Many authors have agendas involving philosophies that they keep under wraps until they are successful enough to bring them out in the open. Even then, some are able to tell a good enough story to keep people reading. Common agendas are environmentalism, evolution, eastern religions, and atheism. I have even seen incest as a hidden agenda.
Feist, in his latest book Magician’s End, reveals that he is an advocate of eastern religion. This is common in fantasy but he gets really blatant here. Or let me say, he either is an advocate or ignorant of the world around him and thinks he is being original. It could be that he is planning this to be the last in the series so he needs to lay it on thick.
I am reading Magician’s End. At the beginning of this story the main character’s, who are well known from previous novels, meet up with someone who takes the name of “Guide.” In the conversation Guide shares this.
“We exist in a realm of energy, we who serve the One. We are forever in the Bliss, part of the One until we are needed, and we are then given form and substance, given an identity commensurate with our purpose; to ensure efficiency, all memories of previous service in that role are returned. So, currently, I think of myself as ‘I,’ a single entity, but that will dissipate when I rejoin the One in the Bliss.” page 10This is a clear presentation of the Hindu/Buddhist concept of Nirvana.
The story goes on. The basic plot I enjoy but there are repeated interludes that have these characters, who are all magicians, involved in some ethereal realm where the author seeks to demonstrate the reaches of his imagination.
The general plot holds together. The interludes are like evangelism tracts for Hinduism. Toward the end he sums it all up.
“‘Nothing dies,’ said Macros. ‘What they are, who they were, return to Mind and will manifest itself somewhere else at some other time.’” page 394I asked myself, “If I skipped these chapters on Hinduism would it effect my enjoyment of the story?” I was paying attention because I had seen this pattern in other authors. The answer was, “No.” They were totally unnecessary except to get across the real message of the author.
I enjoyed the basic story. I will read his next book and hope he does not get drawn even deeper into his religious screed. There will come a point where it isn’t worth the time.
Beware what you read. Know the purpose of the author. Enjoy if you can. Get your money back if you can’t.
Feist, Raymond E. Magician’s End. New York: Harper Voyager, 2013.
homo unius libri