The Sorcerers House is a 2010 fantasy novel by Gene Wolfe, told via a series of letters and correspondences between its various characters. In it, recently paroled Con Artist Baxter Dunn, penniless and with no friends save his former cellmate, with whom he corresponds regularly, moves to the tiny Midwestern town of Medicine Man and discovers that he is the inheritor of a strange house on the outskirts of town which once belonged to a self-proclaimed sorcerer, the enigmatic Mr. Black.
Moving into the house, Bax finds his life interrupted by a series of bizarre and clearly supernatural events, including a talking fox, an odd Japanese woman who visits him at night, the discovery of a device that apparently grants wishes, a mattress full of money, and a series of grisly murders committed by someone or something the local papers have dubbed the Hound of Horror.
Naturally, this being a Gene Wolfe novel, things only get more complicated a difficult to follow as you go on.
This novel provides examples of the following tropes:
- Abhorrent Admirer: Lupine has a bad habit of leaving human body parts as tokens of her affection for Emlyn.
- All Myths Are True: Everyone from The Fair Folk to Manjushri to Miyamoto Musashi can be found in the woods surrounding the house.
- Bigger on the Inside: The house, which only gets bigger as the story progresses.
- Cain and Abel: Bax and George, as well as Emlyn and Ieuan.
- Cute Monster Girl: Winkle and Lupine.
- Depraved Dwarf: Qorn.
- Evil Twin: Played with.
- The Fair Folk
- I Choose to Stay: Bax remains with his father in Faerie. Or, more likely, it's a Fake Twin Gambit, with George dead and Bax impersonating him to take over his life.
- Jerkass: George Dunn, and to some extent Bax as well.
- Kitsune: Winkle.
- Land of Faerie
- The Lost Woods: The houses windows look out on these, with strange creatures living in the forest and a mage tower in the distance.
- Luke, I Am Your Father: Bax and George are Zwart Blacks sons.
- Old, Dark House: Justified at first, since Bax takes a while getting the power turned back on.
- Our Werewolves Are Different: Lupine.
- Posthumous Character: Zwart Black.
- Rule of Three: So subtle youll miss it, though its one of the rare occasions when Wolfe points it out after the fact.
- Unreliable Narrator: Bax, and possibly everyone else. Its a Wolfe novel, after all.