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The Wizard of Karres (Lackey, Mercedes) Hardcover – August 3, 2004


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Product Details

  • Series: Lackey, Mercedes
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Baen; First Edition edition (August 3, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743488393
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743488396
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,715,203 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School–James H. Schmitz's The Witches of Karres, a far-future space opera combining screwball comedy with psi powers, has remained one of science fiction/fantasy's best-loved classics since its first publication in the 1960s. Decades of readers have been disappointed that Schmitz himself never revisited his richly imagined universe, but now there's a sequel that should satisfy all but the most nit-picking fans. Wizard seamlessly picks up the story where Witchesended, sending the still overly honest Captain Pausert and his oddly assorted crew of spies and precocious child-witches on a new mission to save humanity (and friends) from imminent disaster. Soon they are pursued by competing Empire factions, pirates, and alien gremlins, all with agendas of their own. Much of the time, the gang hides in plain sight–in an intergalactic traveling showboat/circus, working as sideshow artistes and Shakespearian thespians (the Bard would have been delighted with these productions of his plays). Though the plot might seem at first to be hurtling randomly from crisis to crisis, soon the elements come together in a wacky Karres sort of way that matches Schmitz's narrative style and high standard of humor, imagination, and absurdity.To bring new readers up to speed, numerous references to the first book are skillfully worked into the narrative; for those already familiar with Karres, Wizardexpands satisfyingly upon many elements of that universe that Schmitz merely touched upon. Fans of humorous science fiction will enjoy this outing.–Christine C. Menefee, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

A sequel to James Schmitz's cult classic The Witches of Karres (1966), this collaboration continues the saga of Captain Pausert and his ship, the Venture, now on its way to the imperial capital, smuggling Hantis, the Nartheby Sprite, and her grik-dog, Pul, past imperial security. The nanite plague that decimated Hantis' people long ago has reached the empire, which aims to foil its invasion. Pausert attracts the attention of a little vatch, occasionally useful but often just mischievous, and then they are captured on Pidoon during a routine fueling stop. Thereafter, realizing more thorough disguise is necessary, they head to Vaudevillia. There they secure passage and jobs with Petey, Byrum & Keep, the Greatest Show in the Galaxy, and proceed to the imperial capital--slowly, of course, because the show must go on, regularly. This satisfying revival of Schmitz's fantastic characters is entertaining enough, even if one lacks knowledge of its progenitor; the Leewit and Goth, in particular, are made for circus living. Regina Schroeder
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

Plot is poor, character development is nil.
cfc
I look forward to the next book (assuming that they continue the series - the ending did a perfect setup for the series to continue).
R. B. Leonard
This follow on is full of action, humor and love.
Tom Miller

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 55 people found the following review helpful By M. Ransick on August 13, 2004
Format: Hardcover
James H. Schmitz's "The Witches of Karres" has been one of my all time favorites for almost 35 years. I cannot tell you how many times I've read "Witches". It was another one of those great books set up for the sequel that never came. I've seen other favorites of mine, where sequels were finally written. Most of those I found to be mediocre to just plain bad. They damaged and diluted the original work. That was my fear when I discovered "The Wizard of Karres" had been published; however (and happily to my surprise), it was both well written and a good story.

My only complaint is that the authors/editors/publisher did not include any kind of editorial notes. I would have been very interested in the story behind this sequel. I'm sure it was fascinating.

For those who have enjoyed Schmitz's wonderful story of Captain Pausert, Goth, and the Leewit, you'll enjoy taking another ride with them onboard the good ship "Venture" in "The Wizard of Karres".

Jim Baen, Eric Flint, Mercedes Lackey, and Dave Freer have done a great job on this book. They are to be congratulated.
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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful By Phillip B. Spotts on September 17, 2004
Format: Hardcover
For us oldsters, those that had been hoping for a sequel to James Schmitz's WITCHES OF KARRES for more years then I want to admit (ok so I bought the first printing in paperback and it only cost me $0.50, maybe that gives you some idea how long I've been waiting), WIZARD OF KARRES has been a real dream come true. I admit I fell in love with the original, waited, and waited, waited some more, and was finally heartbroken when I realize it was never to be when I heard of Mr. Schmitz's death. Well this just shows you that dreams do come true sometimes.

This one is good, really good! It really isn't much of a surprise when you consider the quality of the three authors involved or the magnificent works they have already produced together, let alone individually. But what did surprise me was just how seamlessly WIZARD blends with and compliments WITCHES, a book written by a completely different author decades in the past! If the spirit of J. Schmitz didn't rise from the dead to help these three I'll eat my hat!

Yes its fun! I for one can't wait for the next one. God I hope it doesn't take another thirty years!

If you liked WITCHES OF KARRES then you are going to like WIZARD OF KARRES, if you didn't then what are you doing reading this review?

I wholeheartedly HIGHLY RECOMMEND this one!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By I. Clark on August 7, 2004
Format: Hardcover
As a teenager and young adult I was one of those who always looked for a new Schmitz story in the 1960's and 1970's.

Recently I discovered Baen's Bar, a group of discussion forums for fans of Science Fiction and Fantasy, paid for by Baen Books. A place where authors and Jim Baen himself actually talk to we mere mortals. I strongly recommend the Bar to all SF&F fans, and particularly BAEN FREE BOOKS and WEBSCRIPTIONS. Yep - FREE books, by top named authors such as David Drake, David Weber, Eric Flint, Mercedes Lackey and Dave Freer. And Webscriptions provides electronic copies of new releases BEFORE they appear in deadtree format, and at lower prices.

Well, within a week of joining the Bar, I found things called "snippets" - small parts of a new book being released for view by the "barflies" in the months prior to public release. I am now just one of thousands of snippet addicts. And you get to discuss the nsippet with other knowledgeable readers, and often the authors chip into the discussion.

In snippets did I discover "The Wizard of Karres". In wrath did I chastise the authors for their hubris in taking Schmitz's work and daring to make a Witch a Wizard.

Then, as I followed the snippets, I discovered the authors had done a GREAT JOB.

So, I bought the "Wizard of Karres" online in HTML format from Webscriptions. I'm proud to say I was the first to get to post onto the Bar, "MORE, PLEASE".

The Wizard follows directly on from the "Witches of Karres". It adheres to the spirit of Schmitz. Its a great read.

Recommended to anyone who likes their fanatasy with lots of sub-plots, lots of humour, and wishes that they, too, had psi powers (or klatha, in Schmitz's terms).

Ian Clark

Gladstone, QLD, Australia
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Fairportfan on September 8, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I must admit that i approached this book with some trepidation, since i am, shall we say, not particularly impressed with Eric Flint's "editing" (for want of a better word) of the rest of the James Schmitz canon, nor with Lackey's general record of not even keeping up with her *own* series' backstories (see the reviews for "Exile's Valor"), and because i didn't have any idea who Freer was.

(I have not yet gotten hold of a copy of an un-tampered-with edition "Witches of Karres" to see how extensively Flint "edited" that volume; a quick skim of the Baen version showed nothing immediately obviously egregious there, though.}

That out of the way, if this were an original story, i'd probably give it four stars, rather than the three i have -- but if it were an original story, i doubt it would have ever been published; it's a niche story, and without Scmitz's brilliant original to follow up to, the niche wouldn't exist.

As to the story itself: it falls prey to the most common problems writers of pastiche run afoul of -- first of which is often trying to put in references to everything from the original, whether the new story needs them or not. Thus we have references to tinklewood fishing poles and TotiSystem Toys, among other things. And lots and lots of vatches.

Another problem writers of pastiche may trip over is a tendency to retcons ("RETroactive CONtinuity") of the original story, explaining at length things that need no explanation, which can be particularly annoying if the retcon involves background material that wouldn't have been available to the original writer (the explanation given here of the formal name of one character from "Witches" is one such).
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