The Face in the Frost

The Face in the Frost is a fantasy classic, defying categorization with its richly imaginative story of two separate kingdoms of wizards, stymied by a power that is beyond their control A tall, skinny misfit of a wizard named Prospero lives in the Southern Kingdom a patchwork of feuding duchies and small manors, all loosely loyal to one figurehead king Both he and an iThe Face in the Frost is a fantasy classic, defying categorization with its richly imaginative story of two separate kingdoms of wizards, stymied by a power that is beyond their control A tall, skinny misfit of a wizard named Prospero lives in the Southern Kingdom a patchwork of feuding duchies and small manors, all loosely loyal to one figurehead king Both he and an improbable adventurer named Roger Bacon look in mirrors to see different times and places, which greatly affects their personalities and mannerisms and leads them into a myriad situations that are sometimes frightening and often hilarious Hailed by critics as an extraordinary work, combining the thrills of a horror novel with the inventiveness of fantasy, The Face in the Frost is the debut novel that launched John Bellairs reputation as one of the most individual voices in young adult fiction.
The Face in the Frost The Face in the Frost is a fantasy classic defying categorization with its richly imaginative story of two separate kingdoms of wizards stymied by a power that is beyond their control A tall skinny

  • Title: The Face in the Frost
  • Author: John Bellairs Marilyn Fitschen
  • ISBN: 9780025087705
  • Page: 298
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 1 thought on “The Face in the Frost”

    1. This short fantasy--scarcely longer than a novella--is modest in scope, unremarkable in plot; it boasts no epic battles, no wizard wars that topple mountains or cleave continents. Still, in its own delicate way, it displays wizardry at its most uncanny, disarming the reader with humor while it goes about its business, subtly creating an atmosphere of menace. Magic, in the world of Bellairs, is something that is first seen--particularly by the adept who knows what to look for--in a slight alterat [...]

    2. Most intransigent Reader, two wanderers, whose years hang about them like millstones, though their wisdom rattles beads in the nursery of the mind, seek humble access to your cloud-bedizened person. Prospero and Roger Bacon are two elderly wizards in a fantasy realm of small principalities and feuding warlords. When a series of ominous supernatural manifestations begin to haunt the mansion of Prospero, the two friends set out on a quest to discover the source of the evil occurences. Their travel [...]

    3. read during my Social Work YearsI Remember: a tale of wizards fighting wizards featuring Prospero & Roger Bacon, but not that Prospero or Roger Bacon brief, not a word out of place humorous, but with some anachronistic funny business involved that didn't really enthuse me (which was also my only complaint about The Once and Future King) i love that one wizard's crazy house some beautifully written little bits some very atmospheric little bits as well, some quite eerie, even chilling not sure [...]

    4. What an unusual book. Although this book is only 174 pages, it took me a long time to read it. So much going on. There is no real way to say what time period this book is set in. It seems to be that generic medieval-esque period of historical fantasy, yet the narrative is overflowing with anachronisms. This is a story that it is helpful to read while a web browser is open to .At times a little dry and in other times really unsettling, and quite humorous in parts, this fantasy is about a smackdow [...]

    5. Mark Monday's review brought this book to my attention. His review is perfect!All I can add: WTF? Did I miss something? Was this an allegory? Was this a deeper novel than I was able to understand? Evil wizard. Good wizard. Battle(s). Scary houseor estateor? All I can say is that I finished the book and eagerly looked to my shelves for another read.

    6. The Face in the Frost is the only adult novel by John Bellairs, best known for his wonderful children's books (the best known of those being probably The House with the Clock in Its Walls), and it's good enough to make me wish very much that he'd written more. This is no epic fantasy, but a deeply atmospheric and magical tale of the wizard Prospero and his friend Roger, who are attacked by a mysterious evil power. It's charmingly written, the dialogue particularly full of witty allusions; yet mu [...]

    7. Have you ever woken up from a deep sleep in the middle of the night and found that, for just a moment, your nightmares have bled into real life? For a fleeting moment, things are just not right. Maybe it's just a feeling, or maybe hues and colors seem just a bit off, or maybe the shadows seem to be a little livelier than usual. Have you ever felt that?I think that's the reason I love this book so much. John Bellairs has managed to capture perfectly the ominous disorientation that I sometimes exp [...]

    8. I just reread this old and faithful friend. Oh! the magic mirror! Oh, the tomato coach! I LOVE the way this guy's mind works. In his books, no fairy tale plot device is sacred. He spoofs them all and makes the reader love it. Seriously, this author knows how to twist a tale so engagingly that only a surly sobersides wouldn't grin and giggle. I can't begin to describe his plots, which is good because that way the joy of discovery is yours. This is the premier fairy tale for grown-ups, especially [...]

    9. Bellairs's writing defies simple analysis. There's a dose of fairy-tale wit in the language and some of the styling (at times the narrator speaks directly to the reader, as though you are being read to). This would be pleasant in itself, to read of the entertainingly quirky house of a middling-powerful wizard, but then the story takes off with powerful and effective use of a sort of nightmare dream logic where reality becomes malleable. Bellairs avoids gore, vulgarity, and violence and with thes [...]

    10. A fantasy tale centering on two wizard's, Prospero (not that Prospero) and Roger Bacon. Weird and creepy things start happening and they set off to discover what is going on and ultimately how to stop it. This was John Bellairs only adult novel, most of his work was aimed at a younger audience.There is some nicely creepy horror in this book and some fun humor. One of the more unique tales I have read in a while.

    11. Another entry on the "Why the hell didn't I read this years ago?!?" list (along with The Last Unicorn, amongst others).Two wizards, Prospero (no, not that one) and his old friend Roger Bacon, find themselves in conflict with a truly ghastly opponent. In broad strokes the story isn't all that different from others we've seen before; the delight is in the details -- Bellairs' use of language, the occasional touches of whimsy (at one point, they try to make a carriage out of a tomato; those in the [...]

    12. So, I guess this book is often considered a classic, but I honestly don't get it.The principle characters are Prospero and Roger, two elderly wizards who are likable enough, but never really developed. Some strange happenings occur in Prospero's house and the two, through no followable logic, assume that it is the doing of another nasty wizard named Melichus.The story meanders it's way through the rest of the book, never truly making its goal or direction clear to the reader. While there are som [...]

    13. Not much of a plot in this book. Really, it's just two wizards bumbling along together and witnessing various magical and creepy events, but the languageah, the language! It's lovely sort of cross between Tolkien and Rowling, hilarious and breathtakingly lovely by turns. I was going to trade this one in to my book-swapping club when I finished reading it, but I was so captured by the descriptions of the wizard's house and his interactions with his magic mirror (first chapter) that now I'm keepin [...]

    14. This book pulls off a really unique combination: it manages to be a lighthearted, sweet story about friendship that also can be super spooky with fantastic evocative imagery. I really liked it.

    15. Suprising, Inventive and Very ShortBellairs appears to have written mainly children's fiction. This was his one outing with adult fantasy. It features the adventures of two wizards - Prospero (who shares only his name with Shakespeare's) and Roger Bacon. They embark on a quest to discover who is sending sorcerous warnings to and attacks at Prospero and to find a warping evil book. They travel accross a cod-medieval world, similar to a jumbled up historic Britain. So far, so conventional. Where i [...]

    16. An oddly refreshing piece of fantasy considering the year in which it was published and its formative place in the history of the genre. Bellairs captures easily the sense of wonder and otherness that gravitates readers to fantasy in the first place. He marries a charming whimsy (ex. the entire character of Prospero) to visceral horror (ex. a section in which he describes a man waking repeatedly in the night to stare at the smiling statue of a monk haloed by shadows; "He never told anyone what w [...]

    17. 5 hours, 26 minutesRead by George GuidallRecorded from cassetteblurb - The Face in the Frost is a fantasy classic, defying categorization with its richly imaginative story of two separate kingdoms of wizards, stymied by a power that is beyond their control. A tall, skinny misfit of a wizard named Prospero lives in the Southern Kingdom a patchwork of feuding duchies and small manors, all loosely loyal to one figurehead king. Both he and an improbable adventurer named Roger Bacon look in mirrors t [...]

    18. a page-turning, funny, smart magical fantasy for children about the friendship of two elderly men. i'm not sure how this ever got published--expect no one was paying much attention--and the date due slip in the front of my copy shows it has checked out 10 times since i learned how to read. three of those times were inter-library loans. i'm guessing at least some of us ten are or were children who didn't much like other children and read to get away from them. john bellairs (and daniel j. pinkwat [...]

    19. This book is amazing. I was totally enthralled and spooked by the Bellairs YA fiction I read as a kid. The combination of his incredible style and the perfectly matched E. Gorey illustrations in the Dial editions was so evocative, and communicated a pitch-perfect blend of melancholy and dread. I found out about this book much later and had to track down a copy. Geared towards the more general reader, it is almost more satisfying in some ways than Bellairs' classic works. He creates a world you w [...]

    20. I've long been a fan of Bellairs' wonderfully creepy novels for children, so when I discovered that early in his career he'd written a fantasy novel (ostensibly for adults), I was eager to check it out.This feels like a first novel, or an early one, and all of the great elements don't always come together into a solid whole. On the other hand, it's marvelously funny, and the wizards herein might remind some readers of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. It also has some genuinely creepy moments, a [...]

    21. This remains and will always be one of the very few books that makes me want to read it again the moment I turn the last page. I wish there'd been more of it and that he'd finished The Dolphin Cross. I wish the plant monk and Mr Millhorn had books of their own. And if I like Bellairs' novels for children - and I do - it's due in large part to the faint traces of this book that I see in them.

    22. A very odd offering. For myself, I'd actually give it two stars. But given that I can see its influence in D&D, Discworld, Harry Potter and many other things, I'll give it an extra star for historical significance. Ultimately I know it's an important bit of fantasy history and it's not that it's bad, it's just very much not my cup of tea. I both liked and disliked it. It's very inventive, and some of the imagery is lovely. Some of the scenes designed to build a sense of creeping dread are ve [...]

    23. After hearing how this book was a "classic" of the fantasy genre, I eagerly grabbed it from my local used book store. After reading it, however, I was left cold and confused. John Bellairs can definitely create unique and haunting imagery, and his "House With a Clock in its Walls" is a fun and spooky children's novel. While that applies to a handful of individual scenes in this book, the overall story never comes together in an interesting or cohesive way. We are introduced to the two primary wi [...]

    24. I was puzzled to see how favorably this book had been reviewed. The author goes to great pains to describe the politics of the land, then they are never mentioned again. Having described the wonderful things in Prospero's home, Prospero and Bacon leave on a journey. It isn't clear how the wizards get their power, or why it is unreliable. There is grumbling old-man dialog between the two wizards, true, but a lot of the secondary characters were limited to lines from plot convenience playhouse, e. [...]

    25. An odd confection. Two wizardly chums are subjected to magical attacks and journey off together to confront their mysterious enemy. Prospero (not that one) and Roger Bacon (yes, that one?) are wizards who hang around in the North and South Kingdoms, but also have access to the lands and history of Earth we are familiar with. Thus the book is peppered with indulgent anachronisms - Prospero tells his talking mirror to shut up and watch some late-night movies, for instance. This whimsical tone is l [...]

    26. I read this book on recommendation from a good friend in Providence. While I liked the slow build up of existential dread and the geographic/political background that the author was able to fit into a short story, I had a few issues with the book that prevented me from giving it a higher rating.First of all, I thought that the magic system, was pretty silly. I understand that there is a long standing history of this sytem where words and items create magical effects. Thats not my concern,Spoiler [...]

    27. Several centuries (or so) ago, in a country whose name doesn't matter, there was a tall, skinny, straggly-bearded old wizard named Prospero, and not the one you are thinking of, either. He lived in a huge, ridiculous, doodad-covered, trash-filled two-story horror of a house that stumbled, staggered, and dribbled right up to the edge of a great shadowy forest of elms and oaks and maples.Did you read The Once and Future King and thought "screw all this Arthur LiveJournal drama, I want more Merlin, [...]

    28. I really wanted to like this, since it comes recommended by one of my current favourite authors (and my boyfriend!). But alas, it was not meant to be :(The first half of the book is meandering and the characters themselves seemed really under developed; I couldn't find much reason to care about them or their quest.I really liked the author's descriptiveness at first (and it was so good that it rendered the weird ink illustrations kind of pointless), but it soon wore thin when I realised that all [...]

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