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Welcome!! My name is Paul Lappen. I am in my early 50s, single, and live in Connecticut USA. This blog will consist of book reviews, written by me, on a wide variety of subjects. I specialize, as much as possible, in small press and self-published books, to give them whatever tiny bit of publicity help that I can. Other than that, I am willing to review nearly any genre, except poetry, romance, elementary-school children's books and (really bloody) horror.

I have another 800 reviews at my archive blog: http://www.deadtreesreviewarchive.blogspot.com (please visit).

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Od Magic

Od Magic, Patricia A. McKillip, Ace Books, 2006

This fantasy story is about a young man who doesn't know the extent of his magical powers.

Brenden lives in the far north and has an innate connection with plants. He doesn't so much talk to them as instinctively nurture them and understand their healing properties. One day, he is visited by the great wizard Od, who invites him to become a gardener at her wizard school in the city of Kelior, far to the south.

The Kingdom of Numis, with Kelior as its capital, is a place that fears magic. All students at the school can only learn "authorized" magic; even the instructors are not allowed to know any "unauthorized" magic. All graduates are required to serve Numis.

A portion of Kelior is called the Twilight Quarter. It is the sort of place where the shops and taverns open each day at sunset, and continue until dawn the next day, every day. What happens in the Twilight Quarter, stays in the Twilight Quarter. It is visted by a group of magicians led by a man named Tyramin. No one knows what he looks like, or where he comes from, but news of his arrival spreads through the Twilight Quarter like wildfire. There is a fine line between harmless illusions to thrill the average person, and serious, hardcore magic that might be used against the King of Numis, so the authorities are very interested in Tyramin. Several attempts are made to arrest him, but he always manages to keep just out of reach. Brenden is in the Twilight Quarter looking for the name of a strange plant, where he, unintentionally, shows just how powerful he really is.

This is a gem of a story. McKillip ceratinly knows her way around a fantasy novel, and this one is no exception. It is easy to read, and well done from start to finish.

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