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Urza Triumphant. The war between Urza and Mishra is over. Brooding on the death of his brother at the hands of extraplanar forces, Urza drifts among the planes. But the end of the Brother's War has transformed him into something greater. Deep within his heart, a spark has been kindled to a flame that cannot be quenched. Urza has become a planeswalker. Linked to the Urza's Saga Urza Triumphant. The war between Urza and Mishra is over. Brooding on the death of his brother at the hands of extraplanar forces, Urza drifts among the planes. But the end of the Brother's War has transformed him into something greater. Deep within his heart, a spark has been kindled to a flame that cannot be quenched. Urza has become a planeswalker. Linked to the Urza's Saga expansion of the Magic: The Gathering trading card game.


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Urza Triumphant. The war between Urza and Mishra is over. Brooding on the death of his brother at the hands of extraplanar forces, Urza drifts among the planes. But the end of the Brother's War has transformed him into something greater. Deep within his heart, a spark has been kindled to a flame that cannot be quenched. Urza has become a planeswalker. Linked to the Urza's Saga Urza Triumphant. The war between Urza and Mishra is over. Brooding on the death of his brother at the hands of extraplanar forces, Urza drifts among the planes. But the end of the Brother's War has transformed him into something greater. Deep within his heart, a spark has been kindled to a flame that cannot be quenched. Urza has become a planeswalker. Linked to the Urza's Saga expansion of the Magic: The Gathering trading card game.

30 review for Planeswalker

  1. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    Urza is now a Planeswalker. And now he has some things he must do, but only after he can get to grips with himself. Urza is now tormented by the death of his brother, believing that he is the cause of it, as opposed to the Phyrexians who turned him into the monstrosity he was. He decides that Phyrexia must be taught a lesson, that they must pay for their actions and be destroyed. The book is much different than the earlier one, and many people who have read it will tell you that. It has a lot of Urza is now a Planeswalker. And now he has some things he must do, but only after he can get to grips with himself. Urza is now tormented by the death of his brother, believing that he is the cause of it, as opposed to the Phyrexians who turned him into the monstrosity he was. He decides that Phyrexia must be taught a lesson, that they must pay for their actions and be destroyed. The book is much different than the earlier one, and many people who have read it will tell you that. It has a lot of mixed results. Some, like myself, can't stand the book, while others say it's not all that bad. But I think collectively, it's not as highly regarded as the previous book, as the previous book is regarded as one of the best MTG novels ever written. Much of the story is about Urza's internal conflict. He toils around trying to find out how he was responsible, how to forgive himself, etc. The story does have some points of action, though they are not nearly as good as what was in the previous book. The story itself is also not as compelling. The story also takes on some action that is brought about in this book and finished in this book. What I have found is that for the remainder of this cycle, the books tend to bring about their own problem per book, and resolve that in the book, as it moves towards an ultimate goal: defeating Phyrexia. It's almost as if this book is not a direct sequel, in that the events from the previous book do not follow over, except the fact that the events in the previous book lead to Phyrexians on Dominaria and Urza became a Planeswalker. I do not recommend reading this book, and it was very difficult to finish. I would recommend reading a summary online instead of reading the book. If you think you might enjoy Urza whining in his little shack, go ahead, but I sure didn't.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Michael T Bradley

    It feels as if Lynn Abbey was given the following set of instructions: "Throw together 90k words in which Urza planeswalks at least once, and somewhere in there we learn that the Phyrexians are in fact the Thran." Armed with only this, Abbey began one story (Urza's new apprentice - Xantcha - buys a slave - Ratepe - who bears a physical similarity to Mishra, hoping that they can fool Urza and somehow end his madness), grew somewhat tired of that, then began filling in the blanks of Xantcha's hist It feels as if Lynn Abbey was given the following set of instructions: "Throw together 90k words in which Urza planeswalks at least once, and somewhere in there we learn that the Phyrexians are in fact the Thran." Armed with only this, Abbey began one story (Urza's new apprentice - Xantcha - buys a slave - Ratepe - who bears a physical similarity to Mishra, hoping that they can fool Urza and somehow end his madness), grew somewhat tired of that, then began filling in the blanks of Xantcha's history with Urza. Then that grew tiresome, so random excursions begin happening, or at least get mentioned. In the end, this is even more a mishmash than 'The Brothers' War.' Abbey has never been my favorite writer, and this only adds to the heap. I'm assuming much of the blame lies on WotC, but still, yeesh.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rob

    In a lot of ways, this book was better than The Brothers' War, the book that preceded it in the series. Unfortunately, its lore is built upon the lore of the first book, and it has no meaning without the context of the first. As a 12-year-old boy in my first read, I found this book disappointing as it cast aside the omnipotent Urza as the series' main protagonist and replaced him with a cynical and complex female lead who had seemingly come out of nowhere. However, after the first chapter or so i In a lot of ways, this book was better than The Brothers' War, the book that preceded it in the series. Unfortunately, its lore is built upon the lore of the first book, and it has no meaning without the context of the first. As a 12-year-old boy in my first read, I found this book disappointing as it cast aside the omnipotent Urza as the series' main protagonist and replaced him with a cynical and complex female lead who had seemingly come out of nowhere. However, after the first chapter or so in my recent reading, it began to become clear that Urza Planeswalker's story was more or less complete, and Xantcha's story was far more interesting. Viewing the story through the eyes of a character who is essentially a sidekick was refreshing. And Xantcha's worldview does a much better job of characterizing both Urza and the Multiverse, not to mention offering an ironically human perspective on the events of a Planeswalker's story. In retrospect, if this story had truly featured Urza, it would have been boring and forgettable. This book spends its first three quarters feeling like it's building up to something, although it's unclear what. Most of the story is rather mundane, offering Xantcha's perspective on the strange world(s) she's been dragged into. However, most of her experiences are inconsequential, and in many ways the book feels like it's taking place in her head rather than the world around her. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but the shift from external plot to the internal workings of the protagonist's mind are both jarring and, again, slow-paced. In the end, though, it does pay off, as Xantcha is far more fascinating than I first gave her credit for. The book seems to pick up the pace in the final few chapters, and by then it has so little time left that it seems to stumble over itself to finish on time. The climax and actual goal of the story arrive suddenly, and the final scenes feel rather rushed. I found myself reading over the last chapter multiple times, trying to understand what was happening, and it feels like perhaps a deadline or a page limit may have prevented it from receiving the depth and detail it deserved. I'm left with the feeling that I'm not entirely sure how it ended, mostly due to the omission of important details (and even several words omitted erroneously from sentences). While I wish the ending had been a little more refined, though, the rest of the book more than makes up for it. Besides, the failure to explain what was happening in the final chapter is trivial in the face of the upcoming time-skip between now and the next book. Looking back, this is easily the most underrated Magic: the Gathering story. I'm glad I gave it a second glance.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Vladimir Ivanov

    Ужасно. Книга по сути наполовину состоит из набора диалогов героини с Урзой и еще парой человек. Диалоги абсолютно пустые и многостраничные, похожие на теткинские телефонные разговоры, когда каждая из сторон по сто раз повторяет уже известное, лишь бы не класть трубку. А вторую половину романа занимают флешбеки из жизни героини, ни для чего не нужные, просто авторка придумала крутую героиню и хочет про нее побольше рассказать. Урза (который и в первой книге был крайне умен, а став бессмертным, за Ужасно. Книга по сути наполовину состоит из набора диалогов героини с Урзой и еще парой человек. Диалоги абсолютно пустые и многостраничные, похожие на теткинские телефонные разговоры, когда каждая из сторон по сто раз повторяет уже известное, лишь бы не класть трубку. А вторую половину романа занимают флешбеки из жизни героини, ни для чего не нужные, просто авторка придумала крутую героиню и хочет про нее побольше рассказать. Урза (который и в первой книге был крайне умен, а став бессмертным, за тысячелетия явно должен был еще набраться опыта) большую часть времени откровенно тупит, а в промежутках творит разные наивные глупости. Мучительное чтение. 2/5.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Aaron

    I feel like the book is subtly good possibly great, but not for what it's dressed as. Urza being a planeswalker is what the cover seems to be selling, but I feel like it's the journey of Xantcha that is the real selling point. Thing is, I'm not the right person to give her character the proper appreciation she deserves, but as far as I can tell, she's the first non-conforming character in terms of race, sexuality, identity, in all of magic (and possibly one of the first in fantasy genre as a who I feel like the book is subtly good possibly great, but not for what it's dressed as. Urza being a planeswalker is what the cover seems to be selling, but I feel like it's the journey of Xantcha that is the real selling point. Thing is, I'm not the right person to give her character the proper appreciation she deserves, but as far as I can tell, she's the first non-conforming character in terms of race, sexuality, identity, in all of magic (and possibly one of the first in fantasy genre as a whole). Her identity is conflicted with who she was (and what everyone around her sees her as, an incompleat phyrexian newt), but she fights for the identity who she wants/feels that she is. Multiple times, people in towns think of her as a male, sometimes as a female, and it gave me a sense that her struggle to understand who she is/who the world thinks she is is the focal point of the novel. The fight between phyrexia and urza kinda pales in comparison to this story (and i'm an avid magic player). And to top it off, the development of romantic engagement with Rat was really well done. I feel like Xantcha is the hidden gem of this novel, and i think Abbey (the author) knew that. It's brilliant that she's the focus of the novel, even though Urza steals the limelight. All that being said, i'm sure there are better examples of identity struggle novels out there, but there aren't any good ones in this universe as far as i can tell. Also, warning for disturbing images in the book (there's a part where Xantcha watches another newt slice off its arm and puts a shovel there to try to appease Gix, to be half-machine, for example).

  6. 4 out of 5

    Josh

    This was a good story and certainly well written. Urza is a frustrating character but I don't think that comes from the writer so much as his design. Fortunately though we don't have to experience the story from his perspective. Doing so would just be a confusing mess. Telling it through Xancha was well done and led to a good overall experience. Still, it's not without its problems. I found the time skips random, confusing and not well framed. The end was also the definition of anti-climactic. I' This was a good story and certainly well written. Urza is a frustrating character but I don't think that comes from the writer so much as his design. Fortunately though we don't have to experience the story from his perspective. Doing so would just be a confusing mess. Telling it through Xancha was well done and led to a good overall experience. Still, it's not without its problems. I found the time skips random, confusing and not well framed. The end was also the definition of anti-climactic. I'm sensing a theme here with these novels. There's absolutely no wrap up ever. The stories climax and then just end. That's that. It leaves you feeling very dissatisfied. There's no lack of MTG novels though so I guess I haven't really been left in the dark completely.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Iain

    I was surprised by how much I liked this book. It's not for everyone, and it's not a classic "dungeon crawl" fantasy adventure. Rather it's quite cerebral and engaging. I found myself caring about Abbey's protagonist, Xantcha. The story is much more polished than I've come to expect for MtG related fiction. Which comes as no surprise as it's written by an accomplished author and commands high prices on the secondary market. Left me want to read on in the series, as so many people rate those nove I was surprised by how much I liked this book. It's not for everyone, and it's not a classic "dungeon crawl" fantasy adventure. Rather it's quite cerebral and engaging. I found myself caring about Abbey's protagonist, Xantcha. The story is much more polished than I've come to expect for MtG related fiction. Which comes as no surprise as it's written by an accomplished author and commands high prices on the secondary market. Left me want to read on in the series, as so many people rate those novels higher than this one.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Janne Järvinen

    Very well written and interesting. No action romp, but an inside look into interesting characters. The whole MtG universe is great, so many more dimensions to it (ha ha) than your average unimaginative Tolkien ripoff. The balance of epic action in the background and the internal world of the characters in the fore, really is near perfect for my tastes here. Would have been four stars for enjoyment, but for the somewhat cliffhanger ending.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Andreea Pausan

    In this sequel to the Artifact's series, we are about 3000 years after the brother's war. Urza is immortal and plagued by remorse and the memory of his dead brother. The war threatens again and we finally learn the truth about the Thran and Pyrexia and war that continues to span across time and space. In this sequel to the Artifact's series, we are about 3000 years after the brother's war. Urza is immortal and plagued by remorse and the memory of his dead brother. The war threatens again and we finally learn the truth about the Thran and Pyrexia and war that continues to span across time and space.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Shase Lindell

    Xantcha's perspective is a very interesting one, as she very much more capable than humans and yet follows Urza. Xantcha's perspective is a very interesting one, as she very much more capable than humans and yet follows Urza.

  11. 4 out of 5

    David Thomas

    Being the second book in the Artifacts cycle, I can't help but compare this to the first book, The Brothers' War. I read them both for the first time about 20 years ago. What stuck out most to me was that whereas I remembered every little detail about the first book, I had forgotten almost everything but the most broad general story beats in this book. It follows Urza from newly minted planeswalker through a war of revenge against the machine demons of Phyrexia that lasts thousands of years. It' Being the second book in the Artifacts cycle, I can't help but compare this to the first book, The Brothers' War. I read them both for the first time about 20 years ago. What stuck out most to me was that whereas I remembered every little detail about the first book, I had forgotten almost everything but the most broad general story beats in this book. It follows Urza from newly minted planeswalker through a war of revenge against the machine demons of Phyrexia that lasts thousands of years. It's actually told through the eyes of his platonic life partner, Xantcha, a Phyrexian newt who dared to rebel and run away. As to the good parts of the book, for a licensed fantasy novel written in 1998, it's surprisingly woke. Even though Xantcha prefers to present as female most of the time, she is at her core an nonbinary agendered creature grown from a flesh-vat. They don't make a big deal about this, either. I can't think of encountering any other non-cisgendered heroes going back that far, at least not from as big an IP as Magic: The Gathering. Also, Urza, the titular Planeswalker, struggles with mental illness throughout the entire novel. His obsessive war with the Phyrexians and his deep seated depression for failing to save his brother in the first book are some pretty major themes. On to the bad. The plot meanders all over the place. Unlike the simple plotline of a generation long war between brothers in the first book, Planeswalker covers thousands of years of plot that feels like it just drags on and on. Xantcha recruits a teenager named Ratepe that just happens to look like Urza's brother, Mishra, hoping that it will bring him out of his obsessive depression, only to fall in love with him. This is in contrast to her relationship with Urza, which, despite lasting literal thousands of years, never blossoms into love. Whereas in the first book, he comes off as borderline autistic in his singleminded obsession with artifacts, Lynn Abbey makes him come off more as a condescending paternalist. I think the best summation of my feelings is that after The Brothers' War, I mostly felt nostalgic and wanted to read the next installment. After Planeswalker, I just feel kind of blah. I'll probably keep reading the next book in the Artifacts Cycle, but I'm not exactly in a hurry.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Serious Callers Only

    The Brothers War is widely believed to be the best MTG novel, and Planeswalker is its direct sequel. The book starts with a 3000 year timeskip. Conveniently, this skips an entire ice age caused by the main characters in the previous book. The author then proceeds to retcon a lot of the characters and worldbuilding from the previous book. She provides in-universe explanations for the retcons, and some are hilarious, intentionally or not. Mishra, the leader of the ancient Fallaji empire, was known t The Brothers War is widely believed to be the best MTG novel, and Planeswalker is its direct sequel. The book starts with a 3000 year timeskip. Conveniently, this skips an entire ice age caused by the main characters in the previous book. The author then proceeds to retcon a lot of the characters and worldbuilding from the previous book. She provides in-universe explanations for the retcons, and some are hilarious, intentionally or not. Mishra, the leader of the ancient Fallaji empire, was known to be notoriously impulsive and prone to fits of anger, but in this book he's become charming and charismatic, thanks to history being rewritten. When Xantcha, the main character, looks for a fake (or reborn) Mishra to present to her master, she of course finds a charming, handsome one, who isn't morbidly obese and has both healthy lungs. Xantcha is the main issue with this novel. The world and characters are almost always seen through her stream of consciousness and never described directly. Xantcha has unreliable memory, but will claim that it is photographic. She will sincerely pity the childishness and mental inferiority of her master and mentor, a several-thousand year old wizard. She will claim to have no combat experience in one scene, only to spend the next night hunting down a band of mercenaries and killing them off silently one by one. She will claim she was always the victim in most events in her life, and proceed to toss a demon into boiling oil or kill an armored man with a punch, while being bare fisted. Having a compulsive liar and mild psychotic describe several fantasy worlds is certainly original but it's also hard to keep track of.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Reed

    Some are very critical of this book out of the series and criticize it's emphasis on a less significant mythos character. I disagree wholly and see it as a view through a window of a the classic Urza as he descends into madness. The understanding of the ability of planeswalkers gained from this book is extensive to fans of Magic. Following the development of Magic's number 1 protagonist as he fights against overwhelming odds (even for an immortal) is amazing and Xantcha provides a character that Some are very critical of this book out of the series and criticize it's emphasis on a less significant mythos character. I disagree wholly and see it as a view through a window of a the classic Urza as he descends into madness. The understanding of the ability of planeswalkers gained from this book is extensive to fans of Magic. Following the development of Magic's number 1 protagonist as he fights against overwhelming odds (even for an immortal) is amazing and Xantcha provides a character that the reader can actually side with. Her backstory also provides a view into the metal realm of Phyrexia which remained a mystery though the proceeding book. (view spoiler)[And her significance and sacrifice continues in the Magic mythos through this day. (hide spoiler)]

  14. 5 out of 5

    Carlos

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Disclaimer: I loved the first book. This one took a bit to get into but they went in super deep into Phyrexian lore and it was awesome. I think what Urza was going through is the natural progression of what someone who lives that long could go through. Full circle. I think the thing to remember is that every book is going to be different and from a different peespective. While the story wasn't focused on Xancha it was told from her perspective and what she saw from having this "god like" friend. Disclaimer: I loved the first book. This one took a bit to get into but they went in super deep into Phyrexian lore and it was awesome. I think what Urza was going through is the natural progression of what someone who lives that long could go through. Full circle. I think the thing to remember is that every book is going to be different and from a different peespective. While the story wasn't focused on Xancha it was told from her perspective and what she saw from having this "god like" friend. I see that people are upset that it was so different but that's what made this one so unique. The Phyrexian portions are worth it alone.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Cavin Smith

    The story starts out rather slow, almost resembling a dialogue between to people, but gradually becomes a good story in its own right. It helps to establish who exactly Urza Planeswalker is, what his goals are and how far he is willing to go in order to achieve them. It further progresses the Magic: The gathering universe, helping to give insight into Phyrexia and it's inhabitants. While not quite as good as it's predecessor, it is still a great read. The story starts out rather slow, almost resembling a dialogue between to people, but gradually becomes a good story in its own right. It helps to establish who exactly Urza Planeswalker is, what his goals are and how far he is willing to go in order to achieve them. It further progresses the Magic: The gathering universe, helping to give insight into Phyrexia and it's inhabitants. While not quite as good as it's predecessor, it is still a great read.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Scott Johnson

    This was a bit of a letdown after the previous book. The quality of writing decreased noticeably, and the actual story was very unremarkable. Forgettable, and I'm hoping things swing back the other way with the next one. This was a bit of a letdown after the previous book. The quality of writing decreased noticeably, and the actual story was very unremarkable. Forgettable, and I'm hoping things swing back the other way with the next one.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Brian Roberts

    Urza Part Two: Electric Boogaloo Returning characters galore, meeting new legends, and battling old foes. Good book, easy and fun read. Perfect for MTG fans, which you probably are if you are reading this.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Zachary Witucky

    Thought this was a good MTG story with a little known character in Xantcha. Its fun to follow her adventures with Urza although I felt it ended too quickly. Decent overall.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Peter Sawyer

    This book was awesome. I really liked getting to see a Planesewalker travel the multiverse and kick butt. This book was a lot of fun.

  20. 5 out of 5

    The Entertainer

    Well, everyone else is writing full essays on this book, so I'll just keep it short and simple. This book sucked. Well, everyone else is writing full essays on this book, so I'll just keep it short and simple. This book sucked.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Chip Hunter

    As the follow-up to The Brothers' War (Magic: The Gathering: Artifacts Cycle), PLANESWALKER disappoints. Where the previous book was full of action and intrigue, this tedious book is contains lots of philosophy and a gradual build-up towards a climax that ends just a few pages after it begins. Additionally, the writing style of Abbey doesn't hold a match next to Jeff Grubb. Dialogue between characters who don't seem to know each other even after about three thousand years of constant companionsh As the follow-up to The Brothers' War (Magic: The Gathering: Artifacts Cycle), PLANESWALKER disappoints. Where the previous book was full of action and intrigue, this tedious book is contains lots of philosophy and a gradual build-up towards a climax that ends just a few pages after it begins. Additionally, the writing style of Abbey doesn't hold a match next to Jeff Grubb. Dialogue between characters who don't seem to know each other even after about three thousand years of constant companionship annoys, and dull action scenes fail to excite. All the being said, this book is worth reading. Find out what happened to Urza after he unleashed devastation at the end of THE BROTHERS' WAR, and follow characters as they travel through the Multiverse and visit bizarre but somewhat familiar realms, including Serra and Phyrexia. Also, the characters are actually quite unique and intriguing. Xantcha in particular (who is really the main character) presents a very complicated character that you'll wish you could appreciate more. The interplay between her and Ratepe is very emotionally satisfying and thought-provoking. Even the two-fold way in which the story is presented, from Xantcha's reminiscing of the past and of her adventures in the present was a good idea, just not pulled off all that well. Bottom line, this book was a disappointment, but I'm not too upset that I spent a couple of days reading it. I'll continue with the series, but wouldn't recommend it to anyone. The most annoying aspect of the book: "Waste not, want not" WTF!! Where does that come from and how can it be used constantly without pissing off everybody around you?!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jamie

    Deece +. I found some of it to be hard to understand-- the Phyrexian bits got a bit weird. But overall really enjoyed Xantcha's character development. Lots of questions unanswered, but a little mystery is a good thing! Deece +. I found some of it to be hard to understand-- the Phyrexian bits got a bit weird. But overall really enjoyed Xantcha's character development. Lots of questions unanswered, but a little mystery is a good thing!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jeremiah Williams

    This was very good, though, I was a little disappointed in the ending. It was good, but I was hoping for some more action. If you are a fan of the game, then this is a good book for the lore value, Brother's War was much better though. This was very good, though, I was a little disappointed in the ending. It was good, but I was hoping for some more action. If you are a fan of the game, then this is a good book for the lore value, Brother's War was much better though.

  24. 5 out of 5

    David

    Not the best of the series, but it is needed to progress further.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jerome Visda

    I got interested on the history of Magic: The Gathering that's why I read one of the books about it. If you are a MTG player, it's a good read just to know the events. I got interested on the history of Magic: The Gathering that's why I read one of the books about it. If you are a MTG player, it's a good read just to know the events.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lucas

    An excellent piece of modern pulp fantasy, I especially enjoy her treatment of the group of planeswalkers, as a neurotic group of half mad godlings, an excellent treatment of immortality.

  27. 4 out of 5

    José Anjos

    Excellent story

  28. 4 out of 5

    Duncan Devlin

    Urza is a Planeswalker. Plansewalkers do cool stuff. That is really about it.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Malone

    cool

  30. 5 out of 5

    Galaxiadragon

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