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Phyllis Eisenstein (1946–2020)

Autor(a) de Sorcerer's Son

30+ Works 1,408 Membros 9 Críticas 3 Favorited

About the Author


Obras por Phyllis Eisenstein

Sorcerer's Son (1979) 450 exemplares
Born To Exile (1978) 291 exemplares
The Crystal Palace (1988) 245 exemplares
In the Red Lord's Reach (1977) 224 exemplares
In the Hands of Glory (1981) 77 exemplares
Shadow of Earth (1979) 56 exemplares
Spec-Lit: Speculative Fiction, Issue No. 1 (1997) — Editor — 4 exemplares
Spec-Lit, No. 2: Speculative Fiction (1998) — Editor; Contribuidor — 3 exemplares
The Last Golden Thread (2009) 3 exemplares
Lost And Found 2 exemplares
Tree Of Life (1975) 2 exemplares
The Land of Sorrow [novelette] (1977) 2 exemplares
Taboo [novelette] (1981) 1 exemplar
Von Neumann's Bug 1 exemplar
Attachment 1 exemplar
No Refunds 1 exemplar
Conspicuous SF 1 exemplar
Dark Wings 1 exemplar
Subworld 1 exemplar
Sorceror's Son 1 exemplar

Associated Works

Rogues (2014) — Contribuidor — 1,264 exemplares
Songs of the Dying Earth (2009) — Contribuidor — 625 exemplares
100 Hair-Raising Little Horror Stories (1993) — Contribuidor — 437 exemplares
Old Mars (2015) — Contribuidor — 193 exemplares
The Oxford Book of Fantasy Stories (1994) — Contribuidor — 188 exemplares
Sisters in Fantasy (1995) — Contribuidor — 161 exemplares
Microcosmic Tales (1944) — Contribuidor — 143 exemplares
Serve It Forth: Cooking with Anne McCaffrey (1996) — Contribuidor — 140 exemplares
Horrors! 365 Scary Stories (Anthology) (1998) — Contribuidor — 124 exemplares
Best Science Fiction Stories of the Year Fifth Annual Collection (1976) — Contribuidor — 97 exemplares
The Mammoth Book of New Terror (2004) — Contribuidor — 85 exemplares
The Year's Best Fantasy Stories: 4 (1978) — Contribuidor — 84 exemplares
New Stories from the Twilight Zone (1991) — Contribuidor — 82 exemplares
New Dimensions 1 (1971) — Contribuidor — 67 exemplares
Shadows 5 (1982) — Contribuidor — 66 exemplares
The Best from Fantasy and Science Fiction: 20th Series (1973) — Contribuidor — 56 exemplares
Baker's Dozen: 13 Short Science Fiction Novels (1985) — Contribuidor — 52 exemplares
Whispers III (1981) — Contribuidor — 38 exemplares
Isaac Asimov's Worlds of Science Fiction (1980) — Contribuidor — 22 exemplares
New Dimensions Science Fiction Number 7 (1977) — Contribuidor — 12 exemplares
Analog 4 (1982) — Contribuidor — 8 exemplares
Long Night of Waiting and Other Stories (1974) — Contribuidor — 7 exemplares
Fantastic Chicago (1991) — Autor — 2 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum



I was convinced this book would suck. It was an Arkham House offering from the dreaded seventies that stayed in print forever by an almost unknown author. I found myself unable to put it down. Great literature it is not, but interesting literate fantasy with good characters and novel plotting it is. I fell in love with minstrel Alaric. He had just the right measure of bumbling innocence, good intentions, and intuitive intellectual savvy to make him an interesting three-dimensional character. He is a reluctant but caring lover and far from being a womanizer, although he has at least three lovers, you just keep wishing he will get the girl (Solinde) he really longs for.

There is very little supernatural here. Alaric has only one talent that bends scientific reality, and it appears that this is the only supernatural talent anyone can have in Eisenstein's fantasy medieval world (there MIGHT be prognostication as well but it is never used or proven). So it is a single well thought out plot device that drives the story. Otherwise the world behaves pretty much as it should and Alaric himself is a committed skeptic of all other things "magical" or supernatural. He uses the fact that all superstition is nonsense to his advantage and proves when he saves an accused witch that it truly is all nonsense.

Once Eisenstein got the hook in me and I realized this wasn't going to be the same old childish swords and sorcerers fantasy nonsense, I really enjoyed it. I would love to read a sequel since we are left hanging on a cliff of sorts.
… (mais)
Gumbywan | 3 outras críticas | Jun 24, 2022 |
{First of 3 in Book of Elementals series; fantasy} (1990)

It's been a bit longer than usual since I last posted a book read because this book, while it's one of the first I bought for my own, single shelf with funds eked out of my pocket money and one I keep coming back to, took a while to read. Not that it is hard to read; quite the contrary - it is gentle but rich. Eisenstein didn't write much but I did borrow most of her books from the library in the '90s when she published most of her work. There is one published sequel to this book and one unpublished because, although it was completed, Meisha Merlin folded before it could do so (according to Wikipedia). Sadly, Eisenstein passed away last year after an illness and with covid complications.

When Delivev Ormoru rejected Smada Rezhyk's proposal of marriage, he immediately suspected her of wanting to destroy him. Both Delivev and Rezhyk are sorcerers from sorcerous families but while she deals in more gentle arts of spinning with control over animals like spiders and snakes as well as plants like ivy, climbing roses and other creepers, he has enclosed himself in Castle Ringforge where he smelts metals into rings and sculpts and fires clay into shapes to enslave demons to do his bidding. His longest serving and most trusted demon, Gildrum (whose most commonly used earthly form Rezhyk has sculpted as a young girl), suggested a spell which would combine both provinces as protection for Rezhyk against Delivev's powers. However, Rezhyk felt that he would still be vulnerable for the month or so it would take to craft the spell and then the demon pointed out that if she were to conceive, her powers would be limited for that time. And so, in the form of a handsome young knight, the demon went to Delivev and then returned to the command of its master.

The storm drove from beyond the fortress, and so there was a respite from both wind and wet in its lee. Almost at the arch of the gate, the animal stopped and bent to drink from a puddle and to crop a bit of soaked grass; its rider fell then, slid silently off its back and dropped to the mud in an awkward heap.

Inside, warm and dry and surrounded by the things she loved, was Delivev Ormoru, mistress of Castle Spinweb. She expected no visitors, neither on a stormy night nor a clear one; no one had knocked at the gates of Castle Spinweb in many years, and she was pleased with that state of affairs. But when the ivy curled in her bedroom window, when a small brown spider scurried across its tendrils to report a stranger outside, she was curious. The stranger had not requested entry, had not pounded on the heavy wooden gate or shouted or beat sword upon shield to attract attention through the noise of the storm, yet why would he be there but to enter? She looked out of her window, but the outer wall was too high for her to see anything close beneath it. She could have spun a web to view there, but walking would take no greater time, so she went.

But Delivev and Gildrum both fell in love. And, against Rezhyk's and Gildrum's expectations, Delivev kept the baby and raised him by herself in Castle Spinweb while Gildrum secretly watched, longing to end his servitude and return to them. Cray, though, always wanted to find out what happened to his father, that handsome young knight whom his mother loved and who rode away promising to return after his mission for his lord was completed and who never came back. And so, at the age of fourteen, he rides away from Spinweb, determined to find his father and become a knight like him although his mother urges him to stay and learn sorcery from her instead. Fortunately he is as generous and open-hearted as Rezhyk is closed-in and cold and he makes friends easily, such as Feldar Sepwin, another boy, who shares some of his adventures.

But, of course, his quest is doomed to failure and Cray has many adventures, not least when Rezhyk finally discovers his existence and throws more obstacles in his path, suspecting further mischief from Delivev.

This was a gentle but rich story, as much about a mother's love for her son (with a touch of poignancy for me now that my eldest is 17 and threatening to fly the nest) as about the adventures that Cray has once he leaves the protection of Spinweb to learn to be a knight. Eisenstein shows us demons as being alien from humans, but not necessarily menacing, with a few visits to their elemental world.

June 2021
4.5 stars
… (mais)
humouress | 3 outras críticas | Jul 17, 2021 |

An enjoyable fantasy. The initial scenario is ingenious, and the initial outworking of Cray's quest, reaching more and more dead ends as he hunts for a father who never really existed, is nicely paced in a pleasantly drawn pseudomedieval world. I had reservations about the episode in which he enters the realm of the air demons, which seems too conveniently habitable by a human, and whose powerful yet childlike inhabitants are not entirely convincing, and I was also a little underwhelmed by a certain lack of sophistication in the final confrontation, though I liked the central element of the concluding plot line (defeat the sorcerer who enslaves demons by recruiting other demons as willing allies). The actions of the wilful and paranoid sorcerer and the careful plotting of his technically obedient yet subtly disloyal gender-fluid demon servant are particularly well played. MB 4-ix-2020… (mais)
MyopicBookworm | 3 outras críticas | Sep 4, 2020 |
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

After the sorceress Delivev Ormoru rejects his marriage proposal, sorcerer Smada Rezhyk becomes worried that she's out to get him. In order to reduce her powers so that he'll have time to weave himself a protective gold shirt, Rezhyk sends his demon slave Gildrum to impregnate Delivev with Rezhyk's own seed. Gildrum takes on the form of a handsome young knight (Mellor) and shows up injured at Delivev's doorstep. As expected, Delivev falls in love with Mellor, but unexpectedly, Gildrum (who doesn't even have a heart) falls in love with her, too. However, Gildrum must return to serve Rezhyk. He doesn't tell Delivev that he's really a demon -- he lies and tells her that he'll come back after he delivers a message.

Sure enough, Delivev becomes pregnant and gives birth to Cray. And, of course, Mellor never returns. When Cray becomes a teenager, he decides to find out what happened to the father whom his mother still loves. This leads to a series of adventures which create more questions than answers.

Phyllis Eisenstein's Sorcerer's Son is a pleasant coming-of-age novel. The writing, for the most part, is lovely -- it flows well and is not overdone or pretentious. The dialogue, however, (and there is more of it than their needs to be) is sometimes stilted and unrealistic.

The plot of Sorcerer's Son is original and interesting -- especially the parts in which Delivev or Rezhyk appear. Delivev has control over nature -- particularly snakes, spiders, and ivy. Rezhyk summons and enslaves various types of demons who live in a complex world and follow strict rules about summoning. These parts are very creative and entertaining and I found that I have developed a respect for Phyllis Eisenstein's imagination.

Unfortunately, I just could not believe in Cray, the hero of the story. He was too nice, good at everything he tried, rarely complaining, and too mature, noble, and philosophical for a teenager. Except for the very rare occasions when he lost his temper, he was boring. I'm not into angsty teenage brooding, but Cray could have used a couple more personality dimensions.

The ending of Sorcerer's Son was a little too sweet for me, but if you like that sort of story, then this is a good read.

Read this review in context at Fantasy Literature's Phyllis Eisenstein page.
… (mais)
2 vote
Kat_Hooper | 3 outras críticas | Apr 6, 2014 |



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