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Friday, March 25, 2011

Ravnica: City of Guilds - Chapter 1


Ok. I need to stop trying to organize and just do. So I decided to do read throughs of the books as I read them. This'll help me figure out exactly what I want to say about the books, and at the same time put up somewhat of a plot summary that I was also considering doing "some time" in the future. I did already finish reading Ravnica and Guildpact, so this is a re-read, but I want to get this done right, before getting on with the final book of the trilogy.  I will be writing these as if I was reading the chapters for the first time.

Ravnica: City of Guilds by Corey J. Herndon.  Let's begin!

* * *

Agrus The-Not-Yet-Veteran Kos and his partner Myczil Zunich, are police officers, otherwise known as wojeks, complete with batons.  They're called to one final crime scene before ending their day's shift when a messenger falcon arrives.  Right up front we're told that this is the last time they work together.  One of them dies.  (I bet it's not Agrus.) 

They head on over to the Parha industrial quarter which is scheduled to be demolished, but has recently seen the presence of thrill-killers (Rakdos) mysteriously moving about and Orzhov establishment.  Upon knocking on the door and yelling essentially "Wojek!  Open up!"  An enraged ram headed demon busts open the door and is killed on the spot, as policy dictates.

(What lovely policies they have.)

Inside the find the body parts for twenty-two victims with plenty of spectres of the victims available for questioning.  Kos uses a "grounder" to question one of the ghosts (which scares away all the rest), but the only information they can get from it is its name and "He is all. He is near. He calls," except in long drawn out ghost speak.

They lose their witness and do basic police work, recording notes on the crime scene, including finding the body of a fellow wojek they thought had deserted.  It turns out the recent string of missing persons weren't being kidnapped as slaves like they suspected, but instead were all murdered, possibly for food.

They notice the body of the leader, Palla, is missing, and then they hear a sneeze coming from the second floor.  Up above, they find a goblin too terrified to answer many questions.  It sees something behind them, they turn and look, and see an invisible outline moving.  They notice it likely has a bag over its shoulder containing a smaller figure, likely a woman, as the figure darts out the window, then they give chase.

* * *

Getting back into reading Magic novels, and this was a pretty good start.  I enjoy seeing that it won't be another Hero's Journey type story.  Instead of the young, innocent village folk who finds out he/she has a destiny to save the world, we get a very down to earth police investigation.  I love the concept of Ravnica and the guilds, and it looks like returning to the Magic multiverse with this trilogy may have been a good choice.

Starting off by telling us that Agrus Kos' partner is going to die did build up a lot of suspense.  Although I think they should have realized much sooner that the killer may still be in there, and even after they suspected it, they didn't seem to take any precautions.  I was surprised when our invisible man only left the window and didn't kill them right there for being so careless.

What the wojeks don't know, that I do, is that this novel is based off the set, which is centered around only four of the ten guilds: Boros, Selesnya, Golgari, and Dimir.  Invisible Assassin?  Sounds like Dimir agent to me.

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