The Barnes & Noble Review
British author Simon R. Green, world renowned for his Deathstalker series, visits his hometown of Bradford-on-Avon in a "magical realism" fantasy called Drinking Midnight Wine.
"Bradford-on-Avon is an old town, and not all of its ghosts sleep the sleep of the just," the story aptly begins. Toby Dexter works at an independent bookstore in the city, but on a fateful ride home on the train, he meets a beautiful woman with "the most perfect mouth in the world." He follows her through a door and into the parallel realm of Mysterie, where the magical world reigns.
With the help -- and sometimes hindrance -- of myriad interesting characters, including a private eye demigod, a shape-shifter, a fallen angel, and human-sized mice, Toby discovers his destiny. It was fate that brought Toby to Mysterie, and as a focal point, his actions will determine the future of humankind.
Fans of magic realism should thoroughly enjoy Green's newest offering -- a funny, romantic fantasy. (C.A.)
The author of the popular Deathstalker series (Deathstalker War, etc.) offers another wildly fantastic extravaganza bound to please his many fans, even if it won't win him new ones. Toby Dexter, a bored 33-year-old clerk at Gandalf's bookshop in Bradford-on-Avon, becomes an unlikely hero when he follows a woman (the mysterious Gayle, at whom Toby has often gaped during his daily commute) into a doorway she creates by pointing at a wall. Suddenly, Toby finds himself in Mysterie, a fantasy world chock-full of gods and devils and coexistent with Veritie, our mundane world. Gayle warns him that she is beyond mortal love, and is instead preoccupied by a power struggle between Good and Evil with the latter being represented by the Serpent in the Sun, who seeks dominion over everything. Even worse, Gayle says, is that Toby is a "focal point" who will ultimately decide "the fates of people and the world." It's a tall order for a little guy, but Toby's up to it. Magical characters abound and enthusiastically cross the borders between the real and the fantastic: there's the immortal PI Jimmy Thunder, a descendant of Thor; Leo Morn, a bitter and alienated werewolf; the evil Angel, who is restored cleansed; and many more. Green obviously doesn't want to lose favored heroes, so the one loss is Nicholas Hob, son of the Serpent and Luna, Gale's ditsy sister (though Toby himself is shot dead temporarily). Green often pauses to discuss local history, but remembers in time to continue the action and ultimately serves up a happy ending. (Feb. 5) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
When bookstore employee Toby Dexter follows a beautiful woman through a strange door in a wall, he enters Mysterie, a magical realm that coexists with the real world. Here, he discovers his integral part in a battle against evil that pits him and his newfound allies against a fallen angel and a demonic creature known as Nicholas Hob. The author of the "Deathstalker" series presents an engaging cross-world fantasy that transforms a small English village into a realm of wonder and nightmare. Fans of the urban fantasies of Charles de Lint and Tanya Huff should enjoy this multilayered tale. For most fantasy collections. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
What People are saying about this
From the Publisher
"A treat for Green's fans." -Library Journal
"Another wildly fantastic extravaganza." -Publishers Weekly