The Special Orders of Castell Novels

Sebastien De Castell, I have read many of his books in the recent months and if there is one thing I can say for sure it is that I love his books.

I could go on for days on how I like how he writes and directs his stories. I like how they spin and the directions they take, because I don’t expect it. Does that mean there is no set up for how they will go? On the contrary, there is lots of support for why they turn the way they do, I’m just used to stories that go the way I expect.

His books don’t do that.

I could speak on the characters who I have fallen for in all the books. How they make me laugh and cry, how I love them.

But that is not what strikes me the most from his works.

Throughout his novels he writes groups of people. Orders, philosophies, concepts, and ways of life, that are so fundamentally intricate to the plot and the direction in which the characters can move. It is this, these orders, that make me love his books so much. I this there are three in particular that have captured my heart.

3. Bardatti – The Greatcoats

The Bardatti are an order of musicians. Storytellers who shape the way people remember history, and how they look to the future. Throughout the Greatcoats, they use their music and art to tell the stories of the main characters and to lead the people to believe in justice even when everything in the world tells them not to. In a world where there is magic, Saints who have incomprehensible awe, and Gods who walk among men, this order captivates and guides the world through complex musical prowess and an understanding of human psyche.

For what we get of them in the novels, I know that ultimately they are more formidable than the others, and they are the group in which I place my money for they will survive long after modern history for they are past, present, and future.

2. Trattari aka the Greatcoats – The Greatcoats

This order was the main order of the series for The Greatcoats and I did not expect it to strike me in the way that it did. The Trattari are magistrates, traveling across the country to make sure the law is upheld. They are valorous, just, and will ensure the law is followed. In a country where corruption is as easy to drink as water, these few fight to keep peace for all.

I suppose what really got me, other than the fact that the book focuses on them, was how the book series made me want to be valorous. Any book, group, concept that can wrap me so thoroughly and pull me into a world where there is no justice, only to make me want to believe in justice more than I already do — I will love. This order, and the books in general, broke my heart at every turn as I saw them make decisions for the sake of their country to protect the law.

Always remember the words of Falcio val Mond: “I found that it’s hard to stand for anything when you’re on your knees.”

1. Aragosi – Spellslinger

Perhaps my favorite order and the order that has stuck with me from the first book of the Spellslinger series. The Aragosi are traveling wanderers that live by seven principals, capturing history in the form of cards and tracking the movement of history defining moments. As an order they can help or will not help the changes of history as they so see fit, but that is up to them. Each member takes their own student and teaches them the path without ever making them their “student.” And the day that they leave their teacher they are a member in their own right. It is only after leaving that they will realize that they were a student and that they are fully fledged members. It is an order with no prescribed way of teaching, other than the seven principals must be taught, and no end date to the lesson. Perhaps what struck me the most about this order, however, is their notion of paths.

Every Aragosi member has a “path” the way that they move through their lives in order to live by the seven principals and witnessing history. Every path is unique to each individual. It is upon understanding your path that you are able to see how your teacher taught you. The names of the members are their path names like The Path of Thorns and Roses or The Path of Endless Stars. Each path name tells you what sort of person they are and how they travel the world, their life, and witness history. Take The Path of Endless Stars. He takes tricks and lessons from all people he reaches, to make himself stronger, all while continuing in the world on a path where any road is one he can take because he is living a life without being held back.

What I love the most about this concept of paths, is that it is true. All people are on their own path. Sometimes paths align, sometimes they diverge. However, to expect another person to walk along the same path as you forever is cruel for all people are individuals. This is why I love the Aragosi. Even if they are card masters, with mysterious ways of communication and understandings, they are, ultimately, a way of truth. The way of all people.


What drove me to write this was that I didn’t write reviews or series reviews for The Greatcoats despite how much I loved the books. It was in the second book that I realized I should have, but I did not. I let the books become one with me without speaking about them as a review. I know that that will mean I’ll talk about them all the time and allude to them when I can, but is that so bad? No, but I have since decided to do a series review to try to remedy this, a bit.

I have not much else to say, and thus.

Until Next Time,

MM


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