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One For The Morning Glory Mass Market Paperback – Feb 15 1997


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Fantasy; First Edition edition (Feb. 15 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812551605
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812551600
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 2.1 x 17.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 136 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,873,758 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

An original SF talent has now turned to humorous fantasy. In the Kingdom of Underhill, the toddler Prince Amatus sips the Wine of the Gods?and his left side vanishes. The King orders the execution of the four royal attendants deemed responsible for the calamity, eventually replacing them with Companions who join Amatus on a series of deadly quests. As the Companions fall one by one, Amatus rises to the stature of a hero-king, regaining his left side and throne along the way. Barnes fills the narrative with the intelligent world-building, well-chosen detail, smooth prose and deft characterization that have marked his other books (including Mother of Storms, nominated for a 1995 Hugo Award). It is also permeated with verbal wit?men are deadly shots with pismires, and the Vulgarians are housed in stupors?but the wordplay palls deeper into the story, as sympathetic characters die by the handful and Underhill comes to resemble Bosnia. While not completely successful either as straight high fantasy or as a satire of the genre, however, the novel still manages to generate a great sense of fun.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Known for his breathtakingly innovative hard sf, Barnes offers a surprising change of pace in his new novel, a delightfully entertaining regal fantasy. In a fit of childish mischief, young prince Amatus drinks the forbidden Wine of the Gods and promptly loses his entire left side. The prince's father, King Boniface, quickly beheads the neglectful royal retinue, then solicits its replacements, which arrive in the form of a captain of the guard, a prince's personal maid, an alchemist, and a royal witch. Charged with Amatus' upbringing, the suspiciously adept foursome guides the now partial prince through his youth in a series of perilous and enlightening adventures designed to reveal his true destiny while concealing a possibly sinister agenda. Along with imaginative variations on the standard fairy tale monsters and magic, Barnes doles out wit, whimsy, and wisdom in equal measures, thereby echoing such other fantasy classics as The Princess Bride and The Once and Future King and establishing himself as a writer of extraordinary versatility. Carl Hays --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
It was an old saying in the Kingdom that "a child who tastes the Wine of the Gods too early is only half a person afterwards." Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The jacket compares this to William Goldman's The Princess Bride, and it is easy to see some resemblance. Both are fantasy stories in which the author speaks directly to the reader for humorous intent. The device of the book within a book in The Princess Bride allows Goldman to comment on the story itself; Barnes has his characters comment on it, as they realize that they are part of a tale. Post- modern fantasy. Whowouldathunkit.
And it works for the most part. Barnes deconstructs the typical fairy tale through his self-aware characters, yet also makes these same characters empathetic and keeps the tension of the story itself tight. Although you know that you are reading a story, you wonder just how much this new tale will fit the traditional, or if the author will suddenly veer off into unexplored territory. At its heart, the story is still your basic fantasy plot, and, unfortunately, no amount of tricks can avoid the fact that you've read this all before.
The Princess Bride succeeded because it exaggerated the standard cliches, making everything stand out as in bas-relief to the flat irreality of the normal story. Goldman's fondness for the genre kept it light, rather than ponderous and heavy-handed. Barnes starts off well, and there are brief flashes of brilliance, but most of the time his post-modern experimentation takes a backseat to the plot. It thus feels schizophrenic. I like what he was trying to accomplish, though.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this book and loved it. Like the best John Barnes books I've read (e.g. Earth Made of Glass), the author resists the temptation to just give us what we want, which would result in a much shallower book. With Barnes' superb writing and ability to draw the reader in, a shallower book would probably be very entertaining and possibly more popular. I'm glad he went for a meatier treatment, though. I believe that One for the Morning Glory isn't so much about Amatus and the fantastic world he lives in as it is about fantasy and reality and how fairy tales were originally written to instruct rather than to entertain, and possibly about many other themes which I haven't grasped yet. My wife recently read the book, and we had the most amazing conversations afterwards. This is a book to make you think. If you're looking for simple entertainment, read Patton's Spaceship. If you want to be entertained and also inspired to think about the world in new ways, read One for the Morning Glory.
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By A Customer on Aug. 3 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am completely torn on this book. It is broken down into four sections, one for each of the companions that aids the young Prince Amatus, and each section is basically a novelette unto itself. The first two parts, which concern an invasion of goblins and vampires, respectively, are wonderful. It seems that with each character introduced, I was immediately enthralled with them. One of the best touches is that they're not truly heroes. Much like THE PRINCESS BRIDE (which the whole book reminded me of), the characters are sometimes assassins, thieves or the like. It is their pure hearts and charming personalities which show them as good people, if a bit immoral. That just adds to the devilish fun. The other high point is the language itself; the simple use of the words won me over, which almost never happens. It all sounds very poetic, often amusing. For instance, it is said that no goblin can set foot on land that another goblin has not already set foot on. It's just full of stuff like that. Throughout this first half, you fall in love with the characters and their world.
Then, all of a sudden, the book just dies half-way through. There actually seems to be a tangible line between parts 2 and 3 where it stops being enjoyable. The characters are no longer interesting; the prince is no more than a prince, his knights no more than knights. No more depth into these people, and they suddenly become pinnacles of decency. Also, gone is the beautiful language and clever fairy-tale-with-a-twist plots. Instead, we're reading a chronicle of the kingdom's war with an unspeakable force of evil. Wow, haven't read anything like that before. By the end, we no longer care what happens, which is for the best, because the ending is so weak.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I picked this book up in a supermarket, and devoured it in 2 days. I have a taste for fairy tales (which is why I bought the book in the first place), and this novel plays with many of the tried-and-true conventions of the genre in a delightfully direct and tongue-in-cheek way. Like all of Barnes' novels- which I later discovered in the sci-fi section of my favorite bookstore- "One for the Morning Glory" is populated with characters whose humanity, whatever their species, is never in doubt: they make mistakes, and if they're lucky, learn from them. What's wonderful is that no one, not even the reader, ever finds a pat answer or comfortable ending point in Barnes' books- like real life, his stories are all parts of bigger stories, and therefore never really finished.
I didn't give this book 5 stars; I reserve that rank for a truly soul-satisfying read, and this didn't quite achieve that. Still, it's an entirely fun book, for both grown-ups and kids. It's the kind of book that made me fall in love with reading when I was young.
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