First of all, I should probably state that this is a follow up review to The Magician’s Workshop Volume 1.
My major complaint in that review, about an unfulfilling story, has been washed away – like the old and mysterious world of O’Ceea. As I had hoped, the second volume delivered.
Now that the Magician Puller had arrived at the top of the pedestal, he raised the ancient Staff of Light in the air with both hands, and the nine Colors that had until then been wrapped tightly around his body began to unfurl. Nine strands of light, contained in something like frayed strips of cloth, spun up toward the tip of the staff and then pressed together, forming a tight ball. After all his Colors were collected, the puller threw his arms open, and the Colors shot straight up into the sky above the stadium, where they compressed in on themselves and formed a rainbow-colored moon. The crowd broke out with shouts of joyful adulation and resumed chanting, “Color, Color, find within us Color!”
I still remain skeptical of the splitting of these two volumes, in which the first essentially contains the beginning and middle, while the second gives us the ending. Combine them together and you have a neatly wrapped up little bundle, which really begs the question, why not collate them together?
I won’t go into a full review of the story here as I’ve already said we are merely continuing on the journey laid out in the first instalment. What is worth delving into, however, are the added nuances that this part brings.
The key component is the underlying social tension. As well as crafting an in-depth and magical world, Hansen & Fehr have also given us a tiered social caste, one which will challenge the characters, both raising and casting them down unjustly, and point to a deeper plot that will likely form the backbone of the entire series.
“Society’s old belief in the Color gods needs to change. Everyone needs an equal chance to get into the workshop. I agree with you on that.”
There may still be some typos, the writing style and dialogue may be simple but there is no denying that O’Ceea will stay on your mind long after you finish the book. I, for one, know that I have to see it through to the end. I need to know what will become of Kai and his friends, I can’t wait to see Kaso reveal his true strength or see Kalaya overcome her self-doubt.
Not only that but the authors have done an excellent job of foreshadowing the next installment and building anticipation for the Competitions. Where all our characters will begin to come together, either as allies or opponents, and pit their wits, skills and projections in the arena.