If there’s anything that drives me crazy, it’s finding errors in books. And not simply typos such as “teh” or other common mistakes. In Changes, there are not one but two glaring errors that I noticed. Firstly, there is a Healer with the Guard. He’s not really a character as such, for all he has a name. When he’s first mentioned on page 63, it’s Cubern. But when he reappears on page 270, it’s Cuburn, which is the spelling used for the rest of the book.
Then there’s a bit where the Karsites are discussed. Karse is a country to the south of Valdemar and they’ve been traditional enemies for centuries. While Valdemar is a monarchy, Karse is a theocracy, ruled in fact by its religious leader. That person is known as the Son of the Sun, as they worship Vkandis who is also called the Sunlord. The Karsite priests are also known to summon demons. In Changes, it is said that there are black-robed priests and there are red-robed priests who summon demons. However, I pulled out Storm Warning (the first book in which Karsite priests are main characters) and it says right on pages 90-91 that black-robes were demon summoners. Now, Storm Warning may be far older than Changes, but that’s no reason to switching basics around! Honestly, it’s not the looking up these details that makes me feel like one of those people complaining about how they recast the cat in the Hunger Games movies, it’s the fact that I knew it was wrong when I read it. The first time, not just today when I went through the book for the…probably sixth time. This is simply the first time I bothered to look it up to confirm.
And then, reading Redoubt, I find a bit where it’s black-robes summoning demons again. Because of course! At this point, I’m just inclined to think that Changes just needed another editing pass.
So yes, I’ve now finished Changes and Redoubt, books three and four in the Collegium Chronicles. Mags continues to play sports, train as a spy, flirt with his mentor’s daughter, and be pursued by assassins. The assassins have been an underlying thread through all these books thus far, starting with the one who unexpectedly recognized Mags during the climax of Foundation, following with him tracking down another in Intrigues, then nearly being kidnapped by them along with his love interest in Changes and finally being actually kidnapped and taken south in Redoubt.
Going back to the incident in Foundation, it was rather unexpected for this orphan to be recognized by someone he’s never seen before. So Redoubt spends a great deal of time on this. The assassins go out of their way to grab him because they claim he is kin, and they want to bring him back to the fold. He’s apparently been sought since before he was born and his parents fled their homeland. They even manage to reawaken many of his earliest memories (and some others), giving Mags a small vocabulary of their language, some knowledge of their customs, and even the name his parents gave him. And he despises it. He surmises that his parents felt that way too, which is why they fled so far that not even could they not communicate with anyone, no one remotely recognized their style of dress.
At this point we still don’t know much about the Shadao, as they call themselves. But there is still one more book in the Collegium Chronicles.