Category Archives: Canadian Literature

Upland Outlaws by Dave Duncan

Synopsis: A despotic sorcerer has torn the Impire apart through a ruthless program of magical slavery, and imperor Shandie’s small cadre of loyal supporters are forced to travel to the farthest corners of Pandemia in order to save the world. Review: Upland Outlaws is Part Two of the Handful of Men series, and I’m sort of running out of superlatives. I’m beyond grateful to Shari for introducing me to this fine author, who is helping me bide my time until A Dance of Dragons comes…

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The Cutting Edge by Dave Duncan

Synopsis: Seventeen years after the conclusion of A Man Of His Word, Pandemia finds itself on the brink of a civilization-destroying calamity, and former sorcerer Rap is pulled from his peaceful family life in Krasnegar to play the hero once again. Review: The Cutting Edge kicks of a four-book follow up to the series that began with Magic Casement. While familiarity with A Man of His Word is recommended, for the most part this book does not rely too heavily on backstory. Fortunately, Duncan is…

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Tin Angel by Shannon Cowan

Synopsis: Accused of murdering her family’s benefactor, a teenage girl caught in the legal system explains what led to her arrest and indictment. Review: Author Shannon Cowan has done a remarkable job researching the Canadian legal system viz. young adults around the time that Tin Angel takes place (late 1960s). However, the emotional component of the story never quite came together for me. Share on Facebook

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Emperor and Clown by Dave Duncan

Synopsis: Now married to the cursed Sultan Azak, Princess Inos finally heads to the capital city to plead her case in front of the wardens, as stable boy Rap rushes to meet her and embrace his destiny. Review: (Is that like the worst cover you have ever seen? Seriously.) Emperor and Clown is the final installment in Dave Duncan’s A Man of His Word series, and a most satisfying conclusion indeed. The overall story is a rich, satisfying adventure full of political machinations and romance,…

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Perilous Seas by Dave Duncan

Synopsis: Rap the stableboy joins a merchant crew still intent upon rescuing Queen Inosolan, who is crossing a haunted wasteland in order to appeal her case to the four wardens. Review: Perilous Seas is the third book in Dave Duncan’s A Man of His Word series, and again I’m impressed at the skill with which Duncan crafts his narrative. He continually places his characters in severe jeopardy, taking the kinds of risks that fantasy authors so often fear. It’s almost as if the work it…

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Faery Lands Forlon by Dave Duncan

Synopsis: Inos might be queen of Krasnegar, but she’s been magicked to the other side of the world, and the same magic has sent stable boy Rap, the goblin Little Chicken, and boy thief Thinal to the land of Faery, where Rap discovers that Inos is a pawn in a deadly game between powers greater than any army or king. Review: Faery Lands Forlorn is the second book in Dave Duncan’s A Man of His Word series, and it’s clear that none of these books…

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Magic Casement by Dave Duncan

Synopsis: A stableboy begins to exhibit mysterious powers that draw attention that could be dangerous, and he finds himself a prisoner on the goblin waste as the princess he’s sworn to serve comes ever closer to a danger that only he is aware of. Review: Magic Casement is a fantastic start to a four book series that I hope lives up to the promise of this first installment. My friend Shari saw that I had read Duncan’s Hero!, and said, “You finally read Dave Duncan–but…

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Fifth Business by Robertson Davies

Synopsis: Schoolteacher Dunstan Ramsay looks back over his life, intertwined with that of a childhood friend and inextricably linked with a madwoman he desperately wants to believe is a saint. Review: I had no idea what I was in for when I began Fifth Business, the first book in Canadian novelist Robertson Davies’s Deptford trilogy. I have an older paperback and the copy on the back just says, “the story of a rational man who discovers that the marvelous is only another aspect of the…

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