The Ages of the Battle Mages

Use this forum to discuss the December 2017 Book of the Month, End of the Last Great Kingdom by Victor Rose.
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Christina Rose
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The Ages of the Battle Mages

Post by Christina Rose » 01 Dec 2017, 19:26

The young battle mages are among our heroes in End of the Last Great Kingdom. Even before war struck, the training these young students went through sometimes resulted in death. How do you feel about the author using such young characters for these roles, and about the things they go through even while still in school?

My feelings are a bit mixed. For example, Brimstone could have died during his trial, and I think that’s a challenge a 13 year old shouldn’t endure. However, there’s no sensible way to test the strengths of the future mages or to train them once they become mages. I also think their overall development is essential to the novel. They need to be able to grow, and adults set in their ways wouldn’t be right for the part. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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Post by Mercy Bolo » 02 Dec 2017, 05:46

I thought that the young characters' experiences were a little mature for their age. Also how after a killing spree, they just seemed to be fine and it didn't have any psychological effect on them. In reality, most adults can't even manage to kill an insect or a small animal.
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Christina Rose
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Post by Christina Rose » 03 Dec 2017, 05:34

@Mercy Bolo - Heat really struggled with this factor, I think. It was alarming to her that she didn’t really feel bad, and was maybe even a little happy.

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Post by Whitney Marchelle » 04 Dec 2017, 00:01

I thought more about 300. Where the boys are trained at an early age. It could come off a bit hard to tackle since they are young and could die during training.

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Post by ReyvrexQuestor Reyes » 04 Dec 2017, 11:09

If I may say, the attitude of the young trainees was just in sync with the modern times. Just watch any Anime movie and you will find tots wielding the samurai or using these Starwar laser swords, or throw balls of fire. Even sweet-looking schoolgirls are lashing with distinctive lethal blows. They strike without compunction. Though they were just cartoon characters, pre-schoolers must have idolized them. And parents show these videos to their kids.
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Post by dhwanis » 05 Dec 2017, 00:19

There are two aspects to this: personally, I feel that characters should have trauma if they go through something, it makes the characters more real. That being said, I find many stories (including the ones we see in movies, anime, etc) take young kids and put them through a lot and show them to come out of them as perfectly ok. So, I guess, that is the way many stories are written.

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Post by ReyvrexQuestor Reyes » 05 Dec 2017, 09:48

During my teen years, I idolized Naruto,Dragon Ball Z,Aquaboy, Johnny Wonder, and other kiddie heroes. Other kids must have done likewise. Have you read about that boy who shot his classmate as though in a movie, just like that?
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Post by MsTri » 05 Dec 2017, 21:51

ReyvrexQuestor Reyes wrote:
04 Dec 2017, 11:09
If I may say, the attitude of the young trainees was just in sync with the modern times. Just watch any Anime movie and you will find tots wielding the samurai or using these Starwar laser swords, or throw balls of fire. Even sweet-looking schoolgirls are lashing with distinctive lethal blows. They strike without compunction. Though they were just cartoon characters, pre-schoolers must have idolized them. And parents show these videos to their kids.
Add to that, the Star Wars movies; in that particular universe, the Jedi-in-training are all young children who've been taking from home as wee tots, so as to be trained without ties to their former life. I think that's at least as sad as facing death at a young age, because in some ways, it's like an emotional "death".

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Post by Bancroft » 07 Dec 2017, 22:27

Christina Rose wrote:
01 Dec 2017, 19:26
The young battle mages are among our heroes in End of the Last Great Kingdom. Even before war struck, the training these young students went through sometimes resulted in death. How do you feel about the author using such young characters for these roles, and about the things they go through even while still in school?

My feelings are a bit mixed. For example, Brimstone could have died during his trial, and I think that’s a challenge a 13 year old shouldn’t endure. However, there’s no sensible way to test the strengths of the future mages or to train them once they become mages. I also think their overall development is essential to the novel. They need to be able to grow, and adults set in their ways wouldn’t be right for the part. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
I am also having the same type of feelings and opinions. the young students must be trained well and before the time.

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Post by CataclysmicKnight » 08 Dec 2017, 22:17

That's a great question! I always wonder about that in fantasy novels, where kids go through more before they're a teen than many adults today face. Even Harry Potter focused on young children who were facing crazy challenges, and while Brimstone's duel was far, far more dangerous than the things they faced in class in HP, things could still get really dangerous! I agree with your statement that having adults already set in their ways wouldn't have been anywhere near the same, though. My brain always imagined the main characters here as in their mid-to-late teens though, despite the fact they absolutely weren't.
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Post by Job Njoroge » 09 Dec 2017, 03:32

The experiences that the children went through was more than they should have. Also it is not normal to have no psychological effects after killing.

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Post by ktrae910 » 09 Dec 2017, 08:43

I applaud Rose for treating the young mages as adults! Our society treats teens as babies, almost. Yes, teens are still learning and developing, but how can they learn to act as adults unless they have examples and are expected to act as adults. This is a time where people should be learning what to expect from life. Instead, in the US and many other countries, teens are treated as if they couldn't possibly think for themselves and need to be told what to do at every turn. True learning comes from experience.

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Post by CaitlinGonya » 10 Dec 2017, 18:22

I think it's crazy but it's also a different world that they are trying to survive in. There are many countries in our world where children experience horrors even earlier in life (i.e. children soldiers). J.K. Rowling also wrote Harry Potter as a parallel to the Holocaust. History has taught us horrors, some writers give readers the ability to empathize to those horrors.

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Post by powergirl » 11 Dec 2017, 09:21

Brimstone is a complex character who enthralled my reading. He is terrified that he will never become a mage and his answer for this is to choose the deadliest trial. I loved how the author writes Brimstone unaware of his past and heritage.
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Post by Stapes » 11 Dec 2017, 13:19

ktrae910 wrote:
09 Dec 2017, 08:43
I applaud Rose for treating the young mages as adults! Our society treats teens as babies, almost. Yes, teens are still learning and developing, but how can they learn to act as adults unless they have examples and are expected to act as adults. This is a time where people should be learning what to expect from life. Instead, in the US and many other countries, teens are treated as if they couldn't possibly think for themselves and need to be told what to do at every turn. True learning comes from experience.
I truly enjoy and respect your opinion on this. I completely agree :D

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