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Review: The Lost Spell

The Lost Spell (Tales from the Lost Horizon) by Michael Eging is an entertaining short story within the sword & sorcery (S&S) subgenre of fantasy. When the cantankerous old wizard and main protagonist, Thondric, suspects the theft of one of his spells, he embarks on a quest to reclaim it.

Along the way, Thondric's viewpoint is engaging enough to maintain reader interest. Some of what transpires does so a little too coincidentally, and the tale has its typical S&S pitfalls (lack of firm magical rules, a character casting or not casting the right spell at the right time for the convenience of the plot, etc.). The characters are quick to make assumptions or resort to violence and slow to find more clever or diplomatic solutions. This results in each character coming across as a bit cliche (the cranky but wise old wizard, the honor-bound knight, the evil ogre, and so on). There are no deviations from what's typical of the genre.

All that said, none of these finer points detracts significantly from an otherwise well-written tale. Fans of the genre will feel right at home, while the story should also satisfy the casual reader (4/5 stars).

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