(1996) Andrew Harman, Legend, £4.99, pp296, pbk. ISBN: 0 098 949901 0
Magic is the name of the game here. More precisely thaumic energy the driving force of magic. Quintzi a talentless seer has none; Hogshead the trainee mage wants more and Ellis Dee has found the ultimate magic mushroom. These characters and many more go tearing around the countryside in search of whatever they are in search of leaving destruction and chaos behind.
I have always been dubious of books that tell me they are funny; particularly so when they tell me on the front and the back. So I sat down to this one expecting around three hundred pages of barely humorous drivel like so many before, but I was disappointed. I found it very amusing and so will you if you can see the humour in Python and can appreciate a sideways glance at fantasy not to mention a humorous approach to industrial relations and the dangers of capitalism. Unfortunately this means that this book may suffer the same fate as Python of being difficult to translate and as such can only be recommended to our British readers and Americans in possession of a sense of humour as long as they know who Skargill is.
[Editor's note: Arthur Scargill is the (charismatic(?) and vocal) UK coal miners trade union leader who led an all out strike which was ultimately squashed by Margaret Thatcher whose government went on to close down many mines and to privatise the remainder. Today Britain has cheaper energy but is more reliant on energy imports and North Sea gas, the resource lifetime of which is just a few years compared to British coal's hundreds of years.]
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