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A wondeful collection of fantasy short stories from the renowned author of the Thomas Covenant series.
Stephen Donaldson has been one of the world’s most popular fantasy writers ever since his first million-selling Thomas Covenant trilogy in 1977. In 1990 he took a new direction with the Gap series, the bestselling sf epic acclaimed as his best work ever. Now, in his first collection since 1984, he returns to mainstream fantasy with eight stunning stories that reveal an astonishing mastery of the shorter form.
Here are tales rich with exotic atmosphere, mysticism and menace, including ‘The Djinn Who Watches Over the Accursed’, an unnerving fable about a reckless adulterer; ‘The Killing Stroke’, in which martial-arts masters fight as champions in a great mind-battle between mages; and ‘Penance’, a haunting story of a vampire who roams a battlefield, searching for the dying.
Spellbinding, unpredictable and always entertaining, this new collection displays the remarkable imagination and extraordinary range of a writer at the height of his powers, and confirms Stephen Donaldson’s position as a master of modern fantasy.
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Stephen Donaldson is best known for immense and doom-laden genre sagas, in particular his debut fantasy epic The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant the Unbeliever and the SF "Gap" sequence. His first book of short stories Daughter of Regals (1984) was uneven--muddied by an early weakness for unwieldy language. Reave the Just is a far stronger collection, with five powerful pieces, two adequate ones and just one dud. Donaldson's fantasies show a scarifying intensity of moral concern and complication. The title character Reave works towards justice through deep pain, not least to himself. Elsewhere we find the agonies of a sympathetic and even pious vampire who's denied the easy option of feeding on animals; a Dark Lord who reasonably protests that his researches into black magic have harmed no one and shouldn't attract persecution from self-righteous White mages; an exploration of the peculiar honour of ninja-style warriors; and another wizard who helps a filthy idiot girl towards beauty and self-reliance for very bad reasons indeed. Effective and sometimes harrowing tales, clearly told: Donaldson has abandoned the oversized thesaurus he once relied on, and now writes with a quieter conviction that hits hard. --David LangfordReview:
‘If there is any justice in the literary world, Donaldson will earn the right to stand shoulder to shoulder with Tolkien.’
‘A writer of central significance as an author of demanding and exploratory fantasy.’
‘The most individual of the Tolkien successors.’
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Book Description Voyager, 1999. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0006511716