Sunday, 5 July 2020

Character Arcs in Chaos Walking Trilogy! (Mindscape Reviews!)

Hi Readers! This post is in continuation of the first detailed review of the Chaos Walking trilogy (click here!) One of the most fascinating aspect in this is the character development. I have written about Todd, Viola, Mayor Prentiss & Mistress Coyle here. Check it out!



With a fantasy trilogy, there is always so much scope to invest in the characters & I’m happy to say that I was not let down. My favourite character development is Todd’s. Todd Hewitt starts his journey with little knowledge of the real New World. He is just a boy who cannot control his Noise, who is stubborn to a point where he kills a spackle. He is ignorant of a lot of things. In the first book, we see him progress from that person into a little braver version of him. Even though he feels emotions for his loved ones, he hates being the emotional one. He wants to know everything but doesn’t want to leave the fake knowledge he was given for years. His growth in Book 1 is slow, which was needed at that stage.

In Book 2, we see a whole different Todd. With only Viola left in his life, he decided to do whatever he can to keep her safe including following Mayor’s orders. We see him become emotionally detached from all the wrong things he was forced to do so much so that the reader can fear he has actually become the Mayor’s man. But toward the end, we see him revert to his old self when he is reunited with Viola.

In Book 3, we see how he changed the Mayor into something resembling good. We saw him grow & learn all the good qualities from a bad man. He finally came to embrace his emotions. From an ignorant & stubborn boy, he became the man who would save everyone.



Viola Eade has been quite perfect since Book 1. The only thing changes is that she grows from a child into an adult. She suffers an incredible loss with her parents dying, attacks by Aaron & being the only girl deserted on the outskirts of Prentisstown. In Book 1 itself, we understand how quick she is on her feet, how smart & how focused. Losing her parents breaks something in her which is later on slowly fixed with the companionship with Todd. She reacts perfectly to every situation that is thrown at her. Be it friendship with Todd, crossing the bridge, choosing sides between Mayor & Coyle, War or Peace. You name it & she chooses it right. With Todd being so flawed, it was good to read about flawless Viola.


Next is Mayor Prentiss whose character is the best written after Todd’s. In Book 1, Mayor Prentiss is only shown as the guy who is after Todd with an army. He becomes President of New Prentisstown. The way his character is written is purely brilliant. Even though it is annoying how he influences Todd with his sweet talk, you almost believe he has changed by Book 3. But, for a man that bad, even Todd’s bit of good would not have impacted him by a great deal. He mentors Todd & almost becomes like a father to him by teaching him to control his Noise and control people even. And, given Todd’s detachment he follows it until finally he knows right from wrong. For every wrong step Todd takes, the Mayor congratulates him. It becomes quite annoying reading how Prentiss keeps praising Todd. I hate to put it out there but, Prentiss is just about the smartest man on New World. The only problem being, he uses his intelligence for bad deeds like controlling people, heading them into a war, killing his own son & then that brilliant move at the end of Book 3. All of this makes his end a bit satisfying.



Mistress Coyle is that character than changes shape like liquid. She starts with being the best healer in Haven to being a leader of the Answer, to dropping bombs all over the city, to being the lesser of two devils against Mayor Prentiss, to being so deeply entangled with her goal that she loses sight of what she is fighting for. I liked her best in her healer form, but not so much later on. It is another adventure getting to know her as she keeps on changing.


There are other characters whose arcs are well formed, such as Wilf, Davy Prentiss Jr, Spackle 1017, Ben, Ivan, Horse Angharad. It is amazing how the author has continued to develop all of his characters while keeping the story line so thrilling & addictive. If you haven’t yet read the trilogy, you definitely should!

I hope you enjoyed reading through this!

Until next time,

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