Where Magic and Science Collide - Book Review

Where Magic and Science Collide

Author: Joseph Swope
Genre: Fiction - Science Fiction
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
Date Published: July 9, 2020
ISBN-10: 1684335310
ISBN-13: 978-1684335312

Book Review of :  Where Magic and Science Collide


The cover illustration and title of Where Magic and Science Collide, by Joseph J. Swope, creates a definite enticement for curious medieval fantasy and/or science fiction readers. Swope seamlessly fuses the two diverse genres, together creating a novel where medieval times meets the space age.

Ambrasian is a small continent in a vast sea on a distant planet. It is home to several diverse and distinct medieval populations. A paramount element in the cultures of Ambrasian is its reliance and respect  for magic.

Far out in space, a manned interstellar vessel from Galactic Command has traveled to this sector of space to destroy or at least divert an asteroid. The space crew is also on an expedition to observe and record the planet’s civilization with instructions for non-interference. The story is told with alternating plots; one is the conflict being played out on the planet – the other is the hands-off observation from the visiting spacecraft of the strange happenings that the aliens observe.

Internal conflict on the planet is leading to war.  Young King Roanan, the Red Knight, is plunged into learning how to rule with authority and compassion and to lead his kingdom to defend his kingdom. He is joined by Karmin, a beautiful woman who is the leader of the Karmana civilization and has the commitment of others from the realm to help defend the population against evil.

Swope adds the literary trope of the Black Knight as the villainous antagonist. The knight Maldur, who is strong in physique and an exceptionally gifted combatant and the sorceress  Celidia make a compact for revenge and to rectify numerous perceived wrongs they have endured. They both lust for power and to rule the entire continent. Their relationship is fraught with issues – Celidia constantly finds Maldur impetuous and difficult to work with. However, their lust for power cements them together as they bring conflict and death to Young King Roanan’s realm.

The Sorceress, Celidia, fashions a spell that allows her and her co-conspirator, the knight Maldur to hide from those who are seeking to find and destroy them.

Many other intriguing characters, including wizards, are introduced to flesh out the novel.  Swope’s descriptive style is evident in his creation of Icyx, an eight-foot-tall, massive being with brownish-white fur. Its cartoonishly oversized hands could lift a normal-sized Ambrasian. Its broad mouth contains knife-like fangs and dominates its head with ears and nose hidden.  Icyx’s large black eyes protrude, searching.  Its screams pierce the air. Another creature is described as a biologically impossible dragon.

Swope’s fiction is strongly plot-driven with multiple, parallel, fast-paced conflicts leading up to a final war between the collected armies of the Red Knight and the followers of the evil pair, the Black Knight, Maldur and Celidia. “The struggle “seems to be a classic conflict of good versus evil,” but is that all there is to it? Those aboard the spaceship who watched in horror at the bloodshed and destruction of the war were shocked and revulsed at its savagery, should they intervene?

Where Magic and Science Collide will keep you enthralled with its fantasy world and undeniably compelling saga.

Reviewed by: Csarole W

About Joseph Swope


Joseph J. Swope is an award-winning author, public relations professional, photographer, and university adjunct faculty member. He has lived and worked in Pennsylvania his entire career, which spans more than 35 years in both corporate and non-profit settings. Where Magic and Science Collide is his fourth book.


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