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When the Saints (The Brothers Magnus) Hardcover – November 22, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
Book 2 of 3 in the Brothers Magnus Series

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Editorial Reviews


“A love triangle…mixes explosively with politics and war in a stimulating adventure grounded by deft characterizations and a vivid historical setting…a stimulating new series.” ―Publishers Weekly (starred review) on Speak to the Devil

“Duncan doesn't disappoint with another extraordinary tale of magic, mayhem and family relationships. With great storytelling, standout world-building, compelling characters, and a quick-paced plot, this inventive fantasy will have you clamoring for book two.” ―RT Book Reviews (4½ stars; TOP PICK!) on Speak to the Devil

About the Author

Originally from Scotland, Dave Duncan has lived all his adult life in western Canada, having enjoyed a long career as a petroleum geologist before taking up writing. Since discovering that inventing imaginary worlds is more satisfying than poking holes in the real one, he has published more than forty novels, mostly in the fantasy genre, but also in young adult, science fiction, and historical. He has at times written as Sarah B. Franklin and Ken Hood. He and his wife, Janet, have one son and two daughters.


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Product Details

  • Series: The Brothers Magnus (Book 2)
  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; First Edition edition (November 22, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765323486
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765323484
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.1 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,678,889 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The good, M. Duncan seems to lob three or four books a year at us--and each and every one of them exceeds the last. One has to wonder if his editors have gotten better or if one can still keep up that kind of pace and cram out near-perfect gems of Hardcover, 1st Edition Fun.

In short, I have loved this fellow's writing for a lot of books. I think I have somewhere around 45 of the darned things (got to buy more bookcases again soon.)

Here's what Duncan is not: *A Vance-Style Wordsmith; *A Heinlein-Style Storyteller; *A Rothfuss-Style World-Framer; A Modesitt-Style Builder of Socio-Economic Universes; or *A Rowling-Style Character Builder.

Here's what he is: A World-Builder Without Peer. His worlds fit and finish are just enough to let your brain fill in the gaps. His content varies wildly from Sword to Magic to Political Intrigues with mystery galore.

He's likeable as an author and that goes a long way toward making a book worth reading.

This series is a joy.

Read it. Then read more. Go back to the Magic Casement series and work forward. It'll be a blast. I do it regularly. He's on my constant five-year reread run.
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Format: Kindle Edition
When the Saints (2011) is the second Fantasy novel in the Brothers Magnus series, following Speak to the Devil. In the previous volume, Anton had gotten Wulf to help him make a very dangerous double jump over a stream to impress the girls. A few days later, he is rousted from the bed of a Baroness and taken to Cardinal Zdenek. The first minister has a problem.

The Pomeranians are marching over the border guarded by Castle Gallant. Both the count and his heir Petr have been slain by sorcery and the widow Edita has been laid low by melancholia. Madlenka has sent a message to the King asking for help.

Zdenek gives Anton a warrant making him an Earl of the Realm and Keeper of Castle Gallant and gives him other honors, including the hand of Madlenka. He wants him to travel to Castle Gallant to take charge as soon as possible. Anton agrees, but states that he wants to take Wulf with him.

Anton returns to his quarters and informs Wulf of the circumstances. Of course, he needs his Speaker brother to get him there in time. Wulf agrees, but insists that it will be the last time.

They ride through town and gradually fade into limbo. They and their horses ride through other people and even trees and buildings. They find themselves riding above land and water.

In this novel, Ottokar Magnus is the eldest of five brothers. He is a large man and a veteran soldier. Otto became the Baron when his father died.

Vladislav Magnus is the second oldest brother. He is even larger than Otto. Vlad is being held for ransom by the Bavarians.

Marek Magnus is the third brother.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There is no bogging down in a Dave Duncan book. You don't wallow around in unnecessary conversations, or go strolling through a garden while a character hems and haws and ultimately does nothing to advance the plot. Dave Duncan books are sleek, have action at every turn, and slow the pace only to up the intrigue. Situations occur, they happen rapidly and throw the reader on the page-turning equivalent of a thrill ride. "When the Saints" is no exception to the Dave Duncan rule. A powerful novel that explodes with fantastic ideas and such a well thought out world that you don't question it for a second. Duncan has created quite a few unique twists on how magic works (most authors can't even cobble together one, much less multiple), and this one comes off as solid as any of his others and is most central to the plot.

This book focuses on Speaker (magic wielder of unspoken granted "miracles") Magnus brother Wulfgang and the miracles he performs to protect family, his brother's new kingdom, and his romantic interest (who turns out to be a wildfire filly with quite the spine). Whether these miracles are God sent or granted from Satan, is up for debate, thus embroiling Wulfgang in the middle of squabbling religions, rulers and the code of the Speakers. What a tangled web Wulfgang weaves with the slightest of touch. This is a fascinating world and Wulfgang himself has the brashness and quick intelligence reminiscent of many of the Blades from his King's Blades series. There were a couple of points during the book that I practically had to pinch myself and ponder the question "could it possibly be THIS good?" Yes it is. One of the finer works of fiction I have had the pleasure of reading in the past couple of years.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Dave Duncan is at the very top of my must read list of authors. Most of his books I have read second and third times. Every story he has published has been excellent, and this latest is no exception. It seems such a shame that his work doesn't get the recognition that it deserves. He is a masterful storyteller, constructs engaging characters and fascinating worlds, and always crafts a tale that draws me in. Others may disagree, but I get the feeling that his books would be among the most popular of the genre if only more folks were exposed to them.

Since this is an endorsement for the second book in a series folks reading this will have already read the first. If you liked it I can almost guarantee you will like this one as well. If you are new to Dave Duncan I encourage you to take a chance. And if you like this series please read his other books. You will not be disappointed.
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