The Complete Compleat Enchanter. Part Two, the Romantic.

Last week I posted about the the first two tales of L. Sprague de Camp and Fletcher Pratt’s Harold Shea stories. This week it is time to complete the Complete Compleat Enchanter.

The Castle of Iron sees Shea in the world of Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso (after a brief stop in Coleridge’s Xanadu.) Shea is now married to Belphebe of Faerie. Due to various complications, she has become Belphegore of the Furioso and has lost her memory. Pursued by a policeman of our world, Shea must recover her, return her memory, and return to the mundane world. Which he does, leaving various psychologists and a policeman stranded.

The Wall of Serpents begins with a sense of domesticity for Mr. and Mrs. Shea. Romance and maturity are increasing themes and motivators in the last three stories. But the responsibility of rescuing the others left in Xanadu drives Shea to once again start up the syllogismobile. He and Belphebe head to the world of the Kalevala, in need of a powerful wizard to draw the others to mythical Finland, and then head back to Ohio. Of course complications arise. And instead of getting back to our world, three of them end up in…

Mythical Ireland, in The Green Magician, the world Harold had been attempting to access his first time out. It proves rather more dangerous than he’d anticipated. They encounter Cuchulainn in one of his fits of temper. That is dangerous in itself. Another danger is his interest in Belphebe. The policeman turns into a major asset, revealing himself to be deeply informed of all things Irish. (That is played for humor, as he is in fact of Polish descent, but figured he’d improve his career opportunities in the police force if he affected to be more Irish than the Irish.) They get caught up in the events of the legend, consult a couple of druids, visit the land of the Sidhe, fight a lake monster, and return home. Though they’ve only managed to bring back the cop, leaving psychologist behind in a couple of different worlds.

So, there we have it. The Complete Enchanter leaves an incomplete story. And that’s okay, because the saga continues, though without Fletcher Pratt and with a variety of authors taking a turn behind the wheel of the syllogismobile. Which means I’ll be back with more posts on the continuing adventures of Harold Shea.

If you’d like to read something else of mine while you’re waiting, there is plenty to chose from. Why not give Reunion a try?

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *