Friday, September 17, 2010

100 Days of Fantasy: Day 40

This is an ongoing series looking at books that have influenced me as a fantasy author.

Shadows of Sanctuary
edited by Robert Lynn Asprin

Shadows Of SanctuaryShadows of Sanctuary was the third book in the Thieves' World series of fantasy short story collections. Each story was by a different author but all of the tales were in the same world, pretty much within one town, the city of Sanctuary.

This book is my favorite of the series, with the possible exception of the first book. Here, in Shadows of Sanctuary, a few of the events that happened in the earlier two books culminate in some pretty big, and powerful stories. Authors such as Diana L. Paxson, C.J. Cherryh, Lynn Abbey, Janet Morris, and my personal favorite, Andrew Offutt, brought their work to this collection.

The short stories in this series pretty much stand alone from one another, and from book to book, but as can happen, events and characters from earlier stories are related to most of the tales found here. It's a pleasing read, bringing back some familiar faces in a familiar world but also bringing plenty of great Sword and Sorcery action.

I first learned about Sword and Sorcery, a sub-genre of fantasy, from these books. And this particular book solidified for me the idea and possible popularity of serial characters, especially protagonists who appear in story after story. My favorite character from this series has always been Hanse Shadowspawn, the dark-garbed thief who has multiple daggers strapped on his body and who was a creation of Andrew Offutt.

If you are a fan of Sword and Sorcery literature, or just of action reading, do yourself a favor and check out these books. Start from the beginning and read through at least the first three books. After that the series begins to go down hill a little, but books four and five aren't too bad.

Up next: Stranger in a Strange Land

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

Yes, I remember it very well.