Saturday, November 14, 2015

My Vacation Tickets Just Arrived Today

That's not a lamp behind me. It's the sheer power of the novels shining through. Really! ;-)

Way too poor to take a traditional vacation, James Stoddard's new editions of The High House and The False House arrived in the post today and they will act as a perfect substitute. Together, the two novels make up the award-winning Evenmere series and are part of my list of Top Five fantasy novels.

If you can't find me for the next week, I'm taking a well deserved vacation.

Here is my review of The High House that I posted back in 2007:
I do not yet know what book has been kicked out of my Top Five list, but one has in order to make room for James Stoddard's The High House (Aspect Fantasy: 1998).

Imagine if you will, a huge mansion that within its walls and halls and rooms holds worlds upon worlds, mysteries upon mysteries, with no end in sight. Imagine a Master of the House with three main responsibilities: maintain order within the House's myriad realms; protect all of this creation against the Anarchists, a group of people dedicated to overthrowing the house; and maintain a balance between Old Man Chaos and Lady Order, two archetypes that dwell within the house and in their absoluteness are creatures of surprising horror. Also, imagine a house where the Last Dinosaur, untamed and hungry, lives in the attic and the basement is filled with man-eating creatures that disguise themselves as furniture.

And there is still much, much more.

The High House is not a Christian allegory per se. It is a powerfully written novel set in a fantasy world that just happens to take place within a Christian worldview:
" ... like all of Creation, the High House is a Parable. As for who built it, some say God is the Great Architect; some say the Grand Engineer." Brittle gave his wry smile. "And some say He once was a carpenter as well. I can explain no better."
Yet, the message of the book is not beaten into you with a crowbar, but explained gently within the relationships of those who have been given the responsibility of caring for the High House.

I have always been an avid fan of supernatural houses and The High House now forms part of my mental neighborhood sharing property lines with Mark Z. Danielewski's House of Leaves, William Hope Hodgson's The House on the Borderland, Richard Forsythe's Bishop's Landing, and Charles de Lint's Tamson House (Moonheart).

The High House is a nice place to visit and you just might want to live there.

(No, I get no perks or benefits by providing links so you can buy your own copies. I just want people to read some very excellent fantasy.)


  1. Thanks for reminding me the new editions are out! I have to get copies for myself. Lovely, lovely books!

  2. I concur. And just wait to you read Evenmere 3! Truly one of my favorite fantasy series.
    Dr. Bob

  3. I concur. And just wait to you read Evenmere 3! Truly one of my favorite fantasy series.
    Dr. Bob