Fisher, Jude: Wild Magic (Fool’s Gold II) (2003)

Jacket Illustration by Steve Stone

I just finished reading Wild Magic to my son. We are enjoying our last opportunities of reading together before he goes off to uni.

Another favorite word, crepuscular, has been added to my leaking brain.

“Aran Aranson pushed himself slowly to his knees, and stared like a hawk into the crepuscular south.”

Some words grab me, making me theirs. Their sound affects different parts of my head and the joy of reading out loud lies in this effect. Jude Fisher’s writing is of the kind that lends itself to be read out loud.

Katla Aranson is my son’s favorite character out of this bunch. It’s funny but she and he are alike in many ways. Both are oddballs among their peer-groups. Both are impatient. Patience is anything but a virtue to these two. Katla and my son are impulsive. That impulsiveness tends to be of the kind, generous and sometimes not-very-well thought through kind. They are both characters that people love and that people have a difficult time labeling.

Katla is my favorite as well. She is at the beginning of her adult life and is full of the vibrancy and courage that one has at 19. I look back at some of the things I did back then and end up having to admire all that I would put myself through to try to enter the adult world. I like that Katla isn’t interested in following the mores of her society. No marriage and children for her. No thank you! Perhaps she ends up changing her mind, but a lot of things are going to have to fall into place for that to happen. Katla has another quality that I admire. She is able to live in the here and now. If she is in a situation that she cannot change, Katla finds something in the here and now that she can work with. Optimist would a term that could be applied to her.

I feel sorry for Katla’s mom and dad. Bera and Aron are both caught up in the geas that Virelai has created and it is tearing them apart. Aron ends up doing something so stupid that it has a devastating effect on most of his loved ones. All because of a geas that itself has been caught up in the return of magic to the world. It is painful to see how self-destructive obsessions can make us. It’s not that we stop caring about how what we do affects others, rather it is a matter of not being allowed to care because our obsession takes so much room in our bodies. Virelai did a terrible thing in creating his geas, geas that will affect thousands of lives (Virelai’s being one of them).

There are a great many other characters who require their own space in the world of Elda and all of their story-lines are important to the plot. The Rose’s return to memory is definitely one of the important ones. But I am more interested in Saro Vingo. Saro finds himself swamped by the effects of the stone he carries and his amplified gifts. The people around him overwhelm him with their passions and fears. Being able to see a person for who they really are and not for who they present to the world is on the surface a gift. But gift is the last thing Saro’s ability ends up feeling like to him. Never in his wildest imaginations did he imagine people to be as base as he has found them. The feelings and thoughts of animals are easier to deal with.

Saro is the kind of person who happens to be a naturally caring one. His true gift is the desire to make the world a better place and to extend kindness to those he meets – even the people who ruthlessly use him.

Jude Fisher writes a highly entertaining tale about some incredibly insane and real people.  If you like Vikings, this is a story for you; and if you like the Osmanians, this is also a story for you.


  • Series: Fool’s Gold
  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Books; New edition edition (July 5, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743440412
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743440417

My review of Sorcery Rising

3 thoughts on “Fisher, Jude: Wild Magic (Fool’s Gold II) (2003)”

  1. It’s so great that you and your son have been reading together all these years. I imagine that has created a lot of opportunities for conversation and bonding. Too bad more people haven’t done this.


    1. My youngest son’s dyslexia has some advantages. We have read together both for school work and for pleasure. Lately, neither has been needed but for as long as we can we are keeping up the practice.


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