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review 2020-05-30 15:50
The Great Wizards of Antiquity
The Great Wizards of Antiquity - Guy Ogilvy

by Guy Ogilvy


I have to admit I was expecting this to be more biographical about the known magicians in history, but it actually turned out to be even more interesting.


The first part covers the prehistoric culture of the Lion Man and tribal magic, then it moves on to the Orphic and Dionysian cults and the great figures of myth, which I found very interesting. A lot of history and basically anthropology comes into it, then it moves forward in history eventually coming to mathematicians and alchemists, some of whom are better known like Paracelsus, though I have to admit a little disappointment that John Dee and Nicholas Flamel got left out as these are two of the most relevant personages in the history of magic. But then another reviewer said there was a series, so maybe we'll eventually see even relatively modern magicians like Crowley, Austin Spare, Jaq D. Hawkins and Peter J. Carroll!


The writing style might seem dry to some, but those of us who enjoy mythology don't mind that. The personal experiences of the author also lent interest. Altogether a fascinating and well researched piece of work.

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review 2020-01-25 19:06
Eberron: Rising From the Last Edition
Eberron: Rising from the Last War - Wizards RPG Team

Eberron is one of the most interesting of the D&D campaign settings. Most fantasy worlds are stalled in a permanent Middle Ages. Eberron is a world that has had a magical industrial revolution. There are magic powered trains and airships. There are big cities with universities, newspapers, hotels and restaurants. The tone is post-WWI Europe meets steampunk, which is a bit unique as steampunk tends to be a bit more Victorian.


As a campaign setting Eberron is very rich in mysteries and potential threats. The authors are going for a Noir feel with lots of criminal organizations and political conspiracies, but retaining the traditional D&D elements such as mad cults and demonic incursions from other dimensions. There is even a slightly woke touch to Eberron in that Orcs and Goblins are not automatically assumed to be evil and Elves and Halflings are not assumed to be good. Overall, a useful supplement if you are looking to launch a new campaign in a fairly unique setting.

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review 2019-11-15 19:02
The Fourth Grade Wizards
The Fourth Grade Wizards - Barthe DeClements

This is another nostalgia read which had held up over time. The ending is a little abrupt, but other than that, it was a good read. It deals with some big issues but isn't annoyingly didactic. 

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review 2019-07-12 20:37
Review on The Wizards of Once
The Wizards of Once - Cressida Cowell

This book was time captivating.


Whenever I was bored I could read this book.


I love how it has pictures and I love how it's written.


Wish I could get the second book soon.


5/5 stars.

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review 2019-06-24 18:24
Warlock Holmes #2
Warlock Holmes: The Hell-Hound of the Baskervilles: Warlock Holmes 2 - G.L. Denning

This installment of Warlock Holmes finds Warlock and Watson coming to terms with the events of the last volume.  They do this in a rather strange way.  Pinkertons are involved but they are somewhat like a certain famous group of wearers of black.


                The two Holmes stories that are used include, of course, The Hound of the Baskervilles, Silver Blaze, and the Solitary Cyclist. The Cyclist sequence is particularly funny while the Baskervilles give us more detail about Warlock.  It isn’t quite as funny but there are some shining moments. 


                As always, the humor comes from the asides that Watson does.  In this case, Watson deals with issues as complex as fake beards, tricycles, and Canadians.  The charm of the series is Watson’s down to earth musings that deal with issues raised in the original stories – for instance walking sticks.  So, it is like you have an urban historical fantasy novel with a high shot of realism.


                If you like fantasy and Sherlock Holmes, you should read this series.


                Garston’s narration is particularly wonderful.  He doesn’t do silly woman’s voices.  His Watson sounds close enough to Edward Hardwicke to make a connection to Holmes seamless.  His Holmes is not quite what you would think, but is brilliant nonetheless.

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