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The High House (Evenmere Chronicles #1)

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  337 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
Evenmere, the High House, a Victorian mansion of infinite size, is the mechanism that runs the universe; the lamps must be lit or the stars fail; the clocks must be wound lest Time cease; the Balance between Order and Chaos must be preserved or Existence crumbles. When Carter Anderson finds himself Steward of Evenmere, he must learn, before it is too late, the strange rule ...more
Kindle Edition, 339 pages
Published August 11th 2015 by Ransom Books (first published 1998)
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Switch! The Lost Kingdoms of Karibu by Karen  PrinceThe Jupiter Chronicles by Leonardo RamirezThe Hobbit by J.R.R. TolkienThe Last of the Firedrakes by Farah OomerbhoyIsle of Winds by James Fahy
Books To Read After Chronicles of Narnia
27th out of 153 books — 193 voters
My First Travel Angelic Airline Adventures by Anna OthitisThe Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. LewisThe Horse and His Boy by C.S. LewisThe Magician's Nephew by C.S. LewisThe Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis
Christian Fantasy/Allegories
56th out of 216 books — 114 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 721)
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Dan Schwent
Mar 02, 2008 Dan Schwent rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I'm about halfway though this one at the moment. How can you not like a book where one of the characters is a talking dinosaur that lives in the attic? High House has some pleasing similarities to the Castle series by John DeChancie but surpasses it in inventiveness.
Mary Catelli
A tale of magic and wonders. Set in a mysterious house that has a black river in the basement and kingdoms in its rooms, and a dragon in the attic that is also the last of the dinosaurs and the Behemoth and a serious danger to our hero, Carter.

He was the only son of Lord Anderson's first marriage. His mother dies, and he learns a few things about the house, like the Book of Forgotten Things and the Words of Power, and he sees his father, who is Master, setting out with the Tawny Mantle and the L
Lonnie Smith
Sep 29, 2010 Lonnie Smith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Such a good book. I would place this book in my top 5 books of all time. I wish Stoddard would put more out.
‘Evenmere: La Gran Mansión’ narra las aventuras de Carter Anderson en esta casa plagada de pasadizos, pasillos, habitaciones y jardines, una casa que contiene un mundo entero. Ante la desaparición del señor de la casa, su hijo Carter ha de enfrentarse a las fuerzas del caos que intentan desequilibrar el orden establecido en el universo, presente en la figura del misterioso policía y sus anarquistas. La novela de James Stoddard es todo un compendio, un homenaje a múltiples obras y autores, destac ...more
Grady McCallie
Feb 28, 2016 Grady McCallie rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 13, 2016 Derek rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: high-fantasy
Beyond it being an excellent descendant of William Morris or George MacDonald, and it possessing a lovely cadence to the writing that demands a read-aloud to an appreciative audience, AND it being set in the most marvelous sprawling TARDIS-interior-like architectural construction that encompasses entire nations and worlds while still having exterior windows conveniently located, this is a book whose deliberately-planned and -deployed literary Easter Egg references are seemingly designed to drive ...more
Simon Mcleish
Jun 19, 2012 Simon Mcleish rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally published on my blog here in January 2000.

Were it not for the prior existence of Peake's Gormenghast trilogy and Crowley's Little, Big, High House would certainly seem far more original than it actually does. Like these novels, its focal point is a huge house which has a strange magical atmosphere. (The Gormenghast novels are far more dark than either of these others.) Like Gormenghast, the High House is full of strange people and places; in High House, these are often allusive.

The Hi
Ignacio Senao f
Clásica fantasía de grupito que busca algo y para encontrarlo tendrá que pasar pruebas. En este caso el mundo es una mansión. En la que las ciudades son salones enormes, los pasillos caminos llenos de pruebas, las habitaciones cuevas, hay playas y mares enormes… Sí, muy original y atrayente. Pero el tono tan infantil me ha decepcionado, no me lo vendieron como libro juvenil.

Por momentos me recordó muchísimo a la fabulosa película “Dentro del laberinto”.
Jul 04, 2016 Grace rated it liked it
I picked up this book after reading an interesting review in First Things about the Christian themes in Stoddard's fantasy novels. The setting of the novel, an infinitely large Victorian-era house with corridors and rooms containing entire nations, captivated my imagination. However, the prose was clumsy in places and marred by a handful of obvious typos, making me wonder if the book was self-published. It is certainly a fun read as long as you're not expecting C.S. Lewis or Tolkien-level excell ...more
Jeff Zell
Jun 30, 2016 Jeff Zell rated it really liked it
Shelves: youth, adult-fiction
The High House is the first in the Evenmere Trilogy and is now back in print.

The High House is a mysterious house in a remote location in Britain. The house is large but magically contains multiple countries. As Enoch (yes, that Enoch from Genesis) explains at the end of the book that the house is a kind of parable for the universe. The master of the house is the key to maintaining the necessary balance between the countries within the house and the natural and supernatural forces of the univer
Stephen Case
This book is a survivor, one of those volumes that has come through multiple bookshelf purges over the years. It was purchased in an age of Brooks and Jordan and Star Wars novels, but it was solid enough that it remains when most of my pulp paperback science fiction and fantasy are gone. I was reminded of it recently by the graphic novel Joe the Barbarian, so I fished it off the shelf and decided to return to Evenmere, the epigrammatic house of the title, for the first time since childhood.

Dec 09, 2014 Alexis rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Alexis by: Joel
Shelves: fantasy-sci-fi
The short version: The person who recommended this book to me first read it as a teenager, and I think I’d have like it much better had I read it at that age as well.

The long version:
The house-as-world concept was a creative setup, and at first was quite interesting. However, the series of quests and encounters all began to sound and feel the same after a while, and the continual appearance of guides and obstacles to help or hinder the hero began to feel contrived. The big revelations at the en
E.J. Weaver
Sep 16, 2012 E.J. Weaver rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
This is a bizarre but wonderful book. The well-read fantasy reader will recognize homages to many favorite books throughout the story.

The story seems like something that George MacDonald might write, though not quite. Recommended VERY highly.
Mar 06, 2012 Miquela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Miquela by: Maymay
What a fantastic imagination has Mr. Stoddard! I am looking forward to reading The False House now.
Aria Maher
Jul 18, 2016 Aria Maher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This book is just awesome. How else can you describe a story containing man-eating furniture, a talking dinosaur in the attic, and a mysterious mansion so big that it contains the entire universe? This mansion is Evenmere, and it is the mechanism that keeps the world running. The clocks must be wound or time will stop, the lamps kept alight or the very stars in the sky with cease to glow. Carter Anderson, exiled from the house since he was young, must return to take up the duties of the House's ...more
Lynne Fort
Apr 12, 2014 Lynne Fort rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am a little bit out of practice with fantasy, so take that into account, but this book blew me away. It's original, and Stoddard manages to sustain not only a breakneck pace but an environment of constant, immediate danger for Carter. There were definitely some unexpected twists and turns. I became very emotionally involved with the characters, especially Carter, throughout, which made the novel even more gripping. Stoddard's take on magic and its place in the "real world" were intriguing. I'd ...more
Sep 13, 2016 Christine rated it it was amazing
I usually don't write reviews, but this book deserved it. It was recommended to me as a good read for fans of Narnia, Middle Earth, fantasy in general...So many fantasy books that came after Lewis and Tolkien have been essentially imitations, riffing on themes we've seen before, but Stoddard has truly produced an original work here. I was captivated with his rich descriptions of infinite worlds which are also somehow incorporated into the house's architecture (worlds are not just hills and open ...more
Ryan G
Mar 28, 2011 Ryan G rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this one. It's a far flung fantasy that takes place in one house that takes you days to travel from one hall to the other and along the way you discover kingdoms growing out of the rooms, halls, and terraces througout. In one section you could fnd yourself fighting changeling creatures that may resemble a love seat one second then a horrific alligator like creature that is trying to devour you, by the way you are fighting along side of talking tigers. You can travel to the edge of a va ...more
Elizabeth Galewski
Masterfully written, this fantasy novel is filled with action and lavish world-building. Essentially, the plot revolves around a mistake that Carter, the protagonist, makes as a young boy. As a young man, he must face his fears in order to undo his error, growing into himself in the process. Gripping - I read it in only two days.
Patrick Samphire
I love this book. It is one of the most original, interesting and elegant fantasies I've read. Highly recommended.

One slight warning that will bother a few people, although not most: this is a Christian-influenced fantasy, in a similar way to CS Lewis's Narnia books. If that kind of thing bugs you, don't read it.
Dec 21, 2014 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I cannot believe I had this treasure sitting my my bookshelf for almost 20 years before reading it. It is high fantasy in the tradition of Tolkeien an C.S. Lewis. It has all the elements that make great fantasy, lots of adventure, danger, battles between good and evil, and a completely unique look at the universe.
Jul 11, 2016 Sally rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
Very imaginative fantasy about a boy growing into a man determined to find his father and atone for his past mistakes. There are hints of Lewis and MacDonald here, with some lovely and some horrifying imagery.
Jul 12, 2016 Darren rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Lots of secret passages, brave fighters, and a good relationship between brothers. Creepy enemies, loyal servants, and a lawyer who becomes a butler. Great stuff!
Kara Rae Garland
This is one of the best books I've read in a long time and I've read a lot of awesome books this year. Now I have to completely reassess my five stars and favorites shelf.
Michael Babb
Feb 10, 2014 Michael Babb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
very interesting fantasy tale. hard to describe, but was very enjoyable. I have now read it 3 or 4 times and loved it each time.
Kristina Meschi
Oct 14, 2014 Kristina Meschi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my all-time favorite books; could not put it down and was sorry to see it end. Then I read it again and again!
Curby Graham
Aug 14, 2016 Curby Graham rated it it was amazing
Absolutely outstanding book. One of the better fantasies I have read. Stunned I didn't find this years ago.
May 16, 2016 Natalie rated it it was amazing
Michael Sullivan
A boy is born and the House is magic. He leaves for his own safety, and returns to find the House in peril. He undertakes adventures to find the Tawny Cloak and the jagged Lightning Sword, and most important of all, the Keys to the House. In doing this, he takes his father's place to become the Master of what is allegorically or figuratively "God's" House

Several incredible conceits, a lovely and worthwhile read
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Goodreads Librari...: editions 6 16 Oct 09, 2015 12:04PM  
What's The Name o...: Fantasy novel about a house/manor that is more than it appears [s] 4 51 Jun 18, 2013 02:33PM  
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James Stoddard grew up in the Oklahoma Panhandle. His short stories have been published in professional SF publications such as Lightspeed and The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. His first published novel, The High House, won the Compton Crook Award for Best First Novel, and was nominated for several other awards. When he isn't writing or composing music, he teaches Sound Engineering to R ...more
More about James Stoddard...

Other Books in the Series

Evenmere Chronicles (3 books)
  • The False House (Evenmere #2)
  • Evenmere (Evenmere #3)

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