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Magic in Ithkar 2

1 rating: 5.0
A book by Andre Norton

YA This sequel to Magic in Ithkar (TOR, 1985) has 13 stories which are by different authors but share the same magical backgroundthe annual trade fair at Ithkar. The stories, which are generally of high although not outstanding quality, range in tone … see full wiki

Tags: Books
Author: Andre Norton
Publisher: Tor Books
1 review about Magic in Ithkar 2

Come to the fair in Ithkar

  • Jun 20, 2010
I believe there were only four 'Magic in Ithkar' volumes, which is a shame because Norton and Adams did a great job of soliciting (and editing?) these commonly-themed fantasy shorts. Each of the four collections has the same prologue by Robert Adams, which explains how the fair originated in Ithkar (a religious anniversary turned pilgrimage), the set-up (temple, campgrounds for the merchants, docks and canals for the riparian traffic, etc.), and the difficulties encountered on a pilgrimage or trading voyage to Ithkar (Death Swamp, dragons, outlaw wizards). All weapons must be surrendered before entering the fair and wizards are discouraged from glamorizing shoddy goods with their spells. Of course, as at any large festival, the fair at Ithkar has its share of rogues, piratical merchants, bravos, potion-makers and witches, troupes of entertainers (not a few of them turning tricks), and gullible pilgrims.

The stories:

"Flux of Fortune"--Mildred Downey Broxon: a rather grim lead-off story that parallels the non-fiction book, The Ghost Map: The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic--and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World by Steven Johnson. The story of a well-travelled physician, Ithkar's communal water supply, and bad sanitation.

"Geydelle's Protective"--Lin Carter: A mage who is known for his mischievous pranks attempts to steal a powerful talisman.

"If There Be Magic"--Marylois Dunn: Ferrol, a dealer in herbs has a hand maimed in a childhood accident, but she does not believe in magic. She is finally persuaded to visit a powerful magician, in company with a priestess and a lovely young woman who is not as she seems. All three get their fondest desire. Very Nortonish, except I don't think the least virtuous of the trio would have gotten rewarded for her cruel behavior.

"Babes on Bawd Way"--George Alec Effinger: A beautiful young woman, fresh off the farm wants to become a bawd, but no man seems to be interested in her. Her new protector (also fresh off of the farm) consults a magician.

"Sardofa's Horseshoes--Gregory Frost: an evil servant of Thotharn wants to destroy the Lordly Ones' temple with the aid of a flying horse.

"The Ruby Wand of Asrazel"--Joseph Green: a young man who makes a living stealing jewels from raptors' nests must decide what to do with his latest, greatest find.

"Bird of Paradise"--Linda Haldeman: An aviary owner, a gypsy, and a boatman all secretly worship the Earth Mother in a city dedicated to the Sky Lords. If you like Gabriel García Márquez, you will probably like this story.

"Flaming-Arrow"--R.A. Lafferty: While Peter Flaming-Arrow rides the updrafts in a boat without a bottom, his covenanted familiar, a mouse, remains behind to fulfill a prophecy. You may read this cock-eyed Lafferty story many times and still not figure it out. It's fun, though.

"The Shaman Flute"--Shariann Lewitt: A young steppe rider, who is also an apprentice-shaman comes to the Fair to buy sheep for his demon-haunted clan. An enemy treads on his shadow even here. My favorite story.

"Shadow Quest"--Brad Linaweaver: When an apprentice magician accidentally conjures up a monstrous snake-bird, his master sends him on a dangerous quest.

"Kissmeowt and the Healing Friar"--A.R. Major: A healing friar seeks his colleague's murderer with the help of a telepathic cat, dog, horse, rat, and a cut-purse he raised from the dead.

"The Cards of Eldrianza"--Mary H. Schaub: Eldrianza the fortune-teller dies on the way to the Fair, and her inexperienced young assistant, Kereth must take her place.

"The Marbled Horn"--Lynn Ward: Gray Eyes, servant to a worker of bone and horn must find her master's favorite carving which was stolen on their first day in Ithkar.

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