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WMG / The Cinder Spires

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Maul, Rowl's father, is really Mister from the Dresden Files.
  • Turns out Mister defies not only the Laws of Magic, but also petty concepts like 'mortality'. Seriously, no one can say without utter certainty that the big, scarred up, notch-eared tabby at the beginning IS NOT Mister. -Literally the first thing three friends discussed after meeting at the bar.
    • But isn't Mister grey, not tabby?
      • Tabby isn't a color, it's a type of cat. -OP

Grimm's reason for taking on Creedy is going to be extremely funny and/or important
  • when we're first introduced to Creedy, Grimm muses that he would never have bothered taking Creedy on if he didn't owe a favor to Creedy's sister. In a future book, the story behind that debt is going to come out... either it's going to be a crazy/awesome/funny story on the level of how Harry used up that debt from the Summer court, or the backstory of said favor is going to end up giving major clues to a sub-plot of some kind.

Commodore Rook is going to end up being a traitor to Spire Albion because of his actions at the end of book 1
  • While his turning tail and running at the Predator/Itasca battle at the end of book 1 is a matter of his word against Grimm's... Grimm wasn't the only one who saw it. The actual event happens during Gwen's POV, and leaves no doubt she knows exactly what happened. As in, the heir to one of the greatest Houses of Spire Albion. While her word may not count in an official Admiralty report, I'm sure it will in the political/court games between the Spire's Houses, and it's established early that Rook's trying his hardest to climb the governmental/social ladder. With Gwen sending him to the pillory of public opinion, Rook will cut and run again and turn to Spire Aurora, or even the Puppet Master down on the surface to try to regain his standing and self-importance.

Ciriaco will eventually become a Friendly Enemy or even join up with the crew
He already doesn't approve of the things he's been ordered to do and doesn't like the policies of Spire Aurora, and he's already formed a 'connection' of sorts with Bridget and Folly - even if that connection is merely giving them the means to defend themselves against Cavendish and Sark. As the series goes on he may become more and more dis-satisfied with his superiors, and eventually defect.

The Enemy is the Vord
  • Mind-control, infiltrator tactics, extreme xenophobia... Well, the Vord do move form world to world.

It's set on an alien planet which the humans are draining of Life Energy
  • Even though it's implied by the term "the Breaking of the World" that humanity lives in the Spires due to some ecological catastrophe or world-destroying war, the fact that the surface beings have an explicitly alien body plan (3 eyes and yaws, different segmentation from Earth insects, etc.) and are all inedible to humans (suggesting differences at the basic biochemical level), and the fact that people can still breathe without oxygen tanks at the top of a 10 mile high Spire (suggesting a more dense atmosphere than on Earth and likely a much higher oxygen content as well, which might also be the reason for the ridiculously fast rusting of unprotected steel) both suggest that the setting really is an alien planet that the humans have colonised. The "Breaking of the World" might really be some catastrophic accident happening to their generation ship that forced them to land and settle on a planet that isn't actually very habitable for human life. The Spires are either parts of the generation ship or purpose-build carbon nanotube / diamond constructions for the humans to live in, and to syphon off the ether energy from the planet to keep the essential survival systems running (such as the meat-growing vats and hydroponic gardens). The ancestors of the human characters either didn't know or didn't care that the Ether is really like the Life Stream / Mako energy in Final Fantasy VII, i.e. the souls of the life on the planet. (This is why crystals and crystal-powered devices like the Predator gain a sort of sentience, possibly because some of the soul energy "sticks" after a while.) Understandably, the surface beings (who are either a sort of hive mind, or psychically controlled by dragon-like beings who are the native intelligent life of the planet) are very pissed about this, and want to exterminate the humans - get rid of the infection draining on the planet's life force, if you will. For this purpose, the Enemy is trying to provoke "God in Heaven" (really the A.I. computer core of the generation ship left in orbit, which is still controlling survival-important functions in the Spires that the humans have long forgotten how to manage) to send down "Archangels" (robotic drones?), in a hope that they might sabotage it somehow once parts of the computer are in reach of the surface beings, thus killing all the humans in one go, as slow attrition for the last 2000 years didn't work out. The book of names the Enemy tried to get their hands on (and destroy the copies so the humans wouldn't have access anymore), is likely a manifest of the original crew of the generation ship. Not sure how that's important yet, but maybe their descendants are the only ones carrying a gene necessary to give the computer core new orders or something like that. (The existence of the Warriorborn suggests large scale genetic manipulation of humans during the time period of the "Breaking" or shortly thereafter, before the humans lost the necessary knowledge.)
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  • Hmm. But cats can eat those creatures (they hunt them explicitly for food).

Spires Albion and Aurora will make peace to face the common Enemy of humanity
  • The first book feels very similar to the Codex Alera novels in general terms (humanity is trapped on a hostile Death World; the main characters are hyper-competent teenagers who are working as special agents for a sly and generally good ruler; there are half-human hybrids with animalistic features; aside from the odd psychopathic witch, the humanoid primary villains are actually quite decent people who are just in an economic conflict with the main characters' nation; the Big Bad is alien and psychically connected; etc. - Bridget even thinks a lot like Tavi in terms of being extremely sensible and avoiding unnecessary conflict), and there are already hints that a lot of the humans' problems could be solved if they'd only work together more (e.g. the conversation about the fact that the need for all the power crystals in the Fleet is the main thing that holds back the technological living standard of civil society), so I predict that the subsequent books will have the main characters arrange for a peace with the other Spires, intially only so humanity can concentrate on fighting the Enemy, just like the humans making peace with the Canim in Codex Alera. Then it will likely turn out that the Enemy has some good reason to hate the humans so much (see the above WMG), so that the humans will eventually come to an arrangement with the Enemy as well. Probably that will involve the humans leaving the planet, as implied by the thousands of rising ships in Folly's vision.

The Enemy is some sort of mechanical, biomechanical or magitek construct gone rogue
Listen to how it talks when Folly meets it Elsewhere. "REPORT"; "IDENTIFY YOURSELF"; "VALUABLE ASSET". It sounds less like some natural "force" a la Vord and more like some sort of artificial intelligence slightly off its rocker. Perhaps the Builders managed to utilize the crystal's personalities as magitek computers and one of them went horribly wrong, perhaps because of some natural property of the ether. Maybe it started to have "holes" in its mind like etherealists do?
  • Building on that, my theory is that the Enemy is actually a colossal etheric crystal created thousands of years ago by the Builders. This mega-crystal is so powerful that it is in fact the source of the "etheric currents" that airships use to travel about. Anyway, at some point it became fully sentient (and maybe insane?) and after centuries of growth it became too powerful for the Builders to control. It used its nigh-omnipotent etheric powers to warp the surface of the Earth into a Death World designed to Kill All Humans, but the Builders retreated into the Spires which for some reason the Enemy's power cannot penetrate. (That's why it wants to destroy the Spires, so that it can finally kill off the last descendants of its creators.) Meanwhile it sits somewhere down on the surface (maybe beneath the surface?) plotting humanity's downfall and experimenting with new and exciting Nightmare Creatures.

The world will turn out to be Earth All Along
  • The characters talk of God, implying Christianity, and the names of the spires imply that they could be the descendants of different countries and/or of continents:
    • Albions: British
    • Aurorans: Somewhere north? (Aurora Borealis?)
    • Olympians: Greek or Europeans
    • Atlanteans: Atlantic Ocean region
    • Hey, Europe is kind of big and culturally rather diverse - depending on where, exactly, and how strongly the disaster hit, there might be more "European" spires than just Olympia (doesn't the book mention "Pictish" spire or something like that? The one with honey monopoly?)
  • At some point in the past, the surface of the world became uninhabited for...some reason, leading to the Builders creating the Spires. In all of the time since then, it's been forgotten what the Earth was originally like. That being said, before I jumped on here I hadn't seriously considered the idea of it being another planet humanity have colonised, but that's probably more likely.
    • A small problem with this is that the Aurorans are quite explicitly Spanish in cultural origin, putting at least one hole in that theory.
    • As I understand it, Word of Jim has outright stated that the world is Earth 2000 years After the End and with a change in natural laws.
    • Perhaps it's set after the Dresden Files' still-to-be-written Apocalypse Trilogy. I can only imagine that there's going to be some serious damage going on in those books.
      • All the place names can be interpreted to indicate that, even though we have left The Dresden Files, we have not left Chicago.
      • Aurora is a suburb of Chicago, most famous for being the setting of Wayne's World, and Spire Aurora's flag is Chicago's municipal flag with an extra star.
      • Albion derives from the Latin word albus, meaning 'white'. The White City is the park in south Chicago where the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition took place.
      • Olympia Fields is a village near Chicago which grew up around a golf course which became popular as a retreat for the wealthy during the World's Columbian Exposition.
      • Itasca is a township in Chicago just outside O'Hare airport. It is, in turn, named for a lake in Minnesota, near the headwaters of the Mississippi River, which was given a faux-Amerind name in the mid-19th century.
      • There is mention of a faraway spire named Jereezi. Jereezi. Jerzi. Jersey. Joisey
      • The even more distant spire Atlantea is even more obviously a corruption of Atlanta
      • As well constructed as this theory is (and there are even more names that could be brought up), there is a major flaw in this theory: distances. Spire Albion is described as being 2 miles wide and 10,000 feet high, and we can presume that the other spires are of similar scale (For reference, the tallest buildings in the world haven't cracked 3,000 feet) and Aurora, White City, and Olympia fields are all within 50 miles of eachother. They would all be in the others' sight, which invalidates several important story elements
    • Possibly the Summer and Winter Court either failed at their job of protecting Earth from Eldritch Abominations, or did something that was supposed to get rid of those forever and instead broke reality? Which would result in and end to reality as we know it and substituting another for it. Sort of Gaia's Revenge.

Folly said she "does not talk to puppets"
  • Could this mean that most 'normal' people are puppets, in her eyes?
  • Maybe, maybe not. She's not dismissive of Bridget and the others, like she is of mme Cavendish.


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