloak = Void

        personally I doubt it, but it would make the opening scene of The School of Hard Knocks super hillarious

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard November 27, 2017 at 2:28 pm #

        If Cloak is Void, it also makes the ending of “School Of Hard Knocks” very interesting. 😉

      • Kell November 30, 2017 at 1:18 am #

        I thubk the end of hard knocks was a rrd hearing. Its to obvious. I dont think she will fight void but I think she will be disillusioned with him. He going to do something thats to far in emilys eyes i believe.

      • Vapori December 2, 2017 at 6:22 pm #

        Well i think you describe it a bit to one sided. Emily basically finished with her basic education after 4 years(lets say highschool in our term.) and , she might be someone akin to an undergraduate in our world after the schooling she had now. ( magic seems a bit like chemistry or Computer science in complexity as well as in approch)

        Sergeant Miles might then be something akin to an uppergradute out of school and with plenty of practical experience. while Fulvia might be something akin to a doctor or master with her own business, and while she hasn’t studied and furthered her knowledge all her life she still has ton’s of experience, while Void might be in a league of his own, somebody who has dedicated his whole life to his studies to further his knowledge. maybe someone like an older professor on earth.

  3. G November 27, 2017 at 12:17 am #

    Outstanding! I see Void as a mentor, not an opponent–though Emily will have differences of opinion. I also agree with others that Emily will be Void’s heir in opposing the necromancers…

    • William Ameling November 27, 2017 at 12:33 am #

      A wonderful Thanksgiving present. I know what I will be doing for the next couple of hours: READING IT! ( I want no spoilers until I am done and respect other readers likewise)

    • philippeo December 1, 2017 at 1:13 pm #

      Seconded, i also see void as Mentor type, not oppoñent, some of his behaviour indicate that he genuinely liked to found daughter like Emily. he certainly is flawed person, but not seem to be main opponent type. more mentor which flaw and mistake Emily overcome and surpass.

  4. allyk November 27, 2017 at 1:01 am #

    darn you for not having Alassa’s Tale ready for my immediate consumption!

    • William Ameling November 27, 2017 at 8:17 am #

      Well Emily is done, emotionally, with Whitehall, and so are we (the readers). I do not want to say more and Spoil things for those yet to read it. We will be waiting for the new story arc.

      Like you said, most school book series find it hard to keep us interested in what is going on outside the school. You have managed to come close a even split between school and non school and kept both interesting to your readers. The future will be different, at least until the new University starts coming into being, but that will probably be a later story arc. The third story arc I am guessing will be 6 to 8 books, covering the next couple of years (at least 2 to 4 years), but that is only a rough guess.

    • chrishanger November 27, 2017 at 2:55 pm #

      A baby intervened


  5. Veraenderer November 27, 2017 at 8:41 am #

    arrrrggggg. I can’t read the book until Thursday because I have to much to do :/

  6. Jared November 27, 2017 at 12:52 pm #

    I just stayed up and read the whole thing. It’s was reallly cool! I liked the beginning,
    You’ve done a good job of balancing life outside of the school and In school as well.

    I don’t want to give away any spoilers! So I will refrain from my usual thoughts. LOL

  7. allyk November 27, 2017 at 2:52 pm #

    Emily is SLOOWWWWLY building friends in high places. Markus and Melissa was useful before with the bank, but now combined with essentially 2 great houses, they are a tremendous force to be reckoned with. (There was some hinting that Melissa might step down, but I’m going to assume she holds on to power)

    That said, “you have a special talent for using nexus points to defeat your enemies, so let me fight you next to a nexus point” :-/

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard November 27, 2017 at 3:27 pm #

      It would seem safe when you think you are in control of the nexus point and “can’t imagine” losing control of the nexus point. 😉

    • philippeo December 1, 2017 at 1:22 pm #

      both Markus and Melissa is restraiñed by their oath, to Bank of Silence and as Healer, so new head of Ashworth does seem better choice, perhaps Adana (as reward for using her blood) while Melissa as guardian until Adana graduate ?

  8. Pyo November 27, 2017 at 4:32 pm #

    Ellipses everywhere. \o/

    Shame Kindle refuses to search for … . Would have liked to see how many there actually are.

  9. Dani November 27, 2017 at 11:47 pm #

    > there has been very LITTLE, if NO foreshadowing regards to Void

    His age keeps changing. Some of the ways to make that happen are bad.

    He enslaves his servants. He enslaved Lady Barbara.

    The Void-is-Cloak theory is speculative, but it seems likely to me. More speculation: I don’t discount the possibility that he is Nanette’s new patron.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard November 28, 2017 at 12:11 am #

      One aspect of his enslaving Lady Barb IMO is that it shows that he’s very much in the “Ends Justify The Means” mode.

      To me that says that what ever he’s up to might be “somewhat good” but how he’ll carry out his goal may likely be fairly nasty.

      • Wazman November 28, 2017 at 2:17 am #

        I agree with you and the first hint we saw of this “End Justify The Means” mode was when the Dragon first dropped Emily off at Whitehall. Before departing it offered a warning that her master was playing a very dangerous game that could cost her world dearly.

        At the time I thought it might be referring to Earth but Emily has no desire to return and considers the Nameless World her home now.

        My pet SIM theory is that Void and Cloak are the same person but knowing Chris it is probably a lot more complicated than that.

        Regardless if the ultimate goal is to defeat the Necromancer threat once and for all. Than in Void’s case it seems that he rightly believes that the White Council and the major magical families need to be reshaped and Emily is the answer.

        While Void hasn’t ever directly intervened for Emily he has played the watchful guardian more than once. The most recent is the strange unorthodox request that she receive training in Soul Magic for seemingly no reason.

    • Jared November 28, 2017 at 2:18 am #

      Void uses magic to hide or rejuvenate himself and he is always changing his appearance. That doesn’t mean he is killing people to achieve this. And as for enslaving his servants, that is a very common practice in the Nameless world. And is considered ethical in mundane and magical communities.

      I am a fan of the theory of Void being cloak. But I still think it’s more about shaping and molding Emily to be a powerful sorceress then Cloak being an out right bad guy. Remember that whoever Cloak is he’s breaking the compact. And is interfering in non magical politics. I think this is only because cloak being void is creating circumstances that will “teach” Emily. Nearly every instance of Cloaks activity that we know of is centered around Emily, Or Emily’s friends.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard November 28, 2017 at 2:26 am #

        Ah, but for what ends is he shaping Emily? 👿

        Seriously, being “evil” and “doing evil things” may not be the same thing. 😉

      • Wazman November 28, 2017 at 2:32 am #

        I don’t think Cloak is a bad guy in the classical sense either but I believe that persona is meant to push Emily in a preferred direction. Mother Holy was a essentially a newbie necromancer and possibly a semi controlled run at gauging Emily’s capabilities. Void had initially warned her about a known necromancer being mysteriously killed in the area. This feels like a setup to me

      • Jared November 28, 2017 at 2:46 am #

        I think Voids goal is already stated. In Book 1 he tells Emily about the necromancers and how the allied lands are not very united. I think he’s molding Emily into a powerful sorceress who can fight the necromancers. Despite what Dua’kapala and Fulvia said about sending her out to fight necromancers from the start. Both void and Hasdrubal knew that Emily had a lot to learn about the magical world and even though she beat Shadey, she didn’t beat him with raw power. She beat him through intelligence and planning. The grandmaster Hasdrubal was like a father to Emily and he treated her with compassion and love like a father would. Void kinda lets her develop on her own. Seemingly hands off approach.
        Now I’m not saying that what Void/Cloak is doing is right or that Emily will go along with it. But Void/Cloak is working behind the scenes to do what he has always done fight the necromancers.

      • Just Christian November 28, 2017 at 5:51 am #

        I think too that Void = Cloak but i think that Void = Master Wolf and that Justice was just a test for emily

      • Jared November 28, 2017 at 5:58 am #

        Pherhaps but I think it more likely that Master wolf if he’s still alive would be the young man at the end of the first book who caught Emily before she collapsed on the ground. Perhaps Master wolf is actually Voids Master.

      • G November 28, 2017 at 8:54 am #

        I agree Master Wolf is either Void, or Void’s master, or master’s master, etc. As for the scroll that created the Godlike mimic in Fists of Justice, I believe it is a leftover from Master Wolf’s experiments to achieve immortality 1,000 years ago…indicating that Master Wolf survived the attack on Whitehall in Past Tense…

      • Just Christian November 28, 2017 at 4:31 pm #

        Master Wolf transform himself into a mimic before he died and he got the plan do bind him to the nexus point. That might grand him some kind of immortality or it might explain that the school wards have some kind of life on its own or it gave him the power to became void I don’t know but I think that the chapter of Whitehall isn’t really closed

      • Kell November 30, 2017 at 1:22 am #

        In book two void told emily to help stabilize zangria. In weeding hells cloak caused zangria to be unstable. It doesn’t bmake sense

      • Jared November 30, 2017 at 1:32 am #

        Actually, he said the white council wanted a stable Zangaria. But I see your point.

      • Kell Harris December 1, 2017 at 8:36 am #

        I think cloak is harusabals brother that has scars on his soul. He would have to be really powerful and smart. But harusabal seemed weird talking about him. They don’t keep contact as if they follow different paths. Master arailies reaction to seeing him was interesting I’m betting it might be because he looks just like harusabal. We’re as void changes his appearance all the time his looks aren’t important.

        But the real difference to me is, The thing about cloak is his actions often directly effect Emily in a negative way. But void goes out of his way not to influence Emily. Void asked Emily to keep zangria stable. Cloak helped real it just a few years later. Cloak could more directly cause destabilization with Emily under his control. Void had no problem with enslaving lady barb. If he really wanted to he could easily control Emily but he doesn’t. I think if he could cloak would control emily. I don’t buy it.

      • Paul W December 7, 2017 at 2:29 am #

        I agree with Kell Harris. Always thought that Cloak was Harusabals brother.

      • allyk December 7, 2017 at 3:42 am #

        i still lean towards one of Void’s former apprentices. There seems to be a strong connection between Cloak and Void but I don’t believe Cloak = Void

        (Of course maybe Harusabal’s brother was one of Void’s former apprentices)

  10. Wazman November 28, 2017 at 2:23 am #

    Nice transition to Alyassa’s Tale, Chris. I think King Randor doesn’t fully grasp that he isn’t facing a little girl with powerful magical skills. He is facing a determined young woman out to render aid to her closest friends, and he better stay out of her way.

    • Jared November 28, 2017 at 2:31 am #

      I found it interesting that Alassa was arrested, because in the snippet with King Randor he is planning to check on Imaiqah and ask Alassa About the attempted assassination. However, as far as we knew Alassa knew nothing of Imaiqah’s fathers involvement. Yet it seemed more likely that he would go after Imaiqah because he didn’t know what was going on in cockatrice. This seems to be turning into a huge mess. Emily should have said something to the king. Keeping secrets never turns out well.

      • Wazman November 28, 2017 at 2:38 am #

        With Imaiqah acting as the custodian for Emily’s Barony I wonder if she has behaved with Byron around. Does she still have feelings for him?

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard November 28, 2017 at 2:43 am #

        ::Eyes Snerk Collar::

        There’s more to go in Alassa’s Tale.

        As for telling King Randor, Emily was IMO in an interesting situation. If she told Randor about Imaiqah’s fathers involvement in the attack, Randor likely would have punished Imaiqah (and her brothers/sisters) for her father’s crime. Alassa might have forgiven Imaiqah but there was plenty of evidence that Randor would not have been merciful.

        Note, historically families had been punished for the treason of the head of the family even when there was no evidence that they were involved in the treason.

      • chrishanger December 2, 2017 at 11:23 am #

        That’s the problem.

        At best, it would have torn open a gaping hole between Alassa and Imaqah – at worst, Imaqah and her family would either have been executed or forced to run for their lives. Emily decided that keeping her mouth closed was the best solution.


      • allyk November 28, 2017 at 2:44 am #

        > I found it interesting that Alassa was arrested, because in the snippet with King Randor he is planning to check on Imaiqah and ask Alassa About the attempted assassination. However, as far as we knew Alassa knew nothing of Imaiqah’s fathers involvement.

        what snippet?

        seriously it looks like it was disappeared, which suggests serious plot change

      • Jared November 28, 2017 at 2:57 am #

        Go back through Chris’s blogs and you should find two snippets from Alassa’s tale

      • allyk November 28, 2017 at 2:48 am #

        nvm, ignore above, i see it now

      • Jared November 28, 2017 at 2:55 am #

        Paul I think Emily could have played it smart in regards to telling Randor. With a simple reason. She should have told Him that flushing out Nanette and her backer would be necessary. The best way to do that would be to keep it quite about the fact that Emily told Randor. And when that information about Imaiqah’s father came foward they could flush out the rumer.

        Although, I do recognize that Emily didn’t have much time to make a decision and that Randor may not have listened anyway.

      • philippeo December 1, 2017 at 1:31 pm #

        i think it would be interesting if Alassa revolt / threaten to revolt to defend her innocent friend Imaiqah from her insane father baseless accusation, to find out truth about Imaiqah father after she already become Queen and his father “baseless accusation” already rallying cry and justification for rem

    • chrishanger December 2, 2017 at 11:22 am #

      No, he doesn’t


  11. G November 28, 2017 at 3:09 am #

    Did Chris say something about writing a blog post about Gordian’s motivations re: Emily?? Also, I thought Fulvia says something about using a nexus point to extend lifespans and points to Void as an example towards the end of Graduation Day–with access to a nexus point, he doesn’t have to do anything evil to live longer..Void strikes me as ruthless, and possibly amoral, in pursuit of mastering sorcery and defeating the necromancers…that doesn’t make him evil, quite…just powerful, ruthless, and dangerous…but he seems to be acting behind the scenes to mold Emily…

  12. Dani November 28, 2017 at 4:37 am #

    I agree, Void seems to be an end-justifies-the-means type, rather than evil. I still expect that to lead to Emily opposing him at some point. Since it seems unlikely that she can defeat him directly, I’m betting on his dying in a blaze of glory, holding off half a dozen necromancers to buy her time for fill-in-the-blank.

    • Ihas November 28, 2017 at 4:51 am #

      I wonder if Void is so dedicated to uniting the allied lands to end the new romantic threat that he would go so far as to become a necromancer after training Emily to lead the united allied lands against a necromantic threat that can no longer be ignored.

      • Jared November 28, 2017 at 5:53 am #

        I really don’t see Void becoming a necromancer. Void is all about control and knowledge. No short cuts. Besides Void is so powerful that he went toe to toe with Dua’kapala he doesn’t need to become a necromancer. And according to Fulvia he’s already using magic to extend his life. So honestly there’s really no reason for Goid to risk insanity to accomplish his goals whatever they are.

  13. William Ameling November 28, 2017 at 6:13 am #

    I find myself doubtful about several of my ideas for the future for Emily and her friends:

    1) Emily going to Stronghold for 7th year, although it would give Emily a way to get more schooling, see another School of Magic, and get the end of school tests accomplished. I doubt that Emily is interested in more school right now, and she seems ready to start her apprenticeship. (It is still possible though).

    2) The arranged marriage for Imaiquh by King Randor to Sir Roger. The idea for arranging it should have happened by now, if it was going to happen. (Unless it comes in Alassa’s Tale). If it has been made, it will make life complicated for Sir Roger on who to support. He still might be conflicted over who to support, even without the marriage idea to Imaiquh.

    I do wonder how the (Markus’s) Bank’s customers will react when they find out it is now run by someone almost at the top of a major Magical House. They might be afraid of the House taking advantage of the Bank and it’s money and loans. (They should already been concerned about Emily’s backing and funding in the Bank).

    I also wonder how the City of Beneficience will react to the changes in Markus’s status and the Bank, as well as what is about to come in the new story arc (I am trying to avoid Spoilers in what I say). They could also be concerned by Emily’s involvement in the Bank and in the effort taking over the what was left of Vesperian’s Railroad, given what is about to happen with Emily and Jade and their 2 neighboring Baronies. The City could find it hard to maintain it’s neutrality in power politics.

    • Simon November 28, 2017 at 9:54 pm #

      I believe that most of the bank’s customers would have known that Emily was one of the main founders, especially after the crash. They should also know that it was Marcus and Emily that stepped in to clean up the aftermath. At least the city leaders do. They would also have a good appreciation for the personality of Marcus, we are talking old school banking, not the faceless corporations of the modern world so this would be important. I also doubt that the House will have much influence on the Bank, Emily is the major shareholder (I believe but it is never stated) and Marcus and Melissa will bring the House to heel rather than the other way around.

      Given what we all suspect is likely to happen, Beneficience might seek to support Emily and Jade, at least quietly initially, they have a very advantageous position geographically, but economically weak and beholden to Emily post crash. If said event does occur, then certain trades could benefit from increased demand, depending on just how long it lasts. (Given the power that Emily has, and potentially allies and the love from the people and common soldiers things could be rather short.) But it will be quite initially as they don’t want to be on the wrong side at the end.

      At least that’s my thoughts.

  14. Ihas November 28, 2017 at 1:46 pm #

    I just keep thinking about the most likely ending to this series and I don’t care for it. I mean, assuming it will end with a resolution that stops the necromantic threat without reopening the fae threat, and also short circuits the future likelihood of magical children making black holes and nuclear explosions, there simply has to be an end to magic in the nameless world. So that’s going to be Emily’s Child of Destiny role. She introduces science and technology and ends magic in the nameless world.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard November 28, 2017 at 1:59 pm #

      IMO Emily won’t have the power to banish “mana” (the energy behind magic) from the Nameless World thus magic will always be part of the Nameless World.

      The growth of science & technology won’t drive out magic.

      • Ihas November 28, 2017 at 2:26 pm #

        I’ve thought about how she might do it. She already has the batteries and valves with magic nullification field spells in them. Just hook one up to each nexus point and blanket the planet with some additional spellware to prevent tampering.

      • G November 28, 2017 at 2:36 pm #

        You’ve pointed out a serious problem with Chris’ narrative–the more Emily pushes science and technology, the more likely future sorcerers will figure out the nuke spell and others…the easiest fix is for Emily to figure this out, and stop pushing for a research university and the scientific method…

      • chrishanger December 2, 2017 at 11:26 am #

        That is something that will have to be addressed, sooner or later.


      • Mark November 29, 2017 at 8:48 pm #

        Right Paul, I agree with you. It will probably end up more along the lines of Zelazny’s Madwand world, or even steampunk, eventually..

        As far as King Randor. Chris has clearly shown that he is becoming paranoid.

        ***My Predictions***

        I expect there will be a civil war in Zangaria, with Randor ending up, if fortunate, forcibly retired by Alassa, with Emily’s assistance. Alassa’s half brother will probably be a casualty. Imaiqah MAY survive and become Baroness Cockatrice, OTOH, she might be executed by Randor the Mad. Especially since the spy he is trusting is probably Nanette in different guise.

        There will probably end up being a Parliament formed by Alassa, and she will HAVE to make concessions to the commoners, as well as force the nobles to do so as well – since her Father broke his word to the commoners..

      • G November 30, 2017 at 4:47 am #

        Chris could right an epilogue at the end of the series where Emily is 200 years old (life extended by nexus point), looking back at her life, and casts a final spell linked to all the world’s ley lines and nexus points to prevent nuclear fission…how many books is Chris now planning in the series?

      • Kell December 2, 2017 at 6:33 am #

        G I think your missing out an important point. Chris has stated in so many words several times that progress marches forward. Just like in our world they will continue to develop with or without emily its inevitable. I dont think there is a fix. Its just thinj there will always be people trying to bring the world down and people there to fight. Its like in zangria the civil is inevitable. They have been headed that way for years. Emily is just making things happen faster. She is bringing down the old systems too fast others can’t keep up.

        I think if there is any solution or help is if emily can help unite the world more like a much more functioning un. The white counsel doesn’t actually have a lot of power. They struggle even to get the army together. If Emily could help unite the world more I think they wouldn’t be under such a great threat from rouge magicians.

      • G December 2, 2017 at 6:54 am #

        My impression is that the nameless’ world’s science and technology was low and stagnating before Emily–like Earth before the Renaissance. We tend to view earth’s historical record as inevitable, but in fact humanity went for thousands and thousands of years from Babylon and Ninevah to the Pharoah’s and Israel to ancient Greece and Rome without a Galileo or Newton. I don’t think a renaissance or the spread of the scientific method is pre-destined on the nameless world–unless Emily pushes it…but sorcery plus Einsteinien physics is a dangerous combination–the nameless world may not survive it…

      • chrishanger December 8, 2017 at 5:36 pm #

        Pretty much, yes. The really good minds went into alchemy, not science.


      • Jared December 2, 2017 at 12:27 pm #

        I agree with you, look at hearts eye. The dormant nexus point was killing the land. It’s obvious that the lay lines spew out mana into the nameless world. And Emily suspects that the blighted lands are a caused by a similar result.

      • Vapori December 2, 2017 at 8:00 pm #

        I don’t think that it’s necessary to banish magic and Emily hasn’t really talked much about physic with sorcerers so far. Specially not quantum or einsteinium ones, and while she has some very basic knowledge about the later from earth it might be very limited, i doubt that a high schooler from earth knew more about physic that mass= energy and that the speed of light is the hard limit for speed possible in the universe. As long as she doesn’t tell people much about atoms electrons and neutrons and protons she might be fairly save in that regard.

        And like it is done, with healers, it might be possible to swear sorcerers to limited secretly and predefined usages for their knowledge before they can obtain the knowledge about physic.

        If the later is teached at heartseye it might be quite easy for Emily to put such an oath in place.
        Maybe also an oath to make the knowledge and research on that matter only available at hearth eye and other research centers overseen bye the white council.

        Maybe she can even create another mimic (god) that hunts people that try to get that knowledge without swearing an oath. The later could be quite easy actually.

        Give the mimic something like a ranged magical Geiger counter and whenever it detects an human made anomalies it strikes ruthlessly at any human around it (save Emily.)

        If I remember correctly the founder of heartseye was researching the Origins or fundamentals of magic if that is linked with the mirrors still in the castle it might be possible for Emily to learn about that research fairly quickly and maybe put it to use for herself.

        Also quantum or atom physics isn’t very intuitive, so it’s hard for people to research or theorize about that. a few carefully placed false leads might dearial any rouge research in that regard quite badly. without much actual impact on most crafts.

        magic can be a hell of a crude and maybe keep nonmagicans from researching it. After all expect for the very first few test like the rutherford scattering require fairly advanced techniques for creating them. Of course doing so would still hinder research in chemistry
        No orbital model would make chemistry much harder to do.

        If they can create a fusion reactor via magic they could still bypass many of the problems the early industrial period faced, and pollution and CO2 and the like would likely never become a problem.

      • Ihas December 6, 2017 at 4:50 pm #

        I suppose another possibility might be to tame all the nexus points and combine their power to create enormous wards that blanket the planet and prevent illegal spells, like necromancy and nukes.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard December 6, 2017 at 5:59 pm #

        And then what happens?

        If Emily can do that, then whoever controls that “spell-working” could be the God of the Nameless World. 😈

      • allyk December 6, 2017 at 6:22 pm #

        just out of curiosity, how far ahead have you read?

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard December 6, 2017 at 6:37 pm #

        As one of Chris’s Beta Readers, I’ve seen his plans for future stories.

        Mind you, what I “know” about the details are subject to Chris changing his mind.

        Of course, some of what I say is based on my understanding of Chris’s world-building which may be incorrect.

        By the way, you really don’t want to meet the being that enforces Chris’s “No Snerking Rule”.

        Not even Void wants to annoy that being. 😈

      • G December 7, 2017 at 8:31 am #

        The real problem is that the nuke spell can be cast by any sorceress with 2 years of training if she understands the concept of an atom and decides to split some…

      • Ann December 9, 2017 at 3:49 am #

        Assuming magic is either infinite or conserved. But if magic is finite and not conserved it could run out. If it comes from somewhere and that can be stopped it could run out.

      • Jared December 9, 2017 at 4:48 am #

        Maybe, but remember that magicians produce mana as well

  15. Bryce November 29, 2017 at 5:04 am #

    Great book took one day to read. Looking forward to the little book and the Princes in the tower. I assume they are out in a week right….lol

    • Jared November 29, 2017 at 5:53 am #

      One can dream ! LOL

    • chrishanger December 2, 2017 at 11:27 am #

      I’m afraid not. I have a newborn


      • Bryce December 7, 2017 at 11:51 pm #

        That means you are up all night anyways….lol

  16. allyk November 29, 2017 at 2:16 pm #

    I do feel there was a lost opportunity to do some hard bargaining and blackmailing. These people hold her friend’s life in her hands and she seems oddly passive about it. Instead of worrying about yet more head girl drama, she should be out there courting all the jurors, making deals, making threats, eliminating threats from Fulvia, etc. Yes, supposedly Lady Barb is ‘looking into’ them, but that’s all that’s said, nothing is shown and nothing comes of it. The only reason she has a chance is because one of the jurors reached out to her first.

    We know that any evidence is of secondary or tertiary concern to the actual verdict, but she seems to focus far more effort on that which doesn’t really matter.

    Re:Zero did a good job of this. In episode 16 (http://www.crunchyroll.com/rezero-starting-life-in-another-world-/episode-16-the-greed-of-a-pig-702431) our guy desperately needs help, so he goes around begging for it and promptly gets humiliated everywhere he turns. Then after an epic pep speech in episode 18, he finally gets his act together in episode 19 (http://www.crunchyroll.com/rezero-starting-life-in-another-world-/episode-19-battle-against-the-white-whale-702437) and does things properly. He discovers what the other people want, makes bargains with other people so he can get that, then offers a package that is appealing to them instead of simply appealing to them.

    Maybe some people want something she has (part ownership railroad?), maybe some of them have problems she can solve using her tech knowledge, maybe some on her side are being blackmailed by Fulvia and she can find a way to cancel that threat. Maybe she can find some weak points of the others and do some threats or blackmail of her own. This would have been a more engaging story while waiting for the final confrontation and provided some real tension to the final vote as we know some more background as to why each juror may or may not vote for her.

  17. George Phillies November 29, 2017 at 4:18 pm #

    Drak Bibliophile writes:

    “::Eyes Snerk Collar::
    There’s more to go in Alassa’s Tale.”

    Don’t worry. We’re sure you can manage to rivet-rivet-rivet brek-kek-kek koax-koax in Morse Code to finish your sentence.

  18. allyk November 29, 2017 at 4:51 pm #

    I do feel there was a lost opportunity to do some hard bargaining and blackmailing. These people hold her friend’s life in her hands and she seems oddly passive about it. Instead of worrying about yet more head girl drama, she should be out there courting all the jurors, making deals, making threats, eliminating threats from Fulvia, etc. Yes, supposedly Lady Barb is ‘looking into’ them, but that’s all that’s said, nothing is shown and nothing comes of it. The only reason she has a chance is because one of the jurors reached out to her first.

    We know that any evidence is of secondary or tertiary concern to the actual verdict, but she seems to focus far more effort on that which doesn’t really matter.

    Re:Zero (free on crunchyroll) did a good job of this. In episode 16 our guy desperately needs help, so he goes around begging for it and promptly gets humiliated everywhere he turns. Then after an epic pep speech in episode 18, he finally gets his act together in episode 19 and does things properly. He discovers what they want, makes bargains with other people so he can get that, then offers a package that is appealing to them instead of simply appealing to their charity.

    Maybe some people want something she has (part ownership railroad? a rare/forbidden book?), maybe some of them have problems she can solve using her tech knowledge, maybe some on her side are being blackmailed by Fulvia and she can find a way to cancel that threat. Maybe she can find some weak points of the others and do some threats or blackmail of her own. This would have been a more engaging story while waiting for the final confrontation and provided some real tension to the final vote as we know some more background as to why each juror may or may not vote for her.

  19. William Ameling November 29, 2017 at 9:46 pm #

    I think that Void may be planning to retire (or abandon, depending on your point of view) from the War against the Necromancers once Emily gets strong enough, i.e. at some point after she completes her apprenticeship. Lone Powers have very little interest in social interaction with anyone, even fellow magicians. His (their) main concern is studying magic, and as soon as Emily is strong enough, particularly if she stays involved in the political world, he will retreat into his tower and leave the fight against the Necromancers in Emily’s hands. Then at some future point(s) in the storyline, Emily will have to work hard to get additional help from him, when things get dire enough (and she may not get it).

    So I think that Void is preparing Emily to take his place in the political/magical world so he can concentrate on magic and wash his hands of the rest of the world.

    • Pixie December 1, 2017 at 9:58 pm #

      I think it is more likely that Void is holding back in the war. He went toe to toe against one necromancer, on even footing, he did not have more power, or skill and Emily knew the winner would be who lastest longer. Void has to know that very few can do that and if he ever looses a fight like that it would doom the war effort greatly. If anything he is bringing up Emily to be the figure head that stands against the necromancers that frees him up to attack as he wish without worrying about him losing having a terrible effect for the alliance.
      I want to see Void take Emily around to meet other lone Powers out there. There has to be more than one, and seeing how he interacts with someone sane and with as much power as Void would be part of her apprenticeship. “Emily this is Lone Power so and so, they hate me, go give them this letter and don’t die. Good luck!”

      • Jared December 1, 2017 at 10:12 pm #


      • Ann December 9, 2017 at 3:55 am #

        He will.

        Chris posted a number of future things but said just 1 of the 5 would happen. My guess is when void and emily do the rounds and visit Alissa and emily notices alissa has magical bounds but doesn’t care.

    • George Phillies December 2, 2017 at 9:56 pm #

      One might propose that Void knows that he is approaching old age and death, and wants to use mind magic to transfer to Emily all of his knowledge and experience, but not his personality quirks.

  20. Kell November 30, 2017 at 1:25 am #

    I have a question. Does melissa know about emily going to the past?

    • allyk November 30, 2017 at 3:29 pm #

      > Does melissa know about emily going to the past?

      not that we know of

    • Bryce December 1, 2017 at 7:19 am #

      Yes she knows everything that Emily knows and vis versa

      • Kell Harris December 1, 2017 at 8:41 am #

        It’s not explicit. Emily describes it’s as images and flash’s.

      • allyk December 1, 2017 at 3:28 pm #

        she had to go hunting for specific memories, and she focused on Emily’s past. There was nothing to indicate she got anything about time travel

      • Ihas December 8, 2017 at 11:07 pm #

        Emily could call up Melissa’s memories in response to stimuli, such as when she recognized the wizard who corrupted Frieda. I bet Melissa gets her dark lady memories every time she looks at a portrait of Lord Whitehall or any of the other historical figures that Emily encountered.

      • Jared December 9, 2017 at 12:45 am #

        Maybe, but remember that those portraits are not accurate so it’s most likely that they wouldn’t spark a memory.

  21. MorkR November 30, 2017 at 10:23 pm #

    Well I think that was my favourite SIM since Work Experience.

    The speculation about Void is in the comments is great fun. I think I understand Chris’s word play a bit better now and my theory comes from something in the School of Hard Knocks though I only put 2 and 2 together when I learnt what a Gordian knot was

    • Jared November 30, 2017 at 11:44 pm #

      LOL ya I had never heard that phrase before. Sigh, sometimes learning new things is frustrating. LOL

      • MorkR December 1, 2017 at 7:58 am #

        Every day is a school day though it would be much more fun if it was at Whitehall.

    • allyk November 30, 2017 at 11:57 pm #

      what theory is that?

      • MorkR December 1, 2017 at 7:55 am #

        Chris likes word play. In The Sergeant’s Apprentice, look up the necromancer’s name in Google (other search engines are available!) noting where he lives; he basically told us Dua Kepala’s secret but only once you think about the words. In Work Experience, I am fairly positive he dropped a big hint. But then allows ‘Emily to misdirect us’ later on in one of the following books. I cannot remember which book (not to hand sorry) and I don’t want to say which incident as that could potentially give the secret away (if I am right) and spoil the ‘reveal’ which is at a time of Chris’s choosing.

      • Jared December 1, 2017 at 9:11 am #

        O man, your comment just changed things for my view of the series. LOL now I’m going to have to go back and look up every name in all the books. Sigh

      • MorkR December 1, 2017 at 9:24 am #

        It was an omg moment when it clicked in my brain about who Void (I think) is. A few other things start to fit into place.
        (I enjoy re-reading the SIM books anyway.)

      • Jared December 1, 2017 at 9:53 am #

        That’s why I always thought Void was Hasdrubal’s brother. Because of the discription the grandmaster gave Emily of his only living brother.

    • chrishanger December 2, 2017 at 8:44 pm #

      Thank you!


  22. Bryce December 1, 2017 at 7:23 am #

    the ruff translation to the theory is you have to Cut through the knot is cannot be untied…but you can google it for the full meaning

  23. Pixie December 1, 2017 at 10:25 pm #

    New love interest much better than old. Cat is a man of action, he knows Emily enough from both watching her grow from her first year to an equal in war. He respects her, trust her to have his back, and has hers at the drop of a hat.
    These two book felt more like one story then two different stories that are intertwined like the last two where. I was really cheering when Emily put Head girl in her place. It was long overdue and that it caused Emily to see how far ahead she was to her age peers and allowed her to move on from school. No fun in playing school then you know you can wipe the floor with all your classmates with just raw power, has to feel like a teenager sitting in a daycare class.
    Emily still isn’t facing her problems face to face, it was Lady Barb and others doing all the looking into things, she only held one meeting and she did well with it, but why didn’t she try talking to the others on the Jury? Even if they told her no, it would bother Fulvia if nothing else right. I hope the next book will push her to be the one to face this problem.

    • allyk December 1, 2017 at 10:59 pm #

      You know what SIM was missing? Shipping wars!

      (maybe someday we can have a giant spreadsheet of ship names like the RWBY fandom . . .)

      > New love interest much better than old. Cat is a man of action, he knows Emily enough from both watching her grow from her first year to an equal in war.

      Don’t be silly, Cat’s a mere boy. Emily needs a real man. Like Void.

    • Kell December 2, 2017 at 7:02 am #

      Allyk the shipping in rwby is so bad.(bmblb all the way) We don’t need to go that far. My two cents cat is a vast improvement over caleb. Emily’s studious personality doesn’t match but I think he is reliable and friends enough to be good for her. Maybe he can help her be more outgoing . Caleb was also introverted cat seems extroverted. I think different people fit you better at different parts off your life. Caleb was a good first boyfriend. Im happy she had him. Hopefully with Cat she can have some fun.
      So far in the series I ship freida. I don’t normally ship the slash ship just because. Chris teases us with little things like all the hand holding.The being attracted to what she shouldn’t be in the know thyself ritual. Uhmhu I see it. It might not go anywhere But here is my theory. Emily doesn’t ever understand her feelings and others. Its not that surprising that people think something is fishy about their relationship. Emily does give mixed messages. I think in Emily’s mind freida is too young and still needs her protection. Freida is off limits. It wouldn’t be appropriate in her mind. I think she’s in denial. And its true their not equals this is something emily is sensitive about.
      The benefit of this is its a possible HEA down the road rather then right now. Freida can grow up and become more her equal Emily can date and see what she likes. Emily trusts frieda more then anybody else besides lady barb ,she is loyal and willing to fight for her. I want to see what happens in a couple of years

    • Pyo December 2, 2017 at 10:33 am #

      I was fairly disturbed by the romance in this novel.

      He’s got a vote that potentially kills Em’s best friend, she’s super-stressed about it (her reaction when she almost lost at sparring says a lot about her mentality of the moment…) and he teases her about it/uses that to get a date out of it and she’s not exploding in his face?

      Not buying it for a second.

      Plus, that aside the attraction afterwards seemed to come straight out of nowhere. Can’t say I considered that very well done at all.

      • G December 2, 2017 at 10:40 pm #

        Actually, Cat and Emily know each other from Whitehall and Farrakhan, they have mutual friends, mutual interests in fighting the necromancers–plus a young woman dating and having a boyfriend and eventual husband is quite normal–Emily’s character development wouldn’t be complete without it. I liked the addition of Cat.

      • chrishanger December 8, 2017 at 5:38 pm #



      • Chris K. December 2, 2017 at 10:46 pm #

        I actually got the impression that Cat and Jade were both competing for Emily’s affection in the earlier books before Jade won. It might be nothing more then all of them were active in the very intense martial magic class and Emily had managed to impress them with her effort and achievement in something she technically wasn’t ready for. So it isn’t out of place for me, but not sure if it’s just me projecting things into the story that aren’t there.

        I do like Cat though, he always seems more fun then any of the serious boyfriends. In terms of power, with Emily being so overpowered all the male sorcerers seem to be the same level so it doesn’t really matter. As long as the character is well written I’m good with it. I could see Cat being used to inject a little more lighter scenes into the story line, kinda like the avengers where they will crack a joke while things happen. Even though it’s a darker world with the necromancer threat it’s been very doom and gloom lately.

      • Kell December 3, 2017 at 1:01 am #

        I saw it as this cats like hapey gurl heard your single want to go out! It was onky one date. I wouldn’t think its too serious yet.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard December 3, 2017 at 1:42 am #

        IMO the key word is “yet”. 😉

      • Jared December 3, 2017 at 2:16 am #

        I can see Emily and cat having a fling. But at some point Emily’s power will surpass Cat’s. And then who knows what’s going to happen. Plus Cat is a full fledged Master and Emily hasn’t finished her apprenticeship yet. A lot can happen in the couple years it will take for her to finish her apprenticeship.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard December 3, 2017 at 2:22 am #

        Correct, only Chris knows what will happen and he’s not talking. 😀

      • Kell December 3, 2017 at 1:01 am #

        Om my goodness this is hard to write on a phone.

      • allyk December 3, 2017 at 3:53 am #

        > But at some point Emily’s power will surpass Cat’s. And then who knows what’s going to happen. Plus Cat is a full fledged Master and Emily hasn’t finished her apprenticeship yet. A lot can happen in the couple years it will take for her to finish her apprenticeship.

        well, we already ‘know’ from the bookworm series that an apprenticeship bond is deep and can lead to feelings and more

        once Emily has bonded with someone as powerful as Void, do you think she could ever go back?

        Sorry Team Lost Kitten, it’s going to be Team Twin Power all the way.

      • Jared December 3, 2017 at 3:58 am #

        Bookworm is a different universe then schooled in magic

      • allyk December 3, 2017 at 4:21 am #

        yes, but he likes to share concepts

      • Kell Harris December 3, 2017 at 9:17 am #

        Allyk to be clear are you shipping void and Emily? Eww.

      • allyk December 3, 2017 at 11:49 am #

        There are many ways in which it makes a lot of sense. She needs someone who isn’t going to be dominated by her, someone who is accomplished and respected in his own right, and someone who is independent enough to lead the entire world. Frankly that is almost a lone power by definition. Anyone her age is going to be hopelessly outclassed, most older and more powerful magicians are already spoken for and those that aren’t are greatly constrained by house loyalties and other entangling relationships.

        (which is why I don’t think we’ve met her partner yet, at least not in a significant way)

        That said . . .
        1. it will never happen
        2. no i’m not serious, just trying to have some fun and kickoff some shipping wars

        I’m not the most creative, so if someone else wants to contribute better names, by all means, but here’s some others to get started

        Emily x Sergeant Miles = BarbSlayer
        Cat x Aloha = NekoParty
        Frieda x Marian = TwistedSister

      • Pyo December 3, 2017 at 12:54 pm #

        Just to clarify: I have no opinion on Cat as a character one way or another; there really wasn’t enough there for me to form much of an opinion about.
        My issue is with how the “development” was handled, not that it happened. Not that all that much happened yet.

        Other than that; I don’t see why Em necessarily “needs” (in so far as she needs anyone) someone as “powerful” as her. As a matter of fact, I could see plenty of potential arguments why precisely someone like that might not be a good idea – going the opposite route and picking someone mundane for example might be an equally workable choice, as they’d just be entirely removed from all magical scheming and competing.

      • Jared December 3, 2017 at 1:51 pm #

        Someone who isn’t as powerful as Emily would be a horrible partner for her. Emily has powerful enemies and a mundane or low powered magician would be a liability to the extreme. She would be constantly fending off attacks. Honestly, the best thing for her power and independence would be for her to remain aloof, pherhaps have many partners over a long life, but nothing more significant then that. Nothing that could hinder or constrain her independence.

      • allyk December 3, 2017 at 2:25 pm #

        > going the opposite route and picking someone mundane for example might be an equally workable choice, as they’d just be entirely removed from all magical scheming and competing.

        possibly, but the point is they need to be SPECIAL. Maybe a genius engineer/scientist, maybe the owner of the largest commercial fleet, but some great ability/accomplishment of their own that they bring to the partnership. Otherwise it’s Emily and her cute little mascot. Cat’s fine, but there’s nothing special about him (that we’ve seen) (I know you weren’t shipping Cat, just giving my thoughts about why this pairing won’t last)

        > Someone who isn’t as powerful as Emily would be a horrible partner for her. Emily has powerful enemies and a mundane or low powered magician would be a liability to the extreme.

        there is a point to that, we already see how people keep attacking Emily through her friends, so ideally you would want someone who can take care of themselves, or at least know enough to not fall into traps like Frieda

      • Pyo December 3, 2017 at 2:44 pm #

        Well, as we’ve seen with Frieda, she’s already vulnerable in that regard, and I don’t see how adding somebody on top of that would significantly alter the equation at this point.

        Em won’t give up her friends, and she’s not the type to live in perfect isolation either, I think. So even if she picks someone powerful as a love interest (which kinda implies that you can conveniently decide whom to develop feelings for ^^) the situation doesn’t really change.

        So while, yeah, it is a point of concern, I don’t think it’s anything that’s conclusive. Plus, it might be fit into the plot in terms of “inventing stuff that puts science on the level of magic”, maybe devices that can be used by everyone; items that cancel out magic or who knows what – so I could very well picture it.

        Meanwhile, if she picks a mage, it’ll always be “how much of my spells and secrets do I tell them?” There’ll always the possibility of causing rifts through being too secretive, but it’s also stupid to just trust someone with everything just because you are romantically involved with them.
        Likewise, even if you have similar agendas (defeat the baddies), you might favor different approaches or have a slightly different end goal (one might be content defeating the attacking ones, another might want to solve the underlying problem). If you want an example of how such a relationship can turn out, read the brilliant Traitor Baru Cormorant 😉

        Also, the series is so far, like, 500% about Em. I can’t see anything but a “Em and her sidekick” situation developing – except if the person is too removed from everything and therefore simply operating independently. But neither case has to be bad: my favorite scifi romance would be in Castro’s Andrea Cort series, and as the title implies, this is very much about, well, Andrea Cort. But she’s got romantic interests, too, and their qualities are mostly being supportive and helping keeping her grounded. It’s perfectly legitimate and makes perfect sense in the context of her character.

        I’ll be perfectly honest (well, I always am 😉 ): most romances I’ve come across in fantasy and scifi are just atrocious. And I think in large parts this happens precisely because authors go for some weird balance with it. Then the heroine suddenly needs to be a damsel in distress so the love interest can prove their usefulness or whatever rubbish …

        Naw, don’t need that. It’s perfectly fine in a relationship for Em to go out and save the world while her lover stays at home and does whatever. So the romance for once doesn’t take over the plot, that’s not a crime – there’s no rule against it or reason it can’t work (again, doesn’t have to be the way, just saying it could be that way 😉 ).

      • Jared December 3, 2017 at 3:55 pm #

        And that is why I’m a fan of no relationship at all. It simplifies the whole story to a more believable tale. So often authors will throw a romance into the story. And it detracts from the main plot. Thats why I like a lot of Chris’s stories, the relationships that do develop in a lot of his books don’t detract from the focus of the story.

        Keep in mind that Emily is still young. -I mean in experience and maturity- and she hasn’t really even lived outside of a “sheltered” existence. Of course I don’t mean magic and fighting necromancers, but in life. And maters are even more complicated because of the culture she was dropped into by Shadye. In short Emily is still learning what it means to be a woman, sorceress, and hero to the Allied Lands.

        I think that regardless of where Chris will take the story, Emily’s relationships will be secondary to the main story. Yes it will add depth to her character, but it won’t be the main focus.

      • G December 3, 2017 at 7:42 pm #

        I think Emily can have a romantic interest without it being a significant part of the story–but it still adds character development, which makes the story more interesting. Also, most powerful people in the real world choose complements with shared interests for partners, not business or “genius” equals. Given Emily’s love of studying sorcery, her husband should share those interests, but it’s unlikely he’d be her equal in raw power…and any Lone Power would be more of a competitor than supporter…

      • chrishanger December 8, 2017 at 5:40 pm #

        That’s the plan


      • Kell December 4, 2017 at 4:13 am #

        Emily is so hard. I just feel like she needs someone strong but if there too strong they might take advantage of her. I worry about any new guy because they would have heard of her and would probably want something from her. At some point I think Emily might get hurt. I want Emily to have someone at the end because she is always so alone. Maybe if Emily gets very strong she can protect a partner without them bieng a lone power. I think more then any other quality Emily needs someone she is happy spending a lot of time with and trusts. Someone who does have her back. Can handle themselves if need be. But is not so strong to that they dominate her.

      • Vapori December 6, 2017 at 9:23 pm #

        Well attraction can kinda come out of nowhere, well if the person is attractive or has other good qualities.

        Still I think that a love interest of Emily should at most have a supporting role, like in RL relationships between peole in power are hardly always balanced and that doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

        Still i think most of her romance should take part after her apprenticeship.

        Well a romance would still be a good source of conflict with Void if it distracts her.

      • chrishanger December 8, 2017 at 5:37 pm #

        Cat was making a poor joke (“hey, i don’t want you to think I’m a complete push-over”) and Emily took it as such.

        And Emily has been growing up a lot too.


      • Ihas December 8, 2017 at 11:24 pm #

        I was also disturbed by the Cat romance. It seemed creepy to me and in very bad taste for Cat to barter his vote for a date with Emily. I guess he could have bartered for coitus, but it still made me distrust Cat. Maybe he was just trying to help Emily unstress by getting her out of Whitehall and getting her mind off of her problems, but the groundwork for that wasn’t laid out.

  24. George Phillies December 2, 2017 at 10:38 pm #

    A fine cover painting. She does perhaps appear to be bent a bit much forward.

  25. Jared December 3, 2017 at 12:21 am #

    I was listening to past tense, the part where they bind the spells for the nexus point into the crystal. And Emily sees that the castle was a runic structure. It’s interesting that even in the future nobody has tried -as far as we know- to build massive runic spells like Whitehall.

    • Jensebaum December 3, 2017 at 3:29 am #

      Even more interesting is the question, what is Whitehalls runic structure designed to do? What were the original builders of the castle up to? A lot of magicians have spent their youth under the influence of those runes, and nobody knows what they do. In fact, as far as we know, only Emily is even aware of their existence, and she never looks into it. I think we still have a surprise or two coming from that direction, especially since – to our current knowledge – the only ones who were capable of magical engineering on such a scale, at the time the castle was built, were the Fairy.

      On a different note, the book was really great! Took me till the weekend to find the time, but I read it in one go, and will certainly do so again at some point.

  26. allyk December 3, 2017 at 10:09 pm #

    He made a point of mentioning Emily leaving tips, which seemed odd (esp for a British author), I thought that was going to come into play. Maybe later?

    • Fleeced December 4, 2017 at 7:13 am #

      Funny, I noticed that too. The tip-leaving didn’t just seem incidental, but I decided I was reading too much into it (being an Aussie, we have even less of a tipping culture)

      • Pyo December 4, 2017 at 12:04 pm #

        I don’t get it. Tipping at restaurants is common in both the UK (where the author is from) and definitely the US (where the character is from), so why wouldn’t she tip? Or am I just confused about this?

      • allyk December 4, 2017 at 12:41 pm #

        it’s not “why would she do it”, but “why would the author mention it”

        the author doesn’t mention every time Emily uses the toilet because it’s not interesting and doesn’t contribute to the story

        so either her tipping is going to be a plot point in the future or he’s just trying to reinforce her kindly character or he was just writing filler to pad out the page count.

      • Pyo December 4, 2017 at 1:09 pm #

        Ah, so basically “Chekhov’s tipping”.

        I think it just was meant to emphasize her connection to the “lower classes”, so to speak. That she cares about how wealth is distributed in the world and that she kinda tries to spread hers around if possible; and that she treats those around her as real human beings whose lives and well-being matter instead of just being faceless entities that exist to serve their betters (aka mages and nobles).

        And also probably just a bit of descriptive fluff to pad out the scene, too 😉

      • Vapori December 6, 2017 at 9:29 pm #

        Thinks it’s a kindness to the common people type of thing, to show her character or to show that she is still kind to the common people.

        That is common practice with lot’s of stuff in many books, as a form of show don’t tell.

    • chrishanger December 8, 2017 at 5:41 pm #

      It’s a way of showing that she thinks about the common people, unlike many of the others in the Nameless World.


      • allyk December 8, 2017 at 9:21 pm #

        aww, so no ‘Lion and the Mouse’ plots featuring the maid

  27. William Ameling December 7, 2017 at 6:04 pm #

    I have sometimes wondered/suggested that the old Warden at the Whitehall school, the one there when Emily arrived in SIM, and that was destroyed in book 3, might have been derived or fashioned somehow from someone in the time period of “Past Tense”. Master Wolf might be possible candidate for the Warden, although I would consider it more likely that he was the Mimic in book 3, possibly with a lot of lost memories.

    • Ihas December 8, 2017 at 11:19 pm #

      Don’t forget the umpteenth “theory” that Master Wolf is Void.

  28. William Ameling December 11, 2017 at 8:03 pm #

    Void had the book he used as an apprentice from his old master, the previous owner of the Tower I assumed. That was the same book that Emily choose when Void tested her in Book 1 for which item to choose out of many on the table. Also some people seem to make references to knowing Void when they were both young (or at least a lot younger than they are now). Also Cloak, who I think is Void, has been only on the council governing Mountaintop for about 80 years, which less than the time that some of the other members of that council have been on it, see book 5. By the way, where is VOID’s Tower located on the map? We also know that Hasdrubals brothers attended Whitehall with him, and so did Void, who also had an apprenticeship involving that book.

    I have sometimes wondered if Void or his previous master had a close connection or short line of descent from someone (possibly Lord Whitehall) in the Past Tense book. I have even wondered about one or more of them from Past Tense who knew Emily came from the future, coming forward in time like Emily (to see her again and to see what the future held) did in some form of time suspension, possibly as one of the statues of frozen magicians (who were supposedly being punished by being frozen for grave crimes). There a lot of possibilities, but will Chris want to use any of them? I think that it is a good chance that the Mimic in book 3 was Master Wolf, but he had lost most of his oldest memories. I think Emily wonders about this possibility, but there is no way to tell, without more historical information/artifacts.

  29. William Ameling December 11, 2017 at 8:07 pm #

    A MImic that had a direct connection to a Nexus Point for energy, might live as long as it kept that connection.

    • Jared December 11, 2017 at 10:09 pm #

      Maybe but we know that Master wolf didn’t use the nexus. He became apprentice Tama. And seeing as how the Mimic behaves like it’s host. So I would say that Tama/Mimic spent his time hunting for Emily. LOL

  30. William Ameling December 12, 2017 at 1:59 pm #

    I was thinking about the Mimic, possibly linked to a Nexus Point, in regard to the possible futures that the demon made Emily see in book 5, i.e. the vision of Emily facing a Necromancer and then turning into a Mimic that attacks the Necromancer, which could work if the Necromancer does not know how to defeat a Mimic. This idea has occurred to me in the past when rereading old passages in the SIM books.

    Of course this leaves Emily with the problem of now being a Mimic for the rest of her life, which could be tied to a Nexus Point, unless Emily could find a way (probably in advance of becoming the Mimic) to reverse the Mimic creation process and return to being Emily physically and avoid the problem of returning to physical life as the Necromancer (OOPS!) Possibly Emily could create a stored version of herself to use as an aid (probably using a Nexus Point as an energy source to maintain that copy) when returning from the Mimic state. ((Talk about a dangerous set of magic spells to potentially let be copied by other magicians in the Nameless World (or even just the basic idea)!!!!)) Possibly Master Wolf, or someone else, has already solved the reverse Mimic creation process (see Hands of Justice) and Emily can recreate it for herself, or even find possible info about it somewhere, Hearts’ Eye school ruins?.

    We have no idea of what mirror magic can do. Maybe mirror magic can be used in creating a Mimic, after all a Mimic might be considered a mirror image of someone/something. (A VERY interesting idea!) Maybe you can create an image of yourself in a mirror (the ruins of the school were mostly mirrors!), and that image could continue to exist as long as the Nexus Point did and the power link to it remained. This could help explain what happened to the Hearts’ Eye School if the Nexus Point malfunctioned or died. We even got told in “Graduation Day” that the Hearts’ Eye School developed how to make/create Portals!! Another interesting tidbit that Chris might develop more in future books. Perhaps a research project at Hearts’ Eye destablized the Nexus Point.

    Another question, when Emily first met Imaiquh, she was told that Imaiquh’s skill was mirror magic (or that she was studying mirror magic), yet we never hear anymore about mirror magic and/or classes for it at the Whitehall School, or classes at any other school.

    Your comment about the Wolf/Tama Mimic wanting to search for Emily casts an interesting light on the events of book 3, depending on how much (very) old memory a Mimic can retain and how well that memory can be preserved from being corrupted or blurred. A really STRONG memory will be retained better than a weak memory, but we are talking about almost a thousand years here.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard December 12, 2017 at 2:22 pm #

      Thought on “Emily becoming a Mimic”.

      Imagine that Master Wolfe did keep his own memories when he became a Mimic and survived until the present day.

      He might have learned to “take the appearance” of somebody else without killing that person.

      So the “Emily” who became a Mimic wasn’t actually Emily but was Master Wolfe who had taken Emily’s appearance. 😈

      Note: this is my crazy idea not something that Chris has planned. 😉

      • G December 12, 2017 at 3:36 pm #

        I think Wolfe did survive in some form–his handwriting on the ancient spells Emily found in Beneficience essentially ensures it. And I think there’s some link to Void who has gone out of his way to help Emily–almost as if he had information from the past…

  31. William Ameling December 12, 2017 at 8:45 pm #

    Or Hasdrubal had info passed down from the past from Grand Master to Grand Master at Whitehall. It could explain why he supported her so much in the early books, particularly why he introduced her to the Nexus Point so early, and possibly the Martial Arts class in first year.

    • Jared December 12, 2017 at 9:08 pm #

      It’s possible, but the martial magic class in first and second year where because of Void

  32. William Ameling December 12, 2017 at 11:16 pm #

    And possibly any info from past Grand Masters, did NOT get passed on from Hasdrubal to Gordian, since it was now moot or no longer needed to be passed on. I still wonder about the original Warden, we do not know just how back in time it went. Did it come from Lord and Master Whitehall’s time or soon afterwards?

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard December 13, 2017 at 12:01 am #

      We know that an early Warden was being developed in Lord Whitehall’s time as Emily saw it.

      However, I suspect that it was the first of many in the school’s history.

    • G December 13, 2017 at 1:32 am #

      Remember, Emily specifically told Lord Whitehall NOT to pass down word to future grandmasters…and Bernard in the letter he left behind and Emily found after she returned confirmed they tried to dampen any interest in Emily–although rumors of the Dark Lady had already swept the magical world…also, the series says multiple times that any history they had back more than 2 or 3 centuries was more rumor than history–almost as though people had tried to erase it…

      • Wazman December 13, 2017 at 11:49 pm #

        I have always wondered exactly why did they (in the past tried to erase it) and that point has come up more than once through out the series. It has only added fuel to my belief that something about how the war with the Faire was covered up. Naturally the winners of a any armed conflict will rewrite the history so as to favor themselves over their vanquished foe. If that is the case I hope that Chris will slowly reveal it for us in the series.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard December 14, 2017 at 12:02 am #

        Some of it can be “the survivors wrote down what they knew because records had been lost” along with “people were too busy surviving/rebuilding to save records of earlier time”.

        Was there people trying to hide “what really happened”?

        Perhaps, but IIRC there were two major wars with the Faerie and records could easily have been lost in the conflicts.

        But remember, even with Lord Whitehall deliberately down playing Emily’s role in the establishment of the school, stories about her still survived to create the Legend of the Dark Lady.

        Oh, I have a “thing” about the “winners write the history” idea to “explain” lost knowledge/history.

        It is very very rare that the “winners” have the power to completely erase knowledge that they don’t want to survive.

      • chrishanger December 19, 2017 at 10:52 am #

        That’s the plan


  33. Muffin Puffin December 13, 2017 at 3:34 am #

    I bought this just after finishing another book. I will not say what it was or who wrote it, but I will say that I find this series far more focused and interesting.

    If I do have a choice to read one of yours or one of the next in the other series, I’ll choose yours first.

  34. Fleeced December 14, 2017 at 10:38 am #

    Say, what ever happened to the mirror devices they could use like mobile phones in Book 1? They seem to have been retconned out of existence. We have the “instant messaging” things that Emily and her friends use – something which is supposedly ground breaking, but the mirror communicators have never been mentioned beyond the first book (and would certainly have been useful on numerous occasions).

    On another note, we had mention that people who tried to teleport to the moon never came back. I’m wondering if this is simply that because they didn’t have a suit, or that perhaps there is no magic on the moon. Do we know the source of magic? Is it earth-bound? Is it natural? Is it man-made? Is it something else? Demons? Supernatural? Sufficiently advanced technology of a long dead culture?

    Not saying I necessarily want these questions addressed in the series, but they popped into my head when I was reading. I did have a notion that Emily could put an array of communicator-mirrors in orbit to have a real-time map (poor man’s satellite).

    • Jared December 14, 2017 at 11:09 am #

      I kinda figured that teleporting to the moon would be possible. Although, Aside from vacuum remember that teleportation requires precise calculations. And teleporting to the moon would require a different kind of math then just teleporting across the Allied Lands. There’s orbital mechanics and distances greater then they probably realize.

      And as for a magical mirror array in orbit, I believe it would require to much mana just to get it up in a geosynchronous orbit let alone maintaining the orbit. And that doesn’t include the mana needed to fuel the spells to make such a thing useful. I think that this is where Science and Technology has an upper hand.

      • George Phillies December 18, 2017 at 2:47 pm #

        To stay in geosynchronous orbit should require approximately zero power, however derived.

      • Jared December 18, 2017 at 3:02 pm #

        The earth isn’t a perfect sphere. There would be orbital perturbation that would need to be adjusted for.

    • chrishanger December 19, 2017 at 10:57 am #

      They’re very complex and finnicky


  35. Puffin Muffin December 14, 2017 at 2:47 pm #

    I really enjoyed that book, it’s one of the best ones in the series so far.

    Regarding Void, you have to wonder why he would go to the bother of saving her, putting her through wizard school and then offering her an unconditional apprenticeship without wanting something in return. And it has to be something specific to Emily, otherwise he’d be doing the same for every other waif and stray with a hint of magic that happened by.

    It has to be what she is, knows, can do or has access to that he can use for some idea or scheme he’s had planned a long time. I don’t think they will seriously oppose each other, but when she discovers his mad scheme (whatever that might be), she might not want to help him.It probably won’t be evil, but perhaps… a massive gamble?

    btw, I find it amusing that Christopher reads the same books I do! On the gripping hand, however…

    • G December 14, 2017 at 3:50 pm #

      Void needs a powerful apprentice/heir as he’s well over a hundred year old–he’s failed with seven apprentices already. Emily, with tremendous power potential, innate charms ability, advanced martial magic, and having killed 3 necromancers is his best bet as a successor…she also likes him. On a different note, just how powerful/skilled are Emily, Jade, and Cat relative to King Randor’s sorcerer’s??

  36. Zageron December 14, 2017 at 4:49 pm #

    I can’t figure out how to buy your books via paypal. Does anyone have a guide?

    • allyk December 15, 2017 at 1:41 am #

      google ‘paypal amazon gift card’, it’s the first link

      buy amazon gift card, apply it to your amazon account (create one if you haven’t already), purchase book

  37. tommalufe December 15, 2017 at 8:07 am #

    Bought it, read it, loved it. I will be sure to give it a 5 star rating on Amazon and Good Reads. These books only keep on getting better as you grow the world. I’m really looking forward to more books to come in the series and the world. I’m also glad that it isn’t ending with Emily’s time at Whitehall.

  38. William Ameling December 15, 2017 at 2:32 pm #

    In some way way Emily will be Void’s successor, that has to be how Void sees it. But it can happen in several ways, because he dies someday in the relatively near future (not likely), because he goes somewhere else, i.e. through the void, keep in mind that the name he wants to be called is “Void” which almost certainly indicates what he is most interested in studying, he changes into something else that use/live in the Void (we know of Demons and demented looking Angels), or he simply retires to the Tower to study magic for the rest of his life while Emily takes over doing what he is doing in the broader world that involves non magicians and politics, as well as those magician in the physical world.

    With variations on these ideas. He has already told Emily that he considers the study of the magic to be the most thing for him (and her) to do. He has already tried to keep Emily from being tied too much to the broader world because it would distract her from studying magic and developing her talents to use it. He did not want her busy ruling the Barony of Cockatrice, or for that matter with those ruling the whole kingdom, since it will take most of her time. On the other hand he probably wants someone to take over those distractions from him, Emily is just the most recent candidate to do that, although more promising than most of them.

    Emily choosing the same same book that he did from his Master, is a very strong hint about Emily being the most likely person to follow him, assuming she does not fail somehow. Void had 7 previous apprentices, and none worked out well for various reasons. He already said has he that is not a good teacher for new magicians (probably based on that record). Which is why he sent her to the Whitehall School If he had kept her to teach her, she would NOT be as powerful as she is now. She learned more at Whitehall than he could teach her, plus what she learned away from the school. Have you noticed that Emily still does not seem to be studying that book for spells even after almost 6 years at Whitehall. Why not?

    • Ihas December 15, 2017 at 8:17 pm #

      It’s because Void said his Master promised to divulge all of his secrets once Void read the book, and it took him ten years to read. It has to take Emily ten years to read it before Void reveals that he is actually a back to the future version of Emily, having traveled back into the past and transformed into a mimic. That’s why he looks different every time she sees him.

      • Joe December 18, 2017 at 12:19 am #

        That makes my head hurt! She/she/it turn Lady Barb Into a slave girl. That would be a major attitude change for her

  39. allyk December 16, 2017 at 6:54 pm #

    > Void said his Master promised to divulge all of his secrets once Void read the book

    if he learned to read it in less than a year. which he didn’t

  40. William Ameling December 17, 2017 at 11:22 pm #

    I know some Readers think that Void is more bad guy than good guy, many of them even think that he might be Nanette’s hidden master who is trying to gain control Zangaria. I do NOT think this.

    I think that what he wants most is to RETIRE into his Tower and study magic and IGNORE the rest of the WORLD for the rest of his life (and hope that it leaves him alone in the meantime). Emily is his best hope of being able to do this, since she is the only one who can take over his defend against the Necromancers duties. Technology and social/political changes to the Nameless World mean almost nothing to him, only the STUDY of MAGIC means anything to him, and he wants the rest of the world to leave him ALONE to do it. He would really like if Emily could give him some new ideas about, but if Emily is busy with rest of the World he probably does not expect much from her in the way of new magic. He really does not understand what technology derived from Earth will do to the Nameless World, as well as what it may lead Emily to develop with magic.

    What I said above about Void and magic probably applies to any magician who gains Lone Power status, to greater or lesser degree, and I think Void is close to being the prototype for a Lone Power. Emily will not be a Lone Power until most of her friends die of old age, and only if she does acquire new friends to replace them. She may end being closer to Fatty (as a role model) who she meet in Book 6 at the Faire in Cockatrice.

    • allyk December 18, 2017 at 1:26 am #

      > I think that what he wants most is to RETIRE into his Tower and study magic and IGNORE the rest of the WORLD for the rest of his life (and hope that it leaves him alone in the meantime).

      Perhaps, but I don’t get that impression at all. He just thinks that the battle with the necromancers and fairies is important to be distracted by petty concerns about families or kingdoms

      > Emily will not be a Lone Power until most of her friends die of old age, and only if she does acquire new friends to replace them.

      I don’t think she ever will. She cares too much about people to ignore the suffering and injustice around her.

      • Kell December 24, 2017 at 2:07 am #

        We don’t really know what makes a lone power. I mean does this mean void has no friends? I always thought of a lone power as someone not bound to the whitr councel and thr mountain top consel. Someone whos level of power is higjer then a certain poimt but doesn’t hqve a large clan to support.

      • Jared December 24, 2017 at 2:41 am #

        IMO A lone power is someone so powerful that they can stand alone. This means not having to join a quarrel or other group. Void works for the white council on occasion. But he doesn’t belong to a political party or a quarrel. Because of Voids power these different groups tread carefully around him, if it came to a direct conflict they are not sure who would win. This is why Void is considered a lone power.

        I think Emily is well on the way to becoming a lone power. Yes she has support from lady barb, Sargent Miles and friends. But she is acting on her own without political support and she hasn’t joined a quarrel. “By my definition” she is already a lone power. Even if she doesn’t yet posses the levels of mana that Void does.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard December 24, 2017 at 3:20 am #

        The “Lone Powers” appear to be Sorcerers powerful enough to be able to remain apart from the Magical Society of the Nameless World and thus “walk their own paths”.

        The mysterious “Fatty” talked about being powerful enough to be considered a Lone Power but said he enjoyed magical society too much to exclude himself from it. (Note, I’m not sure how much faith to put into his words).

        As for the relationship between the Lone Powers and the White Council, we already know that the White Council’s power over the Magical Society of the Nameless World is limited.

        Lone Powers like Void are more able to “do what they want” without answering to the White Council than most Sorcerers but the powerful magic families likely on the same level as the Lone Powers in that way.

        I’d say that a single Lone Power could match the powerful single magic family in terms of power which is why they are feared.

        [Checks Snerk Collar]

        It is also very likely that no Lone Power could take on all of the Magical Society if he/she gave Magical Society reason to fight him/her.

        Of course, we know that Void considers a Necromancer to be more than a match for him.

        He wasn’t willing to fight Shadye when rescuing Emily (IE he did a hit and run).

        While Void held his own for awhile against Dua Kepala, his own comments after Emily killed Dua Kepala implied that Dua Kepala might have won against him.

  41. BobPM December 18, 2017 at 7:16 pm #

    What happened to the spellware project Emily was working on with Caleb? If she didn’t finish it, is he left hanging? If I missed it, can anyone point me to where it was discussed.

  42. allyk December 18, 2017 at 8:18 pm #

    > What happened to the spellware project Emily was working on with Caleb?

    it was finished in the summber between Fists of Justice and The Gordian Knot

    it’s easily missed, but the beginning of TGK has most of the relevant passages

    ” If she failed—again—she’d have to retake Fifth Year from the start.

    Which is a serious problem, she told herself. She climbed out of the shower, using a spell to dry her body. I’d have to find a way to tackle the joint project without Caleb.”

    if she redid the year, she would have to do a new project because the previous year would have been wiped and she would get no credit for the project she ALREADY DID. And it couldn’t be with Caleb because Caleb would have graduated

    “Breaking up with Caleb had hurt, but she hadn’t been able to cut him out of her life completely. They’d needed to finish their project—or at least show they’d moved forward over the past year—or they would both have been threatened with being forced to retake the year.”

    it’s not explicit here whether they finished or just made sufficient progress . . . but it’s the former

    “Emily wrapped her arms around the older woman, hugging her tightly. “I passed!”

    Lady Barb took the scroll. “Four exams … good marks on all four, plus the joint project … I dare say you did very well.””

    here we finally have confirmation that her project was accepted

    • BobPM December 20, 2017 at 9:15 pm #

      You are likely correct, but for such a major plot element, it seems to have disappeared with a whimper. The project appeared to have strong elements from earth in tying magic to programming, and I expected some significant use for the result. I believe there was some suggestion that the nexus point control spells use elements of the project, but it’s kind of vague as to how much.

      • allyk December 20, 2017 at 10:03 pm #

        yes, it was rather anticlimatic. And then they went right back to it with Frieda and Celadon’s project! which again, ended with a whimper

        the impression I got was that she realized it was too powerful and could be used to create mimics/false gods and wanted it tamped down

  43. William Ameling December 19, 2017 at 1:52 am #

    I agree, I do not expect Emily to become a Lone Power, or at least not until a very long time has passed. She has too many things too tie her the rest of the Nameless World, and if she can get her University at Heart’s Eye going to study and develop magic as well as technology, that plus her ties to Zangaria and her friends, now including Markus and Melissa and their reunited house, should keep her from wanting to go the Lone Power route probably for the rest of her life (but after a couple of centuries go by even Emily could change or get tired of it, if she lived that long; she might not become a Lone Power but she could retire someday).

    I think that Void thinks that he has to deal with the Necromancers and other major magic threats such as the Faerie, BUT I think he is looking for someone to take over for him, i.e. Emily.

    • allyk December 19, 2017 at 2:12 am #

      > (but after a couple of centuries go by even Emily could change or get tired of it, if she lived that long; she might not become a Lone Power but she could retire someday).

      i have a feeling the series will never get/go there

      call it a hunch

    • Jared December 19, 2017 at 3:28 am #

      Emily may never be the loner required to be a lone power. But she will definitely be that powerful. And if she does live to be so old it may happen that She could out live all her friends.

      Emily is already some what separated from even her closest of friends. Only Frieda has stayed by her side. And that is in large part because of Whitehall. And Emily has no desire to remain baroness cockatrice. My guess is -if she lives- Imaiqah will become baroness, And with Alassa being queen, jade as consort, and the gorgan her people, Emily’s friends will have their own responsibilities. Life will draw them apart. with Emily beginning her apprenticeship she will be separated from her friends. And although, I have no doubt that they will remain friends, it will be a more mature friendship. I believe that Emily will not be as solitary as Void. she will indeed be a lone power. Cabable of standing on her own.

  44. G December 19, 2017 at 6:41 am #

    I suspect Alassa will need Emily’s support as the Necromancer’s Bane/Duchess of Cockatrice to solidify her throne–Impaquaih isn’t powerful enough (nor is Jade–other monarchs and nobleman wanting the throne can hire entire teams of combat sorcerers). Chris could take the series in many directions, but Emily could use a regent during her apprenticeship, then let her husband and children manage most of it after marriage–unlike most nobles, she can delegate power as she will be so powerful magically as an adult she can always take it back…few would want to take advantage of her.

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