e-book The Silent Tower (Windrose Chronicles series)

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The heroine is a silicon valley computer programmer who is kidnapped from her world in a bid to make a magic computer in his. Intelligent plotting and characters. One person found this helpful. Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase.

The Windrose Chronicles

This book and its sequel are utter perfection. The Windrose Chronicles are among my all-time favorite books, and a frequent reread. The world has depth and intricacies, the characters are amazing -- and far from your standard heroes! A must-read for anyone who likes fantasies.

It is an interesting premise, a pleasant read, but with bad formatting errors and edit errors that stopped me as I was reading. A word hyphenated sometimes, and sometimes not. A verb form of a word used as a noun, and so on. I finished the book, and now wondering if I want to go on to the next in the series.

Well, that's my opinion. It's an engaging start to the Windrose saga, the broken wizard seems to be held accountable for every bad thing that happens, even when he's locked up so far away from magic his vision goes bad. Scapegoat, that what he was in my opinion and being saved for serious rump-saving by the bad guy. But this scapegoat is crazily canny, and he leads the armies of humans and wizards on a merry chase across the country with his new found friends.

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Of course all does not end well But it's a rockling good adventure along the way and I really sympathize with poor Antryg. This series holds up very well, I find. As others have noted, the tech is out of date, but imagining that this happened in the 80's isn't difficult, and only requires a pinch of disbelief.

Unfortunately there are quite a few typos. Not on every page, thankfully, but a few bad ones in each chapter. The text was clearly scanned in so you will see the same errors repeated, for example the name "Caris" scanned as "Cams" a few times. Annoying, but not enough to make me throw it down in disgust. But for one that's even more fun, and set in the same fantasy world with some overlap of characters, try "Stranger At The Wedding".

I purchased this in conjunction with that novel and Dog Wizard, the complete Windrose trilogy, and the comments I have to make here apply to all three. There are some OCR errors which weren't corrected by the publisher when the books were scanned. They're not significant enough to make the text unreadable or confuse the plot, but they do detract from the overall reading experience, thus the removal of one star. I have a hard-bound copy of this and The Silicon Mage, and a paperback copy of Dog Wizard, but I wanted copies that I could take with me while traveling.

These fit the bill. Nice to have some of my favorite novels in a more permanent format. I read this series when it was brand new and I was a young teenager. I loved it then and I still like it now although maybe with a more critical eye. See all 38 reviews. See all customer images. Most recent customer reviews. Published on July 31, Published on May 22, Published on March 26, Published on March 24, Published on September 25, Published on September 23, Published on May 21, Published on December 25, Antryg Windrose is very charismatically eccentric, has a reputation for being "dangerously insane", and in deep characterization confesses that he really is mad, from long years of having to sustain beliefs contrary to the reality of others around him.

When, in Dog Wizard , a wizard from another world is exiled to San Francisco and joins a dojo to keep up his sword fighting skills, he explains that his technique may be a bit unique as he is a wizard in exile from another world. The generic "The Church" has no visible theology other than "wizards are evil", and no connection with the real life of the people, and no discernible purpose beyond making people, and especially Our Heroes, miserable.

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The "spell of tongues" — which doesn't work over the telephone. Trapped in Another World: Two of Your Earth Minutes: Inverted in Dog Wizard , where a wizard exposits this flaw in the "spell of tongues". Later, when an alien has stated that his equipment can keep everybody safe for only two hours, he's startled when the heroine comments that time is almost up minutes later — it's not even been one "hour" as far as he's concerned. I really enjoyed this re-read of the Silent Tower. Antryg is one of those marvellous flawed characters that you can't help but fall for and I have the hugest crush on him after finishing this series.

The Windrose Chronicles -- specifically, the first two books -- are some of my favorite comfort reads ever, and Antryg Windrose is one of my favorite fictional characters ever. Joanna Sheraton is also up there, as far as awesome, competent, nerdy heroines go. I like to reread them every year or so, and you know a book's good when I do that, right?

Fair warning to anyone picking the series up: If you're reading this for the first time and you like it, make sure you can lay hands on a copy of the second one. These books are a portal fantasy, I think the term is, and that automatically gets them points from me because "person from our world ends up in fantasy world" is actually a genre I really, really like.

We actually begin the book in the fantasy world, the empire of Ferryth, which I find is actually a refreshingly non-generic fantasy world, poised on the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. It feels like Hambly has done her worldbuilding from history rather than filtering it through Tolkien, and it's a really nice touch. Also I love how she always describes the fabrics, colors and materials of the world in such detail. There is magic, although magic of the high-magic sort is waning in influence possibly thanks to the Church and its Witchfinders and many people don't believe in it, instead trusting in dog wizards who read cards and tea leaves.

Saliently, this world is also heavily scarred by the depredations of the evil wizard Suraklin, who was caught and executed twenty-five years ago. We are introduced to the world through the POV of Caris the sasenna a sort of samurai bodyguard for the Council of Wizards who is suddenly losing the little magic he has, and is seized by fits of depression. And weirdly, everyone else seems to be too, and there are monsters from the Void between worlds, and then a murder.

Suraklin, it seems, knew all about the Void. And only one living man knows as much about the Void. That would be Antryg Windrose, his former apprentice, who has been locked up in the Silent Tower for years.


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It can't be him, can it? The dimension-traveler from our world is one Joanna Sheraton, a computer programmer in s LA. Strange things are already happening in her world -- the same fits of depression, strange marks on the walls, and a unknown man who tries to attack her at her work. But one weekend she ends up at a party at the house of her boyfriend Gary whom she doesn't really like much, and Antryg comes through the Void, with Caris chasing him.

But then she gets kidnapped -- by whom? While in Ferryth, there are people who would be happy to hunt down all of them, and so she and Antryg and Caris are on the run while trying to figure out what's going on. And none of them are sure how much they can trust each other. This is a problem, given that Joanna is falling for Antryg. Who, you know, may have kidnapped her and may be behind all of this. Antryg is really, seriously awesome. He is one of the more unique fantasy heroes I have ever read; he is middle-aged, near-sighted, eccentric, brilliant, and also sort of insane.

In a charming way. Picture the Fourth Doctor. He is basically an unfailingly kind human being, but also possessed of terrifying wizardly powers and an even more terrifying past Suraklin was not good to him that clearly haunts him to this day. And he still wants to do right by the universe. Joanna is also likewise brilliant and competent and gets to be a heroine and has to do some awful things herself. I do like how the book doesn't romanticize that she has to learn to kill people. Because, hey, wouldn't you freak out too? Also I am really glad to read a book about a geeky woman where that is important and her knowledge is valued and it's really just There is definitely romance building between the two of them, which But it is so great.

Why, yes, I ship it. Yes, sometimes I do enjoy books about straight people. It makes the ending even more of a gut-wrenching cliffhanger than it could have been. I think the ending hits pretty much all my fiction kinks ever. I think it may have given me my fiction kinks. I am not as big a fan of the secondary characters in this book; I think Caris et al. And I know one of the things that throws people about this is the s tech.

This does not bother me in the slightest; it's the 80s, so what? He is not the ultimate villain, but I think anyone who creepily sexually harasses Joanna and then whips Antryg in the face definitely counts as a villain of some stripe. He shapes up a little and starts developing a personality and some rationale by the end, but oh God no. It doesn't help that both Joanna and Antryg are negative about the kinky queer thing specifically Antryg insults him with "you know you haven't any use for a woman," and Joanna thinks of him as a pervert. So, yeah, I could really have done without that.

Other than that, really, I love this book. I love this book so very much.

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I am not claiming that it is the greatest work of literature, but Antryg and Joanna just make me so happy. I really don't know what to say about this book. At first I was captivated - by the story, characters, world, ideas, magic and the writing. But somewhere in the middle of the book I became bored by all of this, so I really started to drag with the reading. At first I thought that the idea of a human programmer coming from our world to a magical medieval alien world and viceversa, interesting, but as I said We have so many thing I really don't know what to say about this book.

We have so many things going on at once - a mysterious murder of a wizard, characters feeling strange apathy, a killer stalking our main heroine Joanna, abominations popping up all over the world, many political factions fighting among themselves, an evil wizard trying to create some kind of super computer to store his memory and makes himself immortal I never understood why this wizard wanted to kill Joanna at the beginning of the book.

And why pick her to take in the other world? It's not like she is the only programmer on Earth. She also adapts rather quickly in this strange world and keeps talking about computers and programs to this people. You come to a medieval world filled with monsters and magic and you talk about computers? This whole talk about programming becomes quickly annoying.

Ok, we get it Hambly, you know how to work with computers. Also, her writing often slows the progress of the story than to advance it. For example, person A asks Person B something. Person B doesn't answer immediately, but instead, Hambly starts to describe how that person feels, or the hallway they are currently in, or the people surrounding them, so that by the time the person B answers, I have already forgotten the question. She also often uses the same description over and over. I can't tell how many times she described Carris as beautiful or how many times the light shined over Antyg's spectacles.

Despite all this, the book does have some surprises. For example, I was pretty sure that Joanna will fall in love in Carris, but I was wrong. There is also a lot of guessing of who's really the villain. I will probably read the sequels somewhere down the road, although I'm not that invested after reading this rather confusing and overly descriptive story. A number of reviews I read, however, warned that the sequels to that book were very grim. This is a fantasy of the Alice-down-the-rabbit-hole variety, involving a character from our world who finds herself in another world where the rules are different.


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  • The first makes sense from a public safety standpoint, but the second seemed to me a bit perverse. I enjoyed the story in spite of that to the extent that when it ended on a cliff edge I had to rush right out and get the sequel, The Silicon Mage. Really the two books are one story arbitrarily cut in half for easier packaging.

    In fact, they are now often packaged together and I recommend buying them that way to avoid frustration. Overall I found the magical world detailed and compelling even if the politics felt a bit artificial. My only problem with her writing style is that she has a tendency to over-stuff her sentences. This happened often enough to be distracting but not so often as to make me stop reading - in large part because Hambly is so good with characters. I loved the mad wizard Antryg, although anyone who has any familiarity with actual mental illness must realize that he is not, in fact, mad.

    I also enjoyed Joanna as well as all the other lessor characters.

    Product details

    Copy provided by NetGalley. In the world of Ferryth, mages are forbidden to interfere with people's lives, but factions in the government and the Church are still looking for a reason to move against them. They might get it when a minor mage is murdered by someone manipulating the dangerous Void, releasing abominations into the land. Caris, bodyguard and nephew to the Archmage, is traveling with him to try and solve the mystery. The first stop is the imprisoned mage Antryg Windrose, mad apprentice to the late Dark Mage who knew the most about the Void.

    The other piece of the puzzle, however, is held by a computer programmer named Joanna who is being hunted from across the Void by their unknown foe. How did I miss this one until now? Admittedly, I was a little skeptical of the world-jumping premise, but it's well handled throughout. The fantasy world is grounded enough, and Joanna's reactions to it are reasonable, as are Caris' thoughts during his brief sojourn in California. Most of the story concerns the mystery: Joanna soon solidifies as the main character, with Caris along as local guide and second opinion.

    There's a romantic plot that works without overwhelming, and my attention was fully held by the emotional lives of the characters. Joanna was a programmer in , after all. Also the version I read had a handful of severe and confusing copyediting problems, including whole phrases misplaced in the next or previous sentence. I really hope those aren't in the paid edition, but I don't know. I found the penultimate section a bit shaky, but the story finishes very strong.

    Thanks to Open Road Publishing for re-releasing all of Hambly's work as ebooks. WHAT IT'S ABOUT A wizard and a computer programmer from opposite sides of an interdimensional portal must work together to save their worlds from destruction In a world where wizards are relegated to ghettos, it is no surprise to see one murdered in the street. But for Stonne Caris, a young warrior monk who sees the killing and gives chase to the culprit, there is nothing ordinary about seeing a murderer disappear into a black, inky portal.

    Barbara Hambly

    The Archmage sends him in search of Antryg Windrose—a hal WHAT IT'S ABOUT A wizard and a computer programmer from opposite sides of an interdimensional portal must work together to save their worlds from destruction In a world where wizards are relegated to ghettos, it is no surprise to see one murdered in the street. The Archmage sends him in search of Antryg Windrose—a half-mad mage who understands the nature of these passages between dimensions. On the other side of the Void is Joanna, a programmer as mild as Caris is deadly. She has spent her life in cubicles, staring into computer terminals, as far from heroism as she can get.