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Her Majesty's Wizard (A Wizard in Rhyme)

(Book #1 in the Wizard in Rhyme Series)

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

A rollicking tale by the author of We Open on Venus Matt didn't know the scrap of parchment was a trap. So he read the runes--and found himself on a world where reciting verses worked magic. His first... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Fun Book

I read this book for the first time about 10 years ago. I have kept it in my ever growing stack/mountain of books all this time and I read it again a few days ago. This book is just so much a fun that everyone who enjoys fantasy novels should read it. The characters we well developed. The rules for conducting magic are great. As you read the story, you can enjoy the moment.

The "Wizard in Rhyme" series starts here...

This is one of the best "formulaic" fantasy books written. As a "hero-gets-transported-to-a-fantasy-realm" book, it is a common premise. Since the hero incidentally has some great power of his own, also fairly common in escapist fantasy. This is not EPIC fantasy. The world is not so foreign that we cannot recognise elements of our own world in it... that is the point here. By making many of the elements VERY common, and, in fact, archaic, we readers already have a good starting point. We get dragons, witches, dark powers, and the princess in distress. Sounds good to me!The main distinction here is that the protagonist is a career student with no real direction for his studies... a true gen-x'er. He is transported to a realm that he cannot take very seriously, until his life is threatened. What starts off as an ironic joke puts him at the center of a power struggle that has both political and religious powers coming to bear. Magic is real, and basic physical laws don't seem to work quite right. Religion is less ambiguous, there is no grey area. Much of the hero's time is spent trying to understand the new rules, and almost a reluctance to believe what he seems to already know.The story of the power struggle is incidental to the lead character's need to understand and accept both his newfound role as a true power in the coming struggle, and his true value as a friend to those around him, his self worth. In short "Her Majesty's Wizard" is a Love story, a Wizard tale, a Growing-Up story, and a Good vs Evil tale... with happy and sad endings. I can say without a doubt that this is a great book, whether or not one continues further with the series. Stasheff's other work, "The Warlock in Spite of Himself", is also a great read with a more Science-Fantasy bent... also the start of a series, but a good stand-alone as well.

One of the Best Fantasy books I have ever read!

I do not read nearly as much Fantasy as I used too. There was, however, a time, which Fantasy was the only genre, I had any desire to partake in. Enter "Her Majesty's Wizard" by Christopher Stasheff.This novel is a perfect mix of Fantasy, Humor and Morality all spoon-fed to us with the masterful prose of Stasheff. First published in 1986 this novel was released by DelRey when they were at the top of their game. Time was in the mid 1980's to early 1990's if the cover had the DelRey imprint on it I would buy it. This is a great example of the strong staff of editors they had in this era. "Her Majesty's Wizard" is an example of what I like to call Reality based Fantasy. What I mean by this is that one of the primary characters, usually the hero, starts out in our reality and is transported into another reality which is different in many ways usually involving magic of some sort. This is the case in "HMW". I hate giving away too much of the plot of a book in a review. This tendency drives me crazy when others tell me the beginning, middle and end of books so please forgive me as I only give a gist of events. The hero, Mathew Mantrell, is transported to a realm where his penchant for archaic writings and rhymes gives him magical powers. Matt's challenges are many fold. The challenges include whether or not to believe in what is happening. Secondly, whether or not to defend good, side with evil or sit on the sidelines. Thirdly, whether or not to accept universality God and what that means to Matt's existence and many more challenges. All of this sounds pretty heavy but it really isn't. One of the great aspects of this book is how light is really is in some ways. The novel does not take itself to seriously and it makes for wonderful experience.Christopher Stasheff followed this book up with a torrent of novels that take place in this same universe as Matt. All of the novels are good but this is the best of them and, in my humble opinion, it is Mr. Stasheff's best novel period. Read and enjoy.

a very Catholic book

What an enjoyable book! I really like the fact that Stasheff dealt with religion in his medieval world. It makes sense, because the Catholic church was a main part of people's lives in the middle ages. The world, an alternate universe, is very interesting. Oaths CANNOT be broken. People aren't knighted because they are great fighters- they get martial skills as soon as they are knighted. Sins, even little ones, actually matter. Matt, the hero, has to go to confession before he can effectively fight on the good side. If he is not shriven, he is a liability to his team. Matt is a rhyming wizard. His application of rhymes is very creative. My favorite rhyme was when he works backwards from Richard III to help an embittered ogre. As Richard grows younger and less evil, the ogre grows less angry and ugly. Sometimes Matt makes up his own verse- and very crummy verse, at that. The side characters are just that- side characters. The princess Alisande, especially, doesn't have much personality. After reading the Warlock books, in which the hero's wife and children are such individuals, I was a bit disappointed in the flat sidekicks. But the interesting universe and rhymes make up for it. Don't go looking for any great romantic scenes, though! The adventure is the main point in this book.


If nothing else, this book impresses me with Stasheff's knowledge. read it.
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