OUT NOW – The Right Side of History (Schooled in Magic 22)

20 Feb

The Necromantic War is over, but there is no peace …

A brutal uprising in the Kingdom of Alluvia has shaken the Allied Lands – and Emily finds herself accused of starting it. Desperate, all too aware the kingdom is on the verge of becoming a vortex of chaos, Emily travels to Alluvia in the hopes of calming both sides long enough to secure peace…

…Unaware that the uprising is merely the first step in a plan to shatter the Allied Lands beyond repair.

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42 Responses to “OUT NOW – The Right Side of History (Schooled in Magic 22)”

  1. Thomas Tomiczek February 20, 2021 at 5:19 pm #

    Whow. Did not see that one coming. Nice plot twist. The logic is extremely hard to dispute. Well, looking really forward how that develops further.

    • Sergey F. February 23, 2021 at 1:38 am #

      In a very beginning of the first book the dragon said something like ‘your master is playing dangerous game’
      So sooner or later the nature of that game should have been revealed…

  2. Mike Strong February 20, 2021 at 5:59 pm #

    Glad to see it come out. I’ve brought my copy. On a related note, does anyone know what triggered Baen’s Bar to temporarily shut down. Do we have another case of an offended snowflake?

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard February 20, 2021 at 6:32 pm #

      Yes, an offended snow-flake.

      Basically this idiot (who I won’t name) claimed that Baen’s Bar was this “evil Right Wing” place and that Bar-Flies were calling for a violent over-throw of the US Government.

      Apparently, Baen’s internet provider heard about this (one story has the idiot contacting the internet provider) and Toni shut down the Bar to investigate the charges.

      See: https://www.baen.com/bb021621 for Toni’s official response.

      Note, various Baen authors (including Eric Flint) are “damning” this idiot and defending Toni & Baen’s Bar.

      • Mike Strong February 21, 2021 at 3:52 am #

        Thanks for the quick reply. I had seen Toni’s message but I wasn’t sure what was behind it. I have a better idea now.

      • wazman1930 February 22, 2021 at 6:16 am #

        Thanks Drak for the heads up on this. Please let us know if anything new comes up about this topic.

  3. William Ameling February 21, 2021 at 3:21 am #

    Whatever happened with “The Family Name”? I expected it to be out before “The Right Side of History”.

  4. Tarun Ramakrishna Elankath February 21, 2021 at 3:50 am #

    I really, really wish Emily carried her battery and revolver all the time. Most of the time nowadays she remains out of power running from one crisis to another helplessly. It seems her enemies use her inventions far more than she herself does!

    • Fleeced February 21, 2021 at 10:28 am #

      I admit, I do often find myself wondering why she doesn’t have them.

  5. Callum G February 21, 2021 at 5:46 am #

    I despise you Nuttal. You leave us on a brutal cliffhanger last book, than decide that wasn’t cruel enough, and let lose a nuclear bomb for an ending. My heart cant take it.

    That aside, while I’m disheartened by the direction a certain aspect of the story went (I think you can guess which one), I cant deny I’m hooked on this roller-coaster to the end. And you have certainly set the stage for one heck of a finale. Really looking forward to the next one!

    Also the new context of a certain phrase made me facepalm for missing it.

  6. William Ameling February 21, 2021 at 6:08 am #

    Spoilers (Mild) (I am trying to not be too specific, i.e. not spoiling too much, before others have a chance to read for themselves)

    I have always said since SIM 5 (The School of Hard Knocks) came out, that Cloak was Void.

    As well, ever since “The Artful Apprentice” and it’s sequels, I could see only one possible candidate for Nanette to be. and I got that right also, even though it meant bad (hard to believe) things about who her Master had to be.

    The only serious remaining question in SIM series is WHO (Emily, Sgt Miles(not very likely), or Nanette) will be the one to kill him? My personal guess is Nanette. I think that she will kill him for killing Aurelius, once she realizes that Emily did not kill him. I wonder if she will use Aurelius (the snake) to do it? That would be the most interesting way (in a literary/poetic sense) to do it.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard February 21, 2021 at 7:18 am #

      Please note that Emily is the only person who can safely touch/handle Aurelius (the snake).

      That would make it a bit difficult for Nanette to use Aurelius (the snake) to kill Void.

      Now if anybody (besides Emily) could do something like that, it would be Nanette. 😀

      Oh, this is in no way a spoiler as I Do Not Know How Void Will Die. 😀

      • George Phillies February 22, 2021 at 12:13 am #

        They’re called ‘gloves’.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard February 22, 2021 at 12:18 am #

        I think if gloves were enough to keep a person safe, it would have been mentioned earlier. 😉

    • Conrad C Bassett Jr. February 22, 2021 at 4:57 pm #

      I’ve read the book and it made me sad. I already knew Void was cloak, but the plot twist, I didn’t expect. That upset me. Oh well, I look forward to the next two books.

  7. William Ameling February 21, 2021 at 6:13 am #

    i.e. put Aurelius in bracelet form on Nanette’s arm before he transforms back to snake form to bite and kill him. (This is how i would arrange for it to happen, let’s see if I guessed right)

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard February 21, 2021 at 7:22 am #

      Ah, good thought. Wonder if Chris will do it that way.

      On the other hand, my crazy mind is wondering if Void will get into a situation where “Death Is A Mercy” and Nanette isn’t feeling merciful. 😈

    • William Ameling February 21, 2021 at 1:10 pm #

      That is the only way I can see for Emily+Nanette to get Aurelius the snake (Death Viper) close enough to Void, put him on Nanette’s arm in bracelet form. Then when Nanette gets physically close enough to Void, the spell on the snake is released and it turns back into the Death Viper that bites and kills him. Preferably biting him as close to his head and or heart as possible, since Void has already been working on an antidote to Death Viper venom (he used it to rescue/treat Nanette back in the aftermath of Book 5).

      Possibly he might save himself from immediate death from the Death Viper venom, until someone else strikes an additional death blow while he is weakened/distracted by being poisoned and trying to cure himself.
      (I am just speculating on how I might arrange the final death, if I was Chris)

      • William Ameling February 21, 2021 at 10:49 pm #

        The interesting question is does Emily help Nanette with the Aurelius bracelet or does Nanette steal it somehow and uses it on Void without Emily’s advance knowledge? I suspect the later. It will be much harder, emotionally, for Emily to kill Void than for Nanette to do it after she blames Void for killing Aurelius instead of Emily.

    • Dale Switzer February 21, 2021 at 5:20 pm #

      Four brothers called up the demon. 2 were taken immediately and Hasdrubal was taken eventually. Void has to be taken by the demon also. I suspect that “The Face of the Enemy” is the demon.

      • William Ameling February 21, 2021 at 11:05 pm #

        The Demon is an interesting idea/complication to mine regarding the Death Viper. We may see BOTH ideas in one form or another, i.e. Void gets poisoned by Nanette, he survives with his Death Viper Antidote, before finally being taken by the Demon, who is the true master manipulator/creator of the event sequence of SIM, which he started by bringing Emily to the Nameless World for Shadye.

        That is an even (much) better idea than mine, for the true sequence of events and ending. (I forgot to think about the Demon, Bad Mistake on my part).

        Could Emily trade Void to the Demon for the release of the Grand Master Hasdrubal’s soul?

      • William Ameling February 21, 2021 at 11:13 pm #

        And forgetting about the Demon is a bad mistake on Emily’s part, as well as by Void, who should know better.

  8. Fleeced February 21, 2021 at 10:26 am #

    Loved it. Looking forward to the next one.

    It’s always bittersweet when a series you’ve been reading reaches the final stages.

  9. William Ameling February 21, 2021 at 1:25 pm #

    Needless to say, Nanette dies from contact with the Death Viper after it changes back to snake form, after using it to kill Void for killing her mentor Aurelius at the end of Book 5.

  10. Canthropy February 21, 2021 at 10:31 pm #

    Hello Mr. Nuttall. I just saw the audio book release date of The Oathkeeper. Thats all fine and dandy. But whom, pray tell, is Saskia Maaraveld and where is Tavia Gilbert? I know you’re hiding her. She is our Emily.. Where is our Emily? Where is she? Bring her back please.

    I need to know what happened. Tavia left us. Were were not good enough for her Chris? Does she not love us anymore? How could she just up and leave?

    My friends and I listen to the audiobooks because we have crazy schedules and some of them have dyslexia. SIM is our muse.. And now the embodiment of Emily is gone. When Saskia speaks, we will not hear Emily or Caleb or Frida or Alassa. We will hear a body snatcher. We need to beg Tavia to take us back. Send her flowers and chocolate. Anything.

    Where can I start this petition to bring her back?

    • wazman1930 February 22, 2021 at 6:25 am #

      Ii was rather disappointing to hear about Tavia departure but Chris had post awhile ago stating that she is taking a job for the BBC.. The best we can do is wish her well in her new career venture and hope that she comes back to book narration in the future. Me personally I have several other book series that she narrates for.

  11. William Ameling February 22, 2021 at 12:38 am #

    Even after the SIM sequence is over, the Demon (or Chris) gets his next sequence of War, revolution, etc., i.e. the Next War Against the Great Faerie, now that the Nexus Points have been restored and the Necromancers defeated. With a probable prelude of War between the various Kingdoms, before Alassa with Emily’s help reforms the Empire (followed by War with the Great Faerie). (there are various possible timelines and sequences of events that Chris can choose).

    I wonder if the Necromancers really defeated the Great Faerie or if extinguishing many of the Nexus Points had a lot more to do with their defeat, by cutting off the sources of much of their Magic energy/mana.

  12. Brian G February 22, 2021 at 1:05 am #

    Where do I begin? (Spoilers) I was instantly annoyed as I read chapter one and saw no edits in response to the many comments from the preview. You’re not obligated to make changes of course, but how could you not after reading those strong arguments?

    This book could have, probably should have, been a novella. The first and last five chapters or so drove the story forward. The 30 chapters in between were just reused storylines and filler. Emily has already involved herself in a peasant rebellion and had someone compelled and pointed at her with a gun (THIS time the bullet makes contact for some reason even though the last time failed). Just the names and places were swapped out. Everyone is using her innovations except the person that invented it all. Maddening.

    The white council charges her with breaking the Compact in Zangaria, then sends her to Alluvia (Where she has no political connections) and actually does break the Compact. As soon as she saw the kings head on a spike she should have turned around, the result was a foregone conclusion. She insists on staying to prevent needless bloodshed, yet witnesses the rebels murdering guilty and innocent alike in their lust for blood and doesn’t say a word against it.

    I knew Cloak & Void were the same person, but I hoped it was the result of a bilocation that diverged too much for reintegration, making one evil and one “good”. However I knew this was impossible as soon as Silent showed up in the series because she could only be Nanette and Void would not be fooled. Void is too old and wise not to try to bend Emily to his way of thinking until it was already too late. Every time she went to do her altruistic busy-body nonsense, he let her, knowing it was taking her further and further away from the person he needed her to be for his plan to work. He knows her intimately, he couldn’t have chosen a better way to turn her against him. Completely out of character.

    I have actually come to hate Emily in the last couple of books and I have the benefit of knowing her thoughts and reasonings (such as they are) so it makes perfect sense to me why other characters would hate her too. Emily claims learning higher magics is her passion, yet at every opportunity she abandons her studies to involve herself in affairs that are none of her concern. Actions speak louder than words. She just enjoys meddling.

    Emily & Nanette will probably team up and take down Void with the help of the demon that claimed his other brothers, but I won’t be around to read it. I’m done reading about her moaning she has to ask the maids to fill a tub with water using buckets. What does she expect from a medieval world? They’re not slaves, they’re paid for their work. Why doesn’t she just pull the water out of the air if she’s so bothered?!

    I’m sure I’m forgetting stuff, but thats enough. It’s been a good run.

  13. Fahnir February 22, 2021 at 5:40 am #

    I still enjoy the series, but I do think Emily has had less character development and less development as a sorceress in the last few books (the series is titled Schooled in Magic, not Democracy 101), and the books have been more about simplistic political statements recently–with the book being premised on Emily doing stupid things like accepting the doomed Alluvia mission to begin with–where she had no legitimate business being.
    The truth is that incredible things developed under the rule of Elizabeth I of England and Peter the Great of Russia (at a price)–empires have their place in human history. I’m cheering for Void! I do like the idea of another series on the Fairie threat, but Emily needs to develop a more complex character–right now, she’s become too much of a cardboard character…

    • Brian G February 22, 2021 at 9:15 am #

      I agree with everything you said, & I wish Void wasn’t written to have needlessly killed Lady Barb. A sorcerer of his caliber, in control of a Nexus Point, shouldn’t have needed to resort to that to render her harmless. But that’s the least of the issues in this series.

    • Hayden February 22, 2021 at 6:19 pm #

      Agreed, Emilys whole argument seems based on the idea that voids empire won’t instantly snap into a perfect system of government. Which is obvious.

      And that nobody should be in charge of anything because people are corruptible. Which is silly and inevitable.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard February 22, 2021 at 7:05 pm #


        I think people are taking a simplistic look at what Emily (and Chris) see what is wrong with Void’s plan.

        First, on the idea that “Empires Can Have Good Results”. Yes, sometimes Empires can be Good, but in most cases it is because the rulers of Existing Empires do good things not because the Empire itself does good.

        Second, Void is attempting to Create An Empire By Force with the pain and suffering involved in such a creation. It has been already said that Void strongly believes in “The Ends Justify The Means” and Chris & myself believe that plenty of evil has been done in the Name Of Ends Justify The Means.

        Third, IMO an Empire created by force alone is going to be unstable. Empires created by Force can survive if the Empires are supported internally by the ruled & subordinate powers-that-be.

        Void’s basic personality prevents him IMO from “gaining broad support for his new Empire”. We saw that Void let Alassa work out the compromise with Master Lucknow’s supporters because he knew that Alassa could do it better than himself.

        Void likely means well, but he can only force co-operation not gain willing support for his dream.

        I’d note that while Emily is somewhat better at getting willing support, she knows her limits in this area.

        Yes, a stronger union may be a necessity for the so-called Allied Lands, but Void’s plan will IMO most likely fail because of Void’s own flaws. Even if Emily was a willing supporter of the plan, I doubt that she could gather the support that Void’s Empire would need to survive.

        As an American, I look at how we became one Nation not a collection of smaller nations in North America.

        The Founders didn’t use force, military or otherwise, to bind the various States into one Nation. They set up a Federal government with limited powers that allowed both the States & the People a voice in the Federal Government.

        I could see Queen Alassa finding a way to convince some of the other rulers to join with her in a Federal System that might in time spread throughout all of “known world”.

        I can not see Void or Emily doing that.

        Final comments.

        I believe that people are flawed but government of some sort is a necessity.

        The problem with totalitarian systems of government is that the flaws of the people in charge will not only increase thanks to their positions of “limitless power” but their flaws would cause major problems for ruled.

        Of course, the idea that the rulers are “acting for the good of the ruled” would mean they would never rest in “forcing people to do something for their own good”.

  14. SnarkOrBoojum February 22, 2021 at 7:53 pm #

    The book has ended in the most trivial manner. Author drove himself to the dead end by making ominous fugure of the main antagonist too ominous, but not created appropriate vessel for it. Therefore on the roles of main baddy and his devoted crony was appointed two of the most suspicious characters from SIM universe. And more, the source of all evil is idealism!!(despite the fact that in all of previous books the main villain did not show it in any way and, moreover, actively opposed it). In the end it turned out that main conflict of the SIM universe it is a conflict between high heel person and low heel person who quarrel: from which end they should break eggs.
    So dissapointing…
    I foresee that in the end they practically will love each other to death with help of devoted crony, that will play the role of Smeagol(i can practically see in my mind the scene where almost defeated Emily use Aureliuses death to drive the wedge between bad guys, and of cause there will be tearful dialogues about “best daughter ever” from the dying main villain).

    • Fahnir February 22, 2021 at 10:32 pm #

      I’m not sure historically there’s much difference between Kingdoms ruled by a King and an empire ruled by an Emperor (size??), so I don’t understand the reason Kingdoms are good, and Empires are bad…Also, most countries throughout history were born in violence (America fought a Revolutionary War and Civil War–and no, the north did not let the South choose to succeed and simply leave, Sheridan drove a path of death and destruction in his March to the Sea that devastated the South, as did others–I won’t even go into all the Native Americans early Americans killed in conquering the North American interior…)
      More pointedly, though, why does the author have the main character getting into so much political theater? I enjoyed the books more when she focused on learning sorcery and fighting evil…

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard February 22, 2021 at 11:03 pm #

        IMO there’s no real difference between “Kingdoms” and “Empires” in terms of Good & Evil and I don’t think Chris believes otherwise.

        While I accept the idea that building a nation Can Involve Violence, to me the question is “Is This Violence Necessary”.

        The US fought a war to be independent from Britain but became one Nation (instead of thirteen nations) by means other than violence.

        Could the so-called Allied Lands become a single nation without some violence?

        IMO it would be hard to do but would take time.

        Time that Void doesn’t want (or is unable) to take and it would have to done via means that Void is unable to use.

        As for the Political Theater, it was always in the series but more in the background.

        Personally, I think Emily getting involved in “Political Theater” was always in the cards.

        Once Emily got involved in creating/introducing innovations, massive changes on the Nameless World became inevitable and such changes would involve Politics.

  15. Sergey F. February 23, 2021 at 3:31 am #

    This was a very strange book. Void planning to take over the world, without any clue of what he’s going to do with millions upon millions of constituents? With his distaste to politics? Give them the Charter because his favorite apprentice thought so? Turn everyone to slaves? Realistically it’s the only choice Void has since most of them will have a will, and a lot of them means – to have him killed, mundane way. With Emily’s innovations no magician no matter how powerful is invulnerable anymore. So it’s either total obedience, or the end of Empire, likely even before it becomes a reality. With Void being smartest character in the series, it’s kind of weird to see him going toward self destruction without even pausing to think about implications.

    I didn’t really like the way author has started tying the loose ends. Lady Barb “blown to pieces”? “Blown to pieces”??

    I am curious about the series finale. Emily is not a first Child of Destiny, and none of them survived. The hints on what’s going to happen are somewhere in the earlier books, likely in one of demons’ prophecies. Couldn’t figure out which one.
    There is a discussion ongoing about Heart’s Eye trilogy, which couldn’t be happening before Emily deals with the latest threat to the Nameless World.
    She might be alive at the end of last book after all.

    Looking forward to reading it.

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard February 23, 2021 at 3:59 am #

      Chris has said that after this trilogy is over there will be more stories set in the Nameless World and Emily will be in some of them.

  16. AC Young February 23, 2021 at 4:13 pm #

    Spoiler: As has been noted above, Void is Cloak.

    Whenever I have mused over who Cloak might be in the past, I have always come to the conclusion that if it’s someone that we’ve already met it must be Void. No-one else has demonstrated in Emily’s presence the necessary levels of skill and knowledge, not forgetting that Cloak needed to be personally known to Aurelius once he’d dropped the disguise. I’ve also noted that this wouldn’t surprise Lady Barb too much, as she already recognises his end justifies the means approach.

    Yet despite this I’ve always hoped that it was someone else, some character we’ve barely met or are introduced to. Perhaps a Mirror-Void.

    Primarily this is because until now we’ve mainly seen Void through Emily’s eyes, and while other characters have demonstrated that they don’t trust him and/or dislike him (Hasdrubal and Lady Barb being the primary examples) his overt actions towards Emily have been (prior to the end of this book) relatively benign at worst and beneficial at best.

    This perhaps shows up one of the advantages to a writer of setting the viewpoint primarily through the eyes of a main character. If another character manages to pull the wool over her (or his in other works) eyes, then the reader is inclined to be sympathetic towards that character, in Void’s case more than he deserves. Alternatively, as demonstrated by Snape in Harry Potter, if another character is disliked/hated by the primary character, then the reader is inclined to view the other character worse than they perhaps deserve.

    • William Ameling February 24, 2021 at 3:21 am #

      I too wondered about and considered the idea of a 2nd version (mirror image or bi location, or possibly one of the dead/missing brothers) of Void, who had grown independent (somehow) of the version that Emily knew, but was more devoted to evil means and goals. I realized sooner than Emily did, that Void was the last brother of Hasdrubal.

      But if Silent was Nanette (the only possibility that I could see after the Artful Apprentice started. Her reaction to Death Viper in snake form made it nearly certain that she was Nanette), then Emily’s Void had to know who she was. Particularly at the very end of the Artful Apprentice, where it was clear that Void was covering for Nanette while she was out finding and then recruiting Simon. It almost had to be Silent to know about and then find Simon so quickly at the end of The Artful Apprentice in order to threaten and recruit him.

      I had/have considered the idea that Nanette was a 2nd apprentice to Void who would take the place of Emily, if she failed/died during her training by Void. Nanette could and probably was, to at least some extent, being trained by Void in addition to Emily, as an Apprentice. So Void could have been training 2 Apprentices, and then testing them to see who would be his true successor to his Tower, when/while he retired to study magic and ignore the World for the rest of his life. That is not how things turned out, but it was an alternate to what we just got.

      I think that Nanette will try to kill Void after learning that he killed Aurelius at the end of Book 5. Most likely by using the Death Viper after stealing/taking it from Emily in bracelet form. Possibly Void may save himself with the Death Viper Antidote that he tested on Nanette. If he survives Nanette, then he dies one way or another by the Demon.

      We tend to forget about the Demon, except for wondering about his predictions to Emily. Which is a bad mistake. Void’s plans were at least partly independent of the Demon, But the Demon clearly had a major role after bringing Emily to Nameless World, as we have seen several times after that. Emily as the Child of Destiny is the creation of the Demon as he enjoys causing trouble and disruption in the Nameless World.

      I think that he is not done yet, the Next War against the Great Faerie will be the Demon’s greatest (and probably final) accomplishment, after the 3rd Empire is (re)formed by Alassa with Emily’s help. Emily will be the Greatest Child of Destiny in the history of the Nameless World, by the time the Demon is done manipulating her and the Nameless World, and Shadye’s request to the Demon to bring the next Child of Destiny to him (so he could sacrifice her for more power), completely fulfilled to his ruin.

      I do wonder if Emily might try to trade Void to the Demon in order to free the soul of Grand Master Hasdrubal. Possibly Hasdrubal’s soul could be put into an artificial body at the Whitehall School.

      • William Ameling February 25, 2021 at 3:31 am #

        From another (or broader) Point of View, VOID is also the creation and tool of the Demon, ever since the death of his Brothers, the blinding of Hasdrubal, and the damage to Void’s soul.

        So you could argue that Void is a Child of Destiny too, who has been manipulated for decades longer than Emily has been alive, by the Demon. And that Demon bringing Emily to the Nameless World as a continuation of his manipulation of the Nameless World to cause death, unrest, revolt, and destruction, all of which he enjoys greatly. Emily could be viewed as just a continuation, extension, and improvement on the Demon’s plans for Void and the Nameless World.

  17. Fahnir February 24, 2021 at 4:17 am #

    I’d like to see what happened to Hasdrubal–and I’d enjoy watching Emily climb to being the ultimate sorceress/Emperor’s heir in a medieval world emerging out of darkness…I actually don’t think the democracy stuff works with the swords & sorcery fantasy adventure–and I prefer the latter…Democracy arising out of a 14th century world (first few books)?? Unlikely.

    • Charles R Harris February 25, 2021 at 12:48 am #

      The nameless world has already advanced to the 17th century. The average IQ must be considerably higher than on earth 🙂

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