This illustrated compilation of the late author John Bellairs's books for adults pairs his most beloved novel and its never-before-published fragmented sequel, along with two additional early works. In "The Face of the Frost," Bellairs's effervescent humor shines, complimented by moments of vivid terror, and complete with a sass-talking magic mirror and a soulful wizard named Prospero. Prospero, alongside his compatriot Roger, meander through a disorderly country of "several centuries (or so)" ago, hoping to defeat a shape-shifting force unleashed by a malevolent wizard. "The Dolphin Cross," Bellairs's unfinished sequel, opens with the arrival of a 600-year-old corpse wearing a knight's armor. Following his capture and imprisonment on a clandestine island, Prospero returns to encounter yet another wizard; this time, Bellairs strikes a more languorous and somber tone, though he retains his playful virtuosity. "St. Fidgeta and Other Parodies" and "The Pedant and the Shuffly" offer a hybrid of Borges and Lewis Carroll, but it's Bellairs's mastery of nightmarish imagery and unflinching command of the macabre that should lure fans to rediscover his cache of horror stories and gothic mysteries.
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