This is one of the finest fantasy books I've ever read. In fact, with its dark, classical magic, rich history, and elegant writing, Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell is one of the best novels I've read hands down. Don't let the length deter you--by the time you get to the last page, you'll be aching for more.
--Kelly— From Kelly
In the Hugo-award winning, epic New York Times Bestseller and basis for the BBC miniseries, two men change England's history when they bring magic back into the world.
In the midst of the Napoleonic Wars in 1806, most people believe magic to have long since disappeared from England - until the reclusive Mr. Norrell reveals his powers and becomes an overnight celebrity.
Another practicing magician then emerges: the young and daring Jonathan Strange. He becomes Norrell's pupil, and the two join forces in the war against France.
But Strange is increasingly drawn to the wild, most perilous forms of magic, and he soon risks sacrificing his partnership with Norrell and everything else he holds dear.
Susanna Clarke's brilliant first novel is an utterly compelling epic tale of nineteenth-century England and the two magicians who, first as teacher and pupil and then as rivals, emerge to change its history.
“Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell is unquestionably the finest English novel of the fantastic written in the last 70 years.” —Neil Gaiman
“Clarke's imagination is prodigious, her pacing is masterly and she knows how to employ dry humor in the service of majesty.” —Gregory Maguire, The New York Times Book Review
“A fiercely funny, beautiful writer, Clarke attacks her subject with the wit and craft of a Dickens or Austen, effortlessly mixing historical figures and events in with her magical ones. And that magic: nobody writes about magic the way Clarke does . . . She writes about magic as if she's actually worked it.” —Lev Grossman, TIME Magazine
“The writing is captivating, the characters charming, and the notion that perhaps there's more to reality than what our senses tell us is, as Clarke might say with a smile, simply enchanting.” —NPR
“Ms. Clarke's fertile imagination takes her readers to many a mysterious realm.” —The New York Times
“The most sparkling literary debut of the year.” —Salon