by Gene Wolf
Category: Fiction / Fantasy
432 pages; ISBN: 0765313480
Rating: 9/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
Tor, Jan 2005, $14.95, 432 pp.
In the United States, his brother Ben needed suddenly to leave, but there was no reason for the young teen to depart also; so he stayed behind to fish, but instead hiked a trail. He was not lost when he slightly went off the path to cut a staff.
He steps into Mythgarthr where he meets the elf Queen of the Wood Disiri, who looks into his soul finding honor and loyalty. She magically changes the lad into an adult knight dubbed Able of the High Heart and provides him with a quest to obtain the mythical sword possessed guarded by a ferocious dragon. If he is to achieve his heroic destiny. However, to sprinkle someone with power and skill and change them into something else does not impact what is inside. The American expatriate struggles with his new environment filled with magic and magical beings and his lack of his experience beyond those of a young teen, not a fighting knight. Though doubts ring his every step, he is still young at heart and so begins his adventures as a stranger in a strange body in a strange land where everybody is strange.
This is a terrific tales because of the realistic transformation of the hero who wonders what he has gotten into while on the trek. The support cast insures readers believe in ogres, giants, elves, griffins, etc. Interestingly is how Sir Able cleverly narrates the novel via a letter to Ben; cleverly providing a glossary of terms and names. Fantasy great, Gene Wolf provides a superb coming of age with a twist story that will have the audience anticipating the conclusion to the Wizard Knight twosome.
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