The Knight (The Wizard Knight #1) by Gene Wolfe

The Knight (The Wizard Knight #1) by Gene Wolfe
Publisher/Year: Tor, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 430
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐


A young man in his teens is transported from our world to a magical realm that contains seven levels of reality. Very quickly transformed by magic into a grown man of heroic proportions, he takes the name Able and sets out on a quest to find the sword that has been promised to him, a sword he will get from a dragon, the one very special blade that will help him fulfill his life ambition to become a knight and a true hero. 

Inside, however, Able remains a boy, and he must grow in every sense to survive the dangers and delights that lie ahead in encounters with giants, elves, wizards, and dragons. His adventure will conclude next year in the second volume of the The Wizard Knight, The Wizard

Gene Wolfe is one of the most widely praised masters of SF and fantasy. He is the winner of the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement, the Nebula Award (twice), the World Fantasy Award (twice), the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, the British Fantasy Award, and France’s Prix Apollo. His popular successes include the four-volume classic The Book of the New Sun

What I thought

It’s been a while since I’ve read a book that was so controversial, as in readers either love this book or they hate it. I, myself, really enjoyed this read, although I will admit it was rather strange at times and I’m not convinced that I fully understood it. 

Before I go off on too much of a tangent, let me just say that I really enjoy epic fantasy. I have to be in the right mindset for it, though, and thankfully, this time of year lends itself to the genre. With this book especially, I felt like I was just along for the ride, and I had a very good time. Where it got strange was the unreliable narrator, Able. Don’t get me wrong, I loved his character. I thought he was great. His youthful persona trapped in a fully grown man’s body was at times comical and at others endearing. Where this gets tricky is in his telling of events or in his explanation of the world he finds himself in. Much like when a child tells a story, the story isn’t always linear and there are usually gaps, which might be filled in after the fact, if you’re lucky. I can see how this could be off-putting to readers, but I kinda liked it. It was certainly different. 

Mostly, I enjoyed this book because it was a good, old romping adventure, with an entire cast of characters I grew to love. I was able to look past some of the odd aspects of the narration and simply enjoy a good story. Like I mentioned before, I’m sure a lot of the “deep” stuff here went over my head, but that just warrants a future re-read, which I don’t mind. I’m always up for a great epic fantasy. 

Goody Two Shoes (Invertary #2) by Janet Elizabeth Henderson

Goody Two Shoes (Invertary #2) by Janet Elizabeth Henderson
Publisher/Year: Janet Elizabeth Henderson, 2014
Format: E-book
Pages: 290
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐


Take one American singer who doesn’t believe in falling in love…

Josh McInnes’ biological clock is ticking and he wants to get married–now. After 20 years singing soppy love songs, he knows that there is no such thing as romantic love. There’s only hormones and lust. At thirty-five, he’s tired of his playboy lifestyle. He wants a wife who isn’t interested in fame, money, or romance. A sensible wife, who values commitment. He wants a partnership, a friendship, and none of the craziness that goes with falling in love. As far as he can see, there’s only one way to get exactly what he wants–he needs an arranged marriage. 

…add a Scottish librarian who has given up on ever falling in love…

Caroline Patterson terrifies men. With her no-nonsense attitude, and ice queen demeanour, she’s in control of everything–and everyone–around her. Her sensible shoes and grey skirt suits act like a force field, repelling male attention. At thirty-one, she can’t remember the last time she went on a date and is beginning to think she’ll never have a family of her own. When an American stranger approaches Caroline with a marriage proposal that resembles a business contract, she quickly accepts. She doesn’t expect romance. But she does expect to control each and every detail of their lives together. Because as life has taught her–if you aren’t in control, bad things happen. 

…and you get romance Invertary style! 

Josh and Caroline learn the hard way that falling in love isn’t something you can avoid. And it definitely isn’t something you can control. Their well laid plans are about to degenerate into chaos, as they fall in love the Invertary way. 

What I thought

One of my guiltiest pleasures is downloading free reads on my Nook. Even if it’s something I wouldn’t ordinarily read, if it’s free, I figure, “What the heck–why not give it a try?” Usually, this ends up backfiring on me because I never learn. But every once in a while, I end up pleasantly surprised, and I’m happy to report that this is one of those instances!

Let me say first that even though this book is the second in a series, it works well as a standalone. From my understanding, characters appear in other books, but it isn’t necessary to read the books in order to be able to understand the story. 

Anyway. This book was so entertaining! If you enjoy rom-coms, you would like this book. Is it over the top and unbelievable? Yes, but usually the best ones are! And it’s so entertaining and easy to read as to be worth it. It’s so funny at times, too! It’s a little predictable and there were times when I wanted to just shake Caroline and Josh, but all in all, I really did have a good time with this one. Sometimes, it’s nice to just kick back with a fun read that doesn’t require a whole lot of thought and a cast of characters you can’t help but love! 

If you are in the mood for a rom-com with just a small amount of steam, a hilarious small-town group of characters, and an easy, quick read, this book is for you!