"Superb coming of age fantasy"
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
Reviewed by Harriet Klausner
Posted January 10, 2005
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted January 25, 2007
A young man in his teens is transported from our world to a magical realm that contains seven levels of reality. Very quickly transformed by magic into a grown man of heroic proportions, he takes the name Abel and sets out on a quest to find the sword that has been promised to him, a sword he will get from a dragon, the one very special blade that will help him fulfill his life ambition to become a knight and a true hero.
Inside, however, Abel remains a boy, and he must grow in every sense to survive the dangers and delights that lie ahead in encounters with giants, elves, wizards, and dragons. His adventure will conclude next year in the second volume of The Wizard Knight, The Wizard.
Gene Wolfe is one of the most widely praised masters of SF and fantasy. He is the winner of the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement, the Nebula Award, twice, the World Fantasy Award, twice, the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, the British Fantasy Award, and France's Prix Apollo. His popular successes include the four-volume classic The Book of the New Sun.
With this new series, Wolfe not only surpasses all the most popular genre writers of the last three decades, he takes on the legends of the past century, in a work that will be favorably compared with the best of J. R. R. Tolkien, E. R. Eddison, Mervyn Peake, and T. H. White. This is a book---and a series---for the ages, from perhaps the greatest living writer in (or outside) the fantasy genre.