Foundation and Empire
Book two, finished! I was ready to see the Empire fall and the Second Empire rising, but it didn’t happen in this book. The first story is about an attempt by the Empire to take over the Foundation, but which is ultimately self-crippling. It feels kind of weird following the protagonists in Part 1 through the entire story, only to realize that at the end that the ending was “inevitable” due to psychohistory. It feels too normal, almost like real life. Regardless, I kinda liked the logic that Asimov uses to iron out the crisis. It makes sense from a certain standpoint, and it’s definitely believable that an ineffective Empire would destroy itself.
Part 2 was where the novel really shined (shone?). The Mule’s character was great, and in particular, I love how Seldon’s appearance in one section simply confuses things due to the unexpected changes that have taken place as a result of the plan. Unexpected things aren’t really something that have been dealt with throughout the series, due in particular to the trust that people had in the “Seldon Plan”.
I don’t know how I knew, but I had a really strong feeling from the beginning that the Mule was that creepy jester dude – maybe it was the fact that Asimov uses his words carefully and would never write about it if it wasn’t important. The ending of this one really heated up, especially with the murder that Bayta commits. But why didn’t she just kill the Mule? I never quite got that part, since killing Ebling Mis, her friend, seems rather dumb in comparison.