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The Wizard by Gene Wolfe
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The Wizard

by Gene Wolfe

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Wizard Knight (2)

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» See also 23 mentions

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This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot.wordpress.com by express permission of this reviewer     Synopsis Sir Able is back and the story continues just as discombabulated and confusing as the first book.   My Thoughts I hated this. While the style was as discomfiting, stupid, confusing and all around idiotic as the first book,at least the first book was original. This was just crap.   And at over 600 pages, it was grueling.  This confirms that I'm not a Gene Wolfe fan, nor will I ever be.   I have to admit, I don't know WHY I didn't DNF this. I definitely should have. It had all the earmarks. I blame it on my cousin who highly recommended both of these books. I think I kept waiting for it to "get better".   The only good thing is now it is over. Wow, that is pretty bad isn't it?   Rating: 1 of 5 Stars Author: Gene Wolfe " ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
The Knight - Gene Wolfe
The Wizard - Gene Wolfe

One story, two books.
I expected to LOVE these - I'd really been anticipating reading them.
But - I didn't love them. I tried, but I just didn't.
For one thing, this story uses the exact same gimmick as Wolfe's The Book of the Short Sun trilogy (you are reading book written for an unseen, not-present person). Not only that, I am sorry, but the narrator has the EXACT SAME VOICE as in that other book. It is written as the exact same character, even though superficially, they are supposed to be two very different people. If you've read one of these books, the similarity will be unavoidable and distracting.
Another distraction is that the main character is an American boy who, wandering in the woods, slips into a complicated hierarchy of seven other worlds altogether. Due to the magic of an Elf-Queen, he is instantly transformed into the shape of an older, big, muscular man.
The shape/age change is used in the book to some degree, mainly for the repeated philosophical observation that most men feel like boys masquerading as men.
But the fact that he is American, or even from our world, is not utilized in the story at all. He forgets most of his life in our world, it hardly ever comes up, and is not essential to the plot in any way. It's just an unnecessary complication. Odd things occur - and it's almost as if the character just doesn't react - not like an American would react, and really not like the typical inhabitant of the world where he is would react either. It's just sort of odd. And dull.

I hate to say it, but the books are kind of boring. They're slow-moving, and I just didn't feel that Wolfe's usage of classic fantasy elements worked very well. (Not nearly as well as in any of Wolfe's other books that I've read.) His hierarchy-of-worlds had some interesting elements to it, and some of the characters, especially the fire-elf 'sisters' were cool - but I feel it either needed more action or a more-coherent philosophy pulling it all together. ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
The second part of Wolfe's Wizard Knight series. I was excited to see what happens to Sir Able of the High Heart. This novel has a different style from the first in that there's less roaming about and the main characters are already established. There's still so much clever fantasy, interesting occurrences and surprises that you don't really know what's going to happen. It continues with many intertwined sub-stories and mythical references and I'm sure a re-reading of it would be very beneficial. I'm happy to have read the series and will likely try it again in a few years. ( )
  briandarvell | Jul 10, 2014 |
Okay, I have only looked at the first, and read a few pages. I thought I'd see what was going on with this one first...
The answer is, incomprehensible nonsense, that grows tired by about the third paragraph. There are a few books that work with a vernacular style of writing. Pilgerman, A Clockwork Orange and Feersun Endgin come to mind. But characters portrayed only by their wonky way of talking are usually tiresome. Pratchett makes good use of it in the odd character.
But when it is the main protagonists in the first two chapters, it is seriously annoying. When I find myself reading 2 chapters of a book that fails to entertain, says nothing, and speaks in a difficult to follow lingo, I throw it away. Gene Wolfe has been good in the past. He has also been stultifyingly dull. This is one of the latter. Some reviews suggest these books are somehow original in the fantasy market. Rubbish. There is nothing new here, and the literary trick of having a boy in a man's body has little mileage any more... since Tom Hanks in Big, actually, and that was due to the skill of the actor.
Avoid. ( )
  Drakhir | Apr 3, 2013 |
A very tricky, but rewarding read. Like all of Wolfe, it is filled with major events that happen in a single sentence or even none at all, where the reader is expected to have understood what happens because of something foreshadowed chapters ago. This can be both frustrating, if you miss it, or rewarding when you get it. Not a book to be read when tired, for sure.

I don't think I fully understand the ending, or how the story, which all takes place in Wolfe's 7-fold world around Mythgarthr, interacts with the life of the American boy who is the narrator and his brother (who is also a character in the book). This would probably profit from a reread, but I expect I will be going back to the Book of the New Sun as a reread first. ( )
  Threlicus | Aug 7, 2011 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gene Wolfeprimary authorall editionscalculated
Manchess,GregoryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
"You asked to become a knight, not an expert on knighthood. To train you further would make you into a scholar, not a fighting man. What remains for you to learn you must learn by living and doing."
—Yves Meynard,
The Book of Knights
Dedication
Dedicated with love and respect
to Lord Dunsany, author of
"The Riders"
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Some of this part I saw myself, Ben.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765350505, Mass Market Paperback)

Sir Able returns to Mythgathr on his steed Cloud, a great mare the color of her name. Able is filled with new knowledge of the ways of the seven-fold world and possessed of great magical secrets. His knighthood now beyond question, Able works to fulfill his vows to his king, his lover, his friends, his gods, and even his enemies. Able must set his world right, restoring the proper order among the denizens of all the seven worlds.
The Wizard is a charming, riveting, emotionally charged tale of wonders, written with all the beauty one would expect from a writer whom Damon Knight called "a national treasure."

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:05 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

A 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 first half of the journey, The Knight -- which you are advised to read first, to let the whole story engulf you from the beginning -- took a teenage boy from America into Mythgarthr, the middle realm of seven fantastic worlds. Above are the gods of Skai; below are the capricious Aelf, and more dangerous things still. Journeying throughout Mythgarthr, Able gains a new brother, an Aelf queen lover, a supernatural hound, and the desire to prove his honor and become the noble knight he always knew he would be. Coming into Jotunland, home of the Frost Giants, Able -- now Sir Able of the High Heart --claims the great sword Eterne from the dragon who has it. In reward, he is ushered into the castle of the Valfather, king of all the Gods of Skai. Thus begins the second part of his quest. The Wizard begins with Able's return to Mythgathr on his steed Cloud, a great mare the color of her name. Able is filled with new knowledge of the ways of the seven-fold world and possessed of great magical secrets. His knighthood now beyond question, Able works to fulfill his vows to his king, his lover, his friends, his gods, and even his enemies. Able must set his world right, restoring the proper order among the denizens of all the seven worlds. The Wizard is a charming, riveting, emotionally charged tale of wonders, written with all the beauty one would expect from a writer whom Damon Knight called "a national treasure." If you've never sampled the works of the man Michael Swanwick described as "the greatest writer in the English language alive today," the two volumes of The Wizard Knight are the perfect place to start.… (more)

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