The Book of Magic⭐⭐⭐1/2 (Bertie Botts Every Flavour Beans)

Author: Gardner Dozois (Editor)
Pages: 553
Genre: Fantasy
Series: Standalone
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9780399593789





Hot on the heels of award-winning editor Gardner Dozois’s acclaimed anthology ”The Book of Swords” comes this companion volume devoted to magic. How could it be otherwise? For every Frodo, there is a Gandalf … and a Saruman. For every Dorothy, a Glinda … and a Wicked Witch of the West. What would Harry Potter be without Albus Dumbledore … and Severus Snape? Figures of wisdom and power, possessing arcane, often forbidden knowledge, wizards and sorcerers are shaped — or misshaped — by the potent magic they seek to wield. Yet though their abilities may be godlike, these men and women remain human — some might say all too human. Such is their curse. And their glory.

Goodreads Synopsis


Stories:

  • ”The Return of the Pig” by K.J. Parker
  • ”Community Service” by Megan Lindholm
  • ”Flint and Mirror” by John Crowley
  • ”The Friends of Masquelayne the Incomparable” by Matthew Hughes
  • ”The Biography of a Bouncing Boy Terror, Chapter II: Jumping Jack in Love” by Ysabeau S. Wilce
  • ”Song of Fire” by Rachel Pollack
  • ”Loft the Sorcerer” by Eleanor Arnason
  • ”The Governor” by Tim Powers
  • ”Sungrazer” by Liz Williams
  • ”The Staff in the Stone” by Garth Nix
  • ”No Work of Mine” by Elizabeth Bear
  • ”Widow Maker” by Lavie Tidhar
  • ”The Wolf and the Manticore” by Greg Van Eekhout
  • ”The Devil’s Whatever” by Andy Duncan
  • ”Bloom” by Kate Elliott
  • ”The Fall and Rise of the House of the Wizard Malkuril” by Scott Lynch


More diverse than Book of Swords, but that’s to be expected with the change of subject. Magic does not have to be wandwork, incantations or potions, but can be pretty much anything. Like eating toys to remain young (Yes, that’s an actual thing in one story. Thank you Megan Lindholm!). It can also be set successfully in different moods and tones. All from heart crushing to overly whimsical. So whatever your thing is, there’s a good chance you’ll find it in here.

But overall the stories did not pack the same punch as the previous collection. Which is also a result of the change of subject. Magic, unlike weapons, is such a complex subject that needs to be throughly introduced and explained to get me involved. And in short stories where there’s limited room for storytelling, character development and other areas can easily suffer. But the book is very well edited and the stories are well written with many interesting subjects, so I did really enjoy it. Especially, to no ones surprise, ”Community Service” by Megan Lindholm (also known as Robin Hobb) who is on top of her game as usual. If you have the urge to read a short story but can’t decide which kind, pick this book up. Because every author have put in their own unique flavour in it.


Gardner Dozois // Goodreads review // Instagram

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