Friday, May 1, 2015

The Shattered Lens

The final published tale in Brandon Sanderson's "biography" of the 13 year old oculator Alcatraz Smedry is entitled Alcatraz Versus the Shattered Lens. In this tale, the wicked librarians, a cult of evil ne-er-do-wells, have beseiged the Freelands kingdom of Mokia and are using every trick up their sleeve to use their technology to take over the capital city of Tuki Tuki and enslave its inhabitants. Alcatraz is under the protection of the Knights of Crystallia who are under orders to keep him far away from Mokia and most of the Freelanders view Mokia as good as lost. However, Alcatraz finds a way to travel to Tuki Tuki and his sudden arrival gives the protectors of the city a ray of hope. However, that ray is quashed when their king and queen are taken captive by their foes. Then before you can say "Dewey Decimal System", Alcatraz, as the highest ranking person in the kingdom (being that he is a Smedry from the pure line), is appointed as acting king of the nation. What was once a sort of game, then suddenly takes on an entirely new perspective, where decisions now affect lives and freedom.

In this story, Alcatraz is forced to mature and to understand that his oculatory powers were not given to him to garner praise from the people, to amuse others with simple parlor tricks, or to match wits with low-level librarians thugs. His powers exist to protect and to serve his people. During the battle of Tuki Tuki, Alcatraz must face his arch enemy, who turns out to be his mother. He comes to see her and her agenda in a completely different light and he also comes to understand a bit more about what his recently long-lost father is up to.

This was a very enjoyable series to read through. I realize that these stories are in the category of "young adult" and that the adventures of Alcatraz were written in a tongue-in-cheek manner. However, as I have said before, a great story is a great story. The four novels in the series were published in the period from 2007 to 2010. There are reports that Sanderson will return to this series with another release in 2016. I eagerly await the next chapter in the life of Alcatraz Smedry.