Two magicians shall appear in England. The first shall fear me; the second shall long to behold me. The year is 1806, and centuries have passed since practical magic faded into England's past. But scholars of its glorious history discover that one magician remains: the reclusive Mr Norrell, whose talent sends a thrill through the country. Yet the cautious, fussy Norrell is challenged by the emergence of another magician: the brilliant novice Jonathan Strange. Young, handsome and daring, Strange is the very antithesis of Norrell. And so begins a dangerous and dazzling battle between these two great men that will lead them into wars, personal battles, and places they should not have dared to enter.
It's 1808 and that Corsican upstart Napoleon is battering the English army and navy. Enter Mr. Norrell, a fusty but ambitious scholar from the Yorkshire countryside and the first practical magician in hundreds of years. What better way to demonstrate his revival of British magic than to change the course of the Napoleonic wars? Susanna Clarke's ingenious first novel, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, has the cleverness and lightness of touch of the Harry Potter series, but is less a fairy tale of good versus evil than a fantastic comedy of manners, complete with elaborate false footnotes, occasional period spellings, and a dense, lively mythology teeming beneath the narrative. Mr. Norrell moves to London to establish his influence in government circles, devising such powerful illusions as an 11-day blockade of French ports by English ships fabricated from rainwater. But however skillful his magic, his vanity provides an Achilles heel, and the differing ambitions of his more glamorous apprentice, Jonathan Strange, threaten to topple all that Mr. Norrell has achieved. A sparkling debut from Susanna Clarke--and it's not all fairy dust. --Regina Marler
BOOK SENSE BOOK OF THE YEAR
A PEOPLE MAGAZINE "TOP TEN" BOOK
WINNER OF THE HUGO AWARD
WINNER OF THE WORLD FANTASY AWARD
"Ravishing…Combines the dark mythology of fantasy with the delicious social comedy of Jane Austen into a masterpiece of the genre that rivals Tolkien."-- Time
At the dawn of the nineteenth century, two very different magicians emerge to change England's history. In the year 1806, with the Napoleonic Wars raging on land and sea, most people believe magic to be long dead in England--until the reclusive Mr Norrell reveals his powers, and becomes a celebrity overnight.
Soon, another practicing magician comes forth: the young, handsome, and daring Jonathan Strange. He becomes Norrell's student, and they join forces in the war against France. But Strange is increasingly drawn to the wildest, most perilous forms of magic, straining his partnership with Norrell, and putting at risk everything else he holds dear.
"What kind of magic can make an 800-page novel seem too short? Whatever it is, debut author Susanna Clarke is possessed by it."-- USA Today
"From beginning to end, a perfect pleasure."--Neil Gaiman
From the Back Cover