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Lord Darcy and Master Wizard Sean O. Lauchlainn return in this authorized sequel to the stories of Randall Garrett. In 1988, in an alternate universe in which the Plantagenets still rule Britain, France, and the New World, magic has displaced science.
King John IV's chief detectives are called in to investigate a series of impossible murders of accomplished sorcerers. As the bodies pile up, and the monarch himself is threatened, Darcy and Sean must race against the clock to find the killer before the political balance of Europe is upset.
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- Stephen H.
A fine cobtinuation of the series
Randall Garrett was a terrific SF/fantasy author. the Lord Darcy magical mysteries were, perhaps, his best works. Michael Kurland does an excellent job continuing the series.
Darcy is an Angevin nobleman. The English throne in the 1970s and 1980scontinues to be occupied by Plantagenets since Richart the Lion Hearted survived a near-fatal injury, gave up crusading and became a benevolent ruler. His descendants continue to rule a greatly enlarged empire reaching across half of Europe into North America and all the way to our Mexico. The other kicker is that magic works. It was studied and codified and those with the talent are taught, examined and find themselves with good careers. Darcy is a Sherlock-Holmes-like detective with a forensic sorcerer companion - Master Sean. There are occasional references to a Nero Wolfe-like detective/official in London with an Archie Goodwin character named "Bontriomphe." The stories are well thought out. The characters could be more fleshed out, but this does not detract. very much from the fun.
My only "complaint" is that there are so few of these stories. The Big Bad is the Polish Empire. The alternate timeline while lacking some of out 21st century conveniences has a courtliness and grace lacking in our "smartphone" "social media-ed" world. They certainly have their inequalities, prejudices and a devotion to a - perhaps less tainted Catholic church, but, if I could be a nobleman or sorcerer, it would be a fun world in which to live.
Sorta kinda more of the same
Is there anything you would change about this book?
More inventiveness, less repeating phrases and formulations from the original... and definitely less political commentary.
Did S. George Lee do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?
S. George Lee did an excellent job differentiating characters and accents.
Unfortunately, his main (narrator) was so mangled, it was caricature English butler, made it very difficult to get into the book.
And his Lord Darcy was constantly smiling.
On the other hand, he is way better than Victor whoever, who read the original books.
Was Ten Little Wizards worth the listening time?
I guess... but hardly worth listening to again.
Any additional comments?
The book is OK-ish.
About 20% of it is truly original narrative, about 50% preserving the atmosphere of the real Darcy stories, and the rest is soap.
The main problem is, the original Darcy was about short stories, inventive narrative, unexpected riddles and solutions. Even the novel ("Too Many Magicians") was composed of separate short stories all coming together.
Here we have a novel which is not really inventive although it tries hard to be... but is actually rehashing Garrett's thoughts.
Good for fans, but probably not as a separate book.