Conclusion of Tarrin Kael’s Story: Firestaff and Pyrosian Chronicles
The last chapter in an amazing and epic story. It’s not actually the link to the last chapter, because this is for people who haven’t read it. Those have, know where to get the last chapter, so there is no threat of spoilers. Spoilers are bad, when it is this good that is.
The 5 books of the Firestaff Collection and the 3 books of the Pyrosian Chronicles are… literally indescribable. And if you know me, you know that I can bust out a lot of things to say, but there is literally too much to say about Tarrin Kael and his life journeys. Even for me. Both because of the scope of the universe, the length of time the plot time overtook (half a person’s life both figuratively and literally), and just basically because of the simple fact that I am restricted from spoiling the story for you and because like recalling favorite scenes in your life, there are always other events and people that compete for the attention.
The Firestaff Collection starts out the way Wheel of Time started out, I can tell you that. In a sense, it contains the life story of Miyamoto Musashi. Integrated, of course, with a fantasy world that is complete, consistent, and world devastating. The last, in only the sense that there is always a point in an author’s story that the life and scope of his universe just stops. Meaning, there are certain limitations because the author is not God and has not made things fully consistent. For example, several stories about alien invasions deliberately evade real world problems and factors such as involving the President, in order to shrink down the cast. It isn’t real, in the sense of the number of people, factors, rules, and scope of the universe. You know in the real world there are literally billions and billions of people working together, with an handful of leaders you have to deal with. But when you are talking about Planet Earth, those leaders from some 100+ countries and cabinets and governments, literally amount to a vastness of the character list that you cannot reproduce in a book. A fictional universe. Fel in his story on Tarrin Kael has come about as close to the reality standard, however, as I have ever seen. More rich and more detailed than even Eric Flint’s 1632 alternative history.
In many works of fiction that entails humongous amounts of characters, it starts to seem like everybody is an extra on Star Wars or red shirt on Enterprise. After graduating from CGI creation of course. You have a lot of people on screen, and a lot of cast lists yes, but they aren’t human to you, because there is no time to introduce their stories and character to you so that they seem human. So they look the way you would expect them to look, paper mache characters cookie cutted out of a board that is inflexible.
Technically, and I am including Star Trek in on the fictional story terminology, the entire cast list of the Star Trek shows would be more than Fel’s list for Tarrin Kael. But, and there’s always a but, Tarrin Kael’s friends and family are just like. They feel like real friends and family. It isn’t just a character bio that somebody crunched out, labeled “family”, and then you never hear about them afterwards in the story plot.
I am of course trying to describe the indescribable to you. (better to experience it) Although it is my best, so perhaps I get cookie points for that.
It is not the same as if Tarrin Kael’s friends are your friends. They aren’t, for various reasons. But they also aren’t strangers. Everyone that has read a novel understands that there is a certain emotional connection one forms with the characters. For John RIngo’s stories, those connections are brief, short, and eventually terminal. Since he tends to kill loads off, but he avoids most of the emotional connection baggage so overall it is a plus. Put him with David Weber on March Upcountry, and you got something else going on. But back to the point. The emotional connection to Tarrin Kael and his friends feels more real. It is not a very good description, because feelings are… well feelings. It is what you feel, not what I say you are feeling.
The story literally is about Tarrin’s life. From beginning to… well not the end but certainly more than half way. It is almost like the Band of Brothers, the bond between warriors crafted in war. You will see events like this in Tarrin’s life story. You will see and witness and read about the ramifications. And you will see history being made and you will even feel it, because the world is so rich, textured, and consistent to you. Consistency is very important for an engineering minded person like me. Some of you have read my series on Entropy, Good, and Evil. You understand why I seek meaning by connecting different pieces of human existence, wisdom, and experiences into one Unified whole. Better to understand it that is.
When I say the world is real, what I mean in my best attempt at clarity, is that when characters do something, it has an effect on the world that you would expect to happen in our real world. I am not saying Kael has to deal with enemy propaganda as have to deal with it, nor am I saying that he has to deal with enemy mutilations of his soldiers. What I am saying is that there are rules of magic and of physics in Sennadar, Kael’s home, that actually limit Kael’s actions. The way you would logically expect a person’s actions to be limited by his home. The system of magic has rules, and the variations those rules can go through are explored, integrated into the storyline, used as plot surprises, and molded to form part of Kael’s life experiences. And that is only the start of the adventure, people. This is only for what, the first 2 books of the Firestaff Chronicles?
It just gets better and better. The characters Tarrin Kael met in the beginning of his journey… is right there helping him at the end of his journey. There is a continuity. A steadiness.
When I say Life Journey of Miyamoto Musashi,(link has the goods you want if you wish to know more about him) I mean this. Here you have a guy who starts out as a nobody, winning small time contests. Then you see him grow in strength, wisdom, and strategic vision. Then you have him searching for his identity at midlife by living secluded up somewhere in the mountains. Then you have him writing a book about his knowledge, trying to pass it on. A Life Journey. That is what I mean. And it is what you will see, a small part, in Tarrin Kael’s story.
This is his destiny. Remember what the destiny of the United States is? To be small, and to combat opponents that you can defeat, the British Empire for example, when you are at that level. Then you progress to fighting the British again, at sea, and the Barbary Pirates. Extending your power, taking on worthier challenges because your nation has become wiser and stronger. Then taking on the Spanish at Cuba. Then taking on Europe, being a late arrival to the conflict, in 1918. Late, but not insignificant. Not if you knew who “Blackjack” Pershing was, and why he got that nickname. Then after WWI, taking on Hitler in WWII. Then after Hitler, taking on Stalin and Russia in the Cold War, deciding the fate of the entire human race, whether we would live through this time of racial setbacks or be nuclear holocausted to death.
As the power of a nation grows, so grows its enemies, the challenges become more difficult, and so also increases the experience and wisdom of that nation. It grows older to, and older means weaker, decadence slips in, a loss of confidence, or just a mid life crisis. It needs to be renewed. People get tired and thus weaker, just as nations to. We need a pick me up. As individuals, we feel sad, happy, and glad at times, and sometimes we just need a pick me up. Something to feel positive about. The same is true for the destiny of a nation.
The dreams and goals of a child are not the dreams and goals of a child now turned into an adult, fully mature and aware of his or her powers, financial, physical, or mental.
The cycle of Life and Death is unstoppable. Many stories I have read, in a science fiction and fantasy setting, that is about events. Alien invasions, certain challenges the main character has to face, and so forth. But Fel does these kind of stories well also, but what Fel does is combine these stories into a life story, on one person. It is not just one person, always staying the same, getting into all kinds of misadventures and having to solve his or her problems. It is different people, changing in identity, power, and responsibility, facing ever more challenging and powerful enemies.
It is basically the story of the United States shrunk down into a fictional character living in a fictional world. You lose much of the sense of confusion and helplessness, as was felt in the Carter years, because Tarrin Kael is a person. He is not a nation of 300 million something people. He is more decisive, and thus that is the scale at which things worked. But on a principal basis, it is the destiny of the United States. Just on a different scope. From humble beginnings, to hopefully a grand finale that is truly worthy of the sacrifices of those that have gone before.
So you know Tarrin Kael is destined for great things. Is that a spoiler? Maybe. Did the Founding Fathers realize or hope that the Colonies would be destined for great things when they sacrificed and bled for their beliefs? Maybe. But could they have realized in full just to what extent the reach of American power would develop, and how many millions that such a nation from humble beginnings, would have in our power? No they could not. And neither can you imagine the finality of Tarrin Kael’s life.
So, read the story if you wish to know.
I first read Fel’s works when I read a few chapters of his book Subjugation. At the time it hadn’t been finished, so I started reading the Firestaff Chronicles to fill up the time. Subjugation is a science fiction themed story, which is my favorite them of course. Fel has now completed both Subjugation and the Firestaff series and the Pyrosian Chronicles. So, you don’t have to wait like I did. You can read it all together… if you have the energy for it of course.