War of the Spark: Forsaken
|War of the Spark: Forsaken|
|First printing||November 5, 2019|
This second novel features Teyo, Rat, Kaya, and Liliana as main characters, with Jace, Ral Zarek, and Vraska. The book is not directly tied to either Throne of Eldraine or Core Set 2020, which were the follow-up sets to War of the Spark: Ravnica.
The Planeswalkers have defeated Nicol Bolas and saved the Multiverse — though at grave cost. The living have been left to pick up the pieces and mourn the dead. But one loss is almost too great to bear: Gideon Jura, champion of justice and shield of the Gatewatch, is gone. As his former comrades Jace and Chandra struggle to rebuild from this tragedy, their future, like the future of the Gatewatch, remains uncertain.
As the Gatewatch's newest member, Kaya aims to help write that future. In joining, she pledged an oath to protect the living and the dead, but now that oath will be tested. The grieving guildmasters of Ravnica have tasked her with a grave mission suited to her talents as a hunter and assassin — a mission she is ordered to keep secret from the Gatewatch. She must track down and exact retribution on the traitor Liliana Vess.
But Liliana Vess has no interest in being found. Forsaken by her friends, she fled Ravnica after the defeat of Bolas. She was hostage to his wicked will, forced to assist in his terrible atrocities on pain of death — until Gideon, the last one who believed in her goodness, died in her place. Haunted by Gideon's final gift, and hunted by former allies, Liliana now returns to a place she'd thought she'd never see again, the only place she has left: home.
The book met with generally negative reviews. Some fans wanted to declare the book non-canon, due to its perceived butchering of characters and generally poor writing. A large part of criticism was aimed at the retconning of Chandra Nalaar's sexual preferences, as the book explicitly specified that Chandra was exclusively attracted to men, despite the fact that she'd been written as bisexual in previous stories. The book was also heavily criticized for seemingly reversing the character development that Jace, Vraska, Chandra, Nissa, and Liliana had undergone over the past few years; ending the long-anticipated romantic relationship between Jace and Vraska shortly after it began; having a major character (Dovin Baan) killed off off-camera by a minor and newly-introduced Dimir assassin; concluding the decade-long Chain Veil story arc in an anti-climactic way that provided no resolution; breaking a fundamental rule of Magic lore by giving Kaya the ability to transport people to other planes with her; and for the low quality of the writing style in general, particularly the juvenile dialogue.
Wizards of the Coast later released a statement on their website acknowledging the controversy and reception, and that Chandra's identity will be explored more in future stories. Greg Weisman also released an apology, stating that the mutual creative/editorial process with Wizards and Del Rey was to blame for the final characterization of Chandra in the book.
- Wizards of the Coast (October 9, 2019). "War of the Spark: Forsaken". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Jay Annelli (March 18, 2019). "Storytelling in Magic: the Gathering Panel at ECCC 2019". Archive Trap Mini. Tumblr.
- Mark Rosewater (April 17, 2019). "Will the followup novel cover the events of Core 2020 or the fall set?". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Decidedly Bad - War Of The Spark: The Forsaken - A Magic: The Gathering Novel by Greg Weisman. Reddit (November 15, 2019).
- Can we make the War of the Spark novels non-Canon?. Reddit (November 13, 2019).
- April King (November 12, 2019). "Casually lighting on fire a decades' worth of work connecting to your diverse fanbase.". Twitter.
- War of the Spark: Forsaken: chapter summaries. Reddit (November 11, 2019).
- War of the Spark: Forsaken reviews. Goodreads (November 12, 2019).
- Levi Byrne (November 12, 2019). "Reviewing War of the Spark: Forsaken"
- Wizards of the Coast (November 22, 2019). "On Chandra and the Forsaken novel". magicthegathering.com. Wizards of the Coast.
- Mark Rosewater (November 22, 2019). "Quite a few people view the apology for War of the Spark: Forsaken as disingenuous.". Blogatog. Tumblr.
- Greg Weisman (November 25, 2019). "Chandra Nalaar". Station Eight.