Matt didn’t know the scrap of parchment was a trap. So he read the runes – and found himself on a world where reciting poetry verses worked magic. His first effort got him locked in a dungeon by the evil sorcerer Malingo. Trying for light, he brought forth a fire-breathing, drunken dragon, who told him Princess Alisande, rightful ruler of Merovence, was also held in the dungeon.
Naturally, he had to free her, himself, and the dragon, using poetry lifted from Shakespeare. And because she was young and beautiful, he swore to serve as her wizard. Then he learned that his job as wizard was to fix it so the three of them could overcome all the dark magic and armies of Malingo!
The addition to the party of a lust-witch and a priest who became a werewolf now and then didn’t seem much help. Matt figured he had got himself into quite a predicament.
For once, he was right!
If you’ve been a long-time fantasy reader, but have never touched the Wizard in Rhyme series —then you need to back up and give this one a go. Seriously, look at the first book. I started with one later in the series, then picked up the first one. It was very enjoyable.
Here’s the good stuff, modern person (and in later books, more people) are transported to an alternate world where magic can be cast through chanting poetry. Classic hero goes to save kingdom beset by evil. The tension, adventure, and characters are all exciting, or can be for people newer to the fantasy genre.
Here’s the bad stuff, it’s a bit heavy on a religious theme. There’s some ‘be good don’t be bad and keep the faith’ type stuff that can feel browbeating. It’s not bad, it’s just how the world’s set up. The poetry aspect can be a bit much for some people—but I found it awesome. There’s a lot of adaption of old worlds, doggerels, and so on.
I found the bad guys kind of amusing. They were witches who literally had to sell their souls to learn Latin version of chants which performed magic. The main characters were like ‘oh you’re just chanting X.’
All in all, as one of my first introductions to fantasy, this series won a special place in my mind. I found it good all the way through to the last book in the series.
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