Have you heard of these things before? Probably. Fine. I'll remind you about some wonderful things then.
Today: Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell
A fat book about some boss magic. Totally worth reading.
Reading level: Like Harry Potter with a description of the battle of Waterloo in it.
Long Winded Description:This is like Harry Potter for grown ups.* If you grew up with the Chronicles of Narnia, Lord of the Rings, or harbor a fervent love for Neil Gaiman this is the book you've been waiting for. Read it right now. I only read it very recently but I wish I read it years ago.
I do fall hard for books with a well thought out magical universe and man is this one of them. I really like that it's a "STAY IN THE CIRCLE" kind of magic.
|All hail the Raven King.|
"Stay in the circle" magic: A story in which magic is not safe. If the magician stays in the circle there is some power to be had and he or she is fairly safe. The forces outside the circle give power but they also call out, "step outside, step outside the circle and you will have power beyond your wildest imagination. Okay maybe step is too strong a word. Why don't you just stick your toe out? Just a toe. What evil could possibly come of that?" They are not lying. It is true. The only way to any real power lies with them. So eventually the Magician comes out of the circle and the rest of the story is about someone cleaning up the mess.
In Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell magic's danger factor is fairies. Fairies ooze magic but they don't have any objection to killing slews of people to get what they want. I appreciate this because I feel that, if magic was a real thing it would probably be this way. Not just a force capable of being used for evil (Harry Potter) but a thing that requires risk to use (to any substantial degree).
*I mean, it's not like Harry Potter isn't for adults. Heaven knows that I've read the whole series more times than I can count and go through an obsessive HP phase at least every 2 years. My last Harry bout was in November- see post: pottermania-owls
NB: If anyone wants to talk about any part of Johnathan Strange & Mr. Norrell (What they liked, what they didn't like, how many times they said, "Johnathan! Come-ON!", how they think I'm wrong, how much they like Arabella) then they should comment here or on facebook. I miss talking about books with people.