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R. A. MacAvoy

Author of Tea with the Black Dragon

18+ Works 6,651 Members 123 Reviews 20 Favorited

About the Author

Image credit: David Bickford


Works by R. A. MacAvoy

Tea with the Black Dragon (1983) 1,490 copies, 38 reviews
Damiano (1984) 658 copies, 9 reviews
Twisting the Rope (1986) 654 copies, 10 reviews
The Book of Kells (1985) 648 copies, 16 reviews
Damiano's Lute (1984) 538 copies, 5 reviews
Raphael (1984) 486 copies, 6 reviews
The Grey Horse (1987) 481 copies, 4 reviews
Lens of the World (1990) 437 copies, 12 reviews
The third eagle: lessons along a minor string (1989) 316 copies, 3 reviews
King of the Dead (1991) 278 copies, 4 reviews
A Trio for Lute (1984) 272 copies, 1 review
The Belly of the Wolf (1994) 224 copies, 6 reviews
Death and Resurrection (2011) 82 copies, 6 reviews
In Between (2009) 37 copies, 3 reviews

Associated Works

The Bantam Spectra Sampler (1985) — Contributor — 10 copies


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Common Knowledge



I can’t remember now who recommended this (Someone on Tor.com?) nor why I added it to my reading list. It was published in 1983 and it’s a curious story, a mystery which becomes more action-thriller. And it is fantasy, but not in the usual way -- there’s nothing actually fantastical about the plot itself nor about the antagonists driving it.

Martha Macnamara’s daughter unexpectedly summons her to San Francisco but when Martha arrives, Liz seems to have disappeared. Martha confides in a man she meets at the hotel, Mayland Long.
“He told me he used to be ten yards long and solid black, with a head like a chrysanthemum. Not any other flower—he insisted it was a chrysanthemum. He also thought it was important I knew that he had had five toes on each foot. As a dragon, that is.”
The worry had cleared from Martha’s brow. “Oh!” she breathed. “I see. Well, Jerry, me boy. This night he told
me that he was personally acquainted with Thomas Rhymer. Or at least knew his son,” truth compelled her to add.
[Jerry] Trough stared blankly. “And he doesn’t?”
“Not likely. But don’t you see where his head is at, when he says things like that?”
“No. Where?”
She gestured in the air above her head, as though calling all available Muses to her aid. “Why he’s … exercising a scholarly imagination. He’s smashing the world, to recreate it in his own pattern. That man is an artist, and conversation is his medium.
“If he appears a bit crazy it’s only because he’s too much alone,” she concluded. “I understand him. Or I think I do. I can’t explain any better than that.”
I think I’m glad I read this.
… (more)
Herenya | 37 other reviews | Jul 6, 2024 |
Ahh. Ahh. That is all I can say -- a satisfied sigh.

What a fantastic, satisfying end to the series. Every note is pitch perfect. This is a composition crafted with consummate care. We get adventure from a reluctant hero, a study of patient composure from our protagonist, who has aged since the first few books, leading to a touching capstone for the series.

This third and final book is surely the high point of the series. I thought the series started off slow, but it slowly snuck up on me, until by the end I was hooked. Read the whole series, so you can experience a brilliant piece of writing.… (more)
dwagon17 | 5 other reviews | Apr 29, 2024 |
Hmm. I finished the book, and my first thought was: what just happened?

Anyway, this is a very short book. Read it for the atmosphere and general feeling of the characters. The characters feel real and interesting, like someone you'd like to meet. The atmosphere is every so slightly mystical. The writing is well-done. But its main weakness is that the plot is spare, and the book ends abruptly, too abruptly, with only a partial resolution. Overall, in keeping with MacAvoy's other work, but a bit more experimental.… (more)
dwagon17 | 2 other reviews | Apr 29, 2024 |
I wish I knew why I liked this book (and the series) as much as I do. It's not for the plot; while there was nothing wrong with the plot, it wasn't the main attraction.

Perhaps it is the writing. The prose is perfection: simple, elegant, clean, minimalistic, and not flashy or distracting. The descriptions are understated, and somehow it sets a tone and an atmosphere. RA MacAvoy is a writer's writer, and has a great command of the language.

Or perhaps it is the characters. There are only a few characters, and they are sketched in just a few strokes, but they are different and interesting in their own way.

In any case, the book is not like most other fantasies. In some sense, not a lot happens. But in an another sense, a lot of little things happen, each of them a mini-story in their own right, and just like a travelogue, you have fun along the way.
… (more)
dwagon17 | 3 other reviews | Apr 29, 2024 |



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