Many years have passed since I have ventured into the genre of fantasy. Please don’t mistake me and think I haven’t visited the realm of fantasy, because that happens multiple times a day. No, I’m talking about the genre of fantasy. This was a favourite of mine in my teenage years. Perhaps the idea that I could learn the magical crafts were enough to entice me to see past the potential risks such as poisoned by potions, burnt by dragon’s fire and being turned into a bird by a misdirected spell.
Here, I think Harry Potter has a lot to answer for. J.K. Rowling both ignited the fire on the fantasy genre and left all other books in the ashes. Sure, there are a few which may have been scarred without being destroyed, but sadly, my latest read was not one of them.
Secret of the Sixth Magic by Lyndon Hardy was published in 1986 and follows the quest of Jemidon. He is a young man, skilled in the theory of the five magics, but hopelessly incapable in their practice. As he continues to fail to earn the robe of a master, there is a greater threat lurking; someone is somehow turning off magic! First sorcery, then magic and finally thaumaturgy.
Our hero is in the right place at the right time to be able to use his deductive skills to solve this magical mystery. If only someone would listen to him. For while he has apprenticed for the five magics, he is a master of none and known by many as an incompetent fool.
Secret of the Sixth Magic was intriguing enough for me to finish, but not one I would readily recommend. It was an enjoyable distraction on my lunch breaks at work, but one I rarely reached for outside the work environment. Neither has it encouraged me to fall head first back into the fantasy genre.
That said, the book is a fine example of the fantasy genre pre-Harry Potter.