The Lodge of the Lynx Themes
by Katherine Kurtz

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The Lodge of the Lynx Themes

(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

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The central theme of the Adept series is the struggle between good and evil. It has raged from humanity's early days until the present. In The Lodge of the Lynx Kurtz hints that not only have the motives of evildoers little changed from age to age, but the same supernatural forces may continue to give them aid. The same is true of protectors of the good.

This dualism is very near the traditional Christian belief in the struggle between God and Satan, but the book does not confine itself to Christian imagery. Beings who resemble Christian saints and angels do appear on the metaphysical plane. Adam also meets entities drawn from Egyptian myth and other lore, as well as unpersonified influences of light and grace. The Lynx masters call on an ancient Pictish god, Taranis the Thunderer, to lend them power.

Power is the central drive behind the Lodge of the Lynx's actions. They do not seek it to accomplish any particular program; they merely seek self-aggrandizement and revenge. They stand in contrast to the Hunting Lodge, where power is sought and used only for protective purposes. Without their arcane responsibilities, Adam Sinclair and Noel McLeod would still have full and interesting lives. Here, then, is the core of the theme: morality is determined by the purposes and uses for which power is sought. It is a timeless theme, but The Lodge of the Lynx has clad it in fast-paced and esoteric events.

A related theme, which ties into both power and the sense of community, is the efficacy of secret, oath-sworn groups. Not all secret groups are benevolent, of course. The Lodge of the Lynx is not — but then its control, even of its own members, stems from fear and internal secrecy. But the Masons, and even more, the Hunting Lodge, voluntarily take on obligations going beyond those of ordinary good people. In this light, Adam's musings to Peregrine on the nature of evil take on added meaning. Adam says that most of the world's evil probably stems from minor sins of omission, but that it sometimes takes on greater and tangible form. Belonging to a secret, dedicated order, he implies, makes one aware of the moral weight of actions. In an era when all secret and selective groups are suspect, this is one of the more provocative messages in Kurtz's work.

Finally, the magic and mysticism woven through the book carry a theme of links between the material and the unseen worlds. Whether with astral travel and rituals, or the more "scientific" approaches of hypnotherapy and remembered archetypes, this story makes the case for the importance of the connections. Philippa Sinclair's having been a student of Carl Jung is no accident. Jung is the most famous psychologist to combine his science with concepts drawn from beyond the self.