"The Stone Giant" turns James Blaylock's other stories about the notorious rogue Theophile Escargot and the nefarious wizard Selznak (aka Sikorsky, aka Abner Helstrom) into a trilogy. In the process some earlier information gets reinvented, and explanations are provided for things that really didn't need much explanation. It's a bit of pleasant nonsense set in a vaguely steampunk fantasy world.
Theophile, a lazy rogue, loses his wife and family after stealing his own pie. Infatuated with a sympathetic barmaid he becomes a small part of the giant plot of the fiendish balding dwarf, uncle Abner. A series of absurd misadventures follows as Escargot stumbles through the machinations of evil innkeepers, murderous merrymakers, pompous pirates, eccentric elves, and other assorted oddities.
The tale is fun and whimsical, but there are some striking moments of insight that raise the book over mere fantasy. As always, Blaylock's amazing prose illuminates the story with a true sense of wonder. Anyone enjoying this prequel should be sure to read the author's two previous fantasies, "The Elfin Ship" and "The Disappearing Dwarf."