Cage Match 2012: Round 2: Jonathan Strange versus Rachel Morgan


The Contestants


Click to view original image source


Click to view original image source

Jonathan Strange
Strangeite Magician

Age: Late 20s
Race: Human
Weapons / Artifacts: None

Rachel Morgan
Owner, Vampiric Charms and former Inderland Security runner
Age: Late 20s
Race: Witch
Weapons / Artifacts: Magic. Really good at magic. Also, sarcasm. Leather pants.
Don’t be near a ley line if you want to survive. Or near Jenks.

The Breakdown


  • One of the few practicing magicians in England
  • Willing to dig deeper into the mysteries to further his skill
  • Strong-willed

  • A witch and therefore capable of casting spells and using magic
  • Has a strange love/hate relationship with Trenton Kalamack
  • Best friends are a living vampire and a pixy

  • Bit of a dandy…

  • Often her own worst enemy due to stubbornness and angst—and getting into those leather pants

  • Stony Mayhall
    Can’t help thinking a zombie dying is a little sad, like tears from a clown

How Brent Weeks thinks the fight will go

Rachel stared at the man across the arena. He was a bit older than her, and dressed in some kind of costume, like he was from one of those Masterpiece Theatre miniseries on PBS. There was lace at his collar and cuffs—real, actual lace. He didn’t appear armed in any way—no gun, no sword. She was immediately curious and also wary—was he also a witch?

She headed towards him, slowly. He was regarding her with the same level of guardedness, along with several confused glances at her clothing. She stopped a few yards away and said, “what’s your name?”

He opened his mouth and she got a look at his teeth. He should have started flossing regularly twenty years ago. He smelled odd, too—like cologne over body odor. Wait, maybe he wasn’t some kind of actor. Maybe he was actually from the past. The previous guy had looked like something out of a sword-and-sorcery movie. This one looked like something out of Jane Austen. “I’ll do you the courtesy of telling you my name before you tell me yours, simply because you are a lady,” he said in an English accent that wasn’t quite an English accent. “My name is Jonathan Strange.”

“That’s a good name for you,” she said, smirking. “Those are some strange clothes.”

“No stranger than yours. Those are…those are trousers, yes?”

She looked down. When she looked up, he was casting a spell—or at least, that’s what Rachel thought he was doing. There was some muttering, some waving of hands. She didn’t sense power the way she was used to, but that didn’t mean anything. She’d been in the Ever-after, and everything was different there.

She wasn’t about to find out what the hell he was doing, though. She quickly crafted a shield in her mind and put it before. Good thing too—Strange had conjured a wind of fire, and even with the circle of power before her, Rachel could feel the heat.

“Some gentleman you are!” she yelled, even as she ran to the far side of the arena. At the same time, she pulled something from the bag slung over her shoulder.

A paintball gun.

“I hate to tell you this, but I’ve fought in His Majesty’s armies, and not once did a bullet come close to harming me.”

“That’s nice,” she said through gritted teeth. “This better work,” she muttered.

“What was that?”


“Ah…what you’re about to become. I see.”

The bastard had the gall to smile—crooked teeth and all.

Once again Rachel couldn’t feel the magic being created, but she had seen enough spells to know something was happening that she wanted no part of. Instead of waiting for another wall of fire to wash over her, she cocked the paintball gun. She hadn’t had time to prep too many pellets, but she figured whatever came out of the hopper and at Strange was going to wipe that smug grin off his face.

She pulled the trigger.

The paintball smacked into an invisible barrier—Rachel wasn’t the only one who could shield, apparently—and the splatter dribbled to the ground. Despite the shield, Strange flinched, and the smile faded from his face, replaced by determination. Rachel could see his lips moving.

She could also see the paint dribbling to the ground…

When it hit, the dirt of the arena floor exploded. She watched as a tremendous crater opened up, and Strange was suddenly swallowed by the earth.

The thunderous noise collapsed into silence. Rachel, who had been knocked down by the blast, stood up, brushing off her pants. Cautiously, she walked over to the edge of the newly-formed pit. She peered over.

“Madame,” Jonathan Strange gasped. “My leg…”

“Looks pretty broken.”


Rachel pointed the gun at Strange, and he cowered. She shook her head, reached into the bag, and pulled out a bottle. She tossed it down to the damaged magician.


“You don’t really know me, do you?” she snorted. “No—it’s going to freeze you for a little bit. Enough time for me to get out of her, so I’m not forced to kill you.” She gestured with her gun. “Go ahead—this isn’t over until one of us isn’t moving, and I figure that it better be you.” She smiled.

He grimaced, but opened the bottle. Seeing him hesitate, Rachel gestured with the gun. “I have no idea what the next ball does, Strange.”

He poured the potion over himself, his body freezing instantly.

Rachel walked away from the pit, and saw the arena door was opening. “Guess I won another one.


Predicted Winner: Rachel Morgan


Check out the previous match!

Check out the Bracket

Stay tuned for the Sweet Sixteen, March 19, 2012!

Jonathan Strange is a character from Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norell by Susanna Clarke; Rachel Morgan is a character from The Hollows series by Kim Harrison.

Jonathan Strange image courtesy of Bloomsbury. Rachel Morgan image courtesy of *ValliantCreations

Don’t forget–we’re always looking for fans’ depictions of these characters. Check out the details here

Cage Match fans: We are looking forward to hearing your responses! If possible, please abstain from including potential spoilers about the books in your comments (and if you need spoilers to make your case, start your comments with: “SPOILER ALERT!”


  • Chosen

    I call shenanigans on Rachel Morgan. 400 votes in less then 2 hours is not real.

  • dpomerico

    Really? She has a huge fan base, and has tweeted and blogged about it. I have a feeling it’s legit.

  • hmf

    Kim Harrison advertised on her homepage, it wouldent surprise me if it were real.

  • chosen

    many of them may be legit, my 1 defintly was. But those kind of numbers, coming that fast, does not compute. So yes I do call shenanigans, I may be wrong but I doubt it.

  • Coleen

    Kim Harrison and Jocelynn Drake both put it on their Facebook pages. That’s where I saw to vote! 🙂 Go Rachel!

  • MelanieS

    I’m sure it’s gotta be legit. Kim Harrison is promoting this on multiple places. Here FB along has 63,339 followers.

  • MelanieS

    (That was supposed to read) I’m sure it’s gotta be legit. Kim Harrison is promoting this on multiple places. Her FB alone has 63,339 followers.

  • dee

    No hijinks with the Rachel Morgan votes; Ms. Harrison is letting her fans know about this!

  • Alex

    it’s legit! that’s why i’m here. 🙂 i’m sure the other guy is good too. never read it tho.

  • Jon

    I came because of Kim Harrison’s facebook. Voted for Rachel, of course. I’m not surprised a series with nearly a dozen books has more fans than a single novel.

  • Dawn

    Kim Harrison has media outted that the contest exists on multiple platforms so yes its legit. Guess that Ms Clarke either has a smaller media fan base or doesn’t communicate with hers as consistantly and often as Ms Harrison so their response is not as loud or fast. Please note I am now going to be re-sharing her fb post about it so there will be more coming. What can I say… us Hollows fans love Rachel Morgan and like to spread her news 😀

  • samantha

    Yeah I came to vote due to the link on Kim’s Facebook. I find it strange that people assume the worst in others (particularly in the anonymity found on the interwebs) and throw out accusations with absolutely zero evidence. Karma, you know.

    On a different note…

    I haven’t read the book that Strange is found in, but I did get The Steel Remains from the last match and so regardless of who “wins” the authors are gaining new readers- so win, win as far as I’m concerned.

  • chosen

    Look I realize the Hollows has a lot of fans, I know, I am one of them. But there are not 600+ people checking that twitter and FB pages that often, the votes do not go up in huge chunks, its a steady climb and to me that means there is a Bot in this thing. There are plenty of huge fanbases that are a pert of these matches and none of them are going up that fast.

    Also in “reality” Rachel can not beat Jonathan Strange, if you have not read those books, stop what your doing right now, because Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell is the best book I have read in many many years, it literally transcends the genre.

  • sacredhonour

    I think people are calling shenanigans because this is normally a smaller battle/vote with a bit more merit to the characters. I expected this would be a closer one, but it is almost at 1,000 votes at this point. I think low 3,000 was the highest across multiple days in round 1 for any fight.

    If all the authors start to call for help across their social media, this will just come down to Harry Potter vs Tyrion in the end most likely. It will just become a popularity contest without any merit to the characters.

  • Matt Diamond

    > But there are not 600+ people checking that twitter and FB pages that often

    You’re adorable! 🙂
    Seriously, of course there are people who do that. It appears that KH has a highly motivated fanbase, probably skewing younger than the Strange & Norrell readers (so more likely to be “always on” when it comes to social media.)

    And let’s not whine about this “becoming” a popularity contest- people bring that up every year like it’s a new revelation or something. NOT NEWS. Accept the contest’s limitations and try to have fun, people!

    Also, vote for Strange. 🙂

  • I’d be willing to bet that it’s legit and without nasty re-voting, though I do have a few very eager readers who might re-revote. (I don’t encourage it.) I spend 1-2 hours a day interacting with my readers M-F, and it helps keep the readers paying attention. Besides, I’m just getting off tour and my media outreach is really high right now with readers checking in to see if pictures have been posted and such. Come summer, it will be a different story. –Kim

  • Legit!! Go Rache!!!!

  • Alice Moore

    Kim Harrison’s book “Dead Witch Walking” is available on Kindle, Nook and IPad for .99. There was also a new release this month in the Rachel Morgan series. So it’s no surprise many people are voting for Rachel Morgan.

    BTW, I voted for Jonathan Strange.

  • Kvothe_the_Bloodless


  • Derpintine

    You can’t put \Rachel Morgan\ and \lose\ in the same sentence unless a negative indicator is included as well.

  • The Cygan

    if rachael morgans fan base continues to be so absurdly supportive it will really mess up peoples brackets i have her winning this match anyway but then falling to erevis cale not gonna happen if she gets over 1,300 votes again. she could take the whole thing at this rate.

  • Laura

    @Alice, thanks for the tip, I just went and bought it! 😉

    Having never read either of these characters (yet!) I don’t know which way to vote. I always read the comments if I am not familiar with the character so I get a better idea of what is realistic and what isn’t. Though if everything else fails, I usually go for the underdog.

  • Luzburg

    JONATHAN NOOOO. I have no idea why but his name makes me excited.

  • Guel

    I may be heartbroken if she beats Cale in the next round.

  • BDM

    The gentleman with the thistle-down hair is quite pleased with these results and would like Ms. Morgan to attend a Ball in her honor.

  • Kim Harrison just came off her book tour. Everyone is checking her website to see pictures of themselves on the bunny cam and trying to figure out the latest hints she dropped on tour.

  • This is post Perfect Blood, Rachel Morgan is a force. Rake will kick her ass if it comes to it but for match-ups like this Rachel is a clear winner. I do like how she used a stolen splat gun here unlike the first matchup.

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