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The Wizard (Wizard Knight Series #2)
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The Wizard (Wizard Knight Series #2)

3.6 12
by Gene Wolfe

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Sir Able returns to Mythgathr on his steed Cloud, a great mare the color of her name. Able is filled with new knowledge of the ways of the seven-fold world and possessed of great magical secrets. His knighthood now beyond question, Able works to fulfill his vows to his king, his lover, his friends, his gods, and even his enemies. Able must set his world right,


Sir Able returns to Mythgathr on his steed Cloud, a great mare the color of her name. Able is filled with new knowledge of the ways of the seven-fold world and possessed of great magical secrets. His knighthood now beyond question, Able works to fulfill his vows to his king, his lover, his friends, his gods, and even his enemies. Able must set his world right, restoring the proper order among the denizens of all the seven worlds.
The Wizard is a charming, riveting, emotionally charged tale of wonders, written with all the beauty one would expect from a writer whom Damon Knight called "a national treasure."

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Gene Wolfe not only entertains, he invests his work with a complexity and trickiness that place him among the most important American writers of our time. . . . But you don't need to know Wolfe's earlier work to be caught up in a novel that blends, imaginatively and briskly, Arthurian ideals, Celtic legends, and North mythology.” —The Washington Post on The Knight

“Wolfe excels at developing a standard fantasy coming-of-age story into something fresh and exciting, a must read for every fan of the genre.” —Romantic Times Bookclub Magazine on The Wizard

The Wizard is a brilliant Celtic knot of a book. It demands a great deal from the reader, but it repays that investment many times over.” —David Drake

“Arising from the same sources as Lord of the Rings, The Wizard Knight is one of the few fantasies that can justly be compared with it.” —Booklist on The Wizard

“A major work by the author most frequently hailed as the premier living master of the form...The Wizard Knight maybe be among the most sheerly entertaining of all Wolfe's novels...Its tone is astonishingly well controlled, moving toward great elegance and economy without ever losing the voice of the not-quite articulate boy that Sir Able once was...I can't imagine how anyone can fail to revel in the sheer profligacy of invention and the exhilaration of the prose.” —Locus on The Wizard

“This is fantasy at its best: revelatory and inspirational.” —Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) on The Wizard

“Another triumph from the greatest writer in the English language alive today. The Knight is astonishing: deep, involving, humane, and absolutely original. This is the start of something big. Wolfe is the best we have. Cherish him.” —Michael Swanwick on The Knight

“Wolfe's version of Faerie is both allusive and elusive, beautiful and fatally glamorous.” —Tad Williams on The Knight

“Gene Wolfe is the smartest, subtlest, most dangerous writer alive today, in genre or out of it. If you don't read this book you'll have missed out on something important and wonderful and all the cool people will laugh at you.” —Neil Gaiman on The Knight

The Barnes & Noble Review
The Wizard, the second and concluding volume of Gene Wolfe's Wizard Knight duology, is so much more than an epic fantasy about a boy's transformation into a fearless knight in a realm filled with giants, dragons, and mischievous elves. It's a deeply moving existential tale about the important things in life -- namely one's honor.

When a teenage boy from modern-day America suddenly finds himself in Mythgarthr -- the middle realm of a strange universe that contains seven interconnecting worlds -- and is transformed into a hulking knight by an irresistibly beautiful elf queen, he begins a perilous quest to not only retrieve a legendary sword but also to find out what it means to be a hero. In The Wizard, Sir Able of the High Heart is a much-changed man. The teenager stuck inside the body of an adult warrior has slain dragons, defeated nightmarish foes, led armies, and visited numerous fantastical realms. Accompanied by a unicorn steed, a talking cat, a supernatural demon-dog named Gylf, and a small group of unlikely friends, Able is delayed in his quest to somehow reunite with his beloved elf queen by a strict code of honor that forces him to battle frost giants, seductive sorceresses, and egomaniacal kings.

The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction describes Wolfe as "neither the most popular nor the most influential author in the sf field" but concludes that "[he] is today quite possibly the most important." Science fiction, horror, speculative fiction...and now -- after writing the Wizard Knight duology -- Wolfe can add fantasy to his list of genres mastered. Paul Goat Allen

Publishers Weekly
The teenage boy who wandered into another set of realities in Wolfe's The Knight has attained his ambition of knighthood. Now, as Sir Able of the High Heart, he returns in this sequel riding a steed that's not a horse, wielding his magic sword and bound by oath not to use his new otherworldly powers. Such a summary is like saying a spoonful of tap water constitutes the whole of all oceans. Wolfe's words wash over the reader with transparent grace and charming playfulness as he spins his profoundly imaginative, metaphysically complex, yet ever-entertaining tale with astonishing naturalness. In trademark Wolfian fashion, the memory-altered protagonist acts as narrator, telling the truth whenever possible and to the full extent of his own understanding. This second volume satisfactorily supplies many answers to the riddles and allusions of its tantalizing predecessor, but posits new mysteries as well. The novel stands alone and might even be best if read before The Knight, but will surely drive readers to the first as well. The conclusion hints at possible further adventures. Outstanding fantasy these days is often convincingly and compellingly anti-Tolkien, but Wolfe proves one can tell an epic, myth-based story of honor, loyalty, courage and faith relevant to our own dark times. This is fantasy at its best: revelatory and inspirational. Agent, the Virginia Kidd Agency. (Nov. 10) Forecast: Wolfe has won the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement, among many other major awards. Expect this two-book saga (The Knight was published earlier this year) to win him a few more. This is far more accessible than his earlier multivolume masterpiece, The Book of the New Sun (1980-1983). Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
The grand conclusion to a fantasy two-parter about a knight with the soul of a teenaged boy. In The Knight (2003), Wolfe sent an American teenager into another world, a multitiered fantasy universe divided into seven different planes of existence. There, he became known as Sir Abel of the High Heart, a powerful knight with a sword, Eterne, that your average hero would kill for. Now, we find Abel having recently come back to the land of Mythgarthr. Although he's aged some 20 years in the realm of Skye, the passing of time there doesn't really seem to follow the standard rules, and, while he doesn't seem very mature, he definitely isn't a kid anymore. A seasoned warrior, Abel is in the midst of a struggle between the realm of King Arnthor against a race of Frost Giants intent on raiding south into the hotter lands to capture human slaves to work their fields. The Wizard's first half allows Abel to tell about his struggles in this conflict, and he's an engaging narrator, though given to the prolix. When Wolfe shifts the action away from Abel, though, and turns to the diplomatic efforts of his squires Svon and Toug (and Mani, the speaking cat: less gimmicky than it sounds) in their effort to stop the giant-human fighting, the action shifts into high gear and the comprehension factor (despite the upfront list of dramatis personae) begins ratcheting dramatically downward. Wolfe likes to spin spiderwebs of plot and counterplot inside his impressively constructed universes, and fortunately his innate sense of humor keeps matters from getting impossibly dense. Even as he trots out the fantasy tropes (elf-like beings, a battle with a dragon, jousting matches, honorable peasants, arrogant royalty),he both undercuts expectations and fulfills them in each and every page. Mordant, thrilling, all tangled up in heavy knots of double-crossing and magic.

Product Details

Tom Doherty Associates
Publication date:
Wizard Knight Series , #2
Edition description:
First Edition
Product dimensions:
4.27(w) x 6.67(h) x 0.99(d)

Meet the Author

GENE WOLFE lives in Barrington, Illinois.

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The Wizard (Wizard Knight Series #2) 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
After decades of reading this genre this is the first time I have offered a review. I feel complelled because I thought Gene Wolf was a terrific author. but this book is very disappointing. Its precurser, The Knight, was also seriously flawed but it had the promise of tying up threads in this sequel. Nearly all the characters are thinly drawn, appearing and disappearing without much importance. The seven world levels are critical to the plot and frequently referenced, but their significance 'and design' is inadequately explained and endlessly confusing. Storylines dangle throughout with little resolution. For example, Sir Able is occasionally reminded he is dead, and once or twice seems to acknowledge it, yet he fights on with no clarification whether he is dead and why that was important in the first place. He clearly is not dead like the spectres who appear when he draws the sword Eterne. It is hard to believe Gene Wolfe really wrote this stinkeroo. I felt obligated to read it through because of Mr. Wolfe's eminence.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
Gene Wolfe brings the genre back to life with this timelessly brilliant story. I can't begin to recommend this book enough the characters feel as real as any I've ever encountered, and the plot fairly hums with action and depth. Although reading it requires much more attention and focus than many of its mindless cousins in the fantasy genre, the dedicated reader will set the book down wanting only to read the sequel.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you are a fan of norse theology and culture than the Wizard is a must read. While it isn't quite as good as the Knight it comes very close. Gene Wolfe is an excellent author and captures the reader with his simple yet imaginitive story telling.
Rdclark More than 1 year ago
If you're looking for a wonderful fantasy read, this is it!