Jane Austen Dreams of Harry Potter and Writes 1000+ pages.
Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell was Time Magazine #1 Book of the Year, Winner of the Hugo Award and the World Fantasy Award, as well as making about a dozen top fiction lists in 2004, the year it came out. In short, it is one of the most respected works of the literary fantastic to come out of Britain in recent years. With a pedigree like that, of course I had to read it.
This novel centers around two English magicians in the early 1800s, who spearhead the reemergence of practical (as distinguished from theoretical) magic. In this alternate history, magic was once a common and accepted practice in England.
Its greatest practitioner was a mysterious figure, known variously as John Uskglass, the Raven King, the Black King, the King of the North, and a faery name, which no one could pronounce. According to legend, Uskglass was stolen as a child and raised in Faery, where he learned the skills that made him a magician of unparalleled skills (and possibly, a demi-god), before returning to rule England for many years. Read more »