|Submitted by Carl Wright |
(May 21, 2007)
This book is from 1980 and I am just reading it in 2007. It is an interesting book on several levels. The story is somewhat formulamatic, young lord's family is disgraced and out of power until the young lord can perform some deed or accomplish something that will restore the glory to his family...yadda...yadda. However old stories are not worthless and can be repeated with success if the writing is good. Mr. Hardy's writing is quite good and the story moves along drawing the reader with it. In most spots, the story line is evident and there is little surprise. What makes it work and what I liked was how the author covers the essence of each of the "magics" he gets into. Just one example, I am a chemist and enjoyed the sequence where the hero is learning alchemy. The main bone of contention is the yield of processes and how this affects a multi-step process. The assumption that yields are 50% is not accurate or course, but it does point out that a five step synthesis at 50% per step ends up with a final yield of 3% from starting materials. There is a lot of fun in the chemical factories where processes are ground out in an assembly line fashion, and there is some pathos in the mention of what happens to workers who stay in the industrial environment too long. All-in-all, I really enjoyed the book, would recommend it to others, and will look for the other two books that follow this one.