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This Crooked Way (Morlock Ambrosius #2)

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3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  248 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
Morlock Ambrosius returns! Travelling alone in the depths of winter, Morlock Ambrosius (bitterly dry drunk, master of all magical makers, wandering swordsman, and son of Merlin Ambrosius and Nimue Viviana) is attacked by an unknown enemy. To unmask his enemy and end the attacks he must travel a long crooked way through the world: past the soul-eating Boneless One, past a s ...more
Paperback, 413 pages
Published October 27th 2009 by Pyr (first published January 1st 2009)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Joseph
Dec 02, 2013 Joseph rated it really liked it
This one is at least partially a fix-up of short stories that had appeared previously, primarily in Black Gate magazine, wrapped in a bit of a framing device. Necessarily, that makes it a bit choppy, but I didn't regard that as a bad thing. Much of it is an interesting sequence following Morlock and the same set of characters on various stages of a perilous journey, but each stage is told from a different character's point of view and gives a different interpretation to Morlock. (Although he's a ...more
Larou
Feb 19, 2012 Larou added it
Shelves: fantasy, 2012-02
Personally, I blame Star Wars, but the Lord of the Rings movies are doubtlessly at fault, too, and I suppose people were just fed up a bit with all those sword-swinging barbarians… whatever the reason, the Sword & Sorcery had a bit of a hard time, even to seeming extinct for a while superseded, by Epic Fantasy and its huge doorstepper novels that had lost even the last bit of decency by extending themselves beyond the trilogy format. While the situation has not exactly been reversed, Sword & ...more
Clay Kallam
May 01, 2010 Clay Kallam rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf-fantasy
The second installment of James Enge’s projected trilogy about Morlock Ambrosius, son of Merlin and Nimue and a very powerful magician, is less successful than the wonderful “Blood of Ambrose,” but “This Crooked Way” is still a pleasure. It’s more a collection of stories, episodes as Enge calls them, rather than a connected narrative, and the book suffers for it.

Also, several of the episodes were published as standalone stories, some before the first book, “Blood of Ambrose”, was written, so Eng
...more
Joshtafari
Jan 22, 2010 Joshtafari rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: readers of fantasy
Shelves: tbb-2010
Recipe: Start with a base of Leiber, add a pinch of Arthurian mythos, a couple of tablespoons of Pratchett, and a double handful of Lovecraft, and you'll get something like James Enge's Morlock Abrosius books, starring the Ambrosii, the most dysfunctional family in fantasy. Morlock has some unresolved daddy issues, and his mother is almost completely crazy. That's without discussing his sisters, or the lesser relations...

This is the second book in the series. The first book, Blood of Ambrose, wa
...more
Andrew
Jan 11, 2012 Andrew rated it liked it
Further adventures of Merlin's hunchbacked alcoholic son, if Merlin had lived in a world with no Britain. I say "adventures" because this is a series of semi-linked short stories, much in the line of (and with stylistic references to) Zelazny, Vance, and Leiber. Haven't seen that in a while, have you? The semi-linking is how Morlock keeps running into his (interestingly insane) parents while on a quest to rescue his horse. We get Morlock through viewpoints human (interestingly varied) and nonhum ...more
Cindy
Jun 18, 2010 Cindy rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, read-in-2010
I found Blood of Ambrose a bit of a tough read. It was quick but it didn't seem to read very quick (if that makes sense). The language was hard to follow.

This Crooked Way is a lot easier to read. The writing flows a lot better. With that said this book is filled with little episodes that sorta connect together but don't really. I personally enjoyed the parts that were just Morlock a lot better before he hooked up with that family. I found the parts where the family told stories a bit dull and I
...more
Derek
Dec 06, 2013 Derek rated it really liked it
_This_ is how wizards should battle: not just blood and thunder and lightning but subtle trickery and planning and collections of odd objects which are the things you need to build the things you need. Enge even makes the discussions of magic interesting.

Curiously, in the appendix there's a mention of one "C. Linwood", whose 25-volume legendarium was incomplete at his death. It's a reference to Lin(wood) Carter and his unfinished "Khymyrium" project.

Adam
Oct 28, 2012 Adam rated it liked it
This might be the most uneven book I've ever read.

Part of it is obviously due to it's structure. The novel is made up of a sequence of short stories. Some of them were probably going to be duds.

Don't get me wrong. Some of them are awesome. "Where Nurgnantz Dwells" is amazing, for one thing. For another, despite his general weakness in characterization*, James Enge does a surprisingly impressive job with his female characters, and the two stories with female narrators are certainly the best of t
...more
Deanna Drai Turner
Apr 24, 2012 Deanna Drai Turner rated it really liked it
This was an around the corner surprise. I picked this book up, started and stopped 3 times. Only when I had run out of anything to read did I come back to it and now I am terrifically glad I did. This author's writing style is a bit tangled for me...the reason I kept laying it down. He does not really describe things in detail and he talks is very lose concept riddles sometimes...both things I learned to love love love about his writing style by the end of the book. If you like things magikal, r ...more
Michele
Mar 24, 2011 Michele rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tiffanie
Oct 22, 2013 Tiffanie rated it it was ok
Finally!! Done with this one. I give it 2 1/2 stars. I liked parts of it but overall no. I feel like James loves Morlock too much. The first book was fine because he didn't mind putting Morlock in a tough spot that could have ended with Morlock dying if it weren't for the help of other characters. This book not so much.

James also kept putting Morlock into situations that had nothing to do with the main plot. It felt more like he just wanted to show off how badass of a character Morlock was.

I d
...more
Nobbynob Littlun
Jun 20, 2016 Nobbynob Littlun rated it really liked it
I very much enjoyed this. It's a series of short stories, but I felt that this didn't leave the book disconnected. Instead, it gave a sense of time passing between "the good parts", with characters having lived and known each other, building relationships, in between.

I especially liked the chapters told from the supporting characters' perspectives. I felt like these chapters had some excellent characterization. I was somewhat annoyed during Thend's chapter, but it was in a way I would wholly exc
...more
Karenb
Oct 21, 2013 Karenb rated it it was amazing
After I was half-way through this book I realized it was book two in the series of Morlock Ambrosius. However, you do not need to read the first one to thoroughly enjoy the second. James Enge handled the writing of the story from the point of view of each character per chapter. I was impressed. I started out reading the book to find out what happened to his horse. I won't spoil the ending, but you do find out at the end.
Eric
Dec 11, 2010 Eric rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Clever and entertaining, certainly a bit dark and episodic, it was a interesting and original book. Now I just wish that I had read the first book in the series before this one. Fortunately in reading genre fiction it is often easy to get a story without all of the background info. The previous book is now on my to read list, though I wonder why the library doesn't have it but does have this one.
Chris Maler
Mar 23, 2010 Chris Maler rated it really liked it
This book is written in an interesting episodic format, primarily because it is comprised of previously published short stories woven into a longer narrative. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, especially the stories told from the perspective of those people who traveled with the legendary figure Morlock Ambrosius.
Robert
Sep 22, 2013 Robert rated it liked it
Enjoyable young adult sword and sorcery. Not a really strong narrative. The quest of Morlock (the "hero") is a flimsy framework to hang a series of adventures/encounters on. But the encounters are imaginative and enjoyable. Would read further books in the series.
Lauren
Jan 24, 2012 Lauren rated it liked it
Engaging but sadly disappointing in its first person portrayal of women solely as slaves to their periods and fear of rape.
Kelly Flanagan
Aug 09, 2014 Kelly Flanagan rated it it was amazing
as I stated in the first book's review, this series rocks. up too late reading to leave a more comprehensive review
John
Aug 21, 2011 John rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Cleverly written and while there is a cast of character, it is much more focused on Morlock Ambrosious (Merlin and Nimue's only surviving son) than the previous book.
Phoebe
Aug 20, 2012 Phoebe rated it did not like it
Shelves: classic-fantasy
I only made it to page 212 of this one. It's more like a collection of short stories. The writing is okay, and it's quite imaginative, but for some reason I just couldn't get through it.
Tim Williams
Tim Williams rated it liked it
May 30, 2016
Nomadman
Nomadman rated it liked it
Aug 11, 2016
Sabriel
Sabriel rated it liked it
Dec 20, 2010
William Lexner
William Lexner rated it really liked it
Oct 31, 2011
Pax
Pax rated it really liked it
Jan 22, 2015
Charles
Charles rated it it was ok
Aug 28, 2014
Peter
Peter rated it really liked it
Nov 30, 2013
Ryan
Ryan rated it it was amazing
Apr 27, 2013
Lammenation
Lammenation rated it liked it
May 18, 2013
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James Enge is the pseudonym of James M. Pfundstein, an American fantasy and sword and sorcery author. His best known work is the ongoing Morlock the Maker series. His first novel in the series, Blood of Ambrose, was nominated for the World Fantasy Award in 2010. His newest series, A Tournament of Shadows, tells the origin story of his famous character Morlock Ambrosius.

James M. Pfundstein has a Ph
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More about James Enge...

Other Books in the Series

Morlock Ambrosius (3 books)
  • Blood of Ambrose (Morlock Ambrosius, #1)
  • The Wolf Age (Morlock Ambrosius, #3)

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