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The Way of the Wizard (Johannes Cabal #2.5)

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  466 Ratings  ·  60 Reviews
Power. We all want it, they've got it -- witches, warlocks, sorcerers, necromancers, those who peer beneath the veil of mundane reality and put their hands on the levers that move the universe. They see the future in a sheet of glass, summon fantastic beasts, and transform lead into gold... or you into a frog. From Gandalf to Harry Potter to the Last Airbender, wizardry ha ...more
Paperback, 477 pages
Published November 16th 2010 by Prime Books
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2nd out of 20 books — 11 voters
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76th out of 112 books — 3 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,694)
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Ben Babcock
I’ve always thought wizards are cool. If you walk up to me on the street and utter the word, “Fantasy” to me, the first thing I’ll do is give you a bizarre look and, if I don’t know who you are, probably say something along the lines of, “What?” But the second thing I would do is conjure an image of a slightly stooped old man with a white beard, flowing robes, and yes, an impressive, gnarled staff. From Gandalf to Belgarath to the Order and Chaos mages of Recluce and Candar, wizards have been ar ...more
Oct 25, 2013 Wealhtheow rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
A collection of stories about magic users, some new and some many decades old.

George RR Martin, “In the Lost Lands.” A sorceress quests to find a werewolf skin. Purple prose, telegraphed&obvious plot ~twists~. Was not impressed.

David Barr Kirtley, “Family Tree.” Simon is pulled back into the family feud, in which everyone lives in a living tree and fights over which branch is larger. He ends it by killing everyone on the opposing side, including the lady he loved but whose loyalty toward her
May 28, 2011 Jessica rated it liked it
Shelves: short-stories
I read this short-story collection because of the astonishingly high number of good writers in it, though it turns out most of the stories are reprints - I was disappointed to find that the Susanna Clarke story was one I'd already read in The Ladies of Grace Adieu, though at least the others were all new to me.

There weren't any bad stories in the collection, though most were pretty forgettable, and the editing in the book is atrocious (words are frequently mistyped as other words in a way that s
Nov 29, 2015 Matthew rated it it was amazing
Only got this to read Jonathan L. Howard's story "The Ereshkigal Working". As usual, it was an amusing tale of the misadventures of necromancer Johannes Cabal.

Here's hoping that some day all Howard's Cabal short stories will be collected in one volume.
Dec 03, 2010 Nnedi rated it it was amazing
this antho rocks and not only because i'm in it. :-)
Margaret Fisk
Jul 08, 2015 Margaret Fisk rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
This collection of short stories blew me away. I’m used to reading magazines or anthologies where I get a few stories I connect with, a handful I can see are good, and a couple that I didn’t like. While I might not have loved every story, I can’t remember a single one that provoked a negative or “eh” reaction. I received this book as part of my Hugo voting packet, but have purchased the paper copy so my boys can read it.

This collection is a mix of original and reprinted stories that show a wide
May 17, 2012 Res rated it it was ok
Shelves: sff
This collection didn't impress me much; it seemed to me that a lot of the stories were clumsily and amateurishly written or simply took way too long to get the setup out of the way, and a sense of humor would have been very welcome.

I enjoyed George R.R. Martin's "In the Lost Lands," a demonstration of the importance of being careful what you wish for, and Delia Sherman's "The Wizard's Apprentice," a charming tale of a runaway stumbling into a bookstore run by an evil wizard -- it says so right
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
This is a pretty decent anthology; it caught my eye at the library. Almost all of the stories have been collected elsewhere previously, though. Some of them had errors that suggested they had been retyped and that not all the errors stemming therefrom had been caught, particularly the Marion Zimmer Bradley story. (It made me sad. Not because of the typos, because of the subject matter.)

On an unrelated note, I am getting a little irritated at seeing big name fantasy authors take shots at Harry Po
Dec 31, 2010 Brackman1066 rated it it was amazing
These stories are excellent, although I was disappointed that the Susannah Clarke story was a reprint from her book *The Ladies of Grace Adieux*. Most of the others were printed in magazines, which makes them a little harder to come by and more worth reprinting. Mostly I wanted this for Jonathan Howard's new Johannes Cabal short story, which didn't disappoint. There were fewer idiom problems than usual (writers using 20th century Americanisms in pseudo-medieval settings always bothers me) and th ...more
Oct 15, 2016 Ron added it
I read 5 stories from this book. I like to read short stories one or two at a time, as pallette cleansers between novels. I've found that reading a bunch in a row doesn't really work for me. Anyway, a few quick thoughts on the stories I read:

In The Lost Lands George R R Martin
Good story, a riff on shapechanging and the cost of magic. This involves a classic bargain with a wizard when you agree to pay the price with knowing the cost until later. I have liked GRRM in shorter format more in some wa
Jun 17, 2011 Pauline rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads, fantasy, own
Won this a a freereads here on Goodreads.

This is a wonderful collection of short stories by various well-known authors in the sci-fi/fantasy genre. The stories all center on magic in one way or another, though the way it is approached is different depending on the author. There are the classic wizards tales to more modern takes on magic. The stories span time periods from the past all the way to the distant future. Definitely a good read and recommended for those who enjoy fantasy.
Patrick Hurley
Aug 23, 2011 Patrick Hurley rated it it was amazing
One of the best anthologies I've read in a long while. Great mix of classic wizard stories (like "In the Lost Lands by George RR Martin and "The Word of Unbinding" by Ursula K. LeGuin) along with a whole host of exciting new ones. Really liked "One Click Banishment" by Jeremiah Tolbett, "Street Wizard" by Simon R. Green,"The Thirteen Texts of Arthyria" by John R. Fultz, and "Wizards of Perfil" by Kelly Link. "Card Sharp" by Rajan Khanna had a neat system of magic as well.
Jenni V.
Jul 18, 2016 Jenni V. rated it liked it
I have little notes about each story. There was also a problem with the book itself that I will explain at the point in the stories that it happened.

In the Lost Lands by George R.R. Martin
I've never read this author before but after reading this story, I can see why people like him so much. There was a full emotional arc packed into a short story. It was excellent and I would definitely read him again.
Quote from the Story: "Those who dealt with Gray Alys did so at their own peril, it was said. G
Jun 03, 2015 Eric rated it liked it
A few good stories in this - I liked Lev Grossman's (although I'm not sure if it's canon?) and also enjoyed John Uskglass and the Cambrian Charcoal Burner by Susanna Clarke (although I didn't enjoy Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell), as well as the one set in George Washington's time (can't remember the name) and the one about the kid that runs away to meet the cranky wizard. Card Sharp by Rajan Khanna felt like a Brandon Sanderson story and is begging for a longer treatment, too.

The rest didn't
There were something like thirty-two stories included in this anthology, most of which I hadn't previously read. I did have a few repeats, although that wasn't necessarily a bad thing. For instance, it's been a couple of years since I read The Ladies of Grace Adieu and Other Stories, so I didn't mind rereading Susanna Clarke's John Uskglass story. (That, and I's the Raven King. How can I say no?) Lev Grossman and Neil Gaiman also made contributions, and I'll gladly read anything by eit ...more
Jul 12, 2011 Deborah rated it really liked it
I've copied the contents from WorldCat and I'll only rate the ones I like.

Contents: Introduction by John Joseph Adams --
In the lost lands / George R.R. Martin -- 5 stars
Family tree / David Barr Kirtley -- 4 stars
John Uskglass and the Cambrian charcoal burner / Susanna Clarke -- 3.5 stars
Wizard's apprentice / Delia Sherman -- 4 stars
The sorcerer Minus / Jeffrey Ford -- 3.5 stars
Life so dear or peace so sweet / C. C. Finlay --
Card sharp / Rajan Khanna -- 4 stars
So deep that the bottom could not b
Shaka Jamal
Apr 20, 2012 Shaka Jamal rated it liked it
At times I'm not sure how to judge anthologies. I usually enjoy most stories, end up skipping three or four, and get excited about one or two. This anthology is no different, although I appreciate the subject. To begin with, those stories I really liked, were; Wizard's Apprentice Delia Sherman. So Deep the Bottom, G. Valentine. I really liked the Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Not sure why, but I found it endearing, and perfectly paced. (I also thought it quite a wonderful insight into the insect mind.. ...more
Feb 10, 2011 Anthony rated it really liked it
I find pretty much every anthology I read to be hit-or-miss, but I also find that anthologies edited by Ellen Datlow or John Joseph Adams are more hit than miss. While I was disappointed at the absence of a Harry Dresden story in an anthology so obviously suited for one (editor Adams explains that Butcher's schedule didn't allow time to write a new story and the reprint rights for the existing ones were tied up), there were more than enough stand-alone and series-connected tales for me to enjoy. ...more
Aug 08, 2012 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This was a fun read. Anthologies are a special treat for me, because I discover so much. I discovered Laura Anne Gilman from an anthology. I enjoyed the short story so much I soon had the first two or three books of the Retrievers series in my hands. After nine books in two series (Her latest Dragon Justice is out, but I'm a cheapskate, so I'm waiting, of course, if I read correctly it's also her last novel in this particular literary universe, which doesn't make me want to go out and read it in

Jan 24, 2012 Angela rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a very hit and miss collection for me. Unfortunately it was more miss than hit. Though none of the stories were bad, per se, I found a large portion of the entries unengaging. I’m sure a large part of this has to do with personal bias. I am more a fan of urban fantasy (though that term makes me cringe…I mean good, modern-set fantasy, not the clichéd ones with the girl on the cover who has her back to the audience, which is to say…most of them.) I like horror and I like darker stories, s ...more
The list of authors contributing to this anthology is what initially caught my eye. Lucky me that I actually won a paperback copy signed by the editor. Thank you Goodreads' giveaway! I've been snacking on these short stories for a few months now. I gather from other reviewers that there isn't much "new" material to be found here. Well I've never had the pleasure of encountering any of these stories before. They were all new to me and maybe that is why I enjoyed the collection so much. I was doub ...more
Aug 05, 2013 Hollowspine rated it liked it
This anthology was really a 2.5 at best, but I was feeling generous, certainly the amount of time between when I read the book and when I reviewed it was a factor in this generosity.

First of all, I did not get this book because I have a great interest in fantasy writing or wizards in general. The reason behind the request I put in to my local library, was for one story alone, The Ereshkigal Working, a Johannes Cabal story by Jonathan Howard. That story, at least, did not disappoint. The other 3
Jan 30, 2012 tom rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, anthology
I’m going to preface this review by saying that I will review each of the 36 stories in the anthology. So it’ll take me a while to complete the entire review. But I did want to mark it as finished and move onto my next book :)

In The Lost Lands by George R. R. Martin - An excellent story from the master of mythology. The kind of tale that I can easily see as a small chapter in the next Song of Ice and Fire novel. The entire story was told with a sense of foreboding that came to fruition with the
Jun 27, 2014 Robyn rated it liked it
Lame concept (here are wizards, just like that Harry Potter!) and poor cover art, yet I picked this up because of the roster of incredible authors involved. The excellent authors bring excellence for the most part, though many stories are not unique to this collection. However the score drops because of the spelling mistakes sprinkled throughout the book. They give a sense that the editor did not care very much about this project. All errors are the type to pass a spell check program but be obvi ...more
Oct 19, 2012 Chris rated it really liked it
I found this collection of stories to be really good. Of course it can be hard to go wrong when the subject matter is wizards. Most of the stories were good, and a few were great, but of course a couple were so so or bad, but that is how it is with most anthologies. While a lot of people might be upset that most of the stories collected here are reprints, for me it was a first reading them, and a lot of the authors. I enjoyed this because it introduced me to a few new authors and gave me glimpse ...more
Read it because I'd heard some of the authors on The Geek's Guide to the Galaxy podcast ( Couple of gems - The Ereshkigal Working and One Click Banishment both delighted me -- but a bit of a slog overall. There was a relentlessness to it that was overwhelming.
I only borrowed this anthology to read The Ereshkigal Working, a short story by Jonathan L. Howard featuring my favourite antisocial necromancer Johannes Cabal.

There's also Neil Gaiman's How to Sell the Ponti Bridge, which I'd read somewhere else.
Hannah Lawrence
Sep 10, 2012 Hannah Lawrence rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
The short stories in this book are the perfect way for getting in a quick fantasy read (I've been reading a lot of it on my iPhone). So far all the stories I've read are engrossing and entertaining. They start out with George R.R. Martin's contribution, which is his style of a moral fairy tale, and you don't have to know anything about the Song of Fire and Ice series to enjoy it. My favorite story so far is C.C. Finlay's "Life So Dear or Peace So Sweet." I wasn't sure I would like it at first be ...more
Claudia Piña
Aunque muchas de las historias ya las había leído (las de Kelly Link, Rober Silverberg, Peter S. Beagle, Neil Gaiman, Lev Grossman y Ursula K. Leguin), dentro de este contexto es una buena selección. Como es habitual en las antologías, tiene sus eslabones débiles.

Lo que mas me gustó es como en pocas historias se puede dar un recorrido entre los diferentes tipos de magos, hechiceros y brujos, todos teniendo varios elementos en común pero siendo tan diferentes como sus autores lo son. También me a
Kate  K. F.
Dec 11, 2012 Kate K. F. rated it liked it
All of the stories in this anthology are about wizards but wizard can hold many definitions. Due to how broad the idea of a wizard can be and the number of authors, this anthology ended up rather uneven. The best stories stood out by truly playing with the genre but ones like Robert Silverberg's The Sorcerer's Apprentice started by trying to change a trope and ended up in a hole with another one. As a reader of fantasy, I found some authors that I wish to read books of but since there were few n ...more
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John Joseph Adams is the series editor of BEST AMERICAN SCIENCE FICTION AND FANTASY. He is also the bestselling editor of many other anthologies, such as ROBOT UPRISINGS, DEAD MAN'S HAND, BRAVE NEW WORLDS,WASTELANDS, and THE LIVING DEAD. Recent and forthcoming books include WHAT THE #@&% IS THAT?, OPERATION ARCANA, PRESS START TO PLAY, LOOSED UPON THE WORLD, and THE APOCALYPSE TRIPTYCH (cons ...more
More about John Joseph Adams...

Other Books in the Series

Johannes Cabal (5 books)
  • Johannes Cabal the Necromancer (Johannes Cabal, #1)
  • The Detective (Johannes Cabal, #2)
  • The Fear Institute (Johannes Cabal, #3)
  • The Brothers Cabal (Johannes Cabal, #4)
  • The Fall of the House of Cabal (Johannes Cabal, #5)

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