The Wizard: Book Two of The Wizard Knight
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The Wizard: Book Two of The Wizard Knight (The Wizard Knight #2)

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  1,950 ratings  ·  72 reviews
A novel in two volumes, The Wizard Knight is in the rare company of those works which move past the surface of fantasy and drink from the wellspring of myth. Magic swords, dragons, giants, quests, love, honor, nobility-all the familiar features of fantasy come to fresh life in this masterful work.

The first half of the journey, The Knight -- which you are advised to read f...more
Paperback, 480 pages
Published October 1st 2005 by Tor Books (first published 2004)
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Wolfe is a flawed genius. I read this book and it's prequel in 48 hours while I with laid up with a cold. It is easily one of the best fantasy books I have ever read. I would put it an a shelf next to Lord of the Rings and Alice in Wonderland. While it's achievements are incredible it's shortcomings are equally enourmous. Wolfe as usual has created an enormous and breath takingly realized world. One that is vivid and recognizable as well as wondrous and strange as fantasy should be.

His prose, di...more
(Contains spoilers) A wonderful meld of Norse and Arthurian mythology that I enjoyed very much, the sequel to The Knight, in which a now matured and experienced Sir Able returns from Skai to resume his quest for Queen Disiri. Battles with Frost giants, dragons, invading Eastern hordes, and drauger (living dead) amid political intrigues and inner journeys, all tied together with a varying degrees of existentialism. Having read the reviews of others, I think Wolfe's often laconic, understated pros...more
So upon further pondering... this book is certainly 4 stars. I don't know why I was grading it harder for certain, but looking back I would have to bring down a lot of other books to feel like I was properly grading these things.

And as for my claims on the main character... umm, false. It is a way to read it perhaps, but it really doesn't fit. I next jumped to Able (the main character) is to Wolfe as Prince Myshkin is to Dostoevsky. But this is rather presumptuous on my end (presumptu...more
Althea Ann
The Knight - Gene Wolfe
The Wizard - Gene Wolfe

One story, two books.
I expected to LOVE these - I'd really been anticipating reading them.
But - I didn't love them. I tried, but I just didn't.
For one thing, this story uses the exact same gimmick as Wolfe's The Book of the Short Sun trilogy (you are reading book written for an unseen, not-present person). Not only that, I am sorry, but the narrator has the EXACT SAME VOICE as in that other book. It is written as the exact same character, even though...more
Edward Rathke
So very great. Incredibly impressed by this, and it's crazy different from the first book. While The Knight is extremely episodic, tied together mostly by character and setting. At times it felt like a serialised novel, in that there were links between chapters, but those didn't seem as important to the chapter you're reading. This, of course, is used to great effect. All the details return and compile and so on.

Anyrate, the Wizard, the second book, is almost the exact opposite. It's more narra...more
THE WIZARD is the second half of "The Wizard Knight", Gene Wolfe's fantasy novel in two volumes. I read THE KNIGHT when it came out and was deeply disappointed by it, enough so that I stopped following Wolfe's work. But as I recently came across a copy of the work's completion, I decided to press on nevertheless.

As THE WIZARD opens, Sir Able returns to Mythgarthr from Skai. 20 years have passed for him in that higher sphere, but only a couple of days for the embassy to the Giants. Most of the n...more
So last night at midnight I had 57 pages left in this book, but I had to get up in the morning at 6:30. So what did I do? Wolfe didn't leave me much choice as I was sucked into the story and ended up finishing it last night around 1:15am.

Wolfe is such a compelling storyteller and this book was wonderful. A great fantasy book that feels fresh and new while incorporating that which makes fantasy fantasy. Not only is it fantasy, but he talks a lot about honor and what it really means to be a knigh...more
Perry Whitford
Having slew the dragon GrenGarm at the end of 'The Knight' and being welcomed into Skai by the Valfather, Sir Able of the High Heart returns to Mythgarthr a wizard, brought back by his love for Disiri the Aelf Queen, keen to serve King Arnthor against the encroachments of the Frost Giants in the north and against the marauding, cannibalistic Osterlings in the east.
Assisted by the same band of friends as before and further aided by a new one, Cloud, a magical grey mare from Odin's own stable that...more
Sam Beadles
A thousand things came rushing at me then—the ruin of the land, Arnthor’s eyes, the drunken smile of his sister, and the empty, lovely face of his queen. Sun-less days in the dungeon, cold that was the breath of death, Bold Berthold’s hut, wind in the treetops—Disiri’s kiss, her long legs and slender arms, the green fingers longer than my hand. Gerda young, as Berthold had remembered her, with flaxen hair and merry eyes. Mag in Thiazi’s Room of Lost Love.
The Lady’s hall in the flowering meadow...more
Adam Heine
Great ending. I still don't know what to make of everything, but then that's normal with Gene Wolfe. I'm glad I read it.
Michelle Klein Houser
Reading this book is like listening to a storyteller. Sometimes that gets slow, sometimes it's fascinating.
Ryan Patrick
A rather bizarre, confusing, and frustrating reading experience. I really had to force myself through this one. A lot of this is just derivative - King Arnthor and Queen Gaynor = Arthur & Guinevere, the Valfather = Odin, lots more Norse mythology (Valkyries, etc.), Aelfrice = land of various types of fairies who essentially live underground. Frankly, what really annoyed me was the cheesy topos of the "I am writing a long letter in the style of a novel" frame for the narrative. There didn't s...more
In The Knight Gene Wolfe has created another complete world, familiar to us (and thus easier to enter than with some of his other books) but also foreign. It begins in medieval history and folklore, heavy with Norse mythology, but expands in Wolfe's hands. The main character Able is a knight, who will become a great hero. In his ambling journey he makes many friends who aid him in his quest to find the sword Eterne and earn a place with his love Disiri. The first story is self-contained and is...more
Geoffrey Cubbage
Feb 04, 2011 Geoffrey Cubbage rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: first-time fantasy readers, anyone looking for light entertainment
This is the second of a two-part series, following The Knight (which I also reviewed), so there's not a lot of point in reading it if you haven't read The Knight. They're basically one long book anyway -- the events of The Wizard start on the same day that The Knight ended -- so it's best to view them as a comprehensive whole.

The book(s) shine in pacing and character, and flounder a little in plot and theme. Wolfe does a lot of his storytelling through dialogue. That keeps things moving and mean...more
Benjamin Kahn
I should preface this review by saying that I read this book about a month after The Knight. I hadn't realized that the second novel was a continuation of the first novel rather than a sequel, and although I tried to get The Wizard right away, circumstances conspired to prevent it. In the interim, I had read about 10 other novels, so the story of the first book wasn't fresh in my mind when I started the second.

All this to say that I was a little confused when I began this novel. I didn't know wh...more
Okay, I have only looked at the first, and read a few pages. I thought I'd see what was going on with this one first...
The answer is, incomprehensible nonsense, that grows tired by about the third paragraph. There are a few books that work with a vernacular style of writing. Pilgerman, A Clockwork Orange and Feersun Endgin come to mind. But characters portrayed only by their wonky way of talking are usually tiresome. Pratchett makes good use of it in the odd character.
But when it is the main pro...more
Not sure about this one at all. It was very complicated and original, and I feel I should have liked it, but I found it very hard going. The Wizard is the sequel to The Knight, in the reverse-named series the Wizard Knight (why not the Knight Wizard?) As you may remember, in the first book, a teenage boy from the US is transported to a new land and becomes a knight, killing a dragon as the high end-point of that first novel. Now in the Wizard, he returns. Confusingly, while he may be the titular...more
The Wizard is my fifth Wolfe, following the prequel The Knight and the New Sun series. I had read a few reviews prior to reading this (one reason why I use Goodreads) and I was aware of the slow chapters revolving around the Frost Giants.

Having finished this book I can agree, but would like to offer some explanation, other than Wolfe becoming bored and suddenly changing his plans for the book(s). The book is written from memory, once Able has decided to follow Dissari to Aelfrice. Memory would...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Overall this series was a disappointment. I thought the story felt haphazard and lacked focus--shifting from one world to another or one set of characters to another very suddenly. I've heard others describe this particular quirk as being dream-like, but it didn't read that way to me--it wasn't quite haphazard enough to capture the strange logic of dreams but too haphazard to seem realistic. The strange shifts were infrequent enough, also, that it sometimes felt less than intentional (although i...more
A really good followup to The Knight. At the end of The Knight, Able is killed fighting a dragon and is accepted into the halls of "Heaven" (a plane of existence based on Valhalla). His love for an Elf Queen is so strong, though, that he's compelled to abandon his place there and return to Mythgarthr (our plane), where he helps former comrades fight giants and wild humans that ravage the land. It sounds like standard fantasy fare, but again Wolfe injects so much complexity and poetry into the pl...more
I had a lot of fun reading the last 1/3 or so of this book, which is making me want to rate it 4 stars right now...but if I think back to a few weeks, it's not so hard to remember that I was forcing myself to read it in the beginning. After the exciting conclusion of The Knight, it was kind of a bummer to see so much of the book sunk into the Jotunland plot, which I honestly wasn't very interested in. Things picked up, and I very much enjoyed the development of Toug, Baki, Mani, and other charac...more
This is the follow-up the Wolfe's The Knight, and it did everything that I could have hoped for in a book and then even more. If you don't read this book you are missing out on an experience that can forever bless and curse you. Bless because it is so well written and the story ends so magnificently that it literally brings joy, and cursed because every book that doesn't live up to its standards will be thought less of because it didn't make the same cut.

I just want to add something to the way t...more
I loved it. It might be the best Wolfe I've ever read. It's also the slowest (perhaps excepting the Book of the Short Sun, and that's slow because the plot is slow). This book felt a lot more meditative to me, which I really enjoyed. And as much as we've glimpsed Wolfe's ideas about the nature of our own world in his other works, this book creates an entirely new metaphysics which I absolutely loved. It's worth it just for his explanations of good and evil, creation, hell, etc, not to mention th...more
This was a disappointment after the wonderfulness which was the first volume. It's almost five hundred pages, and the first few hundred are quite painfully tedious. The tediousness starts with pages and pages of nearly unreadable dialect, the dialect of the Knight's followers. Then there are pages and pages about the Knight (Wizard's)experiences in the land of the giants. The way he describes the giants is really unpleasant: they are an "inferior race" with no redeeming qualities. There is not a...more
David Robins
I pushed through to the end of this book since it's the second in a series. No wizards in sight. Not really a world or set of characters that grabs the interest. Some good ideas thrown in, some interesting perspectives; technically, many points; but didn't bring it home.
As I said about The Knight, I don't think that this is quite at the level of Wolfe's best work, but to paraphrase what Wolfe once said about Borges, even lesser Wolfe is magnificent. Some have complained that the protagonist, Sir Able, is simply too good for words: a great fighter, with the coolest weapons and magical artifacts and of course every beautiful woman he meets basically throws herself at him immediately. And worst of all, he's a total jerk at times and never seems to suffer for it. A...more
This was Gene Wolfe's attempt at a fantasy book for younger readers. In this it fails since it has too much direct sex for the younger side of readers and has a complex, wandering plot. I'd say the book is for age 14 (at least) or older. However, for Gene's fans, it's a fun lark loosely based on worlds related to the levels of emanation from the Jewish Kabala. There's the usual unreliable narrator who never quite gets back to what he started. There's a great scene with an under giant, beautiful...more
David Willson
Part 2 of the Wizard Knight series tended to drag a little toward the middle-end. But slightly dragging Wolfe is better than the best work of just about anybody else. I can't wait for another dose from this series.

Wolfe is a unique writer. Especially in this series. He not so much tells you the story as lets you discover it through eavesdropping on the conversations between his characters. Very little descriptive scene building, no exposition ... he forces your unconscious mind to supply all of...more
4.5 really. Enjoyed it more than the first. Maybe I was just excited to be back with the characters and continuing their journey, either way, it was well worth the read!
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Gene Wolfe is an American science fiction and fantasy writer. He is noted for his dense, allusive prose as well as the strong influence of his Catholic faith, to which he converted after marrying a Catholic. He is a prolific short story writer and a novelist, and has won many awards in the field.

The Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award is given by SFWA for ‘lifetime achievement in science fict...more
More about Gene Wolfe...
The Shadow of the Torturer (The Book of the New Sun #1) Shadow and Claw (The Book of the New Sun, #1-2) Sword and Citadel (The Book of the New Sun, #3-4) The Claw of the Conciliator (The Book of the New Sun #2) The Sword of the Lictor (The Book of the New Sun #3)

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“What a man knows hardly matters. It is what he does.” 26 likes
“It is well, I think, for us to learn to tell evil from good; but it has its price, as everything does. We leave our evil friend behind.” 3 likes
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