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Two Firefight Errors

This post contains large spoilers for the book Firefight by Brandon Sanderson. He is my favorite fantasy author. In this post, I explain two errors I noticed in the book.

1) Is Regalia a High Epic?

“Abigail isn’t a High Epic,” Tia said.

“What?” Exel said. “Of course she is. I’ve never met an Epic as powerful as Regalia. She raised the water level of the entire city to flood it. She moved millions of tons of water, and holds it all here!”

“I didn’t say she wasn’t powerful,” Tia said. “Only that she isn’t a High Epic—which is defined as an Epic whose powers prevent them from being killed in conventional ways.”
That made sense to me, but it's contradicted when David kills Regalia:
“No!” My arms trembled. I shouted, then brought the blade down.

And killed my second High Epic for the day.
The page with the ISBN number also calls Regalia a High Epic:
Summary: “David and the Reckoners continue their fight against the Epics, humans with superhuman powers, except they may have met their match in Regalia, a High Epic who resides in Babylon Restored, the city formerly known as the borough of Manhattan”— Provided by publisher.

2) Geometry



The left diagram shows how they were trying to find Regalia’s base. That part makes sense. Every time she appears, you know she’s in a radius of that point, so you draw a circle. The overlap of all circles is where her base could be. (You can also have circles for places she didn’t appear, which then rule out that circle.)

To narrow it down further, you need any circle which overlaps part of the remaining possible city area, not none or all. As you can see in the right hand diagrams, this new circle could be near an existing circle, or off in a new area. Both work. But the book says:
From what I eventually worked out, my points had helped a lot, but we needed more data from the southeastern side of the city before we could really determine Regalia’s center base.
That doesn’t make sense. The key thing is the distance of data points so they overlap part of the remaining area where the base could be. This can be done from any direction.

Elliot Temple on January 12, 2015

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