The fifth book in the Megan Lindholm (Robin Hobb) backlist.
Seattle: a place as magical as the Emerald City. Subtle magic seeps through the cracks in the paving stones of the sprawling metropolis.
But only the inhabitants who possess special gifts are open to the city's consciousness; finding portents in the graffiti, reading messages in the rubbish or listening to warnings in the skipping-rope chants of children.
Wizard is bound to Seattle and her magic. His gift is the Knowing - a powerful enchantment allowing him to know the truth of things; to hear the life-stories of ancient mummies locked behind glass cabinets, to receive true fortunes from the carnival machines, to reveal to ordinary people the answers to their troubles and to safeguard the city's equilibrium.
The magic has its price; Wizard must never have more than a dollar in his pocket, must remain celibate, and he must feed and protect the pigeons.
But a threat to Seattle has begun to emerge in the portents. A malevolent force born of Wizard's forgotten past has returned to prey upon his power and taunt him with images of his obscure history; and he is the only wizard in Seattle who can face the evil and save the city, his friends and himself.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 304 pages, 16 illustrations
- Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
- Publication Date: 05/08/2002
- Category: Fantasy
- ISBN: 9780007112562
Showing 1 - 5 of 5 reviews.
Review by Maaike15274
Beautiful and poetic, yet difficult to read. The story reads slowly and because I did not have much time to read on the train it was difficult to get into the story. Probably not a good choice for public transport reading...Still, the story and the characters stay with you and I still have all kinds of question. Who is Wizard really? Is he Wizard, or a a confused veteran with PTSS and a psychosis? Was Lindholm inspired by the homeless men on the streets of American big cities, or the story of one unfortunate soul? Urban fantasy, yes, but not the typical one! And a story that leaves a deep sadness within you. Which remembers me of Cloven Hooves, which also left me a little sad but also moved..
Review by shanaqui
Not up to the standard of her later books, but interesting and absorbing all the same. I remember loving the feel of the city.
Review by LemurKat
I picked up this book because not only was it cheap, but I am a HUGE Robin Hobb fan and it sounded intriguing. Whilst an enjoyable, and often entertaining, read, it did pale in comparison to her other works. It just lacked in something, although I cannot say what that "something" might have been. Still, if you like Urban Wizardry and stories about street people, this makes for an appealing read, interjected with enough dry humour to keep even the more discerning reader content.<br/><br/>It is the story of Wizard - a young(ish) man living on the streets of the emerald city, Seattle. A young man with strange and mysterious powers provided, of course, he takes care of the pigeons. Living on the streets is not easy, but Wizard knows all the tricks - all the ways to blend in and get himself a moderately decent meal. That is until the ill-fated day he enters a particular diner, and helps himself to the remnants of another man's meal. Now, suddenly, he's got a waitress on his tail, clamouring for his attention and doing her very best to twist him away from his Wizardry vows. If that wasn't bad enough, there's a dark shadow stalking him - the mysterious, and deadly, Mir. In the face of his crumbling resolve, is he strong enough to fight? Or will he lose it all, and become nothing more then a bum lying in the gutter?
Review by zjakkelien
I actually didn't finish this book. I was all excited about it after reading <b>Alien earth</b>. I really loved that one, and the blurb of <b>Wizard of the pigeons</b> sounded good. However, I didn't like the writing: way too long descriptions of street scenes in Seattle and of rooms and so on. I suppose it is meant as a way to create atmosphere, but it didn't work for me. On top of that, the story is vague. I don't mind if not everything is clear straight away, but I don't like it if I can't get a grip on the story. For instance, Guy Gavriel Kay usually doesn't reveal everything immediately, but at least you know what it is you don't know. In the case of <b>Wizard of the pigeons</b>, the whole thing is vague. Every now and then there was a nice page, for instance when Wizard helps someone, but then there were whole pages that I couldn't but read diagonally. Then the evil comes into view. And it is... a vague greyness. Great, more vagueness and an unexplained evil. By this time, I was getting enough and was wondering whether to continue. So I came here and read a few reviews, and I came upon one with spoilers, explaining what the story was about. Apparently, <spoiler>this is not really fantasy, but a guy gone crazy.</spoiler> What a disappointment! I hate that type of storyline. So that was that. I'm definitely not finishing this book.
Review by ScoLgo
As I was reading this book I was reminded time and again of Jo Walton's <i>Among Others</i>. The parallels are quite pronounced in that both books feature a damaged protagonist and a narrative that might be real or might just be the unreliable world-view of the main character. Additionally, both books feature some truly wonderful writing. The details of each story are quite different but the underlying exploration of reality juxtaposed with fantasy is where we find many similarities.<br/><br/>If you have read and enjoyed either of these books, I heartily recommend checking out the other one as well.<br/><br/>(Incidentally, Megan Lindholm also writes under the pseudonym of Robin Hobb)