Tom Meade's Reviews > Servants of the Wankh

Servants of the Wankh by Jack Vance
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's review
Feb 10, 2009

liked it
bookshelves: adventure, science-fiction
Read in September, 2009

The second book in the Planet of Adventure series manages to be both better and worse than its predecessor. On the one hand, several of the characters are fleshed-out, we get first-hand looks at a number of interesting cultures, and the plot to steal a spaceship is a pretty neat one. On the other hand, the plot of the book is largely non-existent, and whereas City of the Chasch played-out as a very exciting, brisky-paced beginning, Servants of the Wankh is mostly just saggy middle. There's also a bit of concession towards the sort of generic fantasy elements that I'd like to consider Jack Vance somewhat above (when the plot starts to resemble something ripped from The Tough Pick Guide to Fantasy by Dianne Wynne-Jones, I start to rankle a little - no matter how enjoyable the book is).

It's still a very quick and enjoyable read, mind; I think I'm just bitter because a character I liked got killed-off early in the book for no real reason other than to put a wrinkle in the protagonist's plans for escape from Tschai.

I do not own a copy of The Dirdir, so I guess I'll either have to make a trip to the bookshop or read the first volume of Lyonesse instead.

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