Isabel (kittiwake)'s Reviews > The Compleat Traveller In Black

The Compleat Traveller In Black by John Brunner
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's review
Dec 08, 2011

really liked it

The traveller in black has many names but a single nature, and carries a staff of curdled light. Whenever four planets are in a certain conjunction he is bound to walk the lands on the borders of order and chaos. The task that has been entrusted to him is to working towards banishing chaos, so that the cities of the borderlands can move from the land of chaos and eternity into the real world of order and time. As well as being able to bind elementals and limit their powers, one of the other ways he carries out his task is by granting the wishes of the people he meets, although not usually in the way they would have hoped. As the centuries pass and common sense gradually replaces a belief in magic, ever fewer of the people he meets on his travels have heard of him, and he realises that his ages long task may be coming to an end.

The five stories in this book were originally published separately, and it reads more like mythology than fantasy. I hadn't realised that John Brunner wrote fantasy as well as science fiction, but I found "The Compleat Traveller in Black" very interesting indeed.
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