The Complete Compleat Enchanter
Reviewed date: 2004 Jun 28
The Complete Compleat Enchanter is a collection of five fantasy novellas by L. Sprague de Camp.
- The Roaring Trumpet
- The Mathematics of Magic
- The Castle of Iron
- The Wall of Serpents
- The Green Magician
Imagine university professors discovering that by chanting symbolic logic they can move to parallel universes where magic is a reality. Now imagine that these professors--having never used magic before--travel to strange fantasy worlds as powerful sorcerers, cowing the natives with their command of magic and knowledge of modern fencing technique. Ah yes, the wonders of the educated mind! To think that a sheltered academician, schooled only in books and theory, can instantly and perfectly translate that theory into practice, to become--by virtue of having studied it in a book--a skilled craftsman, woodsman, swordsman, and poet. Yes, this adventure can be yours--if you can stomach it.
The stories in The Complete Compleat Enchanter are mildly entertaining; they were written for the early fantasy magazines, and their age shows. Fairy tale plots, underdeveloped characters, stereotypical villains. It's all here. See Professor Harold Shea take on the Norse Gods, the knights and sorcerors of Faerie, the Muslims and the Crusaders! See him outsmart the heroes of Finnish mythology and of Irish legend! Or, on second though, read a good book instead.