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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Test of Metal - The Blind Eternities: Who Laughs Last



The true end.


The Blind Eternities: Who Laughs Last

Tezzeret severs his link the etherium device in the head of the fake Nicol Bolas.

None of us is as smart as we think we are? he thought. If you only knew.

(Oh? He knew about the fake Nicol Bolas?)

Tezzeret wasn't so vain to think that he could actually cripple Nicol Bolas. But if he had the dragon actually believing he wanted to help in him whatever scheme he had planned, if he had him convinced that he was on his side, that would at least him time several days to hide any kind of trail.

Tezzeret flirts with the idea of actually returning to the metal island in a few days to see if Nicol Bolas does create a new decoy to go along with his so-called ruse... but then he decides that probably isn't a good idea. It's better to avoid out thinking himself.

If he's going to run so he can prepare for the next encounter with the Forever Serpent, where best to do it?

The answer is obvious: Ravnica.

He could even check in on Baltrice and Jace while he was there.

“Sure, Ravnica's nice.” A familiar voice buzzed in his left ear. “Let's just make one stop along the way, huh?”

Doc. But that's impossible. He was gone.

“Come on, Giant Brain. Now you're just embarassing yourself. Really.” Doc's voice carried a note of sarcastic pity that made the artificer want to stab himself in the ear. “All the places Bolas has been, all the stuff he's done—I mean, seriously. You just had a mindlink going to that etherium doohicky. Did you honestly think he just wouldn't notice?”

Tezzeret knows he's defeated, and tells Doc to just kill him right now, but then he recovers quickly. Tezzeret asks Doc if he think Nicol Bolas has heard the saying, "He who laughs last, laughs best." Doc doesn't know, and Tezzeret says he hopes Bolas hasn't because one day soon, he's going to teach him.

* * *


How Do You Top One Twist? With Two MORE!

So Tezzeret actually has Nicol Bolas right where he wants him... NOT!

Nicol Bolas wins in the end.

But that leaves some serious questions. If Tezzeret knew that he was interacting with a fake Nicol Bolas this whole time... and during that interaction he claimed to have crippled Bolas' ability to clockwork... then that means he in fact did not negate the ability to clockwork from the true Nicol Bolas and he knew it.

So how could he be so naive to think he could have outsmarted the fully powered, clockworking Nicol Bolas?

(Yes, sadly that means clockworking is not eliminated from Magic's fiction.)

So much for "preparation" as being Tezzeret's specialty.

It would have made more sense had Tezzeret not known about the fake Bolas. It would have allowed more time to express how far Tezzeret had truly fallen, and how completely his plan failed. It would have probably required the fake Bolas to just disintegrate into nothing and have the reveal of the true Nicol Bolas be between him and Tezzeret to avoid redundancy. Definitely better that way.

All that would have been lost is creating a scene where Nicol Bolas gives warning to himself that "None of us are as smart as we think we are."

Considering that the book is dedicated to "everyone who is almost as smart as they think they are," it's quite clear that Nicol Bolas' line to himself is one of the main themes of the book. It's too bad it seems like Stover out thought himself by forcing that moment into the book.

What else is not gone, is Doc. This is the big reveal I suppose. This book is the explanation as to why Tezzeret isn't dead as Agents of Artifice would have us believe, and is the explanation as to why Tezzeret is now an agent of Nicol Bolas.

Unfortunately, Doc is that explanation.

(On a related note, Tezzeret's swapping Lilianas is the reason why she was allowed to be used in this book as an agent of Bolas, while it was clear that she refused making any such pact at the end of Agents of Artifice.)

(Oh... and while everything seems to be set for Tezzeret to head directly to Mirrodin and Scars of Mirrodin Block, we never find out how Tezzeret gets his restored etherium arm. He learns how to make etherium, but it's not clear if he can only do it on the metal island, a place where the etherium there cannot leave and be take to other planes.)


One Last Thing

Although I just somewhat ridiculed the use of a double twist within a chapter which follows a chapter with a major twist, it was actually effective in terms of surprise factor. Tezzeret is the protagonist of the book, and the book keeps on trying to tell us how great he is, and it makes more sense for the protagonist to win in the end. So the second and third twists did work at keeping me guessing.


The End

Non-Spoiler Review to come.


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