Previously in Birthright #18
Well that did not last long. The filler is over and we get a “back to what makes the comic great” issue even though there were some confusing parts to the plot that I am still having a hard time figuring out. Overall, this is a very nice piece to the Birthright pie that I think most of us will enjoy. One of the main strengths of the issue was the back and forth from the past to the present we get with the reader finding out the rationale behind the magi’s decision to come to Earth and leave their world to protect this one. We also discover the lengths some characters are willing to go to sacrifice, and what someone will do to protect the ones they love.
The first page begins with a look at the past. The way Williamson weaves through the timeline and shows us glimpses of what happened to people and the development of character’s motivations and actions are one of the best things about this story, and why I think Williamson is great at what he does. We see some old faces, Ward, and get to listen in on a discussion as to why the magi left Terrenos in the first place, leaving it undefended against Lore and his forces.
The idea that the magi left Terrenos because the war was a lost cause was a twist I did not see coming. I always assumed it was a selfless ac,t but not in the way that Williamson lays it out. The fact that defending the world was just what the doctor ordered as far as Lore’s ultimate goal – to cause destruction and chaos. Ward even asks, “…with our battles, are we not completing his (Lore’s) wishes?”
So, with Sameal’s help the five magi decide to leave the world they have lost to save the one no one knew about, which warrants the question: If no one knew about it but Sameal, why would they even have to go? Unless you believe in what Kylen was arguing that Ward was tired of fighting, Mastema was attempting to escape her own history (whatever that means), Enoch was just following a friend, and Sameal was just trying to save his own world. Why would they have to leave? If you don’t believe what Kylen was opining then why did they have to go? Lore would never know…unless he already did?
The other part of this book was Mikey kicking the “Angry Engine’s” butt. Sameal has a plan because he does not think they can defeat the “Engines” on their own. He tells Brennon and Aaron to head downstairs and pull the plug out of a well. You know every prepper should have his own well! But before that, we see Aaron is not as useless as he has been through most of the story. He gets to kill his own “Engine” to save a de-powered Brennan. As the water is drained, we find that Sameal has a pet…but I don’t think this one wants his head scratched.
The ending takes things in a direction that leads the reader to understand that everything is on the table and everything can be sacrificed for what is thought of as the greater good, which is a game changer as far as I am concerned. As the reader, you have to throw away your own morality, or at least fight against it, if you really want to root for one side or the other. The question is whether the magi are on the side of good or evil. Are they on the gray side of things? Is Lore really the worst thing out there? What would you be willing to do to protect the people you love? Would you sacrifice a friend for another you care about?
All these questions I found myself asking after I finished this issue, which is a good thing. All in all I really enjoyed this issue with Sameal’s motive being very ambiguous and Kylen maybe not being the evil figure we first thought him to be. It seems he was driven into his actions by the actions of others whom he trusted and others he did not. And we get a wider look into Enoch’s betrayal by Sameal and how much he trusted Sameal, which helps us understand how much it hurt him as Sameal’s actions and motivations come to light.
Oh, and Williamson will be sure to disclose why Sameal lied about there not being magic on Earth. And lastly, we find out the real reason Lore sent Mikey over to Earth to kill the magi. “As long as the five of us are alive, the doors between Terrenos and the Earth will stay closed.” But one of them has already been killed, which kind of makes me think the door is not as closed as it once was. Plus, how did Mikey get to Terrenos in the first place if the door was closed? Something stinks here. Williamson does a great job adding the nuances to each of his characters and makes the reader question what is really going on. And we now know what lengths Sameal is willing to go in order to protect the people he loves (release the Kraken!)… or do we?
Birthright #19 = 8.3/10