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Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Windrose Chronicles by Barbara Hambly

I really enjoyed this fantasy/science fiction series, but must warn anyone who reads them as ebooks that it is a bit jarring to confront the problems of the conversions.  Typos and spacing problems abound.  

The Silent Tower was originally published in 1986, and so the computer technology will be dated for those who are computerate literate.  I'm not, so other than noting that technology has advanced considerably, the tech stuff is over my head anyway.  

A kidnapped computer programmer taken into a medieval world meets a young warrior and a mad wizard who has been imprisoned for years in the Silent Tower.  Adventures befall them and each of the three main characters have to learn who to trust.

One thing that I loved about this series is the lack of description of Joanna:  she is very small, has curly blonde hair, and a prominent nose.  It is a really vague description.  She is not gorgeous,  not described in voluptuous or glamorous terms, and not presented as a pre-packaged painting of visual delights.  Hambly lets her be a person, not an image.

It may seem contradictory, but I do love the frequent details about the appearance of Antryg:  beaky nose, flexible, clownish face, bony, middle-aged, and recovering from the effects of his imprisonment.  Certainly not the typical hero -- in looks or behavior.

I worried at first that Joanna would fall for Caris, the handsome warrior and was relieved that it did not happen.  

No insta-love here for anyone.

The Silicon Mage  continues the plot line established in the first book.  Joanna realizes she has made a serious mistake and that she must rectify it.  The character development continues, especially with Caris, who evolves into a character with more depth.  More exciting and suspenseful adventures.

 Antryg is still my favorite character and the power that he had to keep hidden in the first book must be called on in this one.  


Dog Wizard  is the final installment, and  since the original plot line was resolved, this novel adds another plot.  Characters from the first two books reappear and some new characters are added.

Joanna's role in this novel is much reduced.  Antryg takes center stage throughout.  

This is the final book in the trilogy, but if Hambly decided to return to these characters, I'd be there.                        


  1. I do hate sloppy transitions from print to e-books. Ugh.

    Looking past that, this does sound like a good series. I've always wanted to read something by Barbara Hambly.

  2. I hate when the e-books have bad formatting. Or back in 'old' e-reader days you couldn't zoom in or anything and I was reading a book with letters and I couldn't see what they said. It's probably why in my general reading I still prefer print...

  3. Wendy - Some books are formatted beautifully, but most have some problems. It certainly has an effect on the ease of reading!

    Kelly - I love the quick access of an e-book, but some conversions are really a pain to read.

    I still love turning pages, though, and being able to add comments or sticky notes or highlight passages!