The End of the Matter by Robert Moriyama

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kailhofer
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The End of the Matter by Robert Moriyama

Post by kailhofer »

Like many others who have read this series throughout, the moment I could read it, I did. Then, I read it again tonight.

Al Majius holds a power over his fans, of which I am one. He is a "little wizard" against an ultimate power. He's fair and just. He's funny. He makes good friends to match the strength of his enemies... He's the nerd who managed to marry the prom queen (if I remember that correctly). How can one not like him?

I was glad to see that this was going to be the conclusion. I've read them all, and in my opinion, the storyline had built to the point that it had to move up to that last higher level or begin to fail. It didn't fail.

In the past, I've criticized the stories a lot for Morgenstern's lack of action and wasn't satisfied with the level of risk Al faced.

I was pleasantly surprised when Morgie dropped into the middle of the board room table. What a great moment. With as much as the players were diagramming their plan, I thought it was obvious that it wasn't going to actually happen that way, but I didn't expect the Big M to be in the room then and there. I tend to be surprised when villains do what they should be doing if they were living up to all their characters could be. Most don't. Morgie actually did in some people in the scene using skills other than amping up his aura. Excellent!

I was a little disappointed when it was obvious that M had been listening in on the plan but let himself be distracted exactly as the others said they would do. However, I was all happy again when Al faced him one on one.

This put it all back on Al, as it should be. He's the hero. Aaron Morgenstern is the bad guy. They have to duke it out between them. The genre calls for that. Al uses his speed spell again, and manages to steal all the helpers out of M. I was cool with that. Sounded good.

Morgenstern was defeated. His choke hold on the universes was broken. Al lived. In those terms, the battle was a complete success. Fans of the 'Matter Of' stories should rejoice.

I have a different perspective than most on stories, but to me, I was a little let down by Githros just being able to sit on him and end it all. I'd have loved him to get his shot--he's a wonderful character and has been a great asset to Al--but I wanted Morgie to fight off Githros, to see him fight as the powerful wizard he was before he became a "god". Also, I wanted the final blow to come from Al. [shrug] That could just be me.

In terms of closure, I guess I should add that this series is still wide open for a sequel. Morgenstern isn't dead at the end, and just because we trust Grroolargrrlar to make him suffer, that doesn't mean some other ally of M couldn't steal his spirit/body back.


So, long story short, I liked this story. I liked this series. I felt the characters and storyline came a long way, growing and maturing as they went. Robert did a wonderful job of entertaining us, the audience, time and time again. If I was paying for this, I'd feel like I got my money's worth.

Well done.


Nate
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The End of the Matter...

Post by Robert_Moriyama »

I have to admit that Githros's demonicus ex auris (demon from the ear, instead of god from the machine) appearance was sort of an afterthought. The gray-green galoot didn't have much to do after explaining his Theory of Majius Power Over Morgenstern... Billy got to have a little fun (aside from the gaping, seared wounds part) peeing on Morgenstern's aura; Janine, lacking even werewolf speed and agility, was reduced to staying sheltered (as were most of the alliance); but Githros had used Al's ear as a trapdoor-spider hideout more than once in the past, and it made some sense that he might do so again as Al's backup.

Will Morgenstern be back? I don't know. Depowered as he is, he's a skillful wizard, but Al could probably kick his ass. If he manages to escape from Groolarrgrlarr(sp?)'s thorny prison, he will still have to rebuild either his personal power or an alliance of his own. (If aging made his hair fall out, maybe he could revive the Baldies!)

I do hope to find something useful for Al to do, now that he now longer has a Morningstar on his back. Like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, he needs another Big Bad threatening to bring about an (if not THE) Apocalypse now that he has shaken off his schlemielish self-image.

Suggestions are welcome. Obscure gods, demons, etc. please use the service entrance.

RM
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Re: The End of the Matter...

Post by kailhofer »

Robert_Moriyama wrote:I have to admit that Githros's demonicus ex auris (demon from the ear, instead of god from the machine) appearance was sort of an afterthought. The gray-green galoot didn't have much to do after explaining his Theory of Majius Power Over Morgenstern... Billy got to have a little fun (aside from the gaping, seared wounds part) peeing on Morgenstern's aura; Janine, lacking even werewolf speed and agility, was reduced to staying sheltered (as were most of the alliance); but Githros had used Al's ear as a trapdoor-spider hideout more than once in the past, and it made some sense that he might do so again as Al's backup.

Will Morgenstern be back? I don't know. Depowered as he is, he's a skillful wizard, but Al could probably kick his ass. If he manages to escape from Groolarrgrlarr(sp?)'s thorny prison, he will still have to rebuild either his personal power or an alliance of his own. (If aging made his hair fall out, maybe he could revive the Baldies!)

I do hope to find something useful for Al to do, now that he now longer has a Morningstar on his back. Like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, he needs another Big Bad threatening to bring about an (if not THE) Apocalypse now that he has shaken off his schlemielish self-image.

Suggestions are welcome. Obscure gods, demons, etc. please use the service entrance.

RM
Well... technically speaking, Al didn't really have all that many skills before Morgenstern gave him his grimoires, right? Al learned more along the way, but logically, so should have Morenstern. So Al really shouldn't know much more than Morgie does. What I'm getting at is that skill-wise, they should be very evenly matched. Now that Big M doesn't have the godlike thing going for him, he'd have to act like a regular wizard... but worse because he's evil.

You could have the same villain, but with a whole new skill set. It would be just like he was a different guy. Attacking from the shadows, setting layered trap scenarios, allying himself with evil henchmen... All in all, acting like some movie baddie. Of course, you'd need to give him a motivation more than just killing Al.

Al, too, should need some new character arc that should take several stories. Janine pregnant and he has to figure out how to be a father? Al has a falling out with Githros and needs his best friend back? Maybe Githros, being a demon after all, finds someone who offers him a better deal... Maybe even Morgenstern himself?

Anyhow, I'm saying rather than re-invent the wheel, change the tread. Just a thought.
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Post by Megawatts »

I haven't follow the Al Majius but I have read two others, I believe.

I liked them, and like the writing. Githros, Morgenstern, and all the other characters came alive as I read. The battles, the humor and the situations that cropped up were all believable to a point!!


To give human qualities to demons and wizard and make them appear
as people we know takes talent.

I never read 'Sword and Sorcery' but I should.
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The speed spell was Wallachian, not Kabbalistic magic

Post by Robert_Moriyama »

Morgenstern's Grimoire (and most of his magical repertoire) was based in kabbalistic magic (Jewish). The speed spell was one of those from books provided by Lamia (the words used are grammatically mangled Romanian). Using it is very hard on a merely-human body (less so on a Wallachian (vampire)), so it was not something that Al would plan to use...

In my view, Morgenstern was fooled by the sleeve spell, at least for a time. However, he may have heard rumors that Al had tricked him (loose lips zap wizards plans agley(?!)). He deduced that Al would be at the summit of anti-Morgenstern forces and blasted his way through the defenses, without knowing the specifics of Al's plan.

RM (I can explain ANYTHING)
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The speed spell... and spells in general

Post by Robert_Moriyama »

Actually, I went back to "A Matter of Urgency", and it was not specified that it was a Wallachian spell -- Githros did, in fact, dig it up in response to Janine's request that Al find a way to make her more capable of at least dodging Morgenstern's attacks. However, as I said, the words are Romanian (looked up in online English-Romanian lexicons), strung together without regard to grammar (since the spell was not something you could find in a tourist phrasebook!).

Anytime Al uses a spell with non-English words, the words are at least loosely correct (not necessarily in the correct case, verb conjugation, etc., but from the appropriate root word). The Hebrew and Arabic words in his early spells were actual Hebrew and Arabic words... This puts Al somewhat ahead of Harry Dresden (in Jim Butcher's series) and, for that matter, Harry Potter -- both use what can charitably described as pseudoLatin, and sometimes just fractured English ("Riddikulus!"), but behind anything that someone with real linguistic talent and resources could do.
You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.

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