Rhialto the Marvellous: Flagrant and wild!

Rhialto the Marvellous by Jack Vance

"Flagrant and wild!"

If you’re a fan of Jack Vance, of course you’ve read, or plan to read, Rhialto the Marvellous, last of the Dying Earth books. If you’ve not read any of Mr. Vance’s work, you can start here — it isn’t necessary to have read the previous installments.

Rhialto, who has earned the cognomen “Marvellous” (this has something to do with him being a bit of a dandy) is one of the last of Earth’s magicians, a small group of selfish and unscrupulous men who sometimes work together and sometimes oppose each other as it suits their individual inglorious purposes. The other magicians don’t care too much for Rhialto because he is aloof, popular with women, arrogant, and generally unflappable. Rhialto the Marvellous... Read More

Prince Caspian: Tinged with melancholy and loss

Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis

Prince Caspian is the direct sequel to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. This novel was published second, but technically comes chronologically fourth in the Narnia series. In The Lion, the four Pevensie children become kings and queen of the magical Narnian realm and reign for many years, but when they return home they find themselves back in their child bodies, on the exact same day that they stepped into the wardrobe many years ago. A year later, the children are waiting at the station for their train to take them back to boarding school when they feel a strange pulling at them — and all of a sudden they are back in Narnia!

But something is different — their beautiful castle of Cair Paravel is in ruins, and the land seems ominous and empty. Realising that the time-difference between the two worlds means that a thousand years have passed in Narnia whilst only one has gone by in their own worl... Read More