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Erik L’Homme – Quadehar the Sorcerer

February 18, 2009

19. Quadehar the Sorcerer by Erik L’Homme (2003)
Book of the Stars, Book 1

Length: 276 pages
Genre: Young Adult (mid-grade, really) Fantasy

Started: 15 February 2009
Finished: 17 February 2009

How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 27 October 2008
Verdict? I liked it well enough that I ordered the two sequels, since I’m a completeist and my library doesn’t have them, but the whole shebang is currently on the fence as to whether I’ll keep it once I’m done.

Untrained magician
must use his wits and courage
to save his classmate.

Summary: Robin Penmarch thinks he’s a regular boy from The Lost Isle – a land that’s held halfway between our world and the Uncertain World, where dwell dark creatures and dark magic. Robin lives with his mother – his father disappeared years ago – and he’s looking forward to nothing more then spending the summer with his friends when he finds out that he has a unique aptitude for magic. He’s taken under the tutelage of Quadehar, the only sorcerer in the land who dares to face The Shadow, but Robin’s real test will come when one of his classmates is kidnapped, and he must face the dangers of the Uncertain World to rescue her.

Review: I read a lot of Young Adult and Mid-Grade fantasy. As such, any new entry into the genre has to have something really unique about it about it, something to really grab my attention – whether that’s cool characters, an interesting setting, a unique system of magic, an unexpected plot twist, something – in order for me to regard it as anything other than a okay way to pass the time. Unfortunately, Quadehar the Sorcerer didn’t have a whole lot going for it that I hadn’t already seen elsewhere. It’s interesting enough, and there’s plenty of action and adventure to move things along quickly, but I felt like the writing skewed a little bit juvenile for my tastes, and the main “secret” of the series is obvious enough that it may as well have been dressed in flashing lights and banging a gong. Overall, it’s good enough young-magician-coming-of-age fare, but “good enough” is not enough to elevate it much above “Harry-Potter-lite.” 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Recommendation: Younger (maybe 10-12ish?) and less jaded fantasy readers will probably thoroughly enjoy the action, adventure, and magic of this book, and older readers looking for a bit of brain candy will find it suitably diverting, but it doesn’t make the transition to adult readership particularly well.

This Review on LibraryThing | This Book on LibraryThing | This Book on Amazon

Other Reviews: J. Kaye’s Book Blog
Have you reviewed this book? Leave a comment with the link and I’ll add it in.

First Line: The bell signaling the end of the school day was still ringing as Robin pushed through the crowds of students thronging toward the exit.

Vocab: (see the whole list)

  • p. 57: “A giant dolmen stood on the hilltop, from which there was a magnificent view of the sea to the south and the mountains to the east.” – a structure usually regarded as a tomb, consisting of two or more large, upright stones set with a space between and capped by a horizontal stone.
4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 18, 2009 11:18 am

    Sounds interesting. I think I will wait and see how you like the next book before I commit. :-) Nice review!

  2. February 18, 2009 4:20 pm

    I hate it when I read a YA book when the author doesn’t translate well to an adult audience. They just aren’t worth my time when there are so many YA that are even better than some adult fiction.

  3. February 19, 2009 10:45 am

    Darla – Amazon says it’s waiting on my porch at the moment, so I’ll let you know. :)

    Ladytink – I wouldn’t even call this YA – it’s a little young for that. Still, some of them still work as adults, and this one just didn’t – for me, at least.

  4. February 20, 2009 6:56 am

    Well, I have been a subscriber for a while now. You’re on the blog roll now, officially!

    Best to you!


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