Teaser Tuesday: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

Like the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther posting the 95 Theses to the door of the Wittenberg church, the Wheel of Time has turned ’round to Teaser Tuesday.Just in case you don’t know, Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish theme, and anyone can play along! All you have to do is grab the book you’re currently reading, open to a random page and share a few sentences from that page. But make sure you don’t share any spoilers!*

*I wish I could take credit for this introduction, but I shamelessly stole it from Heather @ bitsnbooks. To help me make amends, you should go check out her blog.

Amazingly, I’m still one book ahead of schedule! This week I’m tackling a tome: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke.

The Goodreads Blurb:

Sophisticated, witty, and ingeniously convincing, Susanna Clarke’s magisterial novel weaves magic into a flawlessly detailed vision of historical England. She has created a world so thoroughly enchanting that eight hundred pages leave readers longing for more.

English magicians were once the wonder of the known world, with fairy servants at their beck and call; they could command winds, mountains, and woods. But by the early 1800s they have long since lost the ability to perform magic. They can only write long, dull papers about it, while fairy servants are nothing but a fading memory.

But at Hurtfew Abbey in Yorkshire, the rich, reclusive Mr Norrell has assembled a wonderful library of lost and forgotten books from England’s magical past and regained some of the powers of England’s magicians. He goes to London and raises a beautiful young woman from the dead. Soon he is lending his help to the government in the war against Napoleon Bonaparte, creating ghostly fleets of rain-ships to confuse and alarm the French.

All goes well until a rival magician appears. Jonathan Strange is handsome, charming, and talkative-the very opposite of Mr Norrell. Strange thinks nothing of enduring the rigors of campaigning with Wellington’s army and doing magic on battlefields. Astonished to find another practicing magician, Mr Norrell accepts Strange as a pupil. But it soon becomes clear that their ideas of what English magic ought to be are very different. For Mr Norrell, their power is something to be cautiously controlled, while Jonathan Strange will always be attracted to the wildest, most perilous forms of magic. He becomes fascinated by the ancient, shadowy figure of the Raven King, a child taken by fairies who became king of both England and Faerie, and the most legendary magician of all. Eventually Strange’s heedless pursuit of long-forgotten magic threatens to destroy not only his partnership with Norrell, but everything that he holds dear.

The Truly Random Number Generator sends us to page 457:

Strange merely bestowed a contemptuous smile on both Willises. But he was acting more confident than he felt. The truth was he was beginning to feel decidedly uncomfortable. Whatever magic had just been done, had not been done by him. 

Strange and Norrell cover

What are you reading today?


2 thoughts on “Teaser Tuesday: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

  1. I’m reading “Jack Reacher: The Complete Collected Short Stories…No Middle Name” by Lee Child.

    There isn’t a page 457 so I’ve flipped to page 257…

    He chased the red Firebird for thirty miles. The grade was slowing both cars. They were averaging about ninety. The Dodge’s siren was blaring the whole way, pock-pock-pock for twenty minutes, red and blue lights flashing continuously. Gunston’s conclusion was the Penney guy had tinge a psycho.

    Liked by 1 person

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