The comet cried out:
"Fear not!" but in its black hands,
the sword "Extinction."
The War for Kliali Succession continues, this time with...well, lots of actual war! Pretty dismal war, honestly; really evocatively terrible. This is kingtycoon's meditation on brotherhood, which-- off the bat, let me say this book doesn't pass any kind of Bechdel Test. Heck, it doesn't pass the Bechdel Quiz. Now, okay, this is literally about fraternity among boys, but I don't know-- women are invisible in the story in a way that I think the book's post-modern construction could fix. The book has two stories in parallel, or rather, the same story from two viewpoints, with one appended as footnotes. I think that same schema could be used to tell the story of a woman-- or girl-- as well, showing that the textual invisibility is a matter of the characters' viewpoint, not the authors. I'm thinking of Windheart as proof that Kingtycoon can write a female character with agency; Alstacia is instrumental in making that book my favorite of the lot.
A word of complaint here: the font size in the print edition of this book is...ridiculous! It is a big, fat tome, like half a Song of Ice & Fire sized doorstop brick. This isn't because it is actually that daunting in length, but because it rivals-- nay, shames!-- large print editions. You may think this is a petty complaint-- I'm sure Kingtycoon does-- but it really hampered readability. Besides which, Gleameyes is a book that utilizes footnotes, different fonts & inline images in the telling of its tale, which I think makes print size fair game. You know, thinking of other books that have used the abuse of footnotes to good effect, I can't help but think of House of Leaves; Johnny Truant's interjections & asides might be a little dismal, but they aren't intrusive.
In praise of Gleameyes, let me say this: the story section in the middle is just great. You know the type, like Worlds' End, the Sandman arc where a bunch of people tell their tales. Here, the tale is that of the boys, &...others. The boys, well, the go into Baba Yaga's hut &...well, then they all wake up on other planets. John Carter'd, again! The planets have a really great ring to them, with names like "Black Calamity," as well as a neat mysticism to them. Something I share in my setting of Oubliette-- planets not just as balls of rock in space, but as something spirtually different. Each of the boys goes to a different world & comes back changed accordingly. Magical demi-god warrior, manipulator of probabilities, perceiver of harmonies...that sort of thing. The other stories, however, dig into Klial's mysteries. A lamia, one of the Pradaharadrim-- the ur-men of Klial, a great invention-- & my favorite, an angel-comet-spaceship.