Book Review: The Brothers War by Jeff Grub
The Brothers war is a novel set in the universe of the Magic the Gathering franchise, and more specifically on the plane of Dominaria. This book is the first MTG novel and is also the first jump into what we would know now as the story and lore of the game.
The story follows the lives of the brothers Urza and Mishra, who are not twins but were born on the first and last day of the year respectively. The twin’s father remarries after the death of his wife and is convinced by his new spouse to send the children off to an archaeological dig site, where they can be watched by an old friend of his. The boys thrive on the site, with both developing a love for the artifacts and machines that they are helping to unearth from the ancient Thran civilization.
Despite being brothers Urza and Mishra do not get along and the discovery of a special power stone (think battery but for magic) leads the two to fight over the discovery and ends with the stone breaking into separate pieces. Each brother gets a half and their relationship deteriorates completely.
One night Mishra gets drunk and attempts to steal Urza’s stone, but in the scuffle, the brothers accidentally kill their guardian and end up going their separate ways. Years later they meet once again and peace seems possible between the two men but fate will not allow it and their feud drags their whole continent into a massive war.
Behind the scenes, a dark creature called Gix tempts Mishra with power. Gix is a Phyrexian, a beastly creature made of flesh and metal that was once human but was subjected to ( or volunteered) to be warped into a “better” version of itself.
The book and the old lore of Magic in the general sense are very good. There is something rougher about it that lacks from the current storylines and you can feel that there was some love and care put into writing in unlike the horrific War of the Spark Novel that was released a few years back. I honestly hope that Magic looks to its past for tips on how to improve future stories.
Altogether I’d give it 4 power stones out of 5.