[[ Free Reading ]] MadwandAuthor Roger Zelazny – Bilb-weil.de

Something I really admire about Zelazny is you can pick up his books in any order and read them without context I didnt even realize this one was a sequel until like 2/3rds of the way through Illustrations are great, plot is ridiculous, whole thing owns DO MORE DRUGS. Enjoyed the writing and the imagery, but can't give it 5 stars as I didn't really care much about the main character. Brilliant funA fast and intriguing high fantasy Wizards,dragons, and a classy villain combine with Zelaznys matchless prose to make an absorbing read The sequel to Changeling Sometimes the books are published together as Wizard World (now there's an uninspired title!).I wanted to like this book, but it falls into the category of Zelazny's railroaded protagonist books, where the hero, in spite of having considerable power (although inexperienced with it), has no idea about what's going on, and is constantly herded towards some final destination by a variety of other characters yetpowerful It gets old, as it does in the second set of Amber books The initiation scene in the middle goes on interminably, and I don't see the point of the firstperson interludes, or at least the point of making them first person Are we supposed to assume the narrator is actually the narrator of the entire story? And why does it matter? I just couldn't get entirely behind it. This book is a bit of an oddity in the Zelazny canon: a sequel to a previous novel When I read Changeling recently, I knew that there was this sequel What I didn't realize until I'd gotten to the end of this one, is that the series was intended to continue, at least for onebook I don't know why Zelazny never continued it, so what we're left with is two novels about the same character(s) Madwand is a pretty direct sequel, picking up shortly after Changeling ends Pol Detson is now the ruler of Rondoval, his ancestral castle home, and a powerful wizard He is attacked by an unknown wizard, whom he defeats, and then sets out for Belken, a site of a gathering of wizards, where he'll be initiated into the arts (Rather than learning from others, Pol's abilities have come to him naturally, without training, making him a Madwand.) He meets another wizard along the way, who agrees to sponsor Pol Much intrigue ensues, many magical battles are fought, and we find out who is out to get Pol and why In the end *spoiler alert* the main bad guy gets away and the reader is left waiting for another sequel which never came This is pretty straightforward fantasy that captures that elusive Zelazny magic much better than Changeling did The characters arefleshed out and likeable I caredwhat happened to them here (My review of Changeling says the writing is stiff and characterization and dialogue are both fairly pedestrian.) I was intrigued right off the bat this time as there are sections written in first person (most of the book, describing Pol's adventures, are in third) from the viewpoint of some type of amorphous, possibly purely energy, creature that doesn't even know what it is or what purpose it might serve All is revealed near the end, but this mystery held my interest, and felt likeof a Zelazny touch than anything in Changeling Once again, the prose is accompanied by quite a few fullpage illustrations, although despite what the book jacket (and Goodreads) says, they are not by Estaban Maroto this time around, but an artist named Judy King Rieniets While not one of Zelazny's best novels, it's certainly not his worst, and an improvement from the previous novel in the series, Changeling. This is nominally a sequel to “Changeling” but is better thought of as a reboot In “Changeling”, Pol is an extremely powerful wizard, and quite possibly the only wizard in the world: at the very least, the only other wizards we meet in the book are members of his family “Madwand”, on the other hand, opens with a strange wizard appearing from nowhere and almost killing Pol, who is saved only by the intervention of one of the mysterious figurines that are also in some way wizards that never really seemed to fit into the first book This means, though nothing is ever said, that the titanic collision of science and magic that was the centerpiece of “Changeling” may not have been quite so earthshakingly important after all, as none of the many powerful wizards we are to meet in “Madwand” could be bothered to show up and defend magic against its technological opponent Which is fine, as that whole plot never really made much sense, and was overly rigid and schematic (However, the quest that Pol goes in to retrieve his father’s scepter is now a pretty significant plot hole: apparently, none of the many wizards in the world were interested in picking up this quite powerful item.) Instead, Pol has a new identity as a powerful but untrained wizard, who goes off to meet some fellow wizards and gets caught up in a yearsold plot the ramifications of which he never really understands And neither, frankly, does the reader: if “Changeling” suffered from an overly structured plot, “Madwand” could use a bitstructure, with the ending in particular leaving loose ends dangling everywhere (Maybe Zelazny was planning a sequel to tie everything together, but if so he never wrote it.) Instead, the book seemslike a looselyconnected series of experiments on Zelazny’s part: the firstperson narration by the demon who begins the book not even knowing that it is a demon, the phantasmagorical interludes in the the other world, and the magical battles in which Pol is basically figuring it out as he goes along could easily have come from three different books As these are all enjoyable enough, even if the plot doesn’t so much as connect them as get the reader from one to the next, and Pol himself is basically a standardissue Zelazny hero in this book — laconic, stubborn, independentminded, cracking wise on a regular basis — it ends up beingreadable than “Changeling”, but it’s still definitely not Zelazny’s best work. I love a certain something about fantasy written by guys who cut their teeth on hardboiled pulp There's something low and comforting in their high fantasy Whether it's Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser or Zelazny's own Amber series maybe it's something in the tone You aren't so much transported to an alien world There's a familiarity in the way men speak to one another, over drinks and cigarettes, that even if they are universebending Princes, they still seem like just some guys you'd meet on a train or in a dive bar Or even if they are worlddestroying sorcerers.Madwand is apparently a sequel I didn't know this until I saw the back flap of the dust jacket I picked it up at a used bookstore as it was Zelazny, and something I'd never heard of But really, it read just fine without knowing that.The story's ok It goes into that kind of dreamlike world of magic that seems mostly like an acid trip and you don't really understand it too much As most Zelazny, the joy is in having fantastic creatures perform verbal repartee between one another, and there's plenty of that here, including a humorous inner dialogue of a silent witness to much of the plot.Sorcerer duels don't translate as interestingly to text as sword duels but Zelazny writes them as well as can be There are definitely some satisfying twists here and there as well But all in all, I view it as an interesting art piece A lot to take in but after you're no longer looking at it, not that much to retain and think about. this gets interesting but not really great a story of a natural self taught wizard called a madwand his training his initiation as a full wizard capture and ultimate battle the stories not terrible just not set up as to why we should care, the side quest with the demons not bad though probably would have enjoyed itif i had read the previous book first. Zelazny’s fantasy books almost always offer something to separate them from pure fantasy: Jack of Shadows gave us a swordandsorcery thief living on a nonrotating planet whose dark side bred magic and light side fostered technology; The Amber Series introduced us to a scheming family with the ability to pass through universes of all sorts, be they primitive and marvelous or developed and scientific And then there’s Lord of Light, which, while generally considered a SF novel, definitely has elements of fantasy to it.Changeling, the book preceding Madwand in this unfinished trilogy, is somewhat similar to Jack of Shadows in its meeting of scientific and magical worlds But Madwand is something of a Zelazny anomaly (Zelnomalzy?) in that it’s pretty much a straightup fantasy book with plenty of the old tropes and cliches: you’ve got a thief named after a rodent, a wizard born into a strange and powerful destiny, a classic struggle between good and evil, and, of course, dragons.In a way, this may seem to make Madwand a subpar effort from Zelazny But he’s still got a few traits that set his book apart from the rest of the overdone fantasy stories out there: intrigue and imagination.Yes, I know, these are two things that most fantasy books have to some degree But Zelazny’s version of these classic characteristics, I feel, puts him ahead of the crowd.As far as intrigue goes, it’s always fun to see how skillfully Zelazny planned things out in advance He’s got a lot of different moving parts to his stories, and they always seem to fit together in just the right way at just the right time.And the imagination, well—let’s just say that there are plenty of ways to do a sorcerous duel, but few are going to be as interesting as the ones in Madwand Mind you, I did feel that the fights went a little too long in some cases, but I still had to respect the amount of thought that went into the magical system here It’s a beautiful, visually stimulating thing when protagonist Pol Detson finds himself locking horns with his various antagonists.As far as Zelazny books go, this isn’t one of his best—I’d much rather have the variety and tropedodging found in some of his other works But I did still enjoy Madwand, and I’m saddened the author never got around to finishing the trilogy; I’d have liked to have seen where things went from here. Pol Detson, son of Lord Det of Rondoval, has come home He is now a powerful sorceror of unsurpassed natural abilityin a world where the power of magic is the only kind that matters But Pol is still an untrained talent, a 'MADWAND' To take control of his powers, to rule in his father's place, he must survive arduous training and a fantastic initiation into the rites of sorcery As friends, Pol has one dragon and one thief As enemies he has the most powerful wizards of the land And at least one of them wants him dead