Record of Grancrest War (Episode 11) – The Fall of Castle Unicorn
Villar appears to have the upper hand, but then a massive fleet from Nord approaches. It would appear that his time has come, but there is one thing left to decide. How will he accept defeat?
Villar has accepted defeat and will not order any of the neighbouring lords to fight on. Even those serving beneath him are free to do as they choose. For Villar, there is only one thing left to do, and that is to go out fighting. Margaret Odius who returned to him with news from Dartania has chosen to live and die at his side. Together they stand watch over the land gate and wait for it to breach.
Meanwhile, Edokia’s men have made the decision to get her to safety. It’s too late for her sea palace, but they will ensure that she can escape by attacking the Nord fleet head-on. With the sheer size and power of the palace, they should at least be able to take many ships down with them. However, the Nord men are furious fighters and soon force the crew to destroy the palace.
The Waldren Knights breach the gates of Castle Unicorn and are met by Margaret Odius in her full hellfire form. Together with Villar, the charge the invaders and fight along the bridge. After some intense fighting, Margaret is struggling to maintain her powers. With one last effort, she unleashes her full power and incinerates all before them. She too, however, succumbs to the flames.
Villar charges on and is met by the crossbows of the Waldren Knights. At first, it appears that he has blocked their attack, but when Marrine goes to meet him, he accepts defeat and offers her his crest, dying shortly after. Marrine gives Milza the throne of Alturk with the mission to destroy all who oppose her.
What did you think?
So, this episode was much better. There was one battle and we stayed focused on that the entire time. I did get a little annoyed at how many people would throw away their lives when they probably didn’t need to. Like the mage at the end who drank poison when Villar lost. Surely, a better way to channel that rage would be to see that those responsible are dealt with.
This felt more like epic fantasy and less like political drama disguised as epic fantasy. You can still have all the scheming and politics involved, but if you don’t show us epic battles, it’s all for nothing.
We did have yet another character briefly introduced to us in the form of Ulrica, daughter of the Sea King, Erik of Nord. So, these were the Vikings and it felt like they aren’t even trying to hide the similarities anymore.
What have you learnt?
Genre can be a funny thing with storytelling. If you make someone believe that a story is in one genre, but in reality it’s not, you will upset the audience, regardless of how good the story might be. It comes into play when marketing the story. You always want to target the correct people so that you get the best results. This issue can also happen if there is a drastic switch in the genre within the story or if it fails to hit the trusted tropes. This series started out like an epic fantasy with the political side of it hurrying alongside, desperate to keep up. Then, it swung heavily in the opposite direction where we barely saw any action.
It’s not the end of the world, but can be quite jarring as it makes the story seem like it’s not sure what it is. As with almost anything, finding a balance between the aspects you want to include is incredibly important.
Other reviews in the series
- Season One
- Episode 1 – Contract
- Episode 2 – Ambition
- Episode 3 – Battle Flag
- Episode 4 – Decision
- Episode 5 – Forest of Eternal Darkness
- Episode 6 – March
- Episode 7 – The White Prince
- Episode 8 – The Congress Dances
- Episode 9 – The Black Princess
- Episode 10 – Blade of Betrayal
- Episode 11 – The Fall of Castle Unicorn
- Episode 12 – A Treaty Formed
- Episode 13 – To the Homeland
- Episode 14 – The Liberator of Sistina
- Episode 15 – Return
- Episode 16 – Outpost
- Episode 17 – Two Heroes
- Episode 18 – Leader
- Episode 19 – The Awakening of a Noble
- Episode 20 – Pitched Battle of the Three Forces
- Episode 21 – Purge
- Episode 22 – The Holy Grail
- Episode 23 – Castle Walls
- Episode 24 – Grancrest
Gotta love a good battle scene.:-) Switching genres mid-story is a problem. On a bigger scale, I’ve heard authors say that’s why they write different genres under different pen names so their readers don’t get upset.
Yeah, it’s something I’m considering. It’s a lot of extra admin though.
That said, I do enjoy a good genre mashup when it’s done right.