Kirt's Reviews > Cugel's Saga

Cugel's Saga by Jack Vance
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Jan 17, 08

really liked it

I also read more of the Dying Earth novels, two of them: The Eyes of the Overworld and Cugel's Saga.

Unlike Vance's first novel in the setting, these two books focus on a main character: Cugel, a charming but completely amoral man who ends up on a long and complicated quest when he is caught trying to burglarize a wizard's home, and his complicated adventures in attempting to extract revenge on said wizard. Together, both books make up the complete story.

Vance excels at atmosphere; while more cohesive than the first book, Cugel's adventures are very much an excuse to encounter all sorts of strange and exotic locations and people, where Cugel gets swindled, swindles someone, or both, and ends up fleeing town for one reason or another. It's really tough to describe the appeal of these novels: It's in the way everyone talks and acts, strangely detached in speech yet passionate about one's own selfish desires, cynical and dreamlike at the same time. These are the sort of novels you want all your friends to read, but it's tough to describe WHY they should do so, other than they're rather funny in a very intellectual way.
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