It’s time for Wigg and Tristan to do what they do best: nothing.
Several hours have passed and the Sorceresses and the Minions have sailed away, leaving behind a devastated Eutracia. The great hall of the palace is filled with corpses (the book of course makes sure to inform us that every single woman and girl present was brutally raped, as this is Serious Fantasy) and Wigg and Tristan are, like, totally shocked, I guess. I don’t really care.
Tristan finds Kluge’s extendo-sword lying on the ground and decides to keep it, because it is a truth universally acknowledged that an angsty man in possession of a vengeance quest must be in want of a stupid sword. Here’s how Tristan putting the sword on is described:
He replaced the dreggan in its scabbard, then lifted the baldric over his head and put the sword behind his back, the strap across the front of his chest, the hilt rising behind his right shoulder, the curved and ever-widening blade reaching down his back to his left hip. He then readjusted the baldric so the handle of the sword reached fairly high and close to the side of his neck, so that he could easily grab either the dreggan or his throwing knives.
Dude seriously, “he took the sword and strapped it across his chest” or something would have done.
I will kill him with this very sword. I swear by everything that I am, and everything that he has taken from me, the winged murderer will die at my hands.
Tristan is so adorable. Poor lil’ baby.
He put his robe back on and jumped down from the dais to look into the infamous raised eyebrow of Wigg.
Tristan goes and collects some dirks from a secret stash, then leads Wigg off to find his trusty steed Pligrim. Gotta have a trusty steed and a cool sword.
They came upon more than one horse that could be seen trying to get up without a hoof or a leg, screaming insanely in pain as only a horse can, eyes wild with agony and fear. Wigg always stopped before these pitiful creatures, turning up his hands and closing his eyes, giving them a painless, humane, wizard’s death.
Note that just a few pages before this Wigg realizes that there are going to be a lot of mutilated and horribly wounded people who would probably beg him to put them out of their misery, but specifically decides to hide the fact that he’s a wizard and not help them because he has more important things to do. But the horses, by God we can’t let them suffer for another moment.
Anyway Wigg and Tristan proceed through the totally grimdark as fuck city streets, which are filled with blood and piles of rotting corpses and severed heads and shit. Nope, it’s not working! I’m just rolling my eyes at all of this. You’re trying too hard.
I wonder if this was supposed to be some sort of Shocking Subversion of fantasy tropes, setting up the idyllic fantasy kingdom and then burning it to the ground in the most disgusting and bleak way possible.
‘They’re all dead!’ a shopkeeper exclaimed. ‘And it is being said that the traitorous prince has taken the head of his own father! Now we all shall die!’
BEEP BOOP I AM A ROBOT WHO SPOUTS POORLY WRITTEN EXPOSITION BEEP
Tristan insists on burying the bodies of his family and all the dead wizards even though Wigg keeps telling him they don’t have time.
There was no need for him to fight to maintain his determination. In this he would not be denied.
The book seems to believe that Tristan has transformed overnight from a playboy goofball into a stone-cold badass. He has not.
It turns out the bodies were actually a trap; Succiu and Natasha created a barrier near them before they left and there’s some kind of flying thing hiding on the roof, pretending to be a gargoyle. Evidently they knew Tristan would probably come back to bury the corpses.
‘I am a wiktor,’ it said venomously, yet somehow also casually.
I think this sentence might the funniest thing I’ve ever read.
Then the Wiktor (tee hee) launches into an explanation of… well, just see for yourself:
‘And you shall not find me such easy prey as those ignorant blood stalkers or screaming harpies. I take great pleasure in what I do, and I am an expert craftsman. I am one of those whom the mistresses call upon when the task is to be very specific, and you must have great importance to them for one such as I to have been called forth and brought here to a foreign land.’
Wiki the Wiktor (that’s what I’m calling him) and Tristan trade stupid insults for a while and then start fighting, but it turns out that Tristan is unfamiliar with the Minion sword and can’t use it effectively. Well gosh, who could have seen that coming? Maybe you should pick your weapon according to what actually works instead of what looks cool.
The ensuing fight scene is actually sort of alright, as Tristan has to use some tricksy strategy to win, but then Wiki is like “lol I’m just going to go back to the Sorceresses anyway see you around loser”.
They buried the bodies in the royal cemetery, taking the precaution to place them some distance away from the others, without markers, so that there might be less chance of tampering with them.
If you don’t want people to tamper with them, wouldn’t it be better to mix them in with the other graves so they don’t stand out?
Anyway Tristan crised manly tears while he repeats the oath of succession over his father’s grave and it’s all very dramatic. We’re 45% of the way through this bad boy, shouldn’t the plot be further along than it is? Barely anything has actually happened. Seriously, here’s a plot summary:
- The sorceresses are banished
- 1 million years later, Tristan finds a magic butterfly cave
- The sorceresses attack
- present day, present time
Wigg wiped a tear from his eye.
(Thanks to q_q for the single tear GIF)
AND THEN TIRSTAN CUTS HIS HANDS ND HES LIEK BLOOD OATH MTHFUCKERS
‘I swear to you on all that I am, and all that I ever may be, that I will bring my sister and her unborn child back to this land,’ he said, trembling, continuing to squeeze his endowed blood out of his palms and onto the soil.
Can you feel the drama
‘And so it begins,’ he said quietly.
Half way through the book and it’s only just now beginning. There are probably entire full-sized novels that are shorter than what we’ve read so far. At least now Tristan is a very important Fantasy Man who kneels over graves and says BY THIS OATH DO I SWEAR IT or whatever.