Posted by: Andy | March 30, 2008

book review(s): Secret of the Sixth Magic, Riddle of the Seven Realms

by: Lyndon Hardy

I just finished reading the follow-ups to Master of the Five Magics, which I mentioned previously. Sixth, I had read before – but I remembered basically nothing of it. I was amazed reading it how little I remembered, and how nothing came back. There was a scene near the end though that seemed familiar, so I’m pretty sure I read it before…

Anyway, both of these are great reads (despite the horrible cover on Riddle – I don’t even know who that weird-ass Mozart wannabe is supposed to be!) in the same vein as the previous one. They all follow a sort of formulaic heroes journey (but I tend to find most “heroic journeys” formulaic in nature soooo….) in which the hero starts out as a non-hero in some form, and then is dragged through various locales and circumstances by what appears to be no more than the hand of destiny…but it’s still a good read. I enjoyed the trip.

I recommend them to anyone interested in a light fantasy, mixed with some strange logic & geometry. I suspect these came about because the author attended Cal-Tech and probably just has a science-type brain. Other random factoid: these 3 books are the only ones he ever wrote. He’s still alive, and apparently not a practicing writer by trade – evidently he started some kind of AI company for medical work. Inspiring to working-class-wannabe-writers like myself.

Both books: THREE AND A HALF STARS (each)



  1. Dearest. Of course, it’s formulaic. It’s an entire theme called “the hero’s journey”. It follows….a formula. By which you are aware it is, in fact, a hero’s journey.

  2. Yes, but there are plenty of ways to tweak it to be less so, most just don’t.

  3. I’ve had these books around the house for ages – I really should read them.

    I’m tagging you for the six word memoir meme!

  4. Thanks for finding me Anna, and I highly recommend reading the series – it’s pretty light anyways and I don’t think any of the books took me more than 2 days of limited reading time.

    Unfortunately, I have a no chain-letters policy, and this fits the definition of a chain letter. I’ve told the same things to friends and family, so don’t take it personally.

    Plus, the true test of a meme is what it does on its own right? Trying to force it just makes it something else. What that is I’m not sure? A cheap-meme? McDonalds meme?

  5. Gosh. How do I keep forgetting how much fun you are…

  6. Me too.
    I need something to remind me.
    Alcohol, sweet alcohol, someday you shall be mine again.

  7. I had a Hibiscus at Mimi’s Cafe a few nights ago. Which is to say “one”.
    My body didn’t even know what to do with it.

  8. i am an astrologer with an interest in magick(the real thing like john dee, edward kelly and aliester crowley)and ever since the athiest h.p. lovekraft wrote necronomicon real magicains have borrowed his mythos in real magical ritual….so i accually want to read this trilogy to gleen info on magick like the magicains have done with the necronomicon


  9. O_O

  10. @Beth: Hey whatever works for people you know. He doesn’t have a link, so he can’t be spam 🙂

    @Vinny: I don’t think you’ll find anything in here of much relevance to “real” magic, but they are still fun to read if you are interested in magical systems as they function in fantasy settings.


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