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Tales From the Vulgar Unicorn (Thieves' World, #2)
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Tales From the Vulgar Unicorn (Thieves' World #2)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  2,895 Ratings  ·  51 Reviews
The world's top fantasy writers spin stories and loop the loop with each other's characters in Tales from the Vulgar Unicorn, the second collection in this unique anthology series set in the amazing city of Sanctuary, where you can enjoy the quiet elegance of Ambrosia House; sample bizarre pleasures at the House of Whips; sip ale in the Vulgar Unicorn, and listen to some o ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 299 pages
Published December 15th 1986 by Ace (first published 1980)
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Lee Battersby
Nov 20, 2012 rated it did not like it
When I was a young teenager, thirteen or fourteen, I read a few of the shared world 'Thieves World' anthologies and enjoyed them. I remember them as being good, rollicking, adventure-fantasy fun, so when I found this volume at the back of my archive boxes I had an 'ooh' moment and decided to give it a read, out of a nostalgic whim for some good, simple fun.

Sadly, the book is dire. Each of the volumes is sprinkled with a smattering of SFnal big names: in this issue it's Philip Jose Farmer, an aut
Jan 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
I read this book many years ago in high school and remember loving it. There are some interesting characters in these short stories and in the whole Thieves' World series. One of my favorite stories from that series is in this book, and contains a plot twist that I remember fondly to this day.
Tom Fredricks
May 24, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
2nd in the Thieves World anthology series. Like most anthologies it's a mixed bag. On the whole I enjoyed it. I think the shared world makes it a lot easier to get into each story (you already know the world, no setup necessary).

Spiders of the Purple Mage by Philip Jose Farmer - Good story. The character of Smhee was worth the read alone (devotee of a foreign cult who smears himself with butter and is hunting a wizard!?).

Goddess by David Drake - Another good one. An interesting story about aveng
Nov 24, 2012 rated it liked it
The continuing stories of Sanctuary and its inhabitants...

Take a bunch of fantasy writers, give them a city and tell them to populate it.
Thieves World takes place in the city of Sanctuary, but don't let the name fool you, Sanctuary is not the kind of city where you want to be wandering alone, or even in a group during nightime OR daytime... and whatever you do... do not go into that alley!
Thieves, Assassins, Barbaric Warriors, all around Bad People are mostly what populate this city. But even th
Oct 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Some stories good, some stories merely meh. There are definitely contributors who I'm glad I haven't read more of given their style and prose in their particular story. One more note- the stories, even the good ones, sure feel depressing. None of the recurring characters have much in the way of redeeming qualities, and their lives seem bleak and joyless.
Boyana Yordanova
Aug 02, 2017 rated it it was ok
sub par.
Бранимир Събев
Странна, противоречива, на моменти много интересна, на други – скучновата. С една дума – наистина нееднозначна книга, това е „Разкази от Кръчмата При Еднорога”. По същината си това са седем разказа от седем автора, които се развиват в един и същ фентъзи сетинг. Може да ви прозвучи натруфено, но ми стана приятно когато разбрах, че подобно на „Мечове в Леда”, които съставихме с колегата Александър Драганов, и големите имена в жанра са имали подобни проекти десетилетия преди. В случая Робърт Асприн ...more
Feb 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, adventure
This one was decent - not as good as the first but that had a whole newness to it this one lacks, plus that awesome Cappen Varra mobius story - but this is still good and is gradually building out the world more and more. No single story stands out, but all of them add up to a fairly fun experience.
Feb 05, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction, stories
Book two in the Thieves’ World series. Once again, discordant elements rear their ugly head, somewhat vitiating the “shared-world” premise. Philip Jose Farmer and David Drake’s stories are set in a magical pastiche of the Middle East, akin to Aladdin, where women are second-class subjects, etc., mostly unrelated to previous and subsequent Thieves’ World material. Lynn Abbey’s story is a return to form, unfortunately followed by Janet Morris’ confused, cryptic story, which inserts far more direct ...more
Jul 28, 2008 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2008
I knew nothing about Sanctuary going in & now I'm just happy to be out of it. I didn't enjoy it & wonder why I made myself finish it.

back cover:
TAKE Philip Jose Farmer, A. E. van Vogt, Robert Lynn Asprin, Lynn Abbey, Janet Morris, David Drake, and Andrew J. Offutt.

GIVE THEM SANCTUARY One seedy town, the meanest, most dangerous in all the worlds of fantasy.

PLUS The right to use (but not to use up) each other's characters and a mighty will to out-do each other's stories.

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 10, 2011 rated it liked it
i do love the Thieves World books, they are slow readers tho. Alot of different people, things going on, so hard to keep it all in order. Thats why i chose to reread the books and start at book 1 ( i read most of them in hS bout 20 yrs ago), and they are not much easier to grasp now as they were then. But the authors notes at the end of book 1 does explain soooo much.
Anyhow, most my reviews are for my own personal benefit.
Favorite story..The Fruit of Enlibar...Shadow's Pawn....To Gaurd the Gau
Sep 10, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I used to have many Thieves Guild books but gave most of them away in a previous tidying fit. Since then I have picked up copies whenever I (rarely) find them. I honestly don't know if I like them now for themselves or for nostalgia reasons but they are good old fashioned fantasy from before it became popular with mainstream readers. My favourite character (I think) is Hanse, though I find Tempus interesting too. I wonder if these characters will ever catch the eye of film-makers?
May 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
The world's top fantasy writers spin stories and loop the loop with each other's characters in Tales from the Vulgar Unicorn, the second collection in this unique anthology series set in the amazing city of Sanctuary, where you can enjoy the quiet elegance of Ambrosia House; sample bizarre pleasures at the House of Whips; sip ale in the Vulgar Unicorn, and listen to some of the most strange, dangerous, magical and deadly tales ever told...

Apr 05, 2012 rated it did not like it
I read this back in my late teens, a time when I was far less discerning about my reading material. That said, even then I was appalled by the repeated, casual references to rape of all varieties, in particular child rape.

I know there are those who revere this series, but it was very definitely not for me.
This second Thieves' World book seemed more cohesive than the first one. Still, I felt the lack of any progression; it's a series of good stories that don't really go anywhere. I know that's the nature of an anthology of this type but it reminds me why I don't read short stories much. I also wish it was a bit more fun; it's all fairly grim throughout.
Nov 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
I'm digging this series so far. The old school fantasy thing is so much more satisfying and interesting than most modern examples, prone as they are to simply repeat tropes and stereotypes, and focus on other things than plot. We'll see how it goes, because there's a bunch of these books and they're bound to start sucking a bit.
Mar 26, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
As with any anthology, some of the stories, characters, and authors I liked better than others. All of them are pretty good though, and some of them are great. Thieves' World has introduced me to a lot of my favorite fantasy/sci-fi authors.

This is one of the few series that I actually love.
Aug 27, 2012 rated it it was ok
Not as awesome as the first tome, but still pretty decent. First story way to long (but still decent). Second story has one of the greatest dungeon / catacomb exploration segment I ever read in the fantasy book. Rest of the book I almost forgot already. If you get a chance read the second story and skip the rest.
Dec 29, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This second book in the Thieves World anthology series was more enjoyable than the first. I remember reading it several times over the years and it is just one of those books you remember laughing at. Very good stuff!

Peregrine 12
Dec 12, 2010 rated it it was ok
These stories are definitely edgier than a lot of the sci-fi/fantasy out there today. These tales are not for children - definitely adult material. Unfortunately, I didn't enjoy them as much as I'd thought I would (a friend of mine loved them more than any other series).
Keith Davis
Nov 26, 2009 rated it it was ok
The trouble with the Thieves' World anthologies is that the authors chose to set the stories in the seediest rundown dump of a city imaginable. It clearly became a contest between the contributors to see who could come up with the nastiest character to place in the rotten setting.
Maggie Rigney
I felt like this book was more of a mixed bag than the previous book. Least favorite was the one about Tempus by Janet Morris. I had a hard time getting through that story but the rest of the book made up for it.
Jul 30, 2009 rated it really liked it

This book is better than its predecessor. It's a sleeker, smoother read. My only complaint is that this book seems to have cleaned up the city a little bit. There was a rawness that was missing. And maybe that rawness is what made this book a smoother read. *shrug*

Still, a fun series!
Mar 22, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Sexist, racist and, most damming of all, boring. One would assume a series titled "Thieves' World" would contain some, you know, thieves.
Sep 25, 2016 rated it liked it
The stories in this installment were on the darker & rambling side.
Mar 23, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
Wasn't really that compelling to me in any way. I wonder why I read the second book.
Mar 17, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: import
Antology of fantasy stories, all taking place in a common setting - the town called Sanctuary. Varying quality, but all very good. (I had a feeling this one was not as good as the first one.)
Timothy Boyd
May 14, 2015 rated it liked it
Good shared world book series. The variety of writers keeps the stories fresh. Recommended
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Robert (Lynn) Asprin was born in 1946. While he wrote some stand alone novels such as Cold Cash War, Tambu and The Bug Wars and also the Duncan and Mallory Illustrated stories, Bob is best known for his series fantasy, such as the Myth Adventures of Aahz and Skeeve, the Phule’s Company novels and the Time Scout novels written with Linda Evans. He also edited the groundbreaking Thieves’ World antho ...more
More about Robert Lynn Asprin...

Other Books in the Series

Thieves' World (1 - 10 of 17 books)
  • Thieves' World (Thieves' World, #1)
  • Shadows of Sanctuary (Thieves' World, #3)
  • Storm Season (Thieves' World, #4)
  • The Face of Chaos (Thieves' World, #5)
  • Wings of Omen (Thieves' World, #6)
  • The Dead of Winter (Thieves' World, #7)
  • Soul of the City (Thieves' World, #8)
  • Blood Ties (Thieves' World, #9)
  • Aftermath (Thieves' World, #10)
  • Uneasy Alliances (Thieves' World, #11)

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