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Category: "Books: Read" - Books

Category: "Books: Read"

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Beyond the Deepwoods - Paul Stewart & Chris Riddell

November 16th, 2006

Beyond the Deepwoods by Paul Stewart & Chris RiddellFar, far away, jutting out into the emptiness beyond, lies the Edge. Filled with strange peoples and terrifying creatures, this is a world unlike any other, where action -- and danger -- await at every turn. Abandoned at birth in the dangerous Deepwoods, young Twig has been brought up by a family of woodtrolls. He has always thought he was one of them, until, one cold night, he finds out he's not. Soon he sets off to find out who he really is, and he does the unthinkable -- he strays from the path.

So begins the heart-stopping adventure that will take Twig through a nightmarish world of goblins and trogs, bloodthirsty beasts and flesh-eating trees. Only two things keep Twig going: the hopes of discovering his true identity and finding his destiny.

I have often seen The Edge Chronicles at the top of "What to read between Harry Potter books" lists. I love the Harry Potter series and with its inevitable demise, I too have found myself looking for alternatives. After only one book, I would probably suggest the Edge Chronicles for a younger reading-audience than the Harry Potter series, but that is not to say that I, as a 25 year old (child), could not have fun with them. Again, with only one book done, I am already looking forward to the second book.

For the first installment of the series, poor Twig (the main character) has a very rough go at it. He is basically pushed out of the proverbial nest and finds himself in a situation where he must find his own way. Beyond the Deepwoods follows Twig as he continuously finds himself face-to-face with danger. At every turn he encounters creatures, many animal...some vegetable, that try to do him great harm. Twig spends more time in trouble than he does getting out of it. From my "adult" perspective, I would have liked to see a little more development in the escape, but I cannot imagine that it would be an issue for a younger reader.

The story is wildly imaginative and fun to read. A huge bonus to these books is the artwork by Chris Riddell. He is a wonderfully talented artist and his beautiful drawings bring the story to life. What I liked most was how the text was wrapped around the pictures. The pictures are not separate from the text; they are just as important as the words and the two are presented together.

If Beyond the Deepwoods is representative of the series, the books are short and simple, quick reads. And if you are sucker for a gimmick like I am, these books all come in a fun, hard-cover binding that will look great on my bookshelf as I add them to my collection.

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The Twelfth Card - Jeffery Deaver

September 8th, 2006

The Twelfth Card by Jeffery DeaverUnlocking a cold case with explosive implications for the future of civil rights, forensics expert Lincoln Rhyme and his protegee, Amelia Sachs, must outguess a killer who has targeted a high school girl from Harlem who is digging into the past of one of her ancestors, a former slave. What buried secrets from 140 years ago could have an assassin out for innocent blood? And what chilling message is hidden in his calling card, the hanged man of the tarot deck? Rhyme must anticipate the next strike or become history -- in the bestseller that proves "there is no thriller writer today like Jeffery Deaver" (San Jose Mercury News).

It seems like every Mystery/Suspense author has a serial character, one who appears in nearly all of their books. James Patterson has Alex Cross, Janet Evanovich has Stephanie Plum, Michael Connelly has Harry Bosch...and Jeffery Deaver has Lincoln Rhyme. I dabble in the works of some other Mystery/Suspense writers, but my favorites are the Lincoln Rhyme books. Most Mystery/Suspense novels follow essentially the same outline and only differ in the people and the places. Deaver breaks the mold when writing Lincoln Rhyme, and for that I am grateful.

It had been a long time since I read a book in this series, so it was refreshing to get back to it. It was almost like coming home after a long trip. It's just nice to be back.

The detail into which Deaver goes is noteworthy. The level of his research is evident in his books and he just seems to spend more time learning about the subject matter than another author would. (Sidenote: The one exception to that rule came out in The Twelfth Card where his plot dealt with some young men and women from Harlem. He did not have the best handle on his Ebonics, but I'm sure many of his readers would never know the difference.)

I like the creativity in which Deaver wraps his stories. Instead of starting a new book and just having a different killer, he focuses on a bigger picture and devises elaborate plot lines and intricate motives for his killers. I am sure it is at least somewhat self-serving because without that, he would have no reason to do all of the research for which he is respected.

The Twelfth Card featured a plot that was very involved, including the attempt to get to the bottom of a crime that was 140 years old. For his creative plots, this one was a little far-fetched. I thought he had to scramble a little to make things tie out in the end, but after taking a step back, I did not mind. (Those of you with a mind to pshchoanalyze me will get a kick out of this.) The heart of these books is in the chase. That is what is so great about them. The ending did not take too long, so it was relatively unobtrusive to my overall enjoyment of the book.

If I were asked to recommend to you a Jeffery Deaver, even specifically a Lincoln Rhyme book, I would not pick The Twelfth Card. Of the now 7 Lincoln Rhyme books, this may actually be the worst of the series, but the other books are just that good. I liked it a lot and am glad I read it. My suggestion is to read the entire series; start anywhere you like. You do not need to read them in any order, though I recommend you do.

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The Book Thief - Markus Zusak

August 28th, 2006

The Book Thief by Markus ZusakNarrated by Death, Markus Zusak's groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a young foster girl living outside of Munich in Nazi Germany. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she discovers something she can't resist -- books. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor's wife's library, wherever they are to be found.

With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, Liesel learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids, as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.

Markus Zusak, award-winning author of I Am the Messenger, has crafted an unforgettable novel about the ability of books to feed the soul.

I picked this one right up off the shelf at the bookstore. I cannot say exactly what it was that drew me to the book, maybe it was the cover art. I had not heard anything about it so all I had to go on was the synopsis provided on the inside flap(s) of the book.

I have a strange relationship with books that is shared by many readers. There is comfort, nay, magic in not just the words on the pages, but also the smell of the ink and feel of the binding. I wanted to read a story about a young girl who had this same relationship, but in a different time and place. Her circumstances were obviously much more extreme than my mundane life in Suburbia, but I think you will realize that I was not trying to make an apples to apples comparison.

A book written about a young girl will probably have the feel of a book intended for a young-adult audience most of the time. The Book Thief was so centered around the intimate details of the young girl's life that I was not at all surprised that the writing often took form of fiction intended for young adults. I was not surprised, but I was disappointed. A story set in and written about Nazi Germany with as much detail as The Book Thief provided, I would figure to be over the heads of a young-adult audience. There were so many times that the reading would lapse into the young-adult and it would be harsh language or a particularly grown-up, profound concept that would convince me the book is actually adult fiction.

The book is, in fact, listed for young adults. As described above, this comes as no surprise from the writing, but does from the subject matter. I think a young adult could enjoy the book, but he/she would simply not realize there is much more depth contained within the pages. I know I am generalizing, but I don't think the majority of younger readers would fully appreciate the book.

If a few harsh words mean you won't let your kid read it, so be it. If a few sections geared a little too heavily towards a younger audience will prevent you from reading it, so be it as well. If you can get over those hurdles, I do recommend this book to everyone. The book was beautifully compassionate. It dealt with interpersonal relationships under such incredible circumstances and shapes the story through a completely fascinating set of eyes.

I have no idea how the author came up with the idea to write a story with Death as the narrator, but my hat is off to him for what I consider a 100% success in doing so.

The book really ended up being all I could hope for. It was the young-adult crutch that keeps The Book Thief from being a great book, but it was certainly worth the read.

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Still Life With Woodpecker - Tom Robbins

August 2nd, 2006

Still Life With Woodpecker by Tom RobbinsStill Life With Woodpecker is sort of a love story that takes place inside a pack of Camel cigarettes. It reveals the purpose of the moon, explains the difference between criminals and outlaws, examines the conflict between social activism and romantic individualism, and paints a portrait of contemporary society that includes powerful Arabs, exiled royalty, and pregnant cheerleaders. It also deals with the problem of redheads.

I somehow managed to be both hesitant and curious to read more Tom Robbins after my first experience. It wasn't encouragement, necessarily, that motivated me to read another of his books, but rather a recommendation. Unbeknownst to me at the time, a good friend of mine is a pretty big Tom Robbins fan. She suggested Still Life With Woodpecker. She said reading it would allow me to give Robbins's writing a fair shake. So apparently my opinions now are based around at least one book that is representative of his writing style.

A lot of writers have mastered the art of telling a story about something, anything at all. Tom Robbins seems to have mastered the art of telling a story about nothing at all. The wording there, though odd, is absolutely intended as a compliment. There is a certain flow to this writing that makes it appear to be a full-length novel of poetic verse. His ideas are certainly unique and beautifully abstract.

I love how he writes and I am completely fascinated by the ideas he develops, though somehow at the end of Still Life With Woodpecker I am not in a rush to read the remaining work in his name.

The only reason I would probably find myself reading more of his stuff is to see if the parallel themes and images are used throughout his writing. Many times during "Still Life" I noted commonality to Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates. The most significant was the use of pyramids. I would be curious to see into how many books he can keep pyramids involved, but at the same time I know I would grow more and more disappointed in Robbins for not being able to throw different symbols into the ring.

After "Fierce Invalids" I said I might be interested in reading more stories involving the main character, Switters, but never expected to find another. Switters would have some very engaging conversations with The Woodpecker. The two men seemed to share many ideas and perspectives. It was nice because it was familiar, but again, I was a little disappointed in Robbins for not writing a new character with silly quirks and outlandish interpretations of societal restrictions for me to enjoy. I guess the moral of the story is to be careful of what you wish for.

I seem to have gotten away from my suggestion that you read Still Life With Switters...err Woodpecker should you find yourself curious for a book that will certainly take you on a journey through unfamiliar eyes looking at familiar subjects. I will not try to speculate as to just how many drugs Mr. Robbins has experimented with, but say simply that he seems to have some very bizarre influences in his writing. I am sure there are other authors like Tom Robbins out there somewhere, but I don't know of any.

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The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown

July 11th, 2006

The Da Vinci Code by Dan BrownWhile in Paris on business, Harvard symbologist Robert Landon receives an urgent late-night phone call. The elderly curator of the Louvre has been murdered inside the museum, a baffling cipher found near the body. As Langdon and a gifted French cryptologist, Sophie Neveu, sort through the bizarre riddles, they are stunned to discover a trail of clues hidden in the works of Da Vinci - clues visible for all to see and yet ingeniously disguised by the painter.

The stakes are raised when Langdon uncovers a startling link: The late curator was involved in the Prior of Sion - an actual secret society whose member included Sir Isaac Newton, Botticelli, Victor Hugo, and Da Vinci, among others. Langdon suspects they are on the hunt for a breathtaking historical secret, one that has proved through the centuries to be as enlightening as it is dangerous. In a frantic race through Paris, and beyond, Langdon and Neveu find themselves matching wits with a faceless powerbroker who appears to anticipate their every move. Unless the can decipher the labyrinthine puzzle, the Priory's secret - and an explosive ancient truth - will be lost forever.

Breaking the mold of traditional suspense novels, The Da Vinci Code is simultaneously lightning-paced, intelligent, and intricately layered with remarkable research and detail. From the opening pages to the unpredictable and stunning conclusion, bestselling author Dan Brown proves himself a master storyteller.

For the longest time I put off reading Dan Brown's most popular novel. I am sure I was one of the last to read it. Opinions I read and heard before I read it only served to delay me further. Non-readers would say everyone should read it basically because....everyone else had read it. Readers would say that the writing was sub-par and if you had not read the book you should not waste your time. With such enthusiastic recommendations as those, I hope no one blames me for my hesitancy. The only one who should be disappointed with me for not reading it sooner is me. But it is easy to say that now that I have read the book.

Cast my early doubts about this book aside, it was brilliant. The conspiracy theories themselves are centuries old, but piecing them together in such a way and wrapping a story around them was masterfully done. I feel like an over-proud parent gushing with praise for a child's modest accomplishment, but The Da Vinci Code was the best book I have read in a long time.

The book was full of suspense and intrigue. I love a good conspiracy, especially one directed towards organized religion. I can see how Catholics might not appreciate Mr. Brown's book, but remember that the details are centuries old. He did not create them, he just wrote a hit book about them.

The book wrapped up well. I was afraid that he would rush the ending or worse yet, leave the book somewhat incomplete. I will not go into any detail about the ending, but I will say that I was very satisfied with it. I have my closure.

I like Robert Langdon as a protagonist. I like how Brown had him fumble around and trip over himself in a few situations. He is a professor and not an international adventurer. The book has somewhat of an Indiana Jones feel to it, but the leading men are not two peas in a pod...yet. Who knows, maybe when I read Angels & Demons I will feel differently.

I have heard from many sources that Angels & Demons is actually the better book. I am excited to read it, though I must admit I am not sure it can top The Da Vinci Code in my mind.

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The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay - Michael Chabon

July 7th, 2006

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael ChabonJoe Kavalier, a young Jewish artist who has also been trained in the art of Houdini-esque escape, has just smuggled himself out of Nazi-invaded Prague and landed in New York City. His Brooklyn cousin Sammy Clay is looking for a partner to create heroes, stories, and art for the latest novelty to hit America -- the comic book. Drawing on their own fears and dreams, Kavalier and Clay create the Escapist, the Monitor, and Luna Moth, inspired by the beautiful Rosa Saks, who will become linked by powerful ties to both men. With exhilarating style and grace, Michael Chabon tells and unforgettable story about American romance and possibility.

Joe Kavalier and Sammy Clay seek to carve out their piece of the budding American Dream. In a time when the true American Spirit lies in opportunity, the two boys make a proposal to Sammy's boss to begin making comic books. They offer to write and draw the books if the man will fund their adventure. The man agrees and before the next weekend is over, their serial superhero The Escapist is born. As the book continues from the 1930s into the 40s, the war in Europe plays a greater and greater role in the story. Joe, who left his family in Europe, is affected most of all.

When the book transitioned away from comic books I thought that it was unnecessary and absurd. I thought the author droned on about the comics too long and that the contrast between old and new was too sharp. I thought that Chabon had two, maybe even three, book ideas in his head and rather than write them separately he held a private ceremony and married them into one. By the time the book was finished I could see clearly how wrong I had been. He did not talk too long about their lives as comic book creators, he did not transition too quickly into the war, he did not do anything wrong. It all came together perfectly. It was wildly imaginative and an incredibly touching story. Have faith. As you lose yourself in Michael Chabon's writing, you are in capable hands.

This is the type of book that makes you glad that people recommend books. My friend's mother, whose opinions have incalculable value to me, suggested a long time ago that I read this book. For months I put it off due to the length of the novel. I was afraid that at 636 pages the book would be too long, based on subject matter, for me to zip through. I waited and I waited. Enough was enough, I said, and I decided it was time. It was actually past time. I should have read this book before so I could pass her recommendation on to others.

I had not read Mr. Chabon's work before, though I am a big fan of the movie adaptation of his book Wonder Boys, which I am adding to my to-read list. I keep reading in search of books like The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay.

Side note: Michael Chabon has teamed with other writers and artists to provide Michael Chabon Presents. . .The Amazing Adventures of the Escapist, Volume 1, a comic adventure which brings to life the comic book characters introduced in The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay.

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Relic - Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

May 12th, 2006

Relic by Douglas Preston and Lincoln ChildJust days before a massive exhibition opens at the popular New York Museum of Natural History, visitors are being savagely murdered in the museum's dark hallways and secret rooms. Autopsies indicate that the killer cannot be human...

But the museum's directors plan to go ahead with a big bash to celebrate the new exhibition, in spite of the murders.

Museum researcher Margo Green must find out who -- or what -- is doing the killing. But can she do it in time to stop the massacre?

A very long time had passed since I last read a book like this. This was the type of book that pretty much got me hooked on free-reading nearly 12 years ago. Back then I would entertain my brain with as many Michael Crichton books as I could get my hands on. His earlier works were more on parallel with Relic in terms of similar story. I was taken back to a time when I could not wait to read the next Crichton. I read Congo, I read Sphere and of course Jurassic Park. I love those books; they will always have a place on my bookshelf. I would not even know which way to turn to find a book similar to them, however. That was the case anyway, until a friend suggested I read Relic.

A publicity quote on the cover of the paperback edition touts Relic as better than Jurassic Park. I happen to disagree, but that may be my biased "my dad can beat up your dad"-feeling interfering.

This was the first book I have read by either Douglas Preston or Lincoln Child, and not so surprisingly the first I have read by them both. I would have to do a bit more research before picking up one of their books to see what it is about, hoping it would be along these same lines. Relic was a very quick read, even for someone like me who is not the fastest of readers.

I liked the suspense created by the writing itself, but also the cliffhanger chapter endings. I liked the setting inside the old museum; it was perfect for this type of story.

Never underestimate the recommendation of a friend. This was not by any means the best book I have ever read, but it was quick, fun and exciting. And I would have never read it had a friend not suggested it. So my thanks to him.

(The movie came out so many years ago that I have forgotten the details and cannot comment on their similarity.)

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A Clash of Kings - George R. R. Martin

May 4th, 2006

A Clash of Kings by George R. R. MartinIn this eagerly awaited sequel to A Game of Thrones, George R. R. Martin has created a work of unsurpassed vision, power, and imagination. A Clash of Kings transports us to a world of revelry and revenge, wizardry and warfare unlike any you have ever experienced.

A comet the color of blood and flame cuts across the sky. And from the ancient citadel of Dragonstone to the forbidding shores of Winterfell, chaos reigns. Six factions struggle for control of the divided land and the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms, preparing to stake their claims through tempest, turmoil, and war. It is a tale in which brother plots against brother and the dead rise to walk in the night. Here a princess masquerades as an orphan boy; a knight of the mind prepares a poison for a treacherous sorceress; and wild men descend from the Mountains of the Moon to ravage the countryside. Against a backdrop of incest and fratricide, alchemy and murder, victory may go to the men and women possessed of the coldest steel...and the coldest hearts. For when kings clash, the whole land trembles.

Have you ever been weary of seeing a sequel because you know it will not be nearly as good as the original? Or have you been hesitant to see a something a second time because you just know it will not be as good as it was the first time? I have. And that is how I felt as I tried to talk myself into reading A Clash of Kings. At a time when I was struggling to find any books that I was enthusiastic about, I read the first of this 4-(so far)-part series, A Game of Thrones. I enjoyed it so thoroughly I was hesitant to read the second installment. I was skeptical. The book could not be as good, I thought. The book will tarnish the near perfect reputation of its predecessor, I told myself. That is not fair, I reasoned. And I decided that it was time to read the second book.

To be fair, A Clash of Kings is not as good as A Game of Thrones. From a chronological standpoint I feel that it would essentially be impossible for the second book to be as good as or better than the first. The first was the introduction; everything was new. In the second book, though there is still more to introduce and many things are new, the story continues. And there is much more to come.

I apologize if this comparison carries a negative connotation, because it is not my intent. Book two of the A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R. R. Martin, in my opinion bears a resemblance to J. R. R. Tolkien's The Two Towers (also the second book of its series). Both books have "set-up" roles. A lot happens without anything happening, if you follow what I am saying. The pieces are put into place in these books, and they are poised for action in the book(s) to come. That is not to say that there is any lack of action in A Clash of Kings. Far from it, rather. The story is ready to pounce. Book three, A Storm of Swords, should be a thrill ride.

I am still fascinated by the chapter style. Through the entire series George R. R. Martin chooses a handful of characters and each chapter is from the perspective of one of them. Readers are able to be essentially omniscient in the realm of the Seven Kingdoms by seeing the trials and tribulations of characters good and bad, here and there. The book is a series of cliffhangers and it makes the suspense pleasurable is a strange masochistic sort of way. The tension will build and build and then just as it nears its apex, the chapter ends. The action picks up from that point...or not...a few chapters later. It sounds more frustrating than fun, but when you read the books it is actually fun and not frustrating. It also makes the books easier to get through. You will fly through a few chapters to get to the next part about whatever character you are following.

I know that sci-fi/fantasy books are daunting. They seem to all be 700-1100 pages and most are but one piece of a multi-part series. It makes for a lot of reading because by taking the first you may be signing yourself up to read an entire series. I feel the same way and I just try to space the books out so it does not seem as bad. I have a decent memory and found that even though I read the first book almost eight months ago, I was able to pick up right where the story left off. I did not have to re-acclimate myself with the story. This was important because the author does not take time to recap what happened in the previous book. There is a lot of detail and it would make a long book even longer to go through it all.

I do not read many books in this genre, but I truly get excited about these books. I loved A Clash of Kings and I loved A Game of Thrones before it. I look forward to continuing this series.

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The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini

February 28th, 2006

The Kite Runner by Khaled HosseiniThis powerful first novel...tells a story of fierce cruelty and fierce yet redeeming love. Both transform the life of Amir, Khaled Hosseini's privileged young narrator who comes of age during the last peaceful days of the monarchy, just before his country's revolution and its invasion by Russian forces. But political events, even as dramatic as the ones that are presented in The Kite Runner, are only a part of this story. In The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini gives us a vivid and engaging story that reminds us how long his people have been struggling to triumph over the forces of violence -- forces that continue to threaten them even today.

The Kite Runner is a book that I debated reading for a far longer time than it took me to actually read it. The book was so wildly popular, especially among book clubs and other clusters of bibliophiles, that I had little choice but to give it attention. Many times as I would peruse the shelves at the bookstore I would see The Kite Runner. Each time this happened I would pick up a copy and hold it in my hands. I would read the back of the book, which displays a synopsis provided from a review rather than from the publisher, and really try the book on. What I found each time was that it did not fit, if I may continue the metaphor.

It was at the advice of two readers I know that I finally bought a copy of The Kite Runner. They both, on separate occassions, heard what I detailed above about how the book and I seemed to have creative differences; "it does not sound like a book I would enjoy," I told them both. "Read it. I did for my book club and really enjoyed it," was what they both said in reply. And so I did.

I found the synopsis, which talks so much of the power struggle between Russia and Afghanistan and then the portrait of the current state of affairs in Afghanistan to be irrelevant through the first half of the book. I had been worried about the synopsis because I have not met a book that talks of political conflict that I have enjoyed. I read to be entertained by something a little...lighter than the subject of politics. You may think me odd for that, or you may agree, at least in part. That which had me concerned was presented in a manner secondary to the story. The conflict was the setting of the book, not the subject. The subject is and always was Amir, a boy with whom we see the years pass after he makes his way to America. He struggles to leave his past behind while other immigrants around him pay particular attention so as to not lose theirs. It may not be as easy as he had hoped to start over in America.

Much in the same way the two who had recommended the book to me had created a situation in which they felt somewhat obligated to read the book (their respective book clubs), I manufactured a similar reason for myself.

Having now read The Kite Runner I feel comfortable suggesting it to others, though you need not make up an excuse to read it. read it because you are in search of a story that will, among other things, grip your heart and soul, squeezing a little at times, while you read. Read it because it educates in the ways of another culture, deserving as they all do, to be recognized. Read it because you want to know what past Amir wants to leave behind when he comes to America and if he is finally able to do just that.

I cannot say that The Kite Runner is to be raved about, but it is a beautiful story that made for a good read. I was pleasantly surprised by The Kite Runner. Despite the popularity of the book, I still consider it a diamond in the rough, when the rough is endless shelves at the bookstore. The Kite Runner is a relatively short book and a quick read. I hope you enjoy it. I think you will.

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The Knight - Gene Wolfe

January 31st, 2006

The Knight by Gene WolfeA novel in two volumes, THE WIZARD KNIGHT is in the rare company of those works which move past the surface of fantasy and drink from the wellspring of myth. Magic swords, dragons, giants, quests, love, honor, nobility -- all the familiar features of fantasy come to fresh life in this masterful work.

The story begins in THE KNIGHT, when a young man in his teens is transported from our world to a magical realm which contains seven levels of reality. Very quickly transformed by magic into a grown man of heroic proportions, he takes the name Sir Able of the High Heart and sets out on a quest to find the sword that has been promised to him, a sword he will get from a dragon, the one very special blade that will help him fulfill his life ambition to become a true knight and a true hero.

A book-dealer friend picked up an extra copy of this book for me at the World Fantasy Convention. As it was not given directly to me, but rather given to my dad to give to me, I never found out whether or not it came with a recommendation. I decided to read it regardless.

The young boy, somehow transplanted into this strange world sets out to find meaning in the words of an old lady. He meets characters, significant and otherwise, along the way to chase his dream of becoming a true knight. Or was it that dream chased him? In either event, the book grabbed my attention and would not let go. The beginning pulled me in so quickly, I hardly realized it had happened.

There was a plot twist that shook me back to my senses. When the boy is transformed into a man, the book goes in a new direction; one I did not necessarily like. And unfortunately this happened a mere 60 pages in. The young boy did little more than thirst for each and every modicum of education of how to become a true night. As a man, he simply began to tell people that he was a knight and that they need tend to his every whim. It was as if all character he had as a boy was traded for age. If that were the case, he got a raw deal.

The book was light and fast moving, so I kept at it. It ventured down a few paths that I may not have thought the best, but I never stopped reading. The end of the book was very weird and hardly fit at all with what had led up to it, yet on I went. Try though I might, to figure out what happened at the end, I cannot. All I know is that with each time the Sir Able came to a door I had to find out what was on the other side.

I did not love The Knight, but I could not put it down. Until the book was done, I did not realize it, but I had to know what happened next. No matter how weird the ending of The Knight was, I knew that I had to buy The Wizard and see how Sir Able fairs. I bought book 2, stay tuned...

I know this is not the most glowing praise for a book, but kudos to Gene Wolfe for inciting this strange reaction in me. If nothing else, Mr. Wolfe, you sold one more book.

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