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Od Magic Paperback – Bargain Price, June 6, 2006


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Ace Trade (June 6, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441013341
  • ASIN: B000NO1CQO
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,283,219 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Delicately skirting the edge of preachiness, World Fantasy Award–winner McKillip (Alphabet of Thorn) demonstrates once again her exquisite grasp of the fantasist's craft in this slender stand-alone novel. Generations ago, the seemingly immortal wizard Od saved the city of Numis from destruction, not out of altruism but because it seemed like a nice place to found a school of magic. Over the years, the practice of magic has come more and more under the king's control. Deciding to stir things up, Od recruits Brenden Vetch, a gardener from the northlands with tremendous raw power and no taste for politics. As Brenden arrives in Numis, so does a fabulous street magician, Tyramin, whose sleight-of-hand looks suspiciously like unauthorized wizardry. King Galin's attempts to control Brendan and arrest Tyramin only scare them away and earn him the scorn of his daughter, Sulys. As with the Narnia books and other fantasy classics with religious or political agendas, if you can shut off your awareness of worldly context, you'll find this an otherworldly delight.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Some 400 years earlier, Od, a formidable magician, broke the siege of Kelior and saved the land of Numis. She was allowed to found a school of magic in that city, and then she left to wander, surfacing only occasionally. Later the school became part of the king's palace and was controlled over the years by the rulers, who deemed wild magic dangerous. Along comes Brenden Vetch, invited by Od herself to become the school's gardener because of his intimate knowledge of the ways of plants. His talent, which he isn't aware of, is old magic, and his arrival triggers a rebellion at the school. There are no evil villains here, just misguided leaders who circumscribe magic. With lyrical prose, well-limned characterizations, vibrant action, a sense of the wonder of magic, and a generous dollop of romance, this is a story that will bind readers in its spell. Sally Estes
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Patricia McKillip is one of the very few contemporary authors who can write original fairytales.
Gaile
There are reasons for this that become clear late in the novel, but I think his character could have been better executed so as to not be annoying.
C. Hsu
If you have been a fan of Harry Potter and are wondering what to read next this may be the book for you.
Raymond Mathiesen

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 37 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 29, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Because of the Harry Potter literary trend, there are a lot of "wizard school" books coming out. But Patricia McKillip turns that trend on its ear with "Od Magic," the most intelligent and exquisite "wizard school" book yet written. Don't expect flashy magic and goofy antics -- this is pure magic from start to finish.

Brendan Vetch has always had a way with plants, and that is why the ancient wizard Od asked him to come to her wizards' school in the city of Kelior. When Brendan journeys there, he finds that Kelior is ruled by a king who fears magic, and the cold-hearted wizard Valoren. Any magic they don't approve is immediately outlawed, and strict rules are wound around the wizards' school.

As Brendan arrives, other things begin to happen -- rebellious Princess Sulys finds out that she's been betrothed to Valoren. A mysterious masked wizard and his ever-changing daughter arrive in the forbidden Twilight Quarter. And when Brendan's powers suddenly show themselves, he flees to a strange mountain -- where the most powerful magic of all is hiding.

"Od Magic" follows the basic template of McKillip's past novels: Rich prose, primal and exquisite magic, and several storylines that don't seem to be connected, but come together by the end. And while that end seems a bit too easy, it's a glorious ride to finally get there.

The wizards' school is only a setting for magic that many fantasy writers can only dream of -- a magical maze, a girl who does illusions, and the veiled wildness of the Twilight Quarter. McKillip's velvety prose softens up the royal intrigues, with smoke, mirrors, ribbons, word games and illusions. Calling it intoxicating isn't much of a stretch; writing this lush and dreamy is something you can get drunk on.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Matt Berger on June 7, 2005
Format: Hardcover
There are few writers in the fantasy field these days whose work is so consistently good as Patricia McKillip. OD MAGIC, while perhaps a notch short of her fluid, near-flawless best (see: OMBRIA IN SHADOW, SONG FOR THE BASILISK), is among the best fantasy novels I have read so far this year.

Moreso than many of McKillip's recent novels, OD MAGIC weaves together a diverse group of characters and storylines, more loosely tied together than I'd expected--her previous novel, ALPHABET OF THORN, was a marvel of synthesis that wove what felt like two completely distinct books into a single, multifacted story; here, the four or five principals exist side-by-side in the same time and setting, but some are less integrated and less integral than others, and most part in much the same way they were drawn together in the first place. It feels odd (no pun intended) when an author noted mostly for the creation of a strong cast of characters changes the focus somewhat, but it works, and the characters that rise highest from the group--the story telegraphs none of this, and that's a knock-out--are more than worth waiting for.

As always, McKillip's artistry envelopes the novel in a mood and feel far brighter and deeper than any McFantasy can reach. OD MAGIC is a fine book, and deserves a place in any collection of traditional and literate fantasy fiction.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Arthur W. Jordin on November 11, 2006
Format: Paperback
Od Magic (2005) is a standalone fantasy novel. In the Kingdom of Numis, all magicians are trained at the Od School of Magic in Kelior. The school was started within an abandoned cobbler shop in the shadows of the King's Palace, but has been slowly absorbed into the Palace over the past four hundred years.

In this novel, Brenden Vetch has been invited to the school by Od herself to replace the gardener of magic plants. He has been listening to the plants for a few years, but feels frustrated by certain plants. He is also carrying a huge load of guilt for the death of his mother and father, despite his attempts to save them. His brother Jode, whom he managed to save, has tried to talk him out of his fugue, as had his lover Meryd, but to no avail. Both had eventually left him to travel to Kelior.

Now he is in Kelior himself, looking for the door under the shoe. After entering the door, he feels magic around him. A tall darkly robed man melts out of the air in front of him and Brenden states his name and then his purpose. The man seems surprised at his presence and story, but takes him to someone who will show him the garden and his room.

Yar Ayrwood has been at the school for nineteen years. He too had entered by the door under the shoe (most have never seen that door, having been admitted through the main entrance). When he finds Brenden in the vestibule, Yar takes him to Wye, who takes care of the administrative tasks. They are both troubled by the great reserve of magic in the gardener, but Od has sent the man, so they say nothing to the King or his advisors.

Ceta Thiel is writing a history of Od, telling of her disposition of enemy forces seeking to conquer Kelior and the subsequent founding of the School of Magic.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Richard R. Horton on May 11, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Patricia A. McKillip's latest novel, Od Magic, is not part of a series. But it is one of a consistent set of novels that she puts out, pretty much one per year, tidily sized (about 90,000 words in this case), tidily shaped. In Od Magic there are no bad guys, just temporarily misled people. Which isn't a bad or dishonest thing, really. But in this particular case it does sort of dull the edge of the book.

Od is a legendary female wizard, very long lived but hardly ever seen. Centuries earlier she founded a school of wizardry in Kelior, the capital city of the Kingdom of Numis. Now she appears to a young man in the North named Brenden Vetch, and asks him to go to her school to be the gardener, and to look for the door under the shoe.

I confess I expected a story about Brenden, but this isn't what McKillip was after. Instead she follows a variety of people: Brenden of course, but also the influential wizard of Od's school, Yar; his politically connected lover Ceta; the High Warden's son, another Warden (that is to say, policeman), Arneth Pyt; the King's daughter, Princess Sulys, who is about to be married to a man she doesn't know, a priggish but powerful wizard; and the small-time wizard (small-time? perhaps!) Tyramin and his enigmatic daughter. The story revolves about the King's concern about the potential abilities of Tyramin, who is not under his control, and about Sulys's desire to actually have a chance to know her husband, and moreover her desire to use certain small powers she possesses, and about Yar's concern that his school -- Od's school -- may have become hidebound, too much a tool of the King (even though the King seems for the most part a pretty good King).
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