Dekteon, a slave in fantasyland, escapes and blunders into a strange world between worlds where horses have bear paws and he gets hired by a man who looks just like him to guard him from the terrors of the night. At least, that's the excuse. But it turns out that his new employer has a much more sinister task in mind.

This odd fantasy has some very beautiful, striking images and scenes, and the first fourth or so has a wonderfully spooky, dreamlike atmosphere. Unfortunately, once Dekteon is sent to the matriarchy of cold, bitchy moon women and the sun men they rule, the magic falls away and is replaced by an annoying plot in which he gets the better of the entire society just by being a manly man and not doing what the women say. I'm not objecting just because it's sexist. I'm also objecting because it's dumb and boring.

Not one of Tanith Lee's best. Though I do love the cover, which is 100% accurately taken from the book. A woman with an ivory bow riding a horned lion is what I read fantasy for; wish she was in a better book.

It was part of the MagicQuest series, a fantastic YA fantasy imprint which reprinted (or originally published some?) books by Patricia McKillip, Jane Yolen, Diana Wynne Jones, Peter Dickinson, Robert Westall, Paul Fisher, and Elizabeth Marie Pope. They had great covers and sometimes also great interior illustrations, and I haunted libraries and bookshops for them - all were reliably worth reading, though I liked some more than others. (I never warmed up to Peter Dickinson, and the Pied Piper book was forgettable.) Except for the Westall book, I read all its books for the first time from that imprint; it introduced me to Diana Wynne Jones and Tanith Lee.

I wish the imprint had lasted longer, but it only put out 18 books. Looking them up now, I see that I never saw or even heard of The Last Days of the Edge of the World by Brian Stableford.

Anyone else read MagicQuest? What were your favorites and least favorites?
oracne: turtle (Default)

From: [personal profile] oracne

I read the Elizabeth Marie Pope ones after they were recced to me in my early days on LiveJournal, and loved them. THE THROME OF THE ERRIL OF SHERILL is one of my lesser faves of McKillip's (and I think I've read them all at this point except for her most recent short story collection). MAGICIANS OF CAPRONA might have been one of the earlier Diana Wynne Jones books I read (FIRE AND HEMLOCK was first, found in the college library).
cahn: (Default)

From: [personal profile] cahn

omg the MagicQuest books!! I still have my Perilous Gard MagicQuest copy, I think (a library book sale copy). That was by far my favorite. I also loved the Magic Three of Solatia (I had a library book sale copy of that one too for many years, but gave it up when I bought my e-copy) and the Throme of the Erril of Sherill. I was never able to find The Ash Staff, which I desperately wanted to read at the time... I feel like I later read Mont Cant Gold and didn't like it enough to remember anything about it, but it's also possible I didn't read it.
cahn: (Default)

From: [personal profile] cahn

I didn't read the MagicQuest Peter Dickinson, but I had a similar experience reading some of his other books -- like, they sound like they would be so good! but in practice I always found his writing a bit cold.
sovay: (Haruspex: Autumn War)

From: [personal profile] sovay

like, they sound like they would be so good! but in practice I always found his writing a bit cold.

He wrote three formative books for me and I'm not sure it's an accident that they were all children's books. He was great at voices. Of his adult novels, I really like King and Joker (1976), but I bounced completely off Tulku (1979) despite feeling it was the sort of thing I should like.
cahn: (Default)

From: [personal profile] cahn

Oh! I totally forgot about King and Joker! That's the one thing I've read by him that I actually really liked. I might have to check out City of Gold and Merlin Dreams, those sound like the coldness that put me off of e.g. the Changes trilogy might work for me instead of against.
luzula: a Luzula pilosa, or hairy wood-rush (Default)

From: [personal profile] luzula

I actually just finished Tulku and I thought it was fairly good, but I didn't love it like I love the two others I've read by him. The Blue Hawk was a formative book for me in my youth and it really holds up for me now, too--very interesting worldbuilding and interesting thoughts about religion. And then I read The Ropemaker recently and thought it was a very fun and inventive YA fantasy.
telophase: (Default)

From: [personal profile] telophase

I read them as they were published; I remember liking all of them enough to haunt bookstores waiting for the next one to come out, but I don't actually remember much about any of them!
morineko: Hikaru Amano from Nadesico (Default)

From: [personal profile] morineko

The one I first read as part of this series was The Seventh Swan by Nicholas Stuart Gray. It's based on "The Six Swans" which has never been a favorite fairytale, but for some reason this book worked for me. Possibly because the swan-boy is such an epic woobie. So much woobie.
cyphomandra: fractured brooding landscape (Default)

From: [personal profile] cyphomandra

This is the only Magic Quest one I have (although I read a number of he others in non Magic Quest edition) and I love it; as you say, it has excellent woobie :D

From: [personal profile] cat_i_th_adage

I never really warmed to swanboy, but did I love his retainer and the young lady?

So, so very much.

It's still a great book - I reread it last year.
carbonel: (Default)

From: [personal profile] carbonel

My very favorite MagicQuest book is The Perilous Gard. I'd read it years earlier, thanks to a rec by a librarian at the Cleveland Public Library, but I was happy to have my own copy. I wanted to love The Sherwood Ring, but that didn't work as well. Until her death, I always hoped for another book by the author.

My boyfriend at the time the line came out owned a bookstore/comic book store, and bought the entire set as a birthday present, so I've read them all.

I think I finished all of them and enjoyed most, but the only ones I've reread are the ones by Jane Yolen, Diana Wynn Jones, and Patricia Wrede.
sovay: (Lord Peter Wimsey: passion)

From: [personal profile] sovay

Anyone else read MagicQuest? What were your favorites and least favorites?

The series was a mix of reprints and originals, although I couldn't distinguish (or didn't care) between the two in elementary school when I was discovering them. Favorites include Patricia McKillip's The Throme of the Erril of Sherrill (1984), Elizabeth Marie Pope's The Perilous Gard (1974/1984), Jane Yolen's The Magic Three of Solatia (1974/1984), Diana Wynne Jones' Power of Three (1977/1984), Elizabeth Marie Pope's The Sherwood Ring (1958/1985), and the original version of Patricia C. Wrede's Talking to Dragons (1985), which years later I had bitter, pre-ISFDB arguments about with people who refused to believe there had been an earlier edition than the hardcover with art by Trina Schart Hyman. [edit] NOT LIKE I'M BITTER OR ANYTHING.
Edited Date: 2017-08-11 10:19 pm (UTC)
pameladean: (Default)

From: [personal profile] pameladean

I read a bunch of them: Patricia Wrede's Talking to Dragons, of course, and the Nicholas Stuart Gray; and the line was my introduction both to Jane Yolen and to Diana Wynne Jones. It wasn't my introduction to McKillip, but I liked The Throme of the Erril of Sherrill very much indeed. For years I believed that the Peter Dickinson book in that line was The Blue Hawk, which is a long-time favorite. But it wasn't, and I've never actually read Tulku. I love Dickenson's thrillers and mysteries, but his YA sf and fantasy are a bit unpredictable. My single favorite from that line is probably Power of Three.

Edited to get rid of lingering italics.

Edited Date: 2017-08-11 10:28 pm (UTC)
skygiants: the aunts from Pushing Daisies reading and sipping wine on a couch (wine and books)

From: [personal profile] skygiants

I don't have any clear recollections of the imprint -- and Power of Three is one of the few DWJ that I didn't read as a child, and thus never really bonded with after -- but bless it for Elizabeth Marie Pope.
lilacsigil: 12 Apostles rocks, text "Rock On" (12 Apostles)

From: [personal profile] lilacsigil

I read this one! I can't remember the story at all except that there was a matriarchy (I was always on the lookout for matriarchies), but I vividly remember the cover.

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