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The Compleat Enchanter ✯ [BOOKS] ⚣ The Compleat Enchanter By L. Sprague de Camp ✼ – Thomashillier.co.uk The Mathematics of Magic was probably the greatest discovery of the ages at least Professor Harold Shea thought so With the proper equations, he could instantly transport himself back in time to all t The Mathematics of Magic was probably the greatest discovery of the ages at least Professor Harold Shea thought so With the proper equations, he could instantly transport himself back in time to all the wondrous lands of ancient legend But slips in time were a hazard, and Shea s magic did not always work at least, not quite as he expected The Compleat PDF/EPUB or This omnibus volume contains three episodes of the Magical Misadventures of Harold Shea The Castle of Iron , novel The Mathematics of Magic , novella The Roaring Trumpet , novella The stories in this omnibus were previously published as two books The Incomplete Enchanter and The Castle of Iron.

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • 432 pages
  • The Compleat Enchanter
  • L. Sprague de Camp
  • English
  • 06 June 2019
  • 0345289293

About the Author: L. Sprague de Camp

Lyon Sprague de Camp, Pseudonym Lyman R Lyon was an American science fiction and fantasy author and biographer In a writing career spanning fifty years he wrote over one hundred books, including novels and notable works of nonfiction, such as biographies of other important fantasy authors He was widely regarded as an imaginative and innovative writer and was an important figure The Compleat PDF/EPUB or in the heyday of science fiction, from the late s through the late s.



10 thoughts on “The Compleat Enchanter

  1. Shannon Shannon says:

    Remember that Sprague and Pratt wrote this before LORD OF THE RINGS and only a few years after the hobbit There weren t as many fantasy books to draw upon either.Great system they set up for how magic works through mathematical formulas Not too confusing either for people like me who don t care for math either.The book is divided into three books that cover different mythologies the first being Norse where Harold Shea, our hero, gets to meet some of the Norse Gods as they travel in to giant t Remember that Sprague and Pratt wrote this before LORD OF THE RINGS and only a few years after the hobbit There weren t as many fantasy books to draw upon either.Great system they set up for how magic works through mathematical formulas Not too confusing either for people like me who don t care for math either.The book is divided into three books that cover different mythologies the first being Norse where Harold Shea, our hero, gets to meet some of the Norse Gods as they travel in to giant territory second being in Spenser s THE FAERIE QUEEN where he gets to meet his future love interest and THE CASTLE OF IRON which if based on an old epic poem that wasn t finished.This book mixes humor, action and clever tactics Shea isn t the big bruiser type although he carries an epee and knows fencing which lets him beat a lot of people He also is smart in that where the big bruisers with him find they can t get out of a jam, he s there to outthink his opponents Oh, and, of course, he also knows magic but sometimes that messes up or does things differently.For its time and even today, a great book for fantasy fans Alternative History buffs should also check out LEST DARKNESS FALL a history professor helps Rome from not collapsingsort of, that is Gary Gygax s works introduced me to this author.STORY PLOTTING B plus CHARACTERS DIALOGUE B plus to A minus CONCEPT EXECUTION IDEAS B plus to A minus LAST READING March 2001 review revised March 2012 OVERALL GRADE B plus to A minus

  2. Printable Tire Printable Tire says:

    The first story, The Roaring Trumpet, ends rather abruptly, with everyman hero Shea essentially being ejected from the Norse Saga like a flushed turd Both character and concept get a makeover in The Mathematics of Magic whereas Shea was initially the source of hapless comic relief, here a bumbling old man scientist sidekick type in the form of Doc Chalmers fills in that role, leaving Shea to become arespectable wisecracking hero The story itself makes Elizabethan poetry seem downr The first story, The Roaring Trumpet, ends rather abruptly, with everyman hero Shea essentially being ejected from the Norse Saga like a flushed turd Both character and concept get a makeover in The Mathematics of Magic whereas Shea was initially the source of hapless comic relief, here a bumbling old man scientist sidekick type in the form of Doc Chalmers fills in that role, leaving Shea to become arespectable wisecracking hero The story itself makes Elizabethan poetry seem downright exciting, as is evident in the fact that Gary Gygax lifted creatures and magic concepts and even something akin to random encounters from it for Dungeons Dragons This is also my favorite story as it s the one with the funniest bits, such as when Shea embarrasses the Blatant Beast into submission by reciting the words to The Ballad of Eskimo Nell Speaking of which, there sure are some racy bits in these stories, considering the years they were published I was less of a fan of The Castle of Iron, which runs a little too long, with a meandering plot, too many characters, stagnant points when one wishes the characters would get to where they were heading already, and a silly parody of Muslim speak that s immediately embarrassing and tiresome In the Roaring Trumpet the concept of enchantment the so called mathematics of magic, though math really doesn t have much to do with it is introduced in an organic, fascinating way, and I wish future stories reflectedon literally the one thing that separates the Enchanter stories from similar genre yarns of the period I guess there s enough bad verse already, though Similarly undeveloped is Shea s psychologist profession, which he doesn t seem to give a shit about Why not, then, making him a mathematician Or a veterinarian, for all that it matters But these are hardly set up to be reflective, deep thinkin literature all the men are horn dogs and the plots are as subtle as a Bob Hope road to movie In fact, despite their faults, the Enchanter tales are still scores better than most similar stories from the period because of their irreverent sense of humor Nobody takes anything too seriously so why should you Also I think I m in love with Belphebe, the skilled and somewhat stoic archer survivalist Shea ends up marrying Fun fact L Ron Hubbard tried to kill off Shea haphazardly in one of his novels.My copy comes from the book nook of a Gainesville Inn taken in happier times

  3. Metaphorosis Metaphorosis says:

    reviews.metaphorosis.com 3 starsBored psychologist Harold Shea draws on his mentor s work to transfer bodily to the world of Norse mythology, and later to other lands, posing most often as a sorceror, with exciting consequences.Collecting a series of stories mostly written for magazines in the 1940s, I liked this book better the first time I read it The first story is best, and the second is good, though the authors ran out of either time or energy and finished in a rush The last story in the reviews.metaphorosis.com 3 starsBored psychologist Harold Shea draws on his mentor s work to transfer bodily to the world of Norse mythology, and later to other lands, posing most often as a sorceror, with exciting consequences.Collecting a series of stories mostly written for magazines in the 1940s, I liked this book better the first time I read it The first story is best, and the second is good, though the authors ran out of either time or energy and finished in a rush The last story in the series is weak, and so full of stereotype that it verges on unintentional and unpleasant parody In all the stories, the science is nothan a few mumbled buzzwords that provide an excuse for a set of Connecticut Yankee type episodes, though not as well thought out as Twain s effort The stories are mostly fun, but they haven t aged very well If you remember liking these, stick with that memory If you haven t read them, these won t hurt, but some of De Camp s solo work might provide a better payoff.By the way the first two stories in the book were published as The Incomplete Enchanter, thus the title here of The Complete Enchanter But there are in fact twostories, in another book, sometimes called The Enchanter Completed Confusing, but basically there are five long stories in the set Which one publisher gathered as The Compleat Enchanter Completed

  4. Thannasset Thannasset says:

    What I learned from this book Yngvi is a louse Was looking for this in my brain couldn t remember title Thanks again, Dan.Thannasset

  5. Brian Greiner Brian Greiner says:

    This is a fun read, overall, but not without its flaws.As other reviewers have noted, the premise of dealing with magic is very well thought out The various magical realms are based on legends, and are the authors have an extensive knowledge of them That knowledge, and their considerable writing skills, allows the authors to craft an enjoyable adventure yarn within a richly written realm.The characters, though, tend to be unsympathetic and rather shallow Such things were common enough when th This is a fun read, overall, but not without its flaws.As other reviewers have noted, the premise of dealing with magic is very well thought out The various magical realms are based on legends, and are the authors have an extensive knowledge of them That knowledge, and their considerable writing skills, allows the authors to craft an enjoyable adventure yarn within a richly written realm.The characters, though, tend to be unsympathetic and rather shallow Such things were common enough when the stories were written 1940 s and 50 s , but are a bit grating these days In summary, nicely done stories that are a product of their era

  6. Stephen Stephen says:

    I picked this book up on the recommendation of Lester del Rey in his The World of Science Fiction, 1926 1976 The History of a Subculture reviewed here , and having greatly enjoyed de Camp s short story A Gun For Dinosaur as performed on the X Minus One radio show in the late 1950s Unfortunately, in marked contrast with that story, I don t think The Compleat Enchanter holds up that well in 2016.The premise is amusing enough a research psychiatrist because it s the 1950s, and psychiatry I picked this book up on the recommendation of Lester del Rey in his The World of Science Fiction, 1926 1976 The History of a Subculture reviewed here , and having greatly enjoyed de Camp s short story A Gun For Dinosaur as performed on the X Minus One radio show in the late 1950s Unfortunately, in marked contrast with that story, I don t think The Compleat Enchanter holds up that well in 2016.The premise is amusing enough a research psychiatrist because it s the 1950s, and psychiatry is hot shit discovers that one can translate oneself to parallel worlds by reciting alternative logical formulae, such as the laws describing how magic works like affects like, etc The Compleat Enchanter follows Harold Shea as he bounces between worlds from Earth s mythical and literary history, interacting with the characters therein first as he accidentally winds up in the world of Norse mythology on the eve of Ragnarok, second in the world of Spenser s The Faerie Queene, and third in the world of Ariosto s Orlando Furioso.And that s about the right decreasing order of quality Shea s adventure in Asgard is actually pretty fun, mostly because of the incongruity between a brash 1950s guy and the heroic characters of Norse myth, and Shea s discovery of how magic works The key humorous element of the stories is that magic works, but not very reliably if you scrounge up the right materials and chant some doggerel poetry, supernatural effects happen, but maybe at 1 10th or 100 times the desired effect.I suspect there are other elements that are intended to be humorous, but let s just say that the stories are pretty relentlessly 1950s Shea and, in the third story, the seemingly pointless character of Polacek speak in a to my 2016 ears ridiculous style, giving the whole thing an almost too pulpy feeling This might have been the point, but the high contrast was probably funnier back in the day when pulp style hasn t been mocked with and without irony for the past half century.The other thing is that Shea and Polacekso never seem to get that the worlds they travel to are consequential, even as those worlds continuously demonstrate that they are This comes to a head in the third book again with Polacek , where the characters from Earth are held hostage in the castle of a Muslim sorcerer no matter the situation, Shea and Polacek blunder around saying What s the big idea and casually challenging people to fights or just threatening them with knuckle sandwiches Again, maybe that s supposed to be funny, and maybe it was back inf the Fifties, but to me it s just dumb.For all that, I liked the book well enough there were some pretty cool moments and enough amusing scenes especially when magic is involved to keep my interest But I think the premise has been done better by later authors, in both humorous and straight contexts Overall I would recommend this mostly for its historical value

  7. Michael O& Michael O& says:

    The Compleat Enchanter collects five novellas following the magical misadventures of psychologist Harold Shea, who discovers that by a combination of thinking in terms of symbolic logic, chanting poetic spells and performing magical hand movements, he can physically transport himself into the worlds of myth and legend, where magic is a reality Unfortunately, Harold has not quite mastered his new found magical powers and trouble ensues.The five novellas, The Roaring Trumpet , The Mathematics of The Compleat Enchanter collects five novellas following the magical misadventures of psychologist Harold Shea, who discovers that by a combination of thinking in terms of symbolic logic, chanting poetic spells and performing magical hand movements, he can physically transport himself into the worlds of myth and legend, where magic is a reality Unfortunately, Harold has not quite mastered his new found magical powers and trouble ensues.The five novellas, The Roaring Trumpet , The Mathematics of Magic , The Castle of Iron , The Wall of Serpents and The Green Magician , find Harold transported to the worlds of Norse legend, Edmund Spencer s The Faerie Queene, Ludovico Ariosto s Orlando Furioso, the Finnish legend of the Kalevala, and finally to the world of Irish myth.Similar adventures occur in all the stories, with Harold typically teaming up with a local Hero, to either help or hinder him in his quest, and Harold discoveringabout his system of magic from the local magicians In the second story, Harold meets Belphebe, his future wife, who then accompanies him in his subsequent adventures.Originally written for the pulp magazines between 1940 and 1954, all the stories stand the test of time Our protagonist has the typical 1940s attitude to women, but this is soon counterbalanced by the introduction of the formidable Belphebe, skilled in woodland lore and expert with a bow and arrow Harold is soon put in his place.If you are looking for a humorous read, and want to learn a bit about classic literature, along with myth and legend at the same time, then this is for you.Recommended for lovers of lighthearted, historical fantasy.The first two stories in the series, The Roaring Trumpet and The Mathematics of Magic have both been nominated in this year s Retro Hugo Awards as best novella of 1940.The collection has a complicated publishing history, so be careful which edition you buy The first two stories were collected in The Incompleat Enchanter 1941 This was followed by The Compleat Enchanter 1975 , which collects the first three stories All five stories were then published as The Complete Compleat Enchanter in 1988 and this was republished in 2000 as The Compleat Enchanter , part of the Fantasy Masterworks series And just to confuse things further, the 1988 edition was published in the UK under the title The Intrepid Enchanter

  8. Colin Colin says:

    This is a very difficult book for me to review I chose to read it because the authors appear on Gary Gygax s revered Appendix N list of authors and stories that were seminal to his thinking in creating the original Dungeons Dragons It features what is, by now, a familiar theme of the swords and sorcery adventures of Appendix N ordinary people from our world specifically, from the time of the writing, 1940s USA being transported to fantasy worlds and having to survive there I did find This is a very difficult book for me to review I chose to read it because the authors appear on Gary Gygax s revered Appendix N list of authors and stories that were seminal to his thinking in creating the original Dungeons Dragons It features what is, by now, a familiar theme of the swords and sorcery adventures of Appendix N ordinary people from our world specifically, from the time of the writing, 1940s USA being transported to fantasy worlds and having to survive there I did find some of the influences on Gygax here, such as the division of spell components into verbal, somatic, and material Another common theme in Appendix N, though it may appear here for the very first time, is the concept of the mathematics of magic that magic is simply a sort of science, in a milieu where the laws of reality are slightly different an idea which probably finds its full flowering in Jack Vance s work I personally found the first installment, in which a psychologist is transported to the world of Norse mytholoy, very appealing The other stories, which involved trips to the world of Spencer s Faerie Queen, Coleridge s Xanadu, and Ariosto s Orlando Furioso, far less compelling L Sprauge de Camp apparently agreed with me about the Faerie Queen sequence, though Pratt had apparently been mad for it, and De Camp came to appreciate it later Anyway, it is well told, though the colloquial nature of the dialogue suffers after so long 1940s slang rings a bit oddly, now, in modern ears , and I fear that most people have lost the sensibilities, as well as the grounding in Western literature, to appreciate the artistry with which Pratt and De Camp re create the settings of Spencerian or Carolingian literature I can t give it 5 stars, I imagine most moderns would be hard pressed to give itthan 2 But I DO appreciate the language of Spencer and Carolingian chansons de gestes, so I shall give it 4 Just be advised it is a kind of sci fi fantasy writing that requires certain education and sensibilities to enjoy it may be an acquired taste

  9. Douglas Milewski Douglas Milewski says:

    The Compleat Enchanter 1975 by L Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt is a collection of the first three Harold Shea books from the 1940s The book is most notable for its inclusion in Appendix N of the first edition Dungeon Master s Guide as an inspiration to that game The stories center around Harold Shea, a modern man and psychologist who travels to different literary adventure universes The Roaring Trumpet is Norse myth, The Mathematics of Magic is The Faerie Queen, and The Castle of The Compleat Enchanter 1975 by L Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt is a collection of the first three Harold Shea books from the 1940s The book is most notable for its inclusion in Appendix N of the first edition Dungeon Master s Guide as an inspiration to that game The stories center around Harold Shea, a modern man and psychologist who travels to different literary adventure universes The Roaring Trumpet is Norse myth, The Mathematics of Magic is The Faerie Queen, and The Castle of Iron is Orlando Furioso a tale that I ve never heard of before The stories themselves are tongue and cheek, as Harold is a modern man in a highly stylized and not at all politically correct tale If you ve ever wanted to see cultural appropriation in its native habitat, this is it.The tales themselves read dully I had to take rests to actually read this book through These are sexist tales There no denying it Oddly enough, Harold is bored of all the approved women stereotypes and wants one that s spirited Here s an indication that the requirements on women of the day were so restrictive that even men were wanting to loosen things up.When it comes to DD, this book is rife with source material Verbal, somatic, and material components for spells originate from these tales In there, we also see scaled trolls with pointed noses, the basic giant types, web spells that are burned with flaming swords, flying carpets, illusions, fool s gold, magic choking hands, random encounters, and a great deal of the tongue in cheek humor that pervades early DD.While it s not badly written, I can t recommend the book It s not a total stinker, but aside from curiosity or raging determination, there s no reason to go here I ll happily lend you the book if you do You don t need to give the book back

  10. Yve Yve says:

    I would have five starred the first novella in this volume, The Roaring Trumpet perfectly light fantasy, original premise with enough of the familiar, lots of fun The second, The Mathematics of Magic was not perfect but I enjoyed it as much for continuing with the character that had won me over in the first and elaborating on the faux technical aspects of interdimensional travel my favorite part of any fantasy book However, the third, The Castle of Iron was a bit stale I think the reason T I would have five starred the first novella in this volume, The Roaring Trumpet perfectly light fantasy, original premise with enough of the familiar, lots of fun The second, The Mathematics of Magic was not perfect but I enjoyed it as much for continuing with the character that had won me over in the first and elaborating on the faux technical aspects of interdimensional travel my favorite part of any fantasy book However, the third, The Castle of Iron was a bit stale I think the reason The Roaring Trumpet comes out superior is that, while still drawing from specific sources, it plays with the muchgeneral mythology of Norse gods and Ragnar k However, each of The Mathematics of Magic and The Castle of Iron follow from just one work The Faerie Queene and Orlando Furioso, respectively It s not that this gives them narrow scope, but that both are taking epic poems with very subtle political dramas and compressing them to fit into a 100 page novella The Mathematics of Magic dealt with this problem better for choosing a smaller section of The Faerie Queene for Shea and Chalmers to travel to, while The Castle of Iron felt to mesummary I ll happily read the other two novellas in the series in fact, I saw a copy at my local bookstore but I hope they resemble the firstthan the third

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