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Queenmagic, kingmagic Hardcover – 1986

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

That cool, cerebral Watson should have written a chess novel seems inevitable, in hindsight. His characters have often been obsessed with learning the underlying rules of their worldsand transcending them. Here the kingdoms of Bellogard and Chorny are locked in a perpetual magical war that gives structure, reason and energy to their medieval society. The protagonist, pawn-squire Pedino of Bellogard, is forced to reexamine his assumptions and loyalties when he falls in love with his opposite number, Sara of Chorny. In escaping, they visit other realms, including a version of Monopoly that comments satirically on the 1980s economic scene. Although the pattern here is familiar from previous Watson novels (Deathhunter, Converts), this is lighter, more textured and more engagingly peopled.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

The perpetual war between Bellogard and Chorny re-creates the moves of a magical chess game until two opposing pawns fall in love and seek a way out of their world before its inevitable end. Despite a promising beginning and an intriguing premise, the extended metaphor in Watson's latest fantasy eventually wears thin. For large fantasy collections only. JC
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 205 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; 1st U.S. ed edition (1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312015038
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312015039
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,037,668 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Marshall Lord TOP 1000 REVIEWER on August 16, 2007
Format: Paperback
Brilliantly entertaining fantasy by Ian Watson.

Narrated by Pedino, who at the start of the book is a young man growing up in the country of Bellogard. Pedino turns out to be one of the few residents of Bellogard who has a full soul, which means he is one of the pieces in the magical war between Bellogard and the enemy nation of Chorny, a war conducted under the rules of chess.

The war may last centuries, but when either side loses its King, the world will come to an end.

Trained as a pawn-squire, Pedino distinguishes himself on his first mission, but falls in love with an enemy piece.

During the course of the story Pedino becomes aware that there are other universes, also dominated by magical contests, but in these other worlds such contests can follow the rules of Go, Snakes and Ladders, Monopoly, or other games ....

An engaging fantasy, which makes you care about the characters and their fantastic yet familiar worlds.

Strongly recommended.
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