The Magic Goes Away

by Larry Niven
$2.25; 218 pages

A With Both Hands mini-review

This is the first book I have ever read solely authored by Larry Niven. I'm a big fan of his collaborations with Jerry Pournelle. They have a great partnership. So I decided to try Niven at full strength to see whether I would enjoy the rest of his work. I'm reasonably pleased. This book provides the setting Niven and Pournelle would later use in Burning City and Burning Tower. A prehistoric world powered by magic, magic that is running dangerously low.

A council of wizards embarks on a last hopeless quest to save the magic. They seek to resurrect the last god, hidden away in the frozen wastes of the North. Sometimes you should be careful what you wish for.

I liked the book. Niven has a fun style, summed up in the surprise afterword by Sandra Miesel as logical fantasy. The afterword was truly a shock; I didn't expect any such thing in this massively illustrated paperback. It was a bit wordy, but there was some fun stuff in there. This was a good introduction to Niven. I'll probably pick up some more of his work soon.

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