Caroline Stevermer books - pretty much totally OT

Emma Comerford emmaco at
Thu May 20 18:38:35 EDT 2004

At 10:27 AM 20/05/2004 -0600, you wrote:
>On Thu, 20 May 2004 09:46:01 +1200, Elizabeth Evans wrote:
> >When the King comes home
> >and
> >A Scholar of Magics
> >
> >I've read 'A College of Magics' - is Scholar a sequel? And has anybody read
> >these who feels up to commenting on them?
>_When the King Comes Home_ never really grabbed me, and I didn't finish it.
>I just read _A Scholar of Magics_ a few days ago.  As Irina says, it's only
>a sequel in the loosest sense.  Not only that, but it's a different kind of
>story than _College_ and I think trying to read _Scholar_ as a sequel might
>be disappointing.  It's an interesting book on its own, and the magic is
>very clever.  I thought the plot was pretty obvious (i.e. who the bad guys
>were) but it wasn't annoyingly so...none of that "Don't go into the cellar
>alone!" horror-film obviousness.  It's also a good extension of the ending
>of _College_, exploring some of the results of the magical restructuring as
>it affects the rest of the world, particularly England.
>I'm at the other end of the spectrum from Irina.  Stevermer is a very good
>writer, particularly when it comes to creating a richly detailed world and
>considering the cost of magical power.  But there's something about her
>books that leaves me cold--essentially, I never feel comfortable enough in
>her world to truly love her books.  I think she and I have different ideas
>about how people achieve happiness and fulfilment, at least as far as I can
>tell from the four and a half books I've read--they're fairly consistent.
>That's my personal reaction to her books.  In an objective sense, I think
>the most recent one at least is worth reading, especially if you've liked
>any of the others.
>Melissa Proffitt

"When the King comes home" is the only Stevermer book I've read, and I was 
disappointed by it. This was probably because my expectations were very 
high due to lots of people on this list praising Stevermer highly (and many 
of my favourite books have been found by following recommendations from 
this list), but also because I felt there was a lot of potential for the 
story that didn't develop. I read it a while ago now, so can't really 
remember more than being interested in some parts of the story, but still 
being left cold (as Melissa said) by the book as a whole. As a result, I 
haven't been inspired to buy any of her other books, but would certainly 
consider doing so if the wise readers of this list advise that her other 
books are different to "King"!

Emma (coming out of my periodic lurkdom in an attempt to put of starting work) 

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