Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Review: Forward the Mage

Forward the Mage
Forward the Mage by Eric Flint

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Please Note: Read in January 2008 immediately after The Philosophical Strangler. Just copying over my review.

Thoughts: Combining prequel and aspects of similarity with The Philosophical Strangler, Forward the Mage is full of Rabelaisian nonsense that is certain to confuse and befuddle the average reader, who will likely then put down the book and exclaim, "What nonsense! This is a terrible book! What is it even ABOUT!?!" and that is where their problem arises! The book really isn't ABOUT anything, outside of a loosely held overall plot about the Rap Sheet, that winds its way through the book like a single glinting thread of gold through a cliff of limestone being washed by the ocean. Why do books always have to be "about" something? Why not just sit back and enjoy the lunacy?

A Type of Synopsis: The focus bounces back and forth between Zulkeh, sorcerer and pedant, and his apprentice, the dwarf Sheylid; and Benvenuti Sfondrati-Piccolomini, an artist, as he meets, travels with and falls in love with Gwendolyn Greyboar - THE Greyboar's sister, of whom we hear in The Philosophical Strangler and even meet there toward the end of that book. And, to make matters yet more entertaining, the book is purportedly written by a louse - yes, a humble louse! Living upon none other than Sheylid himself.

My Appreciation: As is obvious from the above, I rather liked the book. I think it will appeal to anyone with a good sense of nonsensical humour (those who enjoy Monty Python, Terry Pratchett, etc.) and who are willing to suspend reality to a fine breaking point and just have fun. Don't miss it, if I have just described you!

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