Part two of a really forgettable trilogy

Exiles of the Rynth - Carole Nelson Douglas

Here is another of those fantasy books that have pretty much disappeared into obscurity on the grounds that it was really nothing special. As I generally say, unless I can actually remember the book (and the title helps a lot; the only reason I remembered this book was because it followed on from another book that I saw in a second hand bookshop one day and my memory was triggered) then it is highly unlikely that I would consider the book to be anything special. Hey, I can't comment on the author because she has published sixty more books than I have ever published, but that does not necessarily mean that I have to read the books, or even recommend other people read them.

Now, about the plot, we have the last sorcerer who is something called a Trolloc (but I don't think it has any connections with the Trollocs from Wheel of Time, and despite the fact that the name makes them sound ugly, I am doubtful that they are actually ugly, but then again they may be) and a warrior that is the member of an exclusive caste of warriors, but he has done something to upset them, so he is now a loner. Together, they go on a quest (I wonder what the quest was about, though I am not all that keen on finding out) to save the world, but that does not stop the fact the magic is going away.

I sort of wonder about this magic going away thing because it sounds as if the physical lores of the particular world are changing dramatically, and if the magic is going away, is it possible for this world to survive? One thing I can say is that if all of the sources of energy that we use (which is our magic) were to suddenly dry up then our entire society would collapse. Let us see, we need large amounts of oil to plant seeds, to harvest wheat, to process wheat, and to get the wheat from the farm to the supermarket. So without oil I guess we are all going to starve. Well, not all of us, but the price of food will skyrocket (and I suspect that our massive cities will become unsustainable).

Now, for those of us who actually believe in magic (I do) can we say that magic has gone away from this world. Well in a way it has but in a way it hasn't. Ignoring the fact that the source of our magic is oil, and that technically the definition of magic is something that cannot be explained by science, I still believe that spiritual forces are at play in our world. Hey, I don't believe in that lovey dovey, fairy tale type of magic, I believe in the Elric of Melnibone type of magic, which involves summoning demons and hoping they don't tear you a new one.

Anyway, there are still large tracks of the world where people still live as they have lived for centuries, and despite our modernist disbelief of the spiritual world, they still live in fear of spirits and the spirits still have control over their lives. Even in our modernist society we still have people playing at witches, and some are deadly serious about it as well. However, it all comes down to what C.S. Lewis describes as Satan's two most powerful tricks: making people believe that demons are everywhere, or convincing them that they do not exist at all.