Reave the Just and Other Tales

Stephen R. Donaldson, Author Spectra Books $23.95 (384p) ISBN 978-0-553-11034-0
Collecting one SF and seven fantasy stories and novellas, this volume presents the short fiction Donaldson has written in the 14 years since the publication of Daughter of Regals and Other Tales. The best pieces are the novellas ""The Woman Who Loved Pigs,"" which vividly depicts the cunning of dueling magicians who alter the lives of ordinary folk, and ""Penance,"" which sets the redemption of a vampire in a well-drawn medieval setting. The SF story, ""What Makes Us Human,"" a Berserker pastiche, demonstrates that Donaldson is stronger at fantasy than at SF. Some of the other entries, such as ""By Any Other Name"" and ""The Djinn Who Watches Over the Accursed,"" use Mideastern culture, history and folklore to great effect. Though these tales do not reach the excellence of Donaldson's most famous works, such as The One Tree or The Mirror of Her Dreams, they are more succinct and their command of description is superior to that of his Gap Cycle. Donaldson's female characters will continue to irritate readers who expect more complex creations from one of the leading American fantasy writers, but, overall, the book does Donaldson proud. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 01/04/1999
Release date: 01/01/1999
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