Read The Silicon Mage by Barbara Hambly Online


It was impossible, Joanna knew. When she betrayed her lover Antryg Windrose to the Council, he had been sentenced to death. Then she had believed his brain was possessed by the Dark Mage Suraklin, though now she knew that Suraklin had chosen Gary Fairchild. But guilty or innocent, Antryg was separated from her by the awesome Void between the worlds, far from any hope of reIt was impossible, Joanna knew. When she betrayed her lover Antryg Windrose to the Council, he had been sentenced to death. Then she had believed his brain was possessed by the Dark Mage Suraklin, though now she knew that Suraklin had chosen Gary Fairchild. But guilty or innocent, Antryg was separated from her by the awesome Void between the worlds, far from any hope of rescue.Nevertheless, she had to save him. Suraklin was planning to gain immortality by placing his mind in a computer that would get its power by draining the life-force from all on both worlds, dooming everyone to eternal misery and hopelessness. And only Antryg was strong enough a wizard to challenge the Dark Mage.Once again, Joanna dared the fearsome tunnel through the Void, praying desperately that Antryg still lived and that she could find help to free him. If not...But she refused to think of that....

Title : The Silicon Mage
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780345337634
Format Type : Mass Market Paperback
Number of Pages : 338 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Silicon Mage Reviews

  • Jamie Collins
    2019-03-31 22:08

    First of all, Goodreads has no idea what you’re talking about if you search for “Silicone Mage”.Once you do find it, this book is a nice follow-up to The Silent Tower. I’m still not buying the magic computer stuff, but it was worth a extra little suspension of disbelief to spend more time with these characters. This story does not end in a cliffhanger, but there’s a third book which I’m looking forward to reading.Antryg the wizard is still being described as a lunatic even though he appears perfectly sane - even remarkably sane, considering all the off-camera torture. At his wildest moments he exhibits mildly inappropriate cheerfulness and a preoccupation with breakfast.The Kindle ebook I read is missing most of the paragraph breaks inside a chapter which are supposed to indicate a scene change. Or sometimes the break would be in the wrong place, off by a paragraph or two. This makes for some confusing transitions.

  • Kerry
    2019-04-10 01:03

    Loved it all over again and was delighted to discover that several favourite book quotes that I couldn't remember the source of, came from here.This book stands up to the passing of time even better than The Silent Tower, mostly because it doesn't include out of date computer hardware specifics in the same way the previous book did (and needed to do).Part of me wants to jump straight into Dog Wizard just for more time with Joanna and Antryg, but I'm going to let this one finish digesting, try to catch up with a few things I need to get read and hope it won't take me months (or even a year) to make it to the next book this time.

  • Arthur Gibson
    2019-04-17 03:54

    After reading the first in the series, I had to immediately drop everything and go get this one. They are really two halves to the same book. They must be read together. Travel to a book store, do not pass go, forget the $200, just get them. Brilliant book. It confirmed for me that she is a kick-ass author and I had to go and get everything by her that I could. The ending fit the characters. The culture was amazing. It left possibilities open for further playing in the worlds without promising anything. I would have been happy had she stopped there. It was a good wrap-up. I am also happy she continued, lol. Definitely two of my favorite books ever.

  • Ron
    2019-04-04 01:49

    Hambly really is a good writer. Her plotting and inner dialogue are excellent. This story was good, but not outstanding. It had a satisfying ending, which makes me wonder about there being another book in the series. I certainly don't feel impelled to read it.Someday . . . maybe.Somewhere between this book and the previous, The Silent Tower, Joanna's car morphed from a Pinto into a Mustang. Other memorable quotes, "...outbound lanes stopped in both directions" and "buzzing like B-52s." (B-52 do lots of things, but they don't buzz.)A good read.

  • Sineala
    2019-04-13 00:06

    This is the immediate sequel to The Silent Tower, and as such should be read immediately after you have finished the first one. (If you've read it, you know what I mean.) The opening line is one of my absolute favorites in a fantasy book, though unfortunately I do not think I should reproduce it here as it spoils the hell out of The Silent Tower's ending.Right. You may recall, at the end of the previous book, that Joanna was forced to make an agonizing decision that turned out to be utterly and completely wrong like a wrong wrong thing. So now she has to fix it. And then she, Antryg, and Caris have to go running back and forth across the empire of Ferryth to stop Suraklin for real this time.I have the vague impression that a lot of people who like these books like this one better, plotwise. I think for me it's the other way around. Silent Tower spent a lot of time hitting my "these people must work together but don't know if they can trust each other and might be falling in love" kink. Hard. So there's that.This one certainly has some lovely character development -- and, yes, of course I was pushing for Antryg/Joanna -- but the plot has always felt unbalanced to me. It's, what, a quarter of the way into the book before we even see Antryg again? And then they spend another, what, half of the book playing Hide and Seek looking for Suraklin because first they think he's here, but he's not, no, wait, he's over there, no, wait... and things like the fizzled-out search of the Citadel just seem to make the pacing... very, very weird.The ending is, of course, kind of deus ex machina (and you know it's a problem when even the characters point this out!) but I feel I can't really hold it against them, because, you know.... wheeee.Not that there's not things I like. Caris seems to have more depth to him this time, and I really, really liked Pella, because, yes, this book actually did need more than one female character in it, and she's pretty awesome. I really like the Dead God, but I think everyone does. And of course the Antryg/Joanna relationship is awesome, and I really have always liked that she rescues him. Because, yes. The positives definitely outweigh the negatives. And, oh God, the scene with the lightning elemental, all the angst, oh, Antryg. Maybe the book is worth it for that. That, and everyone being awesome together. That's definitely worth it.Also there's that line about the hacksaw.Overall, still one of my favorites. (Though I would like to mention to anyone picking up the e-books that the Open Road editions are currently lousy with typos. The first book was apparently missing a page (I am not sure if it still is; I didn't compare) and has a bugged TOC that only goes up to chapter 14. A lot of words are misspelled. In this book every use of the word "string" (I'm assuming) is instead "stringer," and in both books every scene break within chapters actually contains what should be the last paragraph of the ending scene as the beginning of the new scene. But they're still good books.)

  • Allen Garvin
    2019-04-19 00:08

    The novel starts with Joanna setting out to rectify the terrible mistake she made at the end of the first book, crossing back through the void alone to try to stop the Dark Mage from his plans that threaten both worlds. Darker than the first, and with a more affecting atmosphere of sadness and regret, a very taut plot, and a lot of uncertainty about if it's even capable to stop Suraklin. The final ending has a bid of an absurd turn, which even the characters recognize as absurd, but in all, it's a very satisfying book.

  • Michael Blackmore
    2019-03-30 01:51

    Volume two and I'm still with it's okay. We'll see if volume three wraps up better for me. I think one of the problems with the series is how the TPTB still don't accept the truth of who has been causing the real problems and still blame the heroes. I'm not expecting any grand oh you were right let's work together as much as most of the plot get a bit redundant for repeating the cycle each volume.

  • Oyceter
    2019-04-12 21:49

    1) The ending is a total cop out.2) Sometimes the characters are too good to be true for me. I generally like their relationships, but I didn't feel like I was reading anything new.Full review (SPOILERS):

  • Tara
    2019-03-25 23:39

    A dissapointing continuation of a promising series. Still, I enjoyed the characters which was just enough to get me through a long boring slog in the middle and out the other side to a fairly enjoyable epilogue. Will read the next in series to see if I'll be continuing past that.

  • Emily Auger
    2019-03-29 05:01

    Great sequel to The Silent Tower!

  • Mary Lauer
    2019-04-20 03:09

    If I could give this six stars, I would. The ending made me cry. Again. Always.

  • Michael
    2019-03-26 05:39

    While these books are a bit formulaic (and wow is the programming conversation dated!) they're a fun read. Antryg is said to be mad, but he may be the most sane if anyone in the books. Definitely going to read the third!

  • Altivo Overo
    2019-04-09 21:42

    I'm perhaps slightly overrating this, but after sleeping on the conclusion I want to give at least 4.5 stars. This sequel to The Silent Tower redeems the rather pedestrian plot of the latter book, and fully develops a delightful character in Antryg Windrose, the disreputable but powerful wizard.For those who are familiar with the original British television series Dr Who, rather than its disappointing revival, I can easily recognize "The Doctor" in Antryg. Considered insane by many of his most competent colleagues, repeatedly condemned to death, discredited, exiled, returned and discredited again, he is nonetheless considered by some to be the most powerful of all wizards in the history of his dimension. His nemesis, equally powerful and also condemned to death (believed by many to have been successfully executed 25 years earlier) is the dark wizard Suraklin who also happened to have been Antryg's first mentor. Antryg's colorful and ragged clothing, shabby and cracked spectacles, and penchant for humorous drama and even puns remind me so strongly of Tom Baker's portrayal of the fourth Doctor that I had to keep pushing that image aside as I read. Right to the end, though, he would keep emerging from tense situations with a grin and a not quite believable explanation that could have come right from one of Baker's ad libbed lines.This is still a well crafted suspense story, containing at least three romantic subplots, a major mystery, and more than one villain who come to fitting ends, as well as a couple who escape to continue their anti-social behavior. Suraklin's desire to live forever, at first implemented by stealing the bodies of others and imposing his mind upon them (shades of Dr Who again,) is the main wickedness that Antryg must overcome. When it becomes clear that the evil genius is building a supercomputer and intends to power it by drawing energy from all life in at least two dimensions so his transplanted personality can live inside it, Antryg builds a seemingly unlikely group of companions and supporters, including a female programmer from California, a male member of the exclusive and rigidly disciplined guard-warrior caste in his own world, and the consort wife of an insane and sadistic emperor. He must elude his own enemies while tracking down and foiling a difficult quarry with an intellect and powers to match his own.In the process of the plot, the wizard temporarily mistakes an alien from yet another dimension for a manifestation of Suraklin. This character is a scientist and technician who has accidentally become trapped in Antryg's world where he can't even breathe the air and is accidentally mistaken by locals for a nameless legend known as the Dead God. The conclusion of the work, while satisfying because it offers a resolution for all the major conflicts, requires a literal deus ex machina that also provides another pun opportunity for Antryg. This is not a cliff hanger, as the previous book was. The story seems complete. There is however a sequel featuring many of the same characters in the author's later book, Dog Wizard.

  • Lesley
    2019-04-07 01:46

    I found this book slightly less compelling than its predecessor (see: The Silent Tower). I was anxious to determine the resolution of the cliffhanger and how the character interactions were resolved.Even though I rated them both the same, this was definitely inferior to The Silent Tower in plotting. Where the mystery deepened in that novel, this one seemed to drag out in what sometimes seemed to be meaningless ways. I still enjoyed the solutions to the mysteries posed in the first book, though.The characters were once again disappointing. While I wasn't looking for a romance novel, having the romantic tension between two major characters that has been building for a book and a half resolve itself with almost no description was incredibly disappointing. And from that moment on, their relationship felt much more flat and as shallow as the characters felt at times. Caris was given more depth in this book, but it still felt belabored.I enjoyed it enough to see it through, but I have less interest in continuing the series.

  • Donna Weaver
    2019-04-21 23:45

    WHAT IT'S ABOUTIt was impossible, Joanna knew. When she betrayed her lover Antryg Windrose to the Council, he had been sentenced to death. Then she had believed his brain was possessed by the Dark Mage Suraklin, though now she knew that Suraklin had chosen Gary Fairchild. But guilty or innocent, Antryg was separated from her by the awesome Void between the worlds, far from any hope of rescue.Nevertheless, she had to save him. Suraklin was planning to gain immortality by placing his mind in a computer that would get its power by draining the life-force from all on both worlds, dooming everyone to eternal misery and hopelessness. And only Antryg was strong enough a wizard to challenge the Dark Mage.Once again, Joanna dared the fearsome tunnel through the Void, praying desperately that Antryg still lived and that she could find help to free him. If not...But she refused to think of that.MY TAKEThis is a great continuation of the first book, The Silent Tower. Joanna takes control of her circumstances and sneaks across the Void herself this time, following Gary/Suraklin. She might not have been there to see what the church witch finders do to Antryg after she drugged him and turned him over to them, but she dreamed it. Ack! She has to get to him to free him before he is executed.In the first book, you really don't get to see Antryg magic that everyone's always raving about because using it would be like placing a pointer on his location. Both the Mage Guild and the church's witch finders were after him. Antryg is brilliant though and managed to get using cleverness.Caris, their warrior accomplice, does pose the question in this book. What would Antryg do if he was faced with capture. Well, we find out. I love Antryg. His childlike interest in anything and everything is a delight. His compassion and concern for others, in spite of spending nearly a decade of his formative years being Suraklin's student, makes me want to hug him. I admire anyone who becomes more than their horrible circumstances.I enjoyed the resolution of the story, especially with the unexpected ending--not unexpected in how it ended but the manner in which it was accomplished.

  • Lindsay Stares
    2019-04-12 23:53

    Premise: Sequel to The Silent Tower. Joanna is back home in California, but she might be the only one who knows that the periods of formless depression that seem to strike the entire world are not her imagination, but the machinations of a wizard from another dimension. With an explanation like that who could she tell? Horrified by her part in the events at the end of The Silent Tower and sick with worry, she plans to try to get back across the worlds, to find someone to help her, and try to rescue her love.I liked this book quite a bit. It was full of complicated characters, all both abrasive and likable, who are trying to do their best, but sometimes screw up. And there's two sweet subtle romances, one of two young people both trapped by their choices and their oaths, one of two adults who care about each other beyond all logic, but know they can't promise more than right now. All of that is dealt with such a light touch alongside the plotting, action and danger that I just adored it.It had been a while since I read the first book in this series, but I was absorbed back into this world almost before I realized it. Joanna and Caris and Antryg came back to me very quickly.A few quibbles: I really liked Pella, an ally Joanna finds unexpectedly, but she was introduced so quickly that she felt a bit shoved in to the narrative. And then she disappeared again just as abruptly, which was odd.Also the formatting on my Kindle copy had some serious issues. Occasionally there's a typo, but more annoying is that mid-chapter breaks often appear a paragraph before or after the break is clearly supposed to go. Sometimes this crashed the flow of reading and was very confusing, because a change of scene, character or time should be indicated by the break.Despite this, I am glad I returned to this story and these characters. The blend between technology and magic is still well handled. The relationship between math, magic, logic and intuition works beautifully. Joanna is still a wonderfully unlikely heroine; I love the way she approaches her problems with her stubborn determination and her logical mind.

  • Karen
    2019-04-10 06:08

    I bought this book in a tiny used bookstore in my town (Ye Old Book Shoppe), being rather new to fantasy, not knowing anything about Barbara Hambly, and not even realizing this book was the second in a series. I thought, "Boy, it's neat how the author assumes I know this and lets me fill in the gaps." Even though I missed book one, The Silicon Mage instantly became my FAVORITE book of all time with my favorite characters and it made Barbara Hambly one of my favorite authors. I hardly ever reread a book, but I've picked up this one over and over. If you get a copy, get one with the Michael Whalen cover art which has one of the most accurate portrayals of the characters inside of a book I've ever seen. Even through Barbara Hambly lives in California, she does cold and snow REALLY well. (I should know because I live in the Buffalo area.)If I'm feeling stressed, I reach for this book--I'm actually reading it again right now, and still loving it. Barbara Hambly is writing and publishing short stories online that continue adventures with characters from her early works. I know the technology in The Silicon Mage is a little out of date, but I don't care. I love this book, and I think about the world and characters in it even when I'm not reading it. Thank you Barbara Hambly!(By the way, the series runs: The Silent Tower, The Silicon Mage, and Dog Wizard. IF you want to read it in the CORRECT order. I, however, do what I want.)

  • Jade Lauron
    2019-04-06 00:06

    Something I forgot to mention in my review of the first book in this trilogy is that the Kindle ebooks are positively rife with errors; you might as well be reading something from project Gutenberg. Most of them are spacing errors, and while the simple squished together words are easy to pick apart, the paragraphs that should have a gap between them are jarring because they mark complete changes in scene. There are also a few errors of the kind that Spellcheck won't find, such as "me" instead of "the" etc. Either someone was typing too fast, or there was a change of font and it didn't convert. It was obvious no human went back through and read this afterward, or they would have corrected these painfully obvious mistakes. As for the story, it's fully of Hambly's characteristic mix of heroism and dogged determinism in the face of overwhelming odds and nameless dread. Shades of walking into Mordor abound. Once again, I gave the original story four stars on the first run through, now I feel more compelled to give it only three, especially in the light of all of those wretched formatting errors, but in the end this one barely held on to its original rating. It's probably due to my Tolkien fervor, but if there were a 3.5 star rating it would certainly lose a half-star just for the trouble all the deciphering costs.

  • William Leight
    2019-03-25 06:02

    The sequel to "The Silent Tower" is a bit of a letdown. The problem is that the two things that drove the first book -- the suspense, and the evolution of Joanna and Antryg's relationship (and thus also of Joanna herself) -- are gone (the mystery is solved and Joanna and Antryg's relationship has stabilized), and their replacements -- a quest to kill the bad guy before it's too late, and Caris' relationship with Pella, an entirely new character -- aren't quite as interesting. Plus, while the central idea -- a wizard who wants to upload his mind into a computer, thus rendering himself immortal -- is pretty cool, Hambly's ideas about computers are decidedly stuck in the '80s: it's not her fault that she had never heard of object-oriented programming or neural networks when she wrote the book, but it makes it considerably more dated than fantasy novels usually have to worry about being. And finally, it's slightly unfortunate when the author feels obliged to admit (via one of her characters) that the ending was indeed only possible thanks to a deus ex machina. Which is not to say that fans of Hambly, or fantasy in general, won't enjoy "The Silicon Mage": Joanna and Antryg are still great characters and Hambly's writing and plotting are still at a fairly high level. (As always, though, wear something warm when reading this book, as otherwise you risk sympathetic hypothermia.)

  • Pernilla
    2019-03-26 22:04

    Copied from my review of book 1:I've tried reading other books by Barbara Hambly, but none have ever made the same impression on me as the books about Antryg Windrose and Joanna Sheraton. I first borrowed book 1 from an acquaintance years ago, and could hardly eat or sleep, and when I had finished it and didn't have immediate access to book 2 I thought I would perish. The worldbuilding isn't spectacular, it's pretty run-of-the-mill; but the plot and especially the characters stand out. Antryg and Joanna both really resonate with me, and their love feels real, which is not always the case for me with literary romances. Re-reading the books, even so many years later (fifteen? Twenty? I can't remember), they naturally didn't have quite the same impact as the first time around, but they were still joyful page-turners, just the kind you should hate but can't: Can't stop reading, while knowing that the more you read, the faster you approach the end. This book precipitated my first ever fanfiction, long before I know such a thing even existed (this was way before online fandom became a Thing, at least in any context that I knew existed). Thankfully, it is now long lost. :)

  • Carol Louise
    2019-04-17 04:02

    This book completes the story begun in The Silent Tower. I found the conclusion satisfying. I’m not quite sure all the threads connected, but I enjoy Joanna and Antryg too much to quibble. Characters with depth are, I think, Hambly’s greatest strength. She writes characters to really care about. There is also highly imaginative world-building here, as well as plenty of tension and a wealth of wonderfully descriptive language (over-stuffed sentences notwithstanding). The computer-magic connection is original, at least in my experience. Being an older work, these are computers as they were in the 1980’s, which some younger readers might find annoyingly old-fashioned. They’re the computers I grew up with, however, so I tend to enjoy the nostalgia instead. I enjoyed the setting and the characters enough to go looking for additional sequels. From what I can see, Dog Wizard is the only other full-length novel about Joanna and Antryg, although there are some shorter works as well.

  • Ubiquitousbastard
    2019-04-03 00:05

    Yep, the bell tolls for my reading of this series. I was barely hanging on at the end of the last book, because honestly, I don't really care about most of the characters. Not the silicon mage, that is for sure. The badguy-not badguy wasn't even that interesting. If I can't even find a soft spot for the villain, there is definitely something wrong. (Or if I don't hate them intensely, but that usually goes along with me loving a protagonist character). So, yes. I thought there was an interesting premise, but then it became just blech. Way too computer heavy, and just a little 80's-riffic. So, since the only character that I could find some interest in is now no longer with us, I can't really see any reason to continue on here. I don't think anyone even remotely likable is going to show up in the next book to save everything from being a boring romance so...Actually, all Barbara Hambly romance plots are just bad so...I guess I should have expected it here.

  • aPriL does feral sometimes
    2019-04-06 06:07

    Oh well. Since I read the first part, 'The Silent Tower', which ended with many many plot threads dangling, I had to go on to 'The Silicon Mage.' This is totally a part two book and very satisfyingly wraps up all those loose threads. But I wasn't so happy with the execution this time. Except for the character Caris, things didn't live up to the promise of the first book. There is a third book about these same characters, but I'm stopping here.It is a very fine summer read, and great fun. Gruesome enough, but not overbearing. Swords and wizards, magic, two universes at stake, and a computer programmer is a heroic fighter helping her wizard boyfriend fight rotting psychokinetic flesh. What's not to like?

  • Katie Bee
    2019-04-18 01:08

    I continue to enjoy Joanna's "subroutines" and her logical/analytical approach to problems. I thought the way she strategized and prepared for her return across the Void was brilliant. Unmagical, she went back into the fray with her eyes open, with as many practical tools as she could think of, and without any help from anyone. And she had absolutely no guarantee of any help on the other side, either. Loved it. The first line was great too!This book also introduced a new secondary character that I loved, Pella. To discuss her too much would be to give away things, but I adore her. I hope there's a lot more Pella in the next book.I also loved the way Hambly used the Dead God to tie up threads. Really well done there.

  • Sue Bursztynski
    2019-04-08 03:09

    I simply adore Antryg Windrose. I figured out when I first read it, soon after it came out, that he was the Doctor, Tom Baker variety, nice to know I was right. I named my first computer, a little Mac Classic 2, Antryg, and it was probably about right for the time; the computer stuff in this is pretty dated(what the heck, they got three men to the moon with computers that had a LOT less power than what we have now), but the story isn't. Only Barbara Hambly, of the authors I've read, anyway, can do this combination of fantasy and technology, and get it just right.

  • Tankerbay
    2019-03-27 22:02

    A much better effort than the first novel in the series. The plot seems to move forward fairly well, there's a decent level of suspense along the way. The climax misses a bit, either through lack of explanation or just being out of line with the level of fantasy throughout the rest of the series. Caris annoys me less than in book one, he seems to have gained a little insight, but still very simple character.Antryg is still the best reason for reading these books. I'll check out the 3rd one just for him.

  • Isis
    2019-03-30 02:42

    As Sineala said in her review, best opening line ever. This follows directly on from the first book and generally consists of Joanna heading back to the world of magical stuff in order to fix everything she completely screwed up in the first book. Again, I love having a super-competent computer nerd girl as hero, though I have to say her backpack's magical property of containing exactly what she needs at the time seems a little farfetched. (Duct tape? Screwdriver? Okay, maybe, but who carries a hacksaw? I guess she was a Boy Scout, because wow, is she ever prepared!)

  • Natalie
    2019-04-19 04:08

    Pace was faster than the first book, characters are still interesting. However, I feel like there are some continuity issues and deus ex machina (quite literally alluded to as such). I felt like problems were solved with nerd fanservice (the main character is a computer programmer from the 80s, but come on) and wasn't very believable. Regardless, Antryg is still cool as hell, so I'll probably pick up the third book at some point later.

  • Sian Jones
    2019-04-01 22:06

    I first read this series in the 90s, so this is a re-read review. I still think this is a great follow-up to the first book in the series (which ended on a dreadful cliffhanger). The technological aspects seem a bit creakier to me now -- the evil computer programmer uses Fortrans, for heck's sake -- but my investment in the characters carried me past any occasional raised eyebrows. Still one of my favorites.

  • Lynne
    2019-04-08 03:40

    Honestly I only read this book in the hopes that the romance between Joanna and Antryg continued. Unfortunately, they were in bed almost immediately after reuniting, so it was quite a disappointment on that end. Nothing really stood out with the other characters, and I really couldn't follow the premise of the Void and how the mage could integrate himself into a computer so he could live forever and rule both worlds.