Ask Luna #20

From: April

Heya, so I just finished reading Chosen, which I really liked by the way, I’ve read all of the Alex Verus books pretty recently. But I was wondering if you’re going to write a fifth novel? If you did, do you think that would be the final book or would you write more?

I’ve done some pretty weird things since I was brought in to the magical world, but writing novels isn’t one of them.

From: drizztmajere

Hey Luna,
I have always wondered if it was possible to have more than one power and was happy to see from one of your previous answers that it is possible if you are a hybrid. However from reading Alex’s latest adventure I began to wonder if he could develop time magic and this was what his divination mentor was alluding to in fated? And if not time something else?

It’s something I’ve asked Alex about, but his answer’s always been no. He’s a diviner, he does diviner things, and that’s that. Mind you, he can do a few things that aren’t exactly divination, like magesight and using focuses, so I’m not sure calling him a diviner exactly covers everything, but he seems pretty definite about it.

If he did expand in some other direction, my guess would be that it’d be something really closely linked to seeing into the future. Time sounds sort of possible, but I’ve got a feeling those two magic types are more different than they look.

From: Josh

Hi Luna,

Alex is recognized as a by the magical community as a whole, to be a mage. I’ve only ever seen him sifting through possible futures, one example of his magic. This comes across as an adept to me, rather than a mage. Can you please expand/clarify on this?

Also, do you happen to know exactly what Alex did to gain the trust of StarBreeze and Arachne? As magical creatures are typically leery of mages as a whole, it must have been something spectacular!

Now that first question’s an interesting one, and more than a little bit relevant to me.

Okay, so there are kind of two views on adepts in the mage world. The first is that they’re like retarded mages – they get to cast one spell and that’s it. The other view is that there isn’t really any difference between mages and adepts at all, they’re just labels. Sure, some magic-users have more flexibility and some have less, but it’s a sliding scale, not one-or-the-other. In Alex’s case, yeah, pretty much everything he can do comes down to seeing into the future, but the results he can produce with it are just as varied as any other mage (actually, probably more varied than some of the dumber elementalists I’ve met). Doesn’t it make more sense to judge someone by what they can do with their magic, not how they do it?

Well, you can probably guess which answer I think’s the right one. Whether I can get anyone else to believe me . . .

Oh, and as for Starbreeze and Arachne, I don’t know the story with Starbreeze, but Arachne told me the story of how she and Alex met a while ago. It’s kind of personal, though.

From: Gordon

Hi Luna,

1) This is probably a no brainer, but what does Alex usually do in exchange for the force wall disks and condensers that he gets from his suppliers?

2) Unless you manage to break your curse, someone else in your family will eventually end up with it when the unthinkable happens. You’ve been making great strides in controlling it so far. Have you given any thought to what you’ll do to pass on what you learned if the curse can’t be broken?

For items, he usually trades for them. He has a ton of random mostly-useless magic items in his shop which he buys from customers, so he’ll often trade a weird focus for a bunch of one-shots. Sometimes he just pays money, though, and I think with the force mage who makes the walls he’s got a deal where he provides some service or other, though he hasn’t told me what it is.

As for the other question . . . thanks for making death an even more depressing prospect. I dunno. Up until now I haven’t been thinking that far ahead. I still don’t, really. The one thing I’d really want to do would be to make sure that whoever she was, she had someone to explain it to her, rather than letting her find out for herself in the most awful way possible. I don’t know how, though. Even if I could figure out who it was and find her, what would I tell her? “Hi, you don’t know me but I’m your second cousin twice removed and oh by the way, once I die and you hit puberty you’re going to pick up a magical curse that kills anyone who gets close to you.” Yeah, that’d go over well.

I don’t know. I guess I’m hoping I’ll have long enough to figure out something better. Maybe if I ever get to the point where I can control it properly I’d actually have something useful to teach her.

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