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War of the Spark: Forsaken

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KarrinBlue writes...

1) Where exactly in Eastern Europe is Markovia? Is it neighboring Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, or is it further away, like Hungary or Romania?
2) What was going on with the Doom Patrol - the one Dayton was a part of as 'Mento'? Were they an old TV show, a real hero team, a group of actors with very bad luck?
3) You've been working on Magic the Gathering books - would any of the Team/Outsiders members play MtG, and do you have deck themes in mind for anyone in particular?
4) Was Ilona Bedlam's older or younger sister?
5) Was Tara aware that Cassandra Savage liked her?

Greg responds...

1. We placed Markovia on a map. And the map is at my office on the Warner Bros Ranch. And I haven't been to that office in over a year. I can't quite remember. But I know it borders Vlatava and is close to Latvia.

2. A real hero team. The only (former) actor on the Patrol was Rita.

3. I've been off MtG for so long now that I've already forgotten what "deck themes" means. I think I'll leave it to your interpretation which heroes play the game.

4. Ilona's the older sibling.

5. They got along well enough.

Response recorded on September 01, 2021

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B writes...

Unlike the majority of fans whom I've seen talking about it, I'm assuming that the more controversial parts of "War of the Spark: Forsaken", such as erasing Chandra and Nissa's romantic relationship and putting Vraska back where she started as a character, were decision made by Wizards of the Coast and not by you. Given familiarity with your past work, it would be out of character, and fans often forget how you're beholden to the directives of the company that hires you to write the book. Any official confirmation of this would be welcome.

Greg responds...

I've signed an NDA that prevents me from confirming much beyond what I wrote here: https://www.s8.org/gargoyles/askgreg/search.php?rid=1231. That statement was carefully worded, as it had to be vetted and approved by both Wizards of the Coast and Del Rey Books.

But I think it should go without saying that all END RESULTS had to be approved by Wizards of the Coast before being published.

Response recorded on August 16, 2021

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Todd Jensen writes...

I finished reading "War of the Spark: Forsaken" today.

While "Magic: the Gathering" is still a "foreign country" to me, I rather liked this book. I got a few big surprises out of it (such as the revelation about Mistress Blaise near the end), and was also amused to note the "lettered plans" gag (evocative of "Eye of the Beholder") and another use of the "Reason not the need" line from "King Lear". Plus a battle with gargoyles in a room filled with clockwork (even if it probably wasn't a clock tower). But the part that most stood out to me was the book opening with an Epilogue and ending with a Prologue. It felt almost as if it was living backwards, like T. H. White's Merlyn.

I became particularly fond of "Rat", whom I understand was your creation instead of a pre-existing figure.

Greg responds...

Glad you liked it. The idea was for it to work for folks who had no background in Magic: the Gathering. And I'm particularly fond of Rat, as well. Or, you know, VERY FOND of Rat.

Response recorded on August 16, 2021

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Google Translator writes...

Dear Greg,

I don't know if this site covers my question, but I have no other way to maybe get in touch with you, so ...

I just read War of the Spark: Forsaken, I don't know what to say. Many aspects pleased me, others made me think "what ?!"

I think overall I can say I liked it. Well, my question is: will you write more books from Magic: The Gathering?

The ending of this last one was very open, there is still a lot to happen and I think you should bring this ending.

Besides, you have all my support to make Liliana and Jace happen.

Greg responds...

There were plans for me to continue on with the quartet of Kaya, Teyo, Rat and Liliana. But MtG's plans changed, so it isn't happening - which was a big bummer for me. But whatchagonnado? Ain't my property, and I knew that going in.

Response recorded on August 16, 2021

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Anonymous writes...

Hi Greg! Sorry if English is bad, I'm not fluent!

Well, my question is about magic. Why is Jace Beleren so hypocritical? Why can he forgive Vraska so quickly, but not Liliana?

By God, even the slightest contact with Liliana makes him cry about how she deceived and betrayed him. Ah, but it doesn't matter that Vraska did the same thing, after all, he's in love! So cute, isn't it ?!

Oh, please! Very hypocritical! All his crying would be easily silenced if Liliana said she really loved him, but how proud is she to do that? Well, a lot! And that's why Jace is this troubled man!

I can't take it anymore, please arrange things between them in the next books! How can Jace judge Liliana so much when he forgives Vraska? How can he judge her so much when he agrees with this gigantic lie at the end of the Sparks War? Please make him put himself in Liliana's shoes for a moment!

Greg responds...

Hm. Well, Jace's feelings for Liliana are extremely complicated, which is something you'll see in both of my War of the Sparks books, but especially the second one. I think it does pay to keep in mind that from Jace's point of view, Liliana seemed to be slaughtering sentients by the hundreds.

But it seems there won't be any third book from me. I was told I was done after the second one.

Response recorded on August 12, 2021

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Andrea writes...

Hi, I'm from Chile and on April 23 I'll be in Los Angeles California / Las Vegas (for the first time in the USA).
I'll be looking for the Magic book and I do not know where I can find it.
Can you tell me where you will sell it?
Beforehand thank you very much
(Excuse my English, but I had google translator)

Greg responds...

I'm assuming you're talking about April, 2019. And it's now July, 2021. So I'm too late to help you. But War of the Spark: Ravnica & War of the Spark: Forsaken should both still be available via Amazon.com, in both English and Spanish.

Response recorded on July 26, 2021

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Alexi Sargeant writes...

Hello Greg!

I was excited to see the announcement of your Ravnica novel for Magic: The Gathering. Congratulations! It's also fun for me to see multiple fandoms of mine colliding.

Were you already a Magic player or fan, or did you do a deep dive to prepare for the book? Either way, do you have a favorite set, plane, or character from the Magic multiverse? What are they?

Greg responds...

I did the deep (deep, deep, deep) dive when I got the gig.

I'm obviously partial to Araithia "Rat" Shokta, but if you mean someone that pre-existed my book, I'd vote for Hekara or Liliana Vess. And it's hard to top the richness of Ravnica.

Response recorded on July 12, 2021

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Noah Gresser writes...

I greatly look forward to your Ravnica Novel. After being kind of low on MTG story after the events of Dominaria, your contribution to one of favourite franchises is everything I didn't know I wanted. Thank you so much.

Greg responds...

Hope you liked them. I really enjoyed writing both books, i.e. War of the Spark: Ravnica and War of the Spark: Forsaken.

Response recorded on July 12, 2021

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Chandra Nalaar

Response to my latest novel, War of the Spark: Forsaken, has been understandably negative, particularly as a result of how the character of Chandra Nalaar was depicted in the book. My response is a bit late in coming, but here it is:

After reading the materials that preceded my work on Magic: The Gathering, I was particularly intrigued by the burgeoning relationship between Chandra and Nissa. I felt that it should culminate in the War of the Spark books. In lieu of bringing them together, as it was not a relationship that WotC planned to pursue, my goal was to write something that honored Chandra's feelings for Nissa and Nissa's feelings for Chandra, something that would give closure to their relationship in a sad but satisfying and understandable way. I believe that if readers had seen my original ideas for the chapter in question, they might have gotten a better sense of what I was trying to accomplish. They might have liked it better. Or maybe they wouldn't have. In any case, through the mutual creative/editorial process with WotC and Del Rey, we ended up with the final product that was published in Forsaken, which clearly didn't meet anyone's expectations or delivers on my intentions. And for that, I am truly sorry.