Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Ars Magica” as Want to Read:
Ars Magica
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Ars Magica

3.56  ·  Rating Details  ·  247 Ratings  ·  12 Reviews
Magic is still the most powerful seducer of all as young monk Gilbert knows. He risks his soul as a sorcerer's apprentice, only to steal the magic books--and the Head. The Head prophesies the rise of his power, and it is shadowed by death.
Mass Market Paperback, 304 pages
Published August 1st 1989 by Spectra (first published January 1st 1989)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Ars Magica, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Ars Magica

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 537)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jun 17, 2011 Estara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of early medieval European history
Recommended to Estara by: It's Judith Tarr!
Shelves: ebook, read-in-2011
I love the knowledge Judith Tarr's professional background brings to the historical periods she uses for her historical fantasies. They sound and look authentic to me. And how rare is it for a German to find a historical fantasy set practically at the founding of the Heiligen Römischen Reiches Deutscher Nation.

I wouldn't mind hearing about great-grandfather Heinrich and not just Otto III. Or about Otto's mum - Teophanu's life at the Saxon court, but it was an enjoyable view at church life, at th
Apr 09, 2010 Tess rated it really liked it
This is a historical fantasy of how a young peasant monk rose to be the Roman Catholic Pope in the 10th and 11th century. Ms. Tarr based almost all her characters on real people and real historical events. History also records rumors which said Pope Sylvester II, known to the readers as Gilbert, used magic and the forbidden Arts. Ms. Tarr took this rumor and turned it into a fascinating story of a young monk's rise to power helped by friends, his own resourcefulness and dedication, as well as a ...more
May 22, 2010 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: occult-esque
A story of the temptation and corruption of power based on the real-life Pope Sylvester II. It was considerably more entertaining than I'd expected, mostly because the mood of the book was so similar to the Ars Magica game. I don't know offhand which came first. Worth checking out if you have an interest in high magic or medieval history.
Jun 29, 2013 Jim rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've had this for some years, and finally dusted it off. A good read if you like historical fiction with a twist of fantasy. Rumor had it that Pope Sylvester II was a practitioner of magic. This is his story.
Jun 27, 2008 Valerie rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Fantasy/History buffs
This was a somewhat interesting historical fiction. The author took some actual historical figures and gave them some magical abilities. It was a little hard to follow at times, but I did enjoy it.
Sep 16, 2012 Deirdre rated it really liked it
An interesting history of Gerbert of Aurillac later Pope Sylvester in the years before 1000 ad. About him and magic and politics and it reads like history as most Judith Tarr novels do
Dec 15, 2009 Myra rated it it was ok
Picked this up at a yard sale at a friend's house when they were moving. Not exactly my cup of tea, but it was OK. The story centers around the monk who would become Pope Sylvester II. It tells of how magic (The Art) played such an important role in his life even while the church frowned upon sorcery and magic. The novel follows his education from a young monk and through his life into the early years of his papacy. It is NOT a history, although Pope Sylvester II did exist. It was based on the " ...more
This was a bingo read. I’m not a big fan of historical fantasy, so this is a little outside my normal reading.

This is a very quick read. I didn’t particularly enjoy the book, but I can appreciate the great writing. It felt like every word was chosen to give you a feel of the time, while not losing you in the prose.
I wish I knew more about the time period it took place, I think it would have helped me to enjoy it more. As it is, I feel a little unfair even rating it, but it’s as much for me t
Timothy Boyd
Not a bad historical fantasy story. Good mix of the religion and politics of the day. Recommended
Jul 01, 2009 Mike rated it it was ok
Pretty standard fantasy fare, with at least a slightly new take on magic. Much heavier emphasis on characters and personal struggle rather than battle or adventure. Overall average at best.
May 01, 2009 Judith rated it it was ok
I normally love her books, but just couldn't get into this one, I didn't even finsih it.
Arlene Allen
Aug 11, 2010 Arlene Allen rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
No doubt, fantasy was better and more original then.
Choirsoftheeye marked it as to-read
May 03, 2016
Steve Davenport
Steve Davenport is currently reading it
May 02, 2016
Catherine Wright
Catherine Wright marked it as to-read
Apr 29, 2016
mint marked it as to-read
Apr 28, 2016
Connie rated it it was ok
Apr 11, 2016
Harvey Flask
Harvey Flask marked it as to-read
Apr 11, 2016
Fran Lockhart
Fran Lockhart rated it really liked it
Apr 05, 2016
Glenn Howald
Glenn Howald marked it as to-read
Apr 03, 2016
Ron Roy
Ron Roy rated it really liked it
Apr 02, 2016
Alan75 marked it as to-read
Apr 01, 2016
Michelle marked it as to-read
Mar 31, 2016
Marc marked it as to-read
Mar 30, 2016
Demi Nemorensis
Demi Nemorensis marked it as to-read
Mar 14, 2016
Tom Piddock
Tom Piddock rated it liked it
Mar 10, 2016
Scott marked it as to-read
Mar 07, 2016
Laura is currently reading it
Mar 04, 2016
Leanne rated it liked it
Feb 22, 2016
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 17 18 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Damiano (Damiano, #1)
  • Lammas Night
  • New Testament Background: Selected Documents: Revised and Expanded Edition
  • Magic, Witchcraft, and Ghosts in the Greek and Roman Worlds: A Sourcebook
  • Arcana Mundi: Magic and the Occult in the Greek and Roman Worlds: A Collection of Ancient Texts
  • From the Maccabees to the Mishnah
  • Turn Off Your Mind: The Mystic Sixties & the Dark Side of the Age of Aquarius
  • Armor of Light
  • The House Between the Worlds
  • The Zionist Idea: A Historical Analysis and Reader
  • Doctrine and Covenants Student Manual
  • The Greener Shore: A Novel of the Druids of Hibernia
  • Seven Lies About Catholic History: Infamous Myths about the Church's Past and How to Answer Them
  • Atheist Delusions: The Christian Revolution and Its Fashionable Enemies
  • Cities of God: The Real Story of How Christianity Became an Urban Movement and Conquered Rome
  • The Masks of Time
  • Unicorn and Dragon (Unicorn and Dragon, #1)
  • Here There Be Witches
AKA Caitlin Brennan, Kathleen Bryan.

Judith Tarr (born 1955) is an American author, best known for her fantasy books. She received her B.A. in Latin and English from Mount Holyoke College in 1976, and has an M.A. in Classics from Cambridge University, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Medieval Studies from Yale University. She taught Latin and writing at Wesleyan University from 1988-1992, and taught at the
More about Judith Tarr...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »