The Sorcerer's House -- Evil Twin

The twins Emlyn and Ieuan may be models for the brothers George and Bax, respectively. On p. 60, Emlyn says, "Hot anger is when you yell and stamp and break things. That's the way I am when I'm angry." and "Cold anger is when you smile and wait. An hour later, or a week, you do something horrible. That's the way Ieuan is."

George seems to be of the hot anger type -- as seen by his assaulting a police officer. Bax may be of the cold anger type. One example is his draining all of the inheritance from his aunt as a perpetual student. His final act of replacing his brother and taking over his brother's marriage, while of benefit to Millie, is also an act of profound evil.

There is a theory on, primarily championed by Thomas Bitterman, that all the fantastic events in letters by Bax are fictions created by Bax, first to lure his brother to his death, and also to provide an explanation to his gullible wife about the disappearance of "Bax" and the changes in the new "George." One could believe this if there were no supporting evidence in the letters from others. The second letter from Doris, in which she tries to get back together with Bax, is full of support for fantastic elements like the werewolves, the dwarf, Ted's ghost, and the vampire. Bax's account is likely highly embroidered, but it must contain a grain of truth.

To fully support his theory, Bitterman allows the unnamed author (or Collator) to also be Bax, so that he can edit the contents of all the letters as he pleases. That may be going too far with the suspension of disbelief. If that is allowed, there is no outside evidence of anything and the story collapses into complete fiction (which it actually is, but we're trying to stop short of that to determine what "really happened").

If the Collator is to be believed, the letters came from several different independent sources. The ones written to Bax support his narrative. There is also evidence, per the Collator, that Bax inherited considerable property and real estate in Medicine Man. If no magic and wizards were involved, how did a down-and-out ex-con manage this?

Jacob and Esau

The story of the smooth, con-man twin and the strong, angry twin have counterparts in the Bible in the story of Jacob and Esau in Genesis. Jacob cheated Esau and feared his anger, serving his uncle Laban for several years to stay out of his way. Bax cheated George, then served time in prison. It is interesting in the Bible story that there is no murder -- they eventually reconcile. The same is true of Emlyn and Ieuan in this book. Is it possible that this is true for the protagonist as well? Perhaps George really did go to Faerie, leaving Bax to take his place with his wife.

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