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The Wizard (Wizard Knight) Hardcover – 16 Nov 2004

3.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 477 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1st Edition edition (16 Nov. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765312018
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765312013
  • Product Dimensions: 15.6 x 4 x 25.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,998,777 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"There is a treasure in your hand, O Reader. Open these leaves. Great things await."--John C. Wright

Book Description

A thrilling, emotionally riveting tale of wonders by one of the field's greatest writers --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I have always enjoyed Gene Wolfe's fluent and somewhat ethereal style of writing and, while the Wizard has all the hallmarks of Wolfe I was little disappointed. There was just not enough narrative - the whole thing was very slow moving. Half way through I found myself asking "Are we still in the Giants' castle?" I think the both the first two books could have been reduced to one volume.

That said there are (as always in a Gene Wolfe book), excellent writing, some interesting ideas and reworking of myth. I will certainly want to read the Wizard Knight.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I have never really liked Fantasy novels but I have come across a couple of series which I thoroughly enjoyed by Lois McMaster Bujold so I took a chance on this one. Mistake. Probably my fault as I just couldn't catch on to the underlying theme although I suppose magic comes into it. It seemed to me that this was possibly the second or third novel in a series as continual mention was made of people and happenings without any background so I felt quite adrift. Add to that the use of tortured spellings in speech to try to intimate different character of a broken nose (in one case) and my will to live slowly dripped away. I hadn't got quarter of the way through, and even though I had paid money for the book, I decided I really couldn't be bothered to proceed. I couldn't say that it was poorly written but it was certainly idiosyncratic and you either like that or you don't. I didn't.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Just what I expected
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8e471684) out of 5 stars 55 reviews
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8e44554c) out of 5 stars What goes on in your mind? 21 Oct. 2006
By Big Shrike - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is better than anything else I have read in the last two years. I will not summarize the plot because you will find that elsewhere, but I prefer to check the negative feedback. I feel sorry for the people who read this book and seek a linear, easy-to-discern story. Just because the plot is disjointed, convoluted, complex, and yes, perhaps contradictions abound, (all revealing many different emotions and levels of maturity) does not translate to "a mess." Go read some milk-toast fantasy to satisfy your mundane literary aspirations! There is a bountiful "mess" of galant adventure and introspective sophistry to be found within these novels. The prose is magical. The story is invigorating. Satisfaction is assured. Gene Wolfe's body of work shames most want-to-be masters of sci-fi and fantasy. Give these novels a read with a steady mind. Perhaps a second or third read will find new, overlooked insights. You may find within these novels a plethora of goodness which changes your perspective on the world around you. Or at least takes you upon a journey of chivalry and courage. Cheers!
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8e445594) out of 5 stars Gene Wolf's prose is Skai to other writers 19 May 2007
By Gary R. Bradski - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Really a review for books 1 and 2.

OK, 4 stars aren't really fair, that is 4 stars relative to Wolfe's level, 5 stars for mere mortal writers.

This book, even with it's 7 levels of reality is still has far fewer levels than in other of Wolfe's works. The Long Sun, New Sun series are better. Here, the narrator is simpler, less nuanced. In the Long Sun, later facts would often change the whole meaning of earlier scenes. That happens a little such as who the Knight who turned to smoke was in an early scene in the first book -- I like that turn of meaning with new information in Wolfe's works, I like the narrators who are sort of lying or covering their behinds to you and there's less of that in this work.

Huff. Still, this is more than worth your while. It's a fun yarn, an adventure with lots of turns in it and an increasingly gripping page turner.

I'm reading the book to my young daughter -- yes, I edit the sex scenes (let's just say she thinks Gene writes in lots of hugs and "sleep overs" ) and damp down some of the violence. She really got attached to Able in the first book becoming another of Able's odd assortment of followers -- but cried foul when Able stepped out of the picture at the start of book 2 and the pace bogged down in the long cold slog to Utgard and thereafter. But, after about 100 pages, things start to pick right up again and it's worth going along. It is typical of Wolfe's genius to have the Giants call the huge men "Mice" rather than the small humans. That is typical of human nature -- we belittle our closest competitors, not the ones who aren't contenders with us.

As a morality tale, suitably edited, this book have a powerful effect for good on a kid. My daughter is somewhat shy and when she had to give a talk in front of some people, all I had to say is "Knights don't count their foes and speakers don't count their audience" and she was OK. Same for hiding something from her little sister: "a knight tells the truth" and the hidden item appeared. Even for myself, when your down and the code has too many bugs, I sometimes unsheathe my keyboard, cry "IPO, IPO!" and charge. I seriously doubt you'd get that from a Harry Potter book and Wolfe is a much writer (even though I'm a fan of both). Keep writing Sir Wolfe, honor demands it.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8f5e500c) out of 5 stars NOT flawed - astounding 5 Jan. 2007
By Kiri Namtvedt - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
My husband and I read the two books of the series, and to gain additional insight I did some surfing on Mr. Wolfe and appreciated what he has done with these books even more than I had.

To those who find the books flawed... I can only say that perhaps you expect him to be doing something with the books other than what he intended to do. The profoundly dreamlike quality of the plot and narrative, the way things move forward, the way the POV bounces from Able to others and back again, the way in which events are magical but at the same time deeply mundane, and overall the way in which Able exemplifies certain qualities (honor, duty, loyalty) set these books apart in my mind as something beyond the vast sea of fantasy fiction.

These books capture some quality of "the otherworld" in a way that I've never encountered before, deftly and with beauty. Wolfe also writes limited first person viewpoint more perfectly than anyone else I've read; the way in which we get Able's view, and also just what Able choses to write to his brother - is just masterful. Sometimes events are confusing because Able writes briefly or sketchily about certain events, or skips over battles and then refers back (or forward) to events that he doesn't actually describe... All I can say is "WOW". Good job, Gene.
19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8e445828) out of 5 stars Worthy, but not excellent, Successor to the Knight 15 Nov. 2004
By B. Davis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Wizard, the concluding part two of "The Wizard Knight" duology, is a strong read. It does not, however, meet the lofty level of excellence that its predecessor, The Knight, met. Whereas "The Knight" will retain its place on my shortlist of best fantasy novels ever written (and the top one of 2004), The Wizard is (merely) a good read.

Gone, in my estimation, are the intricacies of The Knight-- the striving to attain (or have accepted) Able's Knighthood; the heart-wrenching moments associated with the absence of Disiri; the subtle nuisances flowing through the text as a result of the protagonist's youth (but not Able's).

In its stead, are near-standard fantasy fair battles: Jotunland, RedHall, the Five Fates (description only) and the concluding sequence. And of them all, only the concluding, final chapter of the book (comprising, of course, the final battle) is exemplary. And, as with many Wolfe novels, the end rushes in: a swift wind undeterred by a readers desire for a less abrupt cessation. Additionally, the swift rise and sudden disappearance of Toug (and his centric views) and Mani (gotta love that Cat) were both hearteningly fresh and sorely noticed.

Nonetheless, this book is better than all but the finest of fantasy (or other fictional) work. Its highpoints are very good: the ruinous portrayal of Morcaine; the torn relationship between Idnn and Svonn; the tattered mind of Etela's mother; Baki and Uri.

I can only hope that Wolfe returns to this universe. It's worthy of more of his time just as The Wizard was worthy of mine.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8e445654) out of 5 stars A Masterpiece 14 Nov. 2005
By E. Stephen Mack - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
As I write this review, I have left the final six pages unread, because I do not want my journey with Sir Able and his wide-ranging assortment of companions to end. Not yet.

I am thoroughly and completely enchanted by Wolfe's version of Faerie and Arthurian/Norse legend. Wolfe pays homage to a wide range of classical influences, including Edmund Spenser, Lord Dunsany, and T.S. Eliot. Because Able is such an unreliable narrator, and (as he insists) just a boy in a man's body, it's easy to miss how deeply his worlds turns in on themselves, and the significance of several events is not at first apparent. That makes this a demanding work, because few things are as they seem on the surface. While not as obscure as *Castleview*, this is a deep novel, best read in a reflective mood and not as a page-turner. Like many of Wolfe's books, the journey seems to be the real point, not the destination that ultimately appears on the last page.

Superficially, these two books resemble sword'n'sorcery or hack'n'slash that you might find from lesser writers; but the deceptive, dream-like flow of Wolfe's elegant prose and his refusal to put characters into simple boxes of good and evil separate Wolfe from the pack.

If you are new to Wolfe, I would first recommend the "Book of the New Sun" series or *A Devil in the Forest*. Once you are familiar with Wolfe, my bet is that you'll appreciate this book on many levels.

This series has earned the many glowing reviews from other accomplished fantasy authors. I believe it is a true masterpiece from a genuine master.
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