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Magic Mirrors: The High Fantasy and Low Parody of John Bellairs

Bellairs, John

30 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 1886778671 / ISBN 13: 9781886778672
Published by Nesfa Press, Framingham, Massachusetts, 2009
Condition: Very Good Hardcover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Magic Mirrors: The High Fantasy and Low ...

Publisher: Nesfa Press, Framingham, Massachusetts

Publication Date: 2009

Binding: Hard Cover

Illustrator: N/A

Book Condition:Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good

Edition: First Edition.

About this title


Magic Mirrors is a collection of the adult fantasy and humorous works of John Bellairs. This collection includes The Face in the Frost, The Dolphin Cross (a previously unpublished fragment sequel to The Face in the Frost), The Pedant and the Shuffly, and Saint Fidgita and Other Parodies. The collection introduction is by Bruce Coville. There is also a special introduction to the Dolphin Cross by Ellen Kushner.

The Face in the Frost is a fantasy novel that centers on two accomplished wizards, Prospero ("and not the one you're thinking of") and Roger Bacon, tracking down the source of a great magical evil. Playfully written with frightening dips into necromancy, the novel includes talking mirrors, carriages made out of turnips and miniature wizards bobbing through underground rivers in miniature ships, but also disturbing imagery including magically mummified animals, melting cities, and souls trapped within their own graves. Bellairs said, "The Face in the Frost was an attempt to write in the Tolkien manner. I was much taken by The Lord of the Rings and wanted to do a modest work on those lines. In reading the latter book I was struck by the fact that Gandalf was not much of a person just a good guy. So I gave Prospero, my wizard, most of my phobias and crotchets. It was simply meant as entertainment and any profundity will have to be read in."

The Dolphin Cross is an unfinished fragment (about the first third) of the sequel to The Face in the Frost, and shares the two protagonists from that novel, Prospero and Roger Bacon. In this adventure, Prospero is kidnapped and exiled to a lonely island. He escapes and manages to unravel some of the mystery as to who would want to do this and why?

The Pedant and the Shuffly is a short, illustrated fable detailing the chaotic encounter of the two title characters. The evil magician Snodrog ensnares his victims with his inescapable logic and transforms them into Flimsies (stained handkerchiefs)...until the kindly sorcerer, Sir Bertram Crabtree-Gore (Esq.) enlists the help of a magical Shuffly (Latin name: Scuffulans Hirsutus)...and Snodrog meets his match!

St. Fidgeta and Other Parodies is a collection of short stories satirizing the rites and rituals of Second Vatican Council era Catholicism. A mixture of mock scholarship, parodies of ecclesiastical language and manner, puns, jokes and occasional strokes of inspired foolishness.
Table of Contents

From Publishers Weekly:

This illustrated compilation of the late author John Bellairs's books for adults pairs his most beloved novel and its never-before-published fragmented sequel, along with two additional early works. In "The Face of the Frost," Bellairs's effervescent humor shines, complimented by moments of vivid terror, and complete with a sass-talking magic mirror and a soulful wizard named Prospero. Prospero, alongside his compatriot Roger, meander through a disorderly country of "several centuries (or so)" ago, hoping to defeat a shape-shifting force unleashed by a malevolent wizard. "The Dolphin Cross," Bellairs's unfinished sequel, opens with the arrival of a 600-year-old corpse wearing a knight's armor. Following his capture and imprisonment on a clandestine island, Prospero returns to encounter yet another wizard; this time, Bellairs strikes a more languorous and somber tone, though he retains his playful virtuosity. "St. Fidgeta and Other Parodies" and "The Pedant and the Shuffly" offer a hybrid of Borges and Lewis Carroll, but it's Bellairs's mastery of nightmarish imagery and unflinching command of the macabre that should lure fans to rediscover his cache of horror stories and gothic mysteries.
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