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Strategy of Numbers Paperback – November 15, 2010
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Strategy of Numbers is written in a unique style that keeps you turning pages and greedily soaking up the words. Skillful prose and the most basic staple of good writing that is too often overlooked, effective storytelling, are both hallmarks of this book. Clint Irwin crafts a new world, social hierarchy, and mythology with such finesse that everything is still believable and approachable by the reader. The characters stay with you long after you've closed the pages. Bonchretian, the gritty gravedigger whose life-changing discovery of CHS13 thrusts him into a role he never asked to play, and the Ugly One, whose poetic, divine beauty and wisdom lead the peaceful Weiken through a world where kindness has been traded for tribal loyalties.
The Weiken are my favorite creation: a traveling group that practices passive resistance, exchanges stories in place of money or other favors, and accept those who choose to enter their circle despite what they may have done before they were Weiken. They almost seem too lovely to exist in such a harsh, unforgiving world, yet the very fact that they CAN survive and flourish in such a place conveys a message of hope that even in the darkest times, there is still enough goodness in ourselves to triumph over all else.
Strategy of Numbers plays on our most basic emotions, and it's destined to become one of the favorites on your bookshelf.
Bonchretien and The Ugly One seem like a Kindred Spirit cut from the same cloth. On one hand you have Bonchretien who is a lonely illiterate "King of the Gravediggers" fighting destiny to understand the beauty of life. And on the other you have The Ugly One; a Prophet on a Holy Mission from Africa, who is embracing the beauty of life to understand destiny. Bonchretien is faced with difficult decisions regarding a newly uncovered Chamber marked "CHS13". All new finds must be reported to the Council to determine their worth. But an intriguing 'voice' draws Bonchretien's entire being to defy the edict of the Council. However, he is unable to keep it a secret from his fellow gravediggers who voice their concerns over his decision. Bonchretien then barters for their silence.
Capet is the ruler of the Council. As was his father and his father's father, by more than a few generations. Capet is a suspicious man by nature and is always worried that the dynasty will fall under his rule. Louis is Capet's 'right-hand-man' when it comes to espionage. Louis is paying off his brother's debt by being Capet's spy. For fear of his own and his family's death he must show 100% loyalty to Capet. He is sent to spy on the Weikin; a group of followers that have journeyed with The Ugly One. The Weikin pose such an intriguing threat. Because, they camp outside of Paris with not a gesture of aggression. Like a good little spy Louis believes he has gained the trust of the Weikin and reports back to Capet. However, he secretly finds that perhaps a new family can be found within the Weikin society.