Review: “The Last Guardian of Everness”, by John C. Wright

Great book, and I just ordered the sequel off of Amazon. New characters zoom in at the speed of bullets, and everyone is interesting. Azrael de Gray is one of the most entertaining villains I’ve read about in a long time. This is one of the only fantasies I’ve read where instead of saying, “Wow, I wish I lived in a world like this!” I said “Wow, good thing I don’t live in a world like this!” And yet, I get the sense that we’re really heading toward a happy ending regardless, and honestly I like that.

The sequel’s summary tells me that the apparently deceased/incapacitated characters of Gaylen and Peter Waylock are going to be major players, so I’m curious to see how that happens. Wright ended “Guardians” with one Hell of a cliffhanger.

I don’t have too much more to say, really. Wright combines mythologies seamlessly and their is a nice strain of humor running through the book as well which helps lighten the mood. The character of Wendy could be a bit annoying early on, but I got used to her. My favorite character is Raven though. A badass former Russian sailor who also happens to be a crack shot. What’s not to like?

Really looking forward to the sequel. The Amazon reviews of it aren’t great, but then there are only thirteen reviews, so I’m not putting much stock in them.

(As an aside – I started “The Golden Age” as well, and I think I’ve bitten off more than I can chew. That book is for sci-fi veterans, not newbies like me. Wright throws around new terms and concepts so fast that my head was spinning by the bottom of the first page. I should probably get more used to the genre before I tackle something as ambitious as that.)

One last thing: I’ve heard Wright called a “modern day C.S. Lewis”. All right, I like Wright quite a lot, but let’s not insult Lewis like that. Wright is smart and Wright is an excellent writer, but C.S. Lewis was a genius whose insights penetrated to the very heart of controversial matters in clear, decisive terms, and he’s one of the only writers I’ve ever seen who was able to actively and admittedly preach in his novels and still get away with it.

Wright’s good, but NOBODY is Lewis good. Tolkien, perhaps, had better fiction, but when it comes to penetrating insights on life and Christianity Lewis is, to this day, unparalleled, as well as being possibly the last great satirist. It’s unfair to Wright to attempt to place him on that pedestal.

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3 Responses to Review: “The Last Guardian of Everness”, by John C. Wright

  1. Hrodgar says:

    I agree that calling Wright a modern day Lewis is not a very good comparison. I don’t think, however, that that is an insult to Lewis, except to the degree that the overuse of his name cheapens it (which admittedly is a factor).

    Honestly it seems to me a bit of an apples to oranges. Lewis wrote mostly very insightful allegory (though I think you are mistaking an aversion to allegory, parable, fable, etc. that developed very recently, mostly since Lewis’ time, for a lack of authors who preach; George MacDonald comes to mind, not to mention that most authors do preach, just not Christianity), and Wright crafts sprawling epics; Lewis was, in the final analysis, a moralist, Wright a bard. In a nutshell, Lewis:Aesop::Wright:Homer. Now Lewis may be a better moralist than Aesop, or Wright a worse bard than Homer, but it’s still a bit like comparing, I dunno, a game like Bastion with a game like Baldur’s Gate. They’re just not the same.

    • Your points are pretty fair (especially the point about preaching). I know a lot of people who say they can’t stand Lewis because of how obvious his moralizing is, and while I obviously don’t agree I get that. If I was reading a book by an atheist that preached in such an oblique way I’d be annoyed too.

      I like your game analogy at the end though.

  2. Pingback: Reviewer Praise for LAST GUARDIAN OF EVERNESS | John C. Wright's Journal

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