The Education of Brother Thaddius and Other Tales of DemonWars

Between Riverworld novels, I decided I would give a shot to a selection of DemonWars short stories that I picked up from StoryBundle.  If you’ve been reading this blog a bit, you’ll know that I quite like the DemonWars saga, so this little collection was quite a treat – especially since I didn’t know it existed beforehand.

These three stories were a nice addition to my collection, but I wouldn’t really consider them required reading for a DemonWars reader – my short analysis after the jump.

Blood of Mather

Blood of Mather was kind of interesting, but ultimately didn’t have much in the way of content.  It takes place in the Timberlands before The Demon Awakens, and so takes the opportunity to resurrect some old characters – namely, Mather Wyndon.  With this opportunity, Salvatore shows some of the interactions between Mather and some other characters we knew well, like Tuntun and Bradwarden.

The interaction that I thought was the most meaningful, however, was Mather’s interactions with his brother Olwan (though Olwan didn’t know the man standing next to him was his brother).  In this segment, it was really awesome to see the courage of Olwan – it sheds an interesting new light on this character who gets very little screen time, and I think that was the success of this story for me.

A Song for Sadye

This story I also found interesting for the non-titular character.  Don’t get me wrong, I like Sadye when it’s just her and De’Unnero hanging out in the Timberlands in Ascendance, but this story made me want to know more of the Brotherhood of Wise Men.  The Brotherhood is a group of people who smuggle magical items (prepared items that integrate gemstones into their function).  It is, of course, one such item that Sadye ends up with – her magical lute.

For me though, Orrin Davii was the more interesting character.  Something about the way he expressed his ideals, as a wizard that seeks wealth to provide the comforts for a deeper persuit – that of understanding the magic of the gemstones and, maybe, provide the opportunity to craft one of his own.  This idea stuck with me, and definitely provided a guidepost to another interesting bit of the world of Corona.

The Education of Brother Thaddius

This last story in the collection was the only one that has explicit spoilers for the main DemonWars saga.  Unfortunately, it spoils some aspects of the ending of Immortalis – unfortunately because though I’ve read it before, I clearly didn’t remember enough of it.  Still, this little story has the return of a couple of characters that I really liked – Pagonel and Braumin Herde.  As maybe expected at this point, the titular character (Brother Thaddius) was really just a delivery mechanism for telling a story about other characters.

The reformation of the Abellican church after the events of Immortalis was actually an interesting thought experiment to me, and seemed perfectly fit for this sized story.  One thing that I was constantly looking for though, was for Braumin Herde to find a way to avoid a scourging of De’Unerrian heretics.  I don’t know exactly why, but I somehow felt it was important that he not just go killing a bunch of monks because they had come to believe something else…

Overall, I liked these three stories, as they added a bit to the lore of the DemonWars.  While I was consistently drawn to characters other than the titular ones, this almost felt natural – as though the title was the hook but not the focus.  On this vein, I really wonder what stories would be told of the events of the DemonWar 100 years afterward, what historical perspective would the people of Corona have?

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