The Sorcerer's Ship

 (image via  llfbooks.com )

(image via llfbooks.com)

This book would not exist if not for the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series, which reprinted classic fantasy novels, novellas, short stories and fragments from 1969 to 1974. I discovered this series through David Linday's A Voyage To Arcturus, a story so radically inventive and beautifully written that I still marvel that such a book exists. I've now read five books in the Ballantine series, and so far The Sorcerer's Ship is the swiftest and most playful. Hannes Bok (a Seattle native), was foremost an illustrator, not an author - in his introduction, Ballantine series editor Lin Carter describes Bok's home as delightful, chaotic and cramped with paintings. His artwork shows a vivid, colorful imagination, and The Sorcerer's Ship is full of that same substance. It's sad this book is out of print, because I believe middle-grade readers with an ear for Fantasy like The Hobbit, Wizard of Earthsea and Spirited Away would love Bok's story. Hopefully young readers will find The Sorcerer's Ship at a dusty bookstore and give it a chance.