Everything you know about evil magicians is wrong.
Tymon the Black is the latest in a long succession of magicians to suffer under a curse called “The Long Look.” He gets glimpses of future horrors, horrors that will almost certainly come to pass unless he acts. When one such glimpse prods him to arrange for the murder of a headstrong young prince, he sets a cascading chain of events in motion that could lead to a future even more terrible than the one he tried to prevent.
Now all he has to do is hang on to a friend, train an apprentice, prevent a prince obsessed with revenge from destroying himself and his entire kingdom, help a princess come to terms with guilt and grief, make sure a wedding happens, make sure a war doesn't, and send a creature of ultimate darkness back to the void from whence it came.
All in a day's work for the world's most evil wizard? Not quite. There's also a goddess to contend with, and there's nothing like attracting the interest of a goddess to upset the balance of any evil scheme. No matter. No one ever said that the life of a fiend was an easy one.
The Long Look is a fantasy novel with a unique blend of action, introspection, speculation and humor that should keep any reader both involved and confused, but don't worry. It all makes sense. Eventually.
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At the beginning of this amusing but thoughtful sword and sorcery novel from World Fantasy Award finalist Parks (Worshipping Small Gods), evil magician Tymon the Black kidnaps Princess Ashesa and kills brave Prince Daras when he comes to rescue her. At least that's the official story. Tymon, blessed (or cursed) with an overabundance of foresight, is simply trying to prevent the damage a simple-minded, glory-addicted hero could do if he lived to become king, but even the magician's Sanchoesque dwarf companion, Seb, questions the magician's certainty that the ends justify the means. Tymon tries to make it right by helping Daras's bookish younger brother get together with spunky, guilt-ridden Ashesa, but initial intervention is increasingly complicated by the maneuverings of an exceptionally intelligent cast of characters. The tale doesn't overflow with crackling wit or moral complexity, but heroic fantasy fans will enjoy its clever tweaking of familiar clichés. (Sept.)
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Parks successfully conjures an evil magician with a difference. Tymon the Black, at heart a kind, gentle man, is the latest in a long line of magicians who suffer the curse called the Long Look, the ability to see future horrors that will occur unless action is taken. To prevent chaos this time, Tymon realizes he has to kidnap a princess; kill the headstrong, hot-tempered prince to whom she is unwillingly betrothed; and make sure a wedding takes place. All this sets in motion a complicated series of events involving not only the intrepid princess and the dead prince’s brother but also Tymon’s loyal companion, the dwarf Seb; an obscure and doddering pretender to a throne who is being used in a plot to take over a kingdom; an enigmatic goddess; a young man who becomes Tymon’s apprentice; and a fiend who must be banished. The upshot is a tale of multidimensional characterizations that is long on action, often-hilarious humor, introspection on the nature of good and evil, and the relation between cause and effect. --Sally Estes
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Book Description Five Star (ME), 2008. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M1594147043