Mortalform's Reviews > Majestrum

Majestrum by Matthew Hughes
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's review
Mar 23, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy-exquisite, philosophic, metaxu
Read in February, 2012 , read count: 1

As the universe (a much more fully populated one than we know currently) sits on the cusp of it's natural transition from rational association to sympathetic association (logic to magic) Old Earth's foremost inquisitor finds himself split (rather literally).

I do delight in original fantasy and so this book rates high on my scale. Add believable characters, witty repartee and intrigue to produce a great read. Bonus: Canadian Author!

[Chalivire] tended to land somewhere toward the unfortunate end of the scale, somewhere between lacks effort and all hope abandoned. “We will keep the possibility in mind,” I said, “though high up on a rear shelf.” p6

“In your realm,” he said,” everything is connected to everything else by rational ties, by cause and effect, by one and one making two, and so on.”
I saw where he was going. “Ah, but in the world to come,” I said, “when magic reasserts itself, the connections will be otherwise. Things that do not now relate to each other will do so intensely, intimately.” P 65

...the transition from rationalism to sympathy did not sweep across our cosmos like a wave rolling onto a shore. Instead the new order would appear everywhere at once, like a liquid seeping through a porous membrane. But there were certain points- dimples, Therobar had called them- where the seepage was premature. In those places, where the seepage pooled, the potency of spells was intensified. __It was as if they were islands of the age of magic appearing ahead of schedule in the sea of rationality. __ p 67

...but insanity was not unknown among the wealthy. Indeed some forms of madness had sometimes been cultivated as fashionable accessories. p 68 was universally accepted that the institution of the Archonate was the ideal form of government.
-vast, though only vaguely defined powers
-ruling more by inference than degree
-wandered through the world in disguise... thus any stranger might be the Archeron
-[able] to exercise sudden and perhaps rigorous judgment, with the full might of the Bureau of Scrutiny behind him p 70-71

...the world of rationality into which I fit so well was itself soon to be transformed into a realm based on sympathetic association –or to use the common term, magic. p 72

Power is it’s own social lubricant. p73

“What was this force?” I asked.
“What we call evil, thought to the inhabitants of the realm from which it comes it is merely one of the elemental energies of their environment, like wind or thermal currents here.” p89

It was Archonate policy to confine most convicted malefactors into a contemplarium here they would encounter a simple way of life interrupted by plentiful opportunities to practice wholesome meditative exercises. But some classes of the nefarious, such as career criminals who had not benefited from previous stays at a contemplarium were handed over to the Corps of Buffoons. They were then fitted with coercion suits and brought out for public display in performances of ribald skits in which they played the butt of every joke.
One other kind of ill-doer who featured occasionally in the Corp’s antics was the magnate or aristocrat who had assumed the wealth and social rank were a perfect insulator against retribution for serious crimes. p 97

“When I say ‘think’,” I said, “I refer to a process of logical extrapolation from known facts or, at least, from verifiable suppositions. What does the word mean when you use it?”
“I suppose it means that I ‘sense,’ or ‘feel’, the shape of things the way an imagist knows that a particular curve is right or wrong, or that light and dark are juxtaposed in a balanced way.” p 102

Life is a hopeless rearguard action against an overwhelming foe; still, how can we not admire those who battle on regardless? p 105

“...It would be safer to assume that old spells could come back.”
It was an unpleasant thought: ancient curses and maledictions that had been lying dormant for an aeon would resume their old maleficent powers. 114

“He began to dream the dreams that always seduce a tyrant: powers beyond powers, world at his feet, whole realms bowing to his whims.”
“And the dreams occluded his faculties,” I said. It was ever thus, we may be thankful or else tyrants would never fall.” p

“Ah, one of those unfortunates who are trapped in linear rationalism.”
“It its no trap. It is a clorious instrument for apprehending reality.”
“As long as reality agrees to cooperate.” p227

“Just as gravity bends space and velocity affects time in your little realm, will is a prime determinant everywhere else.” P 228

effloration p 35
moribund p55
farrago 64
elision p 67
senescent 115
actinic 185

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