I finally rescued this book from my big pile of unread novels. The first novel by author Susanna Clarke, this was an exceptional read. It had been recommended to me by several people, but took me a while to get around to reading.
It is a large book and once finished, you’ll certainly feel you accomplished something. But I was a little disappointed that my foray into the authentic world that the author had created had come to an end. Filled with memorable characters and set in an alternative nineteenth century England, this is a novel I really fell into. The history of the world, especially the decline of magic use, is developed cleverly through footnotes and some of the little stories contained within those are fantastic. This is world of returning magic, and of magicians struggling to learn from the past, and of the inevitable clash of personalities and opinions that such a volatile pursuit brings about.
Highly recommend this novel and will — once the pile of unread novels is trimmed a little — seek more of the author’s work.
– Brent Knowles