Classic Review

In Uncategorized on July 4, 2011 at 3:33 pm


By Tim Powers

William Morrow


(March 2001)

Note: Review originally published in BookPage


Although my favorite Tim Powers novels will always be The Stress of Her Regard, The Anubis Gates, Last Call, and On Stranger Tides, there is no doubt that Declare belongs in the top ranks of fantasy novels this or any year. Marketed as straight espionage fiction (which may or may not be a mistake), the novel weaves a subtle web of supernatural strands around various political events and time periods, successfully constructing an elaborate subtext based on elements as varied as World War 2, Middle East politics and folklore, the infamous Kim Philby British spy case, the Arabian Nights and Biblical references (of which the title is one). Oh, and add a tragic and very believable love story between characters fated to resurface as enemies. Tim Powers is the foremost American magic realist, and a novel such as Declare can only serve to reiterate and drive home the point.

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