A few months ago, you'll recall I wrote an article about The Secretist, parts 1 and 2. These two short novellas are the Magic: The Gathering lore novels for the first two Return to Ravnica sets. Last week, I received a copy of the conclusion to the series, Dragon's Maze. I loved the first two parts of this series, but how did the conclusion hold up? Read on to find out!
Dragon's Maze starts out where the previous book, Gatecrash, ended; the planeswalker Jace Beleren was trapped in an inescapable room with vampires about to bare down on him. Of course he manages to get out (by the way, I felt really dumb for not thinking of the obvious way that he could get out of this), and races to put together the final pieces of what the "Implicit Maze" is. Jace has to find out its importance to the ten guilds of Ravinca quickly, as the guilds are assembling their maze runners and preparing to run the maze, regardless of its outcome.
I really enjoyed this story. I sat down Sunday night before bed and started to read this story. Next thing I know, it's late and I've finished the book! It was so compelling that I could not put it down. The book really shows the hatred and disagreements that the ten guilds have for each other. It was building up in the other two books but really comes to a boil here. It begs to wonder how these people haven't killed themselves yet, and as your reading the book it appears as though they just might do it now! The mystery behind the maze unfolds in a way that makes complete sense and shows the great insight and wisdom that the creator had about the guilds when he created it.
With all of the good aspects that I enjoyed about the book, there are a few down points about the ending. First of all, the conclusion of the maze and what it brings about makes sense, but Jace's role in the post-maze Ravnica confuses me a bit. Even Jace brings it up as a question in the book, but it's never really answered other than a simple retort. The other issue I've had is one that went back to the other two stories as well. There is another planeswalker featured in the story, an Izzet Mage known as Ral Zarek. He is this powerful Mage capable of walking to other realities, yet through most of the book he begrudgingly follows orders of his guildmaster. Granted, his guildmaster is a dragon, but I just expected more out of the character and throughout the three stories his role felt very flat.
Regardless of those few little quirks, I still really loved this story. Ever since the beginning, the story drew me in and continued to hold me there until the tale was done. As for the format, I think that Wizards of the Coast's experiment into short novellas for their stories is a good step. For someone like me, who jumped into this storyline part of the way through, it made it really easy to get caught up on the story. If you a fan of Magic: The Gathering, I think you will enjoy the three parts of The Secretist, and I think you should pick them up and read them. Affiliate links for the Kindle versions are below if you wish to help support this site.