The Queen’s Army (The Viscount of The Lost Verentia – Book 3)

Hello everybody. After a pretty long absence I came back with some fresh articles that I want to write. You might have noticed my absence, or you might have not. But regardless of it, I hope you will pardon me and find the joy of reading my new articles. Gosh it has been so long, I almost forgot how to write (just kidding, writing is like riding a bike hahaha).

Anyway, today I am going to talk about a book that I finished reading a few months ago (I think last year if I remember correctly). The book is nothing more than the next volume in the series “The Viscount of the Lost Verentia” after “Children in the Fog”. I don’t know why I find this series so good, but I get lost in it every time I read a new volume.

I will start by saying that while reading it, I somehow was more engaged. Not that I wasn’t before, but now things start to have more sense and the dots finally start to connect.

This volume wisely blends the childhood innocence with the adolescent energy, leading to quite an amount of funny events which give the series otherwise serious the comic character that helps in taking a break from the amalgam of events which are taking place.

The central point is, at least from my point of view, the effect of the potion called Mortifia and how can people use it in their own purposes (or not). Also, we get to have a more accurate view of what is happening in the place that is described as the worst one where you can be: Troun prison. I find it actually quite interesting from various points of views:

  • Torun is a city in Poland known for inhabiting people of diverse backgrounds and religions (maybe just like in the Torun prison you get regardless of where you come from?)
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image.png
Torun Bridge Gate
  • Thor It is a nordic god of nature, lightning and war. Torun means “The beloved of Thor”. And as we also know, many people got to Torun after the great revolution, so people who went to “war” are all gathered in the same place, where they can be guarded symbolically by the nordic god of war.
Thor’s fight with the Giants (1872)
Picture by Mårten Eskil Winge
  • Torun in Turkish means “grandson”, and since the author also writes about interactions with Versia (a.k.a Turkey), it might not be a coincidence.

I am not sure I get the exact meaning of the prison name, but whatever it is I think it is a pretty inspired one.

The action takes place in 7348, a year that for the current century seems very far away. Many of us imagine that year as being full of cyborgs and robots and other AI stuff. But not in the book. There is actually an antithetic placement in my point of view. The author placed in the same moment of time a year far away from the present, but at the same time chose namings which take us in the medieval age (ex. Valachia, the old name of one part of Romania), where there was no technology, no cars and no rush, people counting only on nature. Should this be considered as an involution of the humans, as going back to a more simple society, or more like an evolution by understanding that people can live far better when they rely only on nature?

Flower symbols

Interesting enough, the flower symbol of the mags is the marigold. Why is this important? Because it is not a coincidence that from all the flowers in the world, precisely the marigold was chosen. It is a plant that is known for its medical uses. And what could be one of the activities of a mag? pharmacy of course.

Marygold in a painting by Romanian artist Stefan Luchian

Also, the symbol of the house of Rodriguez, a respectable rich family, is the rose which symbolises…respect and honour.

People symbols

Talking about symbols, there is a story in the book about “The Shadow of the Ghost”, which literally sends to the idea of zombi, but in a much more elevated way, cause what are zombies if not dead-alive people (tell me if I am going too far, I have a vivid imagination)?

Another human reference I think is being made with the help of Tezeu Mivil, the oldest brother of Cezar Mivil. In the Greek mythology, Tezeu is a hero responsible for unifying Athens (any hint about his future role?) and for killing the Minotaur.

Theseus and the Minotaur

Animal symbols

When we talk about animals, there is one thing which caught my attention. An air dragon from the breed “Luft”, which in German means air. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out about fire dragons from the breed Feuer or water dragons from the breed Wasser.

Another animal symbol is the one that both Leopod and Liliana use: a lion. The lion represents royalty, which might actually make sense taking into account that Iustin might be a part from a royal family. Interesting enough, Iosif Tarantela remembers when his sister was asked what does the lion inspire? Her answer was immortality. Why immortality when, just as Tarantela thought, anyone else would have thought about the king of the jungle? Does it have to do with Leopod and Liliana’s experiment? Iunona also had a vision with a lion, who’s name was Criterion…as in ‘Setvom Ulong Criterion’?

Probably we will find the rest of the details in a future volume.

© picnicontheshelf, June 26, 2020


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