Thursday, 2 June 2011

The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel : # 5 The Warlock

The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel : #5 The Warlock is out and I've have read it and enjoyed it a lot. It goes to the credit of the mythology, if you have the best knowledge of your myths you can pretty much formulate any story you want.

Here is how the summary goes like:

Alcatraz: Although their ally Dr. John Dee has been declared utlaga, Machiavelli and Billy the Kid will follow the plans the Elders have laid before them: they will loose the monsters of Alcatraz on the city of San Francisco, thereby triggering the end of the humani race.

Danu Talis: The Shadowrealm that Scatty and Joan of Arc have entered is far more dangerous than they could ever have imagined. And they haven’t landed here by chance-the warriors were called for a reason. So were Saint-Germain, Palamededs, and Shakespeare. The group was summoned because they must travel back in time to Danu Talis and destroy it. For the island of Danu Talis, known in humani myth as the lost city of Atlantis, must fall if the modern world is to exist.

San Francisco: The end is finally near. Josh Newman has chosen a side, and he will not stand with his sister, Sophie, or with the Alchemyst, Nicholas Flamel. He will fight alongside Dee and the mysterious Virginia Dare. Unless Sophie can find her twin before the battle begins, all is lost – forever.

In the fifth installment of this bestselling series, the twins of prophecy have been divided, and the end is finally beginning. With Scatty, Joan of Arc, Saint Germain, Palamedes, and Shakespeare all in Danu Talis, Sophie is on her own with the ever-weakening Nicholas and Perenelle Flamel. She must depend on Niten to help her find an immortal to teach her Earth Magic. The surprise is that she will find her teacher in the most ordinary of places.

It is clear while reading the book that the story here alternates between Alcatraz, Danu Talis (past) and San Francisco. It can feel, from time to time, like you need two charts to help keep track of everything: First, a family tree to see who is related to each other and how(one thing about all the other mythologies is that they are a mess when explaining their relations to the next individual); and second, a chart to see who is on which side, moment to moment. There are folks flipping sides all over the place. Folks siding with the dark elders revolt and folks on the side of the Flamels revolt as well. It will be interesting to see where everyone ends up in the last book. One twist to confuse it all is revealed on the last page. In my head, I said "what the....? And then I can't believe I was right because I predicted it1" (So you know it's a good one!)

The book starts where it ended in the Necromancer; twins Sophie and Josh Newman, went separate ways. Sophie left with the now very weak protagonist Nicholas Flamel, his wife, Perenelle Flamel and Niten, an immortal Japanese swordsman; while Josh exited with the main antagonist Dr.John Dee and his accomplice Virginia Dare. The Warlock sees Sophie, accompanied by Niten, seeking an immortal or Elder that can further her knowledge by teaching her Earth Magic. Nicholas Flamel is unable to help her in the search as he lapsed into unconsciousness after the battle against Dr Dee,Virginia Dare and the evil Archon, Coatlicue at the close of The Necromancer. Perenelle has stayed behind to guard her unconscious husband, in doing so, she has lost contact with Sophie and Niten. The Flamels are dangerously weak and desperate to retrieve the Codex (an ancient copper bound book containing magical spells, recipes and prophecies) from Dr Dee so that they can use the recipe found within its pages to make the Elixir of Immortality that has kept them alive for the last six centuries, each passing day and use of their magical aura weakens them further and advances their ageing.

It is now a race against time and seemingly insurmountable odds to find the Codex, in order to save the Flamels, and to re-unite Josh and Sophie in an effort to prevent the Final Summoning, an act that would summon the evil, Dark Elders back to the Earth and would spell disaster for human kind. Meanwhile, in the Catacombs underneath Paris the previously imprisoned and very powerful Elder, Mars Ultor is having conversation with the Egyptian Elders; Isis and Osiris and his wife, the Witch of Endor. The trio are there to free him from his captivity and also seek his assistance in stopping Dr Dee.

Sophie and Josh's very close family friend whom they call "aunt" is Gilgamesh's sister and Abraham the Mage's wife; Tsagalalal and has been looking after them since they were born. Her name is Tsagalaglal. Scatty, Joan, Pally, Shakespere and Saint-Germain are back in time about to fight on Danu Talis along with Marethyu, a hook-handed man who's name means "Death". Sophie learns Earth Magic, Josh learns Air Magic. Mars Ultor is released by the Witch of Endor. Odin and Hel team up with Mars to kill Dee. Promethous' Shadowrealm was destroyed as he expended too much energy using the crystal skull in the Necromancer. Dee's Masters are Isis and Osiris. They're also Sophie and Josh's parents. The twins end up in Isis and Osiris' Shadowrealm with Dee and Virginia Dare at the end of the story.

"There will come a time when the Book is taken
And the Queen's man is allied with the Crow
Then the Elder will step out of the Shadows
And the immortal must train the mortal.
The two that are one must become the one that is all."

Sophie and Josh are divided after a misunderstanding that fulfills an ancient prophecy. Both twins know that one is destined to save the world and the other to destroy it. But neither knows which side they’re on. While both want to be the hero that saves the world, they don’t want their twin to be responsible for the destruction.

In the Necromancer things start to fall into place. We learn more about our mysterious host of characters - from The Witch of Endor to the mysterious hook handed man - and also of the path of destiny they follow. It is a pretty complicated storyline, certainly far more complicated well certainly if you are mixing the legends and mythologies of the world in the mix you are bound to get a hugely messy storyline with a lot of complicated arcs. What Scott does so well is create this vast, expansive story, with various arks and an ever growing cast, but manages to keep his writing simple, to the point and highly effective.

Michael Scott continues to deliver. The 5th book in ‘The Secrets of the Nicholas Flamel’ series is a study of themes surrounding the definition of friend, enemy, and traitor as the main and secondary characters gather for battle that will determine the fate of the Earth and Danu Tails shadowrealms. Scott doesn’t introduce too many new faces, but instead brings them closer together and tells many of the backstories on their relationships over the ages. The world of Danu Tails is explored through his deft introduction of multiple timelines and the ability to send select characters back into 10,000 years to a world that’s already been destroyed.

We get an excellent explanation of magic from the Earth Magic teacher. And we get two very different "teachings". Both are interesting, but nothing like what we've seen before. We learn more about how one's aura is involved and that both twins are more capable then realized when it comes to the magic that we know. The dialogue and the interaction between the characters is still wonderful. The author continues to amaze me with his ability to paint the picture of the scene in my mind. The addition of details such as the color of character's eyes, the clothes they are wearing, and the scents of their auras give enough details to be so very vivid in my mind, yet the details don't overpower the story line, nor do they add unnecessary length to the book. It is the perfect balance, again, so that I can get that image and still be moving right along with the action.

I think given the events the title "The Warlock" is a little misleading, since there are a number of them in this book. But it was wonderful to see who aligned themselves on the side of the humani and who didn't once most of the dust settled.

The Warlock is the strongest book in the series so far. It is the penultimate and kept me glued from page one. It is hard to go into detail about a story so late in the series, but it is safe to say that secrets are being revealed, promises broken and battles are being fought. And the ending to The Warlock. Well, I didn't see it coming until it was punching me in the face. I can't remember the last time a cliff hanger and plot reveal surprised and pleased me as much as this one.

Genre :      Fiction, Young Adult, Fantasy

Publisher: Delacorte Books 

Rate:              5/5 (It was amazing)


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