Test of Metal [A Planeswalker Novel] by Matthew Stover




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[I’m Blue {Da Ba Dee Da Ba Die…}]

“From the ashes of defeat, the planeswalker Tezzeret will rise again.  Beaten to within an inch of his life and left for dead by the psychic sorcerer Jace Beleren, Tezzeret has lost control of the Infinite Consortium—an interplanar cabal he built from the ground up to achieve the sort of power and influence few in the Multiverse have ever achieved. Now he must turn to a former enemy for help: the dragon Nicol Bolas, perhaps the only being in the Multiverse powerful enough to get him back on his feet.”

[Drama bommmmmb! ]



What? Yet another Magic: The Gathering book? Yes. Let the Nerdery flowww~


So this book actually picks up shortly after Agents of Artifice [See my review: here ] left off. I stayed pretty vague about the Planeswalker Tezzeret being a super douche in my review, and well, he was. Where this book picks up, he was essentially dead, killed by little whiney emo-kid Jace. He’s brought back and re-wired/re-built by the ultimately powerful dragon Planeswalker Nicol Bolas, but he was put together so differently in fact that he’s almost a different person. A different person who still has all of his old memories intact, and realizes that he was a straight-up asshole. However, despite that he would have preferred to die then, he’s instead now mentally enslaved to Nicol Bolas by a sort of device that is also an actual creature inside of his head. To his misfortune this creature is nicknamed ‘Doc,’ short for ‘Doctor Jest’ and is made out of pure mockery towards Tezzeret.  Doc is also a creature that can harm Tezz to the point of death at any time, and also never shuts up.

The entire book, we find that Tezzeret, now ripped of his arrogance from the former book, is actually able to more concentrate on his calculations and truly realizes his intelligence now that it’s not clouded by said arrogance. He uses this to his advantage to get back at Jace by using him for his own needs, and also a bit of Liliana, the necromancer Planeswalker also in the last book. He also works very often with Baltrice, yet another Planeswalker [and his former enemy], who apparently was supposed to be dead at the end of the last book, but apparently just barely made it.

A lot of this book deals with time and different timelines as well as alternate universe timelines. I loved the concept that if you can properly control ‘clockwork’ in these universes, you can go ‘sideways’ in time to merely find a different timeline in which you were successful in what you are/were trying to do, versus if you had failed in another. The book fantastically describes this ability to where you’re never left scratching your head, and made to realize its potential. It’s an awesome concept.

I also loved all interactions to be had with the Sphinxes in the book. Which there are quite a few. They’re described so elegantly just as I always imagine they’d actually be.

I really liked this book. I think of the three MtG books I’ve read thus far, this is my favorite. This author is fantastic at portraying sarcasm and sarcastic characters, as well as taking a previously unlikable character and making him a far more understandable character. I’ve always thought that Tezzeret was interesting [and physically attractive <_<] but now I actually like him a lot as a character in general. Also we get a lot of explanation of why he was such a jerk before, because his childhood was pretty awful. I mean like, wow – awful.

I still stand by what I’ve said with the other books that you may not want to read this book unless you’re at least somewhat familiar with the MtG series, but if you are, this is a fantastic work of fantasy. I’ve definitely made a note to keep an eye out with this author for his other stuff.



I give Test of Metal 5/5 Mana. [Three Blue, Two Black] 


This is the story of a clockwork man.

Across every world and throughout all flavors of realty, tales are told of artificial girls and mechanical boys whose dream is to someday become a living thing. This is not that kind of story.

The clockwork man was alive, and he dreamed of becoming mechanical.

He turned away from the flesh and stink, from birth and blood and mess; he sought even to replace limbs and trunk and head with shining metal. He made of his mind a glittering construct of gears and ratchets, of springs and weights and balance of impossible precision, and he engineered his heart into an assemblage levers and pulleys, of fulcra, ramps, and gleaming screws.

Flesh is corruption. Metal is incapable of Sin.

This is the tragedy of how the clockwork man’s fondest dream began to come true.




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