Home > Opinions (Reading), Reading > Reading: A Malady of Magicks

Reading: A Malady of Magicks

A Malady of Magicks
A Malady of Magicks by Craig Shaw Gardner
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Book Number: 356

Maybe it’s unfair to compare this to Discworld, as despite both being humorous stories in fantasy settings there’s a very different tone here. Despite the occasional dip into parody Gardner mostly seems content with absurdity and wacky events, happy to undermine the drama by being silly and making a joke. Absurd humour just for the sake of being absurd doesn’t really appeal to me.

In general there’s not much accomplished in the story either. The plot is set up by having the great wizard Ebenezum afflicted with an allergy to magic, making him unable to cast spells properly or be around magical beings and objects, the only cure being in a distant city. After that though the whole book is mostly just him and his apprentice, Wuntvor, stumbling around from place to place and encountering people who need their help, generally winning out in spite of Ebenezum’s illness. Even the ending is more of a ‘To Be Continued’, setting things up for the next book rather than resolving anything.

Personally it meant the book was narratively unsatisfying, and as the humour didn’t always work for me there’s not much here to recommend. It’s an easy read but doesn’t really achieve anything in that time. I don’t see myself reading any of Gardner’s other novels, despite owning another four.

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