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The Complete Compleat Enchanter Paperback – March 1, 1989


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 532 pages
  • Publisher: Baen (March 1, 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671698095
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671698096
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,003,054 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 20, 2002
Format: Paperback
One rarely thinks about this, but there actually was terrific heroic fantasy being written before Tolkien published the Lord of the Rings, and L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt were at the forefront of such efforts. These magical misadventures of Harold Shea, psychologist turned multiverse knight/magician/hero are thoroughly entertaining and amazingly detailed. The Complete Enchanter consists of the two novellas The Roaring Trumpet and The Mathematics of Magic (published together as The Incomplete Enchanter) and a follow-up novel The Castle of Iron. Sorting out the different versions of these books can be somewhat confusing, but basically this set consists of the original trilogy of "books" recounting the adventures of Harold Shea. Shea is a smallish man who continually takes on affectations such as unusual modes of dress in an effort to lift his spirits out of the mundane environment of his life. When his boss comes up with a logical theory for traveling among different universes, Shea takes the initiative and put the theory to the test. Aiming for mediaeval Ireland, Shea actually finds himself in a bitterly cold environment where he meets up with Thor and the three other principal gods of Norse myth. Deciding to pass himself off as a magician, he soon finds himself involved in preparations for a final world-ending battle between the Norse gods and a group of malicious giants. In many ways this is my favorite Shea story because it is here that he finds, to his own amazement, that he can handle a sword with some degree of skill (as long as it has a sharp point at the end) and can actually perform some feats of magic.
After managing to return to good old present-day earth, Shea soon sets out on another journey, this time with his boss Dr. Chalmers along for the thrill-seeking ride.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By MISTER SJEM TOP 1000 REVIEWER on March 22, 2001
Format: Paperback
Remember that Sprague and Pratt wrote this before LORD OF THE RINGS and only a few years after the hobbit. There weren't as many fantasy books to draw upon either.
Great system they set up for how magic works through mathematical formulas. Not too confusing either for people like me who don't care for math either.

The book is divided into three books that cover different mythologies: the first being Norse where Harold Shea, our hero, gets to meet some of the Norse Gods as they travel in to giant territory; second being in Spenser's THE FAERIE QUEEN where he gets to meet his future love interest; and THE CASTLE OF IRON which if based on an old epic poem that wasn't finished.

This book mixes humor, action and clever tactics. Shea isn't the big bruiser type although he carries an epee and knows fencing which lets him beat a lot of people. He also is smart in that where the big bruisers with him find they can't get out of a jam, he's there to outthink his opponents. Oh, and, of course, he also knows magic but sometimes that messes up or does things differently.
For its time and even today, a great book for fantasy fans. Alternative History buffs should also check out LEST DARKNESS FALL (a history professor helps Rome from not collapsing . . . sort of, that is). Gary Gygax's works introduced me to this author.

STORY/PLOTTING: B plus; CHARACTERS/DIALOGUE: B plus to A minus; CONCEPT EXECUTION/IDEAS: B plus to A minus; LAST READING: March 2001 (review revised March 2012; OVERALL GRADE: B plus to A minus.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Nick M. on November 28, 2001
Format: Paperback
I originally found the first book, "The Incompleat Enchanter", at a flea market back when I was in my early teens in the late 60s, it was an old paperback, and I loved it! At the time I was fascinated with magic as well as math and science and I loved the way De Camp and Pratt intertwined the two! It had since fallen apart and was lost in my move to California. Anyway I found and read the "Faerie Queene" and "Castle of Iron" universe books (as well as the "Wall of Serpents" book later on) as a teenager and found them all to be excellent. I have purchased this collection so that my son (in his early teens) can read the stories as well, I'm sure he'll love them! I'm sure you will as well!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 30, 2001
Format: Paperback
The place: a town in Ohio. Two psychologists, Harold Shea and Doc Chalmers, have made an amazing discovery: by altering their logical assumptions, they can visit any world they choose. Of course, it is difficult to tell beforehand exactly what world they're going to visit... These stories are hilarious and extremely readable, though you shouldn't expect anything terribly deep. This volume collects all of the original Harold Shea novellas into one book. This makes it something of a one-stop buy for anyone who wants to read them, especially since the original volumes are out of print. There are other in-print Shea stories, but they weren't written by the De Camp-Pratt team, so they're not nearly as good. They're still worth a look if you're bored. though.
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