Monday, August 06, 2018

Five books about wizards with ungodly power

Jenn Lyons lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband, three cats and a nearly infinite number of opinions on anything from Sumerian mythology to the correct way to make a martini. She is a video game producer by day, and spends her evenings writing epic fantasy. A long-time devotee of storytelling, she traces her geek roots back to playing first edition Dungeons & Dragons in grade school and reading her way from A to Z in the school’s library.

Her debut epic fantasy novel, The Ruin of Kings (first in the five-book Godslayer Cycle,) is scheduled for release from Tor Books in Winter, 2019.

One of Lyons's "five favorite books (or series) with wizards, witches, and sorcerers who were not at all squeamish about opening a magical can of ungodly power on their enemies, deities, and the whole world, not necessarily in that order," as shared at
Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

Truthfully you could grab almost any book by Diana Wynne Jones and probably end up with a handful of screamingly powerful (if whimsical) wizards. However, Howl’s Moving Castle (which later found a wider audience as a Hayao Miyazaki animated film), with its story of Sophie, a young hatmaker’s daughter who is cursed to be an old woman, remains my favorite. The titular Howl, along with such worthies as the Witch of the Wastes and Sophie herself, think nothing of crafting some truly awesome spells, curses, and gates between cities, countries, and indeed entire dimensions (including ours). Howl’s universe is one where you’ll have no trouble at all believing that there’s little a wizard can’t do – except keep a clean house (oh, how I relate to that one). If you loved the movie, I recommend picking up the book, since Miyazaki changed the story in several significant ways (both versions are lovely). One thing is certain: movie or book, Calcifer is the most adorable fire demon ever.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue