Title: Final Fantasy XV: The Dawn of the Future
Author: Jun Eishima
Publisher: Square Enix Books
Release date: July 14, 2020
Page count: 400
My rating: ★★★★★
Okay, spoilers ahead and a LOT of rambling because
I HAVE FEELINGS ABOUT THIS!!!
Also, if you’d like to join in on the FEELS trip,
I live-stream FFXV on my Twitch channel, HERE.
All are welcome, though tissues will not be provided in the case of heartbreak.
The Dawn of the Future shows how rich the universe of Final Fantasy XV was meant to be. There was so much more to see in Niflheim and with Aranea and her band of merchs. Luna actually had a mission of her own and it was not an easy one, her mind and body were worn down by her entreating the gods to form a covenant with the chosen king.
The first part of the book deals with Ardyn and, while I have already played his DLC (which was the last to be released), the novel gave me a deeper look into where his mind was really at after being imprisoned in Angelgard for so many years.
His vicious nature almost makes sense, when you see all that he endured during his time as a healer and then was cast aside by the crystal because he’d taken care of his people and removed the scourge from them. That, and the betrayal of both his brother and the gods, is what set Ardyn on his journey to destroy all things related to the Lucis Caelum line.
Moving on to the second part of the book, we meet an entirely new character! Solara Aldercapt Antiquum, or Sol as those close to her call her, is eight years old when Niflheim falls to demons and the long night begins. She is the heir to the Empire of Niflheim, though her grandfather has kept her existence secret, which makes me wonder if he started to fear what Ardyn’s plans actually were and tried to protect his legacy as best he could.
Anywhos, Sol is rescued by Aranea and is raised by the woman as her own daughter, learning to fight and survive the long night and the wait for the chosen king. I really enjoyed this part of the book, because it shows more of Aranea’s caring side. You get to see a bit of this in the game, when you go on missions with her and see how she interacts with Biggs and Wedge, but Aranea clearly becomes an amazing leader and mother.
As you would expect from any child of Aranea’s, Sol wants to prove herself and show that she is capable of taking on solo missions. So, of course, she sneaks away from her watchers, Biggs and Wedge, to do exactly that. Which is when she meets Lunafreya Nox Fleuret…
As Oracle, Luna believes that the gods want only the best for Eos and the people who call it home. After surviving the attack on Insomnia, Luna continues her quest to speak with the gods on Noctis’ behalf, to ask them for their blessing for the chosen king so that he will have the power he needs to rid Eos of the starscourge forever.
What’s really sad about this, is that she succeeds! She manages to forge the covenant between Noctis and Leviathan in Altissia (where they were supposed to meet and be married) before Ardyn kills her. These two star-crossed lovers meet only once as adults and then are torn apart by forces greater than they could ever imagine having to face.
But that’s not the end for Luna.
Oh no, Bahamut has grander things in store for her, as he resurrects her near the time Noctis is to be released from the crystal and informs her that she is now to face the Accursed. Without question, she obeys, fighting demons as she travels with her new friend, Sol, towards Insomnia and the seat of Ardyn’s power.
As their journey continues, Luna experiences visions of the first Oracle and her ancestor, Aera, who tells her that things are not as they seem and who pleads for Luna to save Ardyn from himself and the cruel fate the gods have in store for him.
Luna begins to wonder if all of the gods have the best intentions.
Turns out, Bahamut is tired of dealing with humans and their free will and wants to destroy them all, leaving Eos a destroyed wasteland. He’d previously attempted this with Ardyn as his pawn, but was unsuccessful and lost control of the Accursed (and so had him imprisoned by his own brother on Angelgard).
Needless to say, Bahamut is not successful this time either. Luna learns of his plans and chooses not to follow them, Ardyn is his typical self and doesn’t do what anyone expects of him, and Noctis and his friends continue to fight even when the odds are stacked against them.
In the end, when dawn breaks, Luna, Noctis and crew, Sol and her family, and the survivors of the long night are greeted by the sun and the chance at a new, more prosperous life.
Ultimately, my takeaway from this novel is that the Final Fantasy XV story actually exists across multiple alternate timelines. This can be seen in the DLC Episode Ignis and which is even more noticeably in this novel. I think it’s an interesting position to take, where the ending in the main game isn’t the only ending out there. Noctis and Luna don’t have to die, Ardyn can be redeemed, and Bahamut gets his butt kicked… these are all things I can get behind, lol.
Fandom has a mechanism in place for this, the “Everyone Lives, Nobody Dies AU”, but it’s not so often that the actual creators offer the same. I’m just sad that we didn’t get to see the final three DLC released for this game.