Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell

Posted: November 14, 2011 in Book Review

Jonathan Strange and Mr NorrellJonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book makes magic so plausible that it’s…well it’s scary. In the tradition of Tim Powers, Clarke does not hold back and try to show us a Hogwarts brand of magic…but rather the real deal. As a sort of foil, it shows how power distorts and misshapes those who use it, and ultimately how it destroys their world. As I say, it makes magic real, and takes for granted that the reader will too. I say that to imply that this book may not be for everyone…teens or those still looking for some final solution to chaos in our world. I believe there is real magic in the world…and that it comes from the One whose very words hold our universe (and all things) in place.  But to those sick of seeing magic and magical creatures, dark or otherwise, glorified and transmorgrified (good is bad and bad is’s all in the user. Are there really any good vampires?) this will be a refreshingly “honest” approach to what might happen were we to try and wrest control from the supernatural and use it in the here-and-now.

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