The Anvil of the World (The Anvil of the World #1)
I highly recommend that you read this book's prequel "The House of the Stag" first. If you do, this book will make a lot more sense and the humor and allusions will be richer (more obvious).
Note: The House of the Stag was published in 2008 but it is about Lord Ermenwyr's parents and sets up "the world" of this book so many things will be much more clear to you. The House of the Stag is more ...more
The first story is lighthearted to the point of frivolousness, and it w ...more
Basically Anvil of the World is great because it contains everything that's wonderful about Baker: she's funny, highly imaginative, a clear writer who can break out the style when need be (as in the case of Anvil of the World, where she goes a little bit old school fantasy in her tone), and, most importantly, she can write a novel with a moral message while at the ...more
The critic's comparisons to Terry Pratchett are most evident in the middle book. The pure fantasy adventure is strongest in the first. All three work together to make a satisfying fantasy world, complete with different races that need to learn to get along, living gods and sorcerers and demons, allegorical messages the reader can relate to real-life, romance, and humor both wit ...more
This is a fantasy set in a world in which three different species live. You have the Children of the Sun, of which our main character is a member. These are essentially humans, the most numerous species ...more
(This is also an absolutely excellent book to read aloud with a lover before bed. Not because it's necessarily erotic--it's not, though there are some deliciously sexy characters--but because it's just so wittily written that it'd a delight to share.)
In the second segment, demonic happenings occur in something of a murde ...more
I've been meaning to read Kage Baker for a while now, and this seems just the place to start. While wandering the library a bit drunk (and with a cheese in my pocket) with my wife, she actually picked this one up (while I picked up a different book). But in my cunning I employed the old "wait until she's done reading it and then read it" tactic and waited until she was done reading it, then read it. It worked brilliantly. What I found was ...more
The book cover and synopsis don't do the actual story much justice. Also, as I was reading a strange thought occurred to me. The story was good and fine on its own, yes, but it would have been better suited in the middle or at the end of a series.
Besides that ...more
Some of the political/cultural elements reminded me a little of Megan W ...more
I think I had trouble connecting to the main character. He wasn't really an interesting character - he wanted nothing more than a boring life. That may have b ...more
This is a 4.5 stars read for me only because the story has three separate sections instead of flowing seamlessly as one story. The changes, esp. between parts 2 & 3, did take me out of the story for a bit.
But overall, I'm so glad I read it. Kage Baker is better known for her science fiction, however her first fantasy novel didn't disappoint. It was Terry Pratchett meets Sinbad the Sailor meets Faulty To ...more
It reminded me quite a lot of ‘Thieves' World' – which means, I suppose, that I should say it reminded me of Fritz Leiber's Lankhmar, but I guess that places me in my cultural era! However, I found this book to be both wittier and more enjoyable.
It's made up of three linked novellas, following an ex-mercenary named Smith.
In the first story, Smith, having left his pre ...more
The name of Kage Baker was not unfamiliar to me, as I had read several encomiums produced when she died last year. They were sufficiently positive that I tried reading one of her books, without enjoying it much, and being left feeling somewhat mystified by the praise she had received. I did eventually try again, and found The Anvil of the World truly delightful, one of the funniest fantasy novels I have ever read.
Though perhaps it is not really ...more
The characters are the best aspect, though: Smith is a r ...more
I had no idea that she had written fantasy books as well. In fact I remained completely ignorant of her writing until last year when she passed away rather suddenly. As is so often the case her death reminded me that I hadn’t read any of her books yet. So I dug through my collection of unread books – it’s a fairly sub ...more
Best known for such time-travel novels as Sky Coyote, Baker now turns her hand to humorous fantasy in this picaresque tale of a retired assassin, Smith, who is just trying to stay on the right side of the law, but who continually finds himself knee-deep in mayhem. Smith takes a job as a caravan master, shepherding a cargo of one gross of glass butterflies and a variety of eccentric passengers on a dangerous journey from the city of Troon to Salesh-by-the-Sea. Most notable
The first story, which has t ...more