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The Anvil of the World

The Anvil of the World Kage Baker s stories and novels of the mysterious organization that controls time travel The Company have made her famous in SF So has her talent for clever dialogue and pointed social commentary wi

Kage Baker s stories and novels of the mysterious organization that controls time travel, The Company, have made her famous in SF So has her talent for clever dialogue and pointed social commentary with a light touch Ms Baker is the best thing to happen to modern science fiction since Connie Willis or Dan Simmons She mixes adventure, history and societal concerns in jKage Baker s stories and novels of the mysterious organization that controls time travel, The Company, have made her famous in SF So has her talent for clever dialogue and pointed social commentary with a light touch Ms Baker is the best thing to happen to modern science fiction since Connie Willis or Dan Simmons She mixes adventure, history and societal concerns in just the right amount, creating an action packed but thoughtful read, says The Dallas Morning News.The Anvil of the World is her first fantasy novel, a journey across a landscape filled with bizarre creatures, human and otherwise It is the tale of Smith, of the large extended family of Smiths, of the Children of the Sun They are a race given to blood feuds, and Smith was formerly an extremely successful assassin Now he has wearied of his work and is trying to retire in another country, to live an honest life in obscurity in spite of all those who have sworn to kill him.His problems begin when he agrees to be the master of a caravan from the inland city of Troon to the seaside city of Salesh The caravan is dogged by murder, magic, and the brooding image of the Master of the Mountain, a powerful demon, looking down from his mountain kingdom upon the greenlands and the travelers passing below In Salesh, Smith becomes an innkeeper, but on the journey he befriended the young Lord Ermenwyr, a decadent demonic half breed Each time Ermenwyr turns up, he

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  1. Kage Baker says:
    Born June 10, 1952, in Hollywood, California, and grew up there and in Pismo Beach, present home Spent 12 years in assorted navy blue uniforms obtaining a good parochial school education and numerous emotional scars Rapier wit developed as defense mechanism to deflect rage of larger and powerful children who took offense at abrasive, condescending and arrogant personality in a sickly eight year old Family 2 parents, 6 siblings, 4 nieces, 2 nephews Husbands 0 Children 0.Prior occupations graphic artist and mural painter, several lower clerical positions which could in no way be construed as a career, and over a period of years for the Living History Centre playwright, bit player, director, teacher of Elizabethan English for the stage, stage manager and educational program assistant coordinator Presently reengaged in the above listed capacities for the LHC s triumphant reincarnation, AS YOU LIKE IT PRODUCTIONS.20 years of total immersion research in Elizabethan as well as other historical periods has paid off handsomely in a working knowledge of period speech and details.In spare time ha reads any old sea stories by Marryat, the Aubrey Maturin novels by Patrick O Brien, the Hornblower books, ANYTHING by Robert Louis Stevenson, Raymond Chandler, Thorne Smith, Herman Melville except Pierre, or the Ambiguities, which stinks Somerset Maugham, George MacDonald Frasier.Now happily settled in beautiful Pismo Beach, Clam Capital of the World, in charming seaside flat which is unfortunately not haunted by ghost of dashing sea captain Avid gardener, birdwatcher, spinster aunt and Jethro Tull fan.sfwa 2010 01 rip kage

Comment 925 on “The Anvil of the World

  1. MB (What she read) says:
    2nd read 11 14 08 Very fun book to read The subversive humorous touches and surprises are very enjoyable.I highly recommend that you read this book s prequel The House of the Stag first If you do, this book will make a lot sense and the humor and allusions will be richer obvious.Note The House of the Stag was published in 2008 but it is about Lord Ermenwyr s parents and sets up the world of this book so many things will be much clear to you The House of the Stag is of a novel The Anvil of th [...]

  2. Wealhtheow says:
    I ve been disappointed with Baker s work of late will her Company series never get to the climax Argh , and the first two thirds of this book did little to help She created a rich, detailed, and varied world to play in, peopled with the highly capitalist, pagan Children of the Sun complete with fertility festivals and the ritual saying, Joyous couplings , the vegan, holier than thou Yendri, and assorted demons, gods and saints The first two adventures are nothing special, although they re amusin [...]

  3. Phoenixfalls says:
    The Anvil of the World is not quite a novel, but rather three novellas, printed chronologically and linked by their cast of characters I have a minor quibble with Tor in this matter, because the entire volume is divided only by line breaks, with a page break and a graphic of two swords crossing to indicate the start of the next novella, which made finding my page after I had set the book down rather difficult I don t use bookmarks It also made it less clear that that was to be the structure If y [...]

  4. Alex says:
    I ve hit the Kage Baker section of my book shelf tonight, so I m just going to sing her praises as I add her books to this catalog.Basically Anvil of the World is great because it contains everything that s wonderful about Baker she s funny, highly imaginative, a clear writer who can break out the style when need be as in the case of Anvil of the World, where she goes a little bit old school fantasy in her tone , and, most importantly, she can write a novel with a moral message while at the same [...]

  5. Elizabeth Bear says:
    What a delightfully weird and satisfying little book.

  6. Peter Tillman says:
    Rating A Near perfect light, funny fantasy California adventure stories 4.5 5 starsMy longish 2004 review infinityplus nonfictAnvil reads something like a Pratchett novel, if Pterry were a native Californian and had a Vancian knack for lush description The wide screen plot and wiseass characters are Baker originals Not to mention Lord Ermenwyr s verbal abuse death duel.Do give the book a chance to get moving, as the introduction is largely scene setting, and it s a bit slow moving And the episod [...]

  7. Charles says:
    Stuff I Read The Anvil of the World by Kage Baker ReviewI ve been meaning to read Kage Baker for a while now, and this seems just the place to start While wandering the library a bit drunk and with a cheese in my pocket with my wife, she actually picked this one up while I picked up a different book But in my cunning I employed the old wait until she s done reading it and then read it tactic and waited until she was done reading it, then read it It worked brilliantly What I found was a funny and [...]

  8. Jamie Collins says:
    3.5 stars A work of fantasy from Kage Baker, who was best known for her science fiction series about The Company The book seems to consist of three novelettes, but they are contiguous stories and they fit together smoothly This is quirky and amusing, and has a very slight steampunkish feel since the technology tends towards clockwork and steam power There are also demons who have magical powers, so this is mostly fantasy.The first story is lighthearted to the point of frivolousness, and it was m [...]

  9. Michael Fierce says:
    This book is about a long voyage to nowhere I fell asleep at the ship s wheel Boring and definitely not for me Best thing about this book is the gorgeous cover, and why I bought it many years ago.I look forward to reading something else by Kage Baker someday because I ve heard only great things about her writing.

  10. Althea Ann says:
    Genuinely funny fantasy is hard to find although stupid humor masquerading as fantasy is not , and this book succeeds marvelously.It reminded me quite a lot of Thieves World which means, I suppose, that I should say it reminded me of Fritz Leiber s Lankhmar, but I guess that places me in my cultural era However, I found this book to be both wittier and enjoyable.It s made up of three linked novellas, following an ex mercenary named Smith.In the first story, Smith, having left his previous emplo [...]

  11. Lalith says:
    During my regular trawl through the Kindle Store, the sequels to this book popped up After buying them, I thought that I might as well buy this as well so that I could re read it in preparation for the sequels.I must have read this book when it first came out, and it remains the only Kage Baker book that I ve read to date, despite buying the entire Company series as those books came out go figure.It s still as gloriously deadpan as I remembered, made up of three segments featuring the eponymous [...]

  12. Genevra Littlejohn says:
    The funniest, most intelligent fantasy I ve read in ages I d love to meet Lord Ermenwyr sometime This is also an absolutely excellent book to read aloud with a lover before bed Not because it s necessarily erotic it s not, though there are some deliciously sexy characters but because it s just so wittily written that it d a delight to share.

  13. P.f. Bruns says:
    It s a shame Kage Baker is no longer with us Her The Anvil of the World spoofs elements of hackneyed fantasy it starts with a caravan, for Heaven s sake with wonderful dialogue and a culture with some very Pratchett like elements A great quick read.

  14. YouKneeK says:
    I had mixed feelings about this book On the one hand the story was usually interesting, the characters were pretty unique, and the book made me chuckle quite a bit On the other hand, sometimes I thought the story dragged and sometimes it crossed slightly over the line from funny into ridiculous.This is a fantasy set in a world in which three different species live You have the Children of the Sun, of which our main character is a member These are essentially humans, the most numerous species pop [...]

  15. Jim Mcclanahan says:
    My first non Company novel by Kage Baker Turned out to be almost three stories in one The first third was one of those fantastic journey segments, replete with conflicts among the denizens of Baker s world humans, elvish types the Yendril and demons who come in all guises The hero, Smith, seems an unwitting and sometime unwilling participant in all the goings on while leading a caravan from the mountains to the sea.In the second segment, demonic happenings occur in something of a murder mystery [...]

  16. Margaret says:
    The Anvil of the World narrates the adventures of a man named simply Smith, who takes on a job as caravan master after giving up his old job of assassin On the way from the inland city of Troon to the coastal city of Salesh, he meets a number of bizarre people, from the caravan s cook, Mrs Smith no relation to the demonic half breed Lord Ermenwyr When the party reaches Salesh, the story really gets started up until then, it s a little slow and turns into a truly rousing adventure told with wit a [...]

  17. Kirsten says:
    I really feel like this book deserves better than three stars, but it s not QUITE a four star book, mostly because it really doesn t quite hang together as a novel It s like three interconnected novellas I really enjoyed it, though Kage Baker may be the first author I ve encountered who comes anywhere close to Terry Pratchett s masterful combination of cynicism, sentimentality, and humor Yet the book does not feel like a direct attempt to copy or riff on Terry Pratchett, except in a respectful [...]

  18. John says:
    Comedy with a high body count It really is pretty funny until the last part when it becomes not funny at all but that part grew organically out of the rest, so it didn t seem like an arbitrary thing Still, I gather from reviews that she does that in the sequels too I kind of wish she d stuck with the tongue in cheek tone will probably go on to the others, but with somewhat lower expectations The two Smith s make a great lead couple, and the supporting cast is full of surprises too Better yet and [...]

  19. Jenny Koch says:
    This novel reads like 3 related short stories featuring the same lead cast While at the start, it seemed like just loads of zany humor, eventually everything starts to tie together and we start to see some stark realities overpopulation, ecological destruction, racial tensions, etc.Here s a favorite line of mine that encapsulates the sort of humor found in this novel He said that any son of his ought to be able to make mincemeat of a third rate philtermonger like Blichbiss, and it was high time [...]

  20. Tasula says:
    An ex assassin agrees to lead a caravan on a dangerous journey from Troon to Salesh, with the strange Lord Ermenwyr and his nurse as two of the passengers It was idealistic and a little preachy about discrimination against the Greenies by the Children of the Sun , but it s Kage Baker, who is always a lot of fun And it s full of sly humor and what are almost slapstick episodes Very enjoyable.

  21. Darshan Elena says:
    I loved this book It was political and amusing, intelligent and surprising, while remaining consistent with ye olde generic devices of fantasy I appreciated the characters and the not so subtle references to our own societal failings and concerns I adored the funny demons, and I was so relieved to read a fantasy where good and evil weren t simple divisions but rather social demarcations that depended upon perspective and experience Well done

  22. Chelsea says:
    This book has three parts It went from good to great to oh my god amazing I am awed that Baker was able to make the last section as profound as she made it There is no pretense to this book, no grasping, no overwrought tropes It s not perfection incarnate or anything, but it s damned good.

  23. Marie desJardins says:
    Maybe I was just not in the mood for a fantasy book, but I put this one down after just a couple of chapters I simply couldn t bring myself to care about the story or the characters It s all meant to be clever, funny, and tongue in cheek, but it just has no depth whatsoever, in my opinion Pass.

  24. Virginia says:
    Hilarious I love how fantasy tropes are turned on their heads Thoroughly engaging and tongue in cheek Why have I not devoured all of Baker s works

  25. Hester says:
    This is a really fun book that plays with fantasy tropes, without falling into fantasy cliches While there is a fancy noble Lord Ermenwyr as a supporting character, the main character is a working man, Smith We meet him as he plans to lead a caravan from the plains to the sea The novel consists of three novellas, following the life of Smith Each story takes place about a year after the last one ended They are very funny, and feel a lot like In the Company of Ogres, by A Lee Martinez, but with a [...]

  26. Annie Sweeney says:
    An average read A fun story but not a very complex or layered story A good novel to read before bed but the lack of rising action never had me on the edge of my seat in excitement or suspense.

  27. Raygina says:
    It started off slow and was a bit strange, in some places it reminded me of Discworld There were some really funny parts though I may read the next one, but not soon.

  28. Adam A says:
    Entertaining, silly and bittersweet Enjoyable read throughout.

  29. Ward Bond says:
    From Publishers Weekly Best known for such time travel novels as Sky Coyote, Baker now turns her hand to humorous fantasy in this picaresque tale of a retired assassin, Smith, who is just trying to stay on the right side of the law, but who continually finds himself knee deep in mayhem Smith takes a job as a caravan master, shepherding a cargo of one gross of glass butterflies and a variety of eccentric passengers on a dangerous journey from the city of Troon to Salesh by the Sea Most notable am [...]

  30. Yve says:
    A few months ago, I picked this book up Troon, the golden city, sat within high walls on a plain a thousand miles wide The plain was golden with barley.Ugh, autumnal sentimentalism, idealized semi agrarian city I figured it for the spoor of the great parade of pseudo medieval fantasy clich s and was decidedly not ready to follow it immediately put the book down.This week I picked it up and read a little , only to find that Baker goes on to describe the citizens chronic emphysema, and I decided s [...]

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