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A Spell for Chameleon (Xanth, #1)
This is a stand-in for the entire Xanth sequence, since it is currently running at 30-odd books and counting. And I love all of them.

Ultimately, this
Jan 1981
Jul 22, 2008
Eight Days of Luke
Perhaps my favourite anecdote about this book is that Neil Gaiman said that he had to rewrite American Gods because he got to the end and realised tha ...more
not set
Jul 22, 2008
The Lord of the Rings
To even attempt to review Tolkien's epic is like measuring the coastline - the deeper you go, the more there is to find (or, as the more cynical might ...more
May 1980
Jul 22, 2008
High Wizardry (Young Wizards, #3)
As a geek, this will inevitably always be my favourite of the series, which makes my rating slightly less that useful here. (It should only merit 4 st ...more
not set
Jun 27, 2009
Master of the Five Magics (Magics, #1)
One of my favourite fantasy series, it works because the underlying principles have been properly thought out and are then explored in interesting way ...more
not set
Nov 25, 2008
Among Others
(Add another star if you are an SF geek. You know who you are. Take one off if you think fantasy is for children. You know who you are.)

Every so often
Jan 27, 2014
Jan 28, 2014
Shadow Moon (Chronicles of the Shadow War, #1)
For those of us who understand that George Lucas really can do "story" better than most, but does need someone else to bring it to life effectively (s ...more
not set
Jan 19, 2010
Shadow Dawn (Chronicles of the Shadow War, #2)
For me, this is the best of the series.
Sure, the first one gets the fun of defining the world and the plot for the reader, and the third gets the big
not set
Jan 19, 2010
Shadow Star (Chronicles of the Shadow War, #3)
...and this is a positive masterclass in how to take a really hackneyed idea and make it feel completely new.

Structurally, I think this is the weakes
not set
Jan 19, 2010
The Lives of Christopher Chant (Chrestomanci, #4)
One of those strange examples of a story set before another but which loses something if you read/see it first (others being things like The Magician' ...more
Oct 05, 2011
Jul 22, 2008
Magician's End (The Chaoswar Saga, #3)
As others have said, this book in itself doesn't really warrant four stars, but as the conclusion to a genuinely epic series which I have stuck with s ...more
Nov 25, 2014
Nov 26, 2014
Snuff (Discworld, #39)
This one is a tough call. Whilst I enjoyed it a lot, and it's certainly clear that Pratchett has settled into his new writing style well (some books b ...more
Dec 26, 2011
Jan 26, 2012
I want to give this one six stars. Not since I read The Eyre Affair have I felt so enthused about a book; Harkaway captures that peculiarly English fa ...more
Aug 30, 2013
Sep 04, 2013
Fortunately, the Milk . . .
What makes PG Wodehouse a genius is the ability he had of making what he wrote sound exactly as though he had just sat down at the desk and dashed it ...more
Nov 22, 2013
Nov 23, 2013
The Warlock in Spite of Himself
This book has been sitting on my shelf for several years and I was surprised to find that I hadn't read it after all.

It's a nice SF/Fantasy "romp" - a
Sep 04, 2010
Sep 04, 2010
Secret of the Sixth Magic (Magics, #2)
So, after setting up an immaculate universe in Master of the Five Magics, Hardy then manages the audacious trick of turning this whole intricately cr ...more
not set
Nov 25, 2008
God Game
It's always hard to read a book based around technology which is so clearly dated; you find yourself pausing to consider how silly it sounds today. Wh ...more
Jan 1990
Dec 08, 2011
So You Want to Be a Wizard (Young Wizards, #1)
In the all-too-crowded "Teen Fantasy" section of the market, this is a stand-out entry, possibly because it was written before the recent revival of t ...more
Jan 1994
Jun 27, 2009
A Wizard of Mars (Young Wizards, #9)
Any series of books that has reached #9 is one (or both) of two things: successful enough to have a readership base to sustain itself / intricate enou ...more
Dec 15, 2011
Dec 08, 2011
Wizards at War (Young Wizards, #8)
It's hard to say things about this one without spoiling it - especially as the completely unexpected resolution is genuinely heart-breaking but far mo ...more
not set
Jun 27, 2009
Riddle of the Seven Realms (Magics, #3)
In many ways this could never live up to the first two books, but it is the natural conclusion to the series, as Hardy takes his story to its logical ...more
not set
Nov 25, 2008
An amazingly depressing book in the unerring way it nails our inability as a species to evolve beyond selfishness. But I also find it extremely satisf ...more
Jan 2001
Mar 08, 2011
The Wizard's Dilemma (Young Wizards, #5)
A very clever entry in the series, this deals with the issue of parental loss in a genuinely unexpected way. And it also finally confronts head-on the ...more
not set
Jun 27, 2009
Fire And Hemlock
What Diana Wynne Jones does so well is to create self-contained stories that not only have a proper beginning, middle and end (although, as has often ...more
not set
Jul 22, 2008
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4)
Even allowing for the awkward episodic structure, and the unbelievable huge double-exposition section at the end, this is easily my favourite of the s ...more
Jul 2001
Jul 21, 2008
The Dark Is Rising Sequence
One of the best kids fantasy series, it's hard to believe that the first volume was written more than forty years ago, with the subsequent ones follow ...more
Jan 1980
Nov 27, 2008
Another Fine Myth (Myth Adventures #1)
This is a stand-in comment for the entire Myth Adventures series, as I don't intend to comment on all of them.
Suffice it to say that Asprin maintained
Jan 1987
Jul 22, 2008
After the somewhat bleak late 70s era of Terry Brooks and Stephen Donaldson, the mid-80s saw the rebirth of the fantasy genre with Feist and David Ed ...more
Jan 1984
Jul 22, 2008
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5)
Surprisingly (given that I only gave this 3 stars), I like Order of the Phoenix a lot. In terms of structure, this is Rowling at the absolute top of h ...more
Jul 2004
Jul 21, 2008
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)
More than ten years ago, I picked up a copy of this when it first appeared. And I mean "first" appeared - before it became a phenomenon.

And I read it,
Apr 1997
Jul 21, 2008
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