- Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books
- Format: Hardback | 563 pages
- Dimensions: 157mm x 226mm x 48mm | 816g
- Publication date: 1 August 2013
- ISBN 10: 0670023663
- ISBN 13: 9780670023660
- Sales rank: 744,931
An imaginative story of a woman caught in an alternate world--where she will need to learn the skills of magic to survive Nora Fischer's dissertation is stalled and her boyfriend is about to marry another woman. During a miserable weekend at a friend's wedding, Nora wanders off and walks through a portal into a different world where she's transformed from a drab grad student into a stunning beauty. Before long, she has a set of glamorous new friends and her romance with gorgeous, masterful Raclin is heating up. It's almost too good to be true. Then the elegant veneer shatters. Nora's new fantasy world turns darker, a fairy tale gone incredibly wrong. Making it here will take skills Nora never learned in graduate school. Her only real ally--and a reluctant one at that--is the magician Aruendiel, a grim, reclusive figure with a biting tongue and a shrouded past. And it will take her becoming Aruendiel's student--and learning magic herself--to survive. When a passage home finally opens, Nora must weigh her "real life" against the dangerous power of love and magic. For lovers of Lev Grossman's The Magicians series ("The Magicians "and "The Magician King") and Deborah Harkness's All Souls Trilogy ("A Discovery of Witches" and "Shadow of Night").
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After twenty years as a journalist, Emily Croy Barker had great fun turning her writing skills to fiction to produce "The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic," her first novel. A graduate of Harvard University, she is currently executive editor at "The American Lawyer" magazine. She lives in New Jersey.
"A marvelous plot, clever dialogue, and complex characters distinguish "The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic". With the intimacy of a classic fairy-tale and the rollicking elements of modern epic fantasy, Emily Croy Barker's delightful debut will sweep readers into another world. Fun, seductive, and utterly engrossing, this wonderful tale of magic and adventure is a perfect escape from humdrum reality." --Deborah Harkness, author of the All Souls Trilogy "To read "The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic" is to enter a lush, fantastical dream filled with beauty and strangeness, love and cruelty, playfulness and gravitas. Emily Barker has crafted a wholly imaginative and witty debut novel that is unlike any I've read. Mind candy for those of us raised on Harry Potters!" --Sara Gruen, author of "Water for Elephants" "'I wish my life were different. I don't care how.' So begins perpetual grad student and recently jilted Nora Fischer's grand adventure into a wonderfully imaginative world of illusion and real magic that reveals the importance of a curious and open mind, learning and love. Author Emily Croy Barker has great fun toying with our ever-shifting notions of work, beauty, belonging, and reality--creating a delightful book for anyone longing to escape the everyday (and who isn't?!)." --Karen Engelmann, author of "The Stockholm Octavo" "Emily Croy Barker has written a sophisticated fairy tale that has one foot through the looking glass and the other squarely planted in the real world. Both classic and wholly original, "The Thinking Woman's Guide to Real Magic" is an imaginative synthesis of the stories that delighted us as children and the novels that inspired us as adults." --Ivy Pochoda, author of Visitation Street" "A clever and scrumptious debut fantasy, the kind you happily disappear into for days." --Kelly Link, author of Pretty Monsters"