Saturday, January 30, 2010

With a Single Spell

Title: With a Single Spell

Author: Lawrence Watt-Evans

Publisher: Cosmos

Original Copyright Date: 1987

Revised Edition Copyright Date: 2000

Print Date: April 2008

ISBN: 9780843960723

Pages: 288

Series: 2nd of the Ethshar books

Book Description (from back cover):
He could conjure fire.
That was about it.

Tobas had been lucky to find a wizard to take him on as apprentice. But then the wizard died suddenly and unexpectedly after teaching Tobas only a solitary spell, and the youth was too old to find a new master.

In the Small Kingdoms there were dragons to be slain, princesses and gold to be won, magic castles, witches who knew the secret of immortality, and other treasures. But how could a wizard with a single, simple spell hope to find them and win them?

I saw this and another book by this author at a local Dollar store. I'd never heard of the books or author before, but they looked interesting so I picked them up.

I didn't discover that this is part of a series until after I read it. Fortunately for me, is seems the central characters in this have little to do with anything from first book except a shared world and events that happened before are now part of history. And I read this before the other book I purchasd by this author (which turned out to be the 4th) because of the copyright dates.

I liked this story. It wasn't anything spectacular or gripping, but it kept my interest, included some nice adventure, and I liked Tobas despite his tending toward the lazy side of things. I know if I'm being honest (and I can only think this is true for others) I'd prefer to have an easy life and focus on doing things I enjoy... so could I understand Tobas wanting nothing more than to settle in and not do anything dangerous or difficult. And when it comes down to it, Tobas does what needs to be done.

I didn't have any issues jumping into the new world (despite this being a second book) — Tobas hadn't been beyond his little town so for much of the time I learned as he did. And what he was already familiar with was built into the story well.

The story had some romance aspects (they usually do, if you look for it, no matter the genre), but they weren't strong. A little polygamy was involved, but it was turned into a bit of humor. And, most importantly for me, things work out in the end.

One other thing. Tobas is 17, he's exploring the world, discovering what he will do with his life... so I'm tagging this as a YA, but I'm not sure if it actually is or not. At least, I don't think it was published as a YA book.

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