One For The Morning Glory Mass Market Paperback – Feb 15 1997
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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.
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.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.Read more ›
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.
Most recent customer reviews
As a casual fan of sci-fi and fantasy, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It was the first book I read by Barnes, and the only one of his I liked. Read morePublished on Feb. 6 2003 by Mat Shettler
I have to say. One for the Morning Glory is probably my favorite book. I love the way it is written so playfully. Read morePublished on April 11 2002
One of the best fantasy fairy tales out there; witty, touching, and self-referential as it consciously tries to define its own fairy tale rules. Read morePublished on Aug. 18 2001 by S. Davis
This excellent foray into fantasy by John Barnes isn't as much sword-and-sorcery as it is a novel length Grimm's fairytale. It certainly isn't a Disney fairytale. Read morePublished on June 2 2000 by joe_n_bloe
Barnes, better known for his science fiction, here turns his hand to fantasy, in a Princess Bride-like self-aware fairy tale. Read morePublished on Nov. 23 1999 by Michael Kozlowski
"One For The Morning Glory is one of the most underrated fantasy novels of all time. It litteraly made me laugh out loud, gasp in astonishment and cry all at the same time!Published on Feb. 5 1999
I got this book after having it highly recommended by a friend. I admit to being disappointed. Though well written, it's just too snide and tongue-in-cheek for me. Read morePublished on Jan. 6 1999