The Book of Atrix Wolfe ★★★★ ½

atrix (Custom)

This review is written with a GPL 4.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at WordPress, Blogspot & Librarything by Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission
Title: The Book of Atrix Wolfe
Series: ——
Author: Patricia McKillip
Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 254
Format: Digital Edition

 

Synopsis:

Atrix Wolfe, a powerful mage, is drawn into a conflict between 2 Kingdoms. One fateful night he uses his magic to put an end to the conflict and things go horribly wrong. He conjures The Hunter, a living nightmare of pain, terror and death. One king dies, the other flees, broken completely.

Many years later, the 2nd son of the dead king, is attending the Wizards School. He is recalled home and takes a book with him. His elder brother, unable to have heirs, makes him the heir and wants him to settle down and begin stabilizing the royal line, ie, get married and start making babies. Prince Talus agrees but still wants to study the magic book he brought home, little realizing it is the Book of Atrix Wolfe and the words contained are twisted by Wolfe’s despair at what he had done all those years ago.

In his mucking about, Talus calls the attention of the Hunter again, gets kidnapped by the Queen of the Faeries and is the fulcrum upon which turns the fates of many. The Hunter’s nightmare must end, the Faerie Queen’s daughter returned, Atrix Wolfe atoning for his misdeeds and Talus saving his brother’s life.

Just like a fairytale, there is a satisfying ending, even if not a happy ending, for everyone’s storyline.

 

My Thoughts:

The Book of Atrix Wolfe was my first McKillip book. I read it back in ’05 and over the next 2 years gobbled up her back list of books. I had never come across an author who wrote like this and it blew my mind. I became a fan of hers with this book and it holds one of those special places in my mind.

So it was with trepidation that I began my re-read. Things change in 12 years. My “little cousin” was in first grade and a bossy little boy when I first read this. Now he’s 6’4” and graduated highschool. I am now married, bald [well, shaved. Receding hairline isn’t fun for anyone] and about 25lbs more muscular [hahaha]. Of course, most of the changes are inside and not always easy to see or for me to even know. * insert Zen aphorism about mirrors and the back of one’s head *

My concerns were well founded, unfortunately. The story was just as good, the writing even better. But I could not accept the lack of communication between the various characters. The Faerie Queen’s lover and her daughter have disappeared on the fateful night and she has been looking for them ever since. She knows that Atrix Wolfe is responsible, but instead of asking for his help, she kidnaps Talus, uses him as a go between and even then STILL doesn’t actually tell him what is wrong. Atrix Wolfe won’t tell anyone about the Hunter, even while it is active again. Talus won’t tell his brother about the Faerie Queen and just goes off and does his own thing.

It was all extremely fairy tale like, so that type of thing is expected. But it really bothered me this time around and I couldn’t get past it. I knocked off half a star for that. It didn’t help that I’d been dealing with a sore back, lack of work and issues at church. I didn’t have the patience or reserves to accept the foibles of fictional characters.

Other than that issue, this WAS just as good as before. McKillip is a master wordsmith and her use of the english language is enchanting. She doesn’t just use words and sentences “correctly”, she knows them and the rules well enough so that she can “weave” them. It is the difference between a paint by numbers picture of the Mona Lisa and the actual Mona Lisa.

★★★★ ½

bookstooge

 

  1. The Book of Atrix Wolfe (2005 Review)

14 thoughts on “The Book of Atrix Wolfe ★★★★ ½

  1. I also liked her novel The Forgotten Beasts of Eld

    Liked by 1 person

  2. HCNewton says:

    1. That cover. How do you not want to read a book with that cover?

    2. Nicely put about using sentences correctly vs. weaving.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bookstooge says:

      Kinuko Craft [spelling?] was the artist for about 10 years of her writing. I still don’t understand why they stopped using her art for her newer books.

      Thanks. Anyone who has read books like this will completely understand 🙂

      Like

  3. Wow, despite your reservations the second time round, this sounds like a really beautiful book and well worth a read!! I love what you said about McKillip weaving her sentences!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Fairy tale like sounds good to me! And that you still like it, with only some minor criticism, after all those years, is a good sign. It’s going on my list, hooray!

    Hope you are doing better again soon!!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. xeleison says:

    My favorite is still the Riddlemaster trilogy. I re-read it every couple years with pleasure. I love her writing.

    I read Forgotten Beasts of Eld a long time ago and didn’t like it. But I just re-read it last year and found it amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ll probably never forget your high praise for this author’s writing. Sounds really solid.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Bookstooge says:

      I’m usually not big on screaming and hollering about how great an author is and how everyone HAS to read them. But in McKillip’s case, I’ll make a huge exception.

      READ PATRICIA MCKILLIP’S BOOK!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      and the other thing I like is that while some stories have been more enjoyable than others, all have been solid. I’ve never felt like I was reading a sub-par book with her.

      Liked by 1 person

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