Book review: “The Guiding Nose of Ulfant Banderoz” by Dan Simmons

Thumbs up for The Guiding Nose of Ulfant Banderoz by Dan Simmons. Fantasy.

A novella set in the world of Jack Vance’s Dying Earth; I haven’t read any of that series but it didn’t reduce the pleasure I took in this gleefully purple little gem. Shrue the Diabolist learns of the death of Ulfant Banderoz, proprietor of the Ultimate Library, and sets out on a quest to possess the library’s secrets. There is a lot of giggly silliness in this book, but Simmons knows what he’s doing. Reading this book is like watching Michelangelo sculpt an altarpiece with multicolored Pla-doh and sequins. And you know what? It (almost entirely) works. (Thank you to Irina for a copy of this!)

Today, as mentioned, the daihak wore only the obscene orange breachclout. After he’d shuffled before the diabolist and knuckled his forehead in a parody of a saluute – or perhaps just to preen the white feather-floss that grew from his barnacle-sharp brow – KirdriK went through his inevitable rumbling, growling, and spitting sounds before being able to speak. (Shrue had long since spell-banished and pain-conditioned the cursing and roaring out of the daihak – at least in the magician’s presence – but KirdriK still tried.)


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