Bloomsbury: eBook | Paperback
Two magicians shall appear in England.
The first shall fear me; the second shall long to behold me...
The year is 1806. England is beleaguered by the long war with Napoleon, and centuries have passed since practical magicians faded into the nation's past. But scholars of this glorious history discover that one remains: the reclusive Mr Norrell whose displays of magic send a thrill through the country. Proceeding to London, he raises a beautiful woman from the dead and summons an army of ghostly ships to terrify the French. Yet the cautious, fussy Norrell is challenged by the emergence of another magician: the brilliant novice Jonathan Strange. Young, handsome and daring, Strange is the very opposite of Norrell. So begins a dangerous battle between these two great men which overwhelms the one between England and France. And their own obsessions and secret dabbling with the dark arts are going to cause more trouble than they can imagine.
I was really busy when I grabbed this one. It had been on my to read pile for over a year and I had planned to pick up more of my owned books with this one standing out. It was time to really pick it up. So I grabbed it and read 10 pages and had to do something else. I read another 5 and again had to do something else. It took me 4 days to get trough the first 50 pages. If you have read this book you will know that is not the way to start reading it. This book comes with a lot of footnotes. It comes with a lot of characters and especially the first 100 pages set an atmosphere and provide information you need later on. I do not really enjoy footnotes especially when they hold complete stories. They distract me from the reading. At some point I stopped reading them. Some of them are referred to later on in the book but I did not really had the idea I missed something. The characters are great. I especially enjoyed Jonathan Strange as he was a very outgoing person with an open mind and interest for the world. Mr. Norrel was fun though with his grumpy attitude and I am actually really looking forward to see him back in the tv series they made of this book that will be aired somewhere this year. I do think I will pick up this book again in a few years when I have a few days off and it is dark and rainy outside.