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Where the Evil Dwells
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Where the Evil Dwells

3.42  ·  Rating details ·  317 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
Secretly and in stealth, four puny humans set out to invade the heartland of Evil - the so-called Empty Lands, filled with every evil creature from the darkest of mankind's myths.

Harcourt went reluctantly to rescue his long-lost and almost forgotten fiancee. The Knurly Man, who was somewhat other than quite human, went to find the death that would be kinder than the future
Paperback, 249 pages
Published December 12th 1985 by Del Rey (first published 1982)
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Mar 18, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Where the Evil Dwells is set in an alternate timeline where in late antiquity Central Europe was swarmed by a horde of ogres, trolls, fairies, dragons, harpies, and other beasts collectively known as the Evil. Some of the Evil are more beastly than others, but altogether they are not a divided band of miscreants, but seem to have some sort of a confederate structure and are able to present a united front to the Romans. Initially this was bad news for the empire, but ironically the presence of th ...more
Robert Spencer
Jan 01, 2014 rated it it was ok
Wish I could rate this higher as it holds some sentimental value for me, being my first intro to non-Tolkien fantasy novels. When I was 11 or 12, I thought this was fantastic. Coming back to it now, the writing leaves a lot to be desired, to be honest. Awkward prose, even more awkward dialogue, a pretty nonsensical plot, and not particularly pacey either! Still, worth the trip down memory lane, but I wouldn't recommend this as a great book to anyone.
I never thought I could be disappointed in a Simak book. While the story itself was technically fine, I really disliked Harcourt. What a jerk; tainted the entire book for me. I do not mind a dislikeable character in theory, but we are suppose to be rooting for this ass. Ugh. Anyway, I did not hate the book, but I will not be rereading it.
Dec 28, 2013 rated it liked it
Rich story but not exactly for me. Pretty bleak. =)
Ren Bedell
May 24, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: book
A quest-fantasy story where a group of people in Medieval Europe go into a mystical land where magical creatures and danger abound. It is a very typical fantasy story that is not well written. The dialogue is poor and the plot and characters are not interesting. The plot is straight-forward. Evil is just evil. And the religious aspects are more annoying then plot moving or thought provoking.
Андрій Гулкевич
Непогане фентезі, хоча нагадує інші твори Сімака у цьому стилі. Простежується подібність сюжетної лінії та персонажів, які мали місце у "Паломництві в магію" та "Братстві талісмана". Чимось нагадало Гобіта.
Joseph Hutt
Jul 02, 2015 rated it it was ok
I picked this book up from the library after hearing some glowing reviews about Simak's writing. This book is not representative of this claim (in a similar way to which the above GoodReads description isn't).

I agree with many of the reviews below. The story is filled with awkward prose and dialogue, plagued with the unnecessary and oh-so-noticeable repetition of facts. Not to mention the fact that Simak tends to repeat certain details over and over, in an unnecessary and oh-so-noticeable manne
Howard Brazee
Sep 09, 2014 rated it it was ok
I have fond memories of Clifford D. Simak books, and when I saw this one that I've never read, I was quick to buy it, despite the title. But I never finished it.

First - the title is a turn off, as so many people like a fantasy "evil", that is somehow so much worse than having political and religious leaders advocate war. But those guys get a pass. I find such a belief to be repugnant.

I liked the basic environment - of a world where an area of "evil", with trolls and dragons and such exist betwee
Иван Величков
Две неща мога да заявя за Клифърд Саймък:
1. Автор фантаст, който безкрайно уважавам
2. Изобщо не може да пише фентъзи.
"Царството на злото" е идеален пример за второто. Цялото действие може да проследите в анотацията на гърба на книгата. Точно така, нищо друго не се случва и е също толкова скучно. Има някаква хилядолетна римска империя, от която са главните действащи лица(сърце не ми дава да ги нарека герои), но устройството, имената и съществата в Пустата земя миришат на Англия от 16-17 век. Моти
Jan 09, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
This must be the first "alternate history" fantasy book I ever read. Rome has been spared the barbarian invasions that ended the western empire, and instead is cut off from the barbarian world by the incursion of "evil" in the form of various fantasy creatures like harpies and trolls. Shades of "the Enchanted pilgrimage," with a mixed bag of companions on a quest that turns out differently than they expected. Having read it so long ago I can't vouch for writing quality but is was a fun diversion ...more
Jul 19, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
It's the 20th century and Rome never fell. Harcourt, the Knurly Man and two others venture across the river into southern Europe where the Evil dwell - ogres, dragons, goblins, etc. - to retrieve an artifact. Not particularly inventive, creative, the characters are boring and cliched, and the writing is clumsy.
Walter Underwood
Sep 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Fantasy is clearly not Simak's best genre, but this is an interesting diversion. A bit of alternate history, a bit of sword and sorcery, and a quest that might not be a good idea. I like the little twists -- people aren't quite what they seem, the evil is more out of place than really evil, and the goals, when attained, have a different worth than expected.
Oct 29, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Hmmm, à mon avis, loin d'être le meilleur Simak, on dirait un essai rater dans le genre "Whay if" avec un grain d'héroic-fantasy. En sachant que j'affectionne tout particulièrement "Demain les Chiens", je suis assez déçu de ce livre. Vite vite, un autre livre pour faire oublier celui-ci.
Feb 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A good Simak pastoral story. The protagonists were mistrustful to an annoying degree. Did Charles Harcourt fulfill his obligation to the troll? An abundance of last second magical saves. I wonder if this could have been conceived as the first of a series?
Nick Nicolov
Apr 22, 2016 rated it did not like it
The worst book I've ever read. Blatantly copying from the Wheel of time and Lord of the Rings but without the artistic talent to event be a proper imitation of these great series. Characters are dull and mediocre tropes, the world is uninteresting and clinched and the dialogue is cringe. AVOID!!!!!
May 07, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
1986 grade D+
Nov 29, 2012 added it
Mar 12, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: won-t-reread, own
This book appeared at random, and has been on my to-read pile for some time now. Clifford Simak is a nebula grand master but this is a later and lesser book and not worth re-reading. 3 of 5.
The Book Hermit
Mar 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The first book I ever read back in 1984.
Timothy Boyd
An interesting story line. Quick easy read. Recommended to a young or beginning fantasy reader
Alexandr Subbotin
Nov 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
По мне так это лучшее Фентези из того, что пока прочитал.
Jan 04, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always find the begging of Simak books very chaotic and slow but then the action starts and it's really good. Many different characters and situations. The end was clear but came too fast for me.
Dec 27, 2016 rated it it was ok
Weak stuff from Simak. Unlikable characters made bearable only by some clever action scenes.
rated it liked it
Jan 04, 2015
rated it liked it
Feb 07, 2008
rated it really liked it
Dec 18, 2012
Andrey Ovcharov
rated it it was amazing
Sep 22, 2011
rated it liked it
Feb 02, 2016
Tiffani Brooke
rated it really liked it
Sep 23, 2010
rated it really liked it
Jul 31, 2012
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"He was honored by fans with three Hugo awards and by colleagues with one Nebula award and was named the third Grand Master by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) in 1977." (Wikipedia)

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