Conjure Wife – Fritz Leiber

Ethnology professor Norman Saylor discovers that his wife has been putting his study of folk-magic to practical use. When he convinces her to stop, things go wrong, and he begins to wonder whether she might have been right to believe in magic after all. I imagine most people first encounter Fritz Leiber from his Lankhmar series, but many know that he wrote a host of other good books, including Conjure Wife, his first novel. While…

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Imager – L. E. Modesitt Jr.

Imager Portfolio #1 The son of a wealthy factor, Rhennthyl resists going into the family business, and instead finds an apprenticeship with a portrait artists. A terrible accident ruins his hopes of life as an artist, and he must decide what to do with limited prospects, and two talents – art, and magic. I’ve found L. E. Modesitt to be inconsistent between series, and relentlessly consistent within series. Said, another way, I like some of…

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Taran Wanderer – Lloyd Alexander

Chronicles of Prydain #4 With his friend Eilonwy off learning about princessing, Assistant Pig Keeper Taran begins to worry about his parentage. With faithful companion Gurgi, he sets off to learn about himself. There’s little in this book that will surprise an experienced adult reader of fantasy. For younger readers, though, Taran Wanderer is a pretty fine book It’s a solid discovery adventure that never loses track of the fun, while still being packed full…

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The World of Poo – Terry Pratchett

Discworld #39a Young Geoffrey, sent to visit his grandmother in the big city of Ankh-Morpork, has a chance encounter with avian excrement, and decides to open the world’s first poo museum. Apparently this is something of a meta-book, having been mentioned in the Discworld novel Snuff. The book brims with Terry Pratchett’s characteristic humor, forthrightly brought to bear on a basic human need. It’s not his funniest book, but it’s light, good-natured, and fun. The…

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Fool’s Quest – Robin Hobb

The Fitz and the Fool #2 When the Fool returned unexpectedly and near death, Fitz rushed to save him, leaving his daughter in the care of others. Now, he’s paying for that decision. With Robin Hobb’s Rain Wilds Chronicles series, I feared that she had lost her touch. The first book of this new, more adult trilogy, Fool’s Assassin, proved me wrong; it was her best book in some years. This second book in the…

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I Am Crying All Inside – Clifford D. Simak

Simak Complete Stories #1 A collection of speculative stories from Clifford D. Simak. I’ve been on a little bit of a Clifford Simak kick lately, triggered by a chance reading of All Flesh is Grass, and I’ve been happy to revisit or discover more of his work. This collection of warm, friendly stories – the first in a projected dozen – kept me feeling that way. While I tend to think of Simak in terms…

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