Magic Casement (A Man of His Word, #1)
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Magic Casement (A Man of His Word #1)

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  1,586 ratings  ·  62 reviews
MAN OF HIS WORD A princess and a stableboy? It sounds like the worst sort of hackneyed formula romance. Think again, for "A Man of His Word" may well be the most original fantasy you ever read. The magic is unique and applied in unexpected ways, some of which the late Lester del Rey admitted he had not met in fifty years as writer and editor. The world itself is unique - t...more
Paperback, 382 pages
Published December 12th 2002 by eReads.com (first published 1990)
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Manda
Nov 06, 2007 Manda rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
This is the first in a series of four (all on this shelf) that are simply the best fantasy/alternate reality/what have you books I have ever read. I read each one as they came out and could not wait till the next one. It has everything: good, clear, witty writing; beautiful imagery; a strong, non-stereotypical female protagonist (and a strong male protagonist as well); a fully conceived, internally consistent universe; and a heck of a gripping plot. Don't be scared off by the cheesy sci fi cover...more
Mike (the Paladin)
Okay I know a lot of people are looking at that rating and asking themselves..."what's wrong with that guy?"

Sorry. There were times I was sure I was going to get into this book and really like it. The first half of this is so slow and annoying as to drive me (and I assume some others) up the nearest wall. While the sections on Rap drew my attention, the story told from Inosolan's point of view are slow, dull, irritating, aggravating and even...vexatious (vexatious: causing vexation; troublesome;...more
Amanda Kespohl
This series and the sequel series are some of my all-time favorite books that I've ever read. The characters are endearing and relatable, the world is richly imagined and unique, and the magical system is ingenious. I used to reread this series at least once a year, and it honestly served as a heavy influence on how I write my own stories.

This first series, beginning with The Magic Casement, is a fresh, sweeping tale of romance and adventure as Rap the stable boy loyally seeks to serve Princess...more
Lorena
Dave Duncan always exceeds expectations, and this book is no exception. The writing and characters are, as always, superb. Having reached the end of the first installment, I don't at all know where the series is headed from here, in the best possible way.
Sbuchler
Genre: High Fantasy

I found this book slower/harder to get into then the other Dave Duncan series I've read... which isn't to say it's not a fun read, it is. It's just slow to ramp up.

The story involves the different races on Pandemia - goblins, fawns, elves, imps, jotan (and probably more). At this point I'm unclear if Duncan intended these groups to truly be different species or if they're simply fantastical names for different human racial groups. Multiple of the principal actors in the novel...more
Laura
Nov 23, 2008 Laura rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Eric
This was one of my favorite fantasy series in years. One of the fun parts about reading the books was how he tied the title of the chapter in with the quote at the end. It's never clear why the title has its name until the end, and then it is a fun trick to see the quote at the end and find the chapter title in it. The books themselves are a good example, as they all draw their titles from the poem "Ode to a Nightingale" by Keats.

The voice I hear this passing night was heard
In ancient days by
...more
Flint
If you're planning on reading this book then be very prepared to be bored for at least half of it before the plot actually begins to progress and unfold. Virtually nothing of consequence happens in the first half of the book. The two main characters, Rap and Princess Inos are basically doing everyday mundane things that does very little to impact their character development. The first half of the book is actually more about the princess settling into her boring life of dances and embroidery at a...more
Shelli
Mar 23, 2010 Shelli rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone who likes epic fantasies
Recommended to Shelli by: Alicia
Shelves: fantasy, read-in-2010
This book was a little bit slow in the beginning, but it picked up in pace as the severity of the issues grew. I imagine a lot of fantasy books are slow at first because they have to describe the world in which the story is set. This story follows a coming-of-age princess who has been told to find a husband to marry for love, not just because the marriage will benefit his or her family in a certain way. The magic and powers in this world are interesting (I don't want to give anything away!) and...more
David
I liked the last Dave Duncan series that I read, and this was a good start to another series. In a world of imps, jotunn, fauns, faeries, pixies, gnomes, elves, and dwarves -- all of them recognizably human -- the stableboy Rap and the princess Inos live on a small island. Adventures ensue, often revolving around a novel system of magic based on magic words. One word makes a genius, able to do one or two things very well; two words makes an adept, a genius in any skill he practices; three words...more
Michelle
Goblins, princesses, magic...this book has everything, and the power of words is the ultimate. Rap is just a stable boy, but he is probably the most honorable stable-boy you will ever meet. His love and commitment to Princess Inosolan is something rarely seen now-adays. He befriends a goblin during his journey to protect the princess from an evil plot. Meanwhile, the Princess is off to the center of aristocracy to (hopefully) find a suitor. This book beautifully illustrates the lifestyles of the...more
Lis
Oct 08, 2009 Lis rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: fantasy
I've never been disappointed by a Dave Duncan book. They have strong intriguing characters, interesting settings, and are just so much fun. These are not books you read to because Oprah told you to or because they won some award; these are the books you read when you just want to curl up and be entertained. Even the Dave Duncan books you've never read are instant old friends the moment you pick them up. (Ignore the covers - they look like the worst sort of fantasy trash and are deeply unfair to...more
Adi Greif
This series was well-written, had a nice magic system, and a nice if sometimes slow plot. I would rate it four or five stars, except that it (like many fantasy series) has an Orientalist interlude with a Middle Eastern type setting where men are handsome, brutal, and have harems of women. Although explicitly stating that there are good and bad people everywhere and that there are some benefits to the harem system, the general perspective of the characters was that those 'type' of people (djinns)...more
Anon
This series was well-written, had a nice magic system, and a nice if sometimes slow plot. I would rate it four or five stars, except that it (like many fantasy series) has an Orientalist interlude with a Middle Eastern type setting where men are handsome, brutal, and have harems of women. Although explicitly stating that there are good and bad people everywhere and that there are some benefits to the harem system, the general perspective of the characters was that those 'type' of people (djinns)...more
Susu
Apr 21, 2014 Susu rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014
Perhaps it is unfair to rate this book 2 stars, but having recently read Robin Hobb's Farseer and Tawny Man trilogies, the character and plot development in Magic Casement falls extremely short.
Travis
Simply put, the most amazing Fantasy series I've ever read. It's just pure unadulterated fun and surprises you at every turn. Dave Duncan's best ever series.
Kerry
A satisfying book from start to finish in a classic fantasy style. It's always refreshing to read a fantasy writer who doesn't have to rely on gore or sex to create a good story--or to distract from the flaws of a bad one. But this book isn't solely about story. The writing is interesting, with a good use of appropriate vocabulary and descriptions that don't use cliche as a crutch. Sure, some of elements are hyperbolized (such as the impatient, headstrong princess) but that is part of its charm....more
Heather
An original fantasy story with an interesting plot twist. So now I have to find the next one as it has a cliff-hanger ending.
AtlantaTwin
I picked this one up b/c a blog recommended "If you like Robin Hobb, you'll love Dave Duncan." The imagery is amazing in this book. Since the character's names are so different from today's names, I had a hard time remembering some of the minor characters and thier roles (Duke of this, Thane of that, etc), but that's what makes it enchanting, don't you think? I was especially intrigued by the short poetry at the end of each chapter and discovering how classic poetry can be intwined with a fantas...more
Stephanie
I liked this one a lot. We will see how I feel after a few days when the "high" has worn off. I thought the characters were great; many of them had unexpected depth. Believable world-building. Reasonable conflicts. (Sometimes when I read books I'm like...why are they so worried about this? Or...isn't a solution obvious? Not so here.)
I think the best part of this was (view spoiler)...more
Leon Aldrich
Book #1 of A Man of His Word

Book Description:

MAN OF HIS WORD A princess and a stableboy? It sounds like the worst sort of hackneyed formula romance. Think again, for "A Man of His Word" may well be the most original fantasy you ever read. The magic is unique and applied in unexpected ways, some of which the late Lester del Rey admitted he had not met in fifty years as writer and editor. The world itself is unique - there are no humans in Pandemia, only imps, elves, gnomes, jotnar, and many more,...more
Stephanie
Format: Audio from Audible
Narrated By: Mil Nicholson
Original Publication Year: 1990
Genre(s): Fantasy
Series: A Man of His Word #1
Awards: NA

I know people get tired of the same old archetypes trotted out in book after book but I have a confession; I kind of love archetypal stories. As long as it is done well - the details of the book unique and characters with depth and complexity - there is really nothing I prefer cozying up with. They are comforting and inspiring and there is, after all, a reason...more
Joshua Adeyemi
This was a pretty good book. It was a pretty engaging read. As this was the first book in the series, it was a bit slow, but picked up the pace towards the end of the book. Rap was a pretty stereotypical fantasy young male protagonist, he really has no shades of grey and is 100% good! he is determined, kind, very humble, etc etc, but still a pretty likeable character.
One of my favorite characters in this book is actually the sequential set of doctor Sagorn, Thinal, Andor, Jalon and Darad. Their...more
Sean Randall
I've made the mistake of underestimating Duncan before, so I won't abandon this series just yet. There seems to be a big world out there of which this is just a part.

Traditionally I've never seen the twists in the plot coming. This holds for TV shows too, it's not limited to books - and so any writing transparent enough that even I can see where it's going is cause for pause. But though I latched immediately onto some of the big factors, the story remained unpredictable enough to hold me and the...more
Emil Söderman
So, I actually already read this book... About ten years or more ago, and in swedish. So I had only extremely vague ideas of what it was about, only that it had vaguely interesting magic system.

It's a decent little yarn, it does the entire farmboy (or well, stablehand) falls-in-love-with-the-princess thing (even though the Princess Kingdom is roughly the size of a barn) less annoying than many, and I'd totally forgotten about a fairly interesting concept. So overall it's fairly fun, nothing exce...more
Smjbab
One of the best fantasy series I have ever read. Great story, characters you fall in love with regardless of race religion or creed, can't put the book down. Each of the 4 books in the Man of His Word series is better than the last.
Cherry Dumas
it was a great book...a very unsatisfactory ending, however, because i want to read more and have to wait for the loan of the next installment...however am i going to survive??? it really was a fantastic book!
Pawel Olas
3.5 stars rounded to 4. A typical fantasy novel in which the reader learns the rules of the fantasy world together with a naive protagonist. Nothing extraordinary but a very enjoyable book nevertheless.
Sarah
A fun read, with a really interesting magic system. It's a very cool world with two very awesome protagonists, and I'm definitely going to continue reading the series. If anything, my only quibble would be that the female protagonist spent most of the book learning how to be a "lady" and getting charmed by a guy the reader can clearly tell is not a good guy which wasn't as interesting to read about compared to the male protagonist who stood up to violent goblins and has control over animals. How...more
K
Review for the series:

Classic high fantasy with a princess and stable-boy set-up. Yes, we all probably know where this series is going but if you think you know how it gets there, think again! There are twists and turns along the way that stand the cliches on their heads. And lets not forget that none of the characters are humans! Mythical creatures from all kinds of legends make appearances in unexpected ways.

I liked the series better as it went along, books 3 & 4 being imho the best, altho...more
Sabrina
One of the best works of fantasy I've read in a long time. Not only do Duncan's Pandemia books feature an inventive magical system, but his characters are wonderful. You'll want to smother Inos gently with a pillow (for the first book), but she'll be one of your favorites by the time the series is through. Rap is by far one of my favorite romantic heroes, and his adventures are as harrowing as they are exciting. The supporting cast is also well-drawn, from Aunt Kade to Andor to Azak. Read Magic...more
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