Book Two of The Wizard Knight
By Gene Wolfe
(Tor Books, Hardcover, 9780765312013, 480pp.)
Publication Date: October 21, 2004
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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.
Gene Wolfe is the author of two dozen novels and hundreds of short stories. Possibly the most critically acclaimed SF/Fantasy author of our time, he is the winner of the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement, as well as the Nebula Award (2), the World Fantasy Award (2), the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, the British Fantasy Award, and the Prix Apollo. He lives with his wife, Rosemary, in Barrington, IL.
"The Wizard is a brilliant Celtic knot of a book. It demands a great deal from the reader, but it repays that investment many times over."-
"There is a treasure in your hand, O Reader. Open these leaves. Great things await."
-John C. Wright
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