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The Castle of Iron

(The Incompleat Enchanter #2)

3.68  ·  Rating details ·  157 ratings  ·  15 reviews
It's like this... I am a psychologist at a university in Ohio — very solid state, solid job.

What with one thing and another my wife happens to be a fictional character from a poem. This is hard to explain. When she disappears into another world, it is much harder to explain — particularly to the cops.

When I follow her with a magic carpet, a werewolf, and some spells that d
Mass Market Paperback, F-722 40¢, 159 pages
Published April 1962 by Pyramid Books (first published 1950)
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Average rating 3.68  · 
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 ·  157 ratings  ·  15 reviews

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Joe Santoro
May 25, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: epic-fantasy
I'm a big fan of Conan, so I wanted to think that Mr. de Camp was a good writer... but it turns out that he's really the Kevin J. Anderson of his era.

Granted, I haven't read the first book of the series, but that doesn't cover the fact that this was a hot mess. The premise seems to be anything ever written in fiction is an alternate universe locked in place and time, I guess, since where they go is Crusades-era Arabia, and it's still the Crusade era.

Also, there's magic, which anyone at all can
Steve Rainwater
Nov 21, 2020 rated it it was ok
Third story in the Incompleat Enchanter series.

The series of stories tells a continuous narrative with this one picking up where the second one, "The Mathematics of Magic", left off (stories one and two are in the book, "The Incompleat Enchanter"). There's a one page summary that might allow you start off with this one but it will make a lot more sense to read the series from the beginning.

I found stories one and two reasonably entertaining but this one was not quite as a good as the first two.
Jul 24, 2017 rated it liked it
A sequel to "The Incompleat Enchanter," this takes us to an alternate universe based on Ariosto's "Orlando Furioso." The depiction of Medieval Islamic society, with its sorcerers and harem girls, is definitely from Ariosto's milieu, but I wonder if it is far off from De Camp and Pratt's opinions, too. It's like the costume dramas of the 1940's. For those who didn't care for the protagonist's male chauvinistic macho (which I didn't), it becomes obvious that this attitude does not serve him well. ...more
Izzy Corbo
Took me a lot longer to read then the other stories in the series, as it was pretty boring. Had a few amusing parts, but I cannot recommend this for the average person, unless you are reading the Masterworks of Fantasy series and a completest.
Jan 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
un gruppo di matematici in giro per il mondo dell'Orlando Furioso mescolati ai personaggi dell'Ariosto rivisitati al limite dell'assurdo.

peccato che il suggerimento da cui l'ho tirato fuori non menzionasse che si tratta del terzo di una serie, per cui - forse complice una traduzione che a pelle mi pare fatta da cani - all'inizio mi ha trovato un po' spiazzato.

capito il meccanismo, il primo suggerimento si è rivelato godibilissimo. leggero e godibilissimo. una boccata d'ossigeno, tra il penultimo
"Maybe the guy's a sadist. According to all the correlations, abnormal sex patterns should be common in this Moslem society where they keep all respectable women locked up. Besides his personality reminds me of that sadist we used as a case study—you know the one I mean—that real-estate fellow the SPCA got after."

Implying bestiality is a bit much. At any rate, it's outside of the spirit of Orlando Furioso. Also one of the psychologist heroes is called the Rubber Czech and he's Jar-Jar Binks-leve
Raphael Briand
Sep 23, 2019 rated it did not like it
Pretty disjointed, the structure and pacing are all over the place, and the setting makes no sense. A strange cross between Arthurian knights and the medieval Islamic world. Elements appear and disappear as and when the author feels like bringing them up, whether or not they're consistent with anything else - and once in a while the bizarre Muslim theme is remembered. Events whirl by leaving me unable to make sense of the plot or characters. Some charm but ultimately a rubbish mess.
Robert J. Sullivan
The third of le Camp's fantasies of Harold Shea, psychologist and fledgling magician. In this one, Harold ends up in a world of Saracens and knights, attempting to rescue his amnesiac wife, Belphebe.

I found this book flat instead of the amusing take on mythology that I found the others in the series. The writing is dated, there's a little swordplay and some misguided magic, but aside from a late cameo by Merlin (in a top hat, no less), I was impatient for the book to be over.
Alessandro Paci
Jun 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Stupendo libro, assoluta poesia. L'ho adorato per la sua particolarità, per come giustifica l'esistenza della magia, l'esistenza dei mondi fantastici stessi, per l'assoluta logica e indiscussa varietà della storia. Meraviglioso, non esagero nel dire che sia uno dei fantasy che in assoluto mi è piaciuto di più.
Timothy Boyd
Jan 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very funny fantasy series. Great read. Very recommended
I know they're classics, and I generally like de Camp's fiction, but I just can't get into it. Moving on.
Aug 01, 2014 marked it as tbr-someday-maybe  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Set in the world of The Matter of France ( ...more
Oct 08, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gave-up-on

Not up the standard of the previous book, "The Incompleat Enchanter". Silly and foolish. Life's too short.
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Ann aka Iftcan
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Nov 23, 2009
Sequel to The Incomplete Enchanter is ok. Again I probably would have enjoyed it more if I was more familiar with the source material in this case Orlando Furioso
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Angela Randall
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Lyon Sprague de Camp, (Pseudonym: Lyman R. Lyon) was an American science fiction and fantasy author and biographer. In a writing career spanning fifty years he wrote over one hundred books, including novels and notable works of nonfiction, such as biographies of other important fantasy authors. He was widely regarded as an imaginative and innovative writer and was an important figure in the heyday ...more

Other books in the series

The Incompleat Enchanter (5 books)
  • The Incompleat Enchanter
  • The Enchanter Compleated
  • The Enchanter Reborn
  • The Exotic Enchanter

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