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  • By Rachel
    May 12, 2010
    You must absolutely, positively read Mordicai Knode's book Watchtower Gothic if: 1! You listen to Electric Wizard & enjoy it whether you smoke pot or naught. 2! You play D&D now or ever in your life. 3! You like anything I care about at all. 4! Know what homunculus are... 5! Appreciate the art of this beautifully orchestrated melody: 6! Think that the name Mordicai is cataclysmically awesome. 7! Like to play and/or sympathize with Kender the most. (because of the unintentionably adorable factor of this book!) 8! Find insanely macabre things adorably endearing. You must ESPECIALLY read this book if: You play or claim to live along the alignment of a Lawful Evil. So. With that being said, I really adored this book. This is the second book of Mordicai's I have read, his first being Wil O' Wisps & Other Illuminated Manuscripts, (as if that wasn't enough to get my crusty undies in a bunch what with his terribly clever & innovative... More > use of face icons from them oldskool Word Perfect programs as a means for Wil O' Wisp communications) which was a winning NaNoWriMo participant from the year before Watchtower Gothic. If anybody knows anything about Mordicai (of which I know very little, but the little that I have gathered from faithfully reading his most excellent blog) they would know that he has a knickety knack for making the Darkness adorable. Delectable. Irrrrresistable. There is only one other kat in this world that I know of has that ability over me & that is Neil Gaiman. & honestly? Mordicai kind of tops him in my book. I mean, don't get me wrong, I am all up on The Sandman's tip. & all the fuck over Silas from The Graveyard Book. But dear sweet Gillick Bootblack! I can't decide if I'm going to love you more as the preteen Alpha you once were, or the most notorious Blackhearted war criminal of all the Known Worlds & beyond! So there is this Alizarin Red character, most charming & in a wheel chair. You know ol' Mordicai has got something in his pocketses, BUT WHAT IS IT?! Wait & see, WAIT & SEE. She is beautiful in a most terrible & beautiful way. & this is one of Gillick Bootblack's (the main man of the story) companions in this adventure. Then you have Blondie. I switch back & forth all throughout the story on who is my favourite, but I do believe my heart belongs to her. As I've mentioned before! SHE USES CURSE WORDS SO APPROPRIATELY! But that is not the point. I have a hard time pinpointing this. Not only in Master M's book, but in all books. I miss the point cause I get caught up in the adventure. But here is what I am guessing at? Gillick, my main man, is like, an Alpha? Which is a language I'm not too keen on due to my parents sheltering me & my kin from too much exposure to the land of magicks, but I'm guessing is one bad ass creation of race. He is in this Watchtower of sorts, in a realm where the Unity works strictly together to better this realm, use the bones of what the inhabitants of the past have been forced to reckon with & make the most of it's leftovers. Gillick is in the aftermath, the Unity's attempt to make the world a better place? He grows up in a sort of alchemist's foster home, learning the lore & this first book discusses the charming childhood of Gillick, before he became known as "A Most Notorious War Criminal of all the Known Worlds & beyond". He ventures out on his birthday to meet up with his two newly acquainted pals Alizarin & Blondie, with nothing but his good natured but carefully calculated intentions on his shirtsleeve. An Aleister Crowley-ish kind of dude in charge of the haunted house takes them the way for the rest of their ride, as they decide to celebrate at The Carnivale of all the lovely places in the Urth! There is sort of an "alluding to" of what might have happened in those last few moments they shared in the haunted house the 3 companions agreed to walk through together, but it isn't til the very end that you get any idea of what truly takes place. To bridge that most questionable of gaps is letters... ...Letters from Gillick to Blondie to Alizarin & back. As they part ways the particular Carnivale events seems to me the tie that bonds them, all along they speak of it very vaguely, only teasing the very itchy spot you want so badly to scratch in wondering just what the heck happened in that creepy haunted house to the 3 of them. The letters exchanged at first seem daunting when you see that they go on til damn near the end of the book, until you realize how adorably important they are in further mapping out the "true" nature of Gillick in all his intentions. Revolution is his name friends! Docents? Citizens...? Yeah. So Gillick applies his previous knowledge attained from his schooling as a potential alchemist & combines it with the worldly experiences that he, Alizarin & Blondie share to attempt a global upheaval of the functioning society as we know it, linguistics being (as far as what I took of it as least!) a top fucking priority. & you can totally see where Gillick is coming from in all of this. You hear him question Blondie's motive in her eagerness to swear like a truck driver, & he is so goddamn careful to choose his own words. Something I kind of see emulate itself in Mordicai as well. Either way, he is a decent fellow, that Mordicai dude, & I'd recommend this book to anyone who digs the aforementioned, because it is just THAT FUN OF A READ. Also! Stayed tuned for a possible Book 2 in the Watchtower series next NaNo!< Less
  • By Kingtycoon
    May 12, 2010
    So the Watchtower Gothic? You want to know about it? What I think about it? I think it's got a lot of merit, a lot going for it, but I think mostly it speaks to Mr. Knode's really very sophisticated understanding and facility with Fantasy as a genre and a method. First off, you've got the mark of true sophistication - Mysteries within Mysteries. The setting - in the shadow of one of the many Watchtowers - that is, sky-piercing towers, enormous celestial pillars that may or may not hold up the sky; that setting is alien, mysterious and thanks to our friendly guide Gillick, familiar. The world is mysterious to Gillick, but not as mysterious as girls are - see Gillick's just a boy, for all of his weirdness - but his inner monologue is clearly identifiable, even more it's uniquely Mordicai(nen) - which is code for Compelling. But not to give anything away regarding Gillick, who seems to have an auspicious future - I mean to speak about mysteries within mysteries. So the landscape is... More > mysterious - but somewhat familiar to our guide, who guides us through his childhood for the strong first act. We're shown around the Watchtower Gothic, just a little, just enough to accept it. It's mysterious alright, but there are things - within the alien world, that are mysterious to the characters. Often you'll find a bad fantasy story where the characters are at pains to go into great detail about their fantastical homeland as if they're visitors there, there shouldn't be anything mysterious about it to them, it's their home. Gillick is admiring but not confused, he's got real mysteries to discover - he's got deeper things to ponder. I loved that about this book. The second act is where the book becomes epistolary, letters exchanged between Citizen Blondie (great), Gillick (pretty slick), and Rose (Wicked). There's exposition here, because the characters are exploring, learning, growing - they're becoming wise and by peeking over their shoulders we're clued in to the story. It's broad and it's a big foundation - but a Watchtower needs one. I myself eagerly await what will be built upon that foundation.< Less
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Product Details

Uncorrected Draft.
Crown Me King
December 1, 2009
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
0.53 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
6 wide x 9 tall
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