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Wild Magic (FOOLS GOLD) Paperback – 5 Jul 2004
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Magic has returned to Elda, creating all manner of wonders and terrors. None yet know that the source of this magic is the legendary Rosa Eldi, restored to the world, but not yet restored to herself. Unaware of her true nature, she has married King Ravn Asharson of the North, and now with usurpers and assassins circling she must conceive a child to establish the succession. But the Rosa Eldi is no ordinary woman...In the Southern Empire, the fire of holy war is smouldering and violence is everywhere, fuelled by fundamentalist hatred and bigotry. Caught up in these machinations, peace-loving Saro Vingo is forced to take up arms against the North; and Virelai, apprentice sorcerer, finds himself chained to the murderous plans of his master, Tycho Issian. Ignoring the call to arms, Aran Aranson, chief of the Rockfall clan, is in the grip of a mad obsession borne of a magical map and dreams of sailing the frozen seas to Sanctuary, island of legend, to find a fortune. His daughter, Katla, dreams of sailing with him; but her fate lies elsewhere. All over Elda, forces are aligning themselves for good or for evil.There is magic in the world again, but it is wild and unpredictable, and few will count its touch a blessing.
About the Author
Jude Fisher is a pseudonym for Jane Johnson, publishing director of HarperCollins' SF imprint, Voyager. She holds two literature degrees, specializing in Anglo Saxon and Old Icelandic texts, and is also a qualified lecturer. For the last twenty years, Jane has been the publisher of the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, and is the author of the official Visual Companions to Peter Jackson's movie trilogy of THE LORD OF THE RINGS.
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The pace skips along nicely and the book is packed with strange settings and societies and writing techniques that keep you glued to the plot. Perhaps there is a tendency to flick between the character groups quite systematically with each chapter and occasionally I found myself skipping forward to see what another group were doing!
All in all, although this series does not stand out as truly memorable, if you're between stories and are looking for another series to dig into, then I would certainly recommend 'Fool's Gold,' as Jude Fisher tells a rather good tale.
Her writing brings a breath of fresh air to fantasy with wonderful adventure, a sharp edge of humour and surprises at every turn. Unlike most fantasy novels, this is not a tale of battle between good and evil, but of a world full of possibilities and of the actions and consequences of the characters who live there. Fisher’s writing, full of humour and zest (that I think the British will appreciate best), flows across the pages so you could loose yourself in the book for hours: indeed, twice I’ve forgotten to get off the train on the way home from work!
The characters are vastly differing and well developed: some are full of beans and some are truly ghastly and others are a complete enigma: I’m still trying to work out who the good guys are! Opinion of a character can change from one chapter to the next.
The story encompasses faith, righteousness, morals, ambition, love, lust and obsession, and, above all, wild and unpredictable magic.