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The Long Look Hardcover – September 1, 2008


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 297 pages
  • Publisher: Five Star (ME); 1st edition (September 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594147043
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594147043
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.9 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,585,751 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

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

More About the Author

"Richard Parks lives in Mississippi with his wife and a varying number of cats. He collects Japanese woodblock prints but otherwise has no hobbies since he discovered that they all require time. His fiction has appeared in Asimov's SF, Realms of Fantasy, Lady Churchill's Rosebud Wristlet, Fantasy Magazine, Weird Tales, and numerous anthologies, including Year's Best Fantasy and Fantasy: The Best of the Year. He's been a finalist for both the World Fantasy Award and the Mythopoeic Award for Adult Literature."

Photo by Carol Parks

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sunny Skies on June 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Tymon the Black has a reputation as an evil magician, capable of the most heinous crimes. What he really has is the gift of foretelling the future, which he visualizes during his "long looks", a kind of trance-like state. Alas, this gift is sometimes incomplete and often puts him in the position of taking actions that lead to the future he has seen during his "long looks." Most of his "visions" are of horrific ends to nations and people, that must be averted. His companion is Seb, a dwarf who's smart, resourceful and thoughtful, but who is not above attacking and defending if needed.

What is interesting about this book is that the main characters (there are many) are multi-faceted and have depth to their behavior and actions. Nobody is inherently evil or good, which I think reflects real life. There are twists and turns, lots of humor, sarcasm and wit...everything you want in a SFF.

I would definitely recommend this book to science fiction fantasy fans who like magic, intelligent dialogue and action in their books.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Katherine Dewey on July 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Yes, I love it for the lean and lyrical prose that never distracts. I love it for the wonderful characters that drive the plot. This is a can't-put-down-until-the-end sort of book, one that you'll read again and again. I did.
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By M. Landers on January 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Solid plot, excellently developed characters, superb writing. As other reviewers have said, many unexpected turns. One quibble: the characters are all intelligent, principled (though not necessarily admirable) and courageous. Then I remembered that I was reading a fantasy.

Highly recommended.
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Format: Hardcover
I love Parks' short fiction, so this novel's excellence no surprise! The evil wizard Tymon the Black is actually not so evil - he's an unfortunate precognitive who's compelled to arrange events for the best possible outcome for the world. Which makes his actions seem inexplicable, if you're not his loyal companion Seb.... and makes him seem like the bad guy to the rest of the world. Parks has a deft, humorous touch. Very recommended.
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2 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on September 30, 2008
Format: Hardcover
He is thought to be a demon, a dark magician, a sorcerer who practices the blood arts, but the truth is both much simpler and much more complex than the rumors. Tymon the Black has what is called THE LONG LOOK as he can see future tragedies with the knowledge some can be changed even prevented; he works to do so. One of his Long Look makes him kidnap the Ashesa, the princess of Morushe, whose future husband he must lure him to Ttymon so he can kill him and prevent a war.. Instead the princess appeals to him to let the prince live. He heeds her request leading to leading her to see her future husband will plunge them into war. She ends up killing him.

The dark prince's brother Galen wants to marry Ashesa because he loves her; she agrees to their state marriage. Galen's enemies are planning to kill him and place a puppet on the throne. While Tymon sees their plot, an advisor to Duke Laras wants to push his lord into claiming the throne as he has a legitimate argument that he should be the ruler. Galen in a quest for revenge and brings something dark and evil into the realm to destroy Tymon. However he loses control of the darkness. Tymon is capable of saving the world by dying and his various enemies are planning to just that in a confrontation at the.
Black Pits.

Tymon is eyed as a vile villain, but ignores the monster label to do what he believes is right to include killing someone in order to prevent a greater catastrophe (mindful of the Star Trek episode "The City on the Edge of Forever"). He hates killing, but knows he must do what it takes for what he perceives is the greater good. Richard Parks has written a fascinating fantasy with a deep morality question of when is it okay to kill an innocent and then there is the question of the time paradox in which changing the future with one death may lead to unforeseen consequences worse than what you prevented as the hero learns to his dismay.

Harriet Klausner
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