Cover image for This rough magic
This rough magic
Lackey, Mercedes.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Riverdale, NY : Baen Pub. Enterprises ; New York : Distributed by Simon & Schuster, [2003]

Physical Description:
822 pages ; 25 cm
General Note:
"A Baen Books original."
Geographic Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
X Adult Fiction Science Fiction/Fantasy
X Adult Fiction Fantasy

On Order



The demon Chernobog had almost seized absolute power in Venice until the guardian Lion-spirit awoke to protect his city. But the Lion's power is limited to Venice, and Chernobog has allied with the King of Hungary in besieging the island of Corfu to control the Adriatic.

Author Notes

Fantasy fiction author Mercedes Richie Lackey was born in Chicago on June 24, 1950, and she received a B.S. from Purdue University in 1972. She is also a professional lyricist and has rehabilitated raptors.

Lackey started writing her own short stories when her favorite science fiction and fantasy authors weren't producing new books fast enough for her. She began writing professionally with the encouragement of author C. J. Cherryh, whom Lackey had met at a science fiction convention. Many of Lackey's books, including the Queen's Own trilogy, the Vows and Honor series, Valdemar: family Spies, and the Last Herald-Mage and Mage Winds trilogies, take place in the imaginary world of Valdemar. She has authored numerous series, including the Bardic Voices series and a series of occult mysteries featuring Diana Tregarde, a modern-day witch. Lackey enjoys collaborating and has co-written books with authors such as C.J. Cherryh, Anne McCaffrey, Piers Anthony, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Mark Shepherd, and Ru Emerson. Her title Redoubt made The New York Times Best Seller List for 2012.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

The continuation of the alternate-history fantasy begun in The Shadow of the Lion (2001) is just as vast and absorbing. The Valdosta brothers are now ensconced in the Venetian nobility, but young Benito is not adjusting well. He is exiled to the island of Corfu, where his beloved Maria has gone with her elderly husband and new baby. Meanwhile, the demon Chernobog, who is possessing the grand duke of Lithuania, has allied with the witch-king Emeric of Hungary and the Byzantine Empire to descend on Corfu, a notable site of ancient magic. The ensuing siege of Corfu takes up two-thirds of the book, and it is almost impossible to put it down while the tension remains high. Benito redeems himself, material and magical treachery nearly overthrows the islanders' resistance, characters who have become real to readers suffer and die (some of them richly deserving it), and Lackey and associates' areas of expertise, including naval history and classical mythology, are smoothly blended. Too long to be read in one sitting, but with few other faults. --Roland Green Copyright 2003 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Lusciously set in alternative-history 16th-century Venice, Corfu and sinister points northeast, this huge sequel to the authors' equally massive and magnetic Shadow of the Lion will appeal to adolescents of all ages. In this world, broken off from ours in A.D. 349 (when St. Hypatia saved the Alexandrian Library), Christian magic battles blackest sorcery, with a wild card-the old, old Mother Goddess still worshipped in Corfu's mountain caves-eventually entering the fray. On the human front, young Benito Valdosta, a roistering rascal and irresistible scamp, derring-dos into modern-man maturity, even snatching Maria, his early love, from the arms of Death himself. The convincing characters range from stalwart Vinland Vikings and conniving courtiers to sex-crazed jealous wives and a fatally shape-shifting shaman, not to mention sadistic King Emeric of Hungary and Emeric's lethal great-great-aunt Elizabeth, Countess Bartholdy, who's bathed into eternal youth by gallons of virgins' blood. All express themselves in stripped-down modern American idiom and whirl through breathless action, making for hours of old-fashioned reading fun. Who needs depth, when Lackey, Flint and Freer, as mixmasters of nearly every heard-of myth, hurtle through as compelling a romp as this? (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Defeated but not destroyed, the demon Chernobog has returned to plague the world-this time in the body of Lithuanian Grand Duke Jagiellon. Prince Manfred, nephew of the Holy Roman Emperor, and his ally Benito Valdosta, grandson of Ferrara's duke, seek a way to thwart the demon's plans before Europe falls to its growing power. Lackey (the "Valdemar" series), Eric Flint (1632), and Dave Freer (The Forlorn) have joined forces to tell a panoramic tale of sorcery and politics set in an alternate Renaissance Europe. Each author brings his or her own strengths to this sequel to The Shadow of the Lion, a story that features detailed scenes of battle, good historical detail, and unforgettable characters. Highly recommended for most fantasy and alternate history collections. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.