Caroline Stevermer
A College of Magics
Tor Books 1994

Faris Nallaneen, heir of the dukedom of Galazon (somewhere between Budapest and Istanbul), is sent to Greenlaw College in France by her uncle Brinker, who rules until she reaches her majority. The special thing about Greenlaw is that its specialty is magic, why Faris, and we, learn about the structure of the world and why Faris is the one who must save it, with a little help from her friends among the students and a lot of problems with her distant relative Menary, daughter of the king of Aravill and another student at the college, who is a witch in the word's most negative sense.

I liked this book. The blending of the historic Europe of the early 20th Century - railways, Parisian hotels, diplomatic negotiations, revolutionaries - and magic is done in a great way. Not only the magic parts have magic, but also the historical - a magic of a world long lost, like reading a Jane Austen novel. Ms Stevermer creates the warm and bright colours of a past that never was, and if it had been historically never would have had those warm and bright colours. I wouldn't say that that is what fantasy is all about, but it is certainly an important part.

As there is also a good story about saving the world, responsibility and, of course, love, I sincerely recommend this book. I enjoyed almost every minute of it. Interesting world, good story, even a good moral, what more can you expect? Maybe a couple of more books in the same world...

Karl Henriksson


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