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Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all it is still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
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The Knight: Book One of The Wizard Knight Paperback – December 23, 2004

3.8 out of 5 stars 133 customer reviews
Book 1 of 2 in the Wizard Knight Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Nebula and World Fantasy awards-winner Wolfe's new novel-the first half of a massive epic-is a reminder that no one gets called a great writer without being first of all a great storyteller. This wonderful story is narrated by a teenage boy who wanders into a universe of interlocking magical realms. Transformed into a powerful man by an elf queen, he first calls himself a knight, Sir Able of the High Heart, then begins growing into that role. Wolfe doesn't just rearrange the cliches of sword and sorcery fiction; he recreates the genre. Sorcerous knowledge is important to Sir Able's survival, but muscle and steel count for a lot too, while sympathetic curiosity and self-awareness may be even more crucial. Though beautifully told, the novel is not exactly Wolfe Lite; much of the plot underlying the action remains obscure. Able realizes that there's a lot he doesn't comprehend, some of it because knowledge was stolen from him. He must gain (or regain) understanding of the worlds around him and of himself. In this respect, Wolfe's tale somewhat resembles the quest in David Lindsay's visionary masterpiece, A Voyage to Arcturus. Whatever its literary antecedents or its ultimate destination, however, this is a compelling, breathtaking achievement.
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 Bookmarks Magazine

Critics can't wait for The Wizard, the promised sequel to The Knight. The award-winning Wolfe has written many fantasy books, but this one, full of imagination and panache, is among his best. The story starts with a convincing if unreliable narrator--after all, the protagonist is a boy in a man's body, and can't, to humorous ends, discern motives. At times, Wolfe's foreshadowing may confuse the reader, and the form--a long letter penned to Ben--might not please traditional fantasy fans. Luckily, short, adventure-filled chapters capture the reader's attention. Wolfe, the Washington Post concludes, "not only entertains, he invests his work with a complexity and trickiness that place him among the most important American novelists of our time." To be continued.

Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Series: The Wizard Knight (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (January 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765313480
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765313485
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (133 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,115,888 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a fantasy fan, but one of my complaints about the genre is that what you find usually borders on two extremes. Either a novel is utterly derivative and full of cliche, shoddy writing, and the exact same plot filled with different names, or it is so high minded and literary that it is barely understandable. You either get "cheap thrills" (Robert Jordan) or art house fantasy (China Mieville). You rarely get the novel that is well written and truly enjoyable. But when you do get it (a la George RR Martin,) You get something special.

The Knight is that something special. With The Knight Gene Wolfe has finally taken all his talent, skill, and potential, and he has given us an accesible novel that is brilliantly done. The whole key to this hinges on the protagonist. Able is a young teenage boy who finds himself with the body of a true warrior. Able is a likeable hero with all the flaws of a teenage boy, yet at the same time he is basically a good kid. The story of Able's quest to be a Knight is well written, endearing, and filled with timeless value. It trancends being a story about Able and becomes a story about honor.

You have a strong main character. There are strong side characters. The pacing of the plot is brisk and moves at a nice clip. There are moments of humor and moments of horror. But throught it all Able's determintation to be a noble knight stands as the center of a great story.

There are some quibbles. You end the book still not really knowing why any of this has happened. There are far too many questions left unanswered. But this is classic Wolfe and this is what second volumes are for.

All in all a tremendous novel. If you are a fan of fantasy you need to read this book. Wolfe proves that talent makes the tale and sometimes the old stories are the ones worth reading (and writing.) Outstanding.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This may seem hardly surprising, given my well-documented worship of Wolfe's oeuvre, but the truth is that my expectations had been lower than usual this time around because I honestly wasn't sure about the choice of subject matter. Consider: the book follows a young teenage boy from present-day America who wanders into the woods and emerges in a strange mystical otherworld, and after being enchanted by a fairy queen is transformed into a adult man of Schwarzenegger-like proportions. Upon reading the synopsis, I wondered if THE KNIGHT would be the book that heralded the decline of Wolfe's powers. But that was silly of me, and I should have had more faith, because I can now say with almost perfect certainty that THE KNIGHT is not going to be at all what you'd expect.
The book reuses a lot of Wolfe's favorite tropes, especially the trick of the unreliable narrator and the picaresque narrative structure. In THE BOOK OF THE NEW SUN, Severian had perfect memory but lied to the reader to make himself sound better. In SOLDIER OF THE MIST, Latro tried to be honest with the reader but was cursed by Hera to forget everything that happened more than twelve hours previous. Here in THE KNIGHT, the narrator, who assumes the knightly name Sir Able of the High Heart long before he's earned a claim to the title, is unreliable because he has the mind of a pubescent boy and doesn't always know what's going on around him.
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Format: Hardcover
I'll start off this review by saying I'm biased, Wolfe is my favorite writer and his Book of the New Sun is my all time favorite novel. This is typically good Gene Wolfe. If you like Wolfe, don't even bother reading the reviews, just go get it. If your one of those people who isn't sure they will like his work or felt his work was overly complicated in the past, this is a good place to start. Wolfe's language is cleaner and easier to read then the Sun Novels, and I tend to feel it reads and plots more like the Soldier Novels. Wolfe makes use of an unreliable narrator as he does often; I personally find unreliable narrators can really make a story. However, I find that sometimes readers struggle with this concept, that not everything the narrator is saying is entirely the truth or the whole story. The amount of fantasy that piles into the bookstores that resemble something of a soup opera than a harrowing tale staggers my mind. The theme of a knight in a fantasy world is surely not a new concept, but execution is the key. I think execution is where this book really shines; Wolfe takes the typical and makes it Fresh. The only flaw is that now I have to wait for the follow up. Write Faster Gene Wolfe!!!
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Format: Hardcover
I read my first Gene Wolfe novel almost a year and a half ago. The collected (book club) edition of "Book of the New Sun" had sat collecting dust on my shelves for at least a year before I ever picked it up. I had been looking for new novel or series of novels to read after being disappointed with the newest release of one of the pulp-fiction fantasy epics that seem to be all too common these days. After reading the first page of New Sun, I knew I was hooked. I subsequently read all of Wolfe's Briah Cycle, and started going through his other novels and stories. I was therefore extremely excited when I first heard about Wolfe's new Wizard Knight series.
"The Knight" is suffused with the depth, intelligence, and originality that has come to characterize all of Wolfe's work. The device of plucking someone from modern times and setting them in a strange medieval world has been used since before fantasy and science-fiction were even recognized sub-genres of fiction. In many authors' hands, this device can be ineffectual and tedious. But the style and grace with which Wolfe handles his story make it rise above what would be expected from any other author. While "The Knight" is certainly more straightfoward and accessible than Wolfe's Sun or Latro books, it is still full of his signature enigmas, misdirection, and revelations.
Looking across the breadth of modern fantasy today (especially epic fantasy), it becomes clear that most fantasy novels are suffering from the inbreeding that has resulted from too few new ideas being introduced and far too many old ideas being recycled and respun. Most fantasy authors are either unconciously retreading the path that Tolkien forged or conciously afraid to deviate too far from it.
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