NESFA Members' Reviews

A Scholar of Magics

by Caroline Stevermer

Tor, 2004, ISBN 0-765-30308-6

A book review by Elisabeth Carey

Jane Brailsford, a student at Greenlaw College in A College of Magics, has now been an instructor there for several years. She visits her brother Robert, a Senior Fellow at Glasscastle University, England's premier school of magic, and his wife Amy while on holiday for the first time in years, and won't quite admit that this is odd enough to need an explanation. On arriving, she meets another visitor at Glasscastle, Samuel Lambert, an American sharpshooter who has been retained by the University in connection with a highly secret defense research project. Mr. Lambert is interesting enough in his own right, but he's also staying with Nicholas Fell, another Senior Fellow, who, it turns out, is the real reason for Jane's visit. The old Warden of the West has died, and Nicholas Fell should be, must be, the new one, but he has determinedly resisted taking up the post, and rejected all efforts at communication from the other three Wardens. Why won't Dr. Fell do what he ought to do? What does the research project Samuel's involved in have to do with it—and what's the goal of the research project anyway? Who are the mysterious figures that keep walking across Glasscastle's lawn and breaking into Fell's study? And why are Samuel and Jane the only ones who can see them?

A very entertaining romp through an alternate Edwardian England.

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