Category Archives: Fantasy

The Warlock in Spite of Himself: Christopher Stasheff

The Warlock in Spite of Himself (Warlock of Gramarye)“Rod Gallowglass is a man of science who does not believe in magic. 

** Gramarye is a world of witches and warlocks. Of strange abilities and phenomena. A world where society mirrors Earth’s own Middle Ages, and a world headed for doom. **

Rod Gallowglass must become a part of the local fabric to save the world from both itself and external forces that threaten its existence. But to do so, he must put aside his own convictions and beliefs, and become a warlock, in spite of himself. 

A grand adventure mixing science fiction with elements of fantasy, this is the book that launched a whole series (fourteen books and counting).”

I do eventually plan to do my reviews mostly on newly published authors or those with a rather small circulation – however for the moment I’m going to focus on writing about the ones I love.

The Warlock in Spite of Himself is an amazing novel – it is technically the second in the series, chronologically – however it is where I began to read Christopher Stasheff’s books.

His warlock novels are a mixture of science fiction and fantasy, similar in the most vague sense to Anne McCaffrey’s Pern series. Not in the fact that there are dragons in this novel, but rather that they focus on the settlement of a planet which, after millennia, reverts to a much more medieval way of life.

The references to the various factions of governments can be a little confusing, but if you get past it, you will discover a story that is filled with adventure, romance and subtle humour.

I wouldn’t say it is an easy read – but rather that it is for anyone who appreciates a good tale. Tall or otherwise. 

One of my all time favourite books!

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Find it on Amazon!

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A Matter of Magic: Patricia C. Wrede

A Matter of Magic“When a stranger offers her a small fortune to break into a traveling magician’s wagon, Kim doesn’t hesitate. Having grown up a waif in the dirty streets of London, Kim isn’t above a bit of breaking-and-entering. A hard life and lean times have schooled her in one lesson: steal from them before they steal from you. But when the magician catches her in the act, Kim thinks she’s done for. Until he suggests she become his apprentice; then the real trouble begins.

Kim soon finds herself entangled with murderers, thieves, and cloak-and-dagger politics, all while trying to learn how to become both a proper lady and a magician in her own right. Magic and intrigue go hand in hand in Mairelon the Magician and The Magician’s Ward, two fast-paced novels filled with mystery and romance, set against the intricate backdrop of Regency England.”

I was thrilled to discover this is one of the few books by Patricia C. Wrede available for the Kindle.

Actually, to clarify things just a little bit, this was originally two separate books that were combined into one. The two books were Mairelon the Magician and Magician’s Ward. I first read them quite some time ago, and I go back for a re-read rather regularly.

If you like stories that involve magic and intrigue you’ll like this one. There is a bit of romance, without the mush, and it was interesting enough to have me hooked from the very first page.

It is suitable for young adults but don’t toss it to the side if you’re all grown up!

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I heartily recommend this one!

Find it on Amazon

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Oh books… how I love thee.

For someone who claims to be an avid lover of books, I really don’t talk about them nearly enough. It is my goal to change that and overload you all with my rants and raves (though mostly raves) about the book world.
Timeless Books
Image courtesy of Lin Pernille

I had this wonderful plan last night which involved taking a short bath and then going to bed at an incredibly early hour. I ended up reading in said bathtub which naturally extended the duration, and I made the mistake of bringing my book with me to bed.

I blinked, and suddenly it was over two hours later.
I adore it when I can get so lost in a book that time completely loses its meaning, it is probably the best way I can express my appreciation of a story! Of course I continued to read until I found myself waking with a start because I had nearly dropped the rather large hardcover on my face. It was only then that I was willing to put the book down.
I had been under the impression, before I began the book, that I had read it before. Not so. It was a completely new experience for me, much to my delight.
The author I have been focusing on recently is Anne McCaffrey. I’ve been reading her books for years and fall in love with her over and over again. Her series about the planet Pern is particularly wonderful. I even have a few favorites which I read every year or two.
Her books, which are a delightful blend of science fiction and fantasy, are so well crafted that you have no choice but to lose yourself in the world she creates. The story of Pern spans millenia – you see not just one fragment of time but rather exactly how a world can change and evolve with the passing of years. In the beginning it is strictly science fiction – the colonization of a new world, the trials and tribulations that go along with it . But skip a few books and you find yourself in a story that boasts dragons, a lack of modern technology and humans with telepathic abilities.
You’ll cheer her heroes along their path, hold your breath because you can’t wait to find out what happens next and feel the loss of favourite characters with keen sorrow.
The first book in the series (chronologically) is Dragonsdawn, though it is by no means where I started.
As a youth I discovered a young adult trilogy which sits smack dab in the middle of the time-line. A story about a talented young woman who dares to try the impossible. As I journeyed with her I knew that these stories would be ones I would always love. I still own those three little books and even though I’m all grown up now, I don’t love them any less! Dragonsong, Dragonsinger and Dragondrums are must reads for anyone with a love for Fantasy and youthful soul.
One of the brilliant things about her books is that she doesn’t limit you to just one view of a timeline. You can read multiple stories, all of which are occurring at the same time but in different locations on the planet. It’s wonderful to catch a tiny glimpse of a favorite character from another POV when you thought that their story was over.
The stories are so detailed they could easily be the history of a planet, somewhere out there in our unending universe.
I recently discovered that she had begun writing books with her son Todd McCaffrey, I look forward to beginning them just as soon as I’m done my current selection. I plan to let you know just what I think of them and I hope I have only good things to say. It would be amazing to discover that her son is capable of continuing her legacy.
In the meantime, read a book or two of hers and let me know what you think!
As a final note, you can check my Facebook page for a link to a podcast about independent Canadian bookstores. It’s good to hear that there is still passion for books out there in our new, modern world.
Until next time!
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Currently reading: Dragonquest (Dragon Riders of Pern #2)