Go to Homepage   Patrick Welch: The Thirteenth Magician

 

Dark Star Publications (E-book),
ISBN 1-929034-42-3
An explosive debut onto the fantasy scene, Patrick Welch's The Thirteenth Magician departs from the linear novel in form and structure. But this departure never detracts from the book's readability or the excitement to be found within its electronic pages. Multi-layered, diverse in its message, this book should be read, pondered, remembered, then read again. 

Daasek, a soulless assassin forced to wander his world murdering magicians, is a far cry from the usual hero of a quest fantasy chronicling yet another battle in the war between good and evil. As a young fisherman, Daasek first left home to seek the other half of the stone Daasek wore suspended on a chain around his neck. But everything changed for Daasek when he returned home a year later to find that his home no longer existed in the terms that he remembered it. 

Welch demonstrates enormous world building skills. He delineates totally believable creatures and fully fleshes out his characters. But look elsewhere if you're looking for a likable hero. Tried, tortured, and cursed, Daasek isn't someone you would want to invite to dinner. Did I want him to win? I'm not even sure I knew what he was trying to win until the very end. But I read on anyway, fascinated by the writing, the action, the maturity of the work and the plot. 

I tried and tried -- and failed -- to think of a fantasy author whose work could be compared to Welch's. The Thirteenth Magician displays elements of C.S. Lewis's trilogy, a bit of Robin Hobb's Assassin Series, and possibly some of Roger Zelazny's Amber series. But nothing quite captures the scope of Welch's vision. 

Did I enjoy it? I'm not sure. I appreciated it, devoured it in one setting, and recommend it highly, but enjoyment and The Thirteenth Magician do not quite go together. All I can say is, I will remember it. 

Patricia White 

Patricia White is the Sapphire Award-winning author of A Wizard Scorned. Her current book, the western The Legend of Lejube Rogue, is available from New Concepts Publishing.

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