A Study In Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Synopsis: A Study in Scarlet is a potent mix of murder, suspense, cryptic clues, red herrings and revenge. It introduces us to the world-famous characters of Sherlock Holmes, Dr Watson and Inspector Lestrade as they join forces for the first time to track a mysterious killer that stalks London’s streets. (Synopsis from back of book)
Opinion: I’m sure it comes as no surprise to anyone that I really enjoyed this book, and read most of it over the last couple of days I was away on holiday. It’s an excellent introduction to such well-loved and recognised characters and will appeal to lovers of mystery and intrigue. The story has as many unexpected twists and turns as you would expect from a Sherlock Holmes novel and includes brilliant and vivid descriptions of characters and scenery alike. This edition includes an introduction by Steven Moffat of BBC’s Sherlock and an excerpt from A Scandal In Bohemia.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Master of the Five Magics by Lyndon Hardy
Synopsis: Alodar was a mere apprentice thaumaturge, learning the least of the five arts of magic. As such, he had no right to aspire to the hand of the fair lady, Queen Vendora, not even when he saved her during the demon-inspired siege of her frontier castle. But aspire he did.
His quest forced him from one exacting branch of magic to another, with the rewards he earned always going to others. Finally, only the branch of wizardry remained - the great, almost lost art of controlling demons.
It was then he learned of the ancient plot behind his rise - and faced the greatest danger any man could dare!
(synopsis from book cover)
Opinion: Lovers of fantasy will not be disappointed by this well-written fantasy romp. With all the necessary components of a good fantasy novel (including magic, dragons, demons, great battles and, of course, a beautiful princess), Master of the Five Magics reads as a fairly fast-paced tale with plenty of detail to flesh out the picture of this world in your imagination. The settings and plot are well thought out and make for a practically filmic experience. Each section of the book covers a new part of Alodar’s quest, and each new part of the journey unfolds as well as the last. Overall, this is a nice easy read, although it doesn’t have a lot to set it apart from other books of this genre.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★