Brenda's Reviews > Od Magic

Od Magic by Patricia A. McKillip
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Sep 14, 2011

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Read in September, 2011

It took me awhile to remember where I got this book. There it was in my bookshelf -- magically appearing! And by one of my favorite authors, Patricia McKillip. After awhile I remembered that I'd bought it in California at a discount bookstore just before I moved back to New England. It got packed up and unpacked three thousand miles away with my other books, then left to sit there until last Sunday, when, looking for a book, I grabbed it on the way out the door as we went whale watching.

Od Magic deals with the ancient wizard Od, who hundreds of years ago saved the city of Kelior in the land of Numis from an attacking fleet, in return for permission to set up a school of magic in an old cobbler's shop. The king of the time was her very first student, and though Od only appears occasionally, the wizards of Od's school have become quite cozy with the royal line. It is also the story of Brendan Vetch, a farmer who loses his family through tragedy and instead of moving on, discovers a strange connection to nature. It is also the story of Tyramin, a traveling illusionist, and Yar, headmaster of the school who wonders what mysteries the school cannot teach, and .. well, there's a bunch of characters, and that's one of the problems.

The story starts with Brendan wallowing in misery and discovering magic being sent to Kelior by Od herself to be a replacement for their gardener of magical plants. Once he arrives, he is forgotten, by and large, for awhile, as the viewpoints shift to the wizards of the wizard school, the king's daughter who is about to be married to the king's pet wizard; and that wizard's cousin, who is learning a woman's magic the wizard school forbids, and the traveling magician Tyramin and his daughter Mistral, who may use magic or may not use magic, but need to be investigated, and the quarter warden who falls in love with.... well, read the book.

After the book gets mired down in a tense situation in a seemingly endless night, it is all resolved unrealistically happily, with every plot thread completed in just the last chapter in the happiest way. Making this book a true fairy tale, and not one of McKillip's better works.

Still, even bad McKillip is good fantasy. Recommended if you're looking for a quick, light read where nothing bad happens.
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astaraelsget I really liked the book, but I totally agree with you about the ending. Really disappointing.


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