Beagle is the class act of fantasy writing, the only contemporary to remind one of Tolkien and, in his darker moments, Dinesen. The title story here concerns a modest man who sets off on a perilous journey across high mountains and is rescued from fearsome rock-targs by a race of gentle giants. He lives among them, novel as Gulliver, for 18 years, learning of their curious funeral rite: eating their dead. In the long romance "The Last Song of Sirit Byar," a traveling bard works magic with his songs, saving his last and greatest song to bring an old love back from madness, dying as he sings it. In "The Magician of Karakosk," a country-bumpkin wizard foils an evil queen by leaving out just one step in the incantation he teaches her, so that she turns herself into nothing more than wind. One of these six stories, "Lal and Soukyan," uses characters from The Innkeeper's Song (1993), and all are set in its milieu. Gentle yet biting, far-fetched and altogether common, Beagle's fairy tales invoke comparison with those associated with yet another great name, the Brothers Grimm. John Mort --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Beagle writes in his foreword that he doesn't do sequels; nevertheless, the world he created in The Innkeeper's Song (1993) continues to tickle his storytelling instincts: hence, the setting for this collection of six substantial tales, though only one, ``Lal and Soukyan,'' features characters from the novel. Elsewhere, the legendary bard and musician Sirit Byar sings his last song to the gods; the evil Queen of Fors na'Shachim compels Lanak of Karakosk to teach her magic; the Jiril of Derridow's troupe of actors takes to the road; Choushi-Wai relates the tale of Tai-Sharm and the Singing Fish; and the title piece reveals how Grandfather Selsim's descendants became giants. A treat for browsers and Beagle aficionados alike. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description