The Eyes of the Overworld by Jack Vance
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Oddly enough, I think I enjoyed this second book of Vance's Dying Earth much better than the first. It's not only smoother but it also tickles most of my funny bones.
Cugel is one hell of a damned rogue! Very flexible of morals, quick of wit, and easily a loveable/hateable anti-hero. In most respects, I felt like I was reading a high-fantasy version of Gulliver's Travels, always skirting the edge of high satire and always roving knee-deep in extremely lucky circumstance, tragic reversals, and yet more inexplicable adventure.
The man is charmed and cursed in a very enjoyable fashion.
Best of all, Vance never dumbs down his text. I was very amused to find some awesome language and a highbrow vocabulary inserted so deftly. I'm not used to ANY modern fantasy being allowed a free hand with words.
Fortunately, this came out in 1966 by a firmly established master of the craft with little interest in catering to the lowest common denominator. :) Go, Vance! :)
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