The Wizard (Paperback)
Book Two of The Wizard Knight
Tor Books, 9780765314703, 480pp.
Publication Date: October 1, 2005
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.
About the Author
Gene Wolfe (1931-2019) was the Nebula Award-winning author of The Book of the New Sun tetralogy in the Solar Cycle, as well as the World Fantasy Award winners The Shadow of the Torturer and Soldier of Sidon. He was also a prolific writer of distinguished short fiction, which has been collected in such award-winning volumes as Storeys from the Old Hotel and The Best of Gene Wolfe.
A recipient of the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement, the Edward E. Smith Memorial Award, and six Locus Awards, among many other honors, Wolfe was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2007, and named Grand Master by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America in 2012.
Praise For The Wizard: Book Two of The Wizard Knight…
“Wolfe's words wash over the reader with transparent grace and charming playfulness as he spins his profoundly imaginative, metaphysically complex, yet ever-entertaining tale with astonishing naturalness.. . . Wolfe proves one can tell an epic, myth-based story of honor, loyalty, courage and faith relevant to our own dark times. This is fantasy at its best: revelatory and inspirational.” —Publishers Weekly, Starred Review
“There is hardly a piece of northern European heroic literature from which Wolfe doesn't borrow with his usual scholarly flare and in his exquisitely turned prose (in Wolfe's hands, even dialect works). Arising from the same sources as I, The Wizard Knight is one of the few fantasies that can justly be compared with it.” —Booklist
“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.” —David Drake
“Wolfe excels at developing a standard fantasy coming-of-age story into something fresh and exciting, a must read for every fan of the genre.” —Romantic Times on The Wizard
“I...emerged from the reading of this book ready to acknowledge Wolfe's immense skills, passion and ambition. Taken together, these two books are a magnificent achievement in the annals of fantasy literature.” —SciFi Weekly on The Wizard Knight
“The grand conclusion to a fantasy two-parter about a knight with the soul of a teenaged boy...Wolfe likes to spin spiderwebs of plot and counterplot inside his impressively constructed universes, and fortunately his innate sense of humor keeps matters from getting impossibly dense. Even as he trots out the fantasy tropes he both undercuts expectations and fulfills them in each and every page…Mordant, thrilling, all tangled up in heavy knots of double-crossing and magic.” —Kirkus