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This Crooked Way (Morlock Ambrosius, Book 2) Paperback – Illustrated, October 27, 2009
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About the Author
- Publisher : Pyr; Illustrated edition (October 27, 2009)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 413 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1591027845
- ISBN-13 : 978-1591027843
- Item Weight : 1.2 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.03 x 0.9 x 8.97 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,314,676 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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This is the second novel Mr. Enge has written about his intriguing character. He has also written short stories about Morlock in Black Gate magazine and in the anthologies The Return of the Sword and Swords and Dark Magic. Morlock Ambrosius is one of the most fascinating and fun heroes in fantasy. Simply said, I'm hooked.
Morlock is a genius. He was fostered by dwarves a couple centuries ago and he learned swordplay from the greatest master of all time. He is very proficient in most all the arcane arts, which only makes sense, because his father is none other than Merlin himself. However, Morlock's unmatched expertise is in the making of magical things. With his great engineer's mind, he meets every problem, no matter how deadly, with a cold, calculating thought process, like it's a mere mathematical riddle to be solved. He can be ruthless; an alcoholic, currently a recovered one, he threatens murder when offered a drink one time too many -- a threat he surely would've acted on. But he can also be compassionate -- showing mercy to treacherous enemies or putting himself in harm's way for a stranger.
The events that build up to the ending of This Crooked Way read much like a series of continuing short stories in the tradition of sword & sorcery tales. Many different characters tell of these adventures; some are told by friends of Morlock but more than a few by his foes. The various points of view, influenced by the terrifying stories that all have grown up hearing about The Crooked Man, only deepen the mystery of Morlock Ambrose.
These stories are as clever, witty, and darkly whimsical, as Morlock is himself. I plan to read them all and I'll also be watching closely for anything else James Enge writes.
Throughout a good part of the novel, which consists of short stories that are linked to each other, Morlock is part of an adoptive and somewhat dysfunctional family, and the interaction between them is humorous. I also like how some of the episodes are told from a different character's point of view, which pleasantly adds to the variety of concepts and imagery.
My favorite aspect of the book though, is how it vaguely reminded me of Jack Vance's "Dying Earth". Morlock, in one episode, has to chase his shoes which have been magically imbued with life and are fleeing from him, through a deadly forest, and his dialogue with a hungry and peevish dragon trapped in a pit and also a loud and stupid troll under a bridge made me laugh out loud.
I recommend the read.